Sleeping With The Enemy

Hotel industry first target of NAACP payback initiative

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Thus far, the initiative has struck a chord with many of the groups acting with the NAACP. “We plan to be 100% supportive,” says Sheila Vaden-Williams, executive director of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “The NAACP was extremely smart to forge an alliance with 55 organizations. That alliance is a wake-up call. The time has come to consider us equal trading partners.”

Samuel A. Carradine Jr., executive director of the National Association of Minority Contractors, says he was especially concerned because minority contractors were routinely excluded from significant participation in private-sector construction work. “I think the awareness within the industry will be heightened by this effort, and I hope it will result in some constructive engagement with them as to being far more responsive.”

Reaction from the targeted hotels has been mixed. Tom Marder, a spokesman for Marriott International, says the chain is making adequate progress in terms of expanding minority opportunities. Marriott recently named its first African American franchisee, Bill Deramus, who will lease and operate a 153-room Courtyard Marriott near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Marder says he’s willing to talk to Mfume about improving minority opportunities. “We appreciate the effort that was made by the NAACP, and we look forward to making more progress as we move ahead.”

The hotel industry was just the start, says Mfume. Alarms may soon be going off in other areas, as the NAACP has plans to issue similar reports on corporations and businesses in the retail, automobile and food and beverage industries. “We have let them ignore us, but have not ignored them in return. In the past, we have not unleashed our collective economic clout to leverage employment, education, business and philanthropic opportunities for our community,” says Mfume. “We have sat like beggars on bags of gold. But the sleeping giant is awake.”

For more information on the Economic Reciprocity Initiative, contact the NAACP at 410-358-8900.
Suite Revenge
Marriott C
Hilton 1 C
Hyatt C-
Adam’s Mark C-
Ritz-Carlton C-
HFS 2 D
ITT Sheraton D-
Promus 3 D
Westin F
Best Western F
Radisson F
Renaissance F
Choice(4) F
Holiday Inn F
Omni F
DoubleTree F

Received F because of failure to provide information
(1) Includes Waldorf Astoria
(2) Includes Days Inn, Oaks Inn, Howard Johnson, Park International Knights Inn
(3) Includes Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites
(4) Includes Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn, Clarion, Rodeway Inn, EconoLodge, and MainStay Suites

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