Still I Rise explores the relationship between racism and sex trafficking with dynamic womxn closest to the problem and the solutions. Over the course of five years in the Bay Area, we follow the lives of brilliant pioneering advocates, Holly Joshi and Leah Albright-Byrd.
Leah is a national anti-trafficking leader informed by her experience of being trafficked on the internet and the streets as a teenager. Leah’s resilience and compassion energize her to launch Bridget’s Dream, a survivor-led Christian organization that serves commercially sexually exploited girls, womxn and gender-expansive folks. Her powerful story is featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, BET, Gabrielle Union’s Being Mary Jane, and Katie Couric.
Holly, an Oakland native, becomes the first black woman Chief of Staff at the Oakland Police Department. Her advocacy and scholarship is influenced by her career as an undercover cop and supervisor in the Child Exploitation Unit. A nationally recognized anti-trafficking advocate and trainer, Vice President Kamala Harris recruits Holly to be on on her Anti-Human Trafficking Working Group and Task Force on 21st Century Policing while Attorney General of California.
As their perspectives evolve, Holly and Leah prioritize the interdependence of the anti-trafficking movement and other movements for social equity, such as the Movement For Black Lives, Me Too, #SayHerName and Times Up. Leah and Holly highlight the critical truth that the mainstream media, legislators and even activists often downplay – ignoring the relationship between racism and sex trafficking perpetuates the crime.
Still I Rise features powerhouse vignettes with Professor Kimberle Crenshaw, Alicia Keys, Janet Mock, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Angela Davis, Tarana Burke, Jada Pinkett Smith, Patrisse Cullors and Janelle Monae.