Frances Garrett is the founder and former executive director of the African American Hispanic Health Education Resource Center. Diagnosed with HIV in 1992, Ms. Garrett became a prominent advocate for other women of color facing the unique challenges set them by social stigmas like HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and criminal records. On August 14th, Fran’s daughter Michelle Cusseaux was killed at close range by a Phoenix police officer who had been called to escort her to a mental health facility. Since then, Fran has been involved in calls for police reform, notably marching her daughter’s casket through downtown Phoenix weeks after the shooting, calling for an outside agency to investigate the wrongful death. Her efforts have been met with reforms on the part of the city of Phoenix, including the creation of the police department’s mental health advisory board and a seven-member police unit dedicated to crisis intervention. Ms. Garrett is currently working with the AAPF to develop the #SayHerName campaign, a multi-dimensional project focused on resisting police brutality against Black women.
Bodies of Revolution: Women Rise Against the Violence of Police, States & Empire was presented live at Columbia Law school on 5 Dec, 2015 by One Billion Rising, the African American Policy Forum, and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies. The two panels were moderated by Laura Flanders, of The Laura Flanders Show. For more information on the event, visit http://www.onebillionrising.org/bodiesofrevolution/