Ford Joins Forces with Essence Magazine and AOL Latino on Initiatives Aimed...

Ford Joins Forces with Essence Magazine and AOL Latino on Initiatives Aimed at Empowering Multicultural Women


DEARBORN, Mich., May 8 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ —

— Ford is launching two campaigns aimed at recognizing and celebrating multicultural women.

— Ford and Essence Magazine have joined together to create a program encouraging progress and empowerment in the areas of Career, Finance and Health titled “Women Driving Progress.” The program culminates at the 2009 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans during July 4 weekend.

— Ford and AOL Latino have partnered up on the creation of Tu Voz, a unique resource and tool of empowerment targeting Hispanic women that focuses on the areas of Health, Career, Money and Lifestyle.

— Both programs provide an opportunity for women to enter for a chance to meet with some of the leading empowerment coaches within the African American and Hispanic community, including Philanthropist Malaak Compton-Rock and Maria Marin, the only Hispanic woman internationally known as an expert in the “Art of Negotiation.”

— America’s most fuel efficient midsize sedan, the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion is the feature vehicle of both programs.

Ford Motor Company has always recognized the significant contributions women have made in moving this country forward, which is why this spring, Ford is teaming up with Essence Magazine and AOL Latino on two separate initiatives aimed at empowering and fostering growth within today’s multicultural woman. Both programs tap into areas proven to be of importance to multicultural women and include the opportunity for consumers to enter for a chance to meet with some of today’s leading empowerment coaches.

“Ford continues to be a company committed to the principles of empowerment and progress,” said Crystal Worthem, multicultural marketing, Ford Motor Company. “We are excited about launching both initiatives as they provide an opportunity for us to touch the lives of both African American and Hispanic women in a way that is not only exciting but beneficial considering the economic climate that we all live in today. With both programs we are hoping to play a role in igniting the drive for women to make real change for themselves and their surrounding communities while driving progress toward the lives they deserve.”

Women Driving Progress

At its core, Women Driving Progress is about empowering women to make a difference in their lives by providing them with the tools to realize their goals while simultaneously celebrating the diversity and accomplishments of African American women by sharing their inspiring transformation with Essence readers. The program is centered on the areas of Women’s Health, Career and Finances and features an opportunity for Essence readers both in-book and online to read tips on all three subjects. Part of the initiative includes a contest inviting women to submit a 200-word essay telling Essence and Ford why they would be the perfect candidate to meet with an empowerment coach at the 2009 Essence Music Festival. Three finalists will win a trip to New Orleans to meet with their coach and one winner will also win the grand prize-the progressive 2010 Fusion Hybrid that gets 700 miles on one tank of gas. Coaches for the program include Fitness Guru Donna Richardson Joyner, Philanthropist Malaak Compton-Rock and Finance Expert and Essence Financial Contributor Carla Harris. As part of being the Automotive Exclusive sponsor of the 2009 Essence Music Festival, Ford will sponsor Empowerment Seminars over the course of the weekend, including Friday’s seminar which is focused on “Living an Authentic Life.”

“ESSENCE is pleased to partner with Ford on such an important initiative,” said Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications, Inc. “The Women Driving Progress mirrors ESSENCE’s commitment to empowering women to move their lives forward by focusing on key developmental areas both personally and professionally.”

On June 10, following a review of the entries, Ford and Essence Magazine will select the three finalists who will meet up in New Orleans as part of Ford’s sponsorship of the 2009 Essence Music Festival. Official rules, submission guidelines and details on the program are available on .

AOL Latino Launches Tu Voz

AOL Latino is partnering with Ford to launch a new online women’s destination, Tu Voz, Tu Voz, which means “your voice,” will be a unique Spanish language resource that will act as a tool of empowerment for Hispanic women encouraging them to make real change for themselves and their families while living the life they deserve. Part of AOL Latino’s women’s lifestyle network Tu Vida y Mas,, Tu Voz will be promoted through various social networking sites, such as Bebo, Facebook and Twitter, where AOL Latino has made a presence with its other properties and programming.

Tu Voz will be hosted by TV personality Lesley Ann Machado who will lead the audience to their desired areas of interest. There will be four coaches in the areas of Lifestyle, Health, Careers and Money that will provide tips and advice on how to empower women in their daily lives within these areas. Coaches for the program include Lifestyle coach Maria Marin, Health coach Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, Career coach Mariela Dabbah and Money coach Maria Ines Ferre.

“AOL Latino is thrilled to be partnering with Ford on this important initiative to do our part in helping empower the Hispanic woman in all aspects of her life,” said Miguel Ferrer, director of AOL Latino. “Our original content along with the insightful posts from these knowledgeable coaches will provide our audience with a starting point to feeling stronger about themselves and for sharing their everyday experiences for the benefit of the larger Hispanic community.”

“Ford is proud to have developed Tu Voz with AOL Latino as an empowerment community for Hispanic women. Our goal was to provide Hispanic women a unique, Spanish-language virtual network of their own,” said David Rodriguez, multicultural marketing, Ford Motor Company. “They are increasingly tech-savvy so what better medium for an empowerment community than online. Tu Voz reflects the value Ford places on community, supporting the increasingly important and vibrant Latina sisterhood.”

In addition to the original online content, AOL Latino and Ford will sponsor three contests, one for each coach category combining Money and Careers, where consumers will be asked to write essays explaining why they qualify to win an empowerment getaway and personal consultation with our coaches. These contests and trips will be spread throughout the year. For more information on how to submit, please visit

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s wholly owned automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the leading media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is “Where Black Women Come First”. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit, Window on Our Women (WOW I, II & III) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 39 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a readership of 8.1 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women’s lives.

Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

About AOL Latino

AOL Latino,, is the number two bilingual portal for U.S. Hispanics with more than 1.7 million unique visitors according to March 2009 comScore Media Metrix data. AOL Latino offers comprehensive Spanish language products and services including free email and instant messaging. The service also offers U.S. and Latin American news, financial tools, the latest in music and entertainment, personal finance, sports, fashion and beauty, as well as access to all the existing content available on AOL,

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Ford Joins Forces with Essence Magazine and AOL Latino on Initiatives Aimed at Empowering Multicultural Women