"… I believe that women of color in particular have been conditioned to mask the truths of their lives, even to their closest friends, because for some reason we feel we’re in competition with one another. We don’t want to reveal our problems because that somehow correlates to us being weak and vulnerable. Whine & Cheese is for women who are strong enough to say, ‘Things may not be perfect, but I still have reasons to be happy and fulfilled.’ " ~ Natalie Dean
Women Making Moves highlights how women and girls of color are raising their voices to improve the health and lives of many in the areas of sexual/reproductive health, holistic wellness, activism, education, business, entrepreneurship, the arts and sciences, and more.
Meet Natalie Dean, public relations manager and entrepreneur. Natalie is the founder of Whine & Cheese. What began as a girls-day-in gathering of empathy and encouragement at her home has branched out into 8 Whine & Cheese locations nationwide at the time of this interview (Read posts from the branch members and the branch leaders (affectionately known as “Vines”) here). Whine & Cheese is a great example of collective self care as well as the perfect example of how to create an affirming space for women and girls. You can follow Whine & Cheese on Twitter, read about Natalie’s first Whine & Cheese gathering, and contact Natalie to discuss how to start a Whine & Cheese branch in your area.
I first met Natalie when she and I were college student volunteers for a organization in Atlanta called The Cool Girls. Throughout the years, Natalie’s sophistication, pleasant demeanor and encouraging attitude has always provided me with comfort. She’s been a shoulder to cry on and a sounding board for ideas, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to share Whine & Cheese with you all to expand Natalie’s vision of what encouragement and support can look like for women and girls of color.
Read more about Natalie, her experiences as a woman of color and entrepreneur, how she encourages women and of color to raise their voices, and how she takes care of herself.