Wedding planner fights for racial equity in North Carolina’s ‘divided’ industry

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RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — The wedding industry is a billion-dollar economic driver in North Carolina. But with large-scale events at a standstill because of COVID-19 restrictions, the industry is struggling.

One wedding planner is using this break in business to spark change at the roughly 1,500 venues in the state.

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Elana Walker isn’t doing as many grandiose gatherings these days. She estimates her income is being slashed in half because of the pandemic.

She is staying busy working to bridge the racial gap in the wedding industry.

“The wedding industry in the Triangle, for a very long time, has been very divided between the white vendors and the black vendors,” Walker said.

Walker has been calling around and doing outreach to venues. She’s pushing for more equity on vendors’ lists.

When a couple picks a place, they’ll often get a roster of preferred vendors.

Read more here.