On Monday, June 10th, 2019, ESSENCE and AT&T kicked-off the countdown to the 25th Anniversary of the ESSENCE Festival with a celebration that honored the power of human connectivity and chronicling the remarkable achievements within the Black experience. The evening featured an awards presentation honoring distinguished individuals as well as a special screening of the film, “The 25th Anniversary of the ESSENCE Festival” that was executive produced by Tanya Lombard, the head of Multicultural Engagement and Strategic Alliances for AT&T.
The event took place at the New York Historical Society and was highlighted by remarks from Michelle Ebanks; ESSENCE Communications CEO; Richelieu Dennis, ESSENCE Ventures Chairman; Claudia Jones, SVP Public Affairs & Federal Media Relations, AT&T; Marc Morial, National Urban League President & CEO; Rev. Al Sharpton, Harlem-based National Action Network Founder & President; Harlem’s Susan L. Taylor, Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement; Editor-in-Chief Emerita of ESSENCE Magazine; and Edward Lewis, Co-founder, ESSENCE Magazine. The event was hosted Mara Schiavocampo, 4X Emmy Award-winning Journalist.
Honorees included Carmen de Lavallade, Kennedy Center Award-winning dancer, choreographer, and actor, Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day, World-renowned Designer, Linda Spradley-Dunn, CEO & Founder, Odyssey Media, Fawn Weaver, Author, Historian and Co-founder of The Nearest Green Foundation. Music was provided by DJ D-Nice and Clark Kent.
Photo credit: 1) Cicely Tyson and Carmen de Lavallade 2019 Essence 25th and Humanity of Connection Awards Dinner. 2) Linda Spradley-Dunn, Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day, guest and Carmen de Lavallade at 2019 Essence 25th and Humanity of Connection Awards Dinner. 3) Rev. Al Sharpton, Guest, Richelieu Dennis, guest, and Marc Morial at 2019 Essence 25th and Humanity of Connection Awards Dinner. by Tony Powell.