Destination Cleveland Racial Equity & Inclusion RoadMap
Destination Cleveland’s Racial Equity & Inclusion Roadmap is organized into three areas that align with the organization’s mission and focus. The actions outlined were determined by Destination Cleveland’s Racial Equity & Inclusion Board Taskforce as part of a process rooted in listening and discovery, which Destination Cleveland is committed to continuing to enrich our work.
The Board of Directors Taskforce hosted six listening sessions with 65 individuals representing 46 organizations to understand the challenges faced by businesses owned by people of color (POC) and perceptions among residents of color about how we promote Cleveland. Those learnings, along with insights from additional commissioned research and secondary sources, were synthesized to develop the organization’s initial roadmap. Each action has clear staff accountabilities and timelines, and progress will be reviewed quarterly by the Board of Directors. Key performance indicators (KPIs), which are being developed as the actions are integrated into work plans, will be publicly reported annually.
Attract People + Improve Perceptions
- Evolve the Cleveland brand to be inclusive so as to attract a more diverse visitor audience to Cleveland and create consideration for living and working in the region; to be launched in first half 2022.
- Collaborate with community leaders to identify and pursue meetings and conventions that attract POC communities to Cleveland; underway and ongoing.
- Connect Cleveland’s inspirational Black history and immigrant stories to the future, progress and brand of Cleveland; to be launched first half 2022.
- Ensure the destination storytelling is reflective of Cleveland’s POC communities; underway and ongoing.
- Collaborate with Cleveland’s economic development ecosystem to develop a centralized database of POC-owned hospitality businesses; underway and ongoing.
- Collaborate with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland’s community development ecosystem to define distinctive neighborhood brand identities that allow for clear brand promotion for each neighborhood; to kick-off in Q3 2021.
Enhance Experiences + Collaborations
- Create a POC visitor experience advisory committee that collaborates to develop, enhance and package immersive experiences that reflect Cleveland’s POC experience; to be launched by Q1 2022.
- Collaborate with POC-owned hospitality businesses to identify opportunities for capacity building and greater exposure, awareness and access to Cleveland’s travel & tourism economy; to be launched in Q4 2021.
- Enhance Destination Cleveland staff’s understanding of and connections within Cleveland’s neighborhoods through site visits that will take place in Q3 2021.
- Develop new, enhanced and collaborative programming to educate and engage Cleveland’s hospitality businesses to strengthen Cleveland as a diverse, equitable and inclusive destination; to be launched by Q2 2022.
- Collaborate with Downtown Cleveland Alliance to develop strategy that measurably increases POC-owned hospitality businesses in Downtown Cleveland; to be launched in 2022.
Organizational Foundation & Operations
- Establish a DEI strategy that includes foundational steps for staff and Board of Directors to listen, understand, learn and act; to be launched in Q4 2021.
- Enhance the employee talent lifecycle to attract, retain and promote POC employees; underway and ongoing.
- Work with Destination Cleveland Board of Directors Governance and Nominating Committee to increase the number of POC directors on Board; underway and ongoing.
- Increase the number of POC-owned vendors doing business with Destination Cleveland (supplier diversity); underway and ongoing.
- Work to increase DC’s representation on committees, work groups and boards of organizations devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion and related social reform; to begin in 2022
- Modify Destination Cleveland’s mission to explicitly include diversity, equity and inclusion as essential elements of the organization’s economic development, marketing and destination management efforts; to be completed as part of 2022 strategic planning process.
- Commit to always disaggregating data by race to better understand visitors, meeting attendees, businesses and vendors; to be implemented beginning in Q3 2021.