A SHEE-Shed Moment

A SHEE-Shed Moment

A SHEE-Shed Moment 2022

by Anita D RussellFounder/CEO The Place to SOAR & VP US Coalition of Black Women Businesses

Over the 2022 Labor Day weekend I spent some time with my matriarchal cousin, helping her prepare for an end-of-summer backyard cookout. As the guests arrived she informed everyone that she had cleaned out her she-shed and anyone was welcome to sit (but not eat!) in her space. 

Someone asked, “What is a she-shed?”, and a conversation ensued. We talked about it being the equivalent of a man-cave but for the benefit and use of a woman. We laughed and bantered about various men and their different versions of the man-cave.

“She-shed: a woman’s private space designated as an escape for self-care and a healthy time out to (re)energize in mind, body, and spirit.” —Anita Russell

In this reading, you’ll be introduced to something different as well, the “SHEE-Shed”, a conceptualized space developed by the US Coalition of Black Women Businesses (USCBWB).

This article originally appeared in the USCBWB Newsletter.

The Central Message

The central message of USCBWB is advocacy of the Power of SHEE—social, health, and economic equity. USCBWB is a young organization determined to have a transformative impact. The core of our efforts is to equip members with the zeal for transformation through their business and community endeavors. Through our collective endeavors, we hope to display the conviction behind the Power of SHEE.

First, let’s breakdown the Power of SHEE. Without going into details, you most likely agree that we as a nation are in turbulent times on multiple fronts simultaneously—social, health, economics, politics, legislation, and general unrest. In 2020 the murder of George Floyd layered on top of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed to some but confirmed for others the very real presence of racism, systemic injustice, and healthcare disparities in our nation. 

Then on January 6, 2021 we all witnessed the insurrection, an attack on the capital that originated from the disinformed message and belief that the election from the previous November had been stolen.

USCBWB brings the Power of SHEE into these streams of turbulence as a mantra with a different model and a deeper meaning as a space to focus on social, health, and economic equity through Black women business owners. The desired outcome is a transformational shift in thinking, behaving, and acting that moves from a fixed zero-sum mindset to a benefits mindset with cultivated growth as the catalyst in between.

Outcomes Driven by Mindset

Zero-sum thinking is a fixed mindset that has the potential to create toxic thinking in these moments of turbulence. Zero-sum is based on the belief that in order to succeed (win) others must fail (lose), which is fine in the sports arena but it can be disastrous when it comes to things like social, health, and economic concerns. It’s like the response to the “Black Lives Matter” slogan where an erroneous assumption was made—that if the life of one group is said to matter, the underlying assumption is that the life of some other group does not matter. In actuality the slogan was a call for a shift in mindset that embraces equity and inclusion.

The growth mindset creates space for transformation and accountability. Psychologist, Carol Dweck defines growth mindset as the psychology of success. She says: 
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” 

Finally, there’s the benefits mindset defined as follows:  
“A benefit mindset builds on a growth mindset, when we understand that our abilities can be developed – and we also understand we can transform towards a more caring, inclusive, and interdependent perspective. It is called “benefit” mindset because it is concerned with the life-long process of learning how we can be the transformation and realize our unique potential in a way that serves the wellbeing of all.”  https://benefitmindset.com/about

The Power of SHEE is based on the belief that equity creates the benefit mindset through the power of cultivated growth and transformational change that breaks the fixed zero-sum mindset. A benefits mindset based on equity and inclusivity serves the wellbeing of all by creating communities of wellbeing.  The coalition is driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support through its member base. The Power of SHEE is about being the change you want to see.

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