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The Jamul Indian Village and Jamul Casino® Celebrate Black History Month

April 5, 2023

Tribe and Casino Have Made Diversity and Inclusion Cornerstones to Business Practices Since Founding

Jamul Indian Village, CA, February 20, 2023 – The Jamul Indian Village of California (JIV) Tribe and Jamul Casino invite San Diego to join them in observing Black History Month, a time for all of us to celebrate the rich history, culture and contributions of Black Americans.  Jamul Casino recognizes the importance of being a part of the cultural conversation about race and inclusion.  With a number of events and initiatives scheduled throughout February, the JIV and Jamul Casino are joining the celebration by amplifying Black voices and highlighting the significance of the historical contributions of Black Americans as well as the ongoing struggles.

Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village and Chairwoman of the JIVDC Board, states, “This month, we acknowledge and appreciate the historical contributions of the Black community while also recognizing the role and impact of the systemic barriers to racial equality that still exist today.  Black History Month is time for us to reflect, learn, and continue the fight for racial justice. The Tribe and the Board of Directors celebrate the legacy of Black Americans that have profoundly shaped this country and are proud to continue to support the achievements of the Black community.”

Jamul Casino’s recognition of current and past accomplishments of the African American community include:

  • Jamul Casino has committed $10,000 to Many Shades of Pink, an organization that provides support and resources to African American breast cancer patients.
  • On February 4, Jamul Casino hosted a luncheon honoring two local heroic women of color, Dr. Suzanne Afflalo (read more about her in the San Diego Union-Tribune) and Wendy Shurelds, Founder and CEO of Many Shades of Pink. Both women work to improve healthcare in the African American community.
  • Throughout the month of February, Jamul Casino is featuring 31 important figures on the digital screens in the casino and on its social media channels. Highlighted are both historical and present-day African American leaders.
  • The Tribe and Jamul Casino continue to make donations and support the County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.  
  • Requested as a guest favorite, Jamul Casino hosted a Black History Month celebration on February 11 on The Rooftop called Motown Memories, which brought the great hits of Motown to the stage with songs by: The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and many more. The dinner event featured choreography, and high-quality backing tracks. 

President and General Manager of Jamul Casino, Mary Cheeks, states, “Jamul Casino’s Black History Month initiatives provide an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices and struggles of Black people who have played a vital role in shaping the United States of America.  We’re excited to recognize the African American community’s contributions to our culture, and be part of creating a brighter, richer, more inclusive future for the next generation.”

Ms. Cheeks is widely considered an African American forerunner in the gaming industry.  She has risen to the top of the casino management ladder, as Jamul Casino’s President & General Manager.  She is one of only a handful of women nationwide to achieve this title in casino leadership.  As a keen businesswoman, she has overseen a number of initiatives at Jamul Casino that have been critical to its success, including a rebranding, recruiting a world-class management team, developing several highly-successful growth strategies, and leading the Casino through multiple refinances to set up the Tribe and Casino for long-term financial success.  The San Diego Business Journal honored her with a prestigious “Business Women of the Year” award in 2021, as well as naming her one of San Diego’s Top Black 50 Leaders of Influence in 2022.  Her achievements have the stage for future growth toward equality and serve as a role model for African American women in gaming professions and beyond.

About Jamul Casino
Opened in 2016, the Jamul Casino is located in Jamul, California, San Diego County, and is owned and operated by Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC), a wholly owned enterprise of the Tribe. The $430 million, award-winning casino features nearly 1,700 slot machines, 46 live table games, a dedicated poker room, and various restaurants, bars and lounges. Jamul Casino supports more than 1,000 permanent jobs in the region and is the closest casino to downtown San Diego, which is the eighth-largest city in the United States by population. For more information about Jamul Casino, please visit