So I’ve decided to cover local events in the city and I came across an amazing (I didn’t know how much it would touch me) event that I just knew I had to cover. The event was a Strut in HER Shoes event that was titled “Behind the Diagnosis”. It was held at the Baltimore Gallery, which is super Dope…. I love discovering things in the city. I’m just mad at myself for just now learning about this gem. Did I mention that this is Black Owned Art Gallery?!!! With Art from Black Artists?!! Yaaaaasss, c’mon somebody!! You can see pics and videos below but let’s chat about this event!
So going into this event, I didn’t know what to expect. My Business Bestie actually sent this event to me and told me that I should cover it for the blog. I checked out the Strut in HER Shoes website and I really loved everything that it stood for. It’s empowering for Women, it gives us an outlet to share life experiences, and its overall just something great that I feel all women should check out.
When I first arrived to this event, I was greeted by Erikka (left side of pic) and one of the warmest hugs ever that I’ve received from a stranger. That made me know that I was in the right place and I was excited about what the night would bring. I then met Shawnta (shown on the right) and she was a hugger as well so it was lots of love felt from jump. I was also greeted with a friendly smile from the owner, Phil. The atmosphere and vibe was simply on point.
Before the conversation began, we were treated to an acapella version of Tasha Cobbs’ “For Your Glory”. The young lady that sung this song could SANG…. like honey sent chills through me and probably that whole room. That song set the tone for the remainder of the night, it was most definitely a perfect choice. “Pray and Strut” was the tagline for the night, and I’m sure that God was definitely proud of everything that went on last night.
So the conversation begins, and I want to commend Erikka and Shawnta for their strength, courage, and vulnerability. These ladies opened up to complete strangers about something super personal….. their health. They each were diagnosed with something that they will have to live with forever, but not once did they complain, moan or groan. That alone made me stop and think about my life and my health. I wish that I was strong enough to be that open and share my story. Maybe I will get the courage one day and do it over at the Strut in HER Shoes blog. They inspired me just that much, and the way that the crowd received the ladies was that much better. We were like long lost friends in that room, nothing like strangers. We laughed together, we cried together, we learned new things, and overall bonded.
The interviewer, Alicia, kept the questions rolling in to the ladies, which helped us to be more informed about there diagnosis. Erikka discussed her experience with PCOS and it really opened my eyes. Someone close to me has this as well and I wasn’t as understanding as I should have been. I didn’t know anything PCOS and I didn’t take the time to really learn about it prior to this event. After learning more about it, I instantly had to apologize to my loved one, just for being selfish and not really taking the time out to understand what was going on with her. Shawnta is the one that brought the tears…. I mean, I’m glad I didn’t wear makeup cause I would have been a mess! I loved her transparency (both of them), I loved her realness, and I really loved her faith in God. She didn’t let her diagnosis stop her, she actually used it as a stepping stone. Fibromyalgia was her diagnosis, but she affectionately referred to it as “Fabio”. She tearfully talked about the ups and downs of living with this disease, but she wanted to make a something clear. Please don’t feel bad for her or get all weird around her knowing that she’s dealing with “Fabio”.
Like I said, this event was a great experience and I will definitely be in attendance at their next one. I love these ladies’ movement and I appreciate them for dropping gems and creating awareness. I would like to recommend that you check out their blog and see what Strut in HER Shoes is all about. Also, you’ve got to check out the Baltimore Art Gallery if you are in the city and haven’t been yet. Check out some of the cool pictures and video that I captured while there.
In the words of Erikka……. “Keep Strutting”!