Chronic Sheroines: Shante Holds Us In Love & Accountability

Warning: This story contains the use of exquisite black girl magic, is meant for internal then external use and may inspire random acts of self and sisterly love.

 

 

S.H.E.R.A.H. opened its first safe house for at-risk black girls in St. Louis March 2018. The founder of the grassroots organization that seeks to help black girls reach self-actualization by any means necessary, is already looking to open a second house… in Uganda.  Wait… We’ll slow down and let you mustard.

Sista Shante Duncan is a superhero. She can do shit like open a safe house for young girls cause she’s a black woman with a secret weapon, a black family on mission. When a Christian-based group home decided to relinquish the property in 2017, they wanted to ensure the next owners held the same committment, to provide a safe-space for marginalized people in North St. Louis.

S.H.E.R.A.H.
Cartan Mosley catch Shante DUncan being great.

Once the obstacle of the selection process was tackled, a small issue of 20 racks for a down-payment weighed a new ton on Shante’s shoulders. Enter her secret weapon. “He told me, “I chose you and I believe in you.” I knew right then that I did the right thing…and I married the right man,” said Shante Duncan on receiving a $20,000 love donation from a doting husband saving to buy a home of their own. Instead, it was official, the founder and executive director of S.H.E.R.A.H. was going to open a safe house for black girls and women that need a room of their own.

The “right thing” Shante already accomplished was birthing S.H.E.R.A.H. 14 years ago and not giving up on her dream to bring the change she wanted to see. Sisters Helping Eachother to Reach A Higher Height was born from the power of perseverance flowing from her ancestors straight through to the at-risk girls and women of North St. Louis. From her creative imagination, Shante designed programming with the empowerment of black girls in mind.


 

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“Out of 500 girls in St. Louis, at least 175 or more have experienced sex abuse. We teach healing through self-love. We run that value for 8 weeks. Over that period they’re taught meditation, how to affirm themselves,” said a hopeful Shante. “We teach positive self-talk and do mirror work where we start identifying stuff you like about yourself,” rattled off Shante. She has clearly been in the business of cultivating black girl magic for a grip. We were just happy she slowed down for TBFS to mustard. #noketchup #itsdisgusting

In a recent TBFS exclusive, Shante spoke candidly about exactly what it took to see her vision through in the beginning. “My schedule is go, go, go all the time. I used to run this program for free,” she remembered. “I’m one of those people who believe if you do the work, money will come. We have to be in charge of our own school and food systems. We’re constantly protesting against injustice but we always put ourselves back in position for injustice to grow,” said a passionate Shante.

I would call my husband and say, “I got a young sista…” and my husband would say, “Do what you gotta do.”

The Black Freqs understand the power of focused energy. It is also understood how important to exercise positive intention behind it. This is why we dedicate our voice to uplifting gifted peoples that people our planet whether or not the haters understand it. Black girls magic may be celebrated in popular media today, but who do you think will sweep up all this glitter when the party is over. #ChronicSheroines

“We only work with the black girls,” said Shante. “When I say “we” I really just mean me.  I was insecure but I felt a power inside that I didn’t know how to tap into.” It would be cool to see that painting… Shante’s insecurity battling her innerpower. But Shante doesn’t paint, unless she needs to paint. Besides, S.H.E.R.A.H. tells us which of the two won the fight in the end.

Shante Duncan
Shante poses with S.H.E.R.A.H. and school staff.

 

Some sisters just need to be held in love and accountability.

When it came to getting started, Shante recognized the public education system as an obvious inroad. She quickly gained access in the underfunded schools in her own neighborhood. “I grew up in North St. Louis and it’s considered the most dangerous community in St. Louis,” said Shante. “My goal was to create some safe spaces for women and girls of color so we can remember where we come from. If we can remember who we are then we really have the power to recreate our own communities.”

 


 

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She continued, “Our elders…when the women gathered, that’s how they got their power. I didn’t have a husband, any children or anything at the time. The first meeting was 3 girls the next time it was 30 of us.” 30 women grew to more and soon Shante’s S.H.E.R.A.H. movement was underway. “The next meeting this sista was like, her lights were getting cut off and women started reaching in their pockets and I was like, “That’s what community looks like!”

Sister Circles are a common theme of S.H.E.R.A.H.
Sister Circle, S.H.E.R.A.H.

20 schools. In St. Louis, S.H.E.R.A.H. programming is active in 20 schools across 8 districts and has added multiple facets of outreach since Shante first acted on mission, April 6, 2004. “We’re a membership-based organization and we’ve been able to operate with little to no funding and we’re working to get this house full,” said a confident activist. “Our goal is to get another house we only have 4 beds open.”

The house she’s speaking of is allocated to young girls, 12 to 17 years old. However, the house is currently occupied by at-risk adult women due to State licensing issues. “The goal is to build our membership. The more women we get working with us the higher we can reach.” S.H.E.R.A.H. membership is $65 per year to participate in healing worship, personal development workshops, and the upliftment of brown women everywhere.

“Members can shop with selected women of color owned businesses at a discount rate. The goal is to start buying up land with pooled funded. We want to be able to fund the women’s business ideas. When you move out, I don’t want you to rent I want you to buy a house,” she proudly exclaimed.

“The people in Uganda want us to come there and do a safe house because they have them there. I plan to visit Uganda this summer and we want to help them get that one going this summer. We want to start a chapter in Alabama and we’ve gone to Maryland.”

Shante started S.H.E.R.A.H. with two feet, two hands, and a mind to change her surroundings for the better. She saw something and did something. The Black Frequency Sheets is telling it to you like it T. I. is, this Shante is not from Queens but she certainly is one. Her queendom is further south with a lot of the same shit going on but her reign will see a change if she has her way.

So far, her success is looking like a safe bet.

 

We’re not American Redcross. We’re not United Way. We’re real sisters helping each other.

Shante Duncan, S.H.E.R.A.H. founder

S.H.E.R.A.H.
Sisters Helping Eachother Reach Higher Heights

LEARN MORE ABOUT S.H.E.R.A.H.

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Contact Shante Duncan here.

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The Black Freqy Tee

Turquoise like the beginning of the ocean Heather Gray like a light storm cloud or Black like the color of your true loves hair. Choose Your Color. Choose Your Size. Rock Your Freq. FREE SHIPPING.

$25.00