Letter to Automakers Outlines Concerns Regarding Fairness and Equity for Black Automotive Media

The Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG), has challenged the nation’s automakers to address fairness and equity regarding Black media who cover the industry.

BAMG is a distinguished group of seven Black reporters and writers who have over 150 years of combined experience in automotive journalism within radio, television, print, videography, event planning and influencing, and social media. They represent a coalition of Black journalists who either work for or own various automotive media platforms.

In a letter to 20 U.S. market automaker brands, the BAMG outlined concerns over a lack of inclusion for Blacks in automotive media and in automobile industry corporate positions.
Automakers were asked to take action on the three pillars outlined in the letter:

  • Access to press and special events
  • The lack of automotive advertising and marketing dollars for Black-owned Websites, newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and marketing events
  • The lack of Black professionals who participate in developing, designing, engineering, or promoting new vehicles

The letter also noted the lack of diversity on the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Jury, a prestigious panel of 50 North American journalists and engineers, which as of the release of our letter had no Black Jurors.

The BAMG feels that addressing these pillars is crucial to reversing decades of exclusion that Black automotive journalists have faced. As a result of the letter, all manufacturers responded, and a series of video calls were executed. The conversations were informative and sometimes uncomfortable, and souls on both sides of the discussions were bared. “We need to be an adequate part of the solution,” said one automaker. “We need a strategic corporate reset,” said another.

“These are interesting times of reflection for everyone. But it also marks a moment of introspection for each individual that, in turn, comprises the totality of corporate culture in America,” stated BAMG member Kimatni D. Rawlins. “And the auto industry is not absolved due to equivalent philosophies, directives, and practices that have excluded African Americans from receiving a fair share of the resources and opportunities extended to mainstream media.”

Some brands responded with immediate solutions and pledges to enhance their diversity efforts to at least 15% for press event representation. However, a few were less than contrite, which was disturbing. The BAMG made it clear that diversity directives can only be successful when the mission and portfolio are integral parts of the corporate vision.

Other progress includes electing two Black male journalists onto the NACTOY Jury shortly after a panel discussion with the Motor Press Guild (MPG) on the plight of Black journalists in automotive media, and after the BAMG industry letter reached automakers. Most manufacturers asked for assistance from the BAMG in identifying the “next generation” of young Black journalists and social media devotees who are rising stars in automotive media.

These conversations are but a first step in a long journey, as a dedicated, long-term approach will help strengthen relationships not only with Black media but also within the African American community. According to http://www.nielsen.com, Black Americans contribute $1.2 Trillion annually to the U.S. economy, and their marketing and media value should reflect our buying power within the automotive sector.

The BAMG expects to meet quarterly with manufacturers to assess progress made towards greater inclusion.

Members of the Black Automotive Media Group include:

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

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