Big News

What a week!

Yes, I know today is Monday and the week just started, but there is so much happening this week that I know my statement will ring true by Saturday night. But, I will do my best to take each day one.day.at.a.time.

This week holds the final days of preparation for the first Marvelous Girls’ Summit. We are so excited, I am so excited and I hope the girls who are attending are excited as well. The response has been REMARKABLE and I, along with the student groups at SMU, look forward to delivering everything that has been in our heads and on our hearts to the 11-13-year-old girls who will be joining us Saturday.

You will hear more this week about our sponsors for the event and if things aren’t too chaotic, you may even get a sneak peek at some of our prep space. Stay tuned!

You’re probably wondering if the Marvelous Girls’ Summit is the big news, right? Well, although the event is a pretty big deal, that is not the announcement.

The big news is that I am a published author! Yes, you read that correctly. I, Shanterra McBride, wrote my first book!

Love Your Jiggle:  The Girls Guide to Being Marvelous, published by  Crystal Spirit Publishing, Inc. is an inspirational book for girls ages 11-17. Topics covered include self-esteem, maintaining friendships, decision-making, conflict management, self-empowerment, and diversity. The messages are positive relating to growing up and being the best and most marvelous girl they can be.

This book has been a long time coming and is truly a work of my heart, my calling, and my deep knowing that every girl was born to be marvelous. This book will remind girls of that and also give tips on how to be marvelous and how to believe that on a regular basis. Most of the being is in the mindset. Change our minds, change our actions!

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The official release date is November 5, 2016.

For those of you in the Dallas area, I will have a book signing and reception for anyone that would like to attend on Saturday, November 5. Details will be announced very soon.  And yes, the books will be available for sale at the signing.

Love Your Jiggle: The Girls Guide to Being Marvelous will be available in print and as an e-book that can be purchased through Itunes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and more. And if you’re just as excited as I am, you can pre-order your copies now for $11.95  (+ S/H) by going to the publisher’s website at Crystal Spirit Inc.

I cannot even begin to tell you how over the moon I am! Over.the.MOON!

Oh and if you’re interested, here is the official announcement video from Facebook Live. And in case you didn’t know it before, I am from Texas; which is completely obvious from my Texan (notice I didn’t say southern) drawl during this announcement 😀

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See, I told you, what a week! There is so much to look forward to in the next few days and I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love, which is to partner with girls in their development and to remind them that they are, without reservation, MARVELOUS!

Have a Marvelous Monday and a great week. I know I will! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Marvelous Monday: Girls’ Summit

Have you registered yet?

If your answer is yes, that’s awesome! Now you can spread the word and invite someone else to register. And if you do, they can even get a special treat by being your guest!

If your answer is no (insert dramatic gasp), what are you waiting for? 😳

We’re only a few weeks away from the event that will inspire girls to be more than what’s expected, more than what’s required and more than what’s modeled. What event is that?

The Marvelous Girls’ Summit

Created for girls ages 11-13 years-old, this summit will bring girls together from different backgrounds, experiences, and communities to connect in small groups on the one thing we all have in common: the quest to BEING A MARVELOUS GIRL!

At the MGS, girls will learn about how to have “perfect” friendships; rejoice and celebrate loving her body as it is (she will love the jiggle talk); see current fashion trends by way of a real fashion show and leave with tips on how to make the trends work for her and she’ll do all of this while having a lot of fun!

There is even a special workshop for you, the adult woman in her life, who can join us after lunch to learn more about how to raise a marvelous girl.

Speaking of special women, two student groups at SMU, Sisters Supporting Sisters & the PanHellenic Council, are very special partners in designing this day. These college women will help facilitate workshops, provide mentorship and be examples of how cool it is for girls to support other girls.

Without a doubt, every girl, regardless of age, will leave the Marvelous Girls’ Summit knowing she IS a marvelous GIRL!

When: October 15, 2016

Where: SMU, Hughes-Trigg Student Center

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Character Education Workshops:

*Building awesome friendships

*Maintaining a healthy self-image

*Choosing how fashion trends work for you

*Being! Vulnerable, Brave & Taking Risk

*Raising a Marvelous Girls (family engagement with adult women only)

Activities
*Fun!

