Black Voices

From a College Stint as Bellman to CEO: Cleo Battle’s Career Path

This July, Cleo Battle will take over as president and CEO of Louisville Tourism after eight years as the bureau’s executive vice president and COO. Battle shared highlights of his 34-plus-year career working at DMOs and hotels around the country — and how he’s trying to do his part to make the industry better and more diverse.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 4, 2021

Creating an Antiracist Meetings Industry

A candid and soul-searching conversation on racism and white supremacy at Convening Leaders points out the role business events can play in creating positive change on a global scale.

BY Barbara Palmer February 18, 2021

Richmond Embraces Its Painful Past During Black History Month

Here’s how one city with a history in the slave trade in North America has made the Black experience in America central to its identity.

BY Convene Editors February 11, 2021

Making Virtual and Hybrid Events Look Like TV

Long Beach’s director of creative initiatives, Tra Jones, said the brand-new role is designed to bring live events into the convention center while elevating the experience for those watching online.

BY Casey Gale January 28, 2021

In a Career of Firsts, Yet Another for Events Industry Pioneer Carol Wallace

Carol Wallace, recipient of the inaugural PCMA Groundbreakers Award, talks about her 35-year career that included 24 years as president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

BY Michelle Russell January 17, 2021

How to Be an Antiracist Meeting Planner

Change won’t happen overnight, but there are concrete actions that event planners can take to educate themselves about racial equality and equity. Convening Leaders speaker Torin Perez shares his three-step action plan to help individuals achieve a more grounded perspective on race and society.

BY Kate Mulcrone January 14, 2021

Creativity Is Imperative and Wonder Is Not a Luxury

As the pandemic demands we find new ways of doing things, consultant Natalie Nixon offers a strategic and tactical map to becoming more creative.

BY Barbara Palmer October 1, 2020

Racial Inequity Discussed at NCBMP’s 7th Annual State of Black Tourism Event

The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) held its State of Black Tourism event virtually on Sept. 17 in partnership with the National Press Club. In his Chairman’s Address, Jason Dunn spotlighted how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black hospitality workers.

BY Casey Gale September 18, 2020

Checking in With Melvin Tennant of Meet Minneapolis

Tennant is in charge of marketing a destination where a movement was reborn. Here’s how he is leading his team through its complex challenges.

BY Barbara Palmer September 3, 2020

5 Questions About Race — Asked and Answered by Black Tourism Professionals

Black executives from seven destination marketing organizations across the country call for open dialogue about race and racism.

BY Barbara Palmer September 1, 2020

Risha Grant on Inclusion: ‘Wade Right Into Your BS’

Diversity is not a problem — it’s a strength, says entrepreneur and speaker Risha Grant. “Inclusion,” she said, “is where we suck.”

BY Barbara Palmer August 28, 2020

Tech Tools to Measure and Increase Racial and Gender Diversity

Two nonprofit initiatives have strengthened their focus to fight gendered racial inequities on conference stages and elsewhere — and lead transformation.

BY Barbara Palmer July 13, 2020