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Harlem Streets to Worldwide Retail and More

We are requesting the immediate resignation from Richelieu Dennis (Owner & Chief Executive Officer Essence Ventures) Michelle Ebanks, Essence Ventures board Member and former CEO Essence Communications, Joy Collins Profet (COO), and MoAna Louu (COO), respectively.We call on AT&T, Chase Bank and Coca Cola to immediately cease all active and future sponsorships of Essence Communications and media buys until the company has new leadership.

Richelieu dennis Archives – Black America Web

Pay inequity and sexual harassment are common issues for Black women, who make up more than 80% of Essence’s workforce. In the last two years, hundreds of talented Black women were either unfairly laid off or forced from their jobs.Martha Dennis, richelieu dennis spouse, is Essence Ventures’ head of Human Resources. This is a clear conflict of interest. Martha is complicit with her husband’s intimidation and abuse of power.

Recently, Black female staff returned from maternity leave and were approved by the leadership to be laid off. Other Black female staff were threatened with termination during maternity leave and weren’t offered coverage for healthcare in time.Dennis is known to have slept with female employees at Sundial (owners of Shea Moisture, which was acquired by Unilever 2017). Dennis has harassed black female employees at Essence.

Sundial Brands sells to Unilever

Dennis attempted to make Essence contractors and employees sign non-disclosure agreements that protected him and his family against liability and disparagement following a series of wrongful layoffs. The executive leadership team used intimidation tactics against its majority Black female staff when staff raised concerns about the NDA.Employees questioned Michelle Ebanks about industry and market pay equity at a company town hall in the second half of 2019. Ebanks laughed off the question and said that employees were welcome to leave the company.

Ebanks’s leadership caused repeated miscarriages among black female staffers. Staff suffered from severe anxiety and depression under the leadership of Ebanks as well as Joy Collins Profet (COO), who was also responsible for workforce isolation. Profit was the direct supervisor of a senior staff member who went on a stress leave in 2019. Prophet returned to increased and more tactical workplace bullying.Dennis hired MoAna Luu as Chief Content Officer. This was due to a personal relationship. She is also a savage to the editorial and creative staff of Essence.A staffer anonymously wrote richelieu dennis and Ebanks a complaint. They initiated an interrogation of staff with the support of IT leadership, instead of investigating MoAna’s performance. This incident exacerbated the toxic culture of the company and resulted in the resignation of more Black women.

The terrorizing leadership of Profet, Ebanks and Profet has caused extreme trauma and fear for both current and former Black female employees at Essence. Essence’s current Black female staff is not emotionally secure and they are not well-prepared for economic and professional advancement.Within the next five business days, the Essence Ventures board and all corporations that invest in Essence must fire richelieu dennis, Ebanks and Prophet.


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