Promised Land "Sharon Hanshaw: Leading Out of the Ruins"

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:00pm

Pictured: Majora Carter

Sharon Hanshaw is empowering women to become leaders and help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

A Promised Land host Majora Carter meets Sharon Hanshaw whose home and hairdressing business she had built over a lifetime were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane also transformed her from cosmetologist to activist. Sharon Hanshaw: Leading Out of the Ruins airs Sunday, May 1 at 10 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2.

After casually attending community meetings of women, Hanshaw started Coastal Women for Change (CWC), an organization that mobilizes women around rebuilding Biloxi right. Although the whole Gulf Coast was devastated by Katrina, Hanshaw believes poor women were hit hardest because they had limited resources to fall back on. Hanshaw's work empowers women to be political voices in the reconstruction of their community, especially concerning issues of lack of affordability, emergency preparedness, and now, climate change. Hanshaw tells the women she works with, “I'm going to train you if it kills me. … You're all going to be powerful women. Throughout this process, we've created more leaders.”