Essence Festival recently announced that Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and actress, Lena Waithe, will be among the lineup of celebrities apart of the experience as the focus of a keynote conversation.

Held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, Waithe will join ESSENCE Entertainment Director, Cori Murray, at the Empowerment Experience Stage for a conversation about her career journey into the forefront of the latest to take over Hollywood.

According to ESSENCE, the Empowerment Experience Stage will “present inspiring experiences and thought-provoking conversations—featuring the nation’s leading voices from the spheres of entertainment, politics, community and more. Themes and topics that will be brought to the forefront will focus on the triumphs and challenges affecting Black women and the African-American community today.”

Essence Fest starts July 5th and runs through July 8th!

Waithe is the creator and executive producer of Showtime’s breakout new drama series The Chi, which was renewed for a second season.  Last year, Waithe made history and became the first black woman to win an outstanding writing for a comedy series Emmy for the Thanksgiving episode of Netflix’s Master of  None.  This specific episode was based on her own personal experience, the episode chronicles her coming out to herself and her family, through the lens of the Thanksgiving holiday over three decades.  Recently she made a guest appearance on the NBC hit series This Is Us, and on the Netflix series Dear White People.  She received a pilot green light by TBS for her upcoming single-camera comedy Twenties, and was recently seen on the big screen in the Steven Spielberg film Ready Player One.



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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