Skip to main content


Influenced by the very last line in Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, "I found God in myself and I loved her...I loved her fiercely," SHADES stands for Serving, Helping, Affirming the Divinity in Every Sista'. 

SHADES is a new student organization at Vanderbilt Divinity School open to those who desire to take seriously the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of Black women in theory and praxis.

The purpose of SHADES is to create covenant community and space for Black women's experiences, stories, and issues to be shared and discussed.  We will utilize womanism as a means to break the yoke of silence for Black women and confront tripartite oppressions related to race, sex, and class academically, socially, and politically.  We host General Body meetings every second Thursday of the month from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in DIV room 138.

If you are interested in joining us or would like more information about the group, feel welcomed to email SHADES at


Advocacy Chair:  

"Words mean more than what is set down on paper.  It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning."  --Maya Angelou
 "Being a Black Woman in the academy necessitates that one knows who she is, whose she is, and how it is that she came to be if remaining sane, safe, and successful are her goals.  Learning is not a luxury for Black women, nor is the academy an ivory tower.  Our work is an endeavor of head and heart that is done for and with our communities in mind, if not in tow."  --Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Deeper Shades of Purple: Womanism in Religion and Society