Essence Fest: Susan Taylor, Tamron Hall and more talk mentoring and ending inner city violence

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MSNBC host Tamron Hall invited Essence magazine editor-in-cheif emeritus Susan Taylor to discuss how mentoring young African-Americans can be an important key to turning around some of the negative trends currently making headlines regarding the black community.

Joining them was Khary Lazarre-White, co-founder of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a New York City-based organization that provides mentorship and other opportunities to underprivileged youths in an attempt to break cycles of poverty and violence in that urban center.

The panel also featured inspirational speaker Lisa Nichols, who participated in one of the many Empowerment Experience panels held during the weekend.

These guests joined Hall at the MSNBC experience at the 2013 Essence Festival, a four-day event featuring music, empowering information sessions, and celebrity sightings, which draws a crowd of over 400,000 people annually. The Essence Festival takes place through July 7, and includes a convention center experience that is free and open to the public.

At an open TV studio situated in the middle of the convention action at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Hall led a discussion with her guests on her show News Nation about how mentoring can help the black community and other groups with less access to advancement improve conditions through investing in our children’s futures.

Susan Taylor shared details about her National Cares Mentoring Movement, and stressed that giving back is essential for people of all walks of life.

When Taylor founded the Essence Festival 19 years ago as then-editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, that element of giving back and empowering others was a central part of its mission.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter @lexisb