To our clients and friends, 

Many of you know me, some of you may not, however you are surely all aware of protests that have broken out across the country over the last week against racial and social injustice. I think we can all agree: It’s time for change.  

As the organizations that proudly promote and encourage visitation to our city, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission also proudly promote the characteristics of our city that make it worth visiting, one of the most valuable of which is our diversity. When members of our city are in pain, we are all in pain. Many of us have been in pain for quite some time. Although we don’t have all the answers, we know that we can’t stay silent.     

We’re proud to be among nearly 3,000 local businesses whose leaders have signed a petition for Columbus City Council to declare racism a public health crisis and are pleased that Ohio is on its way to being the first state to make said declaration. But this is just a small step. It’s just the beginning. We intend to continue to speak out against systemic racism and social injustice. We vow to ensure that next time you’re in Columbus, it’s a better Columbus; a stronger, more unified and safer Columbus.  

When you bring your group to our city, we’ll make sure you’re aware of volunteer opportunities that continue to break down barriers for communities of color. You’ll see us promoting minority-owned businesses your attendees can support during their visits.  

It is efforts like these that reflect the spirit of our city – collaborative, forward-thinking and eager to stand up for what matters.  

Please, don’t be silent. I encourage you to engage in conversations that so many have already started. Tell us what you want to see from us. Our voices, every single one, are what makes Columbus the city we are proud to call home.    

We’re here. We’re listening. We’re determined to make a difference. 

Dan Williams, Headshot

 

Dan Williams
Vice President, Convention Sales and Services

 

Five Questions About Race

Dan Williams and six other Black tourism leaders answered ‘5 Questions About Race’ in a video that premiered during the virtual Destinations International Annual Convention session 'Why Race Matters." Learn more about the initiative and check out the honest conversation on the state of the world below.

 

An Open Letter to the Industry

The tourism industry is not immune to race-related problems. We’ve been silent for too long. Now, it’s time for dialogue. It’s time for action. Read this open letter to the travel industry signed by Experience Columbus’ Dan Williams and 20 other African-American CVB executives from around the country to understand what you can do to help inspire change for the better. It’s time.