Today, Airbnb announced their second annual Airbnb Black Travel List, a yearly spotlight of Black leaders and influencers in travel. The Airbnb Black Travel List was inaugurated last year and recognizes those shaping and leading the global travel community. This year’s group includes travel enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and media figures from across the United States.
“Our second Airbnb Black Travel List is a celebration of Black travel leaders who are raising awareness, innovating, and inspiring others to travel,” says Janaye Ingram, Director of National Partnerships at Airbnb. “These individuals are changing the way people think about travel and thanks to their contributions, are making travel more inclusive for Black people around the world.”
The 2020 Airbnb Black Travel List features 14 individuals:
Kenyan-born, Atlanta-raised Saada Ahmed is the co-founder of Everyday People, an event series in New York City focused on community, music, activism and wellness. Labeled “The World’s Coolest Day Party” by Vice, and “A Daytime Dance Party that Celebrates Black Diversity” by The New York Times, Everyday People has become an international cultural phenomenon, through its hugely popular day parties spanning several New York City residencies and pop-ups in Los Angeles and Miami. Everyday People also produces special events in a variety of domestic and international locations in partnership with local communities and influencers.
Luvvie Ajayi is a frequent traveler and award-winning author, speaker and digital strategist. Her debut book, I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual was an instant New York Times best-seller. The 16-year blogging veteran covers all things pop culture at AwesomelyLuvvie.com. On her podcast Rants & Randomness, she shares her most pressing rants, raves and faves and interviews interesting guests. She recently launched her eSchool, The Do-Better Academy (DBA) which focuses on teaching people how to thrive in business and their careers. Luvvie is a sought-after speaker, having spoken at noted institutions and conferences such as the White House, MAKERS Conference and SXSW, and has interviewed iconic figures like Oprah Winfrey, Geena Davis and Shonda Rhimes. Luvvie is committed to using her voice for pop culture critique and gender and racial justice.
Tai Beauchamp and Elton Anderson Jr. are the co-hosts of CLEO TV’s ‘Lens of Culture’, a 30-minute travelogue that highlights destinations throughout the Diaspora from a Black millennial’s perspective. Tai and Elton bring their varied background and experiences together to share authentic travel experiences with their viewers. Tai is an award-winning producer, TV host and creative consultant, who has lent her expertise to platforms such as ABC, NBC, E!, BET, The Wendy Williams Show, TLC, and TV One as host, personality, style authority and judge. Elton is a travel and celebrity photographer as well as the founder of Creators of Color, a new movement highlighting diversity in the creative sphere. Elton caught the travel bug in 2009 on a philanthropic trip to Swaziland, and has been traveling ever since.
Olivia Christine is the creator of O. Christine, a travel and wellness blog inspiring people to invest in experiences, prioritize personal wellness, and embrace the outdoors. As featured on OWN and O, The Oprah Magazine, PopSugar, NYLON and Sheen Magazine, Olivia shares stories of outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, affordable luxury, and the pursuit of wellness. Living with lupus nephritis since her teenage years, Olivia believes mindful travel can be an effective way to find wellness, and provides actionable travel advice to help others experience the same.
Lezli Levene Harvell is a board-certified pediatric dentist, who has spent her career providing oral healthcare to healthy, medically compromised, and special needs children. Along with a passion for good health comes Dr. Lezli’s fervor for good food––and breaking the antiquated industry traditions that go along with it. Levene Harvell, a dual citizen of the United States and Jamaica, is the creator and curator of The Iconoclast Dinner Experience, an event series that has been celebrating diversity and culture through the lens of food since its 2015 inception, with annual events hosted in Chicago, Los Angeles, Martha’s Vineyard, and New York City. Event proceeds benefit Spelman College (Lezli’s alma mater) students from Jamaica and sub-Saharan African countries, with over $100,000 donated to date.
Passionate about cultural storytelling, Rondel Holder began creating travel content via blog and social media under the moniker Soul Society 101 in 2012. Recognizing Black travelers’ frustration due to the lack of content from their perspective, a lack of community to share experiences and a lack of imagery to see themselves, Soul Society 101 was created to serve as a solution and to be a voice for the underrepresented Black millennial traveler. The Soul Society 101 platform now has a reach of over 100,000 Black travelers and has expanded from its social media and blog roots to Soul Society 101 – The Podcast, where Rondel has interviewed over 30 influential Black travelers. Rondel’s latest venture, Global Royalty, is a travel concierge company which connects the African diaspora by curating personal travel experiences to all 54 countries of Africa and hosting group trips to Africa, specially catered to Black travelers globally. Rondel has now visited over 60 countries and continues to push the culture and change the narrative of Black travelers.
Ciara is a Texas-born blogger, writer and full-time traveler who shares her experiences from around the world. She left the country for the first time through a college study abroad program and she’s been hooked ever since. Through her blog, she encourages women to seek meaningful experiences through solo travel. She believes it only takes one place or even person to expand your worldview and change your perspective. Her boundless curiosity has taken her to more than 60 countries and six continents. Ciara has created digital content for brands such as Airbnb, Toyota, REI, Hotel Tonight, Chase Marriott and Backcountry. Her dynamic travel content has landed her in Forbes, The New York Times, Marie Claire, The Huffington Post, Refinery 29, The Washington Post and countless other publications.
Christina Rice is the founder of OMNoire, a social wellness platform for women of color. After four years of running a clothing boutique in Nashville, TN, Christina Rice decided to sell her store and relocate to New York City where she founded LuxeLife Media Inc., a full-service boutique PR and marketing agency representing high-profile personalities and brands. After experiencing “entrepreneur burnout,” Christina decided to pursue her yoga teacher certification and share how yoga transformed her life with other entrepreneurs and busy professionals. OMNoire has hosted wellness retreats in Grenada, Barbados, Poconos and Bali and in April 2019, they held their first ever summit called Glow In OM Arizona.
Business partners and best friends, Randi Williams and Alishia Richardson met in 2011 in the Dominican Republic as the only two Black participants of an international teaching program. Shortly after meeting, Randi and Alishia began swapping stories and experiences about traveling abroad while Black. Their similar experiences sparked an instant friendship and led them to realize the gap in travel for Black millennials. In 2015, the travel lovers would take the leap and begin what is now We Go Too, a company dedicated to Black millennial travelers looking to get the most out of their travel. We Go Too curates and hosts international experiences for Black professionals who want to engage with new cultures, create lasting memories and build community. We Go Too has been featured in Essence, Black Enterprise and Go Abroad, and has partnered with Howard University and Hampton University to help over 100 HBCU students obtain or renew their passports.
Bionca is a single mom, motivational speaker, humanitarian and full-time traveler homeschooling her nine-year-old son Carter on the road. In 2017, she quit her corporate sales job to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and travel the world while doing so. A year later, she and Carter moved into a vintage campervan and now navigate across the United States while infusing their travel experiences into her son’s education. Bionca and Carter document their experiences on their popular YouTube channel, Off The Grid With a Kid.
This Is Leaving is a travel and lifestyle brand that celebrates a life well-lived through travel and discovery. Founders Malinda Williams and Tariq Walker share the travel wheres, whats and whys on everything from the least-hyped table for two to the best ways to explore a city’s sites and history. For this intrepid duo, each destination changes their perspective for the better; and sharing it with their followers and fellow travelers via reviews, travel tips, video and rich content is a distinct part of the experience.