Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for NAACPEssence is getting political during its 25th anniversary Essence Fest.
Essence Communications announced on Monday that Essence Fest will host keynotes conversations with five of the Democratic contenders in the 2020 Presidential race, including Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Kamala Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The live segments, called Presidential Spotlight, will take place on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 on the Essence Power Stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. During their 20 minute chats, each candidate will have an opportunity to outline his or her platform and address a live audience from the Power Stage during the festival’s daytime experience.
The addresses will be followed by a Q&A by Rev. Al Sharpton, Essence CEO Michelle Ebanks and Essence Ventures rounder Richelieu Dennis. It will air as part of Sharpton’s MSNBC’s PoliticsNation show.
“As we look towards the 2020 Presidential election, the importance of Black women and their decisive role in the pathway to victory is undeniable,” says Ebanks in a statement. “We are thrilled to offer an opportunity at our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival for our community to hear directly from some of the top candidates in the 2020 Presidential field as they discuss issues that matter most to our community — and how their individual visions and policies align with those issues.”
She continues, “As the largest annual gathering of Black women in the country, the ESSENCE Festival is a powerful platform to engage this critically influential and diverse segment of voters, who have had historically high turnout in recent years. It is more clear today than ever that engaging with Black women in a meaningful way isn’t optional. It is necessary.”
The presidential lineup at Essence Fest is as follows:
Saturday, July 6
Kamala Harris at 11:18am – 11:38am CT
Cory Booker at 1:05pm – 1:25pm CT
Elizabeth Warren at 2:52pm – 3:12pm CT
Beto O’Rourke at 4:04pm – 4:24pm CT
Sunday, July 7:
Pete Buttigieg at 11:00am – 11:20am CT
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