Positive energy and enthusiasm were on full display at a “Sacred Self” Program in the Foster-Tanner Music Building on March 15.
As a part of the second annual “Tell It on Tuesday” series, President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. and the University community honor women from all walks of life and experiences through dialogue, recognition, celebration, and encouragement each Tuesday in March.
Vernon Bryant, program coordinator, said the overall concept of “Sacred Self” is empowerment.
“We want to empower women to look good, feel good and to take care of themselves through healthy eating and living,” Bryant said.
During the event, guests rotated to various stations to receive information and test products from women who have achieved success as entrepreneurs in various fields.
- Miko Branch, founder of Miss Jessie’s hair care products
- Rashan Ali, founder of Sporty Girls, Inc. and FAMU alumna
- Sheri Crawley, founder of Pretty Brown Girl, and FAMU alumna
- LaTanya White, founder of 71 Proof, and FAMU alumna
- Whitney Henry, CEO of Curvy Chicks Rock, Inc.
- Eunice Cofie, founder of Nuekie Cosmetics, and FAMU alumna
- Chef Shac, CEO of The Sensory Experience
Ali, a 1997 magna cum laude graduate of FAMU in broadcast journalism, said she wanted to impress upon the students in attendance the importance of never limiting their dreams.
“I feel like the world wants you to have limits. ‘Ok, do this dream and make sure that comes true.’ I believe that if you have a lot of dreams, you should make them all come true,” said Ali. “All the ladies that are here today are a testament to that,” she added.
Ferrisa Connell, a senior public relations student from Tampa, Fla. who served as the mistress of ceremony for the event, said the format of the program would help provide attendees with information and resources to achieve success.
“The women you see before you represent resilience, selflessness, and empowerment. They have each overcome their own obstacles in order to achieve their own dreams and reach back to help others,” Connell said.
The program, which was advertised as a speed mentoring and sharing session, included a panel discussion, exhibits, presentations, and giveaways designed to encourage women to embrace themselves and pursue their passions in life.
Miko Branch, founder of Miss Jessie’s hair care products, said she was smitten at an early age with the business bug to become her own boss.
“At a very early age, my sister and I did things like have a Kool-Aid stand. We made $25 with that Kool-Aid stand and we were able to do the things that we wanted to do,” said Branch. “Those early experiences really gave us the confidence to understand that when we became older, we would be able to run our own business,” she concluded.
After listening to the panel discussion, Jamila Ashe Tull, a senior environmental sciences major from Atlanta who served as a DJ for the event, said she was inspired to remain focused on her own goals.
“I definitely wanted to learn something from each of the lovely women who are here today. I think everyone here leaves with an inspiration to keep going after being able to connect with women who are entrepreneurs,” Tull said.
Ultimately Branch believes the success of her company is about her and her sister’s ability to accept who they were while realizing the unlimited potential within each of them.
“We really wanted to inspire women, particularly of color, to embrace themselves and really be able to embrace what God gave them,” Branch said.