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Rev. Jesse Jackson Challenges the Automotive Industry to Even the Playing Field at Conference on October 2, 2013


DETROIT--Sept. 27, 2013: The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund (CEF), will host its 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit welcoming automotive executives, suppliers, dealers and advertising agencies to continue the dialogue of inclusion with African American companies and auto manufacturers.


As the automotive industry bounces back, and reaches unprecedented growth rates and profitability, African American automotive suppliers, dealers and employment base have dwindled to an alarming rate. Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has stated many times and reiterates again; "Inclusion is the key to economic growth. And, when there is growth, everybody wins."

This year's theme, "Economic Parity: Driving The Plan For Success," addresses the release and continued focus of the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Diversity Scorecard which measures companies' inclusion practices in the areas of employment, advertising, marketing, procurement, dealer development and philanthropy. "Suffice it to say, automotive companies are lagging in diversity and have no true reciprocal relationship with African American and minority consumers, no matter how many vehicles they purchase," says Rev. Jackson. "So, we gather to challenge the auto industry to level the playing field by growing African American and minority businesses."


Highlighted speakers include:

Business & Education Awards Luncheon featuring General Motors North America President Mark Reuss and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing President & CEO Simon Nagata and Rev. Jesse Jackson engaging in a panel discussion about the business case of diversity.

A Leadership Town Hall Panel Discussion led by award-winning journalist, Ed Gordon featuring Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Last Word Productions), George Fraser (Fraser/Net), Cheryl Pearson-McNeil (The Nielsen Company), John Rogers, Jr. (Ariel Investments), Ted Childs (Ted Childs, LLC), in a dynamic discussion on "The Assault on Diversity."

Vice presidents of purchasing including, Grace Lieblein (General Motors); Bob Young (Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America); Jim Wehrman (Honda of America Manufacturing); Burt Jordan (Ford Motor Company); and Scott Kunselman (Chrysler Group) will engage in a panel discussion moderated by Jim Lowry (The Boston Consulting Group) focusing on "Supplier Diversity: The Plan for Growth Through Commitment, Innovation and Partnerships."


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

7:45 a.m. – Media check-in begins – Amber Room (breakfast available)

8:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Leadership Town Hall Panel Discussion

9:45 – 10:30 p.m. – Press Conference – Amber Room

9:45 – 11:45 p.m. – Supplier Diversity Panel Discussion

12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Business & Education Awards Luncheon

5:30 – 10:00 p.m. – Living Legends and Emerging Leaders Awards

Reception featuring recording artist and R&B star Chante Moore

Visit Rainbow Push for additional Summit information.


MGM Grand Detroit Meeting and Events Center

1777 W. Third Street

Detroit, MI 48226


Advance Media Registration: All media can register in advance for credentials by calling 313.530.0909 or

Onsite Media Registration: Proceed to the MGM Grand - Amber Room for media check-in. Photo ID and business card required.

TV Camera Crew Entrance: Please call 313.530.0909 to arrange TV camera crew access. Please allow time for security clearance.