At the 20th annual Essence Festival in New Orleans, held during 4th of July weekend, black community, style, and entertainment were celebrated.
Major events like the screening of Anthony Anderson’s new ABC series Black-ish, the McDonald’s 365Black Awards and of course, a mind-blowing performance by Prince, took place throughout the entire weekend. Most notably, companies like Ford, Proctor & Gamble, and Verizon came to Essence Fest to give back through a series of pretty popping events.
Proctor & Gamble took their community-building program, My Black Is Beautiful, to Essence Fest for the seventh year as a title sponsor. My Black is Beautiful inspired attendees to put their “Beauty into Action” during the holiday weekend through a series of hands-on activities to connect attendees to their favorite Proctor & Gamble household items.
During an intimate dinner, held at the Gem Saloon and featuring uplifting words from motivational speaker Lisa Nichols, WE TV stars The Braxtons dished the details about their new partnership with Gain detergent.
Activities included makeovers, “beauty in action” programming, celebrity meet and greets and expert panels. Over the past seven years, Proctor & Gamble’s MBIB movement has motivated more than 1.8 million women of color to help change the conversation surrounding Black beauty by addressing the societal and cultural stigmas associated with it and self-image.
Later in the week, Verizon Wireless raised awareness for domestic violence during a dinner held at New Orleans’ famous Dooky Chase restaurant. The private dinner, hosted by Lance Gross and Regina Hall, touched on the company’s mission to decrease domestic violence in communities nationally. You can find out more about how the Essence Fest and Verizon Wireless partnership is helping to decrease domestic violence by visiting the hashtag #VZWEssenceFest.
And Ford Motor Company used their platform to present a $1 million dollar donation to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture during a dinner that featured singer Sevyn Streeter. The donation is an extension of Ford’s support of African-Americans and a 40-year relationship with the Smithsonian Institution.
The company has donated more than $11.5 million to support exhibits and programs that provide educational opportunities for families. The museum, which opens in 2016, will be the only national site devoted exclusively to documenting African-American life, art, history and culture. Ford’s donation will support the museum’s capital campaign and fund key programs.
PHOTO CREDIT: Essence Media Center/Chris Mitchell