Chaka Khan Delivering Address at 2012 Essence Music Fest
Khan Delivering Commencement at Essence
Chaka Khan will show that she’s more than just a 10-time Grammy winner when she delivers her first ever commencement address next month at a famed music fest. Khan’s speech won’t be at a traditional secondary institution however, but at the 2012 Essence Music Festival. Essence and Khan have announced a unique partnership with Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program that will allow them to pay tribute to 33 women of the greater New Orleans community through a special graduation ceremony.
The ladies who were selected by the Chaka Khan Foundation in conjunction with the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies and Essence participated in the “SuperLife Transformation Program” last year. Described as an in-depth life and community process helping women reach lifelong goals, the group first gathered at the Essence Music Fest last year. The ladies, ages 18-35, will culminate their journey at this year’s festival Saturday, July 7 in front of an audience of 5,000 people.
“The SuperLife Transformation program has been an oasis of optimism as these women whom we celebrate are likely to become the entrepreneurs and leaders that this country needs,” said Chaka Khan in a statement. “After witnessing their transformations in the past year, [and] then to come full circle and commemorate their triumphs in this wonderful and memorable occasion, will be one of my fondest days to remember.”
In addition to the commencement address, Khan will give a special performance. Essence Editor-in-Chief Constance White, Dr. Denese Shervington of the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies and Marquett Smith of Verizon Wireless Corporate Communications will also be on hand for this year’s ceremony.
The 2012 Essence Music Festival takes place July 5-8 in New Orleans. –danielle canada