Our #AskHer series is an interview with our partners, community members, and supporters who work tirelessly for women and girls. This interview is with Alana Brown, Executive Director of The Safe Sisters Circle. The interview was conducted by our Program Officer, Chika Onwuvuche. 

The Safe Sisters Circle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free culturally specific, holistic, and trauma-based services to Black women survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault primarily living in Washington, DC’s Wards 7 and 8.

Chika Onwuvuche: In one sentence, tell us why you founded your organization?

Alana Brown: I founded this organization because I wanted an organization that placed Black women’s needs first, centered the survivors’ needs, and also provided them with practitioners and attorneys that they can relate to, such as having a staff of Black women attorneys.

Chika: What cause/issue does your organization tackle?

Alana: We look at domestic violence and sexual assault focusing on Black women and girls living in DC’s Wards 7 and 8.  Although, we rarely turn anyone away, our mission is to mainly focus on Black women survivors.

Chika: What should people know about your organization that they may not otherwise read or hear about?

Alana: I think people should know we take on other people who don’t fall into our categories. We also don’t have an income requirement. We have clients who fall into the low-income category, but not poverty level income category, which are women who don’t make enough money for their own attorney, but don’t fall under the low-income requirements that a lot of nonprofits have.

Chika: As we get back to building better, what hurdle is your organization facing moving forward?

Alana: I think the biggest hurdle is the idea that right now Black Lives Matter is very popular, and it’s very popular to center Black women. We have the R. Kelly case where Black women finally got justice after years of trying, after many activists did their part to bring that subject to the forefront. I don’t want people to forget that as we build back together. I want them to still be supportive of Black women as we move forward as an organization, as a country and as a society. We should still keep that focus on Black women survivors.

Read the full article about mobilizing for Black women by Mercy Chikowore at Washington Area Women's Foundation.