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About the Event

The 2nd Annual Ellavate Juneteenth Benefit Celebration - “A Necessary Journey to Freedom: A Time to Reflect, Restore and Rejoice” is a hybrid luncheon hosted in-person at the Eaton Hotel in Washington, DC as well as via live stream. 

Named after Dr. Ella F. Washington's first solo publication by Harvard Business Review Press, "The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity" , this signature charity event will highlight the history of Juneteenth and its impact on Black Americans. The celebratory luncheon will feature a dynamic keynote from Michelle Ghee, CEO of Ebony and Jet, and the latest data on Black Americans in the U.S. provided by the Gallup Center on Black Voices. We look forward to this engaging event, where we will discuss the challenges, triumphs, and opportunities in an ever-changing DEI landscape.

This event will aid in raising the necessary funds to pour back into the community while cultivating strong relationships in the DEI industry. Last year, Ellavate donated $5,000 raised from the luncheon to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. This year, Ellavate plans to donate to G.O.O.D Projects, a local charity in Washington, D.C. and to the "Elevating Excellence in DEI Endowed Scholarship" at Spelman College.

Dr. Ella F. Washington

Founder and CEO of Ellavate Solutions


What does a workplace utopia look like to you?

This is the question Dr. Ella F. Washington asks companies, and often she hears about an ideal vision of an organization that values diversity and inclusion and wants employees to bring their whole selves to work.

Many organizations desire this ideal vision and know that it's a journey to get there—but still don't know what's required to make the journey. Organizations have largely missed the mark when it comes to creating environments where all employees thrive in an equal and equitable way, because they treat diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a program that gets done rather than the necessary and difficult journey it is. A truly inclusive workplace requires invention and reinvention, mistakes and humility, adaptation to a changing world, constant self-reflection, and sometimes significant sacrifice.

Dr. Ella F. Washington is an organizational psychologist and DEI expert with a wealth of experience through her involvement as the Founder and CEO of Ellavate Solutions, a Professor of Practice at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, and the Co-host of Gallup's Center of Black Voices Cultural Competence Podcast while eagerly anticipating the release of her first solo book published by the Harvard Business Review Press titled "The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity and Inclusion" available for pre-sale now.

Michele Thornton GheE


Ghee has worked for some of the most powerful media companies in the world including WME, CNN, A&E, The History Channel and BET Networks. While at BET, Michele created and ran the first and only network for black women: BETHer. She began her career at SBC Communications in Oakland, California and is now the CEO of the Iconic black media brands: EBONY and Jet.

Ghee has received honors from; Multichannel News 2019 Wonder Woman, Working Mother of the Year Award Class of 2018, The ADCOLOR Change Agent Award and The American Advertising Federation Mosaic Role Model of the Year Award to name a few.

Ghee has authored three books and is a sought after public speaker.

Ghee graduated college at 31 and was later honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Golden Gate University. 

She resides in New Jersey with husband Tony and kids Taylor and Jordan.



Future Band DC

More than just a band, they are a movement. FutureBandDC has been thrilling audiences since 2013 with their tremendous energy and proven ability to entertain audiences of all ages. Heavily influenced by the Roots with a touch of Earth, Wind, & Fire, FutureBandDC has perfected the art of melding the essence of Hip-Hop, Soul, and Gogo. The band combines the very best of many genres of music, while entertaining and captivating audiences with their sincerity and power.

FutureBandDC is currently touring and promoting the release of their latest project "Believer", which was released in November 2019 and has been met with rave reviews. The band was also recently nominated 2x for Best All Male Band.


Gallup Center on Black Voices

The Center on Black Voices is Gallup's research initiative devoted to studying and highlighting the experiences of more than 40 million Black Americans: tracking and reporting on progress on life outcomes and a life well-lived.

Camille_Lloyd Head shot.jpg



What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black people. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. The significance of this date is that it took place two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, delivered the Emancipation Proclamation that freed Black people from slavery. 

Named by combining “June” and “Nineteenth”, Juneteenth is often referred to as the oldest African-American holiday. Ellavate Solutions is proud to celebrate the Necessary Journey to Freedom with a time to reflect, restore and rejoice. 



Donation Recipient - Local

GOODProjects is empowering youth and their families to live fulfilling lives free from poverty, while helping them develop the growth mindset to thrive in their own communities. Our mission is to eliminate the roadblocks to basic needs so families can define success for themselves on their pathway to achieving the American Dream. 

Our work focuses on creating the place-based, sustainable model to turn poverty-dense communities defined as Opportunity Zones into GOODZones where 100% of our families sustain incomes at or above $80k a year. We are working to achieve this vision, first for our home of Washington, D.C., and then expanding our model to help other communities nationwide become positive and empowered GOODZones. Your support provides us the resources to continue to co-create with communities and their leadership in defining the future of social impact.

Elevating Excellence in DEI Endowed Scholarship at Spelman College

Donation Recipient - National

Spelman College is a private, historically black, women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia. It is part of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium in Atlanta. In graduating hundreds of Black women every year, this scholarship aims to provide financial assistance to a Junior or Senior to help defray educational costs during matriculation at Spelman.

Thank you to our sponsors

Ellavate Leading Champion


Partner of Ellavate

RLJ Companies

Ellavate Ally

Brookfield Properties  |  Lettuce Entertain You  |  SBA Communications

Friends of Ellavate

Cerner Capital  |  Evoke  |  Fanatics  |  HIT Strategies  |  J.R.R. Scholarship Foundation, Inc.  The PhD Projects  |  Reimagine Talent Co  |  Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

The Burns Brothers

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