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June 30 2006

John Hope Bryant Amongst National Politicians, Entertainers and Civic Leaders to Deliver a Call to Action for Youth Empowerment Through Mentoring at the 2006 Essence Music Festival

Essence Cares! “A Party with a Purpose” attended by 250,000 is slated in Houston for Holiday Weekend
(Los Angeles) – June 30, 2006. - Operation HOPE’s message of economic empowerment and “silver rights” will be reverberated during the Coca-Cola sponsored Essence Music Festival and Empowerment Seminar Series dubbed ESSENCE Cares! this July 4th holiday weekend in Houston’s Reliant Park.  ESSENCE Cares! was created to help rescue vulnerable youth and restore the lives of Hurricane Katrina survivors, while addressing the critical issues facing Black America. Poverty and unemployment, equal educational systems and gang violence, the ongoing effects of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina—will be festival’s uniting factor calling for volunteers to mentor youths.
HOPE Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant will deliver ‘a call to action for our silver rights’ in an effort to help secure the event’s special youth initiative.  The festival will provide an exciting backdrop to the enormous push aimed at enlisting millions of stable and caring African Americans to take up the charge. “When I was called to participate in Essence Cares! it was a request that could not be ignored. Its message is in line with HOPE’s ongoing mission to eradicate poverty and empower the wealthless. A mission we call “silver rights” - the right to financial literacy, access to capital, and equality of opportunity for the underserved. You cannot have a rainbow without a storm first. Hurricane Katrina may have devastated the gulf coast, but the rainbow is on the horizon,” said Bryant.
This multigenerational Festival offers free inspirational and interactive Empowerment Seminars during the day and exciting performances at night, where Festival-goers can dance and sing along with the biggest names in entertainment—R&B, classic soul, hip-hop, neo-soul and jazz—all on three stages within Reliant Stadium.
Speakers and performers also participating will be Yolanda Adams, Common, Angela Davis, Michael Eric Dyson, Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Danny Glover, Bruce Gordon, Congressman Alexander Green, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Mathew Knowles, Queen Latifah, Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters, Donnie McClurkin, Mo’Nique, Marc Morial, Shemar Moore, Nas, Kevin Powell, Jill Scott, Reverend Al Sharpton, Iyanla Vanzant, Reverend Dr. Renita Weems, Terrie Williams and many others.