Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Essence Empowerment Experience Welcomes Stellar Line-Up of African-American Women

The Nation’s Largest Gathering of African-American Women Welcomes Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Patina Miller, Iyanla Vanzant & More to the Empowerment Experience Stage at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) ESSENCE Festival New Orleans announces its star-studded daytime lineup for the signature event’s ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, taking place Fourth of July Weekend, July 1–3, 2016, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

Free and open to the public, the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage will feature conversations and keynote addresses with influencers such as Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Cookie Johnson, Iyanla Vanzant, Terry McMillan, Phaedra Parks and Rev. Al Sharpton, plus performances from Tony© Award winner Patina Miller, Travis Greene, Tasha Paige Lockhart, Kierra Sheard and Yolanda Adams, who will lead an All-Star Gospel Tribute to the Clark Sisters sponsored by Walmart. Additional speakers and talent to be announced soon.

“The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage remains the heartbeat of Festival weekend with its diverse and impactful programming aimed at enlightening and inspiring our community,” said ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “The current social climate has brought to light highly important issues, and we plan to continue these conversations at this year’s ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. Not only will our programming emphasize topics such as love and relationships, personal finance and entrepreneurship, but we will also take a deeper look into our community’s most pressing political concerns to prepare ourselves for the upcoming presidential election.”

In addition to conversations on the 2016 election, the Empowerment Experience Stage provides a national strategy session for the day-to-day lives of ESSENCE’s community of 14 million women. Talent will address a wide range of topics, including: Creating Your Dream Business, Leading with Purpose, Protecting Our Daughters & Sons, and Building Your Own Brand.

Last year’s successful “Hour of Power” will return to the ESSENCE Empowerment Stage on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, when emerging and established talent will perform roof-raising inspirational music.

The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage offers curated content from ESSENCE's editorial team, extending conversations that have moved from the page and screen to the stage. The daytime experience culminates on Sunday with an all-star, soul-stirring gospel tribute to the chart-topping group the Clark Sisters. For a full lineup of this year’s daytime speakers and artists, visit

For more information, visit ESSENCE Festival Join the festival community on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2016 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook. Media applications for the 2016 ESSENCE Festival New Orleans are now live. Please visit here for more information and to submit your application to cover both Daytime and Nighttime events.

The 2016 ESSENCE FESTIVAL is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and is produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2016 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience.

Sponsors of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola, major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm, Walmart and official Beauty & Style Sponsor ESSENCE Beauty Box.

About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, Essence magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, generating brand extensions, such as the Essence Festival, Essence Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, Essence, which has a brand reach of 14.2 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and Essence is available at

About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.


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