For Immediate Release
June 30, 2011
Contact Information

The Coca-Cola Company
Wanda Yancey Rodwell
+01.404. 676.1068
Gorki De Los Santos

(BPRW) Coca-Cola® Jazzes Up the ESSENCE Music Festival™ with $125,000 in Scholarships to Schools in Louisiana

-Coca-Cola 125th Anniversary Celebration Continues in New Orleans-

(BLACK PR WIRE)--NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- And the party continues. The Coca-Cola Company is swinging down to the “Big Easy” this week to continue its yearlong, 125th anniversary celebration at the ESSENCE Music Festival. As part of the festivities, The Coca-Cola Foundation will make a donation to help deserving students in Louisiana.

As the Presenting Sponsor of the country’s largest music and empowerment event for African American women, Coca-Cola is awarding $125,000 in scholarships to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Louisiana. Each educational institution will receive $25,000 from The Coca-Cola Foundation to support women’s empowerment and education initiatives.

The grants will support the Coca-Cola Last Mile Scholarships which benefit women who are the first in their families to attend college and who lack the necessary resources to complete their degrees. Recipients must be in their Senior year of college, maintain a grade point average of 2.5 (4.0 scale) and be enrolled at Xavier University, Southern University New Orleans, Grambling State University, Southern University at Baton Rouge or Dillard University.

“The Coca-Cola Company has made a major commitment to empower women by helping them overcome barriers to business success,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, Chairperson, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “These scholarships will empower women scholars to fulfill their dreams of completing their college education."

Coca-Cola has been the Presenting Sponsor of the ESSENCE Music Festival for the past 16 years and has given nearly $500,000 to support the New Orleans community.

“At the ESSENCE Music Festival thousands of African Americans enjoy a weekend full of music, empowerment sessions and fun with friends and family,” said Kimberly Evans Paige, Assistant Vice President, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “While the music and weather are hot, we cool down the fans with plenty of ice-cold Coca-Cola.”

Festival attendees can sample Diet Coke and Gold Peak Tea, enjoy star appearances at the Coca-Cola booth by DJ Rock-T from the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, celebrity Chef G Garvin and more. Coca-Cola also will roll out the red carpet for an unforgettable interactive event which places people center stage for the premier of the CokeFreeze360™ cam. It’s all part of the “Celebrate You” party to say “thank you” to music fans.

Coca-Cola has also created a commemorative 125th Anniversary souvenir Coca-Cola bottle to mark the occasion and thank people for enjoying Coca-Cola for 125 years. The bottles will be distributed at Coca-Cola booths during the weekend-long activities.

Other Coca-Cola activities include:

Chris Paul Foundation CP3K Walk for KIDS

As part of Coca-Cola’s active living and youth development platforms, Coca-Cola is the Presenting Sponsor of the Chris Paul Foundation’s CP3K Walk for KIDS, Thursday, June 30, 2011 at Tulane University in New Orleans. The Walk will educate New Orleans youth about being active and making healthy life choices.

Youth Outreach Program

Coca-Cola will co-sponsor the ESSENCE Music Festival Youth Outreach and Empowerment Program. Speakers will share stories of their personal triumphs, and Coca-Cola will bring New Orleans’ own R&B singer Kourtney Heart to perform. Teens will have the opportunity to win prizes and receive premium giveaways.

Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Gold Peak Tea Booths

Coca-Cola will have three booths in the convention center to refresh and excite Festival-goers. People can engage in social media and update their friends about Coca-Cola’s various activities, including DJ mix sessions, text-to-win sweepstakes, cooking demonstrations by celebrity Chef G Garvin and more.


Debuting for the first time to a mass audience, CokeFreeze360 is a digital “photograph’ that portrays images in a continuous circular fashion. A high-tech destination with 48 cameras will capture attendees in a stop motion, 360-degree digital photograph that can be instantly shared with family and friends across the country via Facebook and Twitter. The CokeFreeze360 is located at the Coca-Cola booth.

Coca-Cola Super Lounge

As host of one of four Super Lounges, Coca-Cola will offer special live entertainment from well-known neo-soul and R&B musicians.

Mainstage Moments

Coca-Cola is hosting three “Mainstage Moments” for fans. Each night during the Essence Music Festival concerts, Coca-Cola will offer people the chance to win access to an exclusive VIP ”Celebrate You” party, as well as cool Coca-Cola gift packs, and the opportunity to be tasters during celebrity Chef G Garvin’s cooking demonstration.

The Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $418 million in support of sustainable community initiatives worldwide. For more information about philanthropic priorities of The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to

The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at