At SocialOffset, we express our gratitude to the NAACP, Equality Florida, and other organizations for their leadership and dedication. We have closely reviewed the recent travel advisories they have issued, and it is clear they are not calling for boycotts. They are advising that certain members of our communities should be aware of risks to their personal safety when traveling to Florida, and they request that those who do travel work to make a local impact.
We respect the local experiences that have informed these advisories. This aligns perfectly with one of our core principles at SocialOffset, which recognizes that in today’s political climate, boycotts often have limited chances of success and may inadvertently harm the local community without effectively addressing the policies we disagree with. Often those most affected by location boycotts are frontline workers employed in the hospitality and travel industry and ancillary businesses.
Instead of advocating for boycotts, SocialOffset firmly believes in supporting the local community. This stance is consistent with the statements made by Stacey Abrams of Georgia, who has urged individuals not to boycott Atlanta but rather to visit, stay, fight, and organize. In an article last year in Travel Weekly, Dr. Lynn Minnaert, Academic Director and a Clinical Associate Professor at New York University, shared that travel boycotts are not effective at achieving political change noting that “Turning away from something doesn’t necessarily make it go away.”
By visiting locations that have policies many of us disagree with, and making donations, we can provide vital support to mayors, community organizers, and local activists who work tirelessly to bring about positive change. Staying home doesn’t always help; supporting does.
It is for these reasons we founded SocialOffset so we can offer a more constructive alternative to boycotts. We recognize that it is not safe for everyone to travel to certain locations. For those who can travel, we encourage donations to offset the taxes they contribute to the state by donating to vetted local charities through our platform.
We actively encourage event organizers to collaborate with us so that we can provide their attendees with an easy way to donate funds to verified local charities.
We also urge destinations to partner with SocialOffset, demonstrating their understanding of the challenges faced by event organizers, while offering suggestions for local charities that can benefit from support.
At SocialOffset, we firmly believe that we are responsible for taking action for change when we can. By supporting the work of local organizations, we have a more meaningful and positive impact on communities than boycotting. By working together, we can foster support, understanding, and change, ultimately making a difference in the places we visit and the causes we care about.
[Written collaboratively amongst the founding Board of Directors for SocialOffset. 2023.06.21]