To expand the conversation we started in the groundbreaking Black Lives Matter issue for February 2015, the directors of ESSENCE Fest have asked the nation’s most important leaders to come together to discuss how to move forward in creating tangible change in society’s race relations.  

In a recent press release, ESSENCE Magazine President Michelle Ebanks said, “Communities across the country are rallying for justice, as Black Americans face systemic inequalities and troubling disparities with respect to police brutality, employment, education, earning power, health and upward socio-economic mobility.”

She continued, “In an effort to shed light on the issues, address the pain, explore solutions and advance the movement in these critical times, ESSENCE is unveiling a series of powerful keynotes and in-depth conversations that will culminate in the ‘Peace, Prayer & Purpose Rally’.”

Guests will include ESSENCE Fest Empowerment Experience speakers Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Donna Brazile, Sybrina Fulton, Dr. Steve Perry and Mayors Mitch Landrieu, Karen Freeman-Wilson, as well as many more notable leaders.

For more updates and more information on the full ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, stay tuned to or follow us on Twitter, @ESSENCEFest or like our Facebook page, ESSENCE Fest.