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July 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Notable community leaders, celebrities and entertainers were out in full force at this year's McDonald's 365Black Awards, held today at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. They were joined by a full house of spectators who converged to salute this year's recipients of the distinguished award, including civil rights activist the
Rev. Al Sharpton; film producer
Will Packer; music executive
Kevin Liles; inspirational leader
Iyanla Vanzant; former NFL athlete
Dhani Jones; and McDonald's owner/operator
Henry Coaxum. Additionally, artist
Skyler Grey and entrepreneur
Gabrielle Jordan Williams were recognized alongside this lineup with the first-ever McDonald's 365Black Community Choice Youth Award.
McDonald's 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company's 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African Americans year-round. This year's event was hosted by actor/television host
Terrence 'J' Jenkins and actress
Tika Sumpter and was held in conjunction with
ESSENCE Festival™ presented by Coca-Cola®.