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Henry Louis Gates Jr., Others Recognized For Inspiration and Influence In Black Community

OAK BROOK, Ill., -- McDonald's presents its 2010 365Black Awards, continuing to recognize prominent African Americans who influence and inspire greatness among African Americans and all Americans.

Celebrities and dignitaries from across the country join event emcee Tom Joyner, nationally syndicated radio personality and one of the first recipients of the 365Black Award, along with Sherri Shepherd, television co-host of "The View," on Friday, July 2, 201010:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, to recognize the accomplishments of several noteworthy individuals. Each 2010 recipient of the McDonald's 365Black Awards exemplifies outstanding community service, empowering new generations for years to come.

This year McDonald's recognizes Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Lieutenant General Russel L. Honore, US Army (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.  These individuals join the ranks of previous 365Black honorees, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, ESSENCE Magazine president Michelle Ebanks and founder Susan Taylor, educatorJohnnetta B. Cole, CNN journalist Soledad O'Brien, and NBA legend Alonzo Mourning.

"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."

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.  

"McDonald's continues to cultivate the growth of the African American community through recognizing those that empower our consumers to take advantage of academic, economic, employment and career opportunities," said Rob Jackson, Director of U.S. Marketing, McDonald's USA. "Our commitment is to celebrate people who truly demonstrate the essence of 365Black, which is all about being 'deeply rooted in the community®' everyday."

The 2010 365Black Awards recipients include:

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Professor Gates is Editor-in-Chief of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community and written from an African American perspective, and the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American and Africana Studies. Professor Gates is also the critically acclaimed host of multi-part PBS documentary series, "African American Lives 1 and 2." and "Faces of America."

Lt. General Russel L. Honore, who led Task Force Katrina in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast in the summer of 2005. General Honore is currently a Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization, where he is working on developing questions to determine levels of preparedness, and a CNN Preparedness Contributor. General Honore retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army.  

Rodney Peete and Holly Robinson Peete formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father's inspiring battle with Parkinson's disease, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people plagued with devastating life circumstances. In 2005, inspired by their son, hollyrod4kids was formed to focus on children's causes and improving the lives of children affected by circumstances beyond their control, specifically autism.  Through hollyrod4kids and her family's personal experiences, The Peetes have become advocates for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support on autism. 

Rita Mack Chairman and CEO of the National Black McDonald's Operators Association (NBMOA), oversees the nation's largest and most successful organization for African American franchisees.  Mack, an operator of nine restaurants in New Jersey, is a tireless leader, dedicated to advancing and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of the African American community, through ensuring the businesses success of the African American operators who own restaurants throughout the nation.  


 

SOURCE McDonald's



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