Airbnb has partnered with the NAACP to bring economic opportunities to people of color. Through the partnership, which includes a revenue-sharing agreement, Airbnb and the NAACP will reach out to communities of color about the benefits of sharing their homes on Airbnb.
“For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations,” NAACP interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “This groundbreaking partnership with Airbnb will help bring new jobs and economic opportunities to our communities. Airbnb’s commitment to that goal is a tremendous step in the
right direction for Silicon Valley to open its doors to African-Americans and other communities.”
The NAACP and Airbnb will work together to host in-person community meetings and educational campaigns around issues of fair and affordable housing. The goal is to bring more travelers to communities of color.
As part of the deal, Airbnb will share 20 percent of those earnings with the NAACP. Hosts will not be impacted by the initiative, and Airbnb says it will provide more details in the coming weeks.
The NAACP will also work with Airbnb around the company’s efforts to increase diversity. Like many tech companies, Airbnb is predominantly white and male, with a workforce that is only 6.5 percent Hispanic and 2.9 percent black. Airbnb’s goal is to increase the percentage of employees from underrepresented populations to 11 percent in the U.S. by the end of this year.
This partnership comes at a time when Airbnb is in the process of addressing issues of racism and discrimination on the home-sharing platform. In September, Airbnb unveiled its plan to tackle those issues, which entailed guaranteeing short-term bookings for people who have been discriminated against, deemphasizing the use of user photos, blocking out availability if a host claims a space is taken when it really isn’t and working to increase the number of Instant Book listings, which don’t require hosts to approve specific guests, to one million by the beginning of 2017. Those changes were developed in partnership with the NAACP, as well as other racial justice organizations.
“Our fastest-growing communities across major US cities are in communities of color and we’ve seen how home sharing is an economic lifeline for families,” Airbnb Chief Business Affairs Officer Belinda Johnson said in a statement. “This partnership will build on this incredible progress. The NAACP is unrivaled in its tireless work to expand economic opportunities for minority communities and we look forward to collaborating with their talented team.”