May 24, 2017

Statement: Akili on McDonald’s 2017 shareholders’ meeting

My name is Akili. I am longtime civil rights and social justice advocate, a father of six from Los Angeles, and Project Coordinator for Corporate Accountability International.

I speak on behalf of John Harrington, a longtime shareholder, and on behalf of a growing movement of parents, educators, and health professionals concerned about this corporation’s role in driving an epidemic of diet-related disease. Now, we are joined by the second-largest school district in the country.

To that end, I urge McDonald’s to fully report on its charitable contributions and their alignment with stated values.

Charity is about giving back to the community, not about promoting your brand. Far too often, McDonald’s charity serves its brand while hurting the causes it claims to support.

For example, during McTeacher’s Nights, the corporation has teachers work behind the counter selling burgers, fries, and soda to students and students’ families.

While McDonald’s bills these as “fundraisers,” the reality is that they are predatory marketing. They exploit the trust that children place in teachers and schools by having teachers market junk food. That is wrong.

McTeacher’s Nights face escalating opposition. More than 50 teachers unions, including the National Education Association, have denounced the practice. Last month, the Los Angeles Unified School District overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding an immediate end to the program.

McDonald’s needs to act now by ensuring stated values are aligned with its charitable activities.

Therefore, we urge shareholders to vote in support of this proposal.


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