That's What She Said

Episode 55: Arnitria Karen Shaw “Who Do You Think You Are?”

women from show line up on stage

Arnitria Karen Shaw (sixth from right) is joined by fellow cast from That's What She Said Show in Peoria IL in March of 2022. That's What She Said


SSPP ep 55 ARNITRIA KAREN SHAW “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Arnitria Karen Shaw shared her story “Who Do You Think You Are” in the first That’s What She Said Show in Peoria IL. Jenette and Kerry talk to Dr. Arnitria about her choice to share her story as an open letter to her father.
ANNOUNCER 00:00 Raising women’s voices. One story at a time. Welcome to The She Said Project Podcast.
[Music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme]
JENETTE JURCZYK 00:30 That’s What She Said. It’s all about women supporting women. It’s all about sisterhood. It’s all about quality time with your girls. Kerry Rossow and Jenette Jurczyk. We’re here in the studio, recording The She Said Project Podcast where we celebrate, we celebrate the women who have appeared on stage in That’s What She Said, I’m just so grateful I get to do this. We get to do this. We get to yack it up.

KERRY ROSSOW 00:53 Yep, we’re the luckiest broads in town. I’m telling you, we say we’re going to work. But really, it’s just that’s just code for it’s a girl’s night out. We just want to be together, that’s it.

JENETTE 01:03 One of our She Said Sisters texted me the other day. And because I got back from vacation, and she’s like, “Oh my god, are you are you back in real life?” I said, “Yeah, I’m back to the grind.” And she gave me this like, “Oh, no” face. I said, “Honey, my grind is working with women on writing their stories. My grind is recording and editing podcast to share women’s stories. My grind is empowering women” like I I love the mission that That’s What She Said is I love what you created way back in the day. And that you opened your door for me and for other women to come together in this kind of environment. Thank you.

KERRY 01:38 You know, I love that because, open the door is what we did. And it was like a stampede. Women were like you better sit down because I got something to say.

KERRY 01:46 Every time. Every time I talk about what I do and what I get to do. Every time I’m talking to a potential speaker or a sponsor. Oh my god. Oh my god, if I were on stage, what would I talk about? It like the stories just pour out. Women need this. Women need a safe space to get together and maybe, maybe there’s a glass of wine, I don’t know.

KERRY 02:06 And hands down. I would. I’m making this number up, but that’s what I do. But I would say 99% of our speakers are from someone saying from women saying you have got to meet so and so. And I love that that it rarely is somebody saying I’m pretty fabulous. You know sometimes and you’re like, I love that too. But I love that it nine times out of 10 is it’s somebody saying they’re building up another woman.

KERRY 02:34 Come on.


JENETTE 02:34 Yeah. Women want to find, you know, a way to lift up someone that they admire and they love and this woman who’s on our on our podcast today. She is no exception. So you know that in 2022 we took the show on the road. We we answered the question, “Will it play in Peoria?” and we launched in Peoria, I had a fabulous co-producer and director Nikki Romain, brought it to town. But here’s the thing, what you just said. So I don’t know the women in Peoria. I do now. But Nikki helped find the most amazing cast of women. And today we get to chat with one of the famous women who showed up, who showed up not knowing what she was in for not knowing she’s gonna meet this lady from Champaign who’s got this show. And she showed up with a powerful story, ready to share and be vulnerable. And her name is Arnitria Shaw, and I love her to bits and pieces. And so Kerry, I’m so excited for you to meet my friend Arnitria Welcome.

JENETTE 02:44 There she is [Kerry whoops].

ARNITRIA 03:31 I’m here.

KERRY 03:41 Oh my goodness, I gotta tell you halfway through watching the Peoria show…I had to pause and call Nikki or send her a message and say like, danng like I’m watching this and it is amazing. The show was just, it was just packed with awesomeness. And it just made me want to drive over there and have people brush my hair and pretend I was one of your gal pals. It was so great.

JENETTE 04:06 It was a perfect night.

ARNITRIA 04:07 It was, it was absolutely flawless. I had someplace to be the next morning, but I could not sleep for like five hours.

JENETTE 04:14 Your cast was like texting I think almost all night. There were some real late night texts and some real early morning texts. Like, “I’m still high. I can’t sleep. How are you?” I remember it like there was this whole buzz going on.

KERRY 04:26 Okay, so wait back up. So how did we actually rope you into this? How did it start?

