Alumna aims to Empower

Iyana Williams is a 2017 graduate of FAMU.
Photo courtesy Iyana Williams

Iyana Williams is an entrepreneur on the rise who wants to inspire FAMU alumni and others to be their own boss.

Williams, 24, is the founder of Realspill, a Christian-based podcast that she uses as a platform to uplift and encourage graduates across Florida to keep pushing toward their dreams.

 Williams is also the founder of a private foundation called Empower, a non-profit organization that allows Tallahassee’s youth to showcase their business and network. The FAMU alumna is a Florida native who grew up in Jacksonville. She graduated, in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.

Williams discovered her love for mentoring and motivational speaking while at FAMU, which ultimately swayed her to start her podcast, Realspill and Empower.

“As a child I have always wanted to give people advice, which is also why I decided to minor in psychology,” Williams said.

 “Growing up I’ve noticed that people took on a certain mentality that everyone has to struggle and learn the hard way because I had to, which is not true.”

 Williams continued, “ I feel like if you can save somebody from going down the same road that you've already been down, why not? Really, people are doubting themselves more often than not and it all comes from the mind. I was having the very same battles in my mind until God spoke to me and I made a promise that if he speaks life into me, then I will speak life into everyone else.”

Williams said that God gave her the idea and vision to start Empower and left it up to her to do the rest. “I have never seen an event in Tallahassee where you go there to uplift each other. Often you would see students going out to Top Flite or Bajas to have a good time. I’m the type of person who likes to have a good time but I also want to gain something from it at the same time.

 “As a result, instead of me wishing that someone would do uplifting events, I decided to just do them myself,“ she added.

 Williams said that Empower is an upscale event that focuses on each motivational speaker and performer’s story. The goal, she said, is to help someone else through sharing his or her story. The first Empower event took place July 27 at The Venue. With about 100 people in attendance, Empower hosted motivational speaker Harry Davis, performances from rap artist Chris Beckford aka JuiceDaddi, a dance selection from KP atristry’s “heel me up class” and singer Kenneth Kilpatrik.

“If you have an aspiration of being something in your mind you have to put yourself around the right opportunities. Empower was a great opportunity for me to push the envelope to get closer to my dreams,” motivational speaker Harry Davis said. Singer Kilpatrick said: “The event as a whole had an electric energy that motivated me to really dig into my craft as a creative, take risks and rise to the occasion. It definitely gave me a platform to showcase my talents in front of a whole new audience, as well as help me strength. It left me feeling reenergized, motivated, and certainly lived up to its namesake Empower.”

Williams plans to have another Empower event February 2020 at Hotel Duval and welcomes all to come out and be empowered.

For more about Williams, follow her on Instagram: iyanawilliams_