It isn’t always easy for people of marginalized identities to tell if a business or location is safe or welcoming for them. This can lead to emotional trauma, threat of physical danger, or in cases like George Floyd, result in death. Conversely, business owners can’t always tell when their conscious or unconscious bias is reflected in their customer service for people of marginalized identities, which can have negative impacts on their bottom line.
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Inclusive Journeys is a tech company working to identify safe and welcoming spaces for people of marginalized identities. Our first project is a digital Green Book; a platform that provides user-generated reviews of businesses and outdoor spaces based on their individual identities. We are working to build a website that’s like Yelp, but for inclusivity. Crystal likes to call it "Woke TripAdvisor". On this website, users can rate business locations they feel safe or unsafe in and find businesses owned/operated by people of marginalized identities. Users can also rate a business on a range of things, such as courtesy of staff, ADA compliance, sense of personal safety as it relates to their identity, gender neutral bathrooms, and more. Crowd-sourced entries (like other customer review websites,) will populate “inclusivity scores” for businesses and recreation spaces. Also available on this version of the website: Data driven, economic incentive for businesses to do better. This includes paid-for reports providing demographic breakdowns of the user feedback, resources to help businesses improve based on the data provided by individual users, as well as referrals to Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity trainers.
Visit the Inclusive Journeys home page
Anything helps, seriously. If you have $1 or $1,000,000, it all goes toward helping us in this work. The most important thing anyone can do beyond donating money, is to share our story and this gofundme page. Donations in combination with future investments will allow us to achieve our first quarter goals, which include refining our code, beginning to gather data and ultimately deliver a Beta version of our platform by the end of July, 2021. In this Beta version, users will be able to create profiles, look up and submit reviews, and businesses will be able to purchase detailed reports with demographic breakdowns and customized recommendations.
Learn about the Quilt Code
A MODERN DAY UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Businesses who achieve a high enough "inclusivity score" from the public can receive a free business sticker to display on their door. The Inclusive Journey logo is a modern take on a "quilt code" pattern used on the Underground Railroad. Networks of abolitionists would sew nuances into a variety of common quilt patterns, in order to communicate instructions and directions to those escaping to freedom. Our logo is derived from the "flying geese" pattern, which designates safe food, water and shelter. At Inclusive Journeys we feel that this pattern and code is the perfect symbol for our work. We see a world where our quilt code hides in plain sight, allowing people of marginalized identities to spot safe and welcoming spaces as they go about their daily business.
Buy a sticker: All proceeds go straight back into our work
Co-Founder, Crystal Egli: Crystal is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant and trainer with a decade of experience in computer networking for film and television editing departments. Next, she spent five years working in marketing for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, after which Crystal was invited to be a member of the Colorado Governor’s Inclusivity in Travel Advisory Group. In 2019 Crystal was the recipient of the national Stephen Kellert Award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, for “outstanding service in advancing connections between humans and the natural word to all peoples in a diverse and inclusive manner.” In addition to being a board member for Environmental Learning for Kids and Hunters of Color, Crystal enjoys fly fishing, hunting, gardening, water and snow skiing, and watching the Great British Baking Show.
Co-Founder, Parker McMullen Bushman: Parker McMullen Bushman's career in the conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation fields spans over 23+ years. She has a Master of Science in Natural Resources and her work focuses on equity in community engagement of and access to outdoor spaces. Parker wears many “head wraps''. Parker is the founder of the organization Ecoinclusive, which provides training and resources for organizations to aid them in building a culturally competent staff that reflects the populations that they serve, and she is also the founder of the annual Summit for Action conference. Parker is a dynamic diversity change agent, and inclusive leader that works with organizations to build capacity for transformational change. Parker enjoys hiking, camping, creative collaboration, and using social media as a catalyst for social change.
Chief Technology Officer, Shiran Sukumar: Shiran is a passionate entrepreneur and technical leader who has made immense impacts at Amazon, Nike, the U.S. State Department and across many other industries. Shiran has led big data and machine learning teams at start-ups and enterprises for over seven years. Innovation, execution, empathy, and learning are Shiran's core beliefs, which makes Inclusive Journeys a natural fit. In their free time, Shiran advocates for mental health, equal/fair rights, safe spaces, and transparent business practices.
Learn more about Crystal & Parker
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
- Crystal & Parker
^ SEE ABOVE LINE FOR UPDATED INFO ^
Birdwatching. BBQ'ing in a park. Browsing a store. Eating at a restaurant. These activities can be either fun and enjoyable or dangerous and deadly, depending on the color of your skin.
In 1936, the first edition of The Negro Traveller’s Green Book was published by a Black man named Victor H. Green, in Harlem, New York. The Green Book provided a directory of Black-friendly businesses, from restaurants to gas stations, mechanics to doctors, so that Black travelers could protect themselves from discomfort and danger by planning ahead.
The original Green Book stated, "The purpose of the Green book is to give the negro traveller information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassment, and to make his trip enjoyable.”
It also said, “There will be a time in the future when this guide will not have to be published.” The last print edition was published in 1[phone redacted], as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed racial discrimination. Unfortunately, as we know all too well, just because something is written into law doesn't necessarily mean it's no longer happening.
In 2020, two Black women plan to launch the first nation wide digital version of the Green Book, providing a crowd-sourced database of businesses, parks, restaurants, stores, and towns that Black people can feel safe traveling to and through.
It’s like Yelp, but for inclusivity.
On this website, users can submit business locations they feel safe in, as well as businesses owned/operated by people of marginalized identities. Users can rate a business on a range of things, such as courtesy of staff, ADA compliance, sense of personal safety as it relates to their identity, gender neutral bathrooms, and more.
We take it even further...
Also available on our website:
- Resources to help businesses self-audit for inclusiveness
- Resources to help businesses improve
- Referrals to Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity trainers
• It’s like if a restaurant listed on Yelp got a bad review for cooking, and then provided the restaurant with cooking classes to help them become better.
• There will be a range of free to paid options for these resources.
If we raise enough money, we will be able to increase the intersectionality of this database, to ensure we can provide additional resources for those from other marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQIA+ community, those who need ADA/Accessibility information, and more.
The idea-makers behind this, Crystal Egli & Parker McMullen-Bushman, have drafted a sample website and outlined everything they ever dreamed of for its features. However, they are also two women with full time jobs, kids, no web designing experience, and are board members and community organizers as well. The money raised here would go to hiring a Black web designer to help Crystal and Parker see their dream turned into reality.
Money raised over our initial $25,000 goal will be dedicated to growing the website and the services and programs it offers.
To learn more details about this project, please visit InclusiveJourneys.com.
- Crystal & Parker
- Matthew Lee
- Matthew Califano
- Lettie Stratton
- Jovana Jerotic
Fundraising team: Black History Month Donation Squad (8)
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