YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE
What year did you become a member of Delta Sigma Theta?
What is the name of the chapter where you were initiated and what is your line name?
I became a member of Delta Sigma Theta in 2018. Charleston Alumnae Chapter – Incite (Line Name)
What attracted you to the sorority?
What attracted me to the sorority the most is the professionalism and fortitude (before I knew this was a thing!) of the Delta women in my professional life. I did not complete college the traditional way, so when I learned that there was an opportunity for me to join via the alumnae chapter, there was not question. Delta is the only way!
What did you learn from becoming a Delta that has been instrumental to your success as an entrepreneur?
What I’ve learned that has contributed to my success as an entrepreneur is that I really can do what I set my mind to! I realized my Delta dream and now, I get to realize the dream of entrepreneurship!
How has the Delta network impacted you as a business owner?
I have such great support within the sisterhood and they help spread the word about what I am doing, proudly. The recommend me to others and celebrate my accomplishments. They make sure I am connected to the right folks and make introductions when I need it.
What is the name of your business and what do you do?
The name of my business is Solutions by Shawn Edwards, LLC. We specialize in diversity, equity and inclusion, human resource management and culture alignment strategy. We work with NPOs and firms on a variety of different projects to include, board governance, training, strategy, human resources processes and practices, all within an equity lens.
How do you use your business to live out the five point thrust of our sorority?
What an awesome question! The work we do at Solutions by Shawn Edwards falls in line with the Political Awareness and Social Action Thrust, Economic Development Thrust and the Physical and Mental Health Thrust. In the first thrust, we are really focused in on assisting our clients in creating equitable and inclusive organizations. Where the focus is on the employees or the people that they serve, we want to ensure that people are treated fair and equitably. From an economic development standpoint, we work with our clients to ensure they are making business decisions that are equitable to all; while also helping them develop strategies to engage more Black-owned and Women-owned businesses for their vendor and supplier needs. The mental health portion of the third thrust really comes into play in the work we do. Some leaders and supervisors experience mental anguish because they want to be fair and equitable, socially conscious and attuned to the needs of a diverse workforce; they just don’t know how. Without help and guidance their minds are eased and they have a sound partner in their work.
What does it mean for you to give back?
Giving back for me happens in a number of different ways. Whether it’s speaking to our youth or other young ladies encouraging them to reach for their dreams, sharing what I’ve learned with others to help them reach their goals or donating or giving financially, giving back is essential to my existence. I often say, nothing that I have has been given to me, just for me, it is for me to share with others.
Why should people do business with you?
People should do business with me because I specialize in making the complicated simple, I partner with my clients because I am fully vested in their success and I am passionate about what I do…and it shows!
When we become Deltas our goal is to make the sorority proud, to become a notable Delta. What are you doing or have you done that has you on the path to becoming a notable Delta, what accomplishment are you the most proud for people to know about?
Currently, the thing I am most proud of is the recognition I have received recently. When people know your work and want to recognize you for it, that means something. In my view, when I receive accolades, there are many others with me, to include Delta, that receive those accolades as well. I am proud to represent Delta in the rooms I have been graced to be in.
Which Delta inspires you and why? (this does not have to be “famous” person)
The Delta that inspires me the most is our 20th National President, Soror Bertha Maxwell Roddy. She to me is the epitome of womanhood, sisterhood and a true Delta woman. She is powerful, yet graceful, she has strong presence, yet humble and she is so very, very wise. While I do not know Soror Roddy personally, every time I’ve been in her presence, I beam with pride. She has accomplished so much and continues to be a force for Delta.
Give three words that describe your impact on the globe.
Intentional. Purposeful. Graceful.