By Anuoluwapo Bamiro, Columnist
On May 6th, 2023, District 4 Council Woman of Inglewood Dionne Faulk and Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson hosted their second annual Women Rock Empowerment Summit. The summit began to empower the wonderful and talented women of Inglewood, CA. With everything new popping up in the city, it was beautiful to see an event tailored toward the women that hold the community together. I had the pleasure of interviewing both the District Woman and the City Clerk. The event began with breakfast; a welcome from both hosts; and greetings from Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. and the other council members, Gloria Gray, Eloy Morales, Jr., and Alex Padilla. After that, we were introduced to the first keynote speaker. Tina McKinnon was elected in June 2022 to represent the South Bay/Westside communities in the state assembly. She gave inspirational and encouraging words to the ladies. She told us her story, including her ups and downs, and how she was able to keep her mind together even when everything around her seemed to be failing at the time. She said she would gain two wins while also experiencing two losses, but she would tell herself that she must keep going forward and not dwell on them. Through perseverance, trust, and belief in herself, she forged a new path. She went to college late in life and became the woman she is today.
After those inspiring words from our Assemblymember, the ladies broke into two 45-minute sessions from the following workshop choices: mental health awareness, floral arrangements, social media, and event planning. The sessions allowed us to learn new skills, check in with our mental health and bask in something fun and positive. After the workshops, it was lunchtime. We were given a beautiful plate with fried wings, mac and cheese, rice and beans, salad, fruit, dessert, and more. We were well-fed and given goodie bags at the end. During this time, there was also a raffle, which was exotic pickles and gourmet ice cream. We were then introduced to Dr. Susie Jones. She delivered a powerful sermon about the true importance of women coming together and supporting each other. She said that based on the different stages we were in life, we had had a position to propel each other forward and help those behind, next to and even in front of us. She used the analogy of all of us being midwives helping each other birth our ideas. She told the older women the importance of guiding younger women without bitterness and jealousy. It was a beautiful and much-needed speech for everyone in that room.
The event simmered down with a conversation with Mignon who is currently starring in the hit Tyler Perry show Sistas. She talked about her life story, and what inspired her to become an actress. She let us know how once upon a time she was couch-hopping to be able to stay in Los Angeles. But even during that time, she knew the importance of giving back, which she did lovingly with her sandwiches that she’d pass around Skid Row with love/faith notes. She further shared how a dream differed doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen, and explained that even now, she still deals with things in the industry even though she has paved this beautiful path for herself. She let us know the projects she has coming up and took a few questions from the audience. She said something that will forever stick with me, which was 11 is just one in the next dimension and that the more healing, she does the better storyteller she is.
All in all, the event was beautiful and served the women of the community well, especially with Mother’s Day imminent. It was amazing to see the women be so excited, to engage, and really digest the words of the speaker. The other women who were in attendance left the event feeling inspired and ready to network with one another.