RALEIGH, N.C.—Concord Hospitality Enterprises, an award-winning hotel development and management company, has announced the launch of its “End Racism Now” initiative. The goal of the program is to increase the level of understanding about the Black community amongst its associates, within the hospitality industry and across the United States and ultimately drive change to secure equality, justice and freedom for all Americans.
Kicked off in August and continuing through Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18, 2021), the initiative is bringing together Concord associates at all levels—from front desk staff to corporate executive leaders—every Wednesday for discussion, storytelling and connection to ask hard questions, have uncomfortable conversations and hear different perspectives. Topics of focus include how white people can help and why associates must educate themselves.
At the culmination of the program, all Concord associates and hotels across the United States will release a balloon symbolizing the release of racism and a renewed journey toward a world in which everyone is truly equal.
Biggest Differences are Greatest Strengths
“At Concord Hospitality, we believe our biggest differences are our greatest strengths, and we stand with our Black community to end racism once and for all,” said Mark Laport, President and CEO of Concord Hospitality. “We feel the only way to affect positive change is through education, awareness, compassion and empathy, all of which we are aiming to achieve through our ‘End Racism Now’ initiative.”
The initiative is being led by Concord’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, which was launched in 2017 when the hospitality company evolved its mission from “The Employer and Manager of Choice” to “A Great Place to Work for All.” Through this shift in mission, Concord sought to begin addressing and instilling the following ideals, among others, at its hotel properties across the nation and throughout its entire associate footprint:
- Our biggest differences are our greatest strengths—Associates from all over North America are encouraged to share their stories to gain understanding and appreciation for everyone’s differences, celebrating “I am free to be me.”
- Be authentic—Concord believes that when a person feels safe enough to be themselves and be accepted, they are sure to bring their best selves to work—which translates into improved performance, innovation, and results.
- Treat each person how they deserve to be treated—The company aims to ensure that the associate experience is the same across all levels, genders, ethnicities or other characteristics, regardless of how a person defines him or herself.