NAACP Partners with AirBnB to Fight Racism

Published On August 2, 2017 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis

AirBnB and the NAACP have teamed up to fight racism on the hospitality platform. Guests have repeatedly reported that hosts using the app have discriminated against people of color. Airbnb has been fighting for years with racism on its platform in the US and overseas.

The partnership seeks to involve more African-Americans in the sharing economy as an income stream and improve the diversity of hosts to curb discrimination.

Numerous cases have been reported of racist hosts denying rental applications from people of color claiming the accommodations are booked on the selected dates. Evidence indicates that these same hosts then rented the property to white users or leave the room vacant. Some hosts have turned away people of color at the door once they discover who they are.

Many of these incidents have been documented on social media, Quirtina Crittenden, an AirBnB user, coined the hashtag #airbnbwhileblack last year and it quickly went viral. Her action resulted in hundreds of personal stories of discrimination creating a public relations nightmare for Airbnb.

Racism on its platform is not only a public relations nightmare but an unacceptable business risk for AirBnB. In 2016 AirBnB narrowly escaped a potentially devastating racial discrimination case brought by Greg Selden. Selden, an African-American, fooled a racist host into accepting his application from a fake account using a picture of a white person after his original application was denied. He sued Airbnb claiming it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Airbnb successfully moved the case to individual arbitration avoiding a class action suit.

This new partnership with the NAACP indicates that Airbnb is taking the fight against racism seriously. AirBnB chief business affairs officer Belinda Johnson said, “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. 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.”

The NAACP seeks to help Airbnb target communities that could benefit greatly for home-sharing services and the additional income they provide. Airbnb announced it will also donate 20 percent of its earnings from rentals in these communities to the NAACP. In return the NAACP will help AirBnB to improve its workplace diversity efforts.

Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement. “For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations. This groundbreaking partnership with Airbnb will help bring new jobs and economic opportunities to our communities.”

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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