As an individual, there are many ways to be an ally of the racial-equity movement. Being intolerant of intolerance, encouraging dialogue about difference, diversifying your social sphere, confronting your own biases: These are all good places to start. But what can you do specifically in your role as a meeting professional?
Jason Dunn has a few suggestions. Dunn is the chairman of the board for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals and group vice president, diversity sales and inclusion at Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. In a statement on diversity and inclusion posted on NCBMP’s website, Dunn writes forcefully on the need for all meetings industry organizations to speak out against racial injustice, and he leaves readers with a request to take three actions:
1. Take inventory of the meetings organizations that have not publicly denounced racism.
2. Before registering for conferences, events, and educational programs, ask for the following:
3. Before investing financial support or offering concessions, ask the following, in addition to the questions above:
you work with?
Dunn urges organizations to walk the talk, and for meeting professionals to align with those who truly act like allies. “You can’t you can’t publicly say that you support black people, or you support people of color, or women’s organizations, or whatever, if your actions don’t speak to that. There have been hotel brands and CVBs that have spoken publicly about what’s happening, the injustices, but their actions don’t align with it,” Dunn says. “Just make sure when you’re spending your money, because your money is power, to work with those who align with the mission of your organization and what your conscience is saying.”