TORONTO — ACTA’s Diversity and Inclusion committee is producing a video where committee members discuss some of the challenges Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) travellers face on a day-by-day basis, and how professional travel agents can enhance their travel experience.
ACTA President Wendy Paradis says the video will be created in the coming weeks, as part of the D&I Committee’s awareness-building series of initiatives.
The news comes on the second anniversary of the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s death was a catalyst for mass protests against racism globally, and people of all backgrounds joined together in marches, notes Paradis. The events of that summer heightened awareness and demanded deep reflection about systemic racism, she adds. On another level, “the death of George Floyd made all of us stop and think about our own values and how organizations can work towards helping to remove system barriers,” said Paradis.
Earlier this year ACTA signed the Black North Pledge, and Paradis says one of ACTA’s commitments in signing that pledge was to create a diversity and inclusion committee to explore and address ways ACTA can support the removal of barriers internally and throughout the travel industry.
“We are finding that there are still many of us in the Canadian travel industry who are not fully aware that there are significant barriers in the industry — and for travellers — who may experience challenges because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or disability status,” said Paradis. “Our goal is to slowly and steadily create more awareness through education. There is no quick fix, and ACTA is committed to working diligently in promoting a more diverse and inclusive industry.”
ACTA currently offers several training modules which are available online, with additional training courses slated to be added throughout the year.
Current modules include:
- Unconscious Bias
- Respect and Inclusion in the Workplace
- Canadian Indigenous Culture Training: The Truth & Reconciliation Edition
- LGBTQ2S+Diversity and Inclusion Training for Workplaces
Says Paradis: “Diversity and Inclusion will also play a significant role in ACTA’s September 2022 Canadian Travel Industry Summits taking place in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and I invite Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, LGBTQ2S+ travellers and individuals with disabilities to reach out to me at email@example.com if you would like to become involved.”