Caroline Wanga - Culturati Summit

Caroline Wanga

CEO, Essence Communications


Caroline A. Wanga serves as CEO of ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and communities. For 50 years, ESSENCE has been relentlessly committed to serving its community deeply, whether via critical multi-platform content, digital and virtual offerings, unmatched experiences, cultural convenings and more to inform, empower and inspire its global and multigenerational audience of 30+ million Black women. From ESSENCE magazine, ESSENCE Festival of Culture and the ESSENCE “Black Women In...” franchise to the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum, ESSENCE Wellness House and Fashion House, and ESSENCE Entrepreneurship Summit, the brand continues to innovate to provide its communities with the platforms, content, and resources they need — when and where they need it. A self-proclaimed cultural architect with a passion for constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing organizational culture, Wanga champions authenticity and thrives in innovative environments. She previously worked in the non-profit sector and most recently served as the Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Officer for the Target Corporation. With a background in corporate and community leadership, her career expands over several disciplines and capabilities including youth development, grant-writing, community organizing, supply chain, human resources, culture and media. Caroline has worked her way up from entry-level positions to the highest of senior leadership roles and is passionate about modeling what she teaches. Her “real-talk” delivery, witty thought leadership and unmitigated perspective on democratizing authenticity as a differentiator for individuals and organizations, make her a highly sought-after keynote speaker, equity strategist, and community influencer. She unapologetically believes that who each person is, is non-negotiable and is often quoted saying, “Who you are is who you are. If you cannot be who you are where you are, you change where you are not who you are.” She is a Kenyan citizen and her life’s greatest accomplishment is her daughter, Cadence.