Rev. Jesse Jackson Addresses Ethnic Disparity in Auto Industry

Wednesday, Oct. 3

thnic and gender inclusion is vital to the automotive industry’s sustained success, said the Rev. Jesse Jackson today, during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund’s 13th annual Global Automotive and Energy Summit at the MGM Grand Detroit.

The two-day conference, “Economic Parity: One Voice, One Goal,” focuses on improving diversity and inclusion in the automotive industry. The event is the only national automotive conference designed to target minority and women’s issues.

Jackson said that while the automotive industry was rebuild by the bail out, others were left out and the industry still followed the practices that dismantled it.

This includes the exclusion of women and people of color. In a small example, Jackson noted that federal money did not lead to more black-owned car dealerships. 

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“America didn’t know how good baseball could be until everybody could play,” Jackson said. Like the sport, Jackson said the auto industry needs to “globalize access to the playing field for all players.”

The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project is the only national initiative that advocates for people of color in the industry by creating opportunities, challenging stereotypes in advertising and holding companies accountable.

Jackson said Rainbow PUSH will continue its work developing strategic partnerships and surveying companies throughout the year to determine their level of ethnic inclusion and representation.

“This is not charity, this is parity,” he said. “This is not generosity, this is reciprocity.”

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