Photo Credits: Michael Callen/Callen Videography
Floridians descended upon the Caribe Royal resort to attend the Sisters in Power event, hosted by the Push Thru organization. The national tour kicked off in Houston November 2016 and featured producer/reality star Shaunie O’Neal, VH1 “Basketball Wives” cast member Tami Roman, author and reality star Toya Wright, Hollywood actress Elise Neal, Aventer Grey from “The Preachers” and life coach Wendi J. Turner.
The Orlando leg of the tour followed in February 2017 with a powerhouse panel consisting of film and TV star Meagan Good, AIDS Activist Kecia J, and Juliana Richards, founder of Slim Girl Shapewear. Tami Roman and Wendi J. Turner returned to the lineup.
Push Thru was founded by three partners who desired an atmosphere where women could genuinely get to know, support and inspire one another. They created the Sisters in Power event “as a judge-free zone, where all women can learn how to grow and reach their highest potential.”
In the pre-event media session, Richards shared insight on how she built her successful global brand, despite coming to America from Africa with nothing but $100 and the hunger to succeed.
She left her full-time job to build her company, explaining, “I jumped. I was in Corporate America and decided what’s the worst that can happen? I needed to give 100,000% of myself.”
Her advice for people who can’t afford to leave their job was to give a lot more of their time, working at 3 o’clock in the morning if necessary. She said that extra time spent building your vision is what will benefit you so that you can eventually leave.
During the panel immediately following, the celebrities and guests talked about their experiences, giving insight into the obstacles they had to overcome to succeed.
Roman transparently shared that part of the path to build herself up was learning how to break down.
“To evolve and grow I had to learn how to allow myself to just cry,” she said. “The only way I’ve been able to sustain 20 plus years in the business — starting with the very first reality show, The Real World — until today is to give my authentic self. And that’s not always going to be nice.”
She revealed that her relationship with professional athlete and former ex-husband Kenny Anderson was abusive, and she realized that finding the strength to leave was the example she needed to set for her daughters.
Turner, who has co-written a book with Roman entitled “Mistress 101” added her advice to avoid abusive and toxic relationships. She told the largely female audience to “stop nurturing broken men like they are kids, and allow them to wear the crown,” adding, “if they aren’t appreciating what you bring to the table and feel you don’t measure up, their measuring cup probably has a hole in it.”
The audience had an opportunity to ask questions and share their own struggles. When asked about her journey, Good stated that much of her peace and power comes from her spirituality. She and husband, DeVon Franklin, published a book called “The Wait” highlighting celibacy as a choice to find lasting love. Meagan clarified that her husband didn’t come and save her; he saw the God that was already within her and that’s what attracted him.
One of the most compelling stories of the evening was shared by AIDS activist Kecia J who contracted the disease from a former boyfriend. A near death experience revealed she only had two T-cells and medical staff asked her about her disease, which she wasn’t aware of at that point.
For her, leaving toxic relationships was about healing father issues and understanding that it’s okay to be “solo dolo” and date yourself for a while. Finding her identity and not allowing the diagnosis to cloud that was a source of power.
The event organizers and event publicist La’Torria Lemon wanted women to leave feeling “empowered, supported, spiritually fed and ready to take over the world.” According to the claps, laughs and tears from the audience, they achieved that goal.
The next stop of the tour is Dallas, Texas on April 1st with plans to visit eight other cities in the United States this year. For more information on Sisters in Power or to register for an upcoming event in a city near you, visit www.sisinpower.com.
Celebrity Panel Empowers Women at Sisters in Power Tour