ESSENCE Celebrates 20 Years of Empowerment
Michael Rowe

Since 1994, The ESSENCE Festival has offered attendees only the best in music, food, beauty and health. So to commemorate the 20th anniversary, ESSENCE Festival will continue in that tradition and give patrons three days of free empowerment tips with the first ever Empower U Workshop series.

The new intiative will include advice and guidance in all areas of life including love and relationships, healthy living, money and power, beauty and style and more. The Empowerment Experience stage will feature today’s most inspirational and influential leaders from all walks of life. Former ESSENCE Festival performer Alicia Keys will discuss HIV/AIDS as it relates to black women. Other speakers set to hit the stage include The Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, T.D. Jakes and Yolanda Adams. This year will also mark the 50th Anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and to honor the heroic activists,  ESSENCE Festival will have special tribute moments throughout the weekend of historical Civil Rights leaders. Our managing editor Dawnie Walton dishes on Empower U’s cool offerings here.

This year’s ESSENCE Festival will also include a special focus on the power of technology . Attendees will be able to participate in the #YesWeCode Tech Village, which will be an interactive platform about the importance of technology and learning how to read and write code. There will also be a #YesWeCode Hack-A-Thon led by ESSENCE Festival Headliner Prince and the Rebuild A Dream Innovation Fund. The initiative will allow young people to create computer programming solutions for New Orleans.

ESSENCE Festival has always been the place to be, with great music and the infectious spirit of New Orleans, patrons return year after year for wonderful moments, and 20th anniversary year is shaping up to be one of our best festivals yet! Make sure you join us.