Television personality leads women empowerment event

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Members of the Women in Media panel dance to
Members of the Women in Media panel dance to "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna.

The Eleanor Project and The Record hosted Women in Media on Oct. 6, featuring Adrienne Bankert from “Good Morning America.”

The event also featured two panels of speakers from women in broadcasting, radio and marketing and women in publishing and public relations.

While everyone made their way to their seats, a scene from The Washington Post in the 1950s is running in the background on the big screen. 

Angelic Jaramillo, new member of The Eleanor Project was sitting in the back of the theatre, her eyes were locked on the screen. 

“I joined because I think it’s important for women to support women and making a difference in our community, they provide opportunities for young students and I am interested to learn and be more actively involved,” said Jaramillo.

Founder of The Eleanor Project, Kristen Birtwhistle, made her way to the podium. She briefly spoke on the background of the project and why it was named after former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

“In 1933, Roosevelt allowed female reporters into the White House and held press conferences for female journalists only,” according to the official program of the event. 

Birtwhistle said her favorite movie was Pitch Perfect because it was a prime example on how women can come together to in media to become successful.

Her love for the movie was birthed from the central topic of an “ awkward group of women who came together through music, which is media.”

The stage rotated with smart and genuine women who came to share stories of struggle and success.

Marketing Executive Marguerite Toliver was surrounded by men who tested her abilities as a business woman.

“I am more than just a pretty face, but that I was competent,” said Toliver.

She didn’t let mens’ preconceived notion of what a woman “should” be doing yank her out of her character.

Monika Diaz, news director of KTXL-FOX40 said: “Just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you can speak to me in a certain tone.”

Stevie Wakes from The American Leadership Forum (ALF), was there in support of his friend  Kristen Dyke, founder of Port City Marketing Solution.

“I believe that women have a voice, I believe that women should operate in roles that they are currently not occupying, I believe the idea of the male chauvinistic or misogynistic society that is trying to keep them from being everything they can be, I think is coming to a dying pace thankfully so,” said Wakes.

The keynote was delivered by Adrienne Bankert of “Good Morning America,” formerly of Sacramento’s KCRA.

She was lively and energetic.

“Dance like nobody’s watching, because in this world we get too serious you forget to celebrate each other,” said Bankert.

When Bankert spoke, it was like listening to a friend.

She said being on national television didn’t make her better than anyone else.

“There is so much to do and so many stories to tell. I don’t  just interview people I connect with them,” said Bankert.

Bankert encouraged the audience to be “famously kind.”

“No one can compare and compete with kind,” said Bankert.

It takes a village to produce a story. Bankert said to, “honor your people.”

The men and women following around the reporters have to struggle through rain, mud and shine but still are grateful because you get to share with the world. 

“It’s just wonderful because you never forget, I was one of seven kids. I came from nothing and so when I see other young women I think, you know they don’t even know what they are capable of,” said Bankert.

Bankert stayed and hugged nearly everyone in the theatre.

She has stayed true to her roots.

“I promise to never forget where I came from,” she said.