Destination DC Puts Spotlight on DEI

A Sponsored Message from Destination DC

Author: Casey Gale       

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library D.C.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is one of many socially minded venues available to events planners looking to meet in Washington, D.C. (Anna Meyer @annameyerphoto)

As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. is a destination known for its dedication to progress, diversity, and inclusivity. It has long been a gathering place for people to put their power of free speech to work, where impactful demonstrations that have taken place have shaped the future of United States, and where some of the most significant nonprofits advocating for social progress call home.

With more than 175 embassies reflecting a wide range of cultures and 10-plus Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the area, D.C. is the perfect spot for event planners to discover socially minded venues — ranging from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, which in 2020 underwent a $211-million modernization and renovation, to the Hotel Zena, a 191-room hotel in Logan Circle that celebrates women through its programming and design. Now more than ever, individuals are looking to support organizations that make a positive impact on society, and with D.C. as their host destination, planners can feel empowered to advance their organization’s progressive agendas.

Hotel Zena lobby Washington DC

The Hotel Zena in Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle, celebrates women through its programming and design. (Courtesy Hotel Zena)

“We encourage visitors and meeting planners alike to genuinely engage in Washington, D.C.’s DEI community and to look for meaningful ways to embrace diversity in the city,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, Destination DC. “Whether that’s through the vendors and venues or the speakers and experiences, it’s about connecting on a human level and being inclusive.”

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has always been top-of-mind for Destination DC (DDC), and it continues to strengthen its commitment every day with new additions to the city’s offerings. A new resource to help planners and meeting attendees alike access D.C.’s DEI efforts is The DEI District. Launched by DDC in mid-2021, this content hub helps showcase Washington, D.C. as a global destination that promotes and validates DEI. At this virtual destination, event organizers can find unique spaces such as active community hubs and sustainable spaces and better understand the city’s commitment to diversity, while visitors can begin to discover D.C. as the locals know it by learning about its official music genre — go-go, a version of funk that originated in D.C. in the mid-’60s — as well as learn where to find Black-, women-, and immigrant-owned businesses, and find some of the foremost historical and cultural institutions in the area, such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Travel has the opportunity to unite people and provide an understanding that we have more similarities than differences,” said Ferguson. “One of the advantages of visiting Washington, D.C. is its access to different cultures and vibrant neighborhoods, global cuisine and multi-cultural arts, and most of all, its diverse people.”

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