Women's Empowerment 2016 takes over the Triangle

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- On Saturday, the annual Women's Empowerment event brought thousands of women together from all across the Triangle and beyond.

ABC11 was a proud sponsor of the day-long event again this year, so it only made sense that we were there every step of the way to be a part of the fun.

The day kicked off with a VIP breakfast featuring some familiar faces, including ABC11 Anchor Tisha Powell and former ABC11 reporter Tamara Gibbs, along with gospel singer Tina Campbell from the group Mary Mary.

After that, women began pouring into PNC arena where they got to stop by our pop-up ABC11 studio and say "hi" to Tisha along with Ngozi Ekeledo and Anthony Wilson.

Among those who stopped by, some women who come with large groups year after year, and some who came with friends for the first time.

"So far it's very exciting, so much to see, and hopefully I get to see everything in the time that we do have here!" first-time attendee Nikisha Bledsoe said.

Among the things to see and do, there's music including featured artist Monica, panel discussions, and of course this year's keynote speaker, Viola Davis from the hit ABC show "How to Get Away with Murder."

"I just can't wait to see her, she's just so powerful, and I think she's just great!" gushes an excited Judith Johnson.

"I would like to see Viola Davis I think she just portrays a good message to all of us she's a good actress good all-around person," echoes Johnson's friend Gail Holmes.

And while speakers inside the arena had messages to share, there was important information being shared in the hallways, as well. That included the group Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, another event sponsor, who was there in part to let parents know about a new app that could help with learning about finding the best options for schooling for children.

"One of the things we find is that people are not aware of the options they have for K-12. So we just want to make sure that we spread the word," PEFNC President Darrell Allison said. "We launched an app where all they have to do is type in their zip code, and not only will they get an idea of the traditional schools that they're zoned to, but they'll also find a 5 to 10-mile radius public charter schools as well as private schools with scholarships."

Its information like this along with health information also featured at various booths that were aimed at helping women, which is the goal of the annual event, along with encouraging women to help one another.

"To empower each other, not only to empower yourself but to make sure that you lift each other up in all that you do," said A. Faye Young, a longtime attendee who came with her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sisters of more than 20-plus years.

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