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Culture » McDonald’s ‘My Block, My Moment’ Luvvie Ajayi

McDonald’s ‘My Block, My Moment’ Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie is an award-winning writer, digital strategist and shoe lover who blogs at She’s also co-founder of The Red Pump Project.

Luvvie is an award-winning writer, digital strategist and shoe lover who blogs at She’s also cofounder of The Red Pump Project.

I’m Luvvie from and this is ‘My Block.’

How did your block contribute to your development as a person and as a professional? 

So when people ask me what I do, first I pause because I do a lot but I say I’m a writer, digital strategist and I’m a lover of technology and I’m also the executive director of a nonprofit so I write at Awesomelyluvvie, teach people about technology and how to use it to further their missions and I run the Red Pump Project which is a national nonprofit that raises awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS in women and girls.

My blog started eight years ago, it actually turns eight on Aug. 8 this year. So Red Pump started in March 2009. I had the idea the idea to something around HIV-AIDS and red shoes because I felt it was a great way to start conversations. So a friend and I, Karen Watkins, we decided to ask our blogger friends to put this custom red badge on their websites on March 10, which is National Women and Girls HIV-AIDS Awareness Day, and in a week we got 135 bloggers to do it. Afterwards everyone was like, so what’s next? And we’re like oh we haven’t thought about that yet. So Red Pump, grew into a nonprofit and we have presence in five different states and we do work around just trying to decrease the stigma around HIV and AIDS trying to get women to understand that they’re not alone. We do it by wearing some really cute red shoes.

Describe the moment where you came into your own as a professional?

So a moment when I came into my own is when my mother actually started taking me a little bit seriously in terms of what I do and I think that moment came when I was at the Academy Awards in 2012 doing press coverage next to journalists from the BBC and MTV and E Online and her actually being excited that I was in this space with people I never would have been next to if I was just a regular writer somewhere who was writing to myself.

Where is your block located?

So I was born and raised in Nigeria and I got to the U.S. when I was nine almost ten. Landed in D.C., came straight to Chicago because we had family here. I’ve always been a northsider. Since I’ve been here the north side has been home. So downtown, then Lincoln Park and now Lakeview. I love Chicago. I fight the idea of ever moving out of Chicago.

Describe your first memory of McDonald’s. If possible, describe a McDonald’s moment in your life that is significant to you?

One of my McDonald’s moments was in college. I think it was junior or senior year because me and most of my friends had really flexible schedules and I know we used to make it a point to have about a two hour span in our day where we just sat down together and just shot the breeze and talked about life and school. So I think around one o’clock every Thursday we would all meet at the school union in front of McDonald’s. We put together like five tables, it would be like twenty of us sitting in front of McDonald’s and talking for two hours, eating food and just having fun and that is actually one of my favorite memories about college.