THE 27TH ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE HOSTED IN NEW ORLEANS

ESSENCE Communications, Inc., the leading media, technology, and commerce company dedicated to serving Black women and their communities deeply, has announced the 100% physical return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to New Orleans with extended virtual experiences and a commitment to creating opportunities that will economically benefit, invest and contribute to Black-owned businesses. The Festival will host a multi-generational experience entrenched in culture, equity, and celebration.

“As the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a staple that celebrates community and empowers equity.  We are excited to welcome the family back live to New Orleans and thrilled to connect with more of our diasporic family through new digital experiences,” said ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga.  “Whether it be those that have three years of outfits reflective of the Festival tradition that was disrupted by the pandemic, or those who will have their inaugural Festival experience in 2022 , all are invited to immerse in the crown jewel of culture known as the ESSENCE Festival of Culture. Our almost three-decade-relationship with the City of New Orleans has been critical to the fiber of the Festival and we fully recognize and appreciate the City and its citizens for all they do to create memorable experiences for all attendees. Lastly, it is critical that we understand that what we deliver with this Festival—live and virtually—also impacts Black economic inclusion. The ability to have those that benefit from this be Black businesses is my favorite manifestation of our 2022 Festival theme, ‘It’s The Black Joy for Me.’ See you in July.”

ESSENCE looks forward to physically returning to the City of New Orleans after a hiatus due to the pandemic. The partnerships with this culture filled city have spanned more than 25 years. As the brand expands its footprint, it will continue to focus on the positive economic impact to the City and Black-owned businesses.  As ESSENCE intentionally connects deeper within the City’s culture, it is excited about bringing back new and returning activations, including concerts at the Superdome, Superlounges, ESSENCE Wellness House, ESSENCE Eats Food, Wine & Spirits Festival, the ESSENCE Studios Screening Room, The Men’s Experience, The Marketplace (which economically impacts thousands of Black-owned businesses), the Girls United track which highlights Gen Z experiences, Day of Service, E-Suite, Wealth & Power Stage, The Tech Summit and more.

Festival-goers will witness Black Joy live featuring performances from our stellar headliners including: Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart, New Edition, The Isley Brothers, The Roots & Friends, Jazmine Sullivan, Summer Walker, D-Nice & Friends and many more. Additional talent and experiences will be announced soon. 

Tickets are now on sale. For tickets, access and updates on this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @ESSENCEFest. Experience The Festival on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCEFestival.com

 

*Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination is required to participate in ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ events. 

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.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES 2021 VIRTUAL DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME LINE-UP

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its daytime and nighttime schedule for its virtual 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. With the theme “Live Loud,” ESSENCE curated an invaluable hybrid experience that offers the best of in-person and virtual worlds via a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of Black communities and the omnipresence of our culture. Under strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies, ESSENCE produced live-to-tape activations in early June available only to New Orleans and Louisiana residents honoring essential workers and first responders. As a result, the entire Festival will present a “taste of New Orleans” with a full schedule of can’t-miss content centered around culture, equity and celebration—and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home.

It will be broadcast on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com–Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4. In addition, for the first time, this year’s Festival will host a live Verzuz battle to remember on Thursday, July 1, with soon to be announced guests. For more details, visit ESSENCE.com.

The Festival’s virtual programming will include powerful daytime interactive sessions and star-studded evening concerts and connections. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Amerie, Tank, Kirk Franklin, Davido, Lucky Daye, Carl Thomas, D-Nice and more. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. BligeAngela Yee, Michelle Williams, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes RobertsTracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart and more. See below for highlights across the two weekends: 

THURSDAY, JULY 1: 

  • ESSENCE Dear Black Men (6 PM-8 PM): ESSENCE Studios presents Dear Black Men—an all-male summit that salutes the contributions of our brothers who speak vulnerably about their respective experiences as family men, community advocates and leaders of this generation.  
  • ESSENCE Festival Verzuz Battle (LIVE at 8 PM-10 PM) 

FRIDAYS: 

