ACTA Launches New Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Initiatives as it Marks Murder of George Floyd

A portrait of George Floyd by artist Eme Freethinker in Mauerpark, Berlin. Photo credit: Leonhard Lenz.
A portrait of George Floyd by artist Eme Freethinker in Mauerpark, Berlin. Photo credit: Leonhard Lenz.

The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) remembers George Floyd on the second anniversary of his murder, 25MAY 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"His death was a catalyst in the summer of 2020 for mass protests against racism globally. People of all backgrounds joined together in these marches and the events of that summer heightened awareness and demanded deep reflection about systemic racism," ACTA said in a statement.

To better understand and act on systemic racism, businesses undertook a period of introspection to examine their own practices in areas like hiring and marketing, said the Association.

“The death of George Floyd made all of us stop and think about our own values and how organizations can work towards helping to remove system barriers,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.

The Black North Initiative was created as a Canadian response to engage corporate Canada. Its goal is to motivate businesses to act on removing systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians along with Indigenous individuals, and People of Colour.

ACTA, along with other Travel and Tourism businesses, has signed the Black North Pledge, and one of the Association's commitments was to create a diversity and inclusion committee to explore and address ways ACTA can support the removal of barriers internally and throughout the travel sector.

One of ACTA’s Diversity and Inclusion committee priorities in 2022 will be to continue to build awareness.

“We are finding that there are still many of us in the Canadian travel industry who are not fully aware that there are significant barriers in the industry- and for travelers –who may experience challenges because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or disability status,” said Paradis. “Our goal is to slowly and steadily create more awareness through education. There is no quick fix, and ACTA is committed to working diligently in promoting a more diverse and inclusive industry.”

ACTA Diversity & Inclusion online training

ACTA currently offers several training modules which are available online. Additional training courses will continue to be added throughout the year. Current modules include:

  • Unconscious Bias
  • Respect and Inclusion in the workplace
  • Canadian Indigenous Culture Training: The Truth & Reconciliation Edition
  • LGBTQ2S+ Diversity and Inclusion Training for Workplaces

ACTA's next initiative to build awareness will be the creation of a video in the coming weeks where members of the ACTA D&I Committee will discuss some of the challenges of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) travellers face on a day-by-day basis and how professional travel agents can enhance their travel experience.

“Diversity and Inclusion will also play a significant role in ACTA’s September 2022 Canadian Travel Industry Summits taking place in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and I invite Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, LGBTQ2S+travellers and individuals with disabilities to reach out to me at wparadis@acta.ca if you would like to become involved,” Paradis concluded.

For more information on ACTA's diversity and inclusion awareness initiatives, visit its web site.

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