Holistic group of industry leaders will help guide the GEM coalition in its work to create an equitable and inclusive advanced mobility cluster

DETROIT, MI – The Southeast Michigan Grants Coalition, the governing body of the Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) initiative, under the leadership of the Detroit Regional Partnership today announced the formation of its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) workgroup. Under the guidance of this workgroup, the GEM coalition will continue its mission to address wealth disparities, foster greater regional connectivity, and ensure that every community can thrive in the evolving mobility landscape.

“Our vision is to transform the Detroit region into a truly inclusive Global Epicenter of Mobility,” said Jeannine Gant, DEIJ Officer for GEM at the Detroit Regional Partnership. “The DEIJ Workgroup represents our commitment to making this vision a reality. We are not just planning for a future of mobility; we are building a future that is inclusive and equitable for everyone.”

The DEIJ workgroup’s holistic membership brings an intentional and unique perspective to the program. Comprised of industry DEI leaders, members of racial equity organizations, veteran and disability advocates, and representatives from regional economic and philanthropic sectors, the workgroup ensures work is executed through a broad and inclusive lens, both regionally and within the automotive industry.

Chaired by Cheryl Thompson, CEO of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), the workgroup aims to embed inclusivity and equity in all aspects of the GEM program, ensuring that the Detroit region emerges as an inclusive leader in advanced mobility.

“GEM is working to set a new standard for inclusivity in the mobility industry. By actively engaging communities with the greatest economic disparities and underrepresentation, we aim to create a future where the benefits of mobility are shared by all,” said Thomspon. “The efforts of the GEM initiative, with the guidance of the DEIJ workgroup, will help pave the way for a more equitable and innovative region.”

Additional members of the Global Epicenter of Mobility DEIJ Workgroup include:

  • Anika Goss, CEO, Detroit Future City
  • Marnita Harris, VP, Racial Justice and Economic Equity, Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Alan Hejl, Founder, Spark Access
  • Sandra Johnson, Director, DEI and Community Relations, Flint Genesee Group
  • Keith King, Founder and CEO, National Veteran Business Development Council
  • Michael Rafferty, CEO, New Detroit
  • Paul Riser, Senior Program Director, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
  • Florencia Stanfield, Chief Diversity Officer, Vitesco Technologies
  • Angela Tompkins, VP, Community Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, CMS Energy.
  • Q Johnson, Founder, Plug Zen
  • Maureen Donohue Krauss, CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership
  • Christine Roeder, Executive Vice President of GEM, Detroit Regional Partnership

About the Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM)
The Global Epicenter of Mobility is a regional initiative led by the Detroit Regional Partnership that is designed to create a smart, secure, sustainable, and inclusive advanced-mobility industry in Southeast Michigan. Comprised of six related projects, GEM helps workers, companies, startups, and economic development agencies adapt to the rapidly changing mobility industry. GEM is funded by a $52.2-million Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded in September 2022. The six co-recipients of the grant are the Detroit Regional Partnership, State of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, TechTown, and University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute.

About the Detroit Regional Partnership
The Detroit Regional Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership focused on marketing and business attraction for the 11-county Detroit Region. It serves as a convenient single point of contact to all regional resources and works with companies and site selectors to help manage their projects and support their transition into the region. It specializes in helping companies understand and access the competitive advantages of our region – from workforce data to state and local incentives. To learn more, visit: DetroitRegionalPartnership.com.

Media Contact:
Rebecca White