Marriott International has announced its partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and its role as the grand opening hospitality sponsor.

To kick off the weekend, Friday, September 23, 2016, Marriott International is hosting EncouragHERS, a luncheon recognizing women of character, courage and commitment, hosted by Common, with a performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan. The celebratory event will shine a light on the contributions of women to the African American community and their role in making the new museum a reality.

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture has been a long time in the making, and all of us at Marriott International are truly honored to be kicking off the weekend with the EncouragHERS luncheon,” said Erika Alexander, chief lodging services officer, the Americas at Marriott International. “EncouragHERS are the women who recognize when their communities need her support, when their protégés need encouragement, when their families need her strength or when friends just need an ear, act as an inspiration to us all, and that’s why Marriott is here to say thank you.”

The EncouragHERS luncheon will recognize the influence and brilliance of women who use their energy to uplift and empower women leaders from across all industries of business, entertainment, sports, politics and more. Each attendee has demonstrated support for the African American community or made impactful contributions to NMAAHC, which reflects Marriott International’s 80+ year commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“I am looking forward to being a part of this incredible event with Marriott International and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, celebrating the contributions of strong African American women and kicking off such an important and historic weekend in Washington, D.C.,” said Oscar and Grammy winning artist Common. “As the son of a single mother, I am proud to honor the women who came before us, and to do my part to nurture future generations of strong African American women.”

The opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture provides the opportunity for Marriott International to welcome guests traveling from here and around the world to witness the historic opening of the Smithsonian’s newest cultural institution. Marriott International looks forward to hosting Washington, D.C. visitors for years to come, as the museum continues to be a sought-after destination. Visit www.marriott-nmaahc.com and follow the Marriott International Twitter and Instagram handles (@MarriottIntl) for additional information about EncouragHERS and Marriott International’s support for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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