Last weekend, the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture kicked off its history-making experience and Ford, the event’s long-time sponsor, celebrated with a virtual dinner. For its 12th year as an official sponsor, Ford’s theme was UPLIFTED: Healing Now. Empowered Future, which allowed Ford to detail how it supports and celebrates Black women.

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During the first weekend of the festival, Ford sponsored panels that included talks about breast cancer awareness, which brought together various doctors and breast cancer survivors to discuss wellness during our current coronavirus pandemic. Ford also spotlighted rising Black women entrepreneurs on the Ford Power Suits panel discussion which was moderated by Emmy award-winning journalist and television host Shaun Robinson.

On Thursday, Taraji P. Henson joined the festival for a Ford sponsored panel that discussion focused on mental health and practices that can help Black women achieve it. To wrap up Ford’s festival participation, on Saturday, during The Current State of Black Women Entrepreneurs: Still I Rise panel, Ford will speak with Black women entrepreneurs to discuss how they are managing during these unprecedented and challenging times.

In addition to Ford’s festival participation,  the company has pledged to donate $700,000 to support Black women in 6 cities hit hardest by COVID-19 – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and New Orleans – through National Urban League (NUL) and 5 organizations that support Black women by creating safe spaces of affirmation and self-care through entrepreneurship, empowerment, mental health and wellness.

Sign up, RSVP to stay in the loop, and see it all streaming July 2nd-5th on ESSENCE STUDIOS!