The following announcement was written by Ford Motor Company:
DEARBORN, MI.– On the heels of Ford's announcement of the sponsorship of "Meeting David Wilson," the remarkable and inspiring story of a young man's reconciliation with his ancestor's history as slaves, Ford has partnered with Ancestry.com for a special promotion that offers the chance for consumers to discover the keys to their family history. The promotion will kick off on Friday, April 11, following the world premiere of "Meeting David Wilson" at 9 p.m. EST on MSNBC.
Ford's promotion with Ancestry.com will provide visitors to its website fordurban.com/ancestry, the chance to receive one of 1,000 prizes, including DNA Testing Kits and memberships to the Ancestry.com site. The promotion will run for 10 weeks.
"This promotion allows us to offer consumers a relevant experience in order for them to discover their own history," said Crystal Greene, sponsorships & diverse markets manager for Ford. "Ancestry.com is the No. 1 source for online family history information and also happens to be the same service that David Wilson used when tracing his own family roots. It's great to be able to ping this promotion to life at the same time that we begin to talk more about our own historical legacy."
Ford/NBC News Partnership
Ford's partnership with NBC News will include the opportunity to share Ford' historic legacy as one of the nation's first equal opportunity employers. Within the three-hour MSNBC TV Special, Ford will highlight the story of Ford's rich, but often untold history with the African American community and how that history has shaped Ford—past and present. In addition, NBC will produce, for Ford, a fact-based, educational video for inclusion in the NBC News Archive On-Demand African American Curriculum, drawing upon historical footage, archival material and interviews with Ford management and family members. It will be distributed to thousands of teachers and students nationwide via the NBC internet platform (Hotchalk) and have a permanent place in the NBC News Archive.
"Partnering with NBC on "Meeting David Wilson" is not only exciting but also has a great deal of historical value," said Crystal Greene, sponsorships & diverse markets manager for Ford. "We have a chance to play a role in a discussion that will be remembered for years to come. David Wilson's story is also a Ford story, as members of his own family came North to work for Ford in the 1930's and 40's in the hopes of a better life. David's goals for the documentary are similar to our own goals as a company when you think about imparting the important message of inclusiveness and seeing people as valued individuals."
Ford not only pioneered the moving assembly line and revolutionized auto manufacturing but also is a pioneer in diversity. Ford was among the first to recognize the value of a diverse work force and insisted that all of its plants have the same composition as the communities they served, hiring the company's first African-American employee in 1914. Henry Ford's $5 a day wage, which began in 1914, made it possible for employees of any color to enjoy an equal wage and a standard of living that was unprecedented for the average man. In fact, the $5 a day wage is often credited with helping to spark the creation of the black middle class.
“Meeting David Wilson”
“Meeting David Wilson” tells the story of a 28-year-old African-American journalist from Newark named David Wilson. In his quest to find answers to America's racial divide he looks to his family's past. Along the way he meets another David Wilson, a 62-year-old white man from North Carolina, who is a descendant of his ancestors' slave masters. This discovery leads to a momentous encounter between these two men who share a name, but whose ancestors were on the opposite sides of freedom. The world premiere of the film, by Daniel J. Woolsey and David A. Wilson, will be hosted by “Today” Correspondent Tiki Barber. In “Meeting David Wilson,” the two men come face-to-face to confront their storied past. The 90-minute documentary records the unusual “family reunion” as the New Jersey Wilson family travels back to the North Carolina plantations to meet the white Wilsons; meeting on the very same plantation where lives were sacrificed and where racial equality was once unthinkable.
“Meeting David Wilson” provides compelling perspective on the legacy of slavery in America by chronicling the personal stories of these two men and their momentous encounter. “What you have in the two of us is the story of two races and two generations honestly talking about the dark cloud of slavery and its continuing impact on our families and our lives even today,’ said director David Wilson. “We intend to ignite a candid and unprecedented conversation about race.”
MSNBC Live Event
NBC News will air a live discussion immediately following “Meeting David Wilson,” at 10:30 p.m. ET on MSNBC. The live discussion, which will be poadcast from Howard University's Washington, D.C. campus and stream live on msnbc.com, will focus on racial themes in America. “NBC Nightly News” Anchor and Managing Editor pian Williams will moderate the event. Joining Williams as panelists are some of America's more important voices on issues facing our nation including radio host Tom Joyner, author Michael Eric Dyson, entrepreneur Malaak Compton-Rock, screenwriter Kriss Turner, writer Kevin Powell and columnist Mike Barnicle. Tim Wise, the Director of the Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE) and Rev. Buster Soaries will also be featured panelists.
Both the premiere of “Meeting David Wilson” and the NBC News live discussion event will stream live on msnbc.com. Msnbc.com will also create a special online section for the “Meeting David Wilson” documentary and feature content that addresses issues discussed in the film, such as race and identity, as well as include other stories and video from pivotal moments in Black History. Viewers can log on to nightly.msnbc.com or davidwilson.msnbc.com to suggest questions for the poadcast discussion, and to engage in an online forum. Viewers will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of both David Wilsons by logging on to davidwilson.msnbc.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive pands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information on Ford's legacy and information regarding Ford’s products, please visit fordurban.com.
With 25,000 searchable databases and titles and nearly 3 million active users, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world's largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties. Visit us at ancestry.com.