In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody (in addition to numerous other similar incidents), cities across the country have protested en masse the police and systemic racism in America. Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), in a letter, said the organization stands with African Americans and other minorities, calling for “meaningful change as to who and how our communities are served by police.”
In the statement, Kerby says ASTA is and will continue to be a financial contributor to pro-business African American members of Congress. Many, he says, have backgrounds running small businesses and, as such, “are natural allies with the small business owners that make up the majority of ASTA's 14,000-plus members.” However, Kerby says ASTA must make social justice a higher priority.
“Historically, we have advocated on a narrow path of issues that directly affect our members' businesses. But, guaranteeing equality before the law for all Americans is vital to our social fabric and, therefore, our members' businesses,” Kerby says. He adds that ASTA will review the 50-plus bills that were introduced in relation to the protests and will inform its members which to support. Kerby also recommends contacting your members of Congress to help get important measures across the finish line.
“We'll pay particular attention to recommendations coming out of the Congressional Black Caucus, who will be leading these efforts in the House of Representatives,” says Kerby.
In addition, ASTA will host and require all staff to participate in diversity and inclusion training. It will also offer this training to all ASTA members. (This will be discussed in greater detail at its upcoming virtual Town Hall meeting with the ASTA Board's Executive Committee on June 11.)
Finally, Kerby says ASTA will raise money for the NAACP. (Last year, ASTA raised almost $20,000 for the Bahamas hurricane relief.)