THE ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PLANS FULL RETURN TO NEW ORLEANS IN JULY 2022

Essence Communications, Inc., the leading media, technology and commerce company dedicated to serving Black women and communities, today announced the full return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to New Orleans from June 30 – July 3, 2022.

After pivoting to a virtual experience in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the ESSENCE Festival will host a fully live gathering for the first time in two years, celebrating the culture and resilience of the Black community with the theme “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”  In addition, with its strong digital performance – including a 65% increase in Festival content streams from 2020 (45 million) to 2021 (70+ million), the ESSENCE Festival of Culture will build on the global audience gained via its virtual programming to continue to deliver a comprehensive and engaging digital experience to attendees both live and around the world.

“The reimagining of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans – fully physical and fully digital – experience will be epic,” said Caroline Wanga, CEO, Essence Communications, Inc. “Given what we have collectively experienced over the last two years, the opportunity to convene and uplift in the spirit of culture, equity, celebration – and joy – is more of a privilege and honor than it has ever been. We look forward to our homecoming in the City of New Orleans and to strengthening our impact as a cornerstone of Black culture, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion – working always to serve Black women and communities deeply.”

The unparalleled live experience will include almost one million square feet of space for empowerment programming (networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, nightly concerts at Caesars Superdome and other entertaining and inspirational activations in venues across the city.  The Festival’s robust digital programming will include live streaming of select on-the-ground activities in New Orleans, as well as new and exclusive digital content and experiences created for the live and virtual audiences.

“We are elated to announce the return of the ESSENCE Festival to New Orleans in the Summer of 2022,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “ESSENCE brings so much to our city and our economy, and I can’t wait to see what this year has to offer. The City of New Orleans and the ESSENCE Festival are inextricably linked through our remarkable history and our steadfast focus on and commitment to culture, community, and economic inclusion.  We look forward to continuing this partnership to create an even deeper legacy of impact and inclusion for our city and for all who will join us in July to make this experience the best yet.”

Launched in 1995 as an event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has since evolved into the world’s largest celebration of Black women, culture and communities.  Regularly convening more than 530,000 people annually over July 4th weekend in New Orleans, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is now also the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance.

Additional details regarding the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture – including ticketing, schedules, talent line-up, COVID protocols (based on recommended guidance from Public Health Agencies and the City of New Orleans), and more – will be released in January 2022.  Visit www.essencefestival.com for the latest information.

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities.  With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration.  The brand’s multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

Be Stay Live 2022 Women’s Empowerment Makeover: WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE

Rochelle Gaston Malone the Author, Entrepreneur, Minister, Multiple Sclerosis Advocate, and Talk Show Host will host THE WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
Rochelle Gaston Malone is a Faith-Life coach, known as the Empowerment Champion, who uses writing and speaking to minister empowerment.
Ms. Malone is the great-granddaughter of the late Dr. A.G. Gaston, Sr.
She is the founder and executive director of MSFace2Face, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to eradicating “MS Poverty.”
The WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE dynamic speaker lineup and details will be shared soon.
Save The Date!

Hosea Helps Historic Pivot For 2021 Holiday Events

Hosea Helps, Inc., in its 50th year of service, kicks off its 2021 Holiday Festival of Services with the Great Turkey Drop-off, followed by the Annual Thanksgiving Event. This year’s holiday events will be another historic first for the organization battling against the covid-19 pandemic. They will hold the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food distributions one week before the holiday to better provide for families in need. This pivot allows them to distribute all of the fixings for a delicious holiday meal in time for families to prepare and serve on the actual holiday. The Thanksgiving drive-thru food distribution will take place on November 19, 2021, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Blue Lot across from the Georgia World Congress Center’s C building off Northside Drive, entering on Maple Street. By doing the holiday food distribution a week in advance, they’re empowering families by giving them time to prepare and enjoy a scrumptious home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day – No more frozen turkeys on the holiday!

This historic holiday event will be a two-fold holiday giving extravaganza. This is the first time in history that Hosea Helps will be receiving in-kind donations and distributing food boxes and supplies simultaneously. This year, Hosea Helps is working with a world-renowned service organization, which they will announce early next week, to kick off the 2021 Holiday Food Drive. This extraordinary group of volunteers will lead the charge in donating poultry, canned goods, pantry items, and household supplies. In addition, volunteers will be working both sides of the giving spectrum by accepting food drive donations from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and helping to distribute food boxes and supplies to families on the other side. Hosea Helps has never had so many volunteers that they could receive and distribute donations at the same time.

