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BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM LAUNCHES BUILDING DIVERSITY IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY MENTORING PROGRAM

BM&T kicked off its "Building Diversity in the Travel Industry" mentoring initiative in Washington, DC by presenting a Youth Forum Roundtable Discussion on September 14, 2018 at the Washington Plaza Hotel.  BM&T brought in students from the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Ballou Senior High School in Washington, DC, and the Maya Angelou Academy Charter School to participate.  The mission of this initiative is "Building Diversity in the Travel Industry through Exposure and Mentoring."

A distinguished panel of industry professionals representing different segments of the industry interacted with students and shared information about employment opportunities and career options, as well as answered questions posed by students.  Panelists included: Marlinda Henry, president of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and director of Planning for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship; Albert Tucker, vice president of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB; Norman Jenkins, board member of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers, and founder and president of Capstone Development, LLC (developers and owners of the Washington Marriott Marquis, the largest hotel in DC); Beverly Bentley, owner of Bentley Travel Services; United Airlines executive Geralyn Stevens; and Erin Tucker, Faculty Director of Global Hospitality at Georgetown University, who also served as moderator. 

Sponsors for the Youth Forum Roundtable Discussion were the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB (title sponsor) and Visit Dallas.  Tucker presented checks totaling $1,000 from Black Meetings & Tourism to the participating schools to support their programs.

Black Meetings & Tourism partnered with the National Policy Alliance (NPA) to facilitate this event during the organization's annual business meeting & luncheon. In addition to the Youth Forum, BM&T also presented a session entitled "Our National Treasures and Special Recognition of U.S. House Bill HR 115-105 400 Years of African American History Commission Act." The two presenters for this session were BM&T Associate Publisher/Editor Gloria Herbert and Dennis Rogers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Shaw University and Vice President of Educational Programs and Research for Black Meetings & Tourism.

At the NPA Luncheon, which honored Webster Guillory, NPA founder, Black Meetings & Tourism presented one BM&T Champions Award to Guillory, and Albert Tucker presented another to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL).  Wilson's award was accepted by her daughter. 

BM&T will continue it's mentoring initiative by presenting another Youth Forum Roundtable Discussion, tentatively scheduled for Fort Lauderdale in June of 2019 hosting students from a local school.  We are in discussions with the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB to once again serve as title sponsor of the event.  Confirmed panelists will be announced in the coming months.

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