Marriott Doubles Down on Diversity By Launching Howard Hospitality Week

October 14, 2021
Howard University.

Marriott International announced a partnership with Howard University to launch Howard Hospitality Week, which will begin October 25 this year with a goal of bringing together the Howard University community and hospitality industry leaders to discuss the need for a more diverse leadership pipeline in the industry. 

Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International.
Anthony Capuano

Howard Hospitality Week is an outgrowth of the work the historically Black university and the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation have begun to create the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, which will be located within Howard University’s School of Business.

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“Marriott International is proud to collaborate with Howard University to convene this week-long dialogue and series of educational seminars to drive necessary conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International, in a press release. “Howard Hospitality Week is one of the many ways we are challenging ourselves to remove barriers and improve access to career and entrepreneur opportunities at the highest levels. The development of the Marriott-Sorenson Center, along with innovative events like Howard Hospitality Week, are intended to build a pipeline of diverse leadership talent, which is a priority for Marriott and our industry.” 

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According to Marriott, the components of Howard Hospitality Week, which will include virtual and in-person events, are the following: 

  • Case competition: Marriott will host a campus-wide case competition for current undergraduate and graduate students. Working in teams of four to address a unique business situation, the teams will develop their business cases and present to a panel of industry leaders. One team at the undergraduate and graduate level (for a total of eight students) will be awarded a full scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year. 
  • Educational sessions: Students will join key industry leaders, Marriott executives and Howard faculty for in-depth discussions around topics that include shaking up what service means in the hospitality industry, learning how leaders navigate the industry and create ownership, and how hospitality can make a social impact. During one session, students will hear from members of the project design team leading efforts to prioritize advancing leaders of color within the hospitality industry through the development of the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership. 
  • LoveTravels summit: As a culmination of the week’s events, Marriott will host a LoveTravels summit on Howard University’s The Yard that has a focus on how the hospitality industry can build leadership talent opportunities for Black students across the country. The centerpiece of the summit will be a fireside chat with key industry leaders, including Capuano and Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard’s president; the case competition winners will also be announced. The LoveTravels summit is named for Marriott’s advocacy of inclusion, equality, peace and human rights. 

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“We are very excited to welcome Marriott International to Howard University’s campus for this inaugural convening that will deepen Howard students’ knowledge of opportunities in the hospitality industry,” said Frederick in a statement. “From the beginning, our partnership with the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and Marriott International has been about engaging Howard students in ways that will drive opportunity and impact in the hospitality sector. This event will serve to inspire and educate Howard students while giving them space to offer ideas and insights that will make a tremendous difference in the industry.” 

Those interested in following the proceedings online can access Howard Hospitality Week at

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Tyler Davidson | Editor, Vice President & Chief Content Director

Tyler Davidson has covered the travel trade for nearly 30 years. In his current role with Meetings Today, Tyler leads the editorial team on its mission to provide the best meetings content in the industry.