RACIAL EQUALITY REMAINS a top issue for the U.S. and InterContinental Hotels Group is joining the national conversation with three new programs. IHG has partnered with three national organizations to provide career opportunities to youths, increase awareness of civil rights and encouraging students to have an impact on their communities.
IHG’s new partnerships are with the National Urban League, National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Jobs for America’s Graduates. They are an expansion of equality efforts to improve diversity that IHG began over the summer.
The company will contribute to the NUL’s Urban Apprenticeship Jobs Program specifically to expand that program in Atlanta and Chicago. IHG employees also will volunteer to provide mock interviews and resume review for participants in the apprenticeships program.
“Since its launch, the Urban Apprenticeship Jobs Program has helped to create hundreds of employment opportunities for historically underemployed and underutilized communities, across a number of different industries,” said Marc Morial, NUL’s president and CEO. “This important work is helping to create a pipeline of employable people of color across America, advancing financial security and growth, and we are pleased to have the support of leading organizations such as IHG who are likewise committed to advancing workforce equalityefforts in our communities across the country.”
At the center of history
Following the re-opening of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, where IHG is based, over the Labor Day Weekend, IHG is sponsoring several free admission days to The Center beginning in September. IHG also will help support the costs associated with making the museum safe for staff and visitors to visit during the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing personal protective equipment and health technology such as temperature scanners and automated admission kiosks.
Current exhibits at the center include “Rolls Down Like Water” which presents the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, and “The Spark of Convention” which explores the modern global struggle for human rights.
“The history we present connects with today’s movements for equity and justice for black lives, and allows people to understand how they can tap their own power to change the world,” said Jill Savitt, the center’s president and CEO. “We are very grateful for IHG’s support as we work to safely reopen our building.”
Helping young people to help others
IHG and JAG are launching The “Lifting Our Voices for Equity” Project to encourage conversations around diversity, equality, and inclusion within the organization’s 1,450 programs nationwide. The LOVE Project will take place during the 2020/2021 school year and will support JAG students as they explore social justice issues, identify challenges in their communities, and work collectively to make positive change through civic awareness and engagement.
Some JAG students will receive micro-grants, funded by IHG, to help put their LOVE Project ideas into action in their local communities. IHG’s hotels will support the student projects and help share the messages around local students’ positive work.
“Jobs for America’s Graduates was founded 40 years ago to address the inequalities too many of America’s youth experience, which limits opportunities and prevents them from reaching their full potential,” said Ken Smith, JAG president and CEO. “In the last four decades, JAG has helped over 1.4 million vulnerable youth overcome significant economic, emotional, social, and academic challenges. Throughout this time, JAG participants have proven that a well-executed model can help those historically held back by discrimination, poverty, and other barriers so they can achieve equal or greater success in high school graduation, employment, and post-secondary education.”
IHG Rewards Club members will be able to donate their points toward each of the organizations in the new partnerships.
“The hospitality that we offer to our guests, colleagues and communities is fundamentally underpinned by a culture of respect and inclusion for all people. We recognize and embrace the role that we can play in standing for justice and opportunity and are honored to support the important work of these organizations,” said Elie Maalouf, IHG’s CEO for the Americas. “Through these efforts, we will extend the culture we have created at IHG – one where everyone can feel welcome, included and safe – into our communities.”
IHG’s equality programs come at a time when protests continue in several cities connected to the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Several hoteliers and hotel companies have expressed sympathy with the protestors’ cause.