*Dance breaks (Zumba anyone?)

*Fun!

*Team building

*Fun!

*Time for reflection and journaling in her Marvelous Girl workbook

*Fun!

Marvelous Girls’ Summit Registration includes workshop materials, t-shirt, gift bag, breakfast, lunch, snacks throughout the day AND you (her favorite adult) for the afternoon session! Yes, all of that is included in your registration (🙂)

Register today!

Register by October 8th: $77.00 (or as a guest for a special seat)

Register by
October 13th: $97.00

We are excited about this day and look forward to you joining us!  If you have any questions, please email info@marvelousuniversity.com and someone will reply immediately  as soon as possible 🙂 .

Have a Marvelous Monday & a GREAT week,
Shanterra

PS: And if you’re not in the Dallas area but, you know this summit should come to your city, email me and let’s make it happen!

Marvelous Girls’ Summit

Have you registered yet?

If your answer is yes, that’s awesome! Now you can spread the word and invite someone else to register.

If your answer is no (insert dramatic gasp), what are you waiting for? 😳

We’re only a few weeks away from the event that will inspire girls to be more than what’s expected, more than what’s required and more than what’s modeled. What event is that?

The Marvelous Girls’ Summit

Created for girls ages 11-13 years-old, this summit will bring girls from different backgrounds, experiences, and communities together to connect in small groups over the one thing we all have in common: BEING A MARVELOUS GIRL!

Girls will learn about the importance and ways to have “perfect” friendships; rejoice and celebrate loving her body as it is (she will love the jiggle talk); see current fashion trends in the form of a real fashion show and take away tips on how to make the trends work for her and she’ll do all of this while having a lot of fun!

There is even a special workshop for you, the adult woman in her life, who can join us after lunch to learn more about how to raise a marvelous girl.

Speaking of special women, two student groups at SMU, Sisters Supporting Sisters & the PanHellenic Council, are very special partners in designing this day. These college women will help facilitate workshops, provide mentorship and be examples of how cool it is for girls to support other girls.

Without a doubt, every girl, regardless of age, will leave the Marvelous Girls’ Summit knowing she IS a marvelous GIRL!

When: October 15, 2016

Where: SMU, Hughes-Trigg Student Center

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Character Education Workshops:

*Building awesome friendships

*Maintaining a healthy self-image

*Choosing how fashion trends work for you

*Being! Vulnerable, Brave & Taking Risk

*Raising a Marvelous Girls (family engagement with adult women only)

Activities
*Fun!

*Dance breaks (Zumba anyone?)

*Fun!

*Team building

*Fun!

*Time for reflection and journaling in your Marvelous Girl workbook

*Fun!

Marvelous Girls’ Summit Registration includes workshop materials, t-shirt, gift bag, breakfast, lunch, snacks throughout the day AND you for the afternoon session! Yes, all of that is included in your registration (🙂)

Register today!


Register by
October 8th: $77.00

Register by
October 13th: $97.00

We are excited about this day and look forward to you joining us for it!  If you have any questions, please email info@marvelousuniversity.com and someone will reply immediately (or pretty soon).

With Gratitude,
Shanterra

 

PS: And if you’re not in the Dallas area but, know this summit should come to your city, email info@marvelousuniversity.com and let’s make it happen!

My Mema

This past Saturday, my family and I had the honor of celebrating the life and legacy of my maternal grandmother, Ella McBride Williams, also known as, my Mema. I called her my

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Carrington and Mema

 

Mema, as if she only belonged to me, which according to my 6-year-old cousin, couldn’t have been further from the truth. Carrington and I battled almost daily on who Mema belonged to and usually decided she was both of ours 🙂

 

On Monday, August 29, 2016, Mema took her last breath after an extensive battle with ALS, known commonly to most as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mema was 83-years-old and up until the day she died, she had a smile that could light up the room and a hug that would take away any ailment, need or fear. She was the matriarch, the comfort, the dream catcher, the secret keeper, the prayer warrior and the peacemaker. Mema was and will always be, the gift to us.

In honor of Grandparents Day this coming Sunday, this week’s post is from the archives. Ironically, it was originally shared about a year ago and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I need it again at this time in my life and maybe the same is true for you.

