Secunda Joseph is For the People and Recipient of the Prestigious Óscar Romero Award presented by the Rothko Chapel

Secunda Joseph, 2023 Rothko Chapel Óscar Romero Award, houston

By @secundajoseph

Secunda Joseph firmly promotes organic, community-based approaches to solidarity work and activism, and shirks at those who ignore the capacities of those for whom they advocate. Although her activist-organizer work broadly focuses on humanitarian rights and concerns, she utilizes Black abolitionist principles and concepts to create, build, and work beside vulnerable communities toward more liberating life options for future generations born to inequity.

Smart Media and Organizing

Secunda Joseph is a Co-Founder and Director of Smart Media & Organizing with ImagiNoir/BLMHTX, a collective whose aim is to educate, empower and build coalitions that address issues adversely impacting Black lives in the city of Houston. In addition to training consulting, & mutual aid work, Secunda Joseph delivers multimedia interventions and mind/body strategies toward liberatory existence. Inspired by the anti-lynching passion of her ancestor-mentor, Ida B. Wells, she hosts radio and curates online platforms with her collective. Through this work, she highlights Black radical traditions for striving and imagining new worlds in which “we can all breathe,” believing that traditional and gradualist approaches sacrifice the most marginalized. Joseph is also a Kemetic Yoga practitioner and offers intergenerational classes to adults, children, and seniors alike, realizing that her community’s healing work must be essential to her activism.

Great Personal Risk

Since 1986, the Rothko Chapel has given an award to grassroots activists who are working under extraordinary circumstances to advance human rights, often without widespread recognition and at great personal risk. This award is named in honor of Saint Óscar Romero of San Salvador, who was murdered in March 1980 while conducting Catholic Mass in a local hospital chapel. He is recognized internationally as a martyr and has inspired countless others to advocate for justice even in the face of great economic and political pressure.

Óscar Romero Award

The 2023 Rothko Chapel Óscar Romero Award recognizes individuals and organizations exercising courageous, grassroots, human rights advocacy to further civil rights in the United States. At a time when many urgent, intersecting civil liberties and human rights are under attack and actively losing protections in the US, the Rothko Chapel continues a multi-year effort to further community engagement on the topic of civil rights, following their 2021-22 Symposium “Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility.”


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Written by thetremag

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