  • PITCH, Please! New Voices Pitch Competition (3 PM-4 PM EST): Tune in to PITCH PLEASE!, powered by Pull Up for Change’s Impact Fund and the New Voices Foundation to watch up-and-coming Black women-owned beauty brands make their pitch to change the beauty business game! During this pitch competition, eight Black women founders will compete for cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, plus valuable business coaching to launch and execute or grow and scale their beautiful entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Coca-Cola Juke Joint Kick Off with D-Nice (6/25 ONLY 5:30pm-6pm EST) : D-Nice kicks off the party with a set of our favorite songs from New Orleans at the historic Howling Wolf Venue.
  • ESSENCE Beauty Carnival [6 PM-10 PM (ET)]: Enjoy presentations from industry insiders and top brands on makeup, skin, body, and hair care that provide a fresh perspective on caring for and embracing the hair and skin you’re in. Speakers include: Adrienne Houghton, Melyssa Ford, Claudia Jordan, LisaRaye, Supacent, Miss Lawrence, Big Freedia, Demetria Lucas, India.Arie, Tina Knowles and more.
  • ESSENCE GU After Dark [10PM-11 PM (ET)]: Tune in for music curated by ESSENCE’s Girls United brought to you by your favorite rising stars. Featuring performances by Raiche, Tayla Parx & Makenzie and also a world premiere music video by MuMu Fresh.

SATURDAYS:

  • Wealth & Power [1 PM-5 PM (ET)]: Discover how to be an agent of change during this virtual town hall. Topics include tools for investing, business, entrepreneurship, policy, voting and more. Speakers include: June Ambrose, Jemele Hill, Tamika Mallory, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, Angela Yee, D-Nice and others.  In addition, watch a  special segment featuring our Black Female Mayors.
  • Entertainment All-Access [5 PM-7 PM (ET)]: Catch your Hollywood faves in Q&A’s and be the first to watch exclusive sneak peeks of the hottest upcoming releases! With appearances by: Gina Torres, Lil Rel, Yvonne Orji, Yandy Smith, Mary J. Blige and more.
  • Evening Concert Series [7 PM-10:30 PM (ET)]: ESSENCE® is giving you Saturday Night Vibes with our legendary evening concert series with a must-see lineup (*scroll down for talent line-up.)

SUNDAYS:

  • ESSENCE Wellness House [10 AM-1 PM (ET)]: A multi-faceted collective of self-care resources for you! Through our curated sessions, you will walk away equipped with the resources to prioritize your nutrition, spirit, relationships, and more.
  • Get Lifted Gospel Sunday Celebration [1 PM-3 PM (ET)]: Get your spirits lifted as the annual all-star Gospel tribute hits your screen for two Sundays back to back! Tune in for powerful words of praise by your favorite spiritual leaders and music by your favorite gospel artists. Performances by Kirk Franklin & Friends, Israel Houghton and more.

WEEK 1 (Saturday Evening Concert Line-up): 

SATURDAY, 6/26: 

  • Ha Sizzle 
  • Teedra Moses 
  • KES 
  • Lucky Daye 
  • Tank 
  • Jazmine Sullivan 

WEEK 2 (Saturday Evening Concert Line-up): 

SATURDAY, 7/3: 

  • Case 
  • Carl Thomas 
  • D-Nice, Ne-Yo and Amerie 
  • Davido 
  • DJ Khaled and Friends 

*Artists and schedules are subject to change. 

For more information, pick up the July/August “ESSENCE Festival of Culture” split-cover issue, featuring headliner Jazmine Sullivan on the cover. To register or for a full line-up, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. Sponsors of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Estée Lauder, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart as well as premium sponsors AT&T, Disney and UnitedHealthcare.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES ITS 2021 “LIVE LOUD” VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its stellar talent line-up for its 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. Incorporating virtual for the second year in light of the pandemic, this year’s event will live up to its theme of “Live Loud” by featuring exciting content across all of its stages centered around culture, equity and celebration. As the nation continues to reopen, ESSENCE’s exciting and elevated hybrid experience will present a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of our community and omnipresence of our culture — and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart  and more. The Festival will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com—Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4.

