Dr. Tiffany Reed, director of the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, held a talk as part of the Empowering Women series at Indiana State.
A main focus of the talk was about the phrase “woman to woman” and how women can have conversations with each other about difficult topics in a way that is uplifting and empowering.
Dr. Reed brought up the fact that there are often barriers in “woman to woman” conversations. These often stem from comparing oneself to other women, competition with other women, not having or giving the necessary support, and cultural blocks to understanding other women’s experiences.
Often there are issues with micro-aggressions, defined as being small phrases that seem harmless on their own but may hold more weight when one experiences them daily.
As a way to combat these issues when creating safe spaces for woman to woman conversations, Dr. Reed proposed the Shine Theory (originally coined by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow) of empowerment. The idea behind it is simple: “I don’t shine if you don’t shine.”
Before parting, participants were offered a closing activity where they contact three women they are close to via email or text and tell them how they are empowering and what they mean to the participant. This activity was also offered to any readers when Dr. Reed was asked for permission to share about this event.