San Francisco Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown, and Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association, convened a working group of over sixty (60) community leaders representing the Office of the Mayor, labor unions, San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, African American civic and community organizations, Moscone Center, Department of Public Works, media, academic, hospitality industry representatives, and Black clergy for dialogue on the full and fair inclusion of the African American community in all aspects of San Francisco’s robust travel and hospitality industries.
“Black businesses and Black people have been too long excluded from the very face of this City, which is ironically named after the compassionate St. Francis; it is high time for this inequitable, systemic practice of exclusion of Blacks from tourism and its supporting industries to cease and desist and be supplanted by the establishment of effective industry partnerships and a bona fide, holistic commitment to the absolute enfranchisement of the Black community into this booming industry,” said Dr. Brown.
Participants in this community-working group vowed to earnestly develop and propose substantial programmatic changes in construction and professional services’ contracting and procurement, ascertain tools to implement tangible business development opportunities and technical assistance for African American entrepreneurs and pursue meaningful job training and placement for African American workers.
“San Francisco Travel is 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,” said D’Alessandro. One such example of the Travel Association’s commitment is the recent creation of the “African American Freedom Trail” brochure, which chronicles the remarkable contributions of African-Americans to the City and leads tourists to the various historic landmarks, including the 161-year-old Third Baptist Church of San Francisco.
The working group is subdivided into five (5) sub-committees, charged with returning their initial reports to Dr. Brown and Joe D’Alessandro by April 30, 2014, after which follow-up sessions will be scheduled.
Dr. Brown and Mr. D’Alessandro jointly called on all partners in the dialogue to remain at the table to help find effective solutions and establish constructive partnerships to address these issues, rather than pursue actions that may negatively impact the economic vitality of the entire city in general, and the economic vitality of communities of color and union workers in particular.
“As the working group pursues our course of constructive engagement, the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP and San Francisco Travel would like to remind travelers from all groups and walks of life that San Francisco welcomes you with open arms,” said Dr. Brown.