Marsai Martin, Ciara, Iyanla Vanzant and Mara Brock Akil Join Mary J. Blige for Strength of a Woman Summit (EXCLUSIVE)
The second annual Strength of a Woman Summit will be hosted by producer, actor and 11-time NAACP Image Award winner Marsai Martin.
The summit is presented as part of the Strength of a Woman Festival — launched by Mary J. Blige and Pepsi in partnership with Live Nation Urban — a four day celebration devoted to music, comedy, female empowerment and community building, scheduled for May 11-14.
Held on May 13 at AmericasMart in Atlanta, Ga., the experiential summit is billed as “the ultimate destination bringing the festival’s mission and purpose of empowerment, elevation, education and equity to life with engaging experiences and panel discussions focused on wellness, creators, entrepreneurship, beauty, financial literacy, tech and health equity.”
Joining Martin is a star-studded lineup of speakers including Ciara, Jayda Cheaves, Brandee Evans, Egypt Sherrod, Gail Bean, Mara Brock Akil, Milan Harris, Toya Johnson-Rushing, Yandy Smith Harris and Iyanla Vanzant, who will deliver a keynote address.
The schedule also features live podcast tapings of Angela Yee’s “Lip Service,” “Don’t Call Me White Girl,” “Baller Alert” and “Earn Your Leisure” featuring Blige.
The Strength of a Woman Summit is free for attendees thanks to the support of official sponsors CVS Health (which will host a Wellness Village offering free heart and mental health screenings as well as a series of conversations); Amazon Music (which curates the Creative Lounge, celebrating the journey of women in hip-hop and tracing their impact on music, fashion, entrepreneurship and the culture for over 50 years); Monique Rodriguez and Mielle Organics (sponsoring the Beauty Village, a space for attendees to celebrate Black-owned and Black-led businesses in the beauty industry); and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (a partnership that is marked by the Purpose Ball, which celebrates Black transgender women, the entire LGBTQIA+ community and ballroom culture and Gilead’s commitment to creating equity in healthcare).
There will also be a Financial Literacy Village, where participants will learn how they can enhance their equity by launching successful businesses, making smart investment decisions and creating passive income, as well as a Tech Village, offering guests the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the digital space and upcoming collaborations from Black-owned tech and fashion brands.
Pepsi, the festival’s returning partner, will provide complimentary food and beverages for attendees, with Pepsi Dig In – the brand’s platform designed to drive access, business growth, and awareness for Black-owned businesses – providing dishes from a selection of local Black female-owned restaurants.
Visit soawfestival.com for the full guest lineup and registration information. Previously announced to perform during the festival are Blige, Lauryn Hill, Summer Walker, Robert Glasper, Mike Epps, Jodeci, Busta Rhymes, Jeezy, Method Man, Jadakiss, Lucky Daye, Coco Jones, Saucy Santana, Sunday Service Collective and Muni Long.
The full schedule for the summit is below:
Morning Welcome Featuring KJ Rose HYPE Moment
“Baller Alert” Presents: Getting to the Bag – Investing in Multiple Streams of Income
Program Description: Financial freedom, investing and multiple streams of income
Moderator: Baller Alert Talent
Talent: Mia Ray, The Spice Suite, Milan Harris and Jayda Cheaves
Fashion Conversation With Misa Hylton
Program Description: Fashion as radical beauty
Moderator: Misa Hylton
Talent: Khalilah Wright (mess in a bottle), MsBling and Jamilah Davis
Program Description: Breaking barriers/women in male-dominated spaces
Moderator: Angela Yee
Talent: Ingrid Best, Pretty Vee, Megan Holston Alexander (A16Z), Natina Nimene and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mielle Organics Presents: Inside the Journey – How Beauty Moguls Are Made
Program Description: Beauty industry journey
Moderator: Blake Newby
Talent: Monique Rodriguez, Ciara, Olamide Olowe (Topicals) and Yandy Smith-Harris
Creators Roundtable: Telling Black Stories
Talent: A fireside chat/roundtable with Gail Bean, Marsai Martin, Raven Goodwin and Mara Brock Akil
“Don’t Call Me White Girl” Podcast
Program Description: City Girl Life/ Hot Girl Era
Moderator: Don’tCallMeWhiteGirl (Damona)
Gilead: Seeking Solace – A Conversation on Faith and Healing
Moderator: Gilead Executive
Talent: Pastor Shanua Jones and Brandee Evans
50 & Forever by Rotation: Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop
Talent: Lady London
“Earn Your Leisure“
Program Description: A two-part conversation about getting to the bag!
Moderator: Rashad Bilal and Troy Milling
Talent: Segment One: Egypt Sherrod, Modern Black Girl (Tiffany James) and Ayesha Seldon / Segment Two: Mary J Blige
Gilead: Ladies First — Sexual Pleasure and Women’s Health
Talent: Nina Giddens, Shan Boodram and Angelica Ross
Keynote Speaker: Iyanla Vanzant
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