What does it mean to be “Open to All”?
The Social Justice Action Committee of the NAACP Berkshires branch has organized a community conversation in Pittsfield about what it means for a business to be truly “open to all.” This conversation will take place as part of the branch’s regular general membership meeting on Wednesday January 8, 2020.
The impetus came from several incidents in Berkshire County reported in the press in which persons of color had legitimate complaints of being treated disrespectfully in Berkshire establishments.
We hope this “conversation” will both provide a voice for those who may feel unwelcome in business establishments and identify some concrete action steps for those businesses who seek to create a welcoming environment.
The questions we will pose to our audience are:
- What makes you feel welcome or unwelcome when you enter a business establishment and interact with staff?
- What signs or cues (verbal or non-verbal) tell you whether or not you are welcome in a particular business?
- What words or phrases describe a place you want to take your business?
- What words or phrases describe a place in which you feel unwelcome?
- Can you describe a situation in which you felt unwelcome (without naming a particular place)?
- Can you describe a situation in which you felt most welcome (without naming a particular place)?
We will have cards for people who do not wish to speak in public to write their answers and have them communicated anonymously by the moderator.
We hope to have an audience that represents the full diversity of our community, including young adults.