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McDonald’s has announced new efforts to support students and alumni of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the company’s Black & Positively Golden movement. Launched in 2019, the movement is designed to uplift communities and shine a light on Black excellence.

According to the fast-food company, the expanded HBCU platform is an extension of its longstanding commitment to advancing education,  through its annual partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and its Archways to Opportunity program.

Through Archways to Opportunity, McDonald’s and its franchisees have increased access to education to more than 55,000 employees and have awarded more than $100 million in tuition assistance to date.

“We are honored to partner with Essence Girls United, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and iHeart Media to provide opportunities for HBCU students and alumni along their education, leadership and entrepreneurship journey,” said Margaret “Marty” Gillis, New Jersey owner/operator and owner/operator marketing committee lead. “McDonald’s and its owner/operators are committed to fostering the communities we serve while furthering Black excellence through initiatives like our HBCU programs that are positively shaping communities and lives.”

Thirty-four of America’s brightest HBCU students were each awarded a $15,000 McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship, facilitated by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Scholarship recipients were also surprised with a school supply delivery, which included a tablet.

“Knowing the uncertainty and challenges facing college students returning to classes during the pandemic, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted, as they continue dealing with not only the impacts of COVID-19, but also civil unrest and demands for Black equality,” said Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO. “That’s why TMCF is excited to partner with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college and to help provide the tools needed to succeed.”

TCMF Member Schools include Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and A&M College, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the District of Columbia, and Virginia State University.

Through November, McDonald’s is partnering with iHeartMedia to host a month-long HBCU homecoming celebration to showcase school pride and elevate student achievement.

“iHeart is excited to partner with McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement to bring this exciting programming to the HBCU community,” said Thea Mitchem, executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia. “As an HBCU graduate, I know homecoming season is like no other, and we’re excited to celebrate its rich culture and musical offerings with listeners nationwide.”


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