Brianna Harmon, known affectionately to most as Bri, isn’t hard to miss. Though petite in stature, the Florida A&M junior packs a smile and personality powerful enough to magnetize thousands at a time.
While she’s only 20-years-old, Harmon has already built a laudable resume with titles Entertainment Reporter and Radio Personality in full tow, serving as a host for plenty of notable events around campus and across the Southeast while swapping out tiaras as FAMU’s Miss Freshman, Miss Black Florida US Ambassador, Miss South Florida, and Miss Gold of the campus’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter.
But, her most treasured accomplishment only came to fruition a year ago, and in full preparation for the event’s sophomore appearance, Bri took the time to catch up with us as we discussed her “What Women Need” Conference.
Birthed on her college campus, “What Women Need” is the brainchild of a young woman who noticeably prides herself on the uplifting and empowerment of the other young women around her. Read up on what sparked Brianna’s drive in launching the event.
Where did the inspiration for What Women Need come from?
It was kind of like a birthday gift to myself. I asked myself what I wanted to do for my 20th birthday, and I said instead of just having so much fun for myself, why not use it and do something for someone else? I had to really ask,”What do women really need?”
I decided to do a conference to engage women and bring them together on a level where not only can they be inspired and empowered, but also give local businesses an opportunity to share their stories of where they came from and things like that as well. That’s pretty much where it generated from.
With everything that you’ve been doing, how has the vision been reinforced?
I got a lot of feedback from the first event and the women enjoyed it. The women asked for it again. That was my motivation to keep it going because if one person believed in the vision and they wanted to come out and they wanted to come again, I have to keep doing it. We brought out 250 ladies and that was the first year that we did it. So, to have at least half of them ask to come back—that was my motivation. This year we’re adding more Q&A, more opportunities for the women to meet each other, different things.
How important do you really feel it is to have these sort of events and having general support for women from women?
I think it’s really important. We as women, we’ve got to stop competing with one another. In this society, you have a lot of women—I can’t stress the word compete. If we can all come together and help each other, it could definitely help us out as women.
I think it’s important to make sure that everybody sees at the same level of love and inspiration. In having vendors come out, not only are they black-owned female businesses, but it’s to let everyone know that they have the same opportunities. It’s really important for women to come together and feel inspired and motivate someone instead of competing.
What sort of experiences and people that you’ve met along the way have helped spark that vision in the first place?
I have a lot of mentors. Just meeting so many different people that see so much in me brings out a lot of the reasons as to why I do it. They’re so many people that I’ve met along the way that have inspired me, motivated me, and told me continuously the power that I have. Getting that inspiration and motivation makes me want to keep going and see the vision just as much as they believe in me.
What’s the greatest thing that you want a woman to take away when she walks out?
Self-motivation and self-love. I have it at the top of the year in January because a lot of people are going into the year with their goals and their resolutions. I really try to bring a speaker who can speak on each topic.
We have entrepreneurship, we have fitness, beauty, self-love, branding. Everything that you can think of, I have a speaker to touch on that. You should leave with a new goal, a new outlook on life, and a new focus for the year. As long as they can come out with one of these three things, I’ll be okay and I’ll be satisfied.