Black Lives MatterPhoto: @GuysontheGrid. Artwork by BAMR

It’s not typical for Visit Sacramento to raise our hand to speak about things outside of our industry. But the racism, violence and pain being experienced by our Black community are too urgent and too important to us as an organization to remain silent.

So let us be clear – Black Lives Matter to Visit Sacramento. Black voices are an essential part of what makes Sacramento the unique and special place that it is. And violence, racism and intolerance against Black people have no place in our organization and should have no place in our city.

Visit Sacramento is – on the surface – a tourism organization that shares the story of our restaurants, our hotels, and our attractions. But at our core, we tell the story of the people of Sacramento. And without the Black people in this community, we wouldn’t have such an incredible story to tell.  So we in turn have an obligation to acknowledge their real experiences – especially when we are in a position to effect change. 

Moreover, we need to speak up for our own staff, many of whom are also angry and hurting and who deserve to see the organization that they work for acknowledge injustice and their real, visceral feelings in a public way.

And, without question, we have a moral responsibility to speak up because of the size of our megaphone. We’re so lucky to have built a dedicated following, filled with people who look to us for information. This is the moment to use that megaphone in a new, but more important, way.

Acknowledging the difficult reality that many of our Black colleagues, friends and neighbors are facing is only a first step. At Visit Sacramento, the leadership team is committed to making diversity and inclusion a more central tenant of our hiring practices and board appointments, and to shape our marketing campaigns to reflect all communities in Sacramento. Both inside and outside of the office, we can all speak up when we see an injustice and support one another – even if we can’t directly relate to what the other is going through.

There’s more to come, and we encourage others inside and out of our tourism community to join us in actively making changes that support and lift up Black lives everywhere. 

Sincerely,

Mike Testa
President & CEO

Note – This statement is based on a letter originally e-mailed to Visit Sacramento’s partners and board on 6/5/20 and was updated on 6/15/20. For more information, please contact Sonya Bradley at sbradley@visitsacramento.com