Rosa Alicia Clemente

Ro-sa kluh-men-tey  //  she/her

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a Black-Puerto Rican woman born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is an organizer, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist.

Rosa was the first ever Afro-Latina woman to run for Vice-President of the United States in 2008 on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney, were to this date the only women of color ticket in American presidential history. She is a frequent guest on television, radio and online media, as her opinions on critical current events are widely sought after. As president of Know Thy Self Productions, she has produced several major community activism tours over the last 20 years. As a co-founder and national coordinator of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2003, 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 REACH 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, The Black Panther Party for self-defense and 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 politics, the intersection of race, gender and class, Hip-Hop feminisms, media justice, United States Political Prisoners and the end of colonial rule and domination in Puerto Rico.

From Cornell to prisons, Rosa is one of her generations leading scholars on the issues of Afro/Black-Latina/Latino/Latinx identity. 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 Latinx culture. As an activist with Black Lives Matter, she has continued to address issues of Afro/Black-Latinx Identity and anti-Blackness through her writings.


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Rosa is no stranger to taking on high profile celebrities. From her 2001 calling out Russell Simmons for his misogyny. In 2013 she confronted rapper Rick Ross’s rape culture lyrics and called upon men in the industry to stand with women and end rape culture in Hip-Hop culture. 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 Lighty. Rosa shared the story of her own depression, shining a light on the problem within the Hip-Hop community and encouraging people to break the silence and shame.

As an independent journalist 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 media outlets around the world. Along with Hip Hop artist Talib Kweli and poet Jessica Care Moore she went to Ferguson, MO during the uprisings in 2014 over the death of Michael Brown In September 2017, days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico she created of PR (Puerto Rico) On the Map, an independent, unapologetic, Afro-Latinx centered media collective.

We are human beings who deserve the right to dignity, whether we are working on a Hollywood set, or working at Walmart, whether we’re a mother in the South Bronx, or a mother in Beverly Hills.Click To Tweet

On January 8th, 2018 Rosa and 6 other women of color organizers joined actresses from Hollywood as part of the Times Up initiative and the #metoo movement. Rosa was the guest of Oscar winner Susan Sarandon and stated that evening, “We are human beings who deserve the right to dignity, whether we are working on a Hollywood set, or working at Walmart, whether we’re a mother in the South Bronx, or a mother in Beverly Hills. So, we are here not only to walk the red carpet, we are here to work the red carpet and give voice to the many millions of women who are often marginalized.”

Rosa has recently created the Black Diasporic Organizing Project, a non-profit dedicated to combatting anti-Blackness within the wider Latina, Latino and Latinx community and can be heard and seen on her weekly web series, show Disrupt the Chaos. She is currently completing her PH.D at the W.E.B. DuBois Center for Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Short Biography

Rosa Clemente (Ro-sa kluh-men-tey), she/her

Rosa Alicia Clemente is an organizer, political commentator and independent journalist. An Afro-Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, NY she has dedicated her life to organizing, scholarship and activism. From Cornell to prisons, Rosa is one of her generations leading scholars on the issues of Afro-Latinx identity. Rosa is the president and founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which has produced seven major community activism tours and consults on issues such as hip-hop feminism, media justice, voter engagement among youth of color, third party politics, United States political prisoners and the right of Puerto Rico to become an independent nation free of United States colonial domination. She is a frequent guest on television, radio and online media, as her opinions on critical current events are widely sought after. Her groundbreaking article, “Who is Black?”, published in 2001, was the catalyst for many discussions regarding Black political and cultural identity in the Latinx community. She is creator of PR (Puerto Rico) On The Map, an independent, unapologetic, Afro-Latinx centered media collective founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. She is currently completing her PhD at the W.E.B. DuBois Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rosa was the first ever Afro-Latina women to run for Vice-President of the United States in 2008 on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney, were to this date the only women of color ticket in American history.


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Rosa Clemente is a fierce, brave, passionate voice of our times. She speaks from her heart and history and 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.


– Eve Ensler
Playwright, Performer, Activist, Author of The Vagina Monologues