General Motors African Ancestry Network hosted their 14th annual Black History Month celebration on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at the Detroit Marriott.
The evening’s theme was “Driven By Culture, Defined By Innovation,” and recognized African Americans’ love of culture and innovation. GMAAN highlighted the historical achievements of African Americans in science, technology and design, while also shining a spotlight on current innovators.
The keynote speaker, Lonnie Johnson, touched on both GMAAN and Chevrolet’s commitment to diversifying business and STEM with their support of supplier diversity programs and community activities.
Johnson is an American inventor and engineer who holds more than 120 patents. He invented the Super Soaker water gun, which is among the world’s bestselling toys.
Chevrolet continues to demonstrate its commitment to the African American community by supporting organizations like UNCF and Focus: Hope. Additionally, the company celebrated the brand’s unwavering commitment to historically Black colleges and universities through the Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship, which is in its fifth year in partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Moreover, the following individuals were honored:
– Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Cheryl Ajamu, founder and CEO Ajamu Group
– Community Enrichment Award – Renee Fluker, founder and president, The Midnight Golf Program
– Excellence in STEAM Award – Dr. Alecia Gabrielle, Chinonye Akunne and Dierdre Roberson, Motor City STEAM
– Marketing Excellence Award– Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president – performance, Motorsports, Accessories & Truck Strategy
– Lifetime Achievement Award – Roy Roberts, retired GM executive
– Trailblazer Award – Lonnie Johnson, founder and CEO, Johnson Research and Development
Following an evening of fellowship and honoring our ancestors, the funky divas of En Vogue gave a rousing performance.