The Great Turkey Drop-off will take place on November 11, 2021, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Hosea’s corporate donors, Publix Supermarkets and Kroger, along with donations from the philanthropic community, including Simon Guobadia, will deliver turkeys to the new Hosea Headquarters located at 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 for distribution during this seasons Festival of Services that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Day.

“We are so excited and grateful that these volunteers committed to partnering with us to help meet the rising demand for food and supplies for families in need during the holidays. The after-effects of Covid and the shortages in the supply chain have caused a decrease in the availability of turkeys this year, ultimately driving the costs up too high for us to buy in large quantities. That’s why this year’s Great Turkey Drop-off  by our corporate sponsors and the donation drive by our volunteers is so important. We hope that these donations will help us fill the gap between our supply and the community need.”, says Elizabeth Omilami, CEO of Hosea Helps.

Participating families must register for the 11/19/21 Thanksgiving food distribution on the Hosea Helps website at www.4hosea.org to receive groceries and supplies prior to the event. For more information on Hosea Helps and its programs, visit the website or follow on social media @4Hosea. 

 

Hosea Helps Hosts The 2021 Great Turkey Drop Off on Thursday, Nov 11, 2021

 

WHO: Hosea Helps, Inc., in its 50th year of service, kicks off its 2021 Holiday Festival of Services with the Great Turkey Drop-off, followed by the Annual Thanksgiving Event. The Thanksgiving drive-thru food distribution will take place on November 19, 2021, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Blue Lot across from the Georgia World Congress Center’s C building off Northside Drive, entering on Maple Street. 

WHAT: Hosea’s corporate donors, Publix Supermarkets and Kroger, along with donations from the philanthropic community, including Simon Guobadia, will deliver turkeys to the new Hosea Headquarters located at 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 for distribution during this seasons Festival of Services that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Day.

 

WHEN:The Great Turkey Drop-off will take place on November 11, 2021, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

 

WHERE: 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 at 10am on the dock of Hosea Helps Headquarters

Talk of Alabama Lifestyle Segment: Outdoor Must-Haves

I hosted a Lifestyle Segment on Monday, July 12th on ABC 33/40 Talk of Alabama. During the segment, I shared summer must-haves while hosting an outdoor event.

The products showcased were meant to assist with helping everyone enjoy their guests!

Click The Photo To Watch:

Instagram | Twitter | TikTok Handle @kwest1908

Earrings:  Amazon | Blouse:  Marshalls

PROTECT YOUR PARTY GUESTS FROM MOSQUITOS – 15-20FT RADIUS OF PROTECTION

Thermacell | E55 Thermacell Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller (An Amazon Best Seller) – provides 20ft of protection ($39.99 on Amazon / Thermacell / Home Depot, Loews, Walmart etc.)

Thermacell | Patio Shield Metal Edition in Rose Gold provides 15ft of protection ($34.99 on Amazon / Thermacell / Home Depot, Loews, Walmart etc.)

Protect Your Skin with IBKÜL’s (IB-Cool) IceFil UPF 50+ Tops Available For The Whole Family

IBKÜL | Mens Womens & Children Tops ($19 – $99 depending on style) – Available on ibkul.com and Amazon. 

Make Your Eyes Pop Even With A Mask On with Easy To Use Magnetic Lashes

Lola’s Lashes | Easy To Use And Glamorous Lashes best selling magnetic Lashes in the UK | $28 – $65 at lolaslashes.com

Protect Your Pets & Kids From Ticks While You Enjoy A Beautiful Outdoor Memorial Day Weekend Backyard BBQ.

Thermacell | Tick Control Tubes (6 pack for $24.99 @Thermacell)

Click on the link to view the segment: Talk of Alabama | Summer Must-Haves | Kimberly West

Juneteenth Recipes for our Soul! – The Urban Martha Stewart

Growing up in Los Angeles, My parents were very involved in the Black movement but I didn’t really learn and absorb Black history until I went away to college at UC Berkeley and enrolled into an African American Studies classes with the infamous Dr. Harry Edwards. He rocked my world on African American Studies and I remember calling my mom crying asking her why she didn’t teach about our Black history?
For the full story and recipes please visit Ali in the Valley!

Tyler Perry in First Trailer for ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces

From a traumatic childhood to the redemptive role of faith, discover the rags-to-riches rise of Tyler Perry, one of America’s most respected entertainers in the new feature-length biography ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces’ from Legacy Distribution.

The feature-length biography ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces’ is now available on Roku Channel, Google Play, XUMO, Glewed, STIRR, and LocalNow.

