BETHESDA, Md., June 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In the United States, nearly 4 in 10 American youths experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender* and the number has been rising for the past decade. Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), along with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actor Tituss Burgess, True Colors Fund, Casa Ruby and social influencers Raymond Braun, Shannon Beveridge and Amber's Closet, are inviting people everywhere to join the global #LoveTravels movement this week to spread awareness and stand in support of the LGBTQ homeless youth community by raising funds to combat this growing issue.
"Marriott created #LoveTravels four years ago to send a clear message that our company, including more than 6,100 properties in 124 countries and territories has a long-standing commitment to welcoming everyone," said Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs, Marriott International. "This year, as the #LoveTravels movement grows, we are expanding our commitment to include support for Casa Ruby and True Colors Fund, two organizations dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youth that help ensure safe and reassuring homes and services so they may thrive."
On Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9, ahead of Capital Pride in Washington, D.C., an art installation will rise in Freedom Plaza in support of LGBTQ homeless youth. Expressions of unconditional acceptance and love in the form of paintings, doodles, photographs and hand-written notes created in-person and on Twitter and Instagram tagged #LoveTravels and #MyPride will be brought to life on the collaborative #LoveTravels Mosaic.
Throughout the two days, celebrities, influencers and local personalities are scheduled to stop by to add their own expressions of love. In addition, seven Marriott properties, including Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront; The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City; Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel; AC Hotel San Juan; Charlotte Marriott City Center; Moxy New Orleans and Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, will hold 'expression sessions' to invite their guests to create and contribute their own pieces of art to be included in the global #LoveTravels Mosaic.
For every original submission created on site or tagged #LoveTravels and #MyPride on Twitter and Instagram, Marriott will donate to True Colors Fund and Casa Ruby. Working locally, Casa Ruby is the only bilingual multicultural LGBTQ organization providing lifesaving services and safe shelter to many of the most vulnerable transgender residents of Washington D.C. The True Colors Fund is working on a national level to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, creating a world in which all young people can be their true selves, and recently created the first ever True Innovation Fellowship, underwritten by Marriott. The fellowship will provide a young person the opportunity to participate in the development of technology solutions that address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
Marriott unveiled the first glimpse of the #LoveTravels Mosaic in 2016 with contributions from Laverne Cox, Jazz Jennings, Ross Mathews and thousands of LGBTQ supporters from over 90 countries around the world. This year, actor/activist Tituss Burgess is joining the movement as official ambassador.
"As an advocate for the LGBTQ community, I am proud to stand with Marriott International in support of the True Colors Fund, Casa Ruby and everyone fighting to keep kids and young adults in need of help safe and warm," said actor Tituss Burgess. "And as a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I am humbled and honored to join in the unveiling of the #LoveTravels Mosaic. It warms my heart to see people from around the world participating in such a powerful expression of love."
Launched in 2014, #LoveTravels brings to life Marriott's longstanding commitment to ensuring every person is valued and welcomed whenever they enter the doors of its hotels. It serves as a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on the importance of travel, including those of Jason Collins, Geena Rocero, Tim Howard Angela Simmons, Diane Guerrero and Diego Boneta. The cornerstone of Marriott's culture is its 'put people first' philosophy coupled with its belief that everyone deserves a welcome. Just weeks before marriage equality became the law of the land nationwide, #LoveTravels hosted the wedding of George Carrancho and Sean Franklin in Washington, DC's Capital Pride Parade, with TV personality Ross Mathews as officiant. The campaign has also raised donations for recent immigrants at the Open Arms Community Center in South Florida.
Liquitex, creators of the first water-based acrylic paints will be donating art supplies for the #LoveTravels Mosaic. To learn more or join the conversation, travelers can visit www.Marriott.com/LoveTravels, follow #LoveTravels and @MarriottIntl on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Marriott International's commitment to social impact and sustainability dates to our founding and our core value to "Serve Our World." Through volunteerism, strategic partnerships, charitable giving, and lasting program development, we focus our efforts on social and environmental issues that affect our business, our communities, and our planet. We identify these issues as our Purpose Priorities: Protect the Environment, Advance Human Rights and Cultural Understanding, Empower through Opportunity and Build for the Future. In 2016 alone, Marriott provided over $28M in cash and in-kind support to its local communities, as well as over 720K hours of volunteerism. Awards and recognition for efforts over the years include Ethisphere's Most Ethical Companies List, Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, Forbes' Just 100: Best Corporate Citizens List, the World Travel and Tourism Council's "Tourism for Tomorrow Award for Sustainability" and a 100% Score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
About Marriott International:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,100 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 124 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.
About Casa Ruby:
Casa Ruby (www.casaruby.org) is the only bilingual multicultural LGBT organization led by trans women of color providing life-saving services and programs to the most vulnerable in the LGBT community. Our mission is to create successful life stories among transgender, gender queer and gender non-conforming gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Casa Ruby was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2004, serving the greater Washington DC metro area.
About True Colors Fund:
Co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, the True Colors Fund works nationally to prevent and end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Through a broad continuum of training and education, youth collaboration, and advocacy programs, the True Colors Fund is creating a world in which young people can be their true selves. www.truecolorsfund.org
Liquitex was the first water-based acrylic paint created in 1955 and since then we have partnered with artists to ensure that we continually evolve and innovate –resulting in a long history of acrylic innovation. Liquitex offers the largest array of vibrant acrylic paints, mediums and tools to enable acrylic artists to continually explore their art and take it to new and unprecedented boundaries. With our innovative drive, our creative passion and our intense desire to share the joys of artistic expression through unparalleled education and community outreach programs, Liquitex is and will continue to be a strong partner to help artists explore their art for decades to come.
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SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.