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THE MERGE SUMMIT RETURNS FOR FIFTH YEAR INTEGRATING FAITH AND ENTERTAINMENT AUGUST 22-24Relevé Entertainment announced today that The Merge Summit 2013 will be held August 22-24 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

The event is presented in association with partners RCA Inspiration, Walgreens, BET Music Matters and UPSCALE Magazine. Integrating faith and entertainment, The Merge Summit provides a platform for men and women of faith to interface, learn and partner with leading executives and talent in the entertainment industry.

The Merge Summit is one of the largest events for people of faith and its multifaceted program includes a complete weekend of education, inspiration and entertainment. Nearly 100 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives will lead more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions, covering music, television, film, creative development, and branding, marketing and new media.

This year, the Summit kicks off its weekend events with Opening Night at The Merge, hosted by actress Kym Whitley of “Raising Whitley” on OWN with special musical performance by recording artist Michelle Williams. The weekend also boasts the Wellness Lounge sponsored by Wellness Interactive Inc. and Walgreens, an Awards Luncheon, and the BET Music Matters Showcase. The Merge Summit will conclude with Freedom: The Merge Concert sponsored by RCA Inspiration, featuring Mali Music and “Sunday Best” finalist Jessica Reedy, Gospel rapper Tedashii and Kierra Sheard, star of the hit reality series, “The Sheards” on BET Networks.

The Summit is excited to have two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington back for another highly anticipated candid conversation. The exceptionally talented couple, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance will participate in a new session, The Balancing Act: Prioritizing Marriage, Faith and Career. Suzanne de Passe will host Bold, Beautiful & On Purpose, a session featuring several dynamic women, including media mogul Tracey Edmonds.

The Merge will host its Third Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, August 24th, honoring those bridging the gap between faith and entertainment. The 2013 honorees include Steve Pemberton, Divisional Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens and Pastor Toure Roberts of One Church International in Los Angeles.

“We are so excited to announce our fifth year and we celebrate this milestone,” said The Summit Founder & Chair Dr. Holly Carter. “Each year, The Merge Summit has progressed to represent the evolution of the entertainment business while always remaining true to our original purpose. Our desire is to give creative men and women of faith, the opportunity to share their stories, to edify and to give a voice for the gifts and talents in our community.”

“Each year, I grow more excited with anticipation of The Merge. It has proven to be an invaluable source of information for all who attend. I have no doubt this time around will be even greater,” said The Merge Summit Co-Founder & Co-Chair Robi Reed.

“I’m excited to be co-chairing this year’s Merge Summit,” adds Traci Blackwell. “I have been a great supporter of this event from its inception and each year I look forward to its growth and how it continues to enhance the lives of others.”

“I am so happy and proud to be involved with the Merge Summit again,” says Co-Chair Debra Langford. “This is the one conference where attendees and panelists can be enriched with key business, creative, professional, personal, and spiritual insights on the entertainment business. This is also an experience that people carry with them throughout the year.”

Other confirmed speakers include:

Harry Lennix, Actor (Man of Steel, A Beautiful Soul, The Matrix, The Five Heartbeats)
Issa Rae, Creator/Actress (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl)
Kwesi Boakye, Teen Actor (Unconditional, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself)
Ralph Farquhar, Writer/Producer (The Real Hollywood Husbands, Moesha)
Lecrae, Gospel Hip-Hop Recording Artist, Reach Records
Kim Coleman, Casting Director (Enemy of the State, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Peeples)
Ezekiel Lewis, Vice President of A&R, Motown Records
Charlie Jordan Brookins, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks
Billy Johnson,Yahoo! Music Senior Editor
Ayo Davis, Vice President of Casting, ABC Entertainment Group
The Playmakers, Comedians, YouTube Superstars
Good Clean Fun, Production Company (Tia & Tamera, Run’s House)

For a complete list of confirmed speakers, more information and to register, please visit www.themergesummit.com

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