McDonald’s is serving more than good food fast. Throughout Atlanta, McDonald’s is hosting events where church and community leaders come together to discuss issues in the African American community. These meetings are hosted at McDonald’s restaurants that are owned by members of the African American community. These African American small business operators provide employment and valuable resources to the communities they serve.
The hosted events at McDonald’s are called “Conversations with the Community.” “My McDonald’s is happy to host Conversations with the Community, bringing people together to discuss what is going on and what is needed,” said Leon Goodrum, one of the local McDonald’s owners. “These conversations help us to plan for the well-being of our communities.” The first three conversations took place at McDonald’s restaurants in East Point and Riverdale. These events will continue through the fall at various McDonald’s in the metro area.
Among the local church leaders who attended and participated in the meetings are Bishop Kenneth Carter, Presiding Prelate of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 6th Episcopal District; Reverend Yvette Massey, Senior Pastor at Central United Methodist Church; Bishop Paul Morton, Senior Pastor of Changing a Generational Full Gospel Baptist Church; and Dr. Kenneth Walker, Senior Pastor of Greater Elizabeth Bible Church. Additionally, representatives from the Urban League of Atlanta, Operation Push and representatives from the Atlanta City Council have attended.
McDonald’s restaurants employ more than 15,000 people in Atlanta. The local McDonald’s owners support and sponsor the Wheels of Dreams Foundation which supports public education and provides college scholarships. Wheels of Dreams provides about $115,000 of educational support annually. Additionally, Wheels of Dreams provides services to Atlanta Public Schools and area school systems, including Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton County schools. Since Wheels of Dream’s inception, nearly 15,000 students, educators and parents have been touched by the program and special event offerings; and the Atlanta Black McDonald’s Operator Association and Wheels of Dreams Foundation have awarded over $690,417 in scholarships.
The McDonald’s Conversations with the Communities will continue on Monday afternoons as designated McDonald’s restaurants throughout Atlanta.