NEW YORK — The 2019 Annual Circle of Sisters EXPO came to a grand closing with nearly 30,000 in attendance at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on Sept. 7.
The signature event, Circle of Sisters, continues to reign as one of the largest expos in New York City celebrating and uniting African American women and families. This year’s highlights included a star-studded PowerFULL panel featuring cast members Naturi Naughton, Rotimi, Joseph Sikora and Larenz Tate discussing the groundbreaking show, “Power,” and their careers in entertainment; a one-on-one with conversation with author, living style legend and icon Dapper Dan discussing his life from Harlem to now and presenting him with the Style Icon Award.
The day kicked off with WBLS’s Shaila Taking It to the Max — an intimate conversation of life, culture and music with Brooklyn native and Grammy Award-winning singer Maxwell. The artist was also presented with the Renaissance Man Award. On the not-to-be missed performance stage, award-winning R&B soul singer and writer Brian Mcknight and songstress Deborah Cox gave an unforgettable music showcase that left the audience in a joyful mood.
Four of The Exonerated 5: Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise stood strong and proud as they were each honored with the Freedom Fighter Award recognizing their journey to vindication as portrayed in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series, “When They See Us, The Central Park 5.”
Throughout the day, top celebrities and music sensations hit the stage delivering inspiring messages to the audience. From today’s major boss ladies Lisa Price and BET’s Connie Orlando to political analysts and MSNBC hosts Joy Reid and Rev. Al Sharpton, to social justice leaders Tamika Mallory, Ilyasah Shabazz and Gina Belafonte, and 2019 Miss USA Cheslie Kryst — all shared in candid discussions in hopes to better the community’s inner self.
WBLS’ Lenny Green hit the mainstage with a “Good Life” conversation with Hollywood starlet, Meagan Good sharing insights on health, love, life and the pursuit of personal happiness. The day closed with a rousing and electrifying performance by the cast of Tony-nominated Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, followed by the sold-out Gospel Explosion concert, hosted by WBLS’ Neicy Tribbett, Liz Black and Donnie McClurkin with featured performances by today’s leading gospel artists Hezekiah Walker, Anthony Brown, Jonathan Nelson and Yolanda Adams.
“Each year we commit to produce an amazing Circle of Sisters for our audience and annually, we exceed our expectations to deliver a larger, more impactful and memorable experience to our community. This year was no different, with popular celebrities, an increased number of attendees, a plethora of shopping opportunities and simply, an unforgettable way to spend your Saturday,” says Charlie Morgan, senior vice president/market manager WBLS/WLIB. “From the up-close-and-personal discussions with our famed celebrities to the music performances by our favorite artists to special award recognitions by trailblazers to a sold-out gospel concert and of course, the curated marketplace, Circle of Sisters remains a consistent success.”