So often, there are things we want to experience or dreams we’re scared of making come true because of (insert your reasons here). Instead of trying, we hope, wish and even pray, but we won’t DO. Mema suggested that we should just try…and that way you’ll always know. Simple, direct, and full of truth. That was my Mema and I’ll always cherish the time I was able to learn from her. Click the link below and hopefully, you’ll find something in her wisdom for you as well.

You just have to try it…

 

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Mema, her daughters, and grandchildren, after viewing the movie, Selma

 

Cash for College

Raise your hand if you ever wonder why it costs so much to attend college in the USA?

*Raises both hands*

It’s been a mystery to me for a while now, and I have yet to understand why the cost of education raises thousands of dollars each year.

I have a friend, Adebisi, who has been working to understand this too. In fact, she helps college-bound Millennials define why they want to attend college and how to pay for it to graduate college debt-free! Yes, you read that correctly – DEBT-FREE! It is not easy work, but it is definitely doable.

Shanterra and Adebisi - SocMed Post v2

That is why I am partnering with her to bring you a FREE, online workshop this Sunday, August 28 at 4pm CT on how to earn scholarships and graduate college debt-free. This workshop is for college-bound students and their parents/guardians. It will provide valuable information whether you are aiming to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Come prepared with your questions as I facilitate and Adebisi discusses this hot topic.

Click here to register for this free webinar!

– Shanterra

(Also, if you’re unable to make the indicated time, there will be a replay. You must register to have access to the replay so go ahead and register) 🙂

Save the date!

Something marvelous is coming….

Have you ever had really good news and you wanted to tell everyone but the timing wasn’t quite right, yet? But you knew that once you shared it, it would make a huge impact in someone’s life?

Well, I have that kind of news.

Something marvelous is coming…

Here at Marvelous University, we’ve been working really hard on something particularly designed for girls. We have some really great partners working with us too!

Something marvelous is coming…

You will hear more from me soon with all of the details so stay tuned.

Something marvelous is coming and yes, the anticipation will be worth the wait.

With Love,
Shanterra 🙂

PS: If you know someone who would benefit from receiving updates and information from Marvelous University, please share this blog with them. It’s easy to subscribe and I’d love to welcome them to the family.

4 Steps on How To Talk to Teens About Sexual Assault

 

(Trigger warning: This blog will discuss rape and sexual assault. This may be sensitive to some readers. If you or someone you know, are in need of resources to help treat or prevent sexual assault, please visit Not Alone ).

For some of you, this may be your first time reading my blog. I won’t do a long intro because you can learn more about me here but, in addition to being a speaker, teacher, writer, and life coach for teens, I also serve as a church youth director. My youth group is middle and mostly high school aged students.  Recently, I had a talk with them about rape. Yes, that’s right.

Rape.

Unfortunately, this topic doesn’t get much attention in religious circles. However, it is evident that we live in a rape culture, so I wanted to acknowledge this…in church.

Rape should not be a part of anyone’s story. But, unfortunately, it is. Every day. And since we’re all striving to raise marvelous young people, particularly girls and young women, we must begin to equip them with the right information to help themselves or someone else when it comes to rape.

Let’s get to it, shall we. Here are four steps on how to talk to your teens about rape.

Step One:  Initiate the Conversation.

Before I dug too deep into the conversation with the youth group (which is co-ed), I asked them how many discussed sexual assault at home.  Out of about 25 students, one person raised his hand. The others responded with a variety of answers but, the one that hit home was, “I think my parents think it won’t happen to me, so there’s no need to talk about it.

We avoid certain conversations because we think if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen.

However, I don’t know one parent of a rape survivor who ever said, I knew this would happen to my daughter.

The idea is terrifying. But, we still must have the dialogue. And even though it’s a serious topic, young people can handle it. In fact, young people talk to each other all of the time about serious issues, whether adults are there to inform the conversation or not. Besides, the dialogue about rape allows us to give the facts, dispel the myths, and create trust in the event a crisis arises.

So don’t wait on her to bring it up. Initiate the conversation.

Step 2:  Focus on the main thing.

