2013 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage July 4-7 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Style Magazine Newswire | 5/13/2013, 11:40 a.m. | Updated on 5/13/2013, 11:40 a.m.
The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, the core of the annual Essence Festival™, will feature icons, newsmakers, national leaders, activists, artists, ...

The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, the core of the annual Essence Festival™, will feature icons, newsmakers, national leaders, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, journalists, educators, and experts to showcase the many dimensions of the African-American community including a central focus on information to improve women’s day-to-day lives.

This year’s 2013 Essence Empowerment Experience Stage highlights will include the return of Steve Harvey, who will host a live edition of his top-rated game show “Family Feud”; keynote conversations from Rev. Al Sharpton, Iyanla Vanzant, Marc Morial and Lisa Nichols; an historic commemoration of the 50th anniversary of 1963—the turning point in the Civil Rights Movement—with Rep. John Louis, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton and others; and a standing-room only All-Star Gospel Tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin with Yolanda Adams and Bishop Noel Jones. The Empowerment Experience Stage is held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in the Great Hall from Thursday, July 4th through Sunday, July 7th from 11 AM to 5:00 PM. Doors will open at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 4.

Dr. Steve Perry, Niecy Nash, Issa Rae, Roland Martin, Tonya Lewis Lee, DeVon Franklin, Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Valerie Montgomery, Dr. Michael Lomax and Monique Greenwood are among the panelists who will discuss jobs and the economy, education, gun violence in our cities, the mortgage crisis, immigration, relationships, and images on reality television.

“Over the past four decades African-American women have made remarkable gains, enjoying high rates of socio-economic mobility and educational attainment. They are self-confident, optimistic, and joyful,” says ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage programming strengthens our community bonds, and provides information that is critical to this continued success.”


The Essence Empowerment Experience Stage will introduce its first-ever, free and open-to-the-public, “Family Reunion Day.” Hosted by Master P. and his children, Romeo and Cymphonique, the day will center around a renewed focus on family. Celebrities and acclaimed, nationally recognized speakers such as Roland Martin, Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Denese Shervington, Tonya Lewis Lee and Traci and Trina Braxton will participate.


Hosted by “Steve Harvey Morning Show” personality and author Shirley Strawberry, festivalgoers will be able to attend seminars on healthy living in both mind and spirit. The morning will start with families competing on Steve Harvey’s always amusing “Family Feud.” In the afternoon, attendees will have the chance to hear firsthand from Kenya Moore, Shaunie O’ Neal, Andrea Kelly, Chanté Moore and Monifah in “The Real Truth Behind Reality TV.” We will also get tips on how to be sexy at any age with our panel that includes Nicole Murphy, Victoria Rowell, Dr. Rachael Ross and Mayte Garcia. Attendees will also gain vital strategies on how to “Own Your Power” featuring Transformation Specialist Lisa Nichols. ESSENCE Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor will lead a timely discussion on “Putting Ourselves First,” and breakout “Young & The Restless” star Redaric Williams will be one of the men who will talk “Sex & Love: On His Mind.”