DETROIT, Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, is reframing conversations on diversity and inclusion during the 17th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit. The conference, to be held on September 30, 2016, at the MGM Grand Detroit, is the only forum which addresses the automotive industry in relation to people of color. The theme for this year's conference is Refocusing Diversity on Ethnic Minority Growth, highlighting the inconsistency between the inclusion we envision and the results we can measure. For seventeen years, the Global Automotive Summit has been the event where automotive industry leadership, government and elected officials, community organization leaders, dealers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, media outlets and others gather around advancing inclusion in the automotive industry.
Key conference speakers include:
- Alan Batey, executive vice president and president, North America, General Motors Company
- Robert Young, group vice president Supplier Engineering Development and Cost Planning, Toyota Motor North America Inc.
- John Martin, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing, Nissan North America, Inc
- Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Global Cadillac, General Motors Company
- Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of Marketing Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
- Dr. David Thomas, professor of management, dean of the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
In an industry squarely focused on cutting edge technology (autonomous cars, advanced engines, infotainment and safety advances) many corporate social structures are still stuck in a bygone era, impeding the automotive industry's path to increased competitiveness and profitability. "Together with the industry's brightest minds, we are focused on our goal to resolve the systemic barriers to inclusion that are stifling the spark of a more dynamic auto sector," said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "We encourage automakers to match their technological innovation with a corporate social innovation that will drive the industry into a stronger future ."
Other featured speakers include: John Quattrone, senior vice president, Global Human Resources, General Motors Company; Paul Koh, executive director, Human Resources and Administrative Services, Hyundai Motor America and Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Republic of South Africa Ambassador Mninwa Johannes "MJ" Mahlangu will also deliver remarks.
During the Business and Education Awards Luncheon, Glenda Gill, vice president of Supplier Success LLC, will be honored for her more than 18 years of service as the executive director of the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project. Additionally, Vivian Pickard, retired president of the General Motors Foundation and director of Corporate Relations will be recognized for her many years of service. A Networking and Awards Reception will close the day presenting the Living Legends Award to Felicia Fields, group vice president HR and corporate services at Ford Motor Company and Eddie Hall, Jr., owner of Royal Oak Ford. The Freedom Symphony Award will honor the Late Ronald E. Hall Sr., and the Emerging Leaders Award will recognize Marie Hocker, local government affairs manager, Ford Motor Company; Jeffrey Webster, director of diversity and inclusion, Nissan North America; and Reginald Humphrey, senior manager, supplier diversity, General Motors Company. Emmy Award winning violinist, Damien Escobar, will showcase his unique blend of classical and R&B melodies during the afterglow.
Why is this forum important to the automotive industry? According to research, more than one-third of new vehicles are purchased by ethnic buyers each year. Second, African American new vehicle volume growth in 2015 was nearly double the overall industry growth (9.4% versus 5%). Virtually all of the future prime labor force growth (people between the ages of 18-64) will come from ethnic populations. Last, as of the 2015 school year, half of all children enrolled in public school come from ethnic backgrounds. These marketplace changes require a reboot on approaches to employment, sales, advertising and marketing, minority supplier and minority dealer development. During the Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit attendees will be a part of discussions on best practices and practical approaches to the shifting business, talent and buyer landscape. Rev. Jesse Jackson added, "Automotive companies must become a willing conduit to African American opportunity. While there's an increasing respect for African American customers and companies, respect without economic parity is as the Bible says, '…a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.'"
The Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit is presented through the support of our national and event sponsors. National sponsors include: Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. For a list of additional sponsors, speakers and to register for the summit, visit www.automotiveproject.org. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #RPCGAS2016.
About Rainbow PUSH Coalition
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th Street in Chicago, IL. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org. Follow Rainbow PUSH Coalition on Twitter: @RPCoalition; follow the Global Automotive Summit on Twitter: @RPCGAS2016 and use the hash tag #RPCGAS2016 to join the conversation.
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SOURCE Rainbow PUSH Coalition