PLUS A ROUSING GOSPEL TRIBUTE TO SUPERSTARS CECE WINANS AND MARVIN SAPP
ESSENCE is excited to announce the new 2011 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience taking place July 1-3 in New Orleans at the 17th annual ESSENCE Music Festival. As the largest annual African-American event in the world, the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience promises to deliver compelling conversations featuring artists, experts and speakers all under one roof at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This three-day extravaganza is being billed as “A Weekend of Transformation.”
Kicking off on Friday (July 1st), the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, sponsored by My Black is Beautiful, will offer a themed day of “Transforming Your Life” with appearances by Steve Harvey and Iyanla Vanzant, as well as an opportunity for attendees to meet the producers and audition for a chance to appear on “Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey. In addition, author Terry McMillan will present an exclusive “book club” experience with up-and-coming authors. On Saturday (July 2nd), ESSENCE will be “Transforming Your Community” through conversations with Rev. Al Sharpton, Soledad O’Brien and Terry McMillan, as well as a panel discussion entitled, “America I Am” featuring: Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, Iyanla Vanzant,Tom Burrell and Jeff Henderson. In addition, a panel discussing the portrayal of women in the media will feature the leading women of reality television including: NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, Shaunie O’Neal, Evelyn Lozada and Tami Roman.Rounding up the weekend on Sunday (July 3rd), ESSENCE and Verizon will present a day of praise and worship during an”All-Star Gospel Salute to CeCe Winans and Marvin Sapp” featuring Bishop Lester Love, Kierra Sheard, Deitrick Haddonand Dr. Juanita Bynum.
“The Empowerment Experience is what truly separates ESSENCE from other music festivals,” says Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications Inc. “Our audience has the rare opportunity to have their voices heard ““ by engaging with some of our most influential thinkers and leaders, who are shaping conversations around the issues that matter most to our community.”
In addition to the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, the Festival’s daytime offerings include the ESSENCE MARKETPLACE, a showcase of quality fine arts & crafts by African-American vendors from all over the world. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will also feature interactive sponsor presentations, celebrity meet-and-greets, festival merchandise and a book fair with author book signings.