Shirley Bennett
Occupation: Student
First appearance: "Pilot"
Portrayer: Yvette Nicole Brown

Shirley Bennett is a recently divorced mother of two who attends Greendale Community College. Shirley is a devoted Christian and is very sweet but also has thinly-veiled rage issues and gossips compulsively. She is proud to be an African American and a woman but appreciates not being defined by those characteristics. She is very friendly to everyone, but sometimes has problems minding her own business or keeping secrets, and she was very slow to show tolerance for the faiths of the multiple non-Christian members of the study group (apparently, she also tried to covertly baptize Annie, who is Jewish and didn't appreciate the attempt). She is taking classes which will allow her to market her baked goods, specifically her famous brownies. Within the group, she is particularly friendly with Annie and Britta yet is often angry at Pierce given his tendency to accidentally say racist things and absentmindedly harass her.

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