By: Jasmine Nichole Thomas
Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) graduates Brianna Harmon, Rashan Ali and Melissa Mitchell inspired an audience of both men and women with motivating and empowering testimonies about their paths to success.
The trio hosted “An Empowering Experience: State of the FAMU Woman” forum on Thursday as part of events for Homecoming 2019.
Ali is a host on “Sister Circle Live,” a daily talk show that is committed to providing information and perspectives that are often underrepresented. She’s also the founder of Sporty Girl, a non-profit organization that has a mission to encourage the development of young girls through participation in non-traditional sports.
She reminded the audience of their power, telling them that everything in the room began with a single thought and urged them to tap into their purpose and follow it.
“How dare you not try,” Ali asked the crowd. “People are tied to your obedience. There’s someone waiting on you to do what God, the universe or whatever you subscribe to, put on your heart. If you don’t do it, you’re dishonoring what you felt. Then somebody else will not be able to benefit from it.”
Harmon hosts “R News” at Revolt TV. She has covered red carpet events and other speaking engagements for BET, Epic Records and Roc Nation. Harmon is the founder of “What Women Need,” an empowerment conference for women.
One of the talking points during the panel discussion was doing things your own way. Mitchell recalled a time when she had to disregard doubters and follow her own path.
Mitchell is a self-taught artist and creator of Abeille Creations. The winner of the Spring 2018 Spanx contest, she collaborated with the clothing company and added her vibrant designs to a few of Spanx’s fan-favorites. The collection benefits Black Girl Code, an organization that provides computer coding lessons to young girls in underrepresented communities.
“I’m making my own rules. This is my journey. When I decided to do it my way, the very painting that I did not sell in 2015, is the one that ended up on a bra for Spanx,” Michell said. “Because I learned how to do it my way and I didn’t feel pressed, nobody else can take credit for it.”