Ford Leaders Appointed to Advisory Roles to Advance Diversity in Michigan

Amal Berry, Jesus Hernandez and Donna Bell are extending their leadership skills beyond Ford Motor Company to help advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the state of Michigan.

Berry, senior manager, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was recently appointed to serve on the Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  The 15-member council advises the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity on issues relating to the Arab and Chaldean communities in Michigan and promotes awareness of their culture and history.

Hernandez, manager, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy, was appointed by Gov. Whitmer in January to serve as a member of the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. The 15-member council advises the Governor and the Legislature on the coordination and administration of state programs serving the Hispanic and Latino population.

Bell, director, Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Strategy, was appointed by Gov. Whitmer late last year to serve on the Black Leadership Advisory Council.  The 16-member Council, the first of its kind, collaborates with Gov. Whitmer’s office and the Black community to promote legislation that ensures equitable treatment and remedies inequities in Michigan.  It also will serve as a resource for community groups and promote cultural arts in the Black community.

Berry, Hernandez and Bell are the only representatives from the auto industry on their respective councils.  Their terms range from two to four years.

“Appointments to these three state commissions highlight the strength, empathy, experience and depth of character that Donna, Amal and Jesus each possess,” said Chief Diversity Officer Lori Costew.  “They are passionate thought leaders who have a mission to make a difference in the lives of others.  We are so fortunate to have them in our Ford family, benefitting not only Ford Motor Company, but all Michiganders.”

Beyond the state appointments, the three Ford team members are very active in their communities.

Berry serves as a board member for several organizations including Everybody Ready, a non-profit organization that engages with diverse families in Detroit/Wayne County to assure that their voices are embedded in the messaging, content, and resource-sharing on behalf of families throughout Wayne County; the Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE), an organization that provides assistance to low-income families during a crisis by ensuring uninterrupted access to safe drinking water and sanitation services.; the American Arab Chamber of Commerce; and the Henry Ford Academy. Berry is also a primary member of Maktoub Strategies, LLC, an executive services company that provides support and services to non-profit organizations, school administrators and other entities to advance diversity and inclusion programs.

Hernandez serves as board treasurer for the Michigan Hispanic Collaborative, a non-profit focused on accelerating economic mobility and access in the Detroit Hispanic community.  He is vice-chair for Detroit Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, a Gift of Life affiliate committed to educating Detroit’s multicultural community about organ and tissue donation.  In addition, Hernandez, a current police commissioner, was appointed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to serve on the city’s Board of Police. 

Bell is vice president of Operations for Ford’s African Ancestry Network (FAAN) employee resource group.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the SAE Foundation, focusing on the development and distribution of educational STEM programs and material to underserved communities.  She also is a Ford liaison for the National Action Coalition for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), an organization committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering; a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (Detroit Professionals Chapter); a board member for the Women of Ford, leading the effort to ensure training is available for men at Ford that aspire to be advocates and allies; a member of Inforum, an organization committed to the advancement of women in all industries; and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, an organization committed to public service in the black community.  Bell also mentors men and women of all backgrounds that aspire to grow and achieve their goals.

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