2012 Essence Empowerment seminars



Steve Harvey speaks at the Essence Empowerment series.
  • Steve Harvey speaks at the Essence Empowerment series.

The Essence Music Festival brings musical headliners to the Superdome and another component of the “Party with a Purpose” features an array of speakers at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The 2012 lineup includes politicians, pundits, activists, entertainers, motivational speakers and others, plus a few musical performances. Admission is free. The full schedule is here. Some of the featured speakers are listed after the jump.


Steve Harvey, 11:30 a.m.
Comedian Steve Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated radio program The Steve Harvey Morning Show (WQUE 93.3 FM). His career in comedy includes The Steve Harvey Show, more than 20 years of stand-up comedy, and he was featured alongside Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac in Spike Lee’s The Original Kings of Comedy.

Families in the name of Love — Reality TV panel,12:50 p.m.
Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child will moderate a panel of reality TV stars. Panelists include Trina & Tamar Braxton, stars of WE TV’s Braxton Family Values, Erica & Tina Campbell, stars of WE TV’s Mary Mary, and Cynthia Bailey, star of Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Roland Martin, 4:05 p.m.
A regular CNN contributor and author of Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America, Roland Martin will appear on a panel titled "Rooted in the Love of Fatherhood," moderated by CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien.


Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 11:30 a.m.
Rep. Maxine Waters is serving her 11th term in Congress, currently representing California’s 35th distric. She has been an outspoken activists for minorities. She will give a keynote speech on the 2012 election.

Marc Morial, 3:15 p.m.
Former New Orleans mayor (1994-2002) and National Urban League president Marc Morial will particiapate in the panel discussion 2012 Election: The Power of Our Community, moderated by Soledad O’Brien.

Rev. Al Sharpton, 2:40 p.m.
Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Maxine Waters will co-host a panel titled State of the Vote: Why Your Vote Counts. Sharpton rose from New York civil rights activist to a national political figure, presidentical candidate, pundit and talk show host.

Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, 12:30 p.m.
Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake is pastor of the 23,000-member Greater Allen AME Cathedral in New York. He served for 11 years in the House of Representative and has written several books including The Way of the Bootstrapper.


Tramaine Hawkins, 1:50 p.m.
Gospel artist Tramaine Hawkins will perform at the convention center. She has won multiple Grammy and Stellar awards, and she is a member of the Gospel Hall of Fame.

Pastor Marvin Winans, 2:35 p.m.
Formerly one of the members of the five-time Grammy-winning group The Winans, Pastor Marvin Winans now leads the 4,500-member Perfecting Church in Detroit. He has appeared in a many episodes of the popular TV show Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. He will deliver a Sunday afternoon sermon to Essence attendees.

Yolanda Adams, 4:25 p.m.
Gospel artist Yolanda Adams performs at the convention center. In 2009, Billboard Magazine recognized Yolanda Adams as the No. 1 Gospel Artist of the Decade. She also hosts the radio program The Yolanda Adams Morning Show (WPRF 94.9 FM).

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