Jussie Smollett, star of FOX’s hit TV show Empire, is joining with Greater Than AIDS and the Black AIDS Institute to headline a special ESSENCE Empowerment Experience panel in New Orleans on Friday, July 3rd on “The Power of Love & Family: Ending AIDS in Black America,” moderated by Soledad O’Brien. The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience is the free daytime community forum of the hugely popular ESSENCE Festival.
On television, Mr. Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, the sensitive, talented and openly gay son of music moguls. In real life, Mr. Smollett, who serves on the board of the Black AIDS Institute, has long been involved in addressing the epidemic facing Black America. He along with his sister, the actor Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood,True Blood), have spoken out on behalf of Greater Than AIDS to confront the silence and stigma that too often still surround the disease.