Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: March/April 2014
San Fransisco Boycott Called Off

San Francisco Leaders fromIndustry,Labor, Government and Civil RightsCommunity Launch Initiative on Equity in Tourism and Hospitality Industries

A nearly unprecedented coalition of leaders representing industry, civil rights, business, government, and education announced the collaborative launch of the City’s first-ever Initiative on Equity and Inclusion in San Francisco’s hospitality and tourist industries. The Working Group on African American Inclusion and Diversity in Travel and Hospitality issued their final report recently which outlined a framework and tangible commitments for enabling the full and fair inclusion of all diverse communities in all aspects of San Francisco’s travel and hospitality industries.

“The boycott is off,” declared FredJordan , president of the San Francisco African American Chamber ofCommerce . “Just a few months after our Chamber members called for a possible boycott of the hospitality and tourism industries in the City, we have seen an extraordinary collaboration toward ensuring African-Americans are afforded equal access to business, contracting, and especially workforce opportunities in the travel and hospitality industry. This is a great moment for the City of San Francisco and all diverse communities.”

“The diligent and thoughtful effort of the working group participants has resulted in a thorough and complete set of concrete steps that will be taken to promote the full participation of African - Americans and other underrepresented constituents in San Francisco’s #1 industry travel and tourism,” said Dr. AmosBrown , working group co-chair and president of the SanFrancisco NAACP . “This is a first and powerful step in changing the tide of equity and opportunity in this City. It is now up to all of us to remain focused on ensuring the recommendations are successfully implemented.”

In response to concerns about diversity and inclusion in hospitality and travel, the partnership grew to include the SF Travel , Moscone Center , trade unions like Local 2 and SEIU-USWW , multiple City agencies, dozens of community based organizations, the Hotel Council of San Francisco , and a coalition of San Francisco Hotels . Members of the working group convened over the past six months to identify tangible actions that can be pursued jointly to advance diversity, equality and full inclusion throughout the City’s travel and hospitality sector. Examples include the establishment of a series of recruitment efforts staggered throughout the year to attract diverse applicants to hospitality jobs, dedicated pre-apprenticeship programs jointly sponsored by labor and hotels, greater transparency and outreach in contracting and business opportunities, and expanded efforts toward highlighting San Francisco’s broad ethnic, cultural and social diversity in tourism promotional endeavors.

“I commend the community-driven working group for its extraordinary contribution to the City of San Francisco,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly . “This broad coalition of public, private and community leaders is precisely the sort of problem-solving collaboration we need in order to strengthen and sustain one of our City’s most critical assets- its diversity.”

San Francisco Travel Association president and CEO, Joe D’Alessandro acknowledged the important role San Francisco’s ethnic, cultural and social diversity plays in attracting visitors from across the nation and throughout the world and reiterated his commitment to diversity and inclusion in the Association’s tourism promotion efforts.    “San Francisco Travel remains firmly committed to serving as bridge, catalyst and advocate for ensuring the African American community is prominently and accurately portrayed both domestically and internationally as an integral member of San Francisco’s richly diverse family.”

The working group will now appoint an Executive Steering Committee to oversee the coordination between City departments, labor organizations, industry representatives, and African-American community leaders that will be needed to ensure the recommendations are implemented.

“While there is still more work to be done, the collaborative working group deserves a great deal of credit for the tremendous progress it has made toward building a framework for ensuring San Francisco’s rich history of diversity and inclusion, is permanently woven into the fabric of the City’s travel and hospitality sector,” said Malia Cohen , a member of the SanFrancisco Board of Supervisors representing the Southeastern neighborhoods including Bayview-Hunters Point.

For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown at: (415) 346.4426; or Joe D’Alessandro at: (415) 227.2698.
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