One interesting, narcissistic quirk about young people is the idea that if it didn’t happen where I live, then I’m not connected to it. Isn’t that strange, especially since the world seems smaller with social media?

We look at stories on the news and think, “at least it didn’t happen here” thereby implying it can’t or it won’t. I don’t think we intentionally want to be disconnected, I think we genuinely feel it’s one less thing we have to worry about it and that gives us comfort.

Unfortunately, because an American is raped every two minutes, it is always happening in our hometowns. In fact, I brought up a local story with the students that brought the discussion closer to home.   The case involved a high school senior who admitted to raping a student on their school campus.

Before getting too deep into the case, I wanted to make it clear that I was not going to talk to them about the perils of skipping class. I also wasn’t going to talk about abstaining from sex (shocker, I know).

I wanted to stay focused on the facts because blaming the victim is a real problem when talking about rape. Furthermore, we often get distracted and focus on the wrong thing when having difficult conversations with teens.

This story had nothing to do with class attendance or chastity and EVERYTHING to do with a rapist admitting to violating another human being. She didn’t consent. In fact, she ran and he chased her down. He forced himself on her. He raped her.

Focus on the main thing. No means no. Period.

Step 3 – TALK to Daughters AND Sons!

causes-of-rape-graphAfter highlighting statistics on teen dating violence and sexual assault, I asked the group about what they’ve been taught about rape prevention.

Most of the girls mentioned being told what they shouldn’t wear, where they shouldn’t go, and even how at a party, they shouldn’t take a drink from someone they don’t know. The boys were silent.

I asked the boys, “How many of you have been told or taught on how not to rape?”

(Nervous laughter)

The nervous laughter of the group, especially the boys, was expected.  We don’t talk to our boys about how NOT to rape. Instead, we constantly give girls lessons on modesty and other moral lessons, especially from the church.

Even outside of religious settings, the dominant messaging about rape prevention places the responsibility and accountability on the victims, and not on those who perpetrate assaults. That is why I chose to speak on this topic, in the church, to challenge the usual narrative and help the students to apply the principles in a way that was relevant and meaningful to them.

Rape Isn’t New.

Since we were having this conversation at church, I thought it important to use scripture to provide a spiritual foundation for the conversation. I love how teens are constantly surprised at how much “real life stuff” (their words) is in the Bible.

We looked at Genesis 34 which tells the story of Shechem who was so “in love” with Dinah, that he raped her. Deuteronomy 22 mentions the consequences for the rapist. And 2 Samuel 13, the rape of King David’s daughter, Tamar, who by the way, was dressed in her virgin robe. You can’t get more “right outfit” than that and yet, she was still raped. This is a great example on how not to blame the victim and how to extend the conversation from responsibility on a girl’s attire. At some point, we have to focus on the intention, motive and action of the rapist.

Step 4: Go for honesty, not perfection.

In the spirit of shifting the blame for sexual assault, in recent  news we learned about how a  rapist-who-happens-to-be-a-good-swimmer blamed alcohol for his actions.

The common practice of not holding perpetrators accountable often prevents victims from disclosing their assaults and getting the help they need because they fear they won’t be believed.

Many of the women who have accused Bill Cosby have this fear.

Instead of asking why some survivors don’t report or delay reporting, we should acknowledge all of the ways that our society is complicit in blaming the victim and hindering their ability /willingness to disclose sexual assault. And we should listen to THEIR stories to help us make the necessary changes so that we can have a safer and more supportive society.

If the young person in your life wants to talk to you about these issues, recognize the gift presented to you. And if someone you know says that they were assaulted, BELIEVE THEM.

You Made It
So there you have it. Four steps on how to talk to the young person in your life about rape. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Young people aren’t looking for perfection. They’re looking for honest dialogue. You don’t have to have all the answers. You simply have to start the conversation, focus on what matters, talk to your daughters and sons and go for honesty, not perfection.

~Shanterra

Would love to hear from you & get your thoughts. Is this helpful? Have you had “the talk”? Do you think this could help you with the talk? Did your parents talk to you? Share below or shoot me an email

Spilled Lemonade

Whether you watched the visual album on HBO or you missed it because you’re not a subscriber and didn’t take advantage of the free weekend (smart move Beyoncé), by now the young girl in your life probably knows all about Lemonade.

