The Board of Director's Welcome

Now in its 29-year history, the Visitor Industry Human Resource Council (VIC), dba Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI) has awarded more than 450 scholarships and raised more than $3.5 million in scholarship funds and in-kind services.

The BHI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1991 by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB).

The Mission of the BHI is to advance economic participation and open doors of opportunity for Blacks of African descent in the Greater Miami Visitor Industry.

In order to fund the organization to make scholarship awards possible, every May, the GMCVB organizes the Hospitality Open Golf Tournament (H.O.T.), golfing event where businesses and individuals from around Greater Miami come together to support of this incredible scholarship program.

Promising and deserving young men and women of African heritage who are committed to working in the local visitor industry upon their graduation are encouraged to apply for a BHI scholarship award which can be used at one of four local universities. While there are multiple fields of focus to study, the degree sought must be intended for a career in Hospitality and Tourism.

From our prospective, nothing is more profound than hearing the success stories from our students and successful alumni who have achieved their educational goals and found their place in the Hospitality Industry often against incredible odds. A recent survey conducted by our staff, showed that 80 percent of Black Hospitality Initiative undergraduate scholars graduate within five-and-a-half years, a rate nearly 30 percent higher than the national average for all races and ethnicities.

Thanks again for visiting us.

Carole Ann Taylor

The History

The history of the Black Hospitality Initiative began in 1990 when Greater Miami and the Beaches faced the challenges of a Black tourism boycott. Spurred by the snubbing of visitor South African anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela by local political leaders, the boycott would last 33-months and end with a 20-point program to boost the role of African Americans in the local Visitor Industry. Over the past 29 years, GMCVB and Industry Partners have provided the BHI with operational support, staff, and resources to assist with carrying out its mission.

Industry partnerships established the BHI Minority Scholarship Endowment at Florida International University that is valued at more than $600,000. BHI graduates have emerged as industry leaders in hotels, cruise lines, restaurants, educators as well as entrepreneurs in Miami and across the country.