Second-year broadcast journalism student, Brianna Harmon, pioneered and hosted the What Women Need Expo Saturday in the Grand Ballroom at Florida A&M University. Harmon wanted a present much bigger than the tangible gifts a friend or two would provide.
Harmon's birthday was prior to this event, so as a birthday gift to herself she wanted to give back. This sparked the planning of What Women Need Expo in hopes of impacting and encouraging women who desire to receive knowledge that will be beneficial for them in the long run.
“Just being able to touch one person will mean the world to me, and it was be the best birthday gift I have ever had,” Harmon said.
Madali Hair company, Maverick Hill and Splack Fitness were a few of the many vendors showcased at the expo. Motivational speakers and rising gospel singer Briana Babineaux were the main event.
Ekaya Ellis, first-year political science student, said she was excited to take part in such an auspicious occasion.
“While volunteering alongside of Harmon for the What Women Need Expo, I am able to learn things about myself that will help me throughout my years of college since I am a freshman,” Ellis said.
Women were able to engage in a networking extravaganza, while simultaneously setting individual goals for themselves to take with them on their everyday journey.
“It’s important to take care of yourself as a woman,” third-year computer information systems student, Aaliyah Barrington, said. “Women go through a lot of things day-to-day, and with a little motivation, advice, love and an ‘it will be all right’ attitude they can make it through.”
Though women filled the room, a number of men were also there in support of Harmon. Some men, like fourth-year chemical engineering student Marven Laborde, said he got an idea or a true sense of what women truly need.
“If women are more empowered, that gives me more of a responsibility to be a better man, respect them, be more trustworthy, and in a sense this is very good,” Laborde said. “They get to have a chance to change the perspective of uplift to become more dominant figures in the world.”
FAMU administration was also supportive of the cause. Director of Student Affairs Dr. Hudson said this expo was memborable.
“This event is one for the books. I’m glad that our students are able to step outside of the box and do something good for not only our university, but the Tallahassee community,” Hudson said.
Harmon said she wants to continue this event and has plans for expansion.
“I want to make it bigger and better, and I want to expand into other areas. I want more people, more vendors and more empowering,” Harmon said.