BeyLemon
Soooo, are you ready to talk to her about it? Perhaps you’ve been avoiding it because you’re not sure how to answer questions like “Who is Becky?” and “What is good hair?”

The reality is that this generation has too much access to media for adults to use the old adage, “No, you can’t watch it because I said so”. Instead, you should be prepared to have a conversation about Lemonade with the girl you love. This blog offers tips on how to start the dialogue, even if you’ve decided you don’t want her to watch it due to its mature content.

Here are some questions you can ask her. Make sure you LISTEN to each of her responses:

1). Have you watched/listened to Beyoncé’s new album? What do you think about it?

2) Was there anything that confused you or that you want to ask about?

3) There were a couple of things I noticed that I’d like to talk to you about. Is that ok?

THEN TALK ABOUT:

Beyoncé’s relationship with Jay-Z and the rumors of infidelity.
You might say, “Many women would be understandably angry if their husband cheated, right? However, the rumors resulted in a teenager being bullied on social media. I want to make sure that you know that it’s NEVER okay to do this. Not even if you’re defending a friend or your favorite music artist. How would you respond if you experienced or witnessed bullying?”

The images of girls and women of color.
Lemonade pays homage to the unique experiences, vulnerability, solidarity, and resilience of Black women and girls. Several of the best and brightest black girls that your daughters may look up to are prominently featured.quebluelem

What if you or the girl you love are not Black?
Beyoncé’s intentional use of only girls and women of color is STILL important to talk about because there are so few instances where this happens. This is a great opportunity to talk about mainstream media and the types of women who are valued as the ideal standards of beauty and intelligence vs those who are often negatively portrayed as ugly, ignorant, aggressive, or promiscuous. You can even talk about plastic surgery and the ways that women feel pressured to adapt to beauty trends. How does this differ for women of color? Is there diversity in who is portrayed as beautiful, smart, or strong?

Female empowerment and strength.
I appreciate the images of strength that Beyoncé gives us. For example, in Formation, she repeatedly tells us she works hard. I believe this is an important message for girls. However, admittedly, there are some lyrics that seem to condone violence and promote enmity amongst women that I don’t agree with. The reality is that these are also issues that your girls may be familiar with and you need to give them a healthy perspective.

Racial injustice and #BlackLivesMatter
In Freedom, Beyoncé features the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Eric Garner. She uses her platform and influence to shine a light on the pattern of systemic mistreatment and dehumanization of Black people. This is not just a Black issue, but a social justice issue that affects us all. Beyoncé attempts to restore dignity, empathy, and humanity to the Black experience and existence. The girls in your life need to know how this impacts them so they can help change the narrative and create a better society.

The adult themes of Beyoncé’s music. She is a “grown” woman.
Beyoncé is no longer singing about the topics of her Destiny’s Child days. She’s moved beyond just giving us something to dance to. She is showing us the pain, anger, and heartbreak of relationships, growth, and life transitions.

It’s hard when our musical icons grow up. Many still hold Beyoncé to the “ideal” of being a role model for our young girls. However, it can be argued that the older, more risqué Beyoncé is a more admirable role model as she contributes her time and dollars to support efforts around the globe. Talk to your girls about the duality of Beyoncé being an artist AND an activist and what that means for her own potential to be all SHE wants to be.

girlsquad

Listen, I’m glad Beyoncé is embracing what she sees as her identity, her power, and her struggles. Again, Chimamanda put it best: “Beyoncé’s success until now…has been based on the idea that she’s vanilla…the flavor that appeals to the largest number of people…In the American mainstream means that you have to be racially ambiguous. You can’t really be too black.”

In short, I would love for my younger cousins, the teens I work with in my church group, and my young mentees to refrain from watching Lemonade. The themes the album explores are complicated and confusing enough for some adults who may have the experiences to relate to them; teenagers, not so much. I think it’s necessary, as the adult, to set boundaries and let the young people I love know why I don’t think they’re ready. They may disagree, but nevertheless, I will have the conversation with them so that they can make informed choices, especially when I’m not around.