“The ESSENCE Festival of Culture, now the largest festival in the nation by per day attendance, is an unparalleled convening and celebration of global Black culture and continues to have even deeper impact on our communities via our expanded focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development,” said Latraviette Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “As a live experience, the ESSENCE Festival normally attracts more than 500,000 attendees annually during July 4th weekend in New Orleans — but last year, we made the necessary decision to shift our multi-day celebration to an innovative virtual format due to COVID-19. The ESSENCE Festival was the first of its kind and scale to be executed virtually during the pandemic, and our team worked tirelessly to deliver the content, programming and resources that our community desired. As a result, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture provided much-needed, only-at-ESSENCE content and experiences that inspired, entertained, informed and empowered—resulting in 45+ million full-stream views of 2020 Festival content to date. This year, we are thrilled to bring forth another exciting talent line-up, curated programming and a new hybrid experience that will directly touch the people of New Orleans and Louisiana while also further extending our reach, engagement and impact via enhanced digital, technology and streaming capabilities to connect more of our community in the U.S. and across the diaspora.”

For the 2021 Festival experience and under strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies, ESSENCE will produce live activations available only to New Orleans and Louisiana residents— honoring essential workers and first responders—that will be integrated into the virtual experience during both weekends.

For more information and to register, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. Sponsors of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Estée Lauder, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart as well as premium sponsors AT&T, Disney and UnitedHealthcare.

FAMED UCLA GYMNASTS ON ESSENCE GIRLS UNITED APRIL DIGITAL COVER

ESSENCE Girls United’s April digital cover features famed University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) gymnasts Chae Campbell, Nia Dennis, Margzetta Frazier and Sekai Wright who are bringing a whole new wave of Black girl magic (and are looking stunning doing it!) In the cover story Flipping the Culture, writer D’Shonda Brown talks to these collegiate superstars who are the embodiment of Black excellence and Black representation in athleticism as they soar to chart-topping scores with cultural playlists, rhythmic floor routines and Black Lives Matter activism. The athletes talk to ESSENCE Girls United about their love for the sport, representation, elevating the culture…and even getting Janet Jackson’s attention!:
  • Margzetta Frazier, 21: [EXCERPTED]: Who else can say they woke up to a nod from their inspiration, Janet Jackson, after using choreography inspired by her hit “If” and “Nasty” music videos? That’s what happened to the three-time uneven bars All-American and 2021 Pac-12 champion after her floor routine went viral. She states: “Being in a sport like this and seeing women of color rock the world really is a dream come true. Gymnastics has consumed so much of our lives with the concept of flipping and being perfect…But being recognized by ESSENCE for bringing so much more to the table than just athletics truly is an honor…”
  • Chae Campbell, 19: “Growing up in the sport of gymnastics, I didn’t see a lot of Black people…I was the only one in my group that looked how I looked. Having more representation and seeing people thrive, not just Black gymnasts, but also other races and ethnicities, is really encouraging for the young girls out there…”
  • Nia Dennis, 22: “My main goal was to inspire people to do what they love and to have fun and be their most authentic self. So if we have done that in any way, then I would definitely say that the goal has been accomplished…”
  • Sekai Wright, 20: “We do our best to stay positive because we know what we’re representing…As young Black women, it’s so satisfying that we can express and elevate our culture through our gymnastics.”

14TH ANNUAL ESSENCE BLACK WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD AWARDS AND 2ND ANNUAL ESSENCE HOLLYWOOD HOUSE

Building on its years of providing platforms to ensure Black creatives “receive their flowers” for their contributions to Hollywood and global culture, ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, today announced the honorees for its highly-anticipated 14th annual Black Women in Hollywood and feature programming for its 2nd annual Hollywood House. As the yearly can’t-miss event for Black Hollywood taking place during Oscars Week since 2008, the Black Women in Hollywood experience spotlights some of the most renowned and accomplished women leading at the forefront of the film, television and creative industry and has now honored 65 Black actresses, directors, producers, writers, costume designers and more. This year’s stellar roster of honorees include EGOT winner, producer and entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg (The View, The Stand); GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning and OSCAR-nominated actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo  (Genius: Aretha, Harriet); EMMY Award-winning actress/producer Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie, Euphoria); writer, actress and showrunner Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You); and Golden Globe winner, Oscar-nominated actress and GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who will also perform. The event will be hosted by actress and producer Laverne Cox (Promising Young Woman and Disclosure). Presenters will be announced at a later date.

Previously produced as an invite-only luncheon, this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood will be streamed as a virtual experience for the first time and will air Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 7-10 P.M. (ET) on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com. The theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” will focus on the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years—including during the unprecedented pandemic.

