On July 2nd at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, McDonald's presented its 2010 365Black Award recipients to recognize the accomplishments of noteworthy individuals that exemplify outstanding community service, empowering new generations for years to come.
This year's honorees are Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, USArmy (Ret); philanthropists Rodney Peete and Holly Robinson Peete; and National Black McDonald’s Operators Association CEO Rita Mack, a New Jersey-based McDonald’s owner/operator. Hosted by Tom Joyner and Sherri Shepherd, Grammy-award winning singer Regina Belle opened up the festivities with a stirring performance while journalist Roland Martin interviewed celebrities on the red carpet during the VIP Reception.
"This year's McDonald's 365Black Awards recipients represent another extraordinary group of leaders in America. From celebrated intellectuals to catalysts in community service, they are accomplished people of tremendous influence," said Neil Golden, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald's USA. "They continually inspire all of us with their unique leadership in areas that touch our lives."
This year's recipients join the ranks of previous 365Black honorees, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, ESSENCE Magazine president Michelle Ebanks and founder Susan Taylor, educator Johnnetta B. Cole, CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien, and NBA legend Alonzo Mourning. Held annually at the beginning of the Essence Music Festival, the 365Black Awards event is McDonald’s celebration of African American leaders for their contributions to the community.
The 365Black Awards were launched in 2003 and are an extension of McDonald's 365Black initiative, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African Americans yearlong. McDonald's outreach under the 365Black platform includes the web site www.mcdonalds.com/365black, as well as alliances with organizations that provide opportunities for African Americans to succeed.
Photo credits: Soul Brother, Film Magic and Irwin Thompson, Associated Press