Skip navigation

What’s behind McDonald’s Future 22 platform for young Black leaders

Director Elizabeth Campbell explains how program amplifies young change-makers’ voices


As part of its observance of Black History Month in February and beyond, McDonald’s USA LLC is sharing the stories of 22 young Black leaders in a new creative campaign.

Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of cultural engagement for the Chicago-based burger brand, said the Future 22 project will continue through June and beyond.

“It's a platform that McDonald's wanted to tap into in terms of where we could give voices to some of the next generation and future leaders in America,” Campbell said in the accompanying interview with Nation’s Restaurant News.

It features non-celebrity individuals who are making an impact on their communities in a variety of ways, she said.

“We wanted to partner with people who are making a difference in their community and put a spotlight on them and shine through the work that they are doing so that people would know about them,” Campbell said. “That way it would help amplify the work that they are doing in the communities in which they come from.”

The first seven started in February, offering stories of young Black leaders who are making meaningful change in their communities. The integrated campaign, developed with marketing agency Burrell Communications, and its TV and radio spots are narrated by actress, singer and entertainer Keke Palmer.

Featured leaders range from a preservationist of Black American Sign Language to a multi-faceted tutor for underserved children. The stories are being rolled out on McDonald’s Instagram ( @wearegolden ) and YouTube channels as well.

One of the featured leaders is Parisia Hutchinson from Newburgh, N.Y. She is a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C, and serves as a McDonald's Crew Leader. Her efforts include feeding the homeless, coordinating a prom for senior citizens, tutoring children and planning indoor activities for children with sun sensitivities.

“I am so proud to be recognized as a part of this very special group of Future 22 members while I work at McDonald’s and pursue my dream of becoming a teacher,” said Hutchinson in a statement. “I do what I do because I love people and my community, so big thanks to McDonald’s for showing me and others love who are out here grinding.”

McDonald’s other efforts aimed at under-served communities include the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program and the Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program, which has paired industry leaders with young changemakers in the same fields.

McDonald's USA LLC has about 13,500 restaurants in the United States.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Marketing
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.