ARNITRIA 04:31 So I got an email from Nikki Romain, saying, “Hey, I’m doing this thing.”

KERRY 04:38 Hey, girl, hey.

ARNITRIA 04:39 “And I think you’d be great for it.” Part of it was the trust I have in Nikki. Okay, if Nikki’s doing it. Let me at least see what it is before I say no. Because I’m just thinking I don’t have time for one more thing

KERRY 04:51 Yup.

ARNITRIA 04:51 And, and then we had that initial call. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I need this. Right now.” It was like free therapy, I would have paid her to be in the show. Yeah, that’s kind of how it happened.

JENETTE 05:05 When you get a group of women like that together, the talk was real. We were authentic and raw. We poured it all out there. We got to know each other really quickly. And I love what you just said. It’s like free therapy. It’s this awesome group of girlfriends that just goes for it. What did you discover about yourself during the process?

ARNITRIA 05:24 I discovered that I had been carrying around this issue. And it was like this ball of twine, because there was so many things interwoven, I felt like it was time to pull the string. And I knew when I pulled the string, it was going to unravel, like 15 other things. I’m divorced. So Shaw is my married name. And I’m finishing up my PhD. And I’m trying to figure out who am I going to be after that Doctor “Who” it occurred to me that I don’t really have a last name that I have a connection to. And that’s the little tiny thread that it’s like, once you pull that then this whole, the whole dress of my life comes apart [chuckles].

JENETTE 06:06 Wow, first of all, what an incredible metaphor. But it makes complete sense. Knowing you and knowing your story. And watching you go through this journey of discovery. You said it so perfectly. So I think this is perfect timing. Let’s go ahead and play the performance so that our podcast listeners can be in on it with us. We just got to go to it because it’s so good. Arnitria Shaw on stage. That’s What She Said. Peoria, Illinois, it was April 2022. It was an awesome night of women supporting women. Here’s her story. “Who do you think you are?”


ARNITRIA 06:41 It was a bright, sunny Saturday in 1996. And at that moment, I knew exactly who I was. I was a black girl from the south side of Chicago, Inglewood [crowd whoops], who just graduated from college and engaged to be married. I didn’t live in Chicago anymore. But nearly everyone I loved still did. So it was not uncommon for me to spend a Friday through Sunday in the city hanging with my sister, laughing with my brothers and eating heralds with my Mama [laughter]. You see, I belong to the best club in the world. I was one of Mattie’s kids. She was the best. They were the best. So Alas, this letter is not for them. It’s for Sonny. So here it goes.

ARNITRIA 07:34 Dear Sonny. In October of 1996, you made a request via my mother that I come to visit you and for a moment. I actually got excited. I mean, I had never been to your house before. That sounds odd now, but at the time, not so much. I was one of the luckier kids in my neighborhood growing up. In my limited opinion at the time, the luckiest kids had two parents in the home. So I was like second tier lucky with an awesome mom, older brothers and a sister to look out for me, a grandma around the corner and you Sonny my father, who came to visit periodically. At the time I hadn’t seen you in over five years. You were always unreliable and we often called you “that lying Sonny” in jest, and to your face [laughter].

ARNITRIA 08:33 You never came to any of our graduations and apparently you were out of town when I left for college. However, I was accustomed to this. To be perfectly honest, I would have been more shocked if you had shown up for these milestones in my life. Rumor had it that you had another daughter with the same birthday as mine - just different years. So, why hadn’t you ever remembered to wish me a happy birthday? You’d never been that type of father to me. So what the heck did you want with me now? But alas, I was only 22, still brightly optimistic regarding people and the consistency of their ways. You knew I graduated from college, and you knew that “I’s was getting married now” [laughter]. Maybe you were proud of me and my brother, your son. Maybe you wanted to tell me that. And maybe, just maybe you wanted to forge a relationship with me before it was too late.

