t. d. jakes*This holiday weekend is going to be hot in New Orleans as the events leading up to the Essence Music Festival kick off.

On Friday, July 6, McDonalds will honor inspirational speaker and entrepreneur, Bishop T.D. Jakes, R&B singer Tamia and her husband Grant Hill, teenage inventor Tony Hansberry II, youth activist, Mary-Pat Hector, and McDonald’s owners and operators, Tina and Harold Lewis.

The awards ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.

“This year’s 365Black Award honorees showcase an incredible range of talent, intellect and leadership,” said Rob Jackson, U.S. marketing director, McDonald’s USA. “From a high school student blazing new paths in medical technology to a legendary spiritual leader who motivates millions of people every day, McDonald’s is proud to honor and recognize all 2012 recipients for their extraordinary contributions that positively impact communities across America and the world, 365 days a year.”

For nine years, McDonald’s has honored community activists and outstanding leaders of the nation. Through scholarships and sponsorships, the corporation is dedicated to empowering the community through enrichment programs and recognition.