Produced by Dana Webber and distributed by Legacy Distribution.

FIVE WAYS BLACK WOMEN CAN FEEL EMPOWERED ON JUNETEENTH

On June 19th, 2021, millions of Americans will come together to honor a key piece of American history; Juneteenth — the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

“Understand the history,” says Dr. Sonja Stribling, Life Coach for the Black American Woman, “but utilize this date to empower yourself, as empowerment is what this day is all about!” Stribling, a Certified Life and Business Coach recently featured in Black Press of America, Good Day D.C., and KDRV-TV, has coached and mentored over 300,000 women.

As the daughter of a farmer and housekeeper from Arkansas, Dr. Sonja Stribling is a retired US Army Major who spent 21 years in the United States Military. Stribling went from poverty to millionaire. Here, Dr. Stibling offers five tips to help Black women feel empowered this June 19th, 2021:

Understand Your History: Juneteenth can be a launch point to delve into your own personal history. Try journaling to understand how your past has shaped who you are today.

Know When to Say NO: Evaluate Your Boundaries, find power and strength in knowing when it’s best for you to say no to an event, a person, or anything you don’t want to do. Equally important is knowing when to ask for help.

Draw Your Road Map To P.O.W.E.R: (Possibilities, Opportunities, Wealth, Wellbeing, Worth, Excellence and Responsibility). Seize the possibilities and opportunities open to you, recognize your worth, reinvest in yourself to build wealth, prioritize your wellbeing, approach ALL aspects of life with excellence and share the responsibility of helping others.

Make A Routine Ritual: Treat yourself, every single day. Start by finding something you love to do. Each day, set aside at least five minutes to do that exact same thing. The mind will look forward to this routine self-time.

Share Your Story: Don’t just post to social media, talk to people in your life. Share your story to empower your loved ones and yourself. You never know who needs to hear what you’ve been through.

Dr. Sonja’s Bio:
Dr. Sonja Stribling, Ph.D. is a Business Strategist, Public Speaker and the Founder of the Born to Be Powerful Academy, a company that empowers women with the confidence and skills to dominate their personal and professional lives. A former clinical counselor and 21-year Army Retired Major, Dr. Sonja uses her training and experience to lead thousands to their victory by using their inner power to ascend to their next level in life and business.
This mother of three boys and divorcee, knows all too well the mindset of a woman who wants more but has to constantly fight multiple times harder than others. Becoming a mother at 15, before being raped and left for dead at 17-years-old, Dr. Sonja joined the military and spent the next 21 years serving three combat tours in a male-dominated field.
Known as the ‘General to Giants’ and is the Best-Selling Author of “The Divorce That Saved My Life,” this 21-year Army Retired Major and recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award (by President Barack Obama), is a National Speaker for the Think & Grow Rich The Legacy World Tour, and former TV Host on Bravo Network.  Dr. Sonja has been featured in outlets such as Bustle, KTLA, Good Day DC, The Ladders, Influencive and more.

Instagram: @IamDrSonja
Facebook: @IamDrSonja

Check Out These Delicious Super Bowl Snack Recipes

To celebrate, TheSoul Publishing — the publisher behind one of the top five YouTube channels, 5-Minute Crafts – has provided some delicious treats to keep the fun going at your Super Bowl party.

Featured Photo from Simply Home Cooked

    • Easy Oreo Cake Pops – Crush a bag of Oreos and combine with cream cheese. Roll into balls and insert a toothpick; then, dip into melted white chocolate and freeze. Yum! (Instructions here)
    • Elegant Chocolate Rose Cookies – Combine melted chocolate and flour, and then add to a piping bag. Create small spirals on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then bake. These elevated cookies will add a touch of glamour to watching football at home! (Instructions here)
    • Colorful Popcorn! – Add oil and popcorn kernels to a deep pot, as if you’re making stovetop popcorn. Then, add a secret ingredient…skittles! As the kernels pop, they will become bright, colorful, and the perfect combination of salty and sweet. (Instructions here)
    • Avocado Fries – What’s better than guacamole and chips? How about frying avocado for a delicious snack! Dredge avocado slices in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then add to hot oil to fry until golden brown. (Instructions here)
  • Pull Apart Mozzarella Sticks – Slice a block of mozzarella into pieces (without slicing all the way through); add to hot frying oil, then serve with marinara sauce for a savory snack. (Instructions here)

Zoom Backgrounds Inspired by 2021’s Hottest Interior Design Trends

With 2020 finally in the rearview window, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the new year by embracing some of the hottest new interior design trends of 2021.