“ESSENCE has demonstrated our commitment to highlighting the power and resiliency of Black women for 50 years, and part of that has included creating opportunities to uplift and recognize each other when no one else would,” said Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “In a world where finally the needs and contributions of Black women are increasingly – though not always sustainably – being acknowledged in new ways, ESSENCE’s platforms such as Black Women in Hollywood remain unparalleled cultural forums that uniquely convene us in celebration and encouragement of each other and in recognition of the perseverance, fortitude, grace and innovation that have been required on our journeys. ESSENCE is incredibly proud to celebrate all our Black Women in Hollywood honorees for their immense talent and achievements, as well as for being a voice for Black women everywhere in ways that may not always be apparent and in rooms where we may not always be present. We see you. We hear you. We honor you.”

“Every year, we start our planning for ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood with one important question: What stories amplified Black women’s experiences?” said Cori Murray, ESSENCE Deputy Editor and co-producer of Black Women in Hollywood since its inception. “This year’s honorees and their individual projects have helped reframe and expand the narrative of Black women’s joy, pain, challenges and triumphs on screen that have allowed so many of us to see pieces of our own lives within. With the added layer of the pandemic, these master storytellers have kept us sane and more importantly, seen.”

In addition, ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities will culminate with its second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, which will be held on Friday, April 23rd. Hosted by actress Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time, The Invisible Man), ESSENCE Hollywood House was developed to provide compelling and engaging live content aimed at sparking meaningful conversation and action to drive more inclusion in Hollywood, as well as to provide an opportunity for Black creatives – aspiring and established – to educate, collaborate and empower one another with a purpose. The experience features thought leaders, industry stakeholders and members of the creative community including actors, directors, writers, showrunners, studio heads and others who will lead a curated schedule of interactive conversations, virtual panels, masterclasses, fireside chats and more. (Reid will also host the Black Women in Hollywood red carpet pre-show.) Presenters will be announced at a later date. To register or for more details, visit ESSENCE.com.

ESSENCE’s upcoming May/June 2021 issue (on newsstands in April) will feature its annual Black Women in Hollywood package highlighting each honoree. Stay tuned to ESSENCE.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and ESSENCE Hollywood House. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are presented by Ford and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris.

For more details on the 2021 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, visit ESSENCE.com/BWIH. ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc.

EDDIE MURPHY, ARSENIO HALL AND ALL-STAR CAST ON ESSENCE’S “COMING 2 AMERICA” TRIPLE COVERS

Prepare the royal jet! Coming 2 America is finally arriving, with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and an all-star cast of returning and new faces—including Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne and Bella Murphy. It’s been more than three decades since the beloved original Coming to America hit theaters and became a true cult classic that has spanned multiple generations and demographics. Now, in the ESSENCEMarch/April issue triple cover article, The Fresh Princes of Zamunda, Regina R. Robertson talks to the cast about why this was the right time to do the sequel, their fave moments and what the film means to the culture:

  • EDDIE MURPHY ON WHAT THE FILM MEANS TO THE CULTURE: “Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture. People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that…Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time…”

  • ARSENIO HALL ON DOING THE SEQUEL: “A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel!’ We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense. That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel…”

  • KIKI LAYNE ON PLAYING MEEKA: “Meeka is loyal to her family. I’m interested in showcasing strong Black women— and being a part of this film was an opportunity to play in such a classic world and also to work with straight-up legends, all the way around…”

  • BELLA MURPHY ON PLAYING OMMA AND WORKING WITH HER DAD: “Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a badass, and she’s super-cool. Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special…I’m over the moon…”
  • JERMAINE ON PLAYING LAVELLE—AND WATCHING HIS DREAM COME TRUE: “In some ways, Lavelle reminds me a lot of myself when I was growing up and trying to figure out life. As a fan of the original film, I was honored to be a part of this whole world—but when they told me how Lavelle becomes part of the story, I just laughed my ass off and thought, All right, let’s do it…”  
  • SHARI HEADLEY ON WHAT AUDIENCES WILL LOVE: “I’m as excited as the audience and have no doubt that this will be a film that people will love. I’ll venture to say they’ll love it even more than the first one…”

  • WESLEY SNIPES ON JOINING THE FILM: “I was like, ‘Whatever the role is, I want to be in it.’ Later, I was told that I was going to be a General—but really, I could have played a zebra and been just fine…”

ESSENCE DEDICATES 2020 ELECTION PACKAGE TO VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE KAMALA HARRIS’S HISTORIC WHITE HOUSE RUN

ESSENCE, the number one, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women, is dedicating its 2020 Election special coverage to vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris’s historic run for the White House, featuring Harris on the cover of its Election 2020 digital package and the stories of the Black women leading the campaign.

