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Destination DC welcomes 36 new DEI Business Fellowship members

The DEI Business Fellowship program supports local businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women and disabled persons. Fellows receive a free, one-year membership to DDC, which provides access to marketing support and networking opportunities.

WASHINGTON, DC – Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, continue its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by supporting small minority-owned local businesses as part of a complimentary membership program.

“As a member-based organization focused on economic development through tourism, it’s important for us to interface with the local community and rebuild the tourism and hospitality industry in Washington, DC equitably and inclusively,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “Supporting local businesses through our marketing channels and exposure to customers provides greater awareness to visitors of the services and small businesses that are in our own backyard.”

The DEI Business Fellowship program supports local businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women and disabled persons. Fellows receive a free, one-year membership to DDC, which provides access to marketing support and networking opportunities. The class of 2023 DEI fellows include:

Convention Service Providers

  • The District Pit – Catering company specializing in BBQ, southern comfort food and delicious sweets
  • Chip Dizárd Photography – Dizárd is a photographer who teaches skills to thrive in business through educational videos, in-depth training, mentoring programs, consulting and public speaking. His team also offers event photography, videography and AV support.
  • Wine Key Experience – Brings people together through cocktails, wine and food, and innovative solutions for events in socially responsible settings
  • The Documentist Photography – Professional photographer/videographer specializing in corporate headshots and events photography
  • The Collective – Event planner serving the DMV
  • Flowers by Alexes – Florist serving the area with fresh floral arrangements and additional gifts
  • Professional Image LLC – Full-service media experts offering photography, AV production and event management
  • Concept Creative Group – B2B customer activation and guest experiences.
  • White House Nannies – Offers nanny solutions to families, visitors and business travelers in the DC area
  • Perfect Planning Events – Event planning services from design to final production
  • Get Plated Catering – Boutique-style catering for events in the DMV
  • Events by Chalk – Event consulting from planning to strategy
  • NTD360 – Specializes in 360 Photo Booths for leisure and corporate events
  • LA Executive Services – Provides transportation services for corporate travel and special events
  • Sofull Catering LLC – Full-service catering company in the DMV
  • Open Door Concept – Available film, photography and event space in Northeast Washington, DC
  • The Boards LLC – Custom charcuterie boards and spices


  • Art Museum of the Americas – First museum in the United States devoted to exhibiting works of contemporary art from Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Zenith Gallery – Contemporary fine arts gallery
  • Synagogue on Sixth and I – Center for arts, entertainment, ideas, and Jewish life in Washington, DC offering vast programming


  • Here’s the Scoop – Ice cream and dessert shop with event catering
  • Fresh Food Factory – Retail food market offering catering, event planning, tastings and food preparation training.
  • Ethiopic – Upscale Ethiopian restaurant in the H Street Corridor
  • Donna Faye’s Bakery – Baker and caterer specializing in the Chicago-styled butter cookie
  • Underground Food Court – First delivery-based food court in Dupont Circle
  • Georgetown Seafood – Seafood market in historic Georgetown
  • DCity Smokehouse – Barbecue restaurant and caterer
  • FishScale – Serving fish burgers sourced from sustainable wild fish
  • Lost Generation Brewing Co. – Speakeasy-style taproom serving IPAs and lagers

See & Do

  • Sip & develop – Offers photography and wine experiences and tours
  • Steadfast Supply – Workshop, performance art space and event space located in the Yards.
  • Artjar – Offers group graffiti art classes and experiences
  • Anacostia Playhouse – Theater managed by and for the BIPOC community
  • Shop Made in DC – Store dedicated to makers and artisans producing Made in DC products
  • Black on Broadway in Washington DC – Music and culture tours of historic U Street
  • Eckington Hall – Art gallery and event space in NoMa.

“As a small, minority-veteran owned business, I see the huge opportunity Destination DC provides with education and business prospects, which are not easily achieved working independently,” said Rashon Robinson, the CEO of Sip & Develop. “Being chosen for the DEI Fellows program is a privilege and will give me the tools and materials to help strengthen our strategic focus and raise operational awareness inside my organization.”

DDC’s mission and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion also includes the American Experience Foundation, its 501c-3 nonprofit focused on providing scholarships and career experience to local students. In 2022, AEF surpassed $100,000 awarded as part of 42 scholarships over the past eight years. The scholarships support students on their journeys in hospitality and tourism through higher education. In 2023, AEF’s next $100,000 campaign will raise funds for the program and assist the next generation of recipients.

DDC is also uniquely positioned to share with visitors Washington, DC’s history and experiences connected with racial and social equity. The “DEI District” launched in 2021 and provides curated content focused on how DC can be experienced through a DEI lens. The pillars include visit, engage, learn and meet while connecting to content related to leisure, meetings and education audiences to help promote the unique history and experiences in DC.

One of the most inclusive and accessible cities in the world, Washington, DC prioritizes initiatives to eliminate barriers and to meet the needs of all visitors. DDC features and will be expanding on content for that highlights accessibility and provides resources.

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