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Community Advocacy Organization

DAY TWO OF THE 2023 ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE

ON JUNE 30TH, VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS, SECRETARY OF TREASURY JANET YELLEN, OPRAH WINFREY, TARAJI P. HENSON, AND MORE IGNITED THE 2023 ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE™ PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA®


ICONIC FEMCEE MS. LAURYN HILL HIT THE STAGE ALONGSIDE HIP-HOP PIONEERS IN A SET CURATED BY DOUG E. FRESH, INCLUDING BIG DADDY KANE, EPMD, KRS-ONE, AND SLICK RICK WITH SPECIAL PERFORMANCES FROM JUVENILE AND JANELLE MONAÉ

[Top left: Tyler James Williams; Middle: Sheryl Lee Ralph; Top right: Malcolm Mays and Maino; Bottom left: Blitz Bazawule, Fantasia Barrino, and Taraji P. Henson; Bottom right: Caroline Wanga, Oprah Winfrey]


New Orleans, Louisiana — June 30, 2023 — Day two of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® served attendees with unforgettable experiences from the debut of AFROPUNK BLKTOPIA™ and Beautycon: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ Edition, to various impactful conversations on the Global Black Economic Forum™ Headquarters Stage. For the first time in the nearly three-decade relationship between the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® and the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the event took over the entire Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Day two of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® wrapped with incredible nighttime performances by headliner Ms. Lauryn Hill alongside Doug E. Fresh, Juvenile, Janelle Monae, and more!

[Top left: Ms.Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean; Top right: Janelle Monaé; Bottom left, Slick Rick, Fantasia Barrino, and Taraji P. Henson; Bottom right: Big Daddy Kane]

The entire ecosystem of the ESSENCE Ventures portfolio of brands came together to create an unforgettable Daytime Experience:

  • Vice President Kamala Harris joined the Global Black Economic Forum™ Headquarters Stage and provided attendees with insight into the fight for reproductive freedom with lawyer, journalist, author, and television host Sunny Hostin and executive director of Sister Song Monica Simpson. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen also joined the GBEF HQ Stage to discuss how the Biden-Harris administration is working to advance economic opportunity for Black people, businesses, and communities. The Stage was hot today with another panel titled Early Childhood Education anchored by a conversation with award-winning actor Tyler James Williams from Abbott Elementary.

  • Oprah Winfrey joined Essence Ventures President and CEO Caroline Wanga for a Chief to-Chief conversation. This was followed by the Page to the Stage and Beyond a discussion of the nearly 40-year legacy and impact of The Color Purple featuring Blitz Bazawule, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Fantasia Barrino.

  • From the ESSENCE In His Zone™: Men’s Experience hosted conversations in celebration of Hip-Hop 50 with moderator Lowkey and guests Maino, and Cortez “Tez” Bryant.

  • Beautycon: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ Edition is crafted with the community in mind-shattering definitions, challenging perceptions, and creating space that champions Black beauty. Today, attendees experienced a segment called Celebrating The Hairs and Hues of Hollywood from those who create the images and stories across our screens who have profound responsibility in genuinely depicting the depth of the human experience, specifically the Black experience, including Coco Jones, Keisha Senter, and SheaMoisture’s President of Beauty & Wellbeing Cara Robinson Sabin.

  • ESSENCE Studios Film Festival™ hosted panels including Leaders of The New School with Dominique Fishback, Jacob Latimore, Jabari Banks, as they shared their journeys and experiences as the new age of Black Hollywood.

  • ESSENCE Stage™ was graced with fitness instructor Alex Toussaint and wellness coach Tai Beauchamp for a discussion on The Movement & Mindset Connection to discuss the connection and importance between the two.

JUNE 30: Janelle Monáe performs onstage during day 1 of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Caesars Superdome on June 30, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Marcus Ingram)

Ms. Lauryn Hill took music devotees back in time with an extraordinary performance to celebrate the iconic 5x Grammy-winning “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album’s 25th anniversary with surprise guest, Wyclef Jean. Additionally, concert-goers enjoyed a curated performance by Hip-Hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh which included Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, KRS-One, and Slick Rick, and special performances by Juvenile and Janelle Monaé. Tobe Nwigwe, Jagged Edge, and Ari Lennox also took the stage as Deon Cole hosted the evening, and DJ Clark Kent kept the party going all night long.

JUNE 30: (L-R) Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean perform onstage during day 1 of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Caesars Superdome on June 30, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin)

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