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Diversity and Inclusion is a Top Priority #diphilly

Norman Jenkins, founder, President, and CEO of Capstone Development, which acquires hospitality real estate associated with international lodging brands, was awarded the 2019 Lodging Magazine Diversity & Inclusion Award. He told the audience a story during the awards ceremony highlighting the need for diversity and inclusion in every industry. He spoke about when he checked into a hotel and was not treated well because of the color of his skin. It turns out that he was the president of the hotel and the lady working at the desk was stunned to hear that he was in that role. He made it clear that everyone should be treated with decency, not because of their status, but because of their humanity.

Diversity and Inclusion Defined

Diversity often focuses on differences, and is referred to as “the mix.” Inclusion is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed. Diversity is what you have. Inclusion is what you do.

Diversity & Inclusion Conference in Philadelphia, PA

One of the conference events that stood out was the Pre-Conference Think Tank. It allowed attendees a chance to share and collaborate with each other. Hospitality and industry professionals gathered together and spoke candidly about how business professionals always need to champion diversity and inclusion. They also stressed that retaining people from diverse backgrounds is just as important as obtaining them.

Key Diversity and Inclusion Takeaways

  • Assess your companies unintentional bias towards other groups of people.
  • Ask who is not included in your organization (for example, blind, deaf, LGBTQ, women, people from minority/underrepresented groups, etc.).
  • When reaching out or trying to market to people with different backgrounds, research their culture, history, likes, and dislikes first.
  • Collaborate with decision makers to conclude what you should do to keep your customers excited.
  • Create multiple avenues to embrace different communities.
  • Mentor youth so they can know how to implement diversity on all levels when they enter the workforce.

Favorite Quotes from the Conference

“The onus is on all of us to look around the room and recognize who is not represented. It should not be just for the minority person in the room to speak up, we all should.” – Kryss Shane MS, MSW, LSW LMSW LGBT expert.

“Opportunity is what makes our community great!” – Norman Jenkins

“When doing business with companies you have to do business with the people that work here…it can improve the lives of men, women, and children who live here.” -Mayor James Kenney

“Diversity means diversifying your revenue streams.” -Justin Nelson

“Philadelphia is truly a global city…it is also a city of the world’s global heritage.” – Zebeth Teelucksingh

The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Conference was memorable. If you missed it this year, you won’t want to miss the conference next year. The planning committee did a fantastic job of organizing the event and proving that diversity drives innovation.

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