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Community Advocacy Organization

DAY THREE OF THE 2023 ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE

ON JULY 1ST, THE 2023 ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE™ PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA® WELCOMED SHERYL LEE RALPH, RICK ROSS, DEON COLE, TYLER LEPLEY, LANCE GROSS, ERICA CAMPBELL, AND DISNEY’S HAUNTED MANSION’S TIFFANY HADDISH, LAKEITH STANFIELD, ROSARIO DAWSON AND MORE BROUGHT BLACK HOLLYWOOD TO THE DAYTIME EXPERIENCES AT THE ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER.

MISSY ELLIOTT, JILL SCOTT, JERMAINE DUPRI, LUDACRIS, ICE CUBE, ICE-T, MONICA, COCO JONES, AND MORE ROCK THE SUPERDOME

[Left: Tiffany Haddish, LaKeith Stanfield, Justin Simien, Rosario Dawson, and Angelique Roche; Right: Rick Ross]

[Left: T.I. "Tip" Harris, Jermaine Dupri; Right: Ice Cube]


New Orleans, Louisiana — July 1, 2023 — Day three of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® continued to serve attendees with unforgettable experiences from the daytime ESSENCE Stage™ with actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, Taraji P Henson, and more, as well as the ESSENCE In His Zone™: Men’s Experience with speakers such as Rick Ross and Deon Cole. The nighttime performances gave us an incredible show with the headliner (and birthday girl!) Missy Elliott alongside Jill Scott, Ice Cube with DJ Quik, E-40, Ice T, JJ Fad, Lady of Rage, Yo-Yo, Monica, Coco Jones, Jermaine Dupri with Big Boi, Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, Ludacris, T.I. and more.

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was filled with an indescribable joy that festival-goers could experience as day three continued with a full spectrum of unmatched daytime experiences. Highlights include:

  • A full day of panels at the ESSENCE Stage™, including:

    • ESSENCE Magazine co-founder Ed Lewis and OWN’s Director of Programming Kai Bowe joined Essence Ventures CEO & President Caroline Wanga and Essence Ventures Chief Content Officer God-is Rivera to discuss the five-part documentary series, Time Of Essence, which celebrates the evolution of the trailblazing publication that is ESSENCE Magazine.

    • The Hulu Black Stories Always: Leading Ladies panel with Chandra Wilson, Aunjanue Ellis, Yolanda Ross, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Saycon Sengbloh, and Lexi Underwood, who spoke about their empowering roles and the importance of representation on television.

    • Guests also saw JxHines and TA Thomas, with special guest Anthony Hamilton speaking about New & Next about the latest and hottest new artists.


  • ESSENCE In His Zone™: Men’s Experience hosted two of the biggest bosses we’ve seen thus far with a one-on-one conversation between Hip-Hop mogul Rick Ross and President and CEO of ESSENCE Ventures, Caroline Wanga. Additionally, Deon Cole hosted an intimate discussion titled Laugh to Keep from Crying about how comedy, mental health, and healing are connected.

  • ESSENCE Girls United Creators House™ continued to welcome attendees with panels such as The Forever Blueprint of Hip-Hop with Duckie Confetti and Tiz Balemly, who acknowledged the legendary figures and their work that has allowed today’s Hip-Hop artists to thrive and infiltrate the culture.

  • ESSENCE Studios Film Festival™ struck gold today with various star-studded discussions, including:

    • Angelique Roche spoke with Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, Justin Simien, and Keith Stanfield to spotlight The Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming film Haunted Mansion with special footage and an in-depth discussion.

    • The stars of the hit Showtimes drama series The Chi teased the new season with moderator Lynae Vanee and actors Jacob Latimore, Yolonda Ross, Birgundi Baker, Luke James, and Curtiss Cook.

    • Abbott Elementary’s top educators gathered to talk about the impact of the powerhouse ABC comedy with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter, Janelle James, Masonia Taylor, Ciarra Covi, and Zeberiah Newman.

JULY 01: (L-R) Jacob Latimore, Luke James, Birgundi Baker, R. K. Russell, Saycon Sengbloh and Charity Lawson speak onstage at the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 01, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring


During the nighttime performances, Missy Elliott, the first female in Hip-Hop to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, showed attendees how to ‘work it’ as she took the spotlight on the Superdome stage while the injection of Philly Soul pierced through when the one and only Jill Scott rocked the mic. West Coast All-Stars Ice Cube, DJ Quik, Ice T, Yo-Yo, Lady of Rage, J.J. Fad, and E-40 reminded attendees that California knows how to party. Jermaine Dupri specially curated a “The South Got Something to Say'' set with ATL performers, including Ludacris, T.I., Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, and Big Boi. In addition, R&B staples from Monica and Coco Jones left everything on that stage as Affion Crockett and Spice Adams hosted the evening, with DJ Kid Capri providing sounds throughout the night.

JULY 01: Miss T performs onstage during day 2 of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Caesars Superdome on July 01, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin


ESSENCE Girls United’s exclusive after-party, ESSENCE GU Kickback, wrapped up the evening at The Sugar Mill. Attendees enjoyed a lit lineup with performances by DJ Kitty Cash and DJ Odalys and hosted by Aliyahs Interlude.

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