BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will be attending the Essence Festival in New Orleans.

The festival, a celebration of Black culture, food, fashion and music, began Thursday and will last through July 3. It is hosted by Essence magazine and one of the theme’s of this year’s festival is “black joy.”

Along with other city leaders from across the United States, Brown will be speaking on topics such as economic development and gun reform as part of a mayoral panel. In wake of the mass shooting on Jefferson Avenue, Brown is seeking to bring Buffalo’s needed resources to a national level.

MORE | For more information on this year’s Essence Festival, click or tap here.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.