By Lottie Holland, Director – Diversity, Inclusion, Engagement and EEO Compliance, Stellantis – North America
This Sunday is Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S., but will be observed on Monday, June 20 this year.
Juneteenth is among the important milestone moments that shine light on how much the Black community has accomplished, striving for racial and economic equality, and how much is still left to be done on the journey.
We are proud to stand with our Black colleagues, friends and customers to celebrate the important accomplishments they continue to achieve.
We realize that the conversation on diversity and inclusion must move beyond aspirational statements and focus on tangible evidence of corporate intentions, values and economic impact, and that cultural moments like Juneteenth inspire us to go deeper.
As our COO Mark Stewart noted:
“Our philosophy regarding diversity is that we are not just a car company. We are a source of economic empowerment for many people and communities … not as charity … but as a strategic decision to lift ourselves by lifting others.”
For Juneteenth 2021, Stellantis launched the National Black Supplier Development Program in partnership with the National Business League, an automotive industry first.
At scale, the program is expected to support business opportunities and development for millions of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. and internationally.
We launched the pilot of this industry-leading program in October 2021 with 13 Black-owned business participants, representing geographic diversity and a range of disciplines and commodities.
These companies graduated in February with many of them either securing or being considered for contracts on some of Stellantis’ most important marketing projects and vehicle programs, including work on Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Durango and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer marketing programs.
As part of our commemoration of Juneteenth this year, we are very proud to announce the expansion of this exciting program by opening the application process for selection of the program’s inaugural collective scheduled to begin in early August.
Mark Stewart will announce this next phase of the program tomorrow, June 18, at a Juneteenth Commemorative Gala in Detroit, sponsored by the business resource group Stellantis African Ancestry Network Diaspora (STAAND).
We also realize that supporting economic empowerment in a community requires intentional action inside our company, as well.
So, in January of this year, Stellantis announced the launch of two new leadership development programs focused on training and developing emerging Black and multicultural talent for future leadership opportunities with the company.
The programs, called BLAC (Black Leaders Advancement Collective) and LEAD (Leaders Embracing All Diversity), are modeled after the company’s award-winning Stellantis Women’s Leadership Experience development program.
On Juneteenth, let’s remember that we can each make positive contributions to the struggle for racial and economic justice, and that we all benefit in a society and economy that is equal and inclusive for all.
For more information and to apply to the National Black Supplier Development Program visit nationalbusinessleague.org/nbsdp/
The program opens to applicants June 19, 2022.