Rosa
Clemente

Details

Biography

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a Black-Puerto Rican woman born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is an award-winning organizer, political commentator, producer, independent journalist, scholar-activist, and former vice presidential candidate. A leading voice of her generation, Rosa is frequently sought out for her insight and commentary on Afro/Black-Latina/Latino/Latinx identity, Black and Latinx liberation movements, police violence, colonialism in Puerto Rico, hip-hop feminism, third-party politics and more.

In 2008, Clemente made herstory when she became the first Afro/Black-Latina to run for Vice-President of the United States on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney are, to this date, the only women of color ticket in U.S. Presidential history.

However, her influential work neither started nor ended there. A media-maker, Clemente was recently an associate producer on Judas and the Black Messiah, a two-time Oscar-winning film by Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler about the betrayal of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton at the hands of FBI informant William O’Neal.

As an independent journalist, Clemente has provided on-the-ground coverage of the U.S. Navy’s withdrawal from Vieques, Puerto Rico, after 67 years of military control; the devastation and government failures in New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina; Black Lives Matters protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and more. In 2017, days after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Clemente organized a group of young Latinx media-makers to cover the destruction and its political implications through PR on the Map. Under the project, she produced multiple documentaries, photo series and articles. As a writer, Clemente isn’t scared to get personal, either. Her powerful first-person essays on Afro-Latinx identity, particularly her article Who is Black?, is read in classrooms across the country and has been translated into four different languages.

As president of Know Thy Self Productions, she has produced eight community activism tours, and also co-founded and was the national coordinator for the first-ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2003, which helped bring together more than 3,000 activists to create and implement a political agenda for the hip-hop generation.

A fearless voice against injustice and violence, including high-profile perpetrators, Clemente has famously called out Russell Simmons on accusations of sexual violence as well as confronted rapper Rick Ross on his lyrics normalizing rape culture. A longtime champion for survivors in the hip-hop industry, it’s no surprise Clemente caught the attention of celebrities in the #MeToo movement. On January 8, 2018, she and six other women of color organizers joined Hollywood actresses at the Golden Globes Red Carpet as part of an initiative by Time’s Up and #MeToo. There, she spotlighted sexual harassment and violence against women from Beverly Hills to the South Bronx.

Currently completing her PhD at the W.E.B. DuBois Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Clemente’s academic work centers national liberation struggles inside the U.S. with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party, the Black Panther Party, Black and brown liberation movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s as well as the effects of COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) on such movements. 

Testimonials

"Rosa brings attention to the suffering, exploitation, and injustices faced by people of color in the United States and around the world. Her voice is a needed, persistent and insistent call to action."
— Iris Morales

"My dear sister and comrade Rosa Clemente is a long-distance runner for justice – a genuine freedom-fighter who tells the truth from the depths of her soul and puts her body on the line, owing to her love for oppressed people." 
— Cornel West

"Rosa is a revolutionary, true to her beliefs, her values and her fierce vision for a fair and just world. In these barbaric times, we need her truth-telling more than ever." 
— Naomi Klein

"Rosa Clemente is a fierce, brave and passionate voice of our times. She speaks from her heart and history, and she calls us to question everything, to investigate deeper and to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalized and invisible. She is a true revolutionary, and we must support her and heed her call." 
— V Ensler

"Rosa Clemente is one of our most brilliant minds. She has run for vice president, mentored dozens of young people and has led several justice campaigns to end state violence in this country. Clemente is not only a friend but a promised comrade."
— Patrisse Cullors

"Rosa Clemente is a bold, brilliant and important thinker and a true agent for change. For her, activism isn't theory and study, but a way of life." 
— Jamilah Lemieux

Speeches

Advancing Equity and Anti-Racism Strategies on Campus

Advancing Scholarship and Activism in Higher Education

Can’t Stop Our Blackness: Black Latinx Narratives And Resisting Erasure

Puerto Rico On The Map: Hurricane Maria, The Legacy Of Colonialism And How To Make A Nation

We The People: Resisting & Speaking Truth To Power

When A Black Puerto Rican Ran For Vice President And Nobody Knew Her Name

From Moments To Movements: The Power Of Community Activism And Organizing

Media