ARNITRIA 09:35 My sister drove me to the address you had given. I was confused because it didn’t match what I thought I knew you lived, but I put it out of my mind and just brace myself to receive the relationship that you were certainly about to offer. When we arrived, you walked us inside of your bedroom where there was an assortment of photographs carefully placed upon the bed. Some were sepia, some were black and white. And some were in vivid, recent color. These looked like family pictures. And it had never occurred to me that you belong to like a family. You never talked about them except this Kentucky folklore. And in terms of “way back then”. As I was drawn into the faces of these people who looked like me, it seemed that my sister faded from the room. And the only thing left was your voice rattling off names and relations and my eyes upon these strangers…

ARNITRIA 10:40 “This is my mother and father,” you said, pointing to a picture of two people flanking you and a woman in a sepia color portrait. And my head, I thought, “That’s my grandmother? That’s my grandfather?” But that that’s NOT what you said. You said that they were yours. I asked if they were still alive. And you said no, that they have passed on. But they had been alive in my lifetime. There was another photo of you and a WHOLE BUNCH of women who looked like different versions of me. Some of them looked like me from the neck up. Some of them looked like me from the waist down. And some of them looked like me all the way around. You said that those were your sisters. And that many of them were educators and school teachers too. You called them, your sisters. Not my Auntie’s. Not mine. Sitting there looking like me, smiling like me, filling out a dress like me. Yours, but not mine. And then there were your kids, all older than me. A couple of the girls even look like me. And soon you made it clear to me that for the past 22 years during which I had drawn breath, that they had known nothing about me. To them, all these people in these pictures on this bed, I did not exist. But now, in your aging years after having a stroke and no longer able to drive that burgundy Lincoln Continental that was your trademark. You wanted them to know. You wanted us all to know, to know what, to know each other? I didn’t even know you.

ARNITRIA 12:43 I was in a daze that day, my concept of reality turned upside down. How had I been so blind to miss the signs? But then again, what did it matter if now you were trying to make things right? I gave it a chance. I was open minded. I even connected with one of these new found so called siblings of mine. A year later she came to my wedding. A year after that she died.

ARNITRIA 13:13 You asked my mom to ask me if you could walk me down the aisle. For me that was a quick “NO” [Laughter]. Because my oldest brother Don was my first and only choice for that honor. But Don, and his wisdom and kindness of heart said, “If he wants to do it, I’ll let him do it. It’ll make Ma happy.” And so you did. And so we did. And truth be told, that’s all you’ve ever done.

ARNITRIA 13:48 Your claim to fame and presence in my life can be boiled down to one day in October of 1997. When you walked me down the aisle and stood next to me in some pictures. I wasn’t old enough to process all that was happening then. And now. I’m twice the age I was then. And I got just a little bit more insight now. That information that you unloaded on me about your other family and all the folks who didn’t know I existed, you didn’t do that for me in hopes of bridging some bonds. You did that for you. And just like every other selfish thing you did in your life, like being oblivious to tuition payments, and not even phoning in a happy birthday. Like having grandkids you never bothered to get to know or sitting back and letting my mama bear the load of raising us on her own. Yeah, you fell through when you wanted to.

ARNITRIA 14:50 But I’m grown now and I know that’s not how parenting is supposed to work. You lay out your sins in history to me to absolve yourself and to clear your conscience. And you didn’t give a goddamn about what it did to mine, or my sense of self. In all honesty, you could have kept all that to yourself and took that mess to the grave. Because you had no intent of making anything right. And you still had no desire to really be my Dad.

ARNITRIA 15:26 That Sunday, a Labor Day weekend of 2006 was the day after my mother’s funeral. You had not attended. But God put it on my heart to bring you an obituary and some flowers. And so I did. You seemed sad, and you probably were because in your own way, you’d cared about her for decades, longer than I’ve lived. But clearly, that did not translate into any sort of fatherly type of feelings toward me. You frequently told my mother that you knew I hated you and was mad at you. But that wasn’t true. I-didn’t-even- know-you. I was indifferent and confused. You wanted me to be mad at you, because deep down inside you knew I should be. And you sealed the deal on that day. When I stood there, now a motherless child, awash in grief, you brought our visit to a speedy close, because one of your other legitimate daughters was on her way over. And you didn’t want her to see me. I left that day with tears streaming down my cheeks and my daughter asking why my Dad had made me cry.

ARNITRIA 16:48 I even left you my phone number on that day, 16 years ago, it has never changed and you have never called. To be honest, I did call you a couple of times after that. But hearing your voice answer the phone and realizing that you were still alive. And still not checking for me actually made me mad for real. So I stopped doing that. In the years that have passed, I’ve come to terms with a lot. First and foremost being that whatever was between you and my Mama, ain’t none of my business. Regardless of that, you had so much room, and so many opportunities to be a better father to me. But instead, you made me a secret, the stuff of which legends are made. The outside child who shows up at the funeral. But this ain’t no Tyler Perry movie, and I don’t get down like that [laughter].

