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Delray Beach Gospel Festival empowers minority-owned businesses

Posted at 10:33 AM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 10:33:02-05

The Libby Wesley Plaza played host to an annual music event that’s all about celebrating the area’s top talent while drawing attention to diversity and inclusion.

The Annual Community Praise and Worship Experience highlights the strides African Americans have made in the past with a theme of empowerment to encourage young leaders to pave the way towards a better tomorrow.

“People came from all over. [We have] visitors from Virginia, Tampa, and Philadelphia. People came from everywhere to celebrate in this little city called Delray Beach,” said Kenya Wheeler, organizer and founder of The Praise and Worship Experience.

“I want people to walk away knowing that we did this to provide exposure to unity in the community,” Wheeler added.

The Praise and Worship Experience goes beyond showcasing the area’s top talent on stage, it also recognizes the local artists and business owner who are making an impact in the economy.

Cultural Events Provide Platform for Minority-Owned Business Success

“My biggest supporters are in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach,” said Kesline Mullins, owner of Kakes by Kesline.

The Boynton Beach baker continues to sell her baked goods in Delray Beach after seeing so many opportunities to put them on display.

After more than five years in business, Mullins just introduced a popular variety of cinnamon rolls to her collection of baked goods.

All cakes are baked from scratch using high quality ingredients and handcrafted a to fit her customers vision.

Some of the Signature Desserts are available in Gluten Free & Vegan.

This fall, Kakes by Kesline will open its first brick-and-mortar location in South Florida.

Mullins says having community gatherings that promote black-owned businesses helps generate wealth in areas that may need it the most.

Supporting small businesses strengthens the economic landscape of the community overall.

Libby Wesley Plaza Location Has Strong Ties to Delray Beach History

The location of Saturday’s event has strong ties to Delray Beach history.

The public plaza, located on the corner of West Atlantic Avenue and SW 5th Avenue, is named in remembrance of longtime resident and community activist Ida Elizabeth “Libby” Wesley.

The plaza, originally developed by the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, is a result of the 2002 Downtown Master Plan.

Since its 2010 completion, it has become a popular venue for community events and performances.

The City Commission adopted a resolution in July 2012 to officially name it the “Ida Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Jackson Wesley Plaza”, in honor of the late Palm Beach County School District educator and co-founder of the Roots Cultural Festival, a celebration of black heritage.