By Stephanie Davis Smith and Marlinda Henry
Connect, a leader in live events for meeting planners and those in the travel and tourism industry, has come alongside the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals for an unprecedented three-year strategic alliance where Connect will invest in the organization’s student scholarships, internships, and professional development for its members.
The alignment with NCBMP will assist with their mission of empowering Black hospitality professionals as they have a proven track record of moving the needle in this space. Connect will donate $100,000 over the next three years to fund the organization’s important initiatives.
“We have always enjoyed a long friendship with NCBMP, but recent protests and activism has opened our eyes, and we realized we need to take urgent steps within our own industry to support racial equality,” said Chris Collinson, President of Connect.
“The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals was built on the foundation of empowerment and friendship. We are encouraged by the strategic alignment of Connect Meetings via their actions, not just their public statements and look forward to three years of empowering our friends. It is refreshing to know that NCBMP has friends of all shades and backgrounds that believe in humanity, equity, and the future of our industry,” said Jason Dunn, NCBMP Board Chair.
“We recognize the immediate need to align with great organizations like NCBMP to help ensure our industry is a leader in equality for Black people,” Collinson added. “We have long seen and understood the importance of supporting diversity in our events and company and know these dollars will help toward greater equality for all people. We wanted to double down and partner with NCBMP because the issue is urgent today.”
Stephanie Davis Smith is VP of Content and Marketing for Connect Meetings, and Marlinda Henry is President, National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals.