On the Record image

On The Record

Directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War), and first reported by the New York TimesOn The Record presents the powerful haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon (collaborator on hit records by Method Man and Mary J. Blige, Estelle and Kanye West, and Whitney Houston) as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault.

The documentary, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, chronicles not only Dixon's story but that of several other accusers – Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Sher – delving deeply into the ways women of colors' voices are all too often silenced and ignored when they allege sexual assault; as well as the cultural forces that pressure them to remain silent.

On The Record is produced by Dick and Ziering's Jane Doe Films with Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous and Jenny Raskin for Impact Partners, Regina K. Scully for Artemis Rising, Ian Darling for Shark Island Institute and Abigail Disney for Level Forward serving as executive producers. The creative team includes producers Jamie Rogers and Amy Herdy.

Featured Talent

Drew Dixon headshot

DREW DIXON

Drew Dixon is the accomplished former Vice President of A&R at Arista Records, a former director of A&R at Def Jam Recordings, the former general manager of John Legend's label Homeschool Records, and the former manager of recording artist Estelle. She has produced hit records with a number of artists, including Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Estelle, Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Kanye West, and many more. Dixon is the founder of the independent label The Ninth Floor and the tech-enabled beauty start-up EverythingDid, and she is the co-creator of the scripted TV series Reciprocity.

Sheri Sher headshot

SHERI SHER

Sheri Sher is an American hip-hop pioneer best known as a founding member of the first all-female hip-hop group, Mercedes Ladies. In 2008, Sher authored Mercedes Ladies, a gritty, riveting true-life novel that Cornell University selected for placement in its rare books archive. She has been featured in several documentaries and referenced in the Ava Duvernay–produced BET documentary My Mic Sounds Nice. Currently, Sher is working on writing a screenplay, launching a clothing line, "The Era," and continuing to make appearances as a distinguished figure in hip-hop.

Sil Lai Abrams

SIL LAI ABRAMS

Sil Lai Abrams is a National Association of Black Journalists award-winning writer, domestic violence awareness activist, and sought after speaker on gender violence, race, and depictions of women of color in the media. Abrams is a McBride Scholar at Bryn Mawr College. Her books, the 2007 self-help tome No More Drama: Nine Simple Steps to Transforming a Breakdown into a Breakthrough and 2016 memoir Black Lotus: A Woman's Search for Racial Identity, received critical acclaim from numerous literary journals. Abrams is the founder of Truth In Reality, a media advocacy organization that challenges the racially stereotypical media messaging of Black women and girls.

Kirby Amy headshot

KIRBY DICK & AMY ZIERING

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are two-time Emmy® award-winning and two-time Academy award®-winning filmmakers behind the most groundbreaking investigatory documentaries today.

Their Oscar®-nominated film, The Invisible War, broke the story of the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military and led to five congressional hearings and the passing of 35 reforms through Congress. Their follow up film, The Hunting Ground, about campus sexual assault, ignited a national discussion and led to sweeping policy changes at hundreds of schools. Their most recent film, The Bleeding Edge, about the fast-growing medical device industry's corruption and malfeasance, has already compelled industry giant Bayer to remove one harmful device from the market, and is catalyzing a worldwide debate about regulation and patient safety.

Throughout their filmography, notable accolades they have amassed include: two Oscar® nominations, two Emmy® awards, a Peabody, an Independent Spirit Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, the Nestor Almendros Prize for Courage and Filmmaking, an Upton Sinclair Award, the Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, and the George Polk Award.

Resources

Call the National Sexual Assault hotline at 800.656.HOPE

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Equality Now

Equality Now is an international women's rights organization working to ensure the equality of women and girls. Since 1992, our team of experts and lawyers have worked with grassroots organizations and governments around the world to achieve legal and systemic change that addresses violence and discrimination against women and girls. Equality Now campaigns to end: child marriage, sexual violence and exploitation, female genital mutilation and for women’s legal equality. The organization has offices in New York City, London, Nairobi, and Beirut. Find us at equalitynow.org

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Black Women's Blueprint

Our Mission

We work to place Black women and girls’ lives, as well as their particular struggles, squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities.​We are committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political and economic equity.​ ​We engage in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy and organizing steeped in the struggles of Black women within their diverse communities and within dominant culture.

Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB)​ is a transnational Black feminist organization which celebrates and seizes the opportunities of the African diaspora, all while mourning of the violent conditions that created it. Initially borne of the slave trade and the Middle Passage, and expanded by contemporary crisis on, and migration from, the African continent, the diaspora contains multitudes of individual testimonies which, when united, derive our true power as Black women.

Communications Team Contacts

Farah Tanis; Executive Director
ftanis@blueprintny.org

Sevonna Brown; Associate Executive Director
sevonna@blueprintny.org

Dalia Griñan; Community Education & Trainings Coordinator ​
communications@blueprintny.org

Courtney Hunter; MamaBlack Associate Editor
Courtney.Hunter424@gmail.com

Rainn logo

RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting online.rainn.org.