Iyanla Vanzant, Charlamagne Tha God, and actor LaVar Burton are among the featured presenters for the Essence Wellness House: A virtual summit Tuesday and Wednesday to provide Black women and their communities with information on how to cope amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Essence Wellness House events, sponsored by the magazine’s parent company, Essence Ventures, run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET and will air at www.essence.com.
“As we come together to safely get through the COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that we do not allow social distancing to morph into social disconnection,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and chair of Essence Ventures.
The agenda will include meditation, wellness tips, cooking workshops, fitness workouts, story-reading for children, virtual dance parties, and more. All participants have donated their honorariums to the National Action Network and the World Central Kitchen.
“It was imperative that we step and continue to be the source for black women so we have the tools and the information we need right now,” Charli Penn, Essence’s relationship and wellness director, told NBC News.
“Misinformation is not good to spread,” she said. “People are scared; there’s fear out there. It’s important that we push through that and talk about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our community and what the new normal will look like and how we navigate that together.”
Across America, more than 160,000 people have been infected by coronavirus and more than 3,000 have died as a result of the disease.
The virtual summit is free, but organizers are asking viewers to sign up on the Essence website. The seven-hour event will explain how to manage during these challenging times, Penn said.