'POWER OF JOY': The Essence Festival of Culture theme celebrates inclusion, inspiration and love

ByRachel Brown KABC logo
Friday, June 30, 2023
'Power of Joy' theme is amplified at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture
The ESSENCE Festival of Culture theme celebrates Black culture, inclusion, inspiration and love in New Orleans.

The celebration at the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture has begun in New Orleans.

KABC's Rachel Brown takes you inside the festival where thousands come together and the energy is electric.

"Fun! I mean look around, fun, fun, fun and then the food especially," said Kelli Craft, a festival attendee.

Families are able to take pictures, win prizes and celebrate the festival's theme, the Power of Joy, with other guests and Disney princesses.

"I just hope that everyone has a having good time, celebrating with their friends and loved ones," said character Princess Tiana from Disney's Tiana's Bayou.

Broadway, film and ABC's Abbott elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph is also enjoying the festival, and says she is thankful for the fans.

"They love the show. They love the cast. They love the fact that we are shining the light on education and teachers. and they are not the butt of the joke, they are the heart of the show," said Lee Ralph.

The ABC star also talked about her latest passion project, a documentary on women of color living with HIV titled, "Unexpected."

"Health inequality is something that must be addressed and very often in life if you add color or pigment to your skin, you can be intentionally left out of care," said Lee Ralph.

And as PRIDE month comes to an end, the festival also explored intersectionality through, The "Pride of Essence!"

Walt Disney World Ambassadors Raevon Redding and Disneyland Resort Ambassador Mark Everett expressed feeling honored to be representatives on behalf of individuals who came before them and have make it easier to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Essence Festival of Culture is one of inclusion, inspiration and love.