SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence.

Black women, girls, and femmes as young as seven and as old as ninety-three have been killed by the police, though we rarely hear their names. #SayHerName provides an analytical framework for understanding Black women's susceptibility to police brutality and it explains how we can mobilize for racial justice.

JUNE 12, 2024
12 pm PT | 3 PM ET

This event is part of our MCF Book Club: Reading for a Liberated Future series. The MCF Book Club shares the ideas of leaders who encourage us to imagine how we can radically transform our democracy, economy, and society.

SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence.

Black women, girls, and femmes as young as seven and as old as ninety-three have been killed by the police, though we rarely hear their names or learn their stories. Breonna Taylor, Alberta Spruill, Rekia Boyd, Shantel Davis, Shelly Frey, Kayla Moore, Kyam Livingston, Miriam Carey, Michelle Cusseaux, and Tanisha Anderson are among the many lives that should have been.

#SayHerName provides an analytical framework for understanding Black women’s susceptibility to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, and it explains how—through black feminist storytelling and ritual—we can effectively mobilize various communities and empower them to advocate for racial justice.

Featured Participants

Chris Petrella

Christopher Petrella, PhD, manages the design and implementation of programmatic and grantmaking initiatives for MCF and acts as the organization’s key advisor on short and long-term philanthropic initiatives. Prior to joining MCF, he served as editorial director and VP of operations at Kaepernick Publishing and led political education curriculum development efforts at Know Your Rights Camp.  As a historian of 19th- and 20th-century racialization in the United States, Christopher holds a visiting professor appointment in American Studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He earned his PhD in African diaspora studies from UC Berkeley.

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Co-founder and Executive Director of AAPF and Faculty Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS) is a pioneering scholar and writer on civil rights, critical race theory, Black feminist legal theory, race, racism, and the law. She is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the Promise Institute Chair on Human Rights at UCLA Law  School. 

Crenshaw is also the author of Say Her Name, Black Women’s Stories of State Violence and Public Silence, and co-author of Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and  Underprotected. Crenshaw has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and India and for constitutional court judges in South Africa and elsewhere. 

Rhanda Dormeus

Rhanda P. Dormeus, a retired Registered Nurse, is the mother of one son, three daughters, four grandsons, and eight granddaughters. On Monday, August 1st, 2016, the life of retirement changed forever when her second oldest daughter, 23-year-old Korryn Gaines, was murdered by Baltimore County Tactical Force Officer 1st Class Royce Ruby.  This same officer also shot and wounded Korryn’s five-year-old son.

In February 2018, after three weeks of testimonies and 1.5 hours of deliberations, a jury of Off. Ruby’s peers found his actions improper and awarded the family 37 million dollars. The presiding Judge, Mickey Norman, immediately overturned the verdict, stating, " The jurors got it wrong.” This decision was addressed in appellate court, overturned, and settled out of court. Rhanda Dormeus is now on a mission to help heal, enlighten, and embrace other impacted families.

Valarie Carey

Valarie Carey

Valarie Carey is a retired NYPD Police Sergeant who went from “policing to periods” when she created her brand TOTM! Time Of The Month! As Valarie Carey was building her menstrual wellness business, life was tragically interrupted by the brutal killing of her sister Miriam Carey on October 3, 2013, in Washington, DC at the hands of US Capitol Police and US Secret Service. The killers of Miriam have not been publicly named nor have they been held accountable. Valarie has spent the past 11 years pursuing justice for her sister Miriam Carey by raising awareness through petitions, silent protests and multiple outreach efforts to politicians to have her sister’s case reopened.

Valarie is a member of the Say Her Name Mother’s Network and a co-author of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s book #SayHerName. She is a member of the Brooklyn NAACP, a member of NOBLE National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and a lifetime member of the NYPD PEA Policewoman’s Endowment Association. Valarie is a highly sought-after international public speaker and has been featured on multiple media outlets.