IHG Deepens Commitment to Advancing Equality

ATLANTA—IHG has revealed further updates in its efforts to advance equality for all, through key partnerships and programs with the National Urban League, National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Jobs for America’s Graduates.

“The hospitality that we offer to our guests, colleagues and communities is fundamentally underpinned by a culture of respect and inclusion for all people,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG. “We recognize and embrace the role that we can play in standing for justice and opportunity, and are honored to support the important work of these organizations. Through these efforts, we will extend the culture we have created at IHG—one where everyone can feel welcome, included and safe—into our communities.”

For nearly 30 years, IHG’s Americas headquarters has been based here, a city with a profound legacy of civil rights. In the spirit of this heritage, and building on existing initiatives, in June, IHG revealed a series of commitments in the Americas to drive more meaningful progress—both within the company and the communities in which it operates. IHG’s partnerships and programs with these three organizations will focus on driving action in education, employability and empowerment efforts across the U.S.

Supporting Career Pathways for Young Adults
IHG is helping to support the expansion of the National Urban League’s Urban Apprenticeship Jobs Program (UAJP), which creates pathways to careers through social support services, pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs.

IHG’s contributions will be directed toward expansion of the UAJP program in two specific markets—Atlanta and Chicago—and will support young adults. In addition to the sponsorship support of these efforts, IHG colleagues will support National Urban League affiliates though volunteer activities such as mock interviews and resume review.

“Since its launch, the Urban Apprenticeship Jobs Program has helped to create hundreds of employment opportunities for historically underemployed and underutilized communities, across a number of different industries,” said Marc Morial, president/CEO, National Urban League. “This important work is helping to create a pipeline of employable people of color across America, advancing financial security and growth, and we are pleased to have the support of leading organizations such as IHG who are likewise committed to advancing workforce development efforts in our communities across the country.”

Raising Awareness in the Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement
Following the reopening of the Atlanta-based National Center for Civil and Human Rights over the Labor Day Weekend, IHG is sponsoring several free admission days to the museum beginning this month.

In addition to providing access to The Center’s exhibits free of charge to IHG colleagues, their families and the general public, IHG’s sponsorship will help support the costs associated with making the museum safe for staff and visitors, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and health technology such as temperature scanners and automated admission kiosks. Current exhibits include “Rolls Down Like Water,” which presents the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, and “The Spark of Convention,” which explores the modern global struggle for human rights.

“The history we present connects with today’s movements for equity and justice for Black lives, and allows people to understand how they can tap their own power to change the world. We are very grateful for IHG’s support as we work to safely reopen our building,” said Jill Savitt, president/CEO, National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Empowering Students to Make a Community Impact
IHG and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) are partnering to launch The LOVE (Lifting Our Voices for Equity} Project, an initiative to encourage conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization’s 1,450 programs nationwide.

Launching in the 2020-2021 school year, this initiative will support JAG students as they explore social justice issues, identify challenges in their communities and work collectively to make positive change through civic awareness and engagement, cornerstone components of the JAG model. Micro-grants, funded by IHG, will be awarded to select JAG students to help put their LOVE Project ideas into action in their local communities. IHG’s network of hotels will support the student projects and help share the messages around local students’ positive work.

“Jobs for America’s Graduates was founded 40 years ago to address the inequalities too many of America’s youth experience, which limits opportunities and prevents them from reaching their full potential,” said Ken Smith, president/CEO, JAG. “In the last four decades, JAG has helped over 1.4 million vulnerable youth overcome significant economic, emotional, social and academic challenges. Throughout this time, JAG participants have proven that a well-executed model can help those historically held back by discrimination, poverty and other barriers so they can achieve equal or greater success in high school graduation, employment and post-secondary education. We are honored to work with IHG on such an important initiative to generate conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion, and to help inspire JAG students to drive positive change in their communities.”

Building on a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion
With hotels and offices in more than 100 countries around the world, IHG colleagues represent multiple nationalities, cultures, religions, races, sexualities, backgrounds and beliefs—helping to promote a diverse and inclusive culture that supports the company’s purpose to provide “True Hospitality” for everyone, according to the company.

These latest partnerships and programs build on a foundation of diversity and inclusion-focused efforts that IHG has taken in recent years, which include the establishment of global and local diversity and inclusion boards to drive important work, a focus on leadership training and support for organizations promoting racial and economic equity, the company reports.

To further support the efforts of these partners, IHG Rewards Club members will be offered an opportunity to donate their points toward each of these organizations.