Since we broke the news that Sunni was coming to the Washington, D.C. area to be a midday radio personality on WPGC, we’ve held a special place in our hearts for our former Fab Award Winner. So when Sunni tweeted that she wanted to host a womens empowerment brunch to honor those giving back to the community we were intrigued.
Over the weekend, Sunni honored educators, those passionate about serving and charity board members at her first annual Womens Empowerment Brunch, sponsored by Ciroc. Still, before she played host she sat down with DC Fab to explain the decision behind honoring women.
DC Fab: Philanthropy seems central to everything you do. What motivates your need to give back?
Sunni: Over the past couple of years I’ve grown up a lot spiritually and realized doing charity makes me really happy. Like, it really brings me so much joy to where I get teary-eyed after doing an event because I wish that I could do more. It’s crazy. And I also realized how much people want to help others. They just need someone to help lead the efforts.
You recently celebrated your 30th birthday and instead of receiving presents, you asked your friends to donate to a cause. Why did you pick UNICEF USA?
UNICEF USA has always been very close to my heart. They’ve helped me and my family when [my family and I] lived in refugee camps back in Croatia and I’ve always wanted to “pay them back.” It’s such an amazing organization and this was my way of showing that same love back that they showed me.
What are some of your favorite local charities and why?
I’ve worked with so many different organizations around the DMV, but some of my favorites have to be Covenant House Homeless Shelter and Safe Shores Children’s Advocacy Center. Three huge annual charity events that I also love are our WPGC Radio-Thon for Children’s National, the WPFC Pretty & Polished Prom Dress Drive and Stuff-A-Truck for Capital Area Food Bank. All of these are very special for various reasons but one thing they all have in common is that I can personally relate to the causes. I know what it’s like to be hungry and homeless — to not have the basics. I know what it’s like to be looked down upon because your family can’t afford “the best.” All of this is very personal for me.
What inspired the idea for the first annual women’s empowerment brunch?
I’m all about positive peer pressure and using your social status for the greater good. But then I started thinking about women who don’t have thousands of followers and who aren’t in the public eye. The charity work that they do goes unnoticed most of the time, and I’m sure they’re okay with that. They do it out of the goodness of their heart, and I love that. But I wanted them to know that they’re appreciated and loved. I get a lot of press and features about my charity work and I really appreciate the love, but I wanted to have an event where it’s not about me…at all. It’s about them!
When women leave the brunch, what are you hoping they leave with?
I need them to realize just how much their work, big or small, is impacting the community. I want everyone to leave feeling inspired, appreciated and empowered. It’s all about sisterhood and girl power!
How can our readers attend?
Since this is my first event, it’s closed to the public. The only people attending will be the honorees. I would love for this to grow into a huge awards show that solely focuses on women and their amazing community work. *Putting it in the universe!*
Here’s the full list of honorees:
Aarti Singh (UNICEF USA)
Mary Kate Chaath (UNICEF USA)
Dr. Justine Love (Serve DC)
Kendall Maloney, Educator
Frances Ashe-Goins RN, MPH
Ashley Silva (Silva Lining Foundation)
MJ Park (Little Friends For Peace)
Andrea Sedlock (Rukundo International)
Shayla Adams (RemixEducation)
Amber Davis (The Gabriel Network)
Darla Bunting (First Book DC)
Christina Brooking (Diamonds Program)
Stephanie Folling, Educator
Zewiditu Ruffin (A Tea Takeover)
Jacquelyn McKinney (Kid Power Inc)
Shana Glickfield, Safe Shores DC
Photo credit: Apeture Photography