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Minorities in German Companies

Graz photos

The Market Place
A Lithograph by
Ann Arbor artist
Brenda Jones

***Stop by at Jovonne's Lounge -
9138 Greenfield, Detroit, Mi
A great club in Metro Detroit -
great music, great dancing***

GRAZ 2001:graz2001

This page was inspired by many people and experiences, esp. by Al Cook (picture), an American of German-Nigerian background, a former student of mine (now a band member of the New York based This website is dedicated mostly to minorities with a background in German, working e.g. in Michigan based German-American Companies and the school system.
Contrary to what many people think, there are quite a few African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans etc with a background in German that helps them on their job. This site will be updated constantly and expanded upon.
Please inform employers, heads of personnel of other companies, schools, principals, counselors, parents, and fellow students of the information on this page. This site is to provide stimulating thoughts and ideas and present role models and experiences everybody can learn from to help create a better country and a better world for all of us, no matter where we are from.

Rosa Parks, die Pionierin der Afro-Amerikanischen Bürgerrechtsbewegung, ist tot
Rosa Parks und der Bus-Boykott in Montgomery/ "Sie wollte immer frei sein" (Berliner Zeitung)
"Bürgerrechtlerin Rosa Parks gestorben" (Dienstag 25. Oktober 2005)
"Hunderte Menschen nehmen Abschied von Rosa Parks"

People to think about:

Hans J. Massaquoi A well-known African-German-American author, born in Germany who is working on his second book, a sequel to his famous "Destined to Witness". He spent many years working for Ebony Magazine. One of his sons, Hans, a respected German speaking lawyer, resides in Detroit, Mi.

Delbert W. Mullens President and CEO of Wesley Financial Corp. and Trustee, The University at Buffalo (residing in Bloomfield Hills, Mi).
*and at the University of Michigan and at Eastern Michigan:
C. Olivia Frost, Ph.D. is a Dean and Professor at the University of Michigan School Of Information. She has - among other degrees - a B.A. in German from Howard University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Michael T.Nettles Professor of Education (1992-2004), The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (German-American Fulbright Commission Educational Experts Seminar, The University of Michigan).

Heather Neff Well-known author from Eastern Michigan University. Doctorate, University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Detroit Repertory Theatre - >Baker's Keyboard Lounge

Cathie Johnson

A few examples of African-Americans in/from Michigan teaching German or working in the industry - representatative of many others:
- Prof. Alfred Cobbs (Undergraduate Advisor in German) at Wayne State University, Cathie Johnson, Ph.D. at Georgia Southern (Graduate of UofM, former Max-Kade house resident), Sophia Ellis (Bundesverdienstkreuzträgerin), Martin Luther King H.S. in Detroit, and Nellie LaGarde, DaimlerChrysler. (More photos from DaimlerChrysler Workshop)

DaimlerChrysler Photo
Sophia Ellis, Nellie LaGarde, Klaus Tappe, and Fred Hoffman
(DaimlerChrysler's Director of Government Relations
and Germany's Honorary Consul in Michigan)

Howard University German info:
Yvonne Poser, Associate Professor of German, Howard University -- German University Administrators visit Howard University (topics of discussion: study abroad, German at Howard University) - Who is a German? (Y. Poser, Howard University, and others) - Women in German Conference (incl. Y. Poser).

Other German Professors in the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures at Howard University: Frost, Alphonso A., Jr., Assoc. Prof./Hall, Carol L., Assoc. Prof./Logan, Paul E., Assoc. Prof./Sephocle, Marie-line, Assoc. Prof./White, Vernessa C., Assoc. Prof

An important piece of information in the history of American higher education:
"1921 Three Black female scholars become the first African American women to earn Ph.D.s. They are Georgiana Simpson (German Language and Literature, University of Chicago), Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (Economics, University of Pennsylvania, and Eva Beatrice Dykes (English Philology, Radcliffe College)."

And another interesting item:
"African American Who Teach German Language and Culture" by Robert Fikes Jr. in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education No.30 (Winter, 2000-2001), pp. 108-113)

*In the Automotive industry:

At the big three + at automotive suppliers (Bosch etc.):

E.g. at DaimlerChrysler (see all the programs below),
at GM - Brief of General Motors Corp. as amicus curiae in support of University of Michigan Programs - Detailing the necessity of training a diverse workforce that also reflects the changing demographics in the US itself.

Long Fortune article about DaimlerChrysler, Johnson Controls, Ford, TimeWarner, BMW etc working out billion dollar contracts with National Minority Suppliers

Michigan International Lawyers - Articles about e.g. Mergers between Minority Joint Ventures and Foreign Auto Suppliers

**In other industries/businesses:

Articles about diversity/achievements in the Automotive Industry, esp. at DaimlerChrysler, the company serving as an example for the whole industry, offering job opportunities, initiatives, and strong support for African-American Culture:

Autochannel Article on DSAAN DaimlerChrysler Services North America's African- American Network (DSAAN), together with the DaimlerChrysler African-American Network, celebrate diversity and inclusion.

African-American History Month at DaimlerChrysler"Chrysler Group's commitment to diversity is an enterprise-wide initiative that includes its dealers, suppliers, business partners and employee network. Chrysler Group has six Employee Resource Groups - African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, People of Diversity (GLBT), and Women. The volunteer organizations, which are open to all employees, work in tandem with Chrysler Group's Diversity Office to help create and implement diverse initiatives that embrace the entire employee body."
"An exhibit that lists several African-American owned dealerships, companies and Chrysler Group suppliers, also will be on display throughout the month."
along with broadcasts featuring commentary from Chrysler Group's African-American executives, suppliers about the historical and cultural importance of African-American History Month.
Lisa Wicker, Senior Executive -- Diversity Strategies & Operations, and the Co-Chairs of the Company's Diversity Council, Nancy Rae, Senior Vice President - Human Resources, and Tom LaSorda, Executive Vice President - Manufacturing, will broadcast messages to the employees via the internal television network.