ARNITRIA 17:51 This is real life. You made me a secret. And since then, that is what I have chosen to remain. But all the while, I’ve worked hard, and sometimes been referred to as an overachiever. Some of that is because I am just a hard worker, and my Mama raised me and my siblings, right, which is why my brothers are awesome black fathers, husbands and uncles now. The rest of it was to show you just how great of a job my mother did raising us without your support. Yes, I believe I’ve used my achievements to validate my existence. And maybe one day, if I accomplished enough, you’d regret not acknowledging me. You’d regret selfishly pushing me into the shadows. You’d regret not taking full advantage of being my Dad. But also in those years, I began to think about your other kids, you know, the ones you claimed. And one of the last conversations I had with my brother died before his unexpected passing in January 2021. He asked me if I ever thought about reaching out to them. My response was, “I got y’all. I’m one of Mattie’s kids. I got all the siblings, I need,” His response in that wise Don voice was, “Okay. But if you don’t, will you regret it?”

ARNITRIA 19:34 Lo and behold, not so long after that, I ran across one of your daughters on Facebook. She’s the one with the same birthday. And children and grandchildren who look like my child. She’s a retired educator in the same sorority as some of my best friends. There is no six degrees of separation. In this case there is barely one; with one click, one message, one messenger, I could introduce myself. But when you have been made to know that you were a secret, you never know what everybody else might know. Maybe she already knows who I am, and has no desire to upset her life’s applecart. It could just be the stage for another rejection. Or maybe she’s waiting for me to make the first move? Or maybe none of it even matters. My life has been charmed and blessed. However, as I stare down at my almost completed Doctoral degree [applause] I wonder how the name on that parchment should read. My current last name speaks of things that cease to be, my previous last name was just nostalgic at best. And if I was to reach out to this sister, by the same mister, with her maiden name, now my new surname preceded by the title Doctor, would it make a darn bit of difference? How will I be perceived? Or received? Or would I still just be a secret? I suppose that remains to be seen.

Sincerely, Mattie’s youngest child, almost-Doctor, Me. [applause]


JENETTE 22:08 The big question, did you make a decision what name to put after the word doctor?

ARNITRIA 22:14 I still haven’t decided.

JENETTE 22:16 Okay.

ARNITRIA 22:17 I haven’t. There are two big decisions that I haven’t made. I haven’t made the decision of whether or not to actually reach out to these siblings that I have. And I haven’t decided what name is going to be appropriate. I’m leaning toward actually dropping my last name altogether. And just going with my middle name as my last name, because they were two names given to me by people who loved me.

JENETTE 22:40 Arnitria Karen? Am I remembering correctly?

ARNITRIA 22:43 Yes.

JENETTE 22:43 Yes, yes we talked about that. Just going with Dr. Arnitria Karen, because that’s who you identify with. You know, those are the names that speak to you that was so clear during that process.

ARNITRIA 22:55 That’s what I’m leaning towards. So I get the feeling that you know, one day I’ll wake up and I’ll say, “Hey, yep, that’s it, for sure.” But that’s, I would say 99%. That’s where I’m leaning.

JENETTE 23:05 Well, we honor you wherever you are in that journey. And when you know, you let us know. And we’ll shout it from the rooftops.

KERRY 23:12 We sure will, I’ve often wondered, like, how did it end did what was the feedback but then I kept thinking that I was going to hear from Jenette that one of the siblings had seen the show and recognized or knew or. What was the feedback?

ARNITRIA 23:25 First of all, that could very well happen. The second thing is a week after the show, I was in bed with COVID. And so I spent a lot of time on social media way more time than normal. And one of my best friends went to her sorority’s convention, and she wanted me to see pictures of her and her daughter, in this parade that they had for mothers and daughters. And I opened up the file, and it was maybe 18 pictures, I opened up the file. And the very first file was a picture of the sibling that I share a birthday with and her two daughters.

JENETTE 24:01 Okay, you can’t see me but I’m practically hitting Kerry like, Oh my God, oh, my God. Oh, my God. Yes, what a moment. What a moment. What did you do?

