August 11th Seminar with Andy Shallal

August 11th Seminar with Andy Shallal

Thank you to all who could join us for this candid discussion!

Below you will find our August 11th Zoom seminar in its entirety; Andy addressed issues of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace as we endeavored to expand our own awareness of the many ways in which bias seeks to undermine the hospitality industry.


Recently, a spotlight has been cast upon issues of equality and the accepted status quo in all facets of society including  the hospitality sector, whose very etymology lies in “the friendly and generous reception of guests and strangers.” Built into the fabric of our public meeting spaces is the rare potential to bring people together and this experience is shaped by the attitudes and practices of ownership and management that then reach outwards to every employee and guest. The human default is to gravitate to where we feel comfortable, and based on an establishment’s choices—both conscious and unconscious—a community is created. Currently, as bars, restaurants, and retail stores restructure their business models or practices to remain in step with public health concerns, perhaps the time has never been better to ask meaningful questions about how to best nurture mindfully inclusive environments.

Skurnik was excited to take part in this continuing dialogue, and on Tuesday, August 11th, welcomed speaker, Anas “Andy” Shallal, founder and CEO of Washington D.C. restaurant group, Busboys and Poets. As a member of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC U), Busboys and Poets focuses on sustainable business and employment practices. Shallal has given TEDx Talks on Bridging Race and Culture, and regularly hosts employee trainings featuring frank discussions on race and bias. Shallal serves on the board of trustees for the Institute for Policy Studies, Race Forward, the Anacostia Coordinating Council and is a founding member of Think Local First DC. He has also received many honors including Employer of the Year from the Employment Justice Center, the Mayor’s Environmental Award, and Washingtonian of the Year (Washingtonian Magazine). Most recently Shallal joined the ReOpen DC Committee, a COVID-19 advisory board for recommendations on safe opening strategies for restaurateurs.

If you have interest in learning more about our guest speaker or diving further in to the subject at hand, here are some helpful links:





Racial Equity Tools:

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