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August 2, 2018: Activists Plan Counterprotest for White Nationalist Rally in Washington, L.G.B.T.Q. Music Festival Addresses Bathroom Policing Against Trans Attendees, How the Hotel Industry Is Tackling Racial Bias

By Ian Zelaya August 2, 2018, 9:19 AM EDT


1. ACTIVISTS PLAN COUNTERPROTEST FOR WHITE NATIONALIST RALLY IN WASHINGTON: Groups and activists are planning counterprotests for the “Unite the Right 2” rally—a demonstration by white supremacists that will serve as a follow-up to last year's rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman was killed. The event is slated to take place August 12 in Washington. USA Today: “Far-left activists, including anarchists, anti-fascists (known commonly as antifa) and Black Lives Matter groups are planning a major counterdemonstration on August 12 that will coincide with ”Unite the Right 2,” a “white civil rights” rally in Lafayette Square marking one year since the events in Charlottesville.  'All of their rallies are resistance to our progress. They are not simply debates,' said Makia Green, an organizer with Black Lives Matter D.C., who criticized the notion that white nationalists simply want to demonstrate their First Amendment rights. 'White supremacist rallies have left a trail of blood in D.C.' Many of the activists believe extreme action is necessary to confront the white nationalist movement. Some anti-fascists, in particular, are willing to engage physically with white nationalists. ... The counterprotest brings together a variety of groups and people who deeply oppose the ideals espoused last year in Charlottesville. Jen Deerinwater, who plans to protest on August 12, is the executive director and founder of Crushing Colonialism, an indigenous media organization, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 'Indigenous people have been suffering the longest,' she said. 'We are never going to eradicate white supremacy if we don’t eradicate colonialism.' The counterprotest will center on a rally in Freedom Plaza, blocks away from the white nationalist rally in Lafayette Square. But it's only one part of a weekend of events dubbed Shut it Down D.C." https://usat.ly/2n66zmJ

2. L.G.B.T.Q. MUSIC FESTIVAL ADDRESSES BATHROOM POLICING AGAINST TRANS ATTENDEES: The second annual LoveLoud festival—a daylong Salt Lake City music festival founded by Imagine Dragons's Dan Reynolds—met its goal of raising $1 million for L.G.B.T.Q. charities on Saturday. But a number of transgender attendees reported confrontations in which they were told which bathroom to use. The festival responded with a Facebook statement saying it was “saddened” to hear about the incidents. Billboard: “Bobbee Trans Mooremon, a board member with Provo, Utah’s food and L.G.B.T.Q. counseling program Queer Meals, told LGBTQNation that she was confronted by a man who told her that she was using the 'wrong' bathroom. 'When I was confronted, saying I was in the wrong bathroom, it kind of threw me off.' Upon hearing of the lack of inclusion in bathrooms, Mooremon’s Queer Meals group decided to leave without accepting funds from the event, as did Provo Pride, an L.G.B.T.Q. nonprofit activism group. But Mooremon also said that while the encounter was frightening, she didn’t place blame on LoveLoud or its organizers. 'We are not angry at LoveLoud,' she said. 'We are actually trying to work with them to make sure that next year’s is even better.' LoveLoud released an official statement regarding the reported incidents on its Facebook page, saying they were 'saddened' to hear about the conflict. 'We have a zero-tolerance policy toward any behavior that makes anyone feel unsafe or unwelcome,' the post reads. 'We are committed to learning from our mistakes and will continuously work to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in our community and beyond.' The statement also asked that for any attendees who would like to share their own experiences at the event with organizers in order to make next year’s LoveLoud more safe and inclusive, feedback emails could be sent to info@loveloudfest.com." https://bit.ly/2AvhgIQ

3. HOW THE HOTEL INDUSTRY IS TACKLING RACIAL BIAS: Racist incidents have recently hit major hotel brands—including one in which a hotel clerk at a Country Inn & Suites in Newport News called a black guest a racial slur—and have been spotlighted on social media with the hashtag #TravelingWhileBlack. The incidents have led the hospitality industry to re-evaluate its diversity training. The New York Times: “While the hotel companies involved expressed zero tolerance for bias from either employees or guests, the incidents did not elicit apologies from top corporate executives, as did more high-profile incidents, such as the Starbucks case in Philadelphia, in which an employee called the police on two African-American men waiting for a friend. ‘The incidents did not seem to create some new wave of sensitivity training or messaging,’ said Bjorn Hanson, a professor in the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at New York University School of Professional Studies, who explained that hotel employee training in diversity is common in an industry built upon welcoming people from around the world. ‘As a person in the guest-facing role, you will experience the opportunity to welcome people of different backgrounds, religions, customs, and sexual orientations,’ he said. ‘It’s almost part of the job description to serve different backgrounds.’ But diversity training also varies, even under a single corporate umbrella. For example, Marriott mandates inclusion training for all employees at the hotels it manages within 90 days of hire. But when it comes to franchised hotels or those more loosely bound to Marriott, such as the Art Ovation Hotel, the company says it can only suggest training and make the tools available to franchisees rather than require it. The Art Ovation Hotel said all of its employees undergo anti-discrimination training. After the incident involving a racial slur, employees of the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Newport News, which is also a franchise, were ‘re-trained on code-of-conduct policies related to expectations and guiding principles for appropriate workplace behavior,’ according to the company.” https://nyti.ms/2McMwxI

* LOCAL NEWS *

CHICAGO:  Kohler Company will open a second Kohler Waters Spa location in Chicago at Lincoln Common in June 2019. The spa will have 21 treatment rooms spread across two floors. 

LOS ANGELES:  New restaurant Kebbros opened in Hollywood on Wednesday with a customizable menu of wraps, salads, and bowls using shawarma-style proteins. The 2,100-square-foot eatery, designed by Kelly Architects, seats 25 in the main dining room and 24 on an enclosed patio. The space has an open kitchen, and it is the first restaurant in California to utilize a fully automated robotic machine to carve meat off the rotating spits. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY:  The grand opening of the renovated Kentucky International Convention Center will take place August 6. The center now has 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, an expanded ballroom, and 52 renovated meeting rooms. 

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Carillon Miami Wellness Resort recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation that includes 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The resort, which has a 70,000-square-foot spa, also offers new group programming such as interactive teambuilding activities on the beach, classes such as DJ mixing and silent yoga sessions, and group spa sessions. 

The White Party will take place November 24 at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The event will be hosted by and benefit Care Resource, a nonprofit community-based healthcare organization.

NEW ORLEANS:  The 18th annual Satchmo SummerFest will take place August 3-5 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. 

NEW YORK:  The second annual Fear The Riff Effects, Pedals, and Guitar Gear Expo will take place August 11 at the Brooklyn Expo Center. 

International travel agency network Virtuoso has acquired Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

SAN ANTONIO:  Visit San Antonio has promoted Néstor Núñez to senior sales manager.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA:  Savannah Marriott Riverfront has completed a $20 million property-wide redesign, which includes a revamp of more than 387 guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space. 

TORONTO:  South African cream liqueur Amarula is partnering with conservation group WildlifeDirect to kick off its “Don’t Let Them Disappear” awareness and fund-raising campaign to save the African elephant. A kick-off event will take place August 12 in the Distillery District, where a life-size elephant ice sculpture will gradually melt to symbolize the rate at which African elephants are being killed for their ivory. Ice Culture will create the sculpture. 

The second annual Women in the World Canada Summit will take place September 10 at Koerner Hall at Telus Centre. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Kristine Liao in New York.

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