Qumyka Rasheeda Howell is a sexual violence interventionist, educator, activist, and philanthropist, with a mission to bring awareness to sexual violence of men, women and children. Her focus is the elimination of the sexual violence culture, and engage in social change and community empowerment.
Qumyka is a Black American of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent born and raised in Queens, NY. She is a survivor of childhood rape. Her abuse took place from the age of 9 to 11. In her youth, she dealt with her abuse by using alcohol. If she wasn’t drinking she was writing and if she wasn’t writing she was drinking. At the age of 16, she was introduced to contemplative meditation and yoga. This introduction was her escape from a destructive path to a more meaningful journey. In the midst of her earning a B.A in Political Science from the City University of New York, her journey led her to reside and study in Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal West Africa; Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda East Africa and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was there she witnessed women and children grappling with poverty and forced into sex-work.
In 2005, Qumyka founded the Innocence Stolen Innocent Still Foundation. The name of the foundation was from a poem she wrote at the age of 13, about her rape. I.S.I.S. offers educational workshops and programs that brings awareness to sexual violence in todays’ society. I.S.I.S. combines contemplative insight and the arts to explore ways to respond to sexual violence in their Arts eNergy Karma Healing program. This program helps survivors and youth in at-risk communities to cultivate the courage to talk and wisdom to listen. Her first workshop was at the Renaissance Women’s Domestic Violence Shelter in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Since then she has facilitated workshops and lectures at universities, community education centers and inter-spiritual communities.
Qumyka’s hope is to live in a world that no longer tolerates sexual violence. Her life’s journey is to seek opportunities to forward her mission through art, contemplative thought and societal change for all of humanity. You can find out more about Qumyka Rasheeda Howell and her work at http://www.TheISISFoundation.com