ARNITRIA 24:08 For I gasped, then I told the friend I’m like, did you actually when I asked her, I said, “Were you actually near this woman?” And she said, “I don’t remember seeing her there.” And I said, “Yeah, that’s my sister.” So just like I mentioned in at, you know, in my performance, it’s not even six degrees of separation. This is like maybe one, two tops. And part of me really wants to reach out so I don’t miss out on that opportunity. But there’s another part of me that is wondering if you know, this sibling and the other siblings if they have a sense of peace and I don’t want to disrupt their peace. So I don’t know.

JENETTE 24:48 That’s very selfless of you. But do you have a sense of peace?

ARNITRIA 24:55 Um, I wouldn’t call it peace. I’d call it actively ignoring. [laughter]

KERRY 25:01 I’m a big fan of that. All right.

ARNITRIA 25:03 I just actively don’t think about it, you know, and but I do realize that not doing something is a decision.

KERRY 25:11 Yep.

ARNITRIA 25:12 So it’s one of those things, I’m really just thinking about it, there is a part of me that hopes that once the performance is made public, what if it just so happened that, you know, someone saw it, and then reached out to me, because there’s, you know, there’s also that fear of rejection, too. I don’t want to be rejected again. So I’m like, I just stay in my bubble now. So it’s, you know, it’s the real struggle. It’s like, you know, I had people come up to me after the show and say, you know, this is my story, or this is my daughter’s story. I even had one woman say, can you talk to my daughter, because her daughter had really internalized this rejection of the father not picking her and picking her family. So it’s way more common. And it’s, it’s a path of destruction that I sometimes don’t think some parents realize they leave in their wake when they don’t, when they don’t deal with the hard stuff up front.

JENETTE 26:08 Yes. What I love though, is you just said not doing anything is the decision. But you did do something, you told your story. And you told how you feel about your story. So you took the time to explore, you took the time to, you know, to figure out where, where your emotions, sit in all of this, and then you wrote it in such a, an elegant way where you said your piece, but it was it was all for you. That’s what I took away from your story. You know, you had something to say to Sonny, you had something to say to these siblings, but you did it for you. And you did it publicly. So what I see is that you put it out into the universe. And I think the universe has a very strange way of responding to things like that, to things that are bold. And whether you actively choose or not. You know, I think everything happens for a reason. So So I am so excited to watch this journey unfold even more.

ARNITRIA 27:11 Thank you. I appreciate that. This was it was it was an experience. I didn’t know I needed but, I’m so glad I had it.

JENETTE 27:19 And what friendships came out of that, that cast? Oh my goodness [Arnitria laughs].

ARNITRIA 27:25 We’re we’re still texting each other in a group chat. Like literally, I can’t make this up. Yesterday. One of my She Said Sisters was at a food pantry and one of the clients had a faulty wheelchair. And then one of the other She Said Sisters said, “Hey have been stopped by the church, we can replace that.” We are references for one another, we cheer each other on. We see our victories in the community and clap for each other. It’s been awesome. It’s been great.

JENETTE 27:54 I’m so glad you said yes. Because to bare witness to this group was just an honor, it was just an honor. And to know you is an honor, you are a beautiful human and a beautiful soul. And I’m just so glad I’ve gotten to know you and to see inside that beautiful heart of yours.

KERRY 28:09 Like I said, I was at home watching and there I was in my fuzzy robe standing up and clapping and like stopping at midway and and I thought you know, you don’t even know this is a perfect that you don’t even know the people’s lives that you touch, and there I was in my fuzzy robe and you didn’t know me. So just think of all the people that heard your story and were touched by it that we don’t even know.

JENETTE 28:31 And this is just the beginning. Like you said, the videos will go and grow and people will see them and share them. The podcast now. I mean, you’re being bold here.

ARNITRIA 28:41 I know.

JENETTE 28:42 And this is just one more platform for you to share your story. And it’s gonna get to the people who need to hear it, because they have a similar story. And they need to hear how you were brave and bold, and that they’re not alone. And these feelings are all legitimate and all real and, and we can honor girls and women wherever they are. But also bold, because you know what, we’re putting that story out there for you. It’s for the people you touch, but it’s also for you.

