EDI Case Study: Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
An Equity Statement, published by the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) in 2019, declared the organization is “committed to ensuring that Little Rock is a destination that is welcoming and open to all who seek to come here.”
Known for its role in the civil rights movement, the destination boasts six sites along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, most notably the 1957 desegregation crisis when nine Black students broke racial barriers by integrating the all-white Little Rock Central High School. This historical movement and more created the backbone of the destination.
Reflecting on its past and celebrating its present, including its thriving Black-owned restaurants, engaging attractions and more was the objective for the LRCVB team to increase awareness of the destination as culturally diverse.
Beyond conducting an audit of existing assets, and outreach to local events and festivals to foster cross-promotional opportunities, the organization’s white, female CEO penned an op-ed in the statewide business journal calling on other white leaders to be vocal about their respective Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives. It was this tactic that raised awareness of the LRCVB and its mission, and ultimately generated the movement needed for the organization to achieve its goal.
In February 2021, in conjunction with Black History Month, the LRCVB launched a new curated content section of its website featuring local Black history, heritage, a self-guided civil rights tour, local amenities and attractions all in one location to inspire future travel to the destination.
"Though Little Rock’s Black and civil rights-related attractions have long been a core part of the city’s promotional campaigns, refining our brand positioning among Black travelers is a key part of our pandemic recovery strategy."
Gretchen Hall, CDME
President & CEO
Little Rock CVB