What I learned when I interviewed Valerie Jarrett and Amy Poehler at the White House Women’s Summit
When I walked amongst the crowd at the United State of Women Summit, my first thought was, “Wow, I’ve never been surrounded by so many women before.”
The summit celebrated the advancements and accomplishments of women in their fight for justice and gender equality.
Not only was I fortunate enough to be a part of this event in the nation’s capital, but I also had the opportunity to interview some amazing women like Amy Poehler, Valerie Jarrett, Soledad O’Brien and many others. Listening to their advice on female friendships, female competition, and being the only woman of color in the room, is something that I will never forget and will always apply in my life to come.
Produced by Jordan Vesey
Working together with other fellow student reporters embodied the pure essence of what the summit was all about. We celebrated each other’s achievements and the interviews we conducted.
Our @pbs @newshour girls are the BEST! via @reportinglabs @smrtgrls#StateOfWomen #iamsrl pic.twitter.com/Ll6VhQhzuT
— Anita Wright (@awright193) June 14, 2016
The highlight of my day was listening to the conversation between Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. Michelle radiated self-worth and value. She reminded me of how unrealistic it is to expect to “have it all” at one time, as there are many phases that make up a person’s life. It made me appreciate the wonderful gift of being a woman.
The point that resonated the most was how important and valuable my parents are. They are the ones who provided a foundation of constant love and support, which helps me love and accept myself for who I am —faults and all.
And to those women who don’t have that supportive parent, Michelle Obama said, “You’ve got to find those people…. There is somebody out there who loves you and who is waiting to love you, and you just have to find them.”
Oprah’s words were equally empowering, especially when she said, “Sometimes I just have to think, ‘It’s cool to be me’”. These words hit me in my core, as of one of the things I most struggle with is taking pride in my own achievements. I always try my hardest to be humble and never act in a way that is arrogant, which sometimes comes off as bashful. I also have to remember to give myself credit where it is due, another theme of the summit.
For everyone out there who has those “I’m not good enough moments,” listen to the words of the great Amy Poehler, “Be your own friend, and be kind to yourself as much as you can, as often as you can everyday.”
To see more photos and coverage from the United State of Women Summit, check out a gallery of Student Reporting Labs’ favorite moments here.