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McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement was lit at the 25th Essence Festival! The (em)power-packed weekend was full of activities to uplift and inspire up-and-coming entrepreneurs everywhere. With appearances by actress/businesswoman La La Anthony, entertainer Luke James, reality television starsCynthia Bailey, Tamar Braxton and Trina Braxton, vocal powerhouses Jazmine Sullivan and Kierra Sheard, the always-suave actor/host Terrence J and more, some of the culture’s brightest stars came out to support the Black & Positively Golden movement, which celebrates Black excellence through empowerment, entrepreneurship and education.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN WELCOME BREAKFAST: McDonald’s kicked off the explosive weekend with an exclusive Black & Positively Golden Welcome Breakfast. The intimate event was hosted by McDonald’s Head of Cultural Engagement and Experiences Lizette Williams — the spearhead behind the brand’s largest African American-focused campaign in 16 years — and New Orleans franchisee Henry Coaxum.

WE SHINE ENTREPRENEURSHIP PANEL: Actress and self-made businesswoman La La Anthony moderated McDonald’s We Shine Entrepreneurship Panel before a crowd of thousands. She interviewed rising moguls, Dana Chanel (Sprinkle of Jesus, Founder), Nicole Walters (The Monetized Life, Founder & CEO)and Jewel Burks-Solomon (Part Pic, Founder), alongside McDonald’s franchisees Jade Colin and Tanya Hill-Holliday. At 29, Colin is McDonald’s youngest owner/operator, while Hill-Holliday is the brand’s first female owner/operator in Philadelphia.

EMPOWERING MUSIC PERFORMANCES: R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan brought down the house Saturday with some of her classics. Gospel music vocalist/actress Kierra Sheard left it all on the stage Sunday afternoon. Thousands of fans gathered at the Black & Positively Golden Booth for both performances to rock out to some of their favorite tunes.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN LATE NIGHT PARTY: After a long day of empowerment, McDonald’s hosted its Black & Positively Golden Late Night Party — the official Essence After Party. Celebs, such as actor/singer Luke James; reality television stars Cynthia Bailey, Tamar Braxton and Trina Braxton; actorTyler Lepley; and social media star Karlton “@notkarltonbanks” Humes, sparkled at Club XLIV as attendees and Hiplet-style dancers showed off their best moves to the sounds of DJ Rashida and DJ B-Hen.

BLACK & POSITIVELY GOLDEN SCHOLARSHIP PRESENTATIONS: To close out the weekend, McDonald’s empowered the next generation of leaders by supporting college education. In partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the organization’s national ambassador and HBCU alum Terrence J, McDonald’s presented two, $10,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarships to well-deserving incoming HBCU freshmen.

Photos Courtesy of McDonald’s 

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