So now that you’re prepared, start the conversation.

Then, listen.

Marvelous Mindset

The grass you water will grow.

You hear this all the time right? It’s so true. If you want to build something, you have to work on it so it will grow. If you don’t, it won’t.

The same is true for our physical goals. If you want to drop a few pounds but decide to have a few Krispy Kreme donuts every day, there will be evidence around your waist to show you may not be working in alliance with your goal. Why? Because what you feed your body will show up on your body.

The same is true with mindset. Who you think you are, you will be! It’s that simple. The words you feed yourself are what will affect your thoughts. Your thoughts affect your actions.

A marvelous mindset changes everything! A marvelous mindset makes you dream. It makes you strong. It makes you walk towards a door that you may not know is there but, you walk towards it anyway to just see. And the cool part is, as you walk, the door is revealed.

 A marvelous mindset is a faith mindset. You may not know every detail of how the dream will come true but, just walk. Walk towards your dream and trust that the door will be revealed.

So until next time, keep thinking marvelous thoughts,

Shanterra ☺️

Questions to keep the conversation going:

  1. How do you keep a marvelous mindset?
  2. What would it look like to walk toward the door?
  3. Who helps you keep your marvelous mindset?

 

I Am A Speaker

One of the great gifts of having a blog is being able to use it as a versatile personal platform  while providing relevant content to my audience.  You can see that I write quite a bit, but I’m not sure if you’re aware that I am also a speaker. Yes, that’s right. I am a SPEAKER.

According to my bio, I am a sought-after speaker on all matters related to young people. I talk to and about young people regarding friendships, bullying, interpersonal /social media communication (including sexting) and dating dynamics. I also speak with college students about  leadership development, legacy building, mentorship, and diversity, equity,  and inclusion.

On February 27, I was honored to be a keynote speaker at my alma mater, Southern Methodist University (SMU). The Black Alumni Association and the Association of Black Students (ABS) hosted their Fifth Annual Black Excellence Ball to honor the 2016 Black Alumni of SMU History Makers and celebrate the ABS Scholars. The theme for the evening was “Black Mustangs Matter.”

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This view never gets old. Dallas Hall, SMU.

Now in light of recent events in our communities, I’m sure there are those who cringe at the thought of only “Black Mustangs Mattering.” It might be reasoned that “ALL Mustangs Matter.” Some may say that the theme was  divisive, insensitive, and discriminatory.

However, I hope that we can agree that there is a need to raise awareness and promote change to make our society less divisive and discriminatory, and more culturally sensitive to best serve us all.

This event acknowledged the fact that 1.) Racism still exists and is perpetuated on many levels (including systemically), 2.) Less than 10% of SMU faculty are Black (and even less are tenured), and 3.) Less than 5% of SMU students are Black.

These issues should be concerning to all Mustangs, as we are all impacted. Thus, when the SMU organizations selected this theme it was an affirmation of the fact that indeed “ALL Mustangs SHOULD Matter,” but the current situation does not really reflect this position.

students with teacher  in computer lab classrom

You get the idea…

But, get this. I didn’t talk about ANY of that during my speech! I spoke about my experience at SMU and why I enjoyed my time there. I talked about how as a student, I learned the power of my voice. I shared how sitting around the table and in classes with students and professors who did not look like me gave me confidence, courage, and clarity on who I was and who I desired to be. At SMU, this Black girl knew that she mattered.

Take a look at this video to see me speak.  I hope you enjoy it. It was recorded by my dear best friend forever/little sister Brandi. She and her twin sister were so kind to come from Houston for this event. They are both alums of SMU as well, but I think the purpose of their road trip was a little more personal (they LOVE me) and I’m forever grateful!

 

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Brandi, me, Toni.

Brandi wanted me to point out that recording video of people is not her day job. I think she did the best she could, but at times, you’ll notice that she was DEFINITELY enjoying herself :-).

One thing that didn’t make it to the video before the battery gave out is this:  Saying that “Black Mustangs Matter” doesn’t mean anything if it is not truly ingrained as your personal belief. Demanding change of any kind isn’t effective unless it first starts WITHIN.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to post a comment below or drop me an email at Shanterra.