AFROPUNK Blacktopia: The Panels At The Essence Festival Of Culture You Can’t Miss

June 25, 2024

The Essence Festival is renowned for its celebration of Black culture, music, and art. This year’s Essence Festival is set to be a transformative experience, with the introduction of AFROPUNK Blacktopia bringing a series of panels and workshops that celebrate and empower the Black community.Here’s a sneak peek into some of the most anticipated panels:

Beat & Breathe: Personal Wellness Through Drumming

Drumming has long been a powerful form of expression and a tool for community building in many African cultures. This workshop, led by Sistah Making a Change and Francis Agyakwa, MSW, aims to harness the therapeutic potential of drumming to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Integrating breathwork with drumming, the workshop will teach participants how to use rhythmic breathing to enhance their drumming experience. This combination aims to reduce stress, increase focus, and promote a sense of calm and balance.

Brewing Change: Coffee Conversations

“Brewing Change: Coffee Conversations” invites participants to engage in transformative dialogue over coffee, guided by moderator Lynae Vanee and featured speakers Rashad Robinson, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Stevona Elem-Rogers. This unique gathering blends the ritual of coffee with the power of conversation, envisioning a future unbound by systemic barriers and rich with possibilities for Black excellence and freedom.

Fashion Forward: Conversations On Sustainability

In this panel, moderator Whitney McGuire, co-founder of Sustainable Brooklyn, will lead a conversation on the intersection of fashion and sustainability. Featuring insights from pioneering designers Miko Underwood and Archel Bernard, this session will delve into innovative practices, challenges, and the critical role of sustainability in the fashion industry.

Next Moves: Learning Tomorrow’s Dance Trends

Join Amari Marshall, a trailblazing dancer and choreographer known for his dynamic style and innovative approach to movement. This workshop offers an exciting opportunity to learn from Amari and other industry leaders as they introduce participants to cutting-edge dance trends shaping the future of dance culture.

Tapping Into Wellness: EFT Workshop For Emotional Wellness

Daryaan McLeod will lead participants through guided EFT sessions, teaching the fundamentals of tapping and how to apply it to manage emotions effectively. Learn techniques to release negative emotions and promote inner peace.

Food From The Source

Explore with moderator Adam McFarland and esteemed panelists Dreka Gates and Madera Rogers Henry (ALT) how we can reimagine our food systems. Discover the transformative potential of establishing direct connections with food sources to enhance health, build community resilience, and reduce environmental impact.

Nail’Lore Chronicles: Shaping The Future Of Nail Art

Delve into the cultural and artistic significance of nail art as a powerful form of self-expression that has captivated global attention. Join moderator Shelby Stewart, Essence Editor, alongside influential figures Marsai Martin, Bernadette Thompson, and Terrance Terry for a candid discussion on the evolution of nail art and the pivotal role of Black creatives in shaping its future.

Cosmic Connections: Unlocking Wellness With African Astrology

Astrologer Samuel F. Reynolds will provide a hands-on exploration of African astrology, uncovering how cosmic alignments can enhance your overall well-being. Discover practical insights into harnessing celestial energies to navigate life’s challenges and align with your spiritual path.

Culture-Coded AI: Empowering Artists and Ensuring Ethical Innovation

Discover how innovative AI models like are paving the way for inclusive technological advancements. Engage in discussions on the ethical considerations and responsibilities in AI development, emphasizing the importance of maintaining cultural integrity and ethical practices.

GreenRunway: Fashion Presentation

Experience a curated runway event moderated by Devine Blacksher, Essence Fashion Editor, featuring visionary collections that highlight the beauty of upcycled materials and sustainable practices in high fashion. Witness how these innovative approaches not only reduce environmental impact but also inspire trend-setting designs.