DNC Announces Return To ESSENCE Festival Of Culture With Major Black Voter Engagement Initiative    – Essence


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 02: (L-R) KEKE PALMER AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES KAMALA HARRIS APPEAR ONSTAGE DURING THE 2022 ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE AT THE ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER ON JULY 2, 2022 IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. (PHOTO BY PARAS GRIFFIN/GETTY IMAGES FOR ESSENC

As part of its continued efforts to engage Black voters, the Democratic Party has announced its participation in the ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans for a third consecutive year. From July 4 through July 7, Democrats will host a “Seat at the Table” booth at ESSENCE Fest, offering attendees the opportunity to engage directly with party representatives at the biggest Black culture and music event in the country.

The booth will feature stations for one-on-one conversations, a photo booth, and opportunities for festival attendees to learn more about the Democratic Party’s initiatives on key issues and how they can get involved. This collaboration, involving the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), CBCPAC, and Rolling Sea Action Fund, aims to highlight Democrats’ commitment to Black voters.

“Black voters, and particularly Black women, are the heart of the Democratic Party – and we aren’t taking their support for granted in 2024. Since this campaign began, we’ve focused on meeting people where they’re at,” said DNC National Political Director Brencia Berry. 

Essence Festival of Culture is celebrating 30 years this year, and it has always brought the biggest names in music and entertainment to the city. Over its three decades, it has also carved out and curated other unique spaces, including health and wellness, business and beauty, and has been a hub for political engagement.

“The festival’s political significance has grown over the years, with many prominent figures recognizing it as a key platform to connect with Black voters, particularly Black women. Previous speakers have included Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and ” Kamala Harris ” in   her pre-vice presidential role,” said ESSENCE Ventures President and CEO, Caroline Wanga. 

“In the context of the 2024 election, the Essence Festival takes on even greater importance. It provides a unique opportunity for the Biden/Harris campaign to directly engage with a crucial voter demographic in an environment that is authentic, commemorative, safe and refueling to Black culture and achievement. Vice President Harris’ participation in the “Chief to Chief” franchise this year sends a clear message about the campaign’s priorities and its recognition of the power of Black women voters,” Wanga added. 

“Moreover, the festival’s timing – just as the election season begins to heat up – makes it an ideal launching pad for amplification of how campaign messages and initiatives align to constituency expectations and priorities. It sets the tone of the relationship between candidates and voters as the campaigning continues.”

The “Seat at the Table” booth will spotlight the achievements of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other Democratic leaders, including helping “Black entrepreneurs start businesses at the fastest rate in 30 years to 2.5 million jobs for Black workers, to historically low unemployment, to canceling student debt for nearly five million Americans.”

According to the 2024 ESSENCE/ Black Women’s Roundtable “Power of the Sister Vote” poll, what’s on the minds of Black women across the country is the economy, along with inflation and reducing gun violence. As we approach this year’s presidential election, 86 percent of Black women want the cost of living to be reduced, and 88 percent of Black women are supportive of reproductive freedoms.

In the 2020 presidential election, Biden secured 92% of the Black vote compared to Trump’s 8%. However, current national polling indicates that the president still has some ground to cover to reach the same level of support this November. The latest data from the Pew Research Center shows that 77% of Black voters currently prefer Biden, while 18% support Trump.

Democratic leaders say they are focused on making and maintaining meaningful community connections with Black Voters, and that’s why they continue to show up and engage voters during ESSENCE Fest. “We need to be consistent in our efforts to reach out to and engage Black voters, who are indispensable to our efforts to take back the House majority,” said Tasha Cole, DCCC Deputy Executive Director for Stakeholder Engagement. 

CBCPAC’s Partnerships Director, Cara Johnston, echoed those sentiments as well as the commitment to the community: “We are committed to delivering for Black Americans, and we know we must earn the vote in every election.” 

Last year, the “Seat at the Table” booth attracted over 1,500 visitors, showcasing the importance of the ESSENCE Festival Of Culture as critical platform for political engagement.

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® will take place July 4-7. For more information and updates on the festival, visit our website and follow us on social media @ESSENCEFest on X, Facebook, and Instagram.



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