Clarissa Francis

Biography: 

Clarissa Francis (she/her/serenity/Dr.) is a Black Sexual Liberation scholar and AASECT certified sexuality educator who focuses her work on Black women’s sexual liberation and pleasure. Dr. Francis has collaborated with colleges, organizations, and community groundbreakers to bring awareness and healing to Black women and youth. She received her bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies (minor in Psychology) from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). At BGSU, she held leadership roles in multicultural organizations and became a health peer educator. She worked as a graduate assistant at Clark Atlanta University’s Student Health Services while pursuing her master’s degree from the illustrious Clark Atlanta University in Africana Women’s Studies with a concentration in Black women’s sexuality and sexual health peer education. In 2021, she earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation titled, “A Real Hot Girl Movement: A Social History of Pleasure Activism in Atlanta, Georgia” uncovers the ways in which Pleasure Activism and Megan Thee Stallion’s Hot Girl Summer reflects Black women’s movement towards sexual liberation.

Dr. Francis feels called to develop safe spaces for Black women to participate in unrestricted dialogue unpacking and celebrating their bodies and diverse sexualities. She is trained in massage therapy, reiki healing, and conscious erotic touch. She currently sits on the AASECT’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and the Leadership Collective of Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WoCSHN). She developed a coaching program to equip Black sexuality professionals, and the aspiring sexually liberated, to recognize and utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to discussing Pleasure Activism as a tool for Black Sexual Liberation. Her goal is to infiltrate multi-oppressive systems to secure safe spaces for Black women to unpack intergenerational trauma, reclaim bodily autonomy, and Say Yes to (their own) Serenity!

Dr. Francis currently teaches ES 106: Introduction to Black Studies and ES 325: From Civil Rights to Black Power at Cal Poly Humboldt. She also offers workshops, training, and event planning consulting on Black Sexual Liberation, college peer education, pleasure activism, and various topics concerning the Africana Diaspora & sexualities. She looks forward to collaborating with scholars, practitioners, and activists on future publications, interventions, and advocacy efforts!

Research: 

Francis, C. E. (2021). A Real Hot Girl Movement: A Social History of Pleasure Activism in Atlanta, Georgia [Doctoral dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Francis, C., Braithwaite, R.L, Holliday, R. C, Zellner, T., Bonhomme, J. (2018). “Take Charge Project: An HIV/HCV and Substance Abuse Initiative for African-American Young Adults in Metro Atlanta,” International Journal of Ethnic College Health, Vol. 4, No. 1, 4-11.

Holliday, R. C., Zellner, T., Francis, C., Braithwaite, R.L., McGregor, Bonhomme, J. (2017, May). Campus and Community HIV and Addiction Prevention (CCHAP): An HIV Testing and Prevention Model to reach Young African American Adults”, 28 (2), Supplement to Vol. 28 Volume 28, No. 2.

Francis, C., Bradley, J., Bass, C., Scipio, K., & Braithwaite, R. (2016). “Black college women sexual health peer education at Clark Atlanta University”, Journal of the Georgia Public Health Assoc (2016), Supplement to Vol. 6, No. 2, p. 1-8.

Braithwaite, R., Edwards, L., Francis, C., Dennis, S., Lindong, I., Holliday, R. C. & Hernandez, N. D. (2016). “Condom Availability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities”, International Journal of Ethnic College Health, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 3-10.