T.D. Jakes’ has announced that his popular “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” conference will be virtual after this year’s in-person event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A platform is expected to be announced soon for the event that has become the largest black women’s inspirational conference in the U.S., attracting upwards of 80,000 attendees and becoming the inspiration for a 2004 film.
This will be the conference’s first digital offering in its 20-plus year history. The 2020 in-person event was originally set to be the last conference, but the final event will now take place in-person next year in Atlanta.
“We came to this conclusion with the highest concern for everyone’s health and security,” Jakes said in a press release about the rescheduling. “Even though COVID-19 has brought unique challenges for being together this year, I am already looking forward to seeing women in person from around the world in 2021 as we convene in Atlanta.”
The conference that offers workshops, keynote speakers and special guests to tackle various subjects and issues that women face daily began as a Sunday School class taught by Jakes that he said “really struck into a reservoir of human need, dealing with women being trapped by emotional, mental, physical pain, trauma, abuse, childhood scars. And it was just a message to say that you can get over it; that you can get beyond it; that you can still be somebody; that you don’t have to be ensnared by where you came from. It was very simplistic, but it was very needed.”
The conference has played host to some of the biggest names in the national faith community including Paula White, Juanita Bynum and Joyce Meyers.
“It’s been amazing. It’s been an incredible career,” Jakes reflected. “Over 30 years I’ve been doing ‘Woman Thou Art Loosed.’ 43 years I’ve been preaching the gospel. I’m not retiring from the ministry, but I do think it’s important to know when to bow out, to go after other things, not to do things just out of tradition, but to move on to other messages.”
Tickets already purchased for the 2020 in-person event have been automatically transferred to the rescheduled 2021 Atlanta event and will also allow eventgoers to access the virtual experience this October.
Session speakers for the virtual experience include Bishop T.D. Jakes, Serita Jakes, Sarah Jakes Roberts and Cora Jakes Coleman. The conference plans to touch on current topics, including social justice in entertainment, mental health and how to turn anger into action.