Vanzant, DuVernay, Sharpton among fest's daytime speakers

March 16, 2017 - 11:43 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Many people who attend the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans do so without ever setting foot in the Superdome, where nightly, ticketed concerts are held.

Instead, they attend the free daytime programs held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Festival organizers announced Thursday that life coach Iyanla Vanzant, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the Rev. Al Sharpton, author and radio host Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, director Ava DuVernay and National Women's March Co-Founder Tamika D. Mallory are among the speakers scheduled for the day experience at the festival, which runs June 30-July 2.

Essence magazine Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca says this year's empowerment experience will "bridge the gap between this generation's most prominent voices in leadership" and challenge the audience to be more engaged in their community.

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