GM Strengthens Commitment To Diversity At 48th Annual Bayou Classic

Diversity done right

Source: Dauphin Tales Photography

With a rich history and premier fleet that includes Buick, Cadillac, GMC & Chevrolet, General Motors is a power player in the competitive auto space that strengthened its commitment to diversity by pumping millions into the steadily growing SWAC.

We had the pleasure of traveling to the 48th annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans where we enjoyed the world-famous experience while learning about GM’s impressive diversity initiatives.

This year’s matchup between the Southern Jaguars and Grambling Tigers attracted over 200K people to NOLA for the Battle of the Bands and game a year after the buzzy event was canceled due to the pandemic.

If you didn’t know, Southern’s Human Jukebox and Grambling’s Marching Tigers are two of the mightiest bands in the land who showed up and showed out in front of an excited crowd at Caesars Superdome.

On game day, attendees enjoyed GM’s Fan Zone with an interactive photo booth, vehicle showcase and PS5 game stations.

General Motors x Bayou Classic

Source: Mike Bailey

Every Thanksgiving weekend, the multi-generational event brings together seas of beautiful people for delicious food, hip-moving grooves, and fellowship in the Big Easy.

“We champion diversity and inclusion on all fronts. Our commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities is paramount to strengthening our diverse talent pipeline and propelling the visibility of student athletes, alumni and each of the universities represented,” said Tarshena Armstrong, Director of Diversity Marketing & Development for General Motors.

“Representation matters. SWAC is the premiere HBCU athletic conference boasting a celebratory spirit of community and connectivity. GM is proud to help drive change and impact with our partnership across each of the SWAC sporting events.

Earlier this year, the SWAC announced General Motors as its exclusive automotive sponsor through 2024.

The three-year deal spans the entire conference footprint with GM supporting multiple touchpoints from championship events and scholarships to eSports gaming labs and workforce readiness and recruitment initiatives.

“Words can’t adequately express my excitement to welcome General Motors as the official automotive sponsor of the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

“For over a century the General Motors brand has been synonymous with a high level of quality, innovation, and customer service. GM has shown a steadfast commitment towards diversity, minority educational advancement along with vocational training and development. This partnership will undoubtedly make a significant impact towards assisting us in providing the tools and resources necessary to further amplify the overall missions and objectives of our 12 member institutions.”

GM will also hold the presenting naming rights to the SWAC Football Classic featuring Alcorn State University Braves vs. Jackson State University Tigers.

General Motors x Bayou Classic

Source: Dauphin Tales Photography

In an immersive presentation, GM detailed their diversity wins and future goals in our ever-evolving world that grows more diverse by the day.

The auto giant recently celebrated the fifth year of the Discover the Unexpected Fellowship Program with Chevrolet and The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) that offered 10 students from HBCUs internships to explore a variety of roles and develop skills as change agents in their communities.

General Motors x Bayou Classic

Source: Dauphin Tales Photography

Most recently, GM, the Black Automotive Media Group and Clark Atlanta University partnered to create “The Driving Force”–a 10-week virtual field-credit internship with mentoring sessions, writing classes, video production, and media courses for 15 students.

The program provided participants with career development and mentorship while preparing them to join the next generation of auto industry leaders.

GM has a long history of attracting talent from HBCUs and partnered with Advancing Minorities Interests in Engineering (AMIE), which represents the 15-engineering accredited HBCU’s.

Over the years, GM has worked with top HBCUS, Black Engineer of the Year, National Society of Black Engineers, Women of Color in STEM to find both interns and permanent hires.

“As we aspire to be the most inclusive company in the world, GM’s success will depend on nurturing diverse talent, especially in STEM fields,” said Deborah Wahl, General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer.

“Our collaboration with SWAC creates valuable connections with thriving HBCUs and their communities, and I’m proud that GM is fostering opportunities for these incredible student athletes to excel, both today and as they embark on their future careers.”

For more info on GM’s commitment to diversity, click here.




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