Cheryl Ajamu’s Media Luncheon Celebrates 11 Years

It’s the Oscars of the automotive industry that honors the achievements of communities of color

Cheryl Ajamu's Multicultural Media Luncheon celebrates 11 years

Cheryl Parks Ajamu is at it again; founder of CEO of The Ajamu Group, LLC., Ajamu is the first Black female to create and produce a sanctioned event during the annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit: the Multicultural Media Luncheon. The event — coming this Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Garden Theater — will celebrate its 11 years. It is an Oscars-style program that honors communities of color for their achievements in the automotive industry and also features a celebrity keynote speaker. This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Rich Paul.

Cheryl Parks Ajamu’s Multicultural Media Luncheon celebrates 11 years. Photo courtesy of Paul Beard.

Launching her company in May 2004 to secure advertising and sponsorships for national media companies and celebrity-driven events, Ajamu’s advertising career spans 21 years with advertising sales management positions at Black Entertainment Television Publishing Group, Savoy, Heart & Soul and Honey magazines. It was in the early 2000 that Ajamu noticed how many talented black and brown people were getting absolutely no public praise. And it bothered her enough that she went out and decided to do it herself and create the first Multicultural Media Luncheon in 2011.

“I kept meeting all these incredible people through my company,” Ajamu explained in a recent interview. “People who design interiors, exteriors, marketing people, just some really great individuals who I had never heard of. And I knew if I hadn’t heard of them, the average person defiantly never heard of them. And I thought that wasn’t right. So I created the Multicultural Media Luncheon, to give these people a platform to be recognized for their amazing work.”

Recognizing the Work of Black and Brown People

The importance of recognition doesn’t just stop getting a nice pat on the back. A lot of times, especially in corporate America, getting your props can lead to getting paid. Unfortunately, this is another area where Black and brown skin people get ignored.   

Being judged because of your race instead of your work is an experience that Ajamu relates to as well. “I know the feeling of people not looking at your worth, what you bring to the table, what you can provide, and instead only look at you for your race. It happens and it’s frustrating when it does.”


Race can be a serious roadblock for racial minorities looking to advance in the corporate world. There are countless stories coming from the business world of established higher-ups purposefully stunting a Black person’s professional growth. And no one knows this better than the Multicultural Media Luncheon’s keynote speaker this year Rich Paul.

Famously in 2019, the NCAA introduced a new regulation that would require all agents to at least have a bachelor’s degree, something that Rich Paul does not have. Though never confirmed by the NCAA, many speculated that this change was in response to Rich Paul having several of his players opt out of playing college ball in favor of playing in leagues where they could be paid. Outrage spread quickly through the basketball community and the NCAA was forced to back down, but the attempt to kill his career was noted by everyone.

Some like to believe we live in a post-racial country, and that those who are smart enough and work hard enough can live in a penthouse. But that’s not the case. Truth is, the world of business is still controlled by old white men, who don’t care for young Black faces. Despite the difficulties, racial minorities go through.

“We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. We should continue to celebrate ourselves as we strive for more. And we shouldn’t wait to get our props.”

Cheryl Parks Ajamu

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