Sevonna M. Brown is the Associate Executive Director at Black Women’s Blueprint, a national organization that works to end sexual violence in Black communities across the country. At Black Women’s Blueprint, she was brought on to bring the flagship initiative, the Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at the United Nations, to completion in 2016, where she focused on the reproductive consequences of sexual violence. Her work to date at the organization focuses on the full reproductive spectrum of survivors of sexual violence, policies that impact sexual and reproductive health access for survivors, and implementing infrastructures for survivor-informed reproductive services. She sits on the steering committee of Black Women’s Health Imperative On Our Own Terms project, lending a voice in leadership around collaborations, solutions, and policies informed by the material conditions of Black women related to HIV, and reproductive health. The initiative coalesces a national network of organizations to strengthen community assets, deliver innovative solutions, and make a lasting impact on the health of Black women. As al ELLA Fellow at Sadie Nash Leadership project, Brown focused on reproductive justice in Brownsville and Crown Heights communities, and went on to be a Summer Faculty teaching Justice in the Body: Reproductive and Social Justice. In 2017 she worked with the Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services, Family and Youth Services Bureau Administration on Children, Youth, and Families to finalize their Report to Congress in order to communicate their recommendations on violence prevention programs for families and communities. She currently co-chairs NYC4CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, fostering laws and policies that advance equality for women and address all forms of gender discrimination.
Most notably in encouraging her to apply to this fellowship is her work in policy advocacy for survivors at the intersection of criminal justice issues. At Black Women’s Blueprint, as the Assistant Executive Director, Sevonna sits on the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF) alongside the the Executive Director, Farah Tanis, focusing on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address sexual violence. Through her work with the NTF she has stabilized a spectrum of skills to ensure that public policy initiatives are informed by diverse perspectives, address priority concerns, and advance efforts to end violence against women. As a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar she pursued research on policy advocacy to end maternal mortality and protect the reproductive rights of pregnant and post-partum individuals. She recently completed the New York Community Trust Spring 2018 Fellowship where she honed leadership development and community organizing, as well as base-building. She is a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow for her writing on the issue of reproductive justice and public health in Ebony, TIME Magazine, and Rewire News. She serves on the board of Children of Combahee, which mobilizes against child sexual abuse, bringing a reproductive lens to the organization’s mission. She is a birthworker and reproductive justice advocate, dedicating her work to the survival strategies built from political education and advocacy. Her organizational affiliations include Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development Institute and Standing in Our Power: Women of Color Transformative Leadership Institute. As a member of the social change coalition The Majority, a cross-sector organizing body that seeks to change policy for the the transformation of marginalized communities, she advocates for sexual and reproductive rights through policy advocacy.