For Immediate Release
March 08, 2011
Contact Information

D. Iman Johnson

Zoé Zeigler

(BPRW) Toyota Raises Green Consciousness with African American Consumers at the 66th Annual CIAA Basketball Tournament

- Winner of the First-Ever Toyota Green Initiative Contest Announced -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – TORRANCE, Calif. (Wednesday, March 9, 2011) – The Toyota Green Initiative, an environmental stewardship platform designed to empower the collegiate audience to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, closed the 2011 CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Tournament by announcing the winner of the first-ever Toyota Green Initiative Contest. Toyota, the Official Automotive Partner of the 2011 CIAA Tournament, raised green consciousness and furthered dialogue around sustainability through a series of events at the tournament.

To acknowledge environmental stewards on the CIAA campuses, on Saturday, March 5, at the 2011 CIAA Toyota Men’s Final Game, four finalists of the Toyota Green Initiative Contest were presented, and Stephen Graddick, IV, was announced as the Grand Prize winner. Graddick, a freshman from Livingstone College, won a one-year lease of a 2011 Toyota Prius Hybrid and a Tree Park for his campus. To enter the contest CIAA students were required to submit a plan and carry out their own Grassroots Green Campus project that restored, improved or sustained the environment at their local campus or campus’ community. Graddick beat out over 200 entrants with his innovative environmental plan of hosting a Green Awareness Week to improve sustainability at Livingstone College.

“The Toyota Green Initiative is a powerful social awareness campaign that provides our future leaders with the resources and tools to create a valuable environmental impact,” said Jim Colon, vice president of Toyota product communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “The rich partnership with CIAA is representative of shared values, and has afforded Toyota the opportunity to continue the conversation on sustainable living.”

On behalf of Toyota, Colon presented Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., President – CIAA Board of Directors, with a check for $200,000 towards the CIAA Scholarship Fund.

During the Men’s Final Game, Toyota was named “Partner of Year” by CIAA for their efforts to broaden sustainability awareness at CIAA campuses. Leading up to the 66th Annual CIAA Tournament, throughout the fall semester of 2010, the Toyota Green Initiative Tour visited all 13 CIAA campuses with a fully immersive experience designed to provide students with the tools to become environmental stewards in local communities.

At the 2011 CIAA Toyota Fan Experience over 200,000 attendees visited the interactive Toyota Green Initiative booth that featured experiences centered around an 18-foot tree installation built of sustainable materials from Thursday, March 3 through Saturday, March 5. On Saturday, patrons actively participated in two Roundtable Discussions on ways to live a greener future led by Toyota Green Initiative Coalition Members: Lance Gross, HBCU college graduate and actor on Tyler Perry’s hit TBS sitcom, House of Payne; and environmental experts Earthseed, LLC, Pandora Thomas and Zakiya Harris. The Coalition Members shared with attendees the oral history of African American green pioneers, simple tips to go green and their involvement in the Toyota Green Initiative.

About Toyota Green Initiative
The Toyota Green Initiative is an environmental stewardship platform designed to empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) students and alumni to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. At the hub of the Toyota Green Initiative is the interactive website which provides easy cost-saving tips on going green, eco-conscious articles, videos, campus events and volunteer programs. features a Promise Drive to secure personal commitments from site visitors on the reduction of their ecological footprint and adoption of a green living philosophy.

For more information about the Toyota Green Initiative, visit

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers. Toyota directly employs more than 34,000 people in the U.S. and sold more than 1.76 million vehicles in 2010.

For more information about Toyota, visit or