DaimlerChrysler and NiaOnline Form Multi-Year Alliance "DaimlerChrysler today announced an exclusive partnership with NiaOnline, the nation's first comprehensive website for African-American women. As the sole automotive sponsor, the on-line forum will broaden DaimlerChrysler's exposure to one of the nation's most economically viable consumer groups."

DaimlerChrysler and Essence Celebrate Their Longstanding Partnership with "An Intimate Evening of Song"

THE UAW and African-Americans (A tough road) "Although no firm figures are available, between one-quarter to one-third of today's UAW membership is comprised of African Americans. Three African Americans, Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks, Vice President Nate Gooden, and Gerald Bantom, director of UAW Region 1A in Detroit, currently sit on the UAW's 15-member executive board. Burks is the union's number two officer and Gooden now heads the union's DaimlerChrysler bargaining department."
"Today, 13 percent of DaimlerChrysler's U.S. managers are African American, according to the company's EEOC report." (Year 2000)

Gordon Parks - DaimlerChrysler's 2003 "Behind the Lens" Award Recipient (director of the original movie 'Shaft') DALLAS (NNPA)-- "Dallas millionaire and fellow Republican Comer Cottrell, one of President George W. Bush’s former business partners, has announced that he is joining the Democratic Party."

Chrysler Group Hosts Diversity Marketplace Expo ( "In 2002, Chrysler Group sourced more than $3 billion to minority suppliers, representing 11 percent of its annual purchases. The Company has been named "Corporation of the Year" an unprecedented four times in a row for its commitment to the support and growth of minority business by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council.
Monday, October 13 - DaimlerChrysler African American Network General Membership Meeting"

Miami, November 4th, 2002- On November 1st, Latin Club of America, one of the nation's largest Latino networking organizations, gave out the 2002 Annual Awards of Excellence created to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage through the recognition of those individuals and organizations whose valuable contributions expose Latino influences above and beyond Latin markets.

The elegant event took place at the Omni Colonnade in Coral Gables, Florida. The categories recognized the best Latinos in careers and Latino friendly organizations, with the German American Business Chamber earning praises and the Chamber of the Year Award for promoting the Hispanic market within the German business community. (More Info further down on that page)

Germany Today for Junior Journalists (An informative report on Germany, the US and the world, also touching on minority issues, by Shani Smothers, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA)

The Annual Career Forum for Women and Minorities (New York City -- October 12, 2004)

"Black American Dream Comes True In Blossomfields" by Eric Ellis 01/20/1998. Eric Ellis reports from Chicago on the new middle class growing there as the US economy reinvents itself. ... cars in the driveways are new, gleaming and often German. ... advantages to US racial minorities, is most threatened by conservative ..

"Diversity is about who we are as individuals, and the contributions that each of us can make to our teams. At Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., ("MBUSI"), we realize that we are more similiar than different. We recognize that our strength comes from dedication, experience, and diversity of our workforce.."

Metro Detroit Literary Collective

Sheri Clark Brooks,
Program Director

***Promoting self-publishers & literacy programs

E. Jefferson, 9200 block (pictures+text)

Chyna's Resale Boutique (past)
9211 E. Jefferson
Detroit, Mi 48214
A corner of Detroit, still to be developed, still to be discovered
(between Belvidere + Mc Clellan)
***Help these little businesses grow!!!

Helpful Websites:

There are many more on the web - explore them - ... african-american, asian and other minorities entrepreneur and career resources, as well companies and corporations ... resume database for German American Business. .. (The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.) Sites listed e.g.:

Employ Diversity
(Job Search/Employer Tools)

Online Jobsearch Sites

Job Search

Locating "American writers grouped by ethnicity"
Finding Resources on the Multicultural Literature of the United States
- A Research Guide and Bibliography
Germany INFO (Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia offering lots of info on Germany)
Why study GERMAN (One of a number of sites explaining why German is important for Americans)

Encore Associates, Realtors
Linda Cohen, GRI
133 W. Michigan, Suite 201
Ypsilanti, Mi 48197
Fax (734)483-8487

Nubian Essence
Gifts & Accessories
Phyllis Lloyd
8100 E. Jefferson
Detroit, Mi 48214
Alden Park Towers
Suite 109
Buzz #354--(313)821-1350
Tu-Sat 10-6

Cosby challenges Washington Post (C-Span - Panel led by Charles Ogletree on the Future of Young African American Men)/Help Floyd Jennings!

EMU Students after a great tour of the Magna Drivetrain Plant (formerly DaimlerChrysler)
near Graz, in Southern Austria. MagnaSteyr also is an important employer in Southeastern Michigan.
(MAGNA STEYR Engineering Center Detroit in Rochester Hills, MI)

Programs Abroad in Graz Austria - with Deutsch in Graz

Graz photos
Laura and Tara.
Tara is teaching now
at Robichaud H.S.
in Dearborn Heights

Graz photos
Monica, Chris, Kat

German-American Business - German-American (List of German H.S. teachers in MI) - German-American Heritage Org.

Use Google to search the internet!

Klaus Tappe
German Language Consultant
*Private lessons (Indiv./groups),
translations, tutoring (Website)