Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Black lesbian-feminist independent filmmaker, lecturer and activist received this year’s Waters Award for Intergenerational Activism from Bread and Roses Community Fund at its 12th Annual Tribute to Change Awards Brunch on Sunday, April 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the University City Sheraton, 36th and Chestnut Sts.
Commemorating three generations of a local activist family, the Waters Award for Intergenerational Activism was presented to two generations of activists, those who came of age politically in the 1960s and 70s and those who are helping to shape the political dialogue today.
Through her professional, artistic and political work, Simmons explores issues of race, gender and homophobia. She produced, wrote, directed the fforthcoming 90-minute documentary, “NO!” The film exposes a collusive silence surrounding rape in the Black community.
Her internationally acclaimed short subjects include “Silence…Broken” and “In My Father’s House.” Her writings have been published in The Philadelphia Gay News, The Philadelphia Tribune, Sojourner: The Women’s Forum, Hembra, Women In The Life Magazine and Crossroads. Her work and activism have been documented in Gay Black Female, Lesbia Magazine, The Black Scholar, Essence Magazine, Between The Lines, At The Crossroads, The Philadelphia Weekly, L.A. Weekly, Filmmaker Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.
She has screened her work and lectured in several countries on the impact of intersections of oppressions.
Ms. Simmons received the 1994 Philadelphia Gay Pride Award, the 1995 Atlantic City Black Film Festival Filmmaker Award, the 1998 Audre Lorde Legacy Award of the Union Institute Center for Women and the 1998 NAACP Exemplary Citizen Award.
Simmons was chosen, along with her parents and brother, to receive this award following a public nominations process. Bread and Roses Community Fund is a unique partnership of donors and activists committed to building a permanent institutional base for social change in the Philadelphia region. Since 1971, over $5 million in grants has been distributed to local organizations. Through membership in the Funding Exchange, Bread and Roses Community Fund participates in a national movement supporting social change philanthropy.