Graduation season is upon us and that means there are tons of inspirational commencement speeches to come. One of which we’re looking to hearing is from ESSENCE’s very own, Caroline Wanga.
The Essence Ventures president and CEO will keynote Dillard University’s 2023 commencement according to an announcement from the school’s President, Rochelle Ford.
“Wanga is an excellent voice for students to hear from as they graduate, as the next generation of leaders,” Ford shared in a news release. “While being a young mother, she graduated and then worked her way up from several entry-level positions to become one of the most influential, powerful thought leaders. With nearly 70% of our student population being Black women, I’m confident that she will share encouraging words that will inspire both men and women to be great contributors to society,” said Dillard University President Rochelle L. Ford. “Additionally, the Essence Festival of Culture™ has made an indelible impact on New Orleans, economically and culturally. Her leadership has deepened this relationship between Essence and New Orleans.”
As the president of Essence Ventures, she oversees several brands under the company’s umbrella including ESSENCE Communications Inc, Afropunk, BeautyCon, and Essence Studios, a production studio and original content hub focused on authentic Black story-telling, story-making, story-sharing and story-doing.
Wanga joined ESSENCE as its chief growth officer in 2020 after sitting as Target’s chief culture, diversity, and inclusion officer for more than 15 years.
Wanga also has an honorary doctorate degree from her alma mater Texas College, and her second will be with the honorary degree from Dillard University according to a news release. She has also been recognized as the Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise and honored by Savoy as one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America.