#summerofOWN the place to be at Essence Fest 2019

By Orlena Nwokah Blanchard
In July 7, 2019

Deemed the ‘best event of the weekend’, last night was by far one of the dopest Essence Fest moments to date. Who wouldn’t want to go from rubbing shoulders with Ava Duvernay, Gayle King, and the cast of OWN’s fabulous shows to watching Ms. King interview Michelle Obama in front of a crowd of 40,000???

We are super proud to have co-produced a fabulous event, the Summer of OWN reception, sponsored by Dove. A perfect pairing, with our Dove client front and center with Tina Perry, the President of OWN, Gayle King, Co-host CBS Morning and Editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine, Ava Duvernay, and the casts of multiple OWN shows including the Queen Sugar Cast: Kofi Siriboe, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Rutina Wesley, Tina Lifford, Omar Dorsey, Nicholas L. Ashe, and Bianca Lawson; the stars of Greenleaf  Lynn Whitfield and Merle Dandridge. Now ya’ll know we were giddy to see the Ambitions Cast Robin Givens, Essence Atkins, Brian J. White, Kendrick Cross, Erica Page and Brely Evans. Brely became fast friends with JOY and is supporting the CROWN Act given she was rockin’ those locs in the latest episode (sneak peek on owntv.com). We also had the pleasure of meeting the star of David Makes Mann Akili McDowell, a new show coming in August from the award winning creator of moonlight Tarell Alvin McCraney. The house was packed with stars and special guests including three members of  The Exonerated 5: Korey Wise, Dr. Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana as well as Sheinelle Jones of NBC, and Tina Braxton from Braxton Family Values. Oh and last but not least, California Senator Holly J. Mitchell and her team responsible for The CROWN Act were also in the house!

Then we all headed to the Superdome where OUR forever first lady did her thing and Gayle King was Gayle King in all her fabulousness and BFF of OW style.

Dope night and all JOY:) !

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On behalf of JOY, we want to personally address and update you on how we at JOY are responding to the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  As always, the health and safety of our employees, friends, families, colleagues and clients come first!  We encourage everyone to stay safe and adhere to the government’s requirements and guidance during this unprecedented time.  We are consistently encouraged by the resilience of the American people during trying times, and we know we will overcome this together.

A few key things to note:

  1. Please make sure to stay informed and updated on news developments from official health authorities including Center For Disease Control and World Health Organization to understand and help minimize the spread and impact of  COVID-19.
  2. Check on each other during this time, especially the elderly who are at high-risk.
  3. Don’t sit in front of your computer all day. Meditate, get up, move around – tackle one of those household chores on your TO DO list from 2019.
  4. If you are working from home for the first time, here are some quick tips to help stay productive 1) keep your usual morning routine 2) Get dressed 3) Set up your work space at a table or desk, and most importantly 4) TAKE BREAKS throughout the day.

At this time, our priority is to make sure our JOY team, clients, and partners are safe while maintaining business continuity.  We remain fully prepared to address the needs of our clients as necessary.  One of the greatest things about JOY is that we’ve had a flexible workforce since our launch 6 years ago, and we will continue to service our clients with the excellence we pride ourselves on delivering, while maintaining safe social distancing.

Let’s continue to support and take care of each other as we get through this together.

With positivity and joy,
Kelli and Orlena