ARNITRIA 29:08 Thank you it’s, it’s like it cuts both ways. I It’s been great for me. And I’m hoping that somewhere, there’s some woman of any age who hears that story and realizes we’re not responsible for the things that took place before we got here. And we don’t have to internalize that pain. And if you are in pain, it’s okay to talk about it because of the topics that are still pushed to the shadows, that’s pretty much near the top, you know, that that hold the dynamics of how did you get here or being this illegitimate child even though your life is completely legitimate? You are a breathing person, you’re legitimate.

JENETTE 29:49 Girl, you’re one of Mattie’s kids.

ARNITRIA 29:51 I’m one of Mattie’s kids. Yes. The best club in the world.

JENETTE 29:56 But I love that you said that I knew exactly who I was. Then You had a choice, you could have let this man’s unfinished business, you know, determine that you were something else. But you know, you had to make a choice. And I know you had to go through a process to figure that one out. But you are perfect just the way you are and own it. And I’m so proud of you with your PhD. What an accomplishment.

ARNITRIA 30:21 Thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that.

JENETTE 30:24 You’re out there making the world a better place.

ARNITRIA 30:26 I’m trying to, there have been a lot of folks who have helped me along the way, and helped make it a better place for me. So I feel like I gotta pay it forward.

JENETTE 30:35 Well, now you get to be an ambassador, as one of the first She Said Sisters in the community of Peoria.

ARNITRIA 30:41 Yes.

JENETTE 30:41 So you know, as the show grows, and as the mission and the movement grow, you know. I hope that having you in the sisterhood help us find the women who need to hear all the stories; help us find the women who have a story that needs to be shared onstage and on the podcast, we’re growing. And I’m just so grateful to have you in the family. We’re family, you can choose your own family [Arnitria laughs].

ARNITRIA 31:04 Hey, though, sometimes that’s the best when you get to pick. I mean, I love my blood family, too. Don’t get me wrong. But yeah, the family you get to pick I mean, that’s even more special, you got picked. So I’m so glad I was picked to be a part of this. Like I said, it was just the experience that I didn’t know I needed. I didn’t know the experience existed. And now it’s already sort of spinning in my mind, like, you know, who’s the person I might want to tap. And I mean, I’ve heard a couple of stories in the past couple of days that I think they might be good people to share their stories, and provide some hope and insight for other women, too.

JENETTE 31:37 Yeah, the mission is pretty infectious. You can’t help but go, I want to raise her up, I want to share her story the world needs to hear.

KERRY 31:43 It’s like that image when you were talking. It made me think of that graphic that was going around on social media where someone’s climbing the ladder, but at the same time, she’s reaching back and pulling someone along. I love that. And so often when people are talking about their stories, it makes me think of that and proud that you all are doing it and letting us have a front seat.

ARNITRIA 32:00 It’s funny you say that. I’m a delta. And that’s one of our Sorority’s symbols, we have this symbol called “Fortitude”, and it’s a woman, she has one hand extended in front. So she’s lifting as she’s climbing as she’s reaching back to pull up other women as well. So

JENETTE 32:15 You can’t see me right now.

Lifting as we climb.

JENETTE 32:18 But I am trying to strike that pose right now.

KERRY 32:21 I thought I was gonna have to do CPR there for a second [Jenette and Arnitria laugh]. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I looked over and I saw her flailing, I thought, is she falling? She can’t get up, I don’t know. But apparently she was lifting and reaching back.

JENETTE 32:31 That’s a little awkward to do. But you know what, it’s not easy to raise up women and climb the ladder. It is a challenge and Challenge accepted. I will take it.

ARNITRIA 32:41 We’re really strong.

JENETTE 32:42 I’m stronger because I know you and all the women from your cast. Thank you Arnitria. This was an absolute blast and thank you to all our friends who came to listen and support and help us raise women’s voices one story at a time that’s what we do here on The She Said Project Podcast

KERRY 32:59 Over and out.


[Music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme}

ANNOUNCER 33:04 Thank you for listening to The She Said Project Podcast in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in the podcast for the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That’s What She Said, LLC. For more information on our live shows go to

This podcast was made possible with support from Carle and Health Alliance and presented by Sterling Wealth Management, empowering women to live their best lives.

[Music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme]

Arnitria Karen Shaw shared her story "Who Do You Think You Are?" in the first That's What She Said Show in Peoria IL in March of 2022. Jenette and Kerry talk to Dr. Arnitria about her choice to share her story as an open letter about family to her father.  

The She Said Project Podcast is recorded in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in this podcast are the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That's What She Said, LLC. Learn more at