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    Wal-Mart Enlists 'Pursuit of Happyness' Model for Black History Month Promos

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- As part of its activities to recognize the contributions of African Americans to society during Black History Month, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is hosting a media series called "In the Company of Greatness," which is illustrated by the life and success of Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for Will Smith's character in "The Pursuit of Happyness."

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- As part of its activities to recognize the contributions of African Americans to society during Black History Month, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is hosting a media series called "In the Company of Greatness," which is illustrated by the life and success of Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for Will Smith's character in "The Pursuit of Happyness."

    The series will commemorate the accomplishments of Gardner and other African Americans who have persevered to reach their goals.

    Gardner, an author and entrepreneur, will appear in print, radio, and television ads broadcast in Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club locations nationwide, as well as additional media outlets. Gardner's book, "The Pursuit of Happyness," is already being sold at Wal-Marts throughout the country.

    "Each of our lives is history in the making, and each person can accomplish extraordinary things every day," said Esther Silver-Parker, Wal-Mart's s.v.p., diversity relations, in a statement. "Gardner is a prime example of how you can turn a negative experience into achievements that lead to greatness."

    Additional Black History Month efforts at Wal-Mart include:
    -- The seventh complimentary publication of Wal-Mart's "Profiles in Pride" booklet, featuring prominent African American faith leaders and faith-based organizations.
    -- The annual Black History Month Timeline keepsake, a fold-out timeline developed in partnership with Colgate-Palmolive and featuring African American artists and the Black Art Renaissance.
    -- Television and radio public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C.
    -- Meet-and-greet sessions with Randal Pinkett, winner of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" season four, at select Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

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