Diversity and the acceptance of people who are not like you has taken on a huge role in our world today – not always for good reasons.
Diversity affects everything, including food blogging. We at Zephyr Conferences believe the issue is so important we wanted to quite clearly state our position: our conferences are not only open to everyone but we believe diversity of participants helps improve the experience.
As a small business that believes in the benefits of diversity, it is relatively easy to be impartial. We naturally do not screen our attendees, speakers, or sponsors based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or anything not related to the conference itself. What is much harder is to proactively solicit diversity, which we attempt to do, for example, when choosing speakers.
In 2020, diversity is also affecting our choice of destination for the International Food Blogger Conference. El Paso County, our host, is 92% Hispanic or Latino. We think that is a good thing and it affected our decision to choose El Paso. Having a predominantly Hispanic population impacts the local music, culture, drinks, and – most importantly for us – food. We are excited to visit this important an culturally rich city for all it has to offer.
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us. On August 3, 2019, a gunman shot and killed 22 people in a Walmart store. The gunman specifically targeted El Paso because it is largely Hispanic. This tragedy, which happened after we had chosen El Paso as our host destination, just makes us more determined to have the IFBC in the city and to help promote its great food scene to the world.
We are just one little conference organizing company running what we think is one great food blogger conference. But when doing so, we try to make sure we are contributing to the betterment of the world.