NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - April Ryan has used her position as White House correspondent to hold the nation's highest-ranking officials accountable for their actions during the past 20-plus years.
Whether she has just had a heart-to-heart interview with former President Barack Obama or had her press credentials threated by President Donald Trump, she returns at the end of the day to her role as mom.
Ryan told about 300 parents, guardians and community leaders who had traveled from Newark, Camden, Atlantic City, Paterson, Jersey City, Trenton and other cities to be at the Heldrich Hotel this weekend for the fourth annual NJ Parent Summit that being a parent is the most important job in the world - even if you happened to have spent the day interviewing the leader of the free world.
"You may see on CNN, you may see me at the White House, but my biggest responsibility is to create a world where my two little princesses will become queens," she said.
To create that world for Ryan and Grace - for every child whether she's black, white or another color - it won't be easy, Ryan said.
During her speech, she invoked the courage of Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr. and Shirley Chisholm, who became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for president in and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1972, as she stressed the importance of always teaching your children what is important.
To create a country where families don't need to rely on school-provided breakfasts and lunches to make ends meet - as they do in her native Baltimore - it will take changing a lot of hearts and minds.
"Sometimes we look at this as black and white,' Ryan said. "It's beyond that. it's such a bigger issue. Sometimes you always look at it as Republican versus Democrat. You what it is? We have laws on the books, legislation. What's left? This a heart issue."
Ryan, 51, who serves as Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks and appears as a political analyst on CNN, talked about the pride she felt when Obama was running for president and how she pulled her children out of school on election day to bring them with her to the poll.
The loudest applause during her speech on Saturday night was reserved for her criticism of President Trump.
She referenced the time the President infamously called her a loser and the death threats she subsequently received from his supporters.
"I'm not going to tell you who to vote for," Ryan said, "but you know who I'm not going to vote for. After death threats, being called a loser, talking about my money, talk about my city and my congressman. Nooooo!"
Ryan was the keynote speaker for NJ Parent Summit, hosted by Project Read. It was a weekend filled with leadership training, workshops, networking opportunities and a local business expo.
Congressman Donald Payne Jr. and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter also spoke at Saturday's gala event.