Useable Past: Achieving Inclusive Regional Development

Useable Past: Achieving Inclusive Regional Development Free Online Workshop on April 29

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Over 100 million visitors come to Tennessee, in a non-pandemic year, and the State typically earns over 20 billion dollars in revenue from tourists. It’s important that visitors, whether they are families, couples, or individuals seeking adventure, feel safe and represented in the places they visit and stay. Heritage Tourism is a large part of why people travel, they want to know their history, but this is a field that has struggled to be inclusive and welcoming to folks of all backgrounds. From the 1940s to the 1960s, the Green Books provided a road map for African American tourists so they could feel secure while traveling. Today, there are several groups that continue this endeavor for multiple communities. How can we, as leaders in the field of tourism in Northeast Tennessee work to set an example for other areas as an inclusive region? Useable Past seeks to showcase efforts and examples in Northeast Tennessee when it comes to inclusive tourism, difficulties faced, as well as action steps we can all take to continue to move forward as a region.



This free workshop will take place online from 9:00 am – 10:30 am on Thursday, April 29th. Speakers include Alicia Phelps, Executive Director of Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, William Isom, Director of Black in Appalachia, and Dr. Candace Forbes-Bright, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Dr. Daryl Carter, Director of the Africana Studies program at ETSU, and Jules Corriere with the McKinney Center will moderate the Q&A session following the presentations. Participants must register in advance to receive the Zoom link. The conversations from the April event will continue in a second Useable Past workshop on May 27th.

This workshop series is a collaboration between the McKinney Center, the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the Langston Centre, and the Africana Studies program at ETSU. The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School provides a comprehensive program through Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts which teaches various art skills to all participants through a quality program of instruction open to all segments of Jonesborough’s population. The Heritage Alliance is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences. The Langston Centre is a cultural facility that promotes multicultural awareness and workforce development through arts, education, and leadership activities. The Africana Studies serves a critical role for the College of Arts & Sciences and ETSU by offering high-quality academic course offerings, superb programming, and opportunities for personal growth through service.