A Bigger Party and a Deeper Purpose!
ESSENCE is asking Festivalgoers to come, listen, learn and choose their method of support from reliable national organizations, including the Children's Defense Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, Operation Hope and M.A.D. D.A.D.S. An enormous push toward mentoring is at the heart of the initiative and the goal is to enlist millions of stable and caring African Americans to take up the charge.
The ESSENCE Cares! initiative has a phenomenal lineup of speakers and performers including: Yolanda Adams, John Hope Bryant, Common, Angela Davis, Michael Eric Dyson, Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Danny Glover, Bruce Gordon, Congressman Alexander Green, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Mathew Knowles, Queen Latifah, Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters, Donnie McClurkin, Mo'Nique, Marc Morial, Shemar Moore, Nas, Kevin Powell, Jill Scott, Reverend Al Sharpton, Iyanla Vanzant, Reverend Dr. Renita Weems, Terrie Williams and many others (complete schedule attached).
The Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival, known as "the party with a purpose," is the nation's largest annual African-American event and the largest gathering of musical talent in the world. The Festival has become a destination of choice for families and friends as they schedule their reunions. This multigenerational Festival offers free inspirational and interactive Empowerment Seminars during the day and exciting performances at night, where Festivalgoers can dance and sing along with the biggest names in entertainment-R&B, classic soul, hip-hop, neo-soul and jazz-all on three stages within Reliant Stadium.
The night-by-night main stage schedule of performances is: SATURDAY, JULY 1 SUNDAY, JULY 2 MONDAY, JULY 3 Mary J. Blige Diddy and Friends Maze featuring Frankie Beverly Earth, Wind & Fire New Edition Toni Braxton Mo'Nique Bobby Brown Cedric the Entertainer LL Cool J Steve Harvey Charlie Wilson Yolanda Adams Jaheim Keyshia Cole Chris Brown Main Stage Host, Jonathan Slocumb Lounges Lounges Lounges Goapele Kindred The Family Soul Musiq Doug E. Fresh and Brand New Heavies Loose Ends Slick Rick Myra Washington Rebirth Brass Band C.O.C.O Brown & DJ Raj Smoove Michael Ward The Phat Cat Players Captain Charles
The Essence Marketplace will showcase artists from throughout the country who offer an array of quality arts and crafts that reflect Black culture. The marketplace will also include sponsor activities, celebrity meet-and-greets, Festival souvenirs and a book fair with author book signings.
The Festival, set for July 1, 2 and 3, will take place in its new interim home-state-of-the-art Reliant Park in Houston, Texas-a city with a dynamic melting pot of cultures and a venue for world-class shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com, (800) 488-5252 or (713) 629-3700 in Houston. Tickets are $45, $56, $67, $72, $83, and $110. All tickets are subject to additional service charges. For hotel accommodations, call (888) 508-5731. For more Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival and ESSENCE Cares! Information, see the July 2006 issue of ESSENCE or log on to essence.com.
The Coca-Cola Company is the Festival's presenting sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. The Coca-Cola Presents the 2006 Essence Music Festival's major sponsors are Budweiser, Kraft Foods, Chevrolet, McDonald's and Verizon Communications. In addition, Level Vodka, Southwest Airlines, U.S. Army and Wells Fargo will serve as official sponsors for the Festival. Additional sponsors will be announced at a later date.
The Coca-Cola Presents the 2006 Essence Music Festival is produced by Essence Festivals LLC in association with Festival Productions of New Orleans. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI). ECI is also the publisher of ESSENCE magazine. ESSENCE, after 36 years, continues to be the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women.
Coca-Cola Presents the 2006 Essence Music Festival Empowerment Seminar Schedule* ESSENCE Cares! A Call to Action to Secure our Youth Initiative Hosted By Susan L. Taylor Saturday, July 1 "Peace is Power," hosted by Kevin Powell, author and community activist
Opening remarks by ESSENCE's co-founder Edward Lewis and Congressman Alexander Green
Ritual to Honor our Ancestor and Our Children by Iyanla Vanzant A conversation with Nas and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
Spoken Word Presentation by Janean Livingston, 2005 Indy Poetr y Slam Champion
Ending the Over incarceration of African-American Youth, by activist and professor Angela Davis
Community Call: What You can Do Right Now, with Kia Barrow, of Critical Resistance
Music and the Word From the Heart with Gospel sensation Yolanda Adams Comments from Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee
Ending Violence in Our Communities, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, and former gang members. Moderated by Terrie Williams
Helping and Healing Our Youth, keynote address by Bishop T.D. Jakes
Sunday, July 2
"Reawakening The Spirit," hosted by minister and author Reverend Marcia L. Dyson
Opening Remarks by ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks
Sunday Service with Donnie McClurkin, Reverend Dr. Renita Weems and the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Choir
Picking Up the Pieces After the Storms: Healing and Restoring Lives with Marc Morial president and CEO of the National Urban League
Breakdown to Breakthroughs, with author Terrie Williams
20 Things We Should Start and Stop Doing in Our Relationships, presented by Mo'Nique
Iyanla Vanzant will deliver an inspirational message regarding love and relationships
The Children of Katrina: Securing Their Future with founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund Marian Wright Edelman
Our Community, Our Responsibility featuring John Hope Bryant chairman and CEO of Operation Hope
Saving our Sons and Daughters, a keynote address by actor Jamie Foxx
I Am My Brother's Keeper, A Community Call: A Pledge to Mentor Young Black by chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men, Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., and a host Black male leaders
Monday, July 3 "Standing On Strong Ground," hosted by Reverend Andriette Earl Opening Remarks by ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray
Wealth and Winning Strategies with Mathew Knowles, NBA player Etan Thomas and others
Building Wealth with Earvin "Magic" Johnson
From Broke to Blessed: 7 Steps to Financial Freedom presented by economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux
Stand Up and Be Counted: Our Votes Matter! featuring Bruce Gordon president & CEO of NAACP
Keynote address by Michael Eric Dyson Coming of Age in the Times of AIDS with Hydeia Broadbent
ESSENCE magazine's Take Back the Music campaign, which examines the ways in which Black women are depicted in popular music and videos, continues its mission during the festival, featuring Jill Scott
Who You Calling a Ho? Sisters Take Back Our Sex with panelists including author Toni Blackman, Common, actor Shemar Moore and former video vixen and author Karrine Steffans
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will deliver a keynote address
In addition, throughout the Empowerment Seminar there will be remarks by Reverend Suzan Johnson Cook, Danny Glover, Terrance Howard, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Joseph T. Jones, Jr., Queen Latifah, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Reverend Al Sharpton and others.