Change Leaders will collectively receive $200K and additional resources to positively impact their communities
McDonald’s USA has a long history of investing in Black leaders who are taking steps now to create a brighter tomorrow. And, today, the Golden Arches and its Owner/Operators unveil the 2023 Black & Positively Golden Change Leaders – a collective of 10 young, Black movers-and-shakers who inspire and enact remarkable change in their communities and beyond. Each Change Leader will receive $20,000, totaling $200,000 collectively, and will have access to elevated platforms to amplify their community missions, ranging from financial literacy to equality across the education system to mental health advocacy.
To further propel their leadership and underscore that Black history and excellence should be celebrated all year, beyond Black History Month, Change Leaders will be featured in a national advertising campaign voiced over by the multitalented award-winning actress, singer and entertainer Keke Palmer. They will also attend culturally impactful events to elevate awareness of their missions and will have their stories profiled on McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Instagram, @wearegolden, each month.
“Historically, McDonald’s has celebrated the accomplishments of the people in the communities we serve, and we also recognize the importance of celebrating the community leaders who are starting something today to change everything tomorrow,” says Alexea Gordon, McDonald’s Manager of Cultural Engagement. “This program was created to provide the proper resources needed to help young Black community leaders succeed in their endeavors. These change leaders have the opportunity that we know will have a lasting impact on their communities, and we remain committed to not only celebrating but assisting change makers of the future.”
Much like the Change Leaders, Keke Palmer remains passionate about uplifting young adults, highlighting Black excellence and giving back to the community, making her the perfect ambassador for the Black & Positively Golden Change Leaders TV and radio spots.
“I am so excited to partner with McDonald’s again to pay homage to these young trailblazers who are creating the change they want to see in their communities,” said Keke Palmer. “Each day, they are shaping history for the next generation, and I can’t wait for the world to see how they are creating a better tomorrow.”
MEET THE 2023 BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN CHANGE LEADERS
- Andrew Ankamah, Jr., Philadelphia, PA, Founder & Director of The Accountability Initiative
- Brianna Baker, Arlington, VA, Activist and Founder of Justice for Black Girls
- Garrick Beauliere, Baltimore, MD, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Kemia Bridgewater, Detroit, MI, Co-Founder of First Generation Gems
- Kamarie Brown, Atlanta, GA, Educator
- Hope Bryant, Houston, TX, Filmmaker
- Nyla Choates, Atlanta, GA, Community Activist & Author of “My Roots Are Rich”
- Aaliyah Duah, Brooklyn, NY, Founder of Financial Revolution
- Dorian Hollingsworth, Jr., Norfolk, VA, Founder & Executive Director of Teen Care Network
- Aaliyah Alicia Thompson, Hampton, GA, Owner of Aaliyah’s Beauty Bar
Each Change Leader was carefully chosen by our selection committee.
“I’m honored to be recognized by McDonald’s as a Change Leader and hope my journey inspires others that look like me,” said Nyla Choates, 2023 Black & Positively Golden Change Leader, Author, and Community Activist. “When I started my nonprofit organization and wrote the children’s book My Roots are Rich, it was important for me to showcase the positive contributions Black people made to American culture, and I am excited to have a company like McDonald’s to help me raise awareness and continue impacting culture and change in our neighborhoods and beyond.”
Since its inception, initiatives under the Black & Positively Golden platform—Change Leaders, HBCU student scholarships and program funding—have invested in the voices of tomorrow to help serve up bright futures in the Black community. Additionally, for decades, McDonald’s has partnered with impactful organizations like National Urban League, NAACP, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Hope Chicago and more to help close the opportunity gap and provide meaningful resources to the community. In fact, the brand announced this month a new partnership with Included Health to provide specialized physical, social and emotional health care support that is culturally affirming and clinically-competent to meet the needs of Black U.S.-based employees and their families.
The Golden Arches is committed to feeding and fostering education and career development for the communities it serves, with programs like the HACER® National Scholarship and Education Tour, created to support Hispanic high-school students and their families; the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program catered to Asian and Pacific-Islander American students; and the Archways to Opportunity® program, which provides a variety of educational resources to eligible crew at participating U.S. restaurants.