While you may be itching to redecorate your home in high style (or maybe just tidy up the living room before your next meeting), the online interior design experts at Modsy will spot you one better!

They’ve rounded up their favorite designs inspired by each one of this year’s hottest new home interior trends and turned them into beautiful Zoom backgrounds that are perfect for any virtual get-together, whether it’s a work conference call or a girlfriends wine night.

The biggest emerging style trends of 2021, which are embodied in each of the Zoom backgrounds, are outlined below and can be downloaded HERE.

    • 1980s Style Revival. Sculptural furniture, bold colors, and plenty of drama. The 80s are back—but only the good parts.
    • Natural Materials. Brings effortless texture into your space and gives your home a perfectly layered look.
    • Bold Wall Colors. White walls, be gone! Bold wall colors are the perfect way to bring joy, excitement, and personality to your home.
    • Lighter-Toned Wood. Hello, Scandinavian and Rustic inspiration! We’re seeing lighter-toned and whitewashed woods take center stage.
    • Grandmillennial Style. More and more people are embracing the “granny-chic” style—filled with antiques, wallpaper, and ruffles galore.
  • Rise of Traditional Comfort. Slipcovered sofas. Traditional patterns. Functionality. It’s time to get comfortable without sacrificing on style.

And if you’re feeling inspired after seeing these designs, explore and shop them all at www.modsy.com.

Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland Announces Season Two of “Tanya’s Table” Podcast w/ Guests Ayesha Curry, Danny Glover, Bonnie Raitt and Many More

Celebrity chef/restaurateur/cookbook author Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen (Oakland, Calif.) announces today with producing partner MuddHouse Media the official launch of Season Two of her critically-acclaimed new podcast, “Tanya’s Table.” Season Two follows Holland’s debut as a TV host on the Oprah Winfrey Network with her new show “Tanya’s Kitchen Table” (LINK; November – December 2020). Launching on January 19, 2021, the podcast’s Season Two features Holland in riveting conversations with many of today’s leading innovators and tastemakers: Ayesha Curry, Danny Glover, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Rosenthal, Lars Ulrich, Ericka Huggins, Alicia Garza, Elizabeth Falkner, Jonny Moseley, Lizz Wright, Festus Ezeli, Maneet Chauhan, Edouardo Jordan, and Karen Akunowicz. Episodes of “Tanya’s Table” will air once a week (every Tuesday) on all major podcast platforms through April 20, 2021.

Holland is an international icon and the leading African-American woman chef in the modern culinary arena. She’s wowed audiences with her incredibly charismatic persona on a plethora of national TV shows (Tanya’s Kitchen Table, Selena + Chef, Top Chef, MasterChef, NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, The Talk, Food Network) and has been lauded by critics for her distinct California-inspired renditions of soul food classics. On the Board of Trustees at the James Beard Foundation and a U.S. State Department culinary diplomat, Holland takes listeners on a 45-minute adventure each episode of “Tanya’s Table” by offering both a behind-the-scenes look at her guests’ intriguing lives as well as bringing forth vital issues facing the world.

“Tanya’s Table” spotlights Holland and her guests discussing food, culture, and diverse foodways as podcast listeners peer through the window to experience their candid, and often hilarious, conversations. While food is the center of attention, Holland explores other lifestyle topics such as travel, social awareness, self-help and work/life balance, challenges and triumphs, discovering off-the-radar gems, music, the role of mentors, and more. Episodes further delve into each guest’s individual identity through their sense of taste (with food, design, style, etc.) and discovering foods of their heritage.

Holland is at the vanguard of contemporary California cuisine with decades of accolades to her credit. “Tanya’s Table” offers a critical platform for Holland to connect with influential figures for real-talk conversations. Teeming with idiosyncratic charm and hospitality, Holland is the voice of 2021 that podcast-devotees are destined to love.

For detailed information regarding Tanya Holland and the featured guests for Season Two of “Tanya’s Table,” please download the Tanya’s Table Celebrity Guest Bios one sheet (LINK).

The episode schedule for Season Two of “Tanya’s Table” is as follows:

Ayesha Curry (January 19), Danny Glover (January 26), Bonnie Raitt (February 2), Phil Rosenthal (February 9), Alicia Garza (February 16), Elizabeth Falkner (February 23), Lars Ulrich (March 2), Jonny Moseley (March 9), Maneet Chauhan (March 16), Ericka Huggins (March 23), Lizz Wright (March 30), Festus Ezeli (April 6), Edouardo Jordan (April 13), and Karen Akunowicz (April 20).