McDonald’s USA Expands Its HBCU Platform to Support the Next Generation of Leaders
October 13, 2020
(McDonald’s and its owner/operators are excited to announce additional efforts to support students and alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCUs, through the company’s Black & Positively Golden movement. This includes awarding 34 $15,000 scholarships to students attending Thurgood Marshall funded schools)
Powered by its Black & Positively Golden movement, McDonald’s and its owner/operators are further investing in HBCU students and alumni, and women entrepreneurs, through key community partnerships
CHICAGO (October 13, 2020) — McDonald’s USA, through its Black & Positively Golden movement, is excited to announce the expansion of its longstanding efforts to support students and alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Building on the recently announced $500,000 Black & Positively Golden HBCU scholarship fund, the company and its owner/operators have partnered with ESSENCE Girls United, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and iHeart Media to help the next generation of leaders take steps today to own tomorrow.
These special partnerships build on McDonald’s commitment to supporting and uplifting the Black community by providing mentorship opportunities, seed capital for entrepreneurs, college scholarships and feel good moments like the in-progress, virtual 14th Annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour.
“We are honored to partner with Essence Girls United, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and iHeart Media to provide opportunities for HBCU students and alumni along their education, leadership and entrepreneurship journey,” said Margaret “Marty” Gillis, New Jersey Owner/Operator and Owner/Operator Marketing Committee Lead. “McDonald’s and its owner/operators are committed to fostering the communities we serve while furthering Black excellence through initiatives like our HBCU programs that are positively shaping communities and lives.”
Following is additional information on each of the three McDonald’s HBCU programs that are taking place this fall:
McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Winner Surprises
This month, 34 of America’s brightest HBCU students were each awarded a $15,000 McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship, facilitated by TMCF.
Scholarship recipients were also surprised with a school supply delivery to their doorsteps, which included a tablet with a special congratulatory video featuring entertainment celebrities and fellow HBCU alumni, including Terrence J, Ashley Blaine Featherson, KJ Smith, Quad Webb and David Banner, along with TMCF and McDonald’s representatives.
“Knowing the uncertainty and challenges facing college students returning to classes during the pandemic, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted, as they continue dealing with not only the impacts of COVID-19, but also civil unrest and demands for Black equality,” said Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO. “That’s why TMCF is excited to partner with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college and to help provide the tools needed to succeed.”
McDonald’s HBCU Homecoming Celebration
Through November, McDonald’s is partnering with iHeartMedia to host an uplifting, month-long HBCU homecoming celebration to showcase school pride and elevate student achievement through iHeart’s multiple platforms, including on-air, streaming, podcasts and a live virtual event. The celebration will bring together HBCU students and alumni with their favorite musical artists, influencers and entertainment. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
“iHeart is excited to partner with McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement to bring this exciting programming to the HBCU community,” said Thea Mitchem, Executive Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia. “As an HBCU graduate, I know homecoming season is like no other, and we’re excited to celebrate its rich culture and musical offerings with listeners nationwide.”
McDonald’s x ESSENCE Girls United “Making Moves Now” Entrepreneurship Bootcamp & Pitch Competition
McDonald’s collaborated with ESSENCE Girls United for a multi-week program that kicked off with the ‘Making Moves Now’ Virtual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp on Saturday, September 19. Viewers saw profiles of three entrepreneurs who received advice on how to elevate their business plans from industry experts. Hosted by media personality and social media star Khadeen Ellis, the virtual bootcamp featured a surprise appearance by actress-singer Ryan Destiny, along with an online masterclass with the founder of Black Girl Sunscreen, Shontay Lundy, actress and content creator Jasmine Luv, and McDonald’s Owner/Operator Marissa Fisher.
On October 10, during the Girls United Summit on ESSENCE Studios, McDonald’s partnered with New Voices Fund, an organization that invests in women of color-owned companies. Through this program, McDonald’s awarded MIVE and Lillian Augusta with $10,000 in seed capital to help fund each of their businesses.
“ESSENCE Girls United is proud to partner with McDonald’s to help empower young women entrepreneurs on their journey to thrive in business and become examples for others in their community,” said Cassandre Charles, Vice-President, Marketing, ESSENCE. “From supporting Black students and entrepreneurs, to engaging the community with mentorship and action, our partnership with McDonald’s will help ensure that we continue to serve an essential role in providing activities for Black communities rooted in progress and prosperity, with a keen focus on equality and opportunity.”
McDonald’s expanded HBCU platform is an extension of the company’s longstanding commitment to advancing education, as demonstrated through its annual partnership with TMCF and its signature Archways to Opportunity program for restaurant crew and managers. Through Archways to Opportunity, McDonald’s and its independent franchisees have increased access to education to more than 55,000 restaurant employees and have awarded more than $100 million in tuition assistance to date.
For more information on McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement and the above programming, follow @wearegolden on Instagram.
About Black & Positively Golden
Launched in 2019, McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement is designed to uplift communities and shine a brilliant light on Black excellence through empowerment, education and entrepreneurship. It highlights all things positive and focuses on stories of truth, power and pride. The campaign movement is a natural extension of the brand’s longstanding commitment to the African American consumer.