Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will serve as a panelist in July at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Freeman-Wilson will join other mayors from throughout the country for a conversation on moving communities and people forward.

May 7, 2015

News Release

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson has been invited to serve as a panelist at the upcoming 2015 Essence Festival in New Orleans during Fourth of July Weekend. The ESSENCE Festival, which hosted more than 500,000 attendees in 2014, has earned the distinction of being one of the country's most prominent community and cultural Festivals.

This year’s celebration will mark ESSENCE Magazine's 45th year and the 10th Anniversary of Katrina. Freeman-Wilson will join other mayors from across the country for a special moderated conversation on the Essence Festival Empowerment Experience Stage on Saturday, July 4, 2015.

The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, a free forum and exchange of ideas, is the core of the ESSENCE Festival. Held during the daytime at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage provides a platform for innovative thinkers and dynamic leaders such as Mayor Freeman-Wilson, who are focusing on ways to move communities and people forward.

“I am both excited and humbled to be selected to serve on the mayoral panel at the Essence Festival,” said Freeman-Wilson. “Essence Magazine has been sharing the voices of Black women for more than 4 decades. It is my honor to add to these voices through my participation in this awesome event.”

Over the past 20 years, President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, Alicia Keys, Robin Roberts Tyler Perry, Iyanla Vanzant, Steve Harvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Melissa Harris Perry, Soledad O'Brien and Mayors Mitch Landrieu, Kasim Reed, Aja Brown and William Bell have gathered to deliver illuminating words at the Essence Festival.

For more information about the Essence Festival, visit


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Source: The City of Gary

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