In a new video from Destination DC, seven Black travel executives from across the country share their experiences with racism. The powerful video is 8 minutes and 38 seconds long, just under the time that George Floyd had a knee on his neck when he was murdered on May 25, 2020.
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more sparked protests in every state and reignited a national conversation on racism. Below, Black industry leaders share tips for eliminating racism in the workplace and improving diversity.
Addressing Racism in the Workplace
"Today, I need to believe that we’re on the path to finding a cure for the virus that has taken more lives than all viruses combined: RACISM-20," Michael C. Bush, president and CEO of the Great Place to Work project, wrote in June. Among guidance the organization offers is an article by Matt Bush, culture coaching lead at Great Place to Work, called "The Support You Need to Give Your Black Employees Today." Included are the following suggestions for team leaders:
- Create a workplace where Black people can bring their full selves to work.
- Build a more diverse leadership team.
- Schedule unconscious-bias training for all employees.
- Offer more counseling services.
- Train leaders on how to respond to an event like the George Floyd uprising in the future.
- Be aware of microaggressions.
- Show up for your employees. That means putting your employees before business.
- Teach yourself to fully understand all of the above.
7 Questions for Destination Marketers
In June, 21 Black destination leaders issued an open letter to address a deafening silence among their peers and colleagues in the travel industry. The letter included seven questions for organizations to consider as they strive to eliminate racism and drive positive change within their communities.
- What are you doing in your own organization or destination to nurture cultural change as it relates to racism?
- What steps are you taking to ensure local industry boards, committees and staffs have Black representation and leadership in your office and hospitality community?
- How are you engaging underserved communities to attract the talent of the future?
- Are you broadening the conversation to include young people, activists, community leaders, faith-based groups, historically Black colleges, university students and others?
- Have you developed a policy for procurement that ensures a percentage of purchases and professional services are from Black and/or minority-owned businesses?
- Are you engaging your stakeholders to participate in co-ops and strategies with minority-owned travel businesses specifically to attract Black visitors to your community?
- Do your print, digital, website and point-of-sale materials represent the faces of your community and the traveling public?