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Rosa Clemente Community Organizer, Journalist & Political Activist

Rosa Clemente, Community Organizer

Rosa Clemente, a native of the South Bronx, is one of the most raw, honest, political, social, and cultural voices in the country. From Harvard to prisons, Rosa has spent her life dedicated to scholar activism. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Dubois department of UMASS-Amherst. Throughout her scholarly career, Rosa has been a consta...    

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Rosa Clemente, a native of the South Bronx, is one of the most raw, honest, political, social, and cultural voices in the country. From Harvard to prisons, Rosa has spent her life dedicated to scholar activism. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Dubois department of UMASS-Amherst. Throughout her scholarly career, Rosa has been a constant on the ground presence through the many political struggles facing Black and Latinx people in the 21st century.

Rosa is the president and founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which has produced four major community activism tours and consults on issues such as Hip-Hop activism, media justice, voter engagement among youth of color, third party politics, intercultural relations between Black and Latinx, immigrants’ rights as an extension of human rights, and universal healthcare. She is a frequent guest on television, radio and online media, as her opinion on critical current events is widely sought after.

Rosa is a leading scholar on the issues of Afro-Latinx identity. Her groundbreaking article, Who is Black?, published in 2001, was the catalyst for many discussions regarding Blackness in the Latinx culture. She continues to discuss cultural identity, political identity and racial identity in and out of the academy.
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As the co-founder and coordinator of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention, Rosa helped bring together more than 3000 activists to create and implement a national political agenda for the Hip-Hop generation. She also co-founded the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop Coalition, a Hip-Hop generation based media justice organization.

Rosa’s academic work has been dedicated to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States with a specific focus on The Young Lords Party (which she wrote her master’s thesis on), The Black Panther Party, and the Black and Brown Liberation Movements of the 60s and 70s, as well as the effects of COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) on such movements. She has also written extensively on Afro-Latinx identity and politics, sexism within Hip-Hop culture, media justice, Hip-Hop activism and African American and Latinx unity.

The continued pursuit for scholarly excellence has never deterred Rosa from being on the front lines of Black and Latinx struggles. She traveled to Vieques, Puerto Rico to document the US Naval withdrawal from the island after 67 years of US military control. She was in New Orleans and Mississippi, as an independent journalist, a mere ten days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area. Her on-the-ground reports were distributed to radio stations around the world.

The Green Party is no longer the alternative; the Green Party is the imperative.

Entrenched in civic and professional service is important to Rosa. She has sat on various boards throughout her career including Black Lives Matter, the National Priorities Project, The Brecht Forum and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. She travels nationally as a public speaker, at colleges and universities, various organizations, and a wide range of communities.

Rosa is no stranger to taking on high profile celebrities. From her very first article in 2001 calling out Russell Simmons for his lack of understanding of Hip-Hop culture to her 2013 video in response to Rick Ross’ lyrics and calling upon people to put an end to rape culture; Rosa does not sit by silently. Additionally, she continually offers the public a view into her own life and experience. This is hauntingly evident in her 2013 essay Not Ready to Die but Wanting to Die: Depression, Hip-Hop and the Death of Chris Lightly. Rosa shared the story of her own depression, shining a light on the problem within the Hip-Hop community and encouraged people to Break the Silence and Stop the Shame.

Rosa was a youth representative at the first ever United Nations World Conference against Xenophobia, Racism and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. Additionally, she coordinated the Black August South African Hip-Hop Tour, starring Dead Prez, Jeru DA Damaja, Black Thought of the Roots, Boots Riley of the Coup, and Talib Kweli.

Rosa has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships. She has written for Ebony, Clamor Magazine, The Black World Today, The Final Call, The Ave. Magazine, and numerous websites.

She has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, The Nation, The Progressive, The Village Voice, Urban Latino, Essence, Latina, Vibe, The Huffington Post, and many other publications.

Rosa ran for Green Party Vice President in the 2008 U.S. election. Along with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the pair became the first women of color ticket in American History.


  • Rosa Clemente & Divine RBG

    Rosa Clemente- Afro-Latin@ Identity and Critical Approaches to Blackness

Ain’t I Hip-Hop Too?
In her keynote presentation Ain’t I Hip-Hop Too?, political activist and journalist Rosa Clemente challenges patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop Culture.

Brown, Black & Green: New Politics for a New Generation
The advent of shifting demographics and a black president have undoubtedly changed the political landscape of the United States. In this keynote speech, Clemente discusses the new majority and new politics for a new generation.

From the Young Lords to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
The historic appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor adds a new and important page to the history of Latino culture in the United States. In her keynote address, Clemente examines history of Puerto Rico, Nuyoricans and colonialism.

Presente! Latinos y Latinas in the 21st Century
Going beyond imposed identities, politics, and borders, Clemente delivers an empowered keynote speech detailing Latino influence on American life today and in the future.

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Sustainable Politics & Culture for a Radical Hip-Hop Generation

Ladies of Color First: Feminism, Women of Color & A New Way Forward

Speaking & Building Truth to Power: Media Independence for People of Color

The Green Jobs Movement: Can it Really Save Our Generation & The Planet?

Who is Black? A Puerto Rican Woman Claims Her Place in the African Diaspora

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  • Minister Ben Chavis-Muhammad
    Rosa is one of the most inspirational and dynamic speakers of the Hip Hop generation. After hearing her speak you will be inspired to join the movement for social justice!

    Chuck D.
    When you need a dynamic, stylish women to get your campaign going or to get your organization excited about activism, Rosa is the person you are looking for, she speaks from the heart with truth, fire and passion. She is one of this generations’ most important political voices and community organizers.

    Drexel University
    Rosa Clemente was absolutely amazing! We think she was the best, most engaging speaker we have had thus far.

'Hispanic-American'
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