Shannon Sandrea

As interviewed by Julia D., March 19, 2017
"Feminism is believing that men and women are equal, not that women are better, and a lot of people misunderstand that."
Shannon Sandrea

Introductory Profile: About Shannon Sandrea

I met Shannon Sandrea several years ago, when I went to an all-girls elementary school with her daughter. I knew that she was a Licensed Professional Counselor who worked with adolescents in schools, and I thought she would be good person to talk to about the rights and empowerment of teenage girls. Shannon has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked with a wide variety of organizations that help teens and young adults. Currently, she is a Program Coordinator for the Austin Healthy Adolescent (or AHA) Program in the city of Austin. One focus of that program is the Peer-2-Peer Project, which she talked to me about as a tool for helping teens empower each other. Shannon has also worked with teens in the areas of relationship violence, trauma, health, youth leadership and community organizing, and youth empowerment. She is a creator of the Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and has worked with the Expect Respect program at SafePlace. She was also a co-founder and director of The Cipher—Austin’s Hip Hop Project, a group of hip hop artists who focused on ending misogyny, homophobia and other forms of oppression in their East Austin community.

Shannon has shoulder-length blonde, bright blue eyes and a wide smile. Her warm personality and comforting tone of voice made me feel at ease while we talked. During the interview, we touched on issues that especially concern girls globally, like trafficking, forced marriage and the inability to go to school. Shannon told me about her experience working with trafficked girls in the U.S. and how they overcame the violence they had known. We also talked about media representations of women, our society’s emphasis on appearance and how it affects girls, the persistent wage gap between men and women, and the necessity to raise both girls and boys as feminists. Shannon was so very generous to lend me her time for this interview and I am grateful for this experience. I hope in my life to help girls become confident, healthy and free too.