Bringing the Love to ESSENCE Fest

Bringing the Love to ESSENCE Fest

Last weekend, The Hotline was thrilled to #BringtheLove to ESSENCE Fest! Hosted by ESSENCE Magazine in New Orleans, ESSENCE Fest is a four-day celebration that draws major artists, celebrities and speakers and seeks to empower the African-American community.

Things officially got started on Friday, July 2, and throughout the weekend The Hotline was at the center of the action. People from around the country visited our booth to learn more about the work we do, sign a pledge to speak out against domestic violence, share their stories or get tips on how to help people in their lives experiencing abuse.


During the festival, our chief communications officer Cameka Crawford participated in two panels where she had the opportunity to discuss healthy relationships and domestic abuse.

Essence Fest
Cameka Crawford (center) discusses healthy relationships at ESSENCE Fest with Jonathan Sprinkles and Vicky Boston.

Hotline staff members were also able to provide on the spot advocacy during the event. Maisha Barrett, a Hotline advocate, spoke with people who had experienced domestic violence in the 1970s and 80s. Many of them noted that the conversation around domestic violence, and the availability of support services, had changed drastically in the past few decades. “They said that there was no help then and that it was just something that you dealt with on your own and didn’t talk about to anyone,” Barrett recalls. “A lot of survivors came up and shared their stories about getting away from their abusers and took a lot of pride in signing our board in support. I was also struck by the amount of people who took four and five and six of our [information] cards because they had that many people in their immediate life who were currently being abused by partners.”

Hotline advocate Anitra Edwards said, “It was really great talking to so many people about the services we provide and what we do. A lot of the people we met were also very willing to share their stories or how they were affected by domestic violence.”

ESSENCE Fest’s 21st year was a huge success, and we’re already looking forward to ESSENCE Fest 2016 and continuing to make an impact at this event!

Essence Fest
Roland Martin stopped by The Hotline’s booth to sign our pledge board.

Comment section

0 replies
  1. It’s time to support the domestic abuse females. Stop leaving them out to die. There human beings too. No asked to get hit on. It don’t matter how perfect she maybe in begin a good women
    Scars hurt and its no joke when your near death. Too many domestic females been left out for years it only takes a year to help. They still have domestic females out there in streets for more then 10 years. It’s time for America to step up and give these females a healthy and secure place to live. And to man around the world put your hand down and start helping the women instead of hitting them. Man around the world put your hand down and stop abusing these women.

    1. Hi Shaniki,

      We absolutely agree that everyone has the right to be safe and that we all need to actively work to end violence. Everyone should have access to the help and support they need and we’re so grateful to able to provide a safe place for anyone to talk about what they are going through. Thank you so much for joining with us in our work to end domestic violence against all people and working towards a safer world for all.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate AS

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