June 30, 2022

By Devyn Bakewell

Assistant Managing Editor


During the beginning of June, McDonald’s USA teamed up with the fifteen-year-old non-profit organization Marcus Garvey Project (MGP) to host their summer 2022 iCR8TM Bootcamp.

Black professionals only make up about 5% of the marketing industry in the United States—the lowest compared to those of other ethnicities. This inequality only emphasizes the need for more inclusivity and diverse talent across the marketing industry.

MGP’s organization has spent years dedicating themselves to diversifying the talent pipeline within the marketing and media industries. In this Bootcamp, the nonprofit with McDonald’s hosted twelve future marketers to work an integrated team to impact real-life marketing campaigns for the company.

Participants received training, mentorship, and even internship opportunities with two of McDonald’s marketing and PR agencies to help strengthen the pursuit of careers within fields of marketing and media.

This is the second year MGP is hosting their Bootcamp in Los Angeles. The Bootcamp is an eleven-week program, designed to help accelerate opportunities for passionate, rising leaders of color to grow and learn no matter where they are in their career path.


“As a person of color, MGP’s continued education in real-time experiential workshops is the tangible value that is needed to get [people] further, faster.” Said Clayton A Pasley Jr., iCR8 Program Director, “Their ecosystem provides a community with a deeper purpose that’s full of knowledge, experience, hope, faith, and trust.”

Pasley continued with, “I embarked on my preparation almost 8 years ago, and those twelve weeks have affected the way I express myself today.

The ROI on the impact of MGP can’t be calculated because the return is still giving.”

MGP’s partnership with McDonald’s marks the debut of the non-profit working with a quick-service organization.

The iCR8TM Bootcamp is an immersive experience with participants operating a pop-up agency delivering tangible marking and communication outputs to McDonald’s.

Bootcamp participants were also given exclusive access to McDonald’s senior executives and partner agency staff who provided guidance and mentorship as they worked through the process of developing their marketing campaigns.

“As we celebrate our fifteen-year anniversary, we’re crystal clear about how lives and career paths can drastically change when immersed in real-world learning.

This is why we’re honored to work with McDonald’s to provide Bootcamp participants with invaluable insider knowledge and experience they can use in careers in marketing and media,” said Lincoln Stephens, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Marcus Graham Project.

Both, recent college graduates and experienced individuals looking to make transitions into the marketing and media industry were welcomed to attend.

Isaiah Belvin, MGP Bootcamp participant from New Jersey, shared that “in dealing with imposter syndrome, I struggle with giving myself grace. However, in these last few weeks of the iCR8 bootcamp, I have finally allowed myself to see the potential in myself that others close to have already seen.

This Bootcamp gives me the reassurance that I belong in the marketing industry as a Black professional gamechanger.”

To conclude Bootcamp, McDonald’s will be hosting the participants at its corporate headquarters in Chicago.

Cohorts will tour the headquarters and Hamburger University, enjoy menu items from their Global restaurant and test kitchen, network with staff, as well as present their work to executives.


This partnership with Marcus Graham Project is just one of the ways McDonald’s has worked to create opportunities for advancement in diverse communities, and it doesn’t stop here.

The brand is committed to feeding and fostering the communities it serves, providing scholarships for HBCU students, education and mental health resources for Asian American students, and has provided Hispanic students with scholarships for 30+ years.

The company has many other initiatives centered around educational opportunity and financial equity.

For more information visit: https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/community.html. On their website, you can also see the pledge McDonald’s has made as a community to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

For more information about the iCR9TM Bootcamp, visit marcusgrahamproject.org.

“I’ve gained so much insight from my first three weeks with MGP.

The workshops and client projects helped reestablish my confidence as a black professional by building my life, network, and career trajectory. I’m just getting started and excited from my next chapter.” – Sonny Mercer, Strategist from Cleveland, OH.

Category: Business