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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Experience at 25th Essence Fest

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McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement was lit at the 25th Essence Festival! The (em)power-packed weekend was full of activities to uplift and inspire up-and-coming entrepreneurs everywhere. With appearances by actress/businesswoman La La Anthony, entertainer Luke James, reality television starsCynthia Bailey, Tamar Braxton and Trina Braxton, vocal powerhouses Jazmine Sullivan and Kierra Sheard, the always-suave actor/host Terrence J and more, some of the culture’s brightest stars came out to support the Black & Positively Golden movement, which celebrates Black excellence through empowerment, entrepreneurship and education.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN WELCOME BREAKFAST: McDonald’s kicked off the explosive weekend with an exclusive Black & Positively Golden Welcome Breakfast. The intimate event was hosted by McDonald’s Head of Cultural Engagement and Experiences Lizette Williams — the spearhead behind the brand’s largest African American-focused campaign in 16 years — and New Orleans franchisee Henry Coaxum.

WE SHINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP PANEL: Actress and self-made businesswoman La La Anthony moderated McDonald’s We Shine Entrepreneurship Panel before a crowd of thousands. She interviewed rising moguls, Dana Chanel (Sprinkle of Jesus, Founder), Nicole Walters (The Monetized Life, Founder & CEO)and Jewel Burks-Solomon (Part Pic, Founder), alongside McDonald’s franchisees Jade Colin and Tanya Hill-Holliday. At 29, Colin is McDonald’s youngest owner/operator, while Hill-Holliday is the brand’s first female owner/operator in Philadelphia.

EMPOWERING MUSIC PERFORMANCES: R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan brought down the house Saturday with some of her classics. Gospel music vocalist/actress Kierra Sheard left it all on the stage Sunday afternoon. Thousands of fans gathered at the Black & Positively Golden Booth for both performances to rock out to some of their favorite tunes.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN LATE NIGHT PARTY: After a long day of empowerment, McDonald’s hosted its Black & Positively Golden Late Night Party — the official Essence After Party. Celebs, such as actor/singer Luke James; reality television stars Cynthia Bailey, Tamar Braxton and Trina Braxton; actorTyler Lepley; and social media star Karlton “@notkarltonbanks” Humes, sparkled at Club XLIV as attendees and Hiplet-style dancers showed off their best moves to the sounds of DJ Rashida and DJ B-Hen.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN SCHOLARSHIP PRESENTATIONS: To close out the weekend, McDonald’s empowered the next generation of leaders by supporting college education. In partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the organization’s national ambassador and HBCU alum Terrence J, McDonald’s presented two, $10,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarships to well-deserving incoming HBCU freshmen.

Photos Courtesy of McDonald’s 

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Brandy Performs at Coca-Cola Stage during Essence Festival 2019 [Photos]

Check out photos of Brandy performing a medley of her hits at Coca-Cola’s stage during the 2019 Essence Festival! 

Photo Credit: The Coca-Cola Company

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: The Black Excellence Brunch Honored Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson with Facebook During Essence Festival

On Sunday, July 7, 2019, Facebook and the Black Excellence Brunch partnered together to honor Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson. The event took place during the 25th Anniversary of Essence Festival in New Orleans, LA at The Treme Market Branch. Over 100 guests attended the event honoring Ms. Tina and celebrating Black Excellence.

During the Brunch R&B Group, June’s Diary serenaded the audience and guests were treated to a discussion with Ms. Knowles-Lawson. Ms. Knowles-Lawson said,

“When I was growing up we did not have anything like this. I love this. I would like to see this picked up and continued nationally to honor us.”

Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson poses with Black Excellence Brunch founder, Trell Thomas. [Photo Credit: Anthony Whiting ]
The Facebook sponsored event which featured a Facebook and Instagram Stories installation, where guests took photos and videos to share their stories of black excellence – and empower their communities to consider their own excellence. Trell Thomas,

“It was a pleasure to work with Facebook on honoring a mentor and friend. Our guests really enjoyed attending and we are looking to many more Black Excellence Brunches.”

Photo Credit: Anthony Whiting

About Black Excellence Brunch

In August of 2018, communications professional Trell Thomas decided to create a community that celebrated the excellence of young black professionals. Trell, a seasoned entertainment/media expert, saw an opportunity to introduce entrepreneurs, clothing designers, stylists, actors, etc. to one another other via a family style brunch modeled after “Sunday Dinner”. The brunch features soul food, a discussion and the opportunity for millennials to gain insight from seasoned professionals while fellow-shipping with other successful black and brown colleagues. @BlackExcellenceBrunch

About WACO Theater

The theater center is a space (W)here (A)rt (C)an (O)ccur. The mission of this organization is to empower people to gain the skills and ability to identify necessary and pursue their dreams no matter who they are or where they came from. Waco Theater opened in November of 2017 by Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles-Lawson.

About Trell Thomas

Trell Thomas is a media expert and activist. His work spans from Career beginnings on the Obama Presidential Campaign in ‘08 to overseeing talent relations and communications with some of the biggest brands in Viacom. Trell has a great appreciation for sharing narratives of diverse communities and bringing stories of excellence to the forefront through various events he hosts. Trell’s mission is to empower people of color and spread positivity through black excellence. He is the founder of Black Excellence Brunch and has used this event series to connect young people of color from all walks of life.

