Sunday, July 2, 2017|4 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS– McDonald’s 365Black Awards reveal, held annually at the Essence Festival, honored starlet Tichina Arnold and Olympic gold-medalist Sanya Richards-Ross to name a few on Sunday as part of a program that each year salutes people committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American neighborhood.
This year’s program was scaled back and is not being revealed on national cable network Black Home entertainment Television as has happened in previous years. The event and luncheon was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New Orleans and consisted of performances by vocalists Kelly Rate and Jekalyn Carr.
This year’s honorees likewise included Valeisha Butterfield Jones, head of black community engagement for Google and the co-founder and CEO of the Ladies in Home entertainment Empowerment Network, and Margaret “Marty” Gillis, an operator/owner of numerous McDonald’s franchises in New Jersey.
In addition, the corporation bestowed its Community Option Youth Award to Chasity Hale, an author, poet and community leader who served an ambassadorial year as a Southeastern National Student Poet under the Obama administration.
Arnold, known for her function of Pam on the hit show “Martin,” stated she was thrilled to get the recognition for her work as an advocate for Lupus survivors.
“It’s good to be recognized for your contributions to society, not simply show service. God has actually blessed me to have a lorry to operate in that I like and that’s home entertainment. I’ve been doing this considering that age 11 and I just turned 48 three days ago. Still having the ability to contribute is fantastic,” she told The Associated Press.
She stated the recognition is essential however secondary in her life.
“Although I’m lively and loud, I do not like compliments. They make me very uneasy. I want to do what I do in silence,” she stated.
Still, she notes, she’s grateful for the opportunity to stand on a platform where she can promote her We Win Structure, which was founded in 2013 with her sister/manager Zenay Arnold, a Lupus survivor. The foundation was formed to help individuals, their households and caregivers who support those experiencing Lupus and other related autoimmune diseases.
“I don’t search for recognition for exactly what we’re doing however desire it so everyone can help us do what we need to do,” she said.
On a lighter note, Arnold said she’s having a grand time working with Vanessa Williams on her latest task, “Daytime Divas,” which looks into the goings-on at a daytime talk show.
“I’m having a lot enjoyable,” Arnold stated. “It’s just a lot of goodness to be a part of another excellent group of people and another cool program. I like doing it since it’s far gotten rid of from my ‘Survivor’s Regret’ character and I get to do devilish things. I really enjoy that. I’m living vicariously through Mo.”
She also stated she has strategies to showcase her singing voice.
“I have music ready to go,” she stated. “I simply need to find out how to package it and how I can fit it in with the times we’re currently in. I’m going to launch a single before the year is out.”