Keke Palmer has joined forces with McDonald’s to uplift the next generation of change-makers.
During the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, the award-winning actress, singer, and entertainer, along with the world’s leading fast food chain awarded its Future 22 leaders with $10,000 each. The program is powered by McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement and each of the awarded grants will be used by the recipients to further community-driven causes led by the young people.
“It’s an honor to join McDonald’s to recognize and celebrate these awesome leaders, while also supporting their work and mission,” said Keke. “They are creating bright futures for themselves and the next generation – and, really, all of us – and the excitement on their faces during the McDonald’s surprise gave me joy.”
The Future 22 participants are made up of Black change-makers who are making quite the difference in their communities. From a STEM educator using their background in the field to create opportunities for Black and brown children, to the use of financial literacy to bridge the wealth gap in inner cities, the collective is made up of individuals spearheading true change across the nation.
During this year’s Essence festival, Palmer and Marissa Fisher, a second-generation McDonald’s owner and operator based in New Orleans, led a fireside chat to inspire the leaders and encourage them with ways to stay committed to their respective missions.
“This year’s Essence Fest theme was Black Joy, and we couldn’t wait to celebrate all 22 leaders and bring them to New Orleans, in honor of their accomplishments,” said McDonald’s Senior Director of Cultural Engagement, Elizabeth Campbell. “We certainly could’ve surprised them virtually but making them a part of our Essence Fest moment meant unlocking the additional community of supporters who are McDonald’s Owner/Operators and the Essence Fest family, to further celebrate them and demonstrate our belief in their work. It was more special than imagined, representing our commitment to feeding and fostering the communities we serve.”