For more than a year, ESSENCE has documented Harris’s groundbreaking run for the White House. In the midst of what many perceive to be multiple pandemics affecting the African-American community—from the unprecedented coronavirus, social unrest, police brutality, economic instability, incendiary rhetoric on the political stage, and more—ESSENCE continues its multi-platform coverage at the cusp of one of the most historic elections in our lifetime.

In the piece, History Maker, News & Politics editor Tanya Christian details her coverage of the Senator—including her live appearance at the 2019 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans during her presidential run last year. Now more than a year later, Harris weighs in on a number of topics including:

  • ON THE BIDEN-HARRIS AGENDA: “There’s no question that we need immediate change and drastic change, and that’s so much of what the Biden-Harris platform and what the Biden-Harris administration will be about. It’s about saying, ‘We need to immediately address a number of issues that demand priority….’ And that relates to getting people back to work. It means investing in infrastructure and creating millions of new jobs. It means fighting for health care for all people…”
  • ON SOCIAL UNREST AND POLICE BRUTALITY: “I have seen too many cases of not only unarmed Black folks being killed, but women, and we need to speak their names and understand that we have to have justice…”

ESSENCE’s Election 2020 digital package also includes The Black Women Behind the Biden-Harris Campaign, which features key movers and shakers such as Senior Advisor Symone Sanders; Vice-Presidential Nominee Chief of Staff Karine Jean-Pierre; National Coalitions Director Ashley Allison; Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning Ashley Etienne; National Director for State Coalition Outreach Sherice Perry; National Political Director Erin Wilson; National Women’s Vote Director Carissa Smith and more.

ESSENCE has also partnered with Higher Heights for America to live stream the vice-presidential debate. Tune in tonight at 7:45 PM (ET) via ESSENCE’s Facebook page. In addition, ESSENCE.com will feature the results of the ESSENCE + Black Women’s Roundtable “Power of the Sister Vote” poll next week. The sixth annual survey gauges the political concerns, attitudes, and opinions of Black women across the country.

ESSENCE’s Election 2020 digital package is available now. For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up next month’s November/December issue. Also, join the conversation @Essence.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Rowe)

 

ESSENCE & MCDONALD’S HOLDS “MAKING MOVES NOW VIRTUAL BOOTCAMP” THIS SATURDAY

Calling all Gen Z entrepreneurs! Are you a young Black woman entrepreneur between the ages of 18 and 25 with a new or emerging business? ESSENCE and McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden movement are joining forces to inform, educate and empower the next generation of trailblazing Black women leaders through the Making Moves Now Virtual Bootcamp.

Tune in to ESSENCE.com on Saturday, September 19 at 11AM EST to hear valuable advice, lessons learned, and secrets to entrepreneurial success from a handful of young women who are thriving as business owners and want to help you do the same! Actress and host Khadeen Ellis and ESSENCE “Unbossed” Podcast host Marquita Harris will lead an afternoon of fun yet insightful programming featuring conversations with Blackgirl Sunscreen CEO Shontay Lundy, Actress and Social Media Guru Jasmine Luv and McDonald’s Executive Owner & Operator Marissa Fisher—with a special guest appearance from actress, singer & entrepreneur Ryan Destiny.

Plus, stick around as we close out the day with three rising young entrepreneurs who will share their business ideas with our panel and receive direct feedback on their presentations.

Following the Bootcamp, be sure to mark your calendars for the ESSENCE and McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Making Moves Now Virtual Pitch Competition, presented in partnership with New Voices. The official pitch competition will take place on October 10, 2020, during the first-ever Girls United Virtual Summit. Join us to support a host of young Black women as they pitch their businesses for a chance to win thousands of dollars in funding and make even bigger moves in their community.

For more information on the Making Moves Now Virtual Bootcamp and to register, click HERE.

https://www.essence.com/news/essence-mcdonalds-making-moves-now-virtual-bootcamp/