OAK BROOK, Ill., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of the 10th annual McDonald's 365Black Awards, McDonald's announced today it is expanding the program by inviting more than 2,500 consumers to attend the star-studded, "golden" carpet event. Hosted by award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, the awards show will be held Saturday, July 6 during ESSENCE Festival™ weekend and welcome a number of celebrity appearances and performances to the New Orleans Theater at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
McDonald's 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. This year's honorees include: legendary recording artist and "Empress of Soul" Gladys Knight; supermodel Beverly Johnson; education leader Dr. Steve Perry; executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox Kenny Williams; McDonald's owner/operator Roland Parrish; teen entrepreneur Leanna Archer and youth environmentalist Charles Orgbon.
"From the youngest CEO to ever open the NASDAQ to a stellar songstress, McDonald's is proud to recognize this year's recipients for positively shaping our communities each day," said Rob Jackson, McDonald's U.S. marketing director. "We are excited to share this historic ceremony with the consumers whose lives are impacted by the work of our honorees."
Prior to the ceremony, actress/comedian Kym Whitley will cover the celebrity action from the "golden" carpet. An all-star lineup of performers, including KEM, Amber Riley and Erica Campbell, will pay tribute to the honorees and keep the crowd grooving to their soulful sounds.
McDonald's 365Black Awards launched in 2003 as an extension of the company's 365Black platform, which celebrates the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round. The 2013 program is a free, ticketed event. Consumers can visit http://www.eventfarm.com/365BlackAwards to register for tickets.
"McDonald's is committed to being deeply rooted in the communities we serve 365 days a year, both inside and outside of our restaurants," Jackson said. "We are committed to engaging with our neighbors and strive to continually create positive programs that bring social awareness to areas that are important to them."
Those who miss the live awards ceremony can still share in the experience by watching the broadcast on Black Entertainment Television (BET®) network in August. Additionally, consumers can follow @McDonalds on Twitter for updates on the awards show and join the conversation using #365Black.
McDonald's USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit http://www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.
About BET Networks:
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET operates in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates: 365Black, and McDonald's. ©2013 McDonald's