ATLANTA – Kitty J. Pope, editor of AfricanDiasporaTourism.com will be traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa to participate in the International Institute for Peace (IIPT) World Symposium: Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sport. The IIPT Symposium is being held at the Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni, South Africa on February 16 to 19, 2015.
Delegates from more than 30 nations have registered for the World Symposium that will honor the legacies of the world’s three champions of Peaceful Non-Violent Resistance: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Symposium, which is endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will also commemorate the 50th Anniversary of African Union, 20 years of South African Democracy, and 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the United States.
Pope will give a presentation on the importance of exploring and understanding black cultural heritage tourism in order to foster and promote world peace. Traveling with Pope to South Africa is Ms. Naomi King, sister-in-law of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and also Dr. Babs Onabanjo, CEO of the A.D. King Foundation. Both will speak on the relevance of Dr. King’s non-violence prinicples in today’s world.
Kitty J. Pope, worked as a lifestyle/travel magazine editor, before coming up with the idea of forming a black travel writers group and promoting black cultural heritage. After attending several Bermuda-launched African Diaspora Heritage Trails Conferences, she was inspired to create tools that would serve to promote black historic sites and cultural heritage as a tourism media product. She then went on to launch the International Association of Black Travel Writers (IABTW) and set up AfricanDiasporaTourism.com to promote and educate people about black cultural and heritage tourism.
IABTW, consisting of mostly travel writers of African descent from around the world serves as an umbrella organization that brings together professional journalists who share travel stories with black cultural heritage as a primary focus. After over five years’ of reporting up-to-date news, stories, events and information via the website AfricanDiasporaTourism.com, Pope launched the first ever African Diaspora World Tourism Awards (ADWT-Awards) and Travel Expo in 2013 where she serves as director and executive producer. The successful event held in Atlanta was attended by people from all over Africa, the Caribbean and other African Diaspora locations. Those who attended included several Ministers of Tourism, a former Premier, heads of tourism, travel agents, museum directors, college professors, a few celebrities, clergymen, businessmen, government officials, scholars and other travel professionals and cultural heritage enthusiasts.
The ADWT-Awards consisted of a Cultural Heritage Performance night, a Hall of Fame Luncheon in addition to the Awards Gala Ceremony and Travel Expo. The Travel Expo was the first time black historic sites and heritage trails from around the world came together to be highlighted under one roof as exhibitions. Movers and shakers in black cultural heritage tourism were honored and given awards, with the main award being the ‘Person’ and ‘Heritage Site of the Year’. Similar to the World Tourism Awards, Pope used the awards ceremony to recognize and honor leaders who had made a difference in black cultural heritage as it relates to advancement in tourism.
Now as one of the most prominent African America travel journalist and media partner for the African Travel Association (ATA), Pope is currently working to re-establish ATA’s Atlanta chapter in order to more effectively promote tourism to Africa. She is also using the 2015 ADWT-Awards event to help bring attention to the significance of black cultural heritage to the world stage. A former college counselor and the author of the book Beside Every Great Man, she is the recipient of the 2013 Apex Award from Black Meetings and Tourism. Pope is a board member of the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center and president of the Pan African Cultural Heritage TourismSociety, organizations dedicated to socio-economic empowerment through cultural heritage.
For information on her work, visit AfricanDiasporaTourism.com or BlackTravelwriters.wordpress.com to learn more about IIPT, visit IIPT.org. To register for upcoming conference, visit iiptsymposium.com.