Photo Caption: 2017 ESSENCE Festival Day of Service | Image Credit: ESSENCE Festival
The 2018 ESSENCE Festival kicked off with a Day of Service on Thursday morning, July 5, to provide festival goers with a day-long list of activities focused on giving back to the New Orleans community.
As a part of the Day, ESSENCE Festival adopted Central City, a neighborhood in New Orleans’ Uptown. The day began with a community pep rally followed by volunteer opportunities to mentor, restore and rebuild the New Orleans’ community in appreciation for all New Orleans has done to serve as host of the festival over the years.
Following an Excellence Awards Day Of Service to honor volunteers, festival goers had the chance to attend empowerment seminars aimed at instilling leadership qualities and skills in girls and women. Boss Up! – Building Girl Bosses Day of Service, an interactive workshop in affiliation with Black Girls With Purpose, equipped participants with the skills to pay the bills with emphasis on tech, time management, goal setting and entrepreneurship. Boss Up! Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Day of Service allowed volunteers opportunities to partner in projects around the city that rehabilitate, beautify and inspire.
Additional opportunities to give back to the New Orleans community include a Paint & Power Through! Day of Service followed by Restorative Art on O.C. Haley Blvd. a cultural district made famous in New Orleans in the years leading up to the Civil Rights movement. According to New Orleans’ Visitor’s Guide, Black musicians who had been barred from performing in other venues in the city set up shop along the Central City thorough fare.
The inaugural ESSENCE Festival Day of Service took place in 2015 with #BringtheLove campaign that drew 1,000 volunteers to the streets of New Orleans to help beautify a local school with gardening and cleaning projects, donate new or gently used young adult fiction books and take part in free health screenings.
ESSENCE Festival continues the spirit of community service as it places its outreach activities front and center on the opening day of the annual 4-day entertainment and empowerment festival.
For more information on ESSENCE Festival Day of Service, click here.