2013 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage July 4-7 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention CenterSteve Harvey Hosts a Live Edition of Family FeudKeynote Addresses from Iyanla Vanzant and Rev. Al SharptonA Historic Civil Rights Commemoration featuring Myrlie Evers-Williams and Rep. John LewisGospel Main Event: Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin Tributes With Yolanda Adams and Bishop Noel JonesPanel Conversations on Topics that Matter in Women’s LivesThe ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, the core of the annual Essence Festival, will feature icons, newsmakers, national leaders, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, journalists, educators, and experts to showcase the many dimensions of the African-American community including a central focus on information to improve women’s day-to-day lives.This year’s 2013 Essence Empowerment Experience Stage highlights will include the return of Steve Harvey, who will host a live edition of his top-rated game show “Family Feud”; keynote conversations from Rev. Al Sharpton , Iyanla Vanzant, Marc Morial and Lisa Nichols ; an historic commemoration of the 50th anniversary of 1963″”the turning point in the Civil Rights Movement””with Rep. John Louis , Myrlie Evers-Williams , Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton and others; and a standing-room only All-Star Gospel Tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin with Yolanda Adams and Bishop Noel Jones . The Empowerment Experience Stage is held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in the Great Hall from Thursday, July 4 th through Sunday, July 7 th from 11 AM to 5:00 PM. Doors will open at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 4.Dr. Steve Perry, Niecy Nash, Issa Rae, Roland Martin, Tonya Lewis Lee, DeVon Franklin, Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Valerie Montgomery, Dr. Michael Lomax and Monique Greenwood are among the panelists who will discuss jobs and the economy, education, gun violence in our cities, the mortgage crisis, immigration, relationships, and images on reality television.”Over the past four decades African-American women have made remarkable gains, enjoying high rates of socio-economic mobility and educational attainment. They are self-confident, optimistic, and joyful,” says ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage programming strengthens our community bonds, and provides information that is critical to this continued success.”(For the Essence Festival Schedule Click Next) THURSDAY, JULY 4, 2013: NEW! FAMILY FOR LIFEThe Essence Empowerment Experience Stage will introduce it’s first-ever, free and open-to-the-public, “Family Reunion Day.” Hosted by Master P. and his children, Romeo and Cymphonique, the day will center around a renewed focus on family. Celebrities and acclaimed, nationally recognized speakers such as Roland Martin, Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Denese Shervington, Tonya Lewis Lee and Traci and Trina Braxton will participate.FRIDAY, JULY 5, 2013: HEALTHY MIND, SPIRIT & RELATIONSHIPSHosted by “Steve Harvey Morning Show” personality and author Shirley Strawberry , festivalgoers will be able to attend seminars on healthy living in both mind and spirit. The morning will start with families competing on Steve Harvey’s always amusing “Family Feud.” In the afternoon, attendees will have the chance to hear firsthand from Kenya Moore, Shaunie O’Neal, Andrea Kelly , ChantÃ© Moore and Monifah in “The Real Truth Behind Reality TV.” We will also get tips on how to be sexy at any age with our panel that includes Nicole Murphy, Victoria Rowell, Dr. Rachael Ross and Mayte Garcia . Attendees will also gain vital strategies on how to “Own Your Power” featuring Transformation Specialist Lisa Nichols . ESSENCE Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor will lead a timely discussion on “Putting Ourselves First,” and breakout “Young & The Restless” star Redaric Williams will be one of the men who will talk “Sex & Love: On His Mind.”SATURDAY, JULY 6, 2013: BE FEARLESS IN YOUR COMMUNITYDiscussions on civil rights, education and women’s rights underscore the social and cultural significance of today’s seminars. With keynote speakers Iyanla Vanzant and Reverend Al Sharpton , Saturday, July 6, 2013 will be an unforgettable day of ideas, innovation and solutions to critical issues in the Black community. Many of the nation’s top mayors will discuss ending gun violence; Dr. Steve Perry will lead a discussion with real-life education activist mothers who will show mothers how to successfully navigate public and private school systems; top Black women entrepreneurs will share the secrets of their success in building their own brands and giving back; Rep. John Lewis will salute Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including eagerly anticipated remarks from Myrlie Evers-Williams on the 50th anniversary of 1963″”the turning point year in The Movement; and we will conclude with the country’s top thinkers on a wide range of issues from the mortgage crisis to immigration in The Black Women’s Agenda 2013.SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013: THE 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF PRAISE & INSPIRATIONJournalist and author Cheryl Wills returns as host for the standing room only “Get Lifted All-Star Gospel Tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin ” with Yolanda Adams , Bishop Lester Love , Michelle Williams, Tasha Cobbs, Amber Bullock , Tyronne Foster and The Arc Singers, Kurt Carr, Isaac Carree, Kim Burrell, Bishop Noel Jones and many more.DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE:The day-by-day schedule of the Essence Empowerment Experience Stage is as follows:THURSDAY, JULY 4, 2013: FAMILY FOR LIFEHosts: Master P, Romeo, Cymphonique”Why Our Children Should Come Home,” with Roland Martin“Saving Our Sons,” with Dr. Steve Perry, Master P. and DeVon Franklin”Feeding Our Children: Mind, Body & Soul,” with Tonya Lewis Lee, Dr. Denese Shervington and Carol Bebelle”Q&A” featuring Traci and Trina BraxtonFRIDAY, JULY 5, 2013: HEALTHY MIND, SPIRIT & RELATIONSHIPSHost: Shirley Strawberry”Family Feud,” hosted by Steve Harvey”I Beat: Health, Journeys & Transformations,” with Denise Warren, Robin D. Stone, Entourage Members of Body by Denise and Dr. Aletha Maybank”The Real Truth On Reality TV,” moderated by Michelle Williams with Kenya Moore, Shaunie O’Neal, Andrea Kelly and ChantÃ© Moore”Sexy At Any Age: Embrace You Inner Naughty Girls,” with Nicole Murphy, Shirley Strawberry, Dr. Rachael Ross, Victoria Rowell, Mayte Garcia and Kenya Moore“Own Your Power,” featuring Lisa Nichols”Putting Ourselves First,” moderated by Mikki Taylor with Niecy Nash, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Dr. Denese Shervington, Lisa Nichols and Tonya Lewis Lee”Sex & Love: On His Mind,” with Redaric Williams and Chef RobleSATURDAY, JULY 6, 2013: BE FEARLESS IN YOUR COMMUNITYKeynote: Reverend Al SharptonKeynote Address: Marc MorialKeynote Address: Iyanla Vanzant“Reinvent Your Life & Your Business,” Moderated by Tanisha Sykes with Monique Greenwood, Issa Rae, Michele Clark Jenkins and Stephanie Moore Perry”Where Smart Starts,” with Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Thelma Baxter and Dr. Michael Lomax”Icons of the Civil Rights Movement,” with Congressman John Lewis, Shirley Sherrod, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Myrlie Evers Williams”Black Women’s Agenda 2013,” C. Nicole Mason, Karen Carter Peterson and Dr. Julianne MalveauxSUNDAY, JULY 7, 2013: THE 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF PRAISE & INSPIRATIONHost: Cheryl Wills”Get Lifted All-Star Gospel Tribute” to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkinA full-day of praise, songs and worship, with Bishop Lester Love and the City of Love, Yolanda Adams , Michelle Williams , Amber Bullock , Tasha Cobbs, Bishop Noel Jones , Tyronne Foster and The Arc Singers, Kurt Carr, Isaac Carree, Kim Burrell and many more.