The Rainbow Push Automotive Project is hoping to bring diversity to an oft overlooked trade: the auto industry.

The initiative, which partners with automakers to increase diversity and ensure equality within the industry and is backed by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., is gearing up to host its 16th annual Global Automotive Summit on Oct. 9 in Detroit. The summit will offer panels and town hall discussions to make sure that minorities are vocal and visible in all aspects of the automotive industry, including marketing, advertising, franchises and within dealerships.

Though minorities make up a significant percentage of auto buyers, less than 2 percent of car advertising is done with agencies and media outlets of color.

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“We want to be reciprocal business partners,” said Glenda Gill, executive director for Rainbow Push, on a conference call. “We’re not beggars. We really are fully engaged in this process.”

Leading up to this year’s summit, Rainbow Push gathered information from 12 of the leading automotive manufacturers to rate them on their internal diversity. Looking at factors such as the companies’ philanthropy and auto show marketing, the initiative has scored the companies’ diversity. The findings will be released at the summit.

“We must fight for justice, not just diversity,” Rev. Jesse Jackson said on the call. “If you have justice, you inherently have diversity.”

For more information on this year’s summit, visit