Dr. Salamishah Tillet, As a rape survivor, scholar, writer, and co-founder of A Long Walk Home, Dr. Tillet has spent her career championing the rights and voices of our most vulnerable citizens. Nominated by Glamour magazine as a “Women of the Year” and named as one of the “Top 50 Global Leaders Ending Violence Against Children” by the Together for Girls’ Safe magazine and America’s “Top Leaders Under 30” by Ebony, she has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, written for The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and The Root and guest blogs for The Nation. Currently, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and has faculty appointments in the Africana Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. In 2003, Salamishah and her sister, Scheherazade Tillet, co-founded A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit that uses art therapy and the visual and performing arts to end violence against all girls and women – which Gloria Steinem describes as “a gift” that “beautifully blends art, policy, and grassroots organizing to empower our most vulnerable and voiceless Americans.” Salamishah was also an associate producer of Aishah Shahidah Simmons’s groundbreaking “NO! The Rape Documentary” and featured in the award-winning “Rape Is…” by Cambridge Documentary Films. She is the author of Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press, 2012), a book that Henry Louis Gates, Jr. calls “an original contribution” and “a dazzling analysis of the many ways slavery lives in the contemporary imagination and colors our past, present, and future.” In 2011, she wrote the liner notes for the three-time Grammy-award winning album, Wake Up!, by John Legend and The Roots. In 2013, she published “Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview” with Amazon and she is currently working on a book on the Civil Rights icon, Nina Simone. She earned her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization and A.M. in English and American Literature from Harvard University and her Masters in the Art of Teaching from Brown University. She has her B.A. in English and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In 2010, she was awarded the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2010-11, she was the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow for Career Enhancement and served as a visiting fellow at the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University. In 2013-14, she was invited to be an inaugural member of the Project of the Advancement of Our Common Humanity, a think tank at New York University to focus on our crisis of connection and creating a more just and humane world. She is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.