During the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, Ford returned for their 14th year as the exclusive vehicle sponsor and brought out a bevy of celebs to celebrate.
This year, Ford’s theme was “JOYRIDE” with the destination set as JOY to mark an opportunity for Black women to be their authentic selves by connecting, engaging, and enjoying on their terms.
With that in mind, the globally recognized brand hosted an immersive JOYRIDE activation where attendees celebrated the JOY of feeling electric, the JOY of music, and the JOY of new experiences while enjoying opportunities to dance, sing Car-aoke, create content and test drive the latest line of Ford vehicles including the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, the all-new Ford Maverick hybrid pickup.
Not only that, but the Ford Stage at JOYRIDE featured celebrity interviews through a partnership with Sirius XM including Ne-Yo,
and THEE Patti Labelle…
In addition to treating fans to exclusive access to celebs, Ford gave back to the community by donating $20 for every test drive taken over the weekend, with $10,000 donated to NAACP New Orleans Branch to support the fight for equality and $5,000 to Ford’s Warriors in Pink initiative to help thousands of patients, survivors, and co-survivors affected by the disease each year.
Sherri Shepherd Helps Ford Give Away A Vehicle, Tells BOSSIP About Her New Talk Show
It would not be an Essence Festival without Ford giving away a vehicle and they enlisted a bubbly celeb to help them do so. This year, Ford teamed up with Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show host, comedienne, actor, and best-selling author Sherri Shepherd to help give award a Ford vehicle to the Ford Essence Festival Vehicle Giveaway up to $50,000 in value.
Ahead of the big giveaway, Shepherd chatted with BOSSIP about the joy that Ford and Essence fest were celebrating throughout the weekend.
“That’s the beauty of being at Essence, because everybody is like your family,” Shepherd who described the Essence Fest experience as “love, family and fearlessness” told BOSSIP.
“I’m looking at somebody, and I’m like, “You look like my auntie, you look like my cousin.” We share a lot of the same experiences. And so, to see everybody so happy, I haven’t been out in two years, two-and-a-half years. So to be here with people that look like me-I love it. It’s just hard to articulate the joy in my spirit.”
She also dished exclusively to BOSSIP about her forthcoming nationally syndicated talk show “Sherri” that’s premiering in syndication on September 12.
When we noted that her big news should be celebrated just as much as the Essence Fest experience, the host gushed that her show feels like it was carefully crafted by a higher power.
“I’m so thankful. If I could be spiritual [for a moment], it’s so God-ordained,” Shepherd told BOSSIP. It is nothing that I did, because this is a dream that I’ve been holding on to for 18 years, and it’s been 18 years of ‘no’s’,” she added. “Sometimes, you try to prove to people that you can do things, and they don’t get it. And it was something that I said to God, ‘I’m going to put this on a shelf with the fine China and focus on my acting,’ and he brought it to pass.
She added that her decades of experience in hosting have uniquely prepared her for this position and she’s creating her own lane. She also gave props to fellow Black women in daytime TV; Tamron Hall of “The Tamron Hall Show” and Jennifer Hudson of the forthcoming “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”
“I don’t question it, but I see why it was so long [in the making],” Shepherd told BOSSIP. “Because now I know who I am, I know what I bring, I know what works. I know the gift that I’ve been given. I make people laugh, that’s what I do.
“I’m not trying to be a journalist, that’s why you got Tamron Hall, she’s a journalist,” she added. “That’s why you got other folks. I don’t sing, that’s why you have Jennifer Hudson. I come out, and I’m going to make you laugh, and I’m going to make you feel good from laughing. But that took doing standup for 20 years, getting on stage. That took me doing The View, to learn to be curious about people. I can see God all in this, so I’m very thankful, and I’m very excited. I think you got to see a little bit of what I do on The View, but [now] you’ll really get to see it.”
“It’s going to be a fun ride,” Shepherd added to BOSSIP while noting that she’s’ “ready” for the ride. “You’re going to turn on that TV and say, ‘What is that crazy girl doing today?!’ That’s what that’s going to be!”
Are YOU ready to watch “Sherri” this fall? WE are.
Check out some more highlights of not only Sherri Shepherd at ESSENCE but other celebs who graced the Ford stage and activation.