RCCL’s Fain: “It Is Much Harder To Be A Person Of Colour In America”

Cruise Week

Richard Fain

In an e-mail sent to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. employees, Chairman & CEO Richard Fain addressed the aftermath of George Floyd's death, as well as the issue of racism.

He likened racism to the coronavirus, saying, "The virus threatens society, and the world is heavily invested in fighting it – because, done right, this challenge can last months instead of years. If only we could only summon the same focus and unified effort to fight racism."

Fain bluntly addressed what he saw as the problem: "At the end of the day, it is still much harder to be a person of colour in America than it is to be white."

But he also mapped out his vision for Royal Caribbean as part of the solution: "I think we have advantages here at RCL to see the world in a broader, more human way. 

"Miami is a crossroads of cultures and nationalities, white, black and brown. In our offices, we work with each other, count on each other, and – I hope – learn from each other. People who live in less-diverse communities don’t have that opportunity the way we do."

Fain offered some concrete steps that Royal would take in the coming days. 

"We are also evaluating philanthropic partners who are demonstrating an ability to mobilize for change on this subject, like our friends at March for Our Lives and WWF are forcing conversations on gun violence and climate change," he said.

He finished by exhorting employees to take steps themselves. 

"And I am asking you to bring these difficult conversations home as well. Friends and colleagues live with fear they should not have to. What can I change, you change, our families change to make that fear, finally, a thing of the past?”


Nina Slawek - June 2, 2020 @ 20:29
Hello Antoinette, Thank you for sharing your words and your experience. I grew up in Montreal surrounded by a lively Haitian community and naively assumed racism was something you saw in the movies. I cannot know your experience, but feel shame that such oppression still exists. We have not evolved at all as a species. It is heartbreaking.

Antoinette Casselberry - June 2, 2020 @ 18:44
As a Travel Consultant and Loyalty member of RCCL, thank you for your words. It is a hard conversation to have, but we need to have them in life at work, in our community and in our homes. One of those conversations; this is a learned behaviour. Most can be traced back to the home, what we see in our communities, on television, in news and social media and in the movies. We all enjoy these in the name of entertainment.

As a woman with dark skin, it is a struggle moving thru this world of ours. We as a people have to work harder to prove our worth and take a stand. I wish it was all equal but it is not. Hopefully, we can have a beginning soon. I am not sure how my voice can be heard. There must be a better way, to make our world safe and equal for all.

Again, thank you for your words. I look forward to our industry coming back strong soon.

Jean annok - June 2, 2020 @ 15:40
Thanks for sharing this, Open Jaw. We have not heard from any other travel industry leaders on the topic and for a US one it is especially meaningful.

Linda Caso - June 2, 2020 @ 15:27
Thank you Richard for acknowledging the Elephant that has always been in the room. I'm grateful for your and Royal Caribbean's support during the Coronavirus Pandemic and most especially in this pivotal moment in America. We the people have the choice to squander this opportunity to face racism squarely in the face or do nothing in the hope it will solve itself. Thank you for being a thought leader; a shining light of reason inside and outside of your organization! Linda

Sam Wong - June 2, 2020 @ 14:46
Thank you Richard for being among the first persons with a public platform to speak out against this huge global pandemic that was/is caused by humans and can only be solved by humans! It is refreshing to know that there are so many people in this world, who have a voice, who are speaking out honestly and loudly about this situation. I applaud you for your courage and will remember your leadership as I discuss future cruising options with my clients. Keep up the good work! Sam

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