Coca-Cola Arranging a Black History Month for Young African Americans

Coca-Cola has teamed up with celebrities to launch a new Black History Month program urging African Americans to ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation. Grammy Award-winner and philanthropist Ne-Yo, fashion designer Tracy Reese and Essence president Michelle Ebanks will help teens to be more active to become tomorrow’s history makers.

Photo: Parents are encouraged to nominate their teen children, from

‘Coca-Cola Pay It Forward’ is aimed to boost the brave spirit of the African Americans and celebrates the Black history. The program includes a public service challenge and online contest offering young people apprenticeship experiences with celebs.

“‘Coca-Cola Pay It Forward’ charges each of us with the responsibility to advance the next generation,” said Kimberly Paige, assistant vice president, African American Marketing Group, Coca-Cola North America.

Paige calls on every adult to become involved with a youth by: mentoring; offering inspirational words; helping with homework; and exposing him or her to different career opportunities. The adults can share ways the are paying it forward this month by posting its contributions on Twitter and using the hashtag #PayItForward.

Teens aged 16—19 are invited to nominate themselves. Parents are encouraged to help their children to win a chance for an apprentice experience too. To do it, they can go to My Coke Rewards and nominate their child. The four apprenticeships will focus on the following areas: fashion (Reese), business (Ebanks), music/entertainment and community/philanthropy (Ne-Yo). Winners will spend a week this summer in New York City or Atlanta with their celebrity history makers and teams. The contest runs through March 15.

In addition, Coca-Cola will expand the program’s reach provide in select cities, including Atlanta, Memphis, Detroit, Birmingham and Chicago. The program will be publicly announced by Ne-Yo on radio stations across the country.