WHAT: The 2019 ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola, the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience and the largest celebration of global Black culture, announces the 1st ever Wellness House experience. The ESSENCE Wellness House is comprised of programming targeted to mental, physical and relationship wellness inclusive of group workouts  by leading fitness instructors spanning fitness genres such as kickboxing, yoga, pilates, aerobics and more, healthy living conversations, mental health advice, expert nutrition and wellness advice and opportunity to experience a variety of holistic healing remedies.

WHEN:  Saturday, July 6, 8AM-4PM; Sunday, July 7, 8AM-3PM

WHERE: The Lighthouse Glass Gallery, 743 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

WHO: Initial participants for the ESSENCE Wellness House include:

  • Beatrice Dixon, Founder, Honey Pot Co.
  • Boris & Nicole Kojoe, Co-Founders of KoFit
  • Christina Rice, Founder, OM Noire (Yoga Retreat company)
  • DJ C Devone, Fitness DJ, creating live workouts
  • DaShaun “The Guru of Abs” Johnson, Fitness Instructor
  • Domango Training & Motivated Muscle, Shanda Domango & Michael Brown, NOLA-based husband, and wife Fitness Instructors
  • Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald, OB-GYN
  • Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Fitness Instructor
  • Dr. Jess, Mental Health Expert
  • Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
  • Dr. Safiya Lyn Lasiter, Medical Marijuana Expert
  • Dr. Tammy Wilborn, Mental Health Expert
  • Faith Hunter,  Fitness Instructor
  • Johanna Basford,  Fitness Instructor
  • Marco Borges, Beyonce’s Nutritionist
  • Melanie Fiona, Grammy Award Winner & Wellness Advocate
  • Mashonda Firere, Author
  • Nicole Chaplin,  Fitness Instructor
  • Shanti Das, Founder, Silence The Shame (Mental Health Advocacy Non-Profit)
  • Simone Bresi-Ando, Owner, Bresi-Ando
  • Staci Jae Johnson, Relationship Expert
  • Starr Hawkins, Fitness Instructor
  • Pinky Cole aka Slutty Vegan, Founder, Slutty Vegan
  • Trap Yoga Bae®,  Fitness Instructor

    A full lineup of participants and events can be found by visiting

    Sponsors for the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival are Coca-Cola, AT&T, Disney, Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm and Walmart.


Today ESSENCE Communications, Inc. announced that the 2019 ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola will host exclusive keynote conversations with five of the leading Democratic contenders in the 2020 Presidential race, including Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Kamala Harris, Former Representative Beto O’Rourke and Senator Elizabeth Warren.  These live ‘Presidential Spotlight’ segments will take place on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, 2019, on the ESSENCE Power Stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.  Following the candidates’ remarks, a question-and answer session with each will be led by Rev. Al Sharpton, CEO of ESSENCE Michelle Ebanks and founder and chair of Essence Ventures Richelieu Dennis and will be aired on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton.

Attracting an audience of 500,000-plus attendees over July 4th weekend and a total economic impact of roughly $4 billion over 25 years, the ESSENCE Festival has created a “home” for Black communities as the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience.  Beyond its ongoing coverage of key civic participation and political news, ESSENCE utilizes its Festival platform to go even deeper in its delivery of engagement and content that informs, enlightens and provides an open forum to discuss the issues of most importance to Black women, who represent a critical voting bloc wielding increased electoral influence.

“As we look towards the 2020 Presidential election, the importance of Black women and their decisive role in the pathway to victory is undeniable,” said Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer of ESSENCE Communications.  “We are thrilled to offer an opportunity at our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival for our community to hear directly from some of the top candidates in the 2020 Presidential field as they discuss issues that matter most to our community – and how their individual visions and policies align with those issues.  As the largest annual gathering of Black women in the country, the ESSENCE Festival is a powerful platform to engage this critically influential and diverse segment of voters, who have had historically high turnout in recent years.  It is more clear today than ever that engaging with Black women in a meaningful way isn’t optional.  It is necessary.”

Each candidate will appear individually to outline his or her platform, addressing a live audience from the Power Stage at the ESSENCE Festival’s daytime experience.  Candidates will then field questions generated directly from the ESSENCE community, which includes more than 24 million Black women.   The ‘Presidential Spotlight’ segments will take place throughout the day, with each candidate appearing for 20 minutes:

Saturday, July 6:

  • Kamala Harris at 11:18am – 11:38am CT
  • Cory Booker at 1:05pm – 1:25pm CT
  • Elizabeth Warren at 2:52pm – 3:12pm CT
  • Beto O’Rourke at 4:04pm – 4:24pm CT

Sunday, July 7:

  1. Pete Buttigieg at 11:00am – 11:20am CT

Attendance is free and open to the public at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.   For more information, download the ESSENCE Festival app or visit

The ESSENCE Festival is sponsored by Coca-Cola, AT&T, Disney, Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm and Walmart.  The ESSENCE Festival is produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc.


The 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival is set to debut the ESSENCE Fashion House, a premier destination focusing on owning our style, culture, and impact.  Happening Friday, July 5th through Sunday, July 8th at Gallier Hall in New Orleans, fashionistas will experience a cutting-edge curation of runway shows, trunk shows, and pop up shops brought to you by household names and rising Black designers.

Attendees will hear from fashion industry icons Bevy Smith, Common, Dapper Dan, Ebonee Davis, Ethan Miller, Joan Smalls, June Ambrose, Karl Kani, Misa Hylton Brim, Quincy Brown, April Walker, Zerina Akers, Ade Samuels and more.

Follow the fashion fast-lane down to New Orleans as models rule the runway in exquisite pieces during a fashion week style designer showcase, shop an extensive collection of runway-worthy apparel and accessories plus get to know the creators behind the design and reinvent your very own look with new wardrobe staples for the upcoming season!

To purchase tickets and for more information visit:


Today’s most seasoned business moguls and inspiring entrepreneurs will gather at the first Annual Global Black Economic Forum, taking place Friday, July 5th and Saturday, July 6th at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in New Orleans during the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival.  The mission of the highly anticipated event will be to illuminate the road ahead towards building economic empowerment and generational wealth within the Black diaspora globally. Sponsors of the Global Black Economic Forum are DisneyFacebook, and Walmart.

“ESSENCE® is proud to announce the Global Black Economic Forum, set to empower and ignite Black entrepreneurs and business executives everywhere,” said ESSENCE Chief Executive Officer Michelle Ebanks. “With the inception of this forum, we are bringing together the best and the brightest to sit before our community and have a much-needed discussion on leveraging globalization trends and building generational wealth within our communities.”

Event highlights include panel discussions with today’s leading cultural, societal and economic voices to address the state of the Black economy; conversations with today’s most innovative globalization and technology leaders; networking among corporate executives, business moguls, venture capitalists and more. Global Economic Forum speakers scheduled to attend include: Founder and President of the National Action Network Reverend Al Sharpton, Mayor of Gary, Indiana Karen Freeman Wilson, President and Founder of The Raben Group Robert Raben, Chief Executive of CHASE consumer banking Thasunda Duckett, Co-Founder of Andreessen Horowitz Ben Horowitz, Founder of LISNR Rodney Williams, Director and Producer Sidra Smith, President of the National Urban League Marc. H Morial, Managing Director of Double Impact at Bain Capital Greg Shell, Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson and more. Topics will span from roundtables with CEO’s, global leadership throughout the diaspora, leveraging our culture for economic advantage, criminal justice reform, political policies to drive economic change and more.

This event is one you don’t want to miss! To purchase tickets or for more information, visit