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Industry Briefs
John Lewis - credit Study Buddy

America’s conscience has been touched and our consciousness raised, as tributes honoring the legacy of the late congressman John Robert Lewis are being reported from every part of the country and around the world. Hearing white and blue collar workers, students of all ages, as well as prominent leaders in our community and government, share their experiences with John Lewis, I reflected on my own brief, memorable moment of exchange with “The boy from Troy.” and on thoughts of another committed civil rights worker who in the 1960s dedicated his life to “Good Trouble,” Black Meetings & Tourism’s editor-in-chief, Solomon Herbert.

During the late nineties, each year as a part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation legislative conference exhibition in Washington D.C, BM&T Hosted a Global Travel Pavilion. This was a designated section of the exhibit floor with booth space reserved exclusively for Travel-Related businesses to connect with the 7-9 thousand conference attendees.

Air Jamaica, one BM&T’s advertising clients and frequent exhibitors in the pavilion, provided round trip airlines tickets to the Caribbean as a grand prize for the winner of a drawing from attendees who completed a Travel Research questionnaire. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus made a point to stop by as many exhibitor booths as possible. I recall clearly how Congressman John Lewis spoke with each exhibitor in the Travel Pavilion. When he came to the BM&T pavilion sponsor booth and saw the Air Jamaica sign he commented that he knew his wife would enjoy a trip to the Caribbean. Then, in a second thought, he told me that if he were to be lucky enough to win the trip it might create an opportunity for some of his “non supporters” to suspect some wrong doing. As he turned to walk away he shook my hand and said, “ remember, choose your battles wisely .”

Solomon Herbert - credit NYPD

Like John Lewis, in the 1960s, Solomon Herbert chose to get into GOOD TROUBLE as a young civil rights activist and community organizer who faced life threatening adversity for taking a stand to make a difference advocating for the rights of all Americans to be able to vote. Working with the legendary icon for Human Rights, James Farmer, as national second vice chairman of one of the nation’s preeminent Civil Rights organizations, The Congress For Racial Equality (CORE), Solomon distinguished himself as a “History Making ” leader for change.

In 2013 he was officially inducted as an honoree in the organization known as History Makers, the Nation’s Largest documented Society and Archives of Historically Significant African-Americans .

Both of these iconic men continued with a propensity and reputation for making GOOD TROUBLE. John Lewis went on to serve 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives where was a champion for legislative equality and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by President Barack Obama.

Solomon became an established journalist and launched Black Meetings & Tourism (BM&T) magazine in 1993. BM&T, often referred to as “the Bible of African-American Travel,” is the Travel Industry’s exclusive, international, awarding winning trade publication for and about the estimated $72+ billion African-American segment of the Travel-Tourism-Hospitality-Lodging Industry.

From its inception, BM&T has served as a prominent platform and advocate for inclusion and diversity in the $2.7 trillion Travel/Tourism industry. Recognized as Pioneers, Champions, leaders, and Influencers, in the Destinations Travel Industry, Solomon, along with his wife, Gloria (BM&T publication editor and co-founder, were recently inducted into the Destinations International HALL OF FAME. Destinations International is one of the oldest and largest professional associations in the Travel Industry. Their prestigious Hall of Fame award is given to men and women who have “advanced and improved the destination industry through their leadership, innovation and creativity.”

Because John Lewis and Solomon Herbert dared to change things from how they were, to how they should be,” our industry, our nation and our world are BETTER for their involvement in GOOD TROUBLE.

Gloria Herbert is associate publisher/editor and co-founder of Black Meetings & Tourism.