Rev. Jesse Jackson announces Automotive Plan at 13th Annual Global Automotive & Energy Summit
Organization honors legends and awards 25 scholarships
DETROIT, MI., October 9, 2012 – Last week, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund held its 13thAnnual Global Automotive & Energy Summit at MGM Grand
Detroit. This year’s theme, “Economic Parity: One Voice, One Goal,” discussed how to level the playing field for minority firms. Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., laid out an aggressive plan for inclusion in the automotive industry. “Rainbow PUSH will continue its quest for economic justice for minority firms in the auto industry.”
To that end, Rainbow PUSH will push the following automotive initiatives:
- Advocate for an industry “Rooney Rule” whereby auto companies must include minority companies in the bidding process of all contract
- Establish a Global Oversight Committee to enforce rules regarding global labor affecting woman and children
- Promote an increase of sponsorship dollars with minority-owned properties
- Encourage auto companies to include marketing and advertising into their minority goals for procurement and supplier diversity
- Lead a diverse delegation including congressional and state officials, and industry and community leaders to meet with automakers’ executive leadership in Asia and Europe to evaluate US inclusion plan
- Publish a public scorecard in January 2013 on inclusion, diversity and corporate responsibility practices and announce which companies have submitted a completed diversity survey
There are 42 million African American, representing 13.6 % of the US population. Nielsen’s reports that blacks’ buying power ranks 16thin the world economy; $144 billion is spent annually on advertising in the US, yet only one percent is spent to target African American consumers; Polk, our worldwide automotive information & marketing partners states that blacks represent 6 % of all new car sales; and according to the National Association of African American Dealers, there are only 261 black-owned dealerships left, a drop of 50% since 2008, compared to the industry decrease of only 18% among more than 17,000 dealerships. These statistics build the case why the minority-spend should be much more in the automotive industry.
“The auto and financial industries have been bailed out through the government’s generosity but there has been no reciprocity for minority businesses that have incurred severe economic damage. We want our share,” said Jackson.
The Summit consisted of panels with all automakers represented by members of their executive teams. There was open discussion with more than 300 registered participants at America’s premier automotive conference for people of color.
Additional Summit highlights included the renewal of Polk and Rainbow PUSH Alliance to access credible data related to minority buying patterns; General Motors Foundation and Rainbow PUSH/Excel award of 25-$2,500 scholarships to Michigan college students; and recognition of Living Legends: John W. Barfield, founder of Bartech and Dr. Lawrence Crawford, chairman and CEO, Diversity-Vuteq, LLC.
Two professionals from the next generation, Alice Boler Davis, vice president, customer relations, General Motors and Mark A. Douglas, president, Avis Ford, Inc., received the Emerging Leader Award.
Glenda A. Gill, Executive Director, Rainbow Push Global Automotive Project was very pleased with the turnout and the response of the automakers that participated in this year’s event. “There is tremendous opportunity for minority firms that attended our Summit. The two-day conference offers firms access to the industry leaders in a setting where the only topic is inclusion,” said Gill.