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FLY Events

#EssenceFest: FORD Takes Over NOLA at The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Held Exclusive Media Welcome Dinner

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 30: Preparations at the Ford Motor Company booth for the 2016 Essence Festival on Thursday, June 30, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Ford Motor Company)
(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Ford Motor Company)

Marking 2016 as Ford’s eighth consecutive year as an exclusive automotive sponsor of the ESSENCE Festival, the company pulled out all the stops for this year’s festivities with their dynamic booth display showing off some of their best and newest rides, allowing the public to even test drive the vehicles.

Sirius XM was also on-site to broadcast live from the Ford booth during the entire weekend and conducted interviews with your favorite celebrities like Sevyn Streeter, Maxwell, Chrisette Michelle, Ro James, New Edition, Tony Gaskins and the cast of STARZ hit series’ Power and Survivor’s Remorse.

As mentioned, Ford’s latest lineup of vehicles was on full display at the Ford booth including the 2017 Ford GT, 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, Shelby Mustang GT350, and Ford Focus RS. The company was giving away the keys to a new 2017 Ford Fusion to one lucky winner. Four lucky contestants had the chance to compete on stage, alongside Nephew Tommy, to win the keys to the brand new car.

Also, Festival attendees had the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the 2016 Ford Explorer, 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Ford Escape.

Kicking things off at the start of the festival on Friday, July 1, the brand started their charity initiative, Ford Warriors in Pink to raise funds and bring awareness to breast cancer. Ford donated $20 for each of the first 250 test drives (total of $5,000) on July 1 to support Young Survival Coalition. Over $130 million has been donated towards the fight against breast cancer through Ford’s ‘Warriors in Pink.’

(Photo by Peter Forest/Ford Motor Company)
(Photo by Peter Forest/Ford Motor Company)

Lastly, Ford hosted an exclusive Media and Influencer Dinner, which included SFPL‘s very own Gabriel Williams amongst many others held at Mardi Gras World, an indoor Bayou themed location that gives the nostalgia of what NOLA is all about.

Attendees were treated to New Orleans inspired dishes, especially the all-time favorite, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, and the well-known popular drink, The Hurricane. Great food, great conversations, a great time.

Manager of Ford Multicultural Communications, Raj Register hosted the evening along with Life/Relationship Expert, Tony Gaskins.

Raj greeted the attendees and spoke on a few initiatives that Ford was working on paired with a very new ad campaign, as well as, introducing Tony for those that may not have been familiar with the budding self-made expert/entrepreneur. You may remember him as he recently appeared a few times as a special guest on K. Michelle‘s My Life on VH1, counseling the songstress through her troubled relationships.

Mr. Gaskins is also apart of the Ford campaign where he was featured in the official commercial.

In the video clip, he quotes:

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs…”

Take a look below:

While speaking at the dinner, Tony gave insight on what his life was like in the past, and how he needed to grow up and take control of his life. Fascinated with money, girls, selling drugs and eventually being kicked out of college on a full football scholarship, Gaskins soon realized that he was heading down the wrong path.

Starting on a new quest, he then thought to himself that he could help others through their process without necessarily worrying about money. Moving in a more positive direction, Gaskins raised his own brand from the ground up, now holding his positions as an esteemed Life Coach and Author, not to mention a Father, and Husband.

Congrats to Tony on his major accomplishments.

Remember to Dream Big but also build that Dream.

 

 

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Entertainment FLY Events

Essence Fest 2015: Luke James, Goapele, Loni Love Attend Verizon Dinner at Dooky Chase Restaurant

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On Day #4 of the Essence Music Festival, Verizon Wireless hosted an exclusive media dinner at New Orleans historic restaurant, Dooky Chase.

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During the evening’s dining festivities, panelists Javier Farfan [VP of Cultural Engagement for Verizon], Artists: Goapele and native of NOLA, Luke James all discussed the effects of “Music & Technology” combined in today’s entertainment industry. The panel was curated by Krista Bourne [Regional President for the Houston/Gulf Coast Region]. Comedian and The Real‘s Loni Love was also in the building providing laughs and good times!

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Attendees got their tastebuds alined from what has been the talk of the weekend, as The Best food in town. A standing ovation was in order, as Leah Chase approached the room with such grace.

leah-chase-verizon-essence

At 92 years old, Leah still cooks in the kitchen full-time serving up some of the BEST creole food ever! She’s simply amazing and an inspiration to us all.

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Spotted above, Leah Chase has even cooked for the President of the United States, Barack Obama, as he’s visited the restaurant on more than one occasion.

About Dooky Chase

Dooky Chase opened its doors for business starting in 1941. What was initially a sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet in 1939 blossomed into a thriving bar and later a respected family restaurant in Treme. Founded by Emily and Dooky Chase, Sr., Dooky Chase’s Restaurant soon became the meeting place for music and entertainment, civil rights, and culture in New Orleans.

Today Dooky Chase’s remains family owned and operated. After Hurricane Katrina Dooky’s did close for two years to rebuild, but with assistance of many, Dooky Chase’s remains the premier restaurant for authentic Creole Cuisine

The Chase Family enjoys serving its regular customers, tourists, and locals. They also remain a stopping place for politicians, musicians, visual artists, and literary giants. Dooky Chase’s has had the pleasure of serving both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones and a list of others.

Congrats to Team Verizon on their successful event and weekend during the 2015 Essence Music Festival!

[Photos by Chris Mitchell]

-(@GabrielofSFPL)