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DEAI Case Study: Visit Rochester's IDEA Committee

Dec 6, 2022

At a time of civil unrest within in their community as well as across the country, the Team at Visit Rochester utilized the opportunity to create an IDEA (Inclusion-Diversity-Equity-Accessibility) Committee. Partnering with community organizations that are experts in these fields, the Committee's goals are to raise awareness for the hospitality industry on issues and challenges as it relates to these four pillars.

A Collaborative Initiative

The Visitor Industry Council, Visit Rochester's working arm of membership, comprises various community organizations and community members within the hospitality and tourism industry, working together on various topics and initiatives. With their annual evaluations of committees, the team at Visit Rochester found an opportunity to create an education committee focused on the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). 

They then collaborated with experts on the topic and community partners on the topics of focus to provide educational experiences open to the entire membership. They have partnered with all of Visit Rochester's VIC communities, NTID/RIT, Savvy Ally Jeanne Gainsburg, I LOVE NEW YORK and Rochester Accessible Adventures, Good Will of the Finger Lakes (previously known as ABVI), and have an upcoming session scheduled with 540 W Main, a local antiracism and cultural community education organization. 

These committees are led by a volunteer member liaison, and the committee members develop the educational topics and implementation.

Results & Future Impact

"Upon first announcing this initiative, we had approximately 15 organizations sign up to participate!" said Diana Rapp Keating, Director of Tourism and Marketing at Visit Rochester. "Our continued engagement by members and the ability to continue to educate our community has been a real success for us. We are concluding our second year of this committee and look forward to it continuing to grow and to build engagement both within the committee and our membership."

They have also discussed the creation of a community resource guide as it relates to IDEA and the organizations that provide support to these various pillars.