June 3, 2024

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

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 12 PM PT | 2 PM CT | PT 3 PM ET

“The silence about Black women who have been killed by the police has distorted our collective capacity to respond. We cannot address a problem we cannot name. And we cannot name it if the stories of these women are not heard.” —Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw

Marguerite Casey Foundation and NationSwell are proud to present an MCF Book Club event in honor of #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence. Moderated by MCF’s director of philanthropic initiatives, Christopher Patrella, the virtual premiere of this event features author Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF)—along with artivist Kim Yancey, songstress and Artist in Residence at the African American Policy Forum Abby Dobson, and Ms. Rhanda Dormeus and Ms. Valarie Carey, two members of the #SayHerName Mothers Network.

In #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence, Crenshaw traces the race and gender hierarchies that have long resulted in disproportionate rates of state violence perpetrated against Black women. Through the lens of intersectionality—the analysis of how gender, class, disability, and more compound the racism and violence that communities of color face—Crenshaw sheds light on the interlocking systems of power and privilege that give rise to state violence and mobilize narrative storytelling in service of protecting Black women.

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Event Moderator 

Christopher Petrella

Director of Philanthropic Initiatives, Marguerite Casey Foundation

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.

Featured Participants

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Author, #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence

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

Member of the #SayHerName Mothers Network and the Coalition of Concerned Mothers, 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.

Ms. Valarie Carey

Member of the #SayHerName Mothers Network 

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. 

Abby Dobson

Songstress, Artist in Residence at the African American Policy Forum

A Sonic Conceptual Performing Artist and Composer, Activist, and Scholar, Abby Dobson is an Artist-in-Residence with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). She has performed at the Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, Kennedy Center & The Tonight Show. Her CD, "Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On” also received wonderful reviews. Featured on Talib Kweli’s album “Gravitas” on “State of Grace”, Abby was nominated for a 2014 BET Hip Hop Award for Best Impact Song. Abby was also featured on Talib Kweli's album, "Prisoner of Conscious” on “Before He Walked." 

Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, healing, and liberation, Abby creates music to inspire audiences to engage in action to promote transformative social change. Abby is a member of the Resistance Revival Chorus, a women’s ensemble born out of the Women’s March in 2017. Abby’s song #SayHerName, inspired by AAPF’s campaign of the same name, is featured on The Resistance Revival’s debut album, “This Joy”, released in 2020 on Righteous Babe Records. Abby’s song #SayHerName was also featured on Ava DuVernay’s hit television series Queen Sugar on the OWN Network. Abby also performs with Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, an improvisational ensemble. 

Kim Yancey


Kim Yancey is a New York born and based actor living in Brooklyn. She has numerous theater, television, and film credits in her veteran career. Currently, she can be heard as Wanda in the iHeart podcast “Supreme: The Battle for Roe” starring Maya Hawke and William H. Macy.

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