Several notable celebrities, community leaders and entertainers descended on the city of New Orleans once again to attend the 15th Annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards, held today at the Ritz Carlton, New Orleans. They were joined by attendees from across that nation who converged to recognize this year’s recipients of the distinguished awards, including popular Political Commentator Symone Sanders, renown actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, Black Girls CODE CEO Kimberly Bryant and next generation McDonald’s Owner/Operator Monique Vann-Brown. Additionally, college philanthropist Tishauna Wilson was recognized alongside this lineup to receive a $10,000 McDonald’s HBCU Forward Scholarship, facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
McDonald’s 365Black Awards take place annually to honor outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round. Held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™ presented by Coca-Cola®, the event was hosted by actress Essence Atkins.
R&B singer Dave Hollister gave a dynamic performance during the awards. Presenters included actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery, actor Larenz Tate, actress Bresha Webb, media personality Tai Beauchamp and McDonald’s Owner/Operator Tanya Holliday. Award-winning gospel artists Fred Hammond and JJ Hairston also made appearances.
TV personality and model Cynthia Bailey brought her large social media following along to the event, posting live from the ceremony. Other celebrity attendees included actor Lance Gross, award-winning talk show host, Loni Love and R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn, among others.
“It was a privilege to witness and take part in the celebration of our outstanding female honorees. Their accomplishments reflect the tenets of our 365Black platform,” said Kenny Mitchell, McDonald’s U.S. Vice President of Brand Marketing & Content. “Our 15 year-long partnership with ESSENCE and continuation of the 365Black Awards affirms our commitment to celebrating everyday people who are doing extraordinary things to positively move Black Forward.”
Those who were unable to attend the ceremony can follow @365Black on Twitter for commentary on the awards and join the conversation on all social platforms using #365BlackAwards.