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race, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the willamette valley

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) recognizes that specific communities have been excluded from feeling welcome, safe, and represented in the Willamette Valley region. We acknowledge this with humility and a responsibility to important and challenging work ahead. We are committed to upholding policies, ideals, and practices that hold our association accountable, and ask for persistent efforts toward making the Willamette Valley region accessible and enjoyable to all visitors and residents, regardless of their individual identity. WVVA is dedicated to building an organization that mirrors and honors the diversity within the Willamette Valley, by inviting, supporting, and sustaining a diverse workforce and partner base. 

We at WVVA are committed to the following shared values: 

● Acknowledging that not all people have the same story, needs, or point-of-view as our own. 

● Pursuing new voices to share in, and at times guide, our conversations. 

● Understanding that equity takes dedicated time, focus and resources. 

● Seeking feedback and investing in repair work. 

● Meeting all visitors and community members where they are and creating space to listen. 

● Recognizing that Diversity Equity and Inclusion work is critical to the success of WVVA and the Willamette Valley. 

● Aspiring to be a model for other organizations in what regional equity looks like. 


The Willamette Valley Visitors Association commits to the demanding and necessary work of remaining inquisitive, focused, and fearless in the face of inequality. We believe through aligned efforts we can affect change in our region, our industry, and ourselves. 

The Willamette Valley welcomes everyone to enjoy the bounty of the area, and The Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) is working to create an inclusive, safe place for people from all walks of life. In 2019, WVVA contracted with a race, diversity, equity, and inclusion (RDEI) expert and formed the first of many committees to take action and affect change. Then our nation experienced countless social injustices and a worldwide pandemic. As the country shifted to rise up and meet these challenges, the travel and tourism professionals throughout the Valley equally recognized immediate action was required in our community as well.

Together these professionals began the hard work of identifying the needs and developing resources to promote responsible tourism by reducing social and economic inequalities and advocating for diverse and inclusive visitor experiences through a diverse and inclusive workforce.


WVVA is committed to being conscious of its impact on society, including social and environmental, to make positive change for the organization, the tourism industry, and visitors to the Valley. We recognize we have a responsibility to our communities, our environment, and ethical business practices. 

The staff at WVVA and the Destination Marketing Organizations that make up the region are diverse and inclusive. Our Executive Director is an Indigenous woman of color. WVVA extends the search for diversity and inclusion to include working with minority-owned businesses from women-owned to BIPOC. Partnerships are forged with other organizations who share our passion for RDEI and bring different perspectives from their experiences in locations around the US, including but not limited to Clinton Street Consulting, Lawrence PR, Madden Media, and Travel Oregon, and the destination marketing organizations below that make up the Valley.

Together, we are committed to transparency and cultivating a safe and supportive place for people from all walks of life. If you have questions or want to learn more, please reach out.

WVVA has worked with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs, to be designated as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). Our staff has completed training and certification in best practices when assisting autistic individuals. By undergoing additional autism-specific training, the goal is for our team to be better equipped to provide better service and experiences to all. Click to  learn more about Certified Autism Center™ 

committee or community

You can get involved and help the Willamette Valley be an inclusive place to visit. Whether you want to directly affect change by joining a committee and participating in developing resources, or you want to become part of the community and disseminate information and share how you are providing inclusive guest experiences, we have a place for you.

You can help us create resources that address accessibility and inclusivity by sharing how your business is welcoming to visitors. Click on the form below by providing as much detail as possible.

If you’ve met one disabled person, you’ve only met one disabled person. Every individual is unique, and requires different types of assistance. WVVA is actively seeking disabled persons to act as an ambassador or liaison to provide real-world recommendations for accessibility in the Willamette Valley.

You’re invited to learn more about how to make a difference for the Willamette Valley and those who visit our special part of the Pacific Northwest. Fill out our commitment form to get started.

If you can’t commit your time, you can join our community and stay up-to-date on our progress through our newsletter. Along with exciting information about what is happening around the Valley, we will share RDEI resources and updates you can pass along to your coworkers, family, and friends.

For our fellow travel and tourism professionals welcoming guests to the Valley, we have free materials you can use to promote RDEI in your work.

START LEARNING

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association’s (WVVA) mission is to build awareness for the Willamette Valley as a premier year-round travel destination through marketing, sales, and destination development. Comprising six visitor associations, WVVA serves as the regional destination marketing organization for the Willamette Valley, driving visitor expenditures and economic impact to all parts of the region.

 

ABOUT US

Explore the program report designed by the Transformational Travel Council and a team of regenerative tourism development practitioners that will inform WVVA’s goals in participant and community understanding of transformational travel practices and regenerative development for tourism.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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