(GM hosted a media dinner with several black publications (Michigan Chronicle, Essence Magazine, Rolling Out and Black Enterprise)
General Motors and its Cadillac brand kicked off its first-ever sponsorship activation this past weekend as presenting sponsor of the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.
The festival featured a dynamic panel conversation about the path to inclusivity moderated by GM’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Telva McGruder, a networking mixer with the company’s talent acquisitions and public policy teams, the Director’s Brunch with Spike Lee, and a panel featuring Cadillac’s brand ambassador, Regina King.
During the media-hosted dinner, Tarshena Armstrong, General Motors, Director, Diversity Marketing and Development shared the intention behind hosting Black media at the Vineyard and the alignment of this sponsorship.
“I’ve been with GM for 15 years — that fact that everyone at this table is a person of color speaks to GM’s intention to creating the pipeline at every level, an executive level, at a mid-management level, even with future initiatives with HBCUs by getting interns into our organization, really speaks to our aspirations.”
This sponsorship and future ones like it come off the heels of GM’s commitment made during a diversity summit in April when GM announced significant changes to the company’s model for partnering with Black-owned media and diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media.
The changes addressed multiple aspects of the media ecosystem, including overall spend, spend distribution, measurement, deal structure, and infrastructure development.
The plan includes increasing spend with Black-owned media to 8 percent by 2025 and a Diverse Marketing Incubator Fund, which will allocate $50 million to support and scale diverse marketing companies. This investment will support sustainable growth and is incremental to GM’s media spend.
Daniel Roberts, General Motor’s Innovation and Growth Communications Lead, advised that the company has invested in organizations that are closing gaps in racial justice, equity, and inclusion through the Justice & Inclusion Fund; and that inclusion is the goal.
“Our CEO [Mary Barra] stating she wants our company to be one of the most inclusive companies in the world and that is a huge thing and huge commitment from the top leader of our company, and this is an example of how we are putting those words into action. How we are showing up in spaces and places we are supposed to be in and we are engaging with the people we’re supposed to be engaging.”