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2nd Annual Women’s Wellness Retreat During the 2024 Essence Music Festival


NEW ORLEANS — Dr. Toscha L. Dickerson, a distinguished CEO, author, and leader in women’s empowerment, alongside her 12-year-old daughter, Kaleigh, is proud to host the 2nd annual Big Easy Retreat. Set to take place in New Orleans during the Essence Festival Weekend, this unique retreat will occur on Saturday, July 6, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St.

This one-day experience aims to unite sisters from all over the world to embrace one another in authentic sisterhood. Women will learn to focus on their total well-being – mind, body, and soul. This year’s theme, “The Power of Transformation,” promises a range of activities and sessions focused on self-care, personal transformation and purpose-finding. The retreat aims to provide a platform for women to rejuvenate and transform into the person they aspire to be.

Guest speakers include the following:

Tiana Von Johnson – Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker

Shulunda Gibson, M.A., CCC-LSP – The Voice Whisperer  and founder of The Speech and Voice Care Center (SVCC)

Reverend Linda Freeman – Preacher and entrepreneur

Sonjia Pelton Sam – Founder, The Glam FACTOR

Martica Offord-Sherman, MA, LPC-A, NCC, MLC – Published Author and Transformational Life Coach

Dr. Willyetta Mitchell – STEM Instructional Coach at Southern Regional Education Board

Francheska Gwenadette – executive producer, creator and host of The END Table Live Broadcast and Podcast, CEO of Saved & Savage Inc. Productions, and owner of Gwenadette Styling Company – will host this event.

“We are delighted to bring together women from all walks of life for the 2nd annual Big Easy Retreat during the Essence Festival Weekend,” said Dr. Toscha L. Dickerson. “Our retreat provides a distinct opportunity for women to bond, revitalize, flourish, and embark on an enriching journey. Featuring a lineup of inspirational speakers and honoring women who have made significant contributions to their communities, we aim to inspire and equip every participant with the tools and motivation needed to reach their fullest potential.”

The retreat also features a special component for teenage girls 12-17, promoting entrepreneurship, and self-care, along with inspiration and encouragement. The theme for the teen session is “Unleash Your Inner Glow: Your Journey to Self-Love and Confidence Starts Here.”

Teen Session speakers include the following:

Keoka Washington, MS-HRM, SHRM-CP – Human Resources Business Partner, University of Alabama

Kaleigh Dickerson – Young Self-Care Advocate

Lauren Alexander – Entrepreneur

Asia Green – Fashionista

Tyia Edwards – Athlete

“Empowering teen girls to prioritize their wellness is not just an investment in their present, but in their future,” said Kaleigh Dickerson. “By fostering their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, we’re nurturing a generation of strong, confident, and resilient young women ready to conquer the world.”

The retreat will also pay homage to women actively engaged in their communities.

Honorees include the following:

Dr. Sonia White – United States Air Force Veteran and Philanthropist

Dr. Rhonda  Sneed – Founder and CEO of Restoring Souls Outreach Center, Inc.,

Dr. Nikki Zeigler – Founder of The Herprenuer Network International

Brianna Henderson – Founder and CEO of the LetsTalkPPCM

Vicki Wright Hamilton – CEO of VWH Consulting and Executive Coach

Minister JaVon Ophelia Butler – Minister and Founder, Director, and Playwright of SeLah Productions, Inc.

Jennifer Turner – Community Servant Leader

For more information on the 2nd annual Big Easy Retreat and to register, please visit


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