Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman Festival returns to New York in 2024

UPDATE: Actress Taraji P. Henson, rap icon Method Man and media personality Angie Martinez are among the keynote speakers at Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman Summit, held at The Glasshouse in New York City on May 11. Co-organized by The breakfast club co-host/comedian Jess Hilarious and entertainment journalist Gia Peppers, the summit is part of Blige’s third annual Strength of a Woman Festival. Taking place for the first time in New York City, the Mother’s Day weekend event (May 10-12) is presented by the multiple Grammy Award winner and Pepsi in partnership with Live Nation Urban and MVD Inc.

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The summit’s daylong program of panels, workshops and activations is free to attendees and sponsored by Mielle Organics, Verizon Business, Starz and ASCAP. The diverse offering – covering wellbeing, culture, finance and entrepreneurship, style and beauty – includes ‘Girl Talk with MJB’, moderated by IRL (in real life) podcast host Martinez and featuring Blige, Henson and actress-director Tasha Smith; “Our Men Honor the Power of a Woman” featuring Method Man and actor Larenz Tate; and “From Crisis to Care: Navigating Mental Health in the Black Community” with Silence the Shame Founder/CEO Shanti Das.

Guests can also visit ‘Mary’s Living Room’, a sanctuary featuring wine from Blige’s Sun Goddess collection, specially created festival merchandise and a custom My Life listening booth in honor of the 30th anniversary of the singer’s legendary album. Other summit participants include Sherrese Clarke Soares, founder/CEO of HarbourView Equity Partners, founder/president of Femme It Forward Heather Lowery, co-president of Roc Nation label Shari Bryant, ASCAP senior vp/membership Nicole George- Middleton, MJB Productions COO LaTonya DaCosta Blige and actress Marsai Martin.

Original story from March 6: In a twist from its first two years, Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit moves from Atlanta to the birthplace of hip-hop, New York City. The annual event, presented by the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and Pepsi in partnership with Live Nation Urban, will once again take place over Mother’s Day weekend: May 10-12.

The highlight of this year’s three-day program is a concert at Barclays with Blige and special guests 50 Cent, Jill Scott, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Muni Long, Lola Brooke and Funk Flex. Also on the featival lineup: a comedy show at the Apollo Theater with Tiffany Haddish, Don’t Call Me White Girl and Paris Sashay; a jazz concert at the Blue Note with Robert Glasper and a gospel brunch hosted by Blige at the Brooklyn Chophouse in Times Square, followed by a gospel concert headlined by The Clark Sisters with Femme It Forward at Brooklyn Paramount.

The Strength of a Woman Summit will take place at The Glasshouse on May 11. Hosted by Angie Martinez, the programming includes a series of inspiring and empowering panels, keynote speakers and workshops focused on music, wellness, technology, beauty and financial literacy.

Founder Blige launched the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in 2022. In a release announcing the 2024 rollout, Blige stated, “I am so excited to bring our Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit to my hometown, New York City, to bring. place that has always been a great source of inspiration for me. Having the opportunity to continue to uplift, inspire, and build within my community is the reason I created this festival. I’m so grateful for all the support from our artists, visitors and of course our partners Live Nation Urban and Pepsi. No one likes to do it like New York, so prepare yourself.”

As before, Pepsi – the festival’s first partner – will also bring back its popular Pepsi Dig In platform, featuring a range of dishes from local Black female restaurateurs.

“As a brand rooted in celebrating culture and music and strengthening communities, Pepsi is honored to return as a presenting partner and co-producer of the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit, Get on our shared vision with Mary to uplift and empower women,” said Kent Montgomery, senior vp, PepsiCo Industry Relations and Multicultural Development. “The festival’s move to New York City, Pepsi’s own backyard, provides an even bigger stage to highlight and support more remarkable women in the community. As the festival enters its third year, the festival’s continued success is a testament to Mary’s impact and the power of amplifying Black women and their voices.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month (March), presale tickets will go live Wednesday and Thursday (March 6-7) with the code STRENGTH. General ticket sales begin Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m. ET. Visit the event website for tickets and program.