Did news about Empowerment Week spread beyond Birmingham?
All the star power, the political leaders, the commemoration, makes empowerment week in Birmingham something to behold. But did the city do enough to let the world know what was happening here? The hotels aren't sold out. Was this week publicized outside Alabama?
There were a certainly people here from out of town. But some of them say they just happened to be here at the right time without seeing or hearing any promotion.
Birmingham city engineer Andre Bettis says there were promotion efforts throughout the region, and suspects the city has met their expectations. But he wasn't able to give details about the resources put into those promotion efforts.
Vice president of tourism for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sara Hamlin, says the bureau worked in tandem with the city and did what they normally do to promote Birmingham. She says they even had empowerment week mentioned on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. As for people not knowing about empowerment week, she says that comes as a surprise.
"I find that very interesting that they don't know about it because of what's been going on, on a national scale. To be well versed on your history you would know that the following month it was the bombing of the 16th street Baptist church so I would hope that majority of Americans would know that," said Hamlin.
Hamlin said she would not have official numbers for people out of town until after empowerment week is over.
City spokesperson April Odom says the city has been promoting this event for more than a year. However, she did not tell us exactly where empowerment week was promoted or the city's methods of doing so.