It’s on us: How TPG is joining the fight for equality and justice
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The Points Guy came to life 10 years ago as a community centred around a mutual love of travel. We firmly believe that travel builds connection and makes our world a smaller, better place.
However, TPG can no longer ignore the fact that too many people do not experience equal rights, whether in the world of travel or beyond. And this week in particular, we cannot deny the inequality that the Black community faces.
TPG renounces racism and discrimination in any form. That being said, we have made mistakes in the past, and we have a lot to learn.
Our team has committed to the work of unpacking white fragility, privilege and racism. We are re-evaluating our current hiring and recruiting processes to court more candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. We will be more intentional about working with people and organisations who don’t look like us, in order to learn from their perspectives.
We haven’t always gotten it right, and we won’t always get it right in future. But we commit to doing our best, being willing to make mistakes along the way and starting again when we fail. We are actively committed to the fight against racial injustice, and our organisation commits to participating in the change the world desperately needs.
The Points Guy, as well as our parent company Red Ventures, believes in taking action to match our words. Here’s how we have committed to justice and equality for Black lives.
Commitment means nothing without sustained action backing it. As a media company, we’ve established a partnership with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), starting with a $100,000 donation.
Countless studies show that the best companies, communities and entire nations represent a wide range of diverse voices. NABJ supports the Black journalists, media professionals, educators and students who contribute crucial viewpoints and perspectives in newsrooms across the nation and world. The organisation also funds scholarships for Black students who are pursuing higher education in the field of journalism, as well as facilitating important mentoring and career guidance work.
“Now more than ever, it is critically important that we prepare the next generation of Black journalists”, NABJ president Dorothy Tucker said. “We are proud that The Points Guy is partnering with NABJ to help us invest in our aspiring journalists by creating a scholarship. We look forward to a long-term relationship as we invest in the future of journalism through the power of education”.
“I firmly believe that travel connects the world and makes it a better place”, TPG founder Brian Kelly said. “But for far too long, travel media has not adequately represented or included people of colour. Corporate leaders must use this time to examine their internal policies to further cultivate and support diversity. While I am proud of TPG, we can be more inclusive in all we do, from our hiring process to our support of black-owned businesses, to building the next generation of writers. I’m proud to partner with NABJ to help build the next generation of Black journalists. Their voices are needed more than ever”.
You can donate directly to NABJ here.
Closer to home, a few worthy U.K.-based causes include:
- Black Minds Matter U.K. aims to link black individuals and families in the U.K. with black practitioners for mental health therapy sessions.
- The Exist Loudly Fund to Support Queer Black Young People is working to support queer black young people in London and around the country. It provides essential talks, workshops and mentorships for the young people.
- Show Racism the Red Card is the U.K.’s leading anti-racism educational charity, providing workshops, training sessions and other resources with the purpose of tackling racism in our society. You can donate here.
- The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust works to inspire young people aged 13 to 30 from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in the career of their choice. You can donate here.
Black poet and activist Maya Angelou once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”. The first step toward progress requires us to listen and learn from people who have been telling us their struggles all along.
Here are some of the resources we are leaning upon at this time. If you have any good resources to share with us, please send them our way.
- A guide to supporting your Black colleagues during this time
- Stop asking people of colour to explain racism — a list of educational books on identifying and dismantling the impacts of racism
- Black Lives Matter.carrd.co — Simple call-to-action tasks to educate and support the cause of racial justice
- A grassroots list of resources for deepening the work of anti-racism
Supporting black-owned businesses and restaurants is a tangible way to show your advocacy. Black-owned businesses have disproportionately suffered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while black Britons have died at twice the rate of their white counterparts. So order from your local black-owned restaurants, frequent black-owned beauty salons and purchase books from black-owned bookstores if possible.
The travel brands below are just a few highlights out of a long list of businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs:
- Henderson Travel Service — this family-owned travel agency has been in business since 1955, and planned Martin Luther King’s trip to Oslo in 1964 to collect the Nobel Peace Prize. The agency specializes in Africa tours, particularly to destinations such as Senegal, Ghana and South Africa.
- The Wind Collective — U.K.-based global community that hosts monthly travel experiences
- Salamander Hotels & Resorts — a U.S. boutique luxury hotel chain founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila Johnson
- Nomadness Travel Tribe — “the TED talk that black travel deserves” highlights the voices of more than 20,000 black and brown travel influencers who are responsible for more than $50 million spent in the travel industry each year.
- We Are Black & Abroad — a multi-faceted travel and lifestyle brand focused on the modern Black traveller experience
- Yellow Block B&B — a New York City family-owned bed and breakfast purposely designed for groups of up to 25 travellers, such as family reunions
- Akwaaba — this collection of Northeast beautiful bed and breakfasts is owned by a husband and wife team who fell in love with the cosiness and intimacy of the B&B experience and wanted to share it with others
- Tastemakers Africa — offers unique tours in Africa and beyond. The group helps connect travellers with people for authentic experiences.
- Wanderstay Hotels — Texas-based Wanderstay was founded by Diedre Mathis, 32, who spent a year and a half travelling on just $12,000. Upon her return, she opened the first black-owned hostel in the United States
If your finances are tight, you can contribute cost-free by streaming this YouTube video, where all AdSense revenue goes toward causes that support the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s how to help:
- Watch this playlist, or simply stream it in the background with headphones on
- Do not skip ads
- Keep the volume at a minimum of 50%
- Stream the video at a resolution of 480p or higher
- Comment and like the videos
- Share this playlist on social media
Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. Transforming the injustices in our society will take time. But we can support our Black family, friends and colleagues right now in many ways:
- Reach out to your Black loved ones and coworkers, and assure them of your support, advocacy and empathy (here’s what not to say to your Black colleagues)
- Support a bail-out fund to release jailed protesters
- Educate your family members on racist ideology and unconscious bias
- Challenge comments in your social circle that reinforce racism and prejudice
- Share Black Lives Matter content in solidarity to raise awareness of the issues at hand
- Challenge your peers to ensure Black people have a voice in important decision-making
- Self-educate by reading up on black history and the long-term impact of white supremacy, which are still felt today
Black author Toni Morrison said, “The function of freedom is to free someone else”. TPG unequivocally supports Black lives, and we commit to listening and learning from their voices.
Additional reporting provided by Benét Wilson, Jane Frye, Caitlin Riddell, Jenny Vallon, Maisha Johnson and Danielle Manyika.
Featured photo by a katz/Shutterstock.
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