NCBCP Black Women’s Roundtable Successfully Hosted 10th Annual “Women of Power” Gathering During Essence Festival Focused On the Importance of the Black Vote in 2024 Presidential Election Cycle

New Orleans Agenda

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), in partnership with Mississippi BWR and Louisiana BWR Louisiana, kicked off their Essence Festival Weekend activations with an intergenerational “Power Table” discussion at the 10th Annual BWR Women of Power Gathering during the 30th Anniversary Essence Festival Weekend, hosted at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans on July 5, 2024. The BWR Gathering brought together over 200 Black women and allies nationwide to include prominent media personalities, national civil rights, women’s rights, economic empowerment, government and social organization leaders for a series of dynamic discussions.

The event featured two compelling BWR Power Tables:
Achieving Racial, Gender, Economic, and Social Justice for Black Women & Families
Unleashing the Power of the Black Youth Vote: Bold Demands for 2024

Leaders explored critical themes such as the pivotal role of Black women and youth in the 2024 Presidential Election, findings from recent polling conducted by BWR in collaboration with Essence and HIT Strategies, and pressing issues affecting Black youth and adults, including economic equality, healthcare access, and reproductive rights. Attendees engaged in proactive dialogue to shape policies and mobilize voter engagement initiatives within their communities.

“We brought together Black women leaders across generations to ‘party with a purpose’ for Essence Fest’s 30th Anniversary and to strategize on the importance of leveraging the power of the Black women’s vote and the Black youth vote in the 2024 Presidential Election,” said Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and National Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “This election will determine if we have a democracy or a dictatorship. Voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, workers’ rights, affirmative action, access to economic opportunity, education, and the freedom to learn Black History are all on the ballot. We will use the power of our ballots to fight for our rights, freedom, and opportunity for future generations, and we will win!”

A special leadership award was presented by MS BWR to Reena Evers-Everett, Executive Director, Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute. Musical entertainment was provided by Harpist Cassie Watson Francillon and Jazz Vocalist Stephanie Jordan. The BWR Gathering was supported by W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Oxfam, AT&T and Nike.

NCBCP – ESSENCE-30th-BWR-Committee
NCBCP – ESSENCE-30th-BWR-Committee-ii

About NCBCP and National Black Women’s Roundtable
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation in Black and underserved communities. The National Black Women’s Roundtable is the women and girl’s empowerment arm of the NCBCP, focused on promoting health and wellness, economic security, education, and global empowerment. The NCBCP has state affiliates and networks in 12 states and the District of Columbia including AL, FL, GA, LA, MD, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA, SC, VA and the District of Columbia.

About Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable (MS BWR)
The Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable (MS BWR) is an intergenerational civic engagement network focused on increasing the civic, economic, and political power of Black women and girls in Mississippi. MS BWR is committed to addressing issues such as wage gaps, access to healthcare, quality childcare, and empowering Black women and girls to take leadership roles in their communities and beyond. The MS BWR is a component of the Mississippi Coalition on Black Civic Participation, which is the state affiliate of the NCBCP/National BWR.

About Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable (LA BWR)
LA BWR is an intergenerational civic engagement network focused on increasing the civic, economic, and political power of Black women and girls in Louisiana. LA BWR is committed to empowering and mentoring Black women and girls to take leadership roles in their communities and beyond. The LA BWR is a component of the Louisiana Unity Coalition, which is the state affiliate of the NCBCP/National BWR.

The gathering included a jazz performance by New Orleans’ own Stephanie Jordan and harpist Cassie Watson Francillon
NCBCP – ESSENCE-30th-BWR-Host-Committee

Gwendolyn Hughes: Co-host, Convenor of Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable; Melanie L. Campbell: Host, President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the National Black Women’s Roundtable; Stephanie Jordan, Guest Entertainer; Cassandra Welchlin: Host, Convener of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, and Keturah Butler-Reed, Co-Convenor of Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable and Black Youth Vote.

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