Useable Past – Safe Travels: Inclusive Tourism in Appalachia

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Over 100 million visitors come to Tennessee each year, and the State typically earns over 20 billion dollars in revenue from tourists. The Usable Past Series continues to explore the opportunities that exist in our own communities to meet the needs of our tourists, achieve the revenue and interpretive goals at our historic and cultural institutions, and create an environment where visitors feel safe and represented.
In historic Northeast Tennessee, heritage tourism is a large part of why people travel: they want to know their history. However, this is a field that has struggled to be inclusive and welcoming to visitors of all backgrounds. The Usable Past Series has engaged tourism industry leaders at all levels and from a variety of venues to discuss their best practices, their own challenges, and their successes in meeting their missions.
Speakers for this session focused on the economic benefits of inclusivity in tourism in Appalachia include Stephanie Jones, Founder & CEO of the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc. and a founder of the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative, and Jenni Veal, Rural Destination Development Manager. Presenters for this session, Useable Past, Safe Travels: Inclusive Tourism in Appalachia, will discuss inclusive tourism and leisure practices in the Appalachian region. Panelists will address current/ongoing projects related to African American and Native-American travel and identify strategies to create and expand future opportunities for diverse and equitable travel.
This free workshop will take place online from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Dr. Daryl Carter, Director of the Black American Studies program at East Tennessee University, and Jules Corriere at the McKinney Center will moderate the Q&A session following the presentations. Participants can register for the event through the McKinney Center’s website at Participants must register in advance to receive the Zoom link. More information can be found on the Useable Past Facebook page or at
This workshop series is a collaboration between several organizations, including the McKinney Center, the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the Langston Centre, and the Black American 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 Black American Studies program 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.