It’s been a few months since we’ve challenged travel creators and industry to identify three ways they can help #MoveTravelForward. While the conversations about fostering anti-racism in travel have quieted, it’s more important than ever for us to take action in the short-term and make plans for the long-term.
Moving Travel Forward isn’t a change we make once, or twice, or even throughout a month. It’s a commitment we must make throughout our lifetimes.
How can we make travel more equitable and just for all?
How can we amplify the voices of more BIPOC content creators, as well as those who represent other communities that have been underrepresented or misrepresented in travel?
How can we challenge the industry to do better, whether seeking more diversity on press trips, working fairly with local communities, or advocating for more authentic marketing imagery and language?
And finally, what are we doing as small business owners to change the culture from the inside out, from how and who we hire, to how we lead our teams?
We have invited you to share three things you’re working on and how they’re going. Here are ours.
1. Starting conversations within our own community
As the cultivators of a global community of women, fostering anti-racism is not just about changing our own operations. It’s about serving as a space for our community members to learn and grow together.
Since June, we’ve been hosting an anti-racism reading club with our Wanderful members, reading books like Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. Each month we meet for 90 minutes to discuss the book in an open dialogue facilitated by one of our community members.
We also launched BIPOC Women of Wanderful, a subgroup for BIPOC women to share experiences, questions, resources, and more, all in a safe space.
2. Giving creators and industry the tools to take action
With thousands of travel creators and industry members in our network, advocating for the industry to be better is key to making travel accessible to everyone.
In July we hosted our first of three Moving Forward events, designed as a town hall to discuss anti-racism in the travel industry and what we can each be doing to #MoveTravelForward. At this event, we challenged each of you to come up with your own solutions. And, in our second event this 17 October, we’ll be discussing our collective progress and continued challenges we face.
On 3 October, our second-ever WITS Online will focus on equity and social justice. We’re talking about what we want from travel, and how we can redesign it to serve us all better.
We’ve also been doing some external DEI work. We’ve consulted with travel companies on how to further their initiatives and brought in creators we admire to share their perspectives, while at the same time ensuring fair compensation and recognition.
As part of our continued commitment, we’re also in the process of developing a toolkit to help creators demand action from their industry partners. We can’t wait to show it to you when it’s ready.
3. Encouraging dialogue and activism within our team
It’s always been important to us that our own team reflects the diversity, openness and sisterhood that we foster in our community.
Our team encompasses a variety of ages, ethnicities, and personal and professional backgrounds. That’s something we continue to consider deeply in our hiring process and in our regular team interactions and communication.
In May, Wanderful made a small donation on behalf of each team member to the anti-racism initiative of their choice. Wanderful also pays for each team member’s books should they choose to participate in the anti-racism reading club.
Though these are small, they are our ways of pushing our own selves to improve and grow, and for our team to become stronger in the process.
Now it’s your turn
How about you? What steps are you taking for yourself and your business to foster anti-racism? What unexpected challenges have come up along the way?
If you’re unsure what steps you can take to #MoveTravelForward, we have a whole bunch of ideas for you from our first Moving Forward event.
We hope to see you at the next one to continue the conversation.