On Monday, November 6, Saint Xavier’s Race and Justice Education and Action group (RJEA) hosted a talk on Multicultural Feminism with guest speaker, Reverend Dr. Neichelle R. Guidry.
Guidry is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and Yale Divinity School.
Guidry completed her Doctor of Philosophy in the area of Liturgical Studies with a concentration in homiletics from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2017.
Guidry is the creator of an entire virtual community and professional development organization called “shepreaches”.
According to Guidry’s site, shepreaches works to “uplift African-American millennial women in ministry through theological reflection, fellowship, and liturgical curation.”
Guidry took shepreaches even further by founding shepreaches solutions, a consulting firm to women in ministry.
Guidry has been featured in a multitude of publications.
In January of 2015, TIME Magazine listed Guidry as one of “12 New Faces of Black Leadership.”
In April of the same year, Guidry’s work with shepreaches was featured in The New York Times.
In December of 2015, Ebony Magazine called Guidry “one of her generation’s most powerful female faith leaders.” Sojourners listed her as one of “Ten Women of Faith Leading the Charge Ahead.”
Guidry is also a published author; she contributed to Time Books’ What Would Jesus Ask?: Christian Leaders Reflect on His Questions of Faith.
In June of 2016, Guidry self-published a book called Curating a World: Sermonic Words from a Young Woman Who Preaches.
The book emphasizes the experiences of women and social justice, Guidry’s theology, and her own personal devotion.
On her website, Guidry states, “it’s essential to preach justice and Jesus, and to illuminate the intimate ties between structural, personal and interpersonal brokenness.”
The event at SXU on Monday, called “Feminism Across Cultures,” was an interactive panel discussion led by the Reverend Doctor with several SXU students speaking with her.
SXU students Esraa Aburass, Cheyanne Daniels, Roxette De La Isla, and Jasmine McCall were also panelists at the discussion.
Each student talked about how feminism is represented in their communities and has impacted their lives.
The discussion tackled feminism’s application and definition change based on the culture where it exists.
In her introductory talk, Guidry focused on how womanist theology has created space for the voices and lived experiences of black women in the church.
Guidry opened the discussion by speaking of rape culture, something she defined as a “complex system normalizing violence against women,” before she explained womanism, highlighting a key passage from Alice Walker’s book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.
Guidry also explained the difference between womanism and feminism.
“Feminism,” Guidry said, “preferred white women. It excludes experiences of women of color, of women who were poor.
“Womanism was started by Black women for black women to fight the Three-Headed Devil: racism, classism, and sexism.”
Throughout the discussion, members of the audience participated by asking questions and sharing stories about their experiences with feminism, womanism, and even racism.
RJEA hopes to have Guidry back next semester for another panel discussion.
You can follow Rev. Dr. Guidry on Twitter and Instagram; her handle is @neichelleg.