The Millennial Womanism Project (TMWP) Presents “Millennial Womanists To Watch”
A monthly profile highlighting emerging voices doing incredible work in ministry, the academy and in social justice work.
Name: Rev. Shantell R. Hinton
City: Nashville, TN
TMWP: What does it mean to be a millennial woman of African descent in ministry?
Shantell R. Hinton: For me, being a millennial woman of African descent means I am constantly navigating the various identities and callings I am blessed to have and figuring out how to honor the multivalence of who I am becoming. Today, I happened to have a conversation with my mother about a recent Lenten piece that I wrote. The devotional involves my epistemology as a Black woman, my responsibility to speak truth to power and what it means to have an incarnational theology. My mother applauded me on speaking my truth with transparency and boldness I secretly shed a tear at her pride in my work. But, more than that, I was honored that ubuntu always finds itself back to me. I am who I am because of her and many other women. So, in everything I do, I try to be mindful of the great cloud of witnesses I am bringing with me to the table, including in my writing, and embodying when I preach and practice pastoral care.
TMWP: Tell us about your work. What inspired you to do this work?
Shantell R. Hinton: The Kaleidoscope Project (TKP) is a recently launched public theology collaborative that has been in the works for almost 2 years now. Essentially, TKP will serve as a virtual community of people who just want to tell their stories and expand their vision of what it means to be apart of the narrative of God. I have been captured by the disembodied theologies that arise and flourish in church spaces, which call people to split the fullness of their identities into what is most presentable and respectable. To me, this disembodied-ness is making it easy for followers of Christ to subscribe to a faith that is not concerned with one’s wholeness. TKP hopes to change and challenge that by helping people locate the fullness of their identities in who God is by sharing their own faith journeys via online, video recorded episodes.
TMWP: How does your work expand traditional womanist epistemologies?
Shantell R. Hinton: My work is inspired by the women and womanists who have saved my life, time and time again. TKP is a direct descendant of the womanist epistemology which affirms that there is a particular way of knowing that comes from Black women and that telling the stories of our lived experiences are just as sacred as Biblical text. This collaborative builds upon these truths and also makes room for how we interact in the work of theological meaning making within and beyond the pews of the church and the pages of the Bible.
TMWP: What can we expect from you within the next year?
Shantell R. Hinton: Wow. This is a loaded question. I guess, in many ways, I have been asking God the same question. My humble hope for the next year is to continue growing and expanding myself as a writer, pastor and theologian. I have been in the lab writing and hope to publish some articles and extended works soon. As for TKP, I am hopeful that more people will join the movement by becoming collaborators (i.e. filming an episode to tell their personal stories) and invite others to be a part of the collaborative as well.
TMWP: How can people support your work?
Shantell R. Hinton: People can support my work by offering me words of encouragement, prayer, and good vibes whenever you are able. Also, if you would like to partner with TKP, visit the website and click on the “collab” page. Lastly, spread the word. People can’t enjoy what they don’t know about. So, feel free to share my work on social media.
TMWP: Where can they go for more information and updates?
Shantell R. Hinton:
FB & IG: @TheKaleidoscopeProject
Personal FB: https://www.facebook.com/
Personal IG: @rev_curator