From left: Derrick Johnson, interim NAACP president and CEO, Belinda Johnson, Airbnb's chief business affairs officer, and Leon Russell, NAACP board chair (Courtesy photo)
From left: Derrick Johnson, interim NAACP president and CEO, Belinda Johnson, Airbnb's chief business affairs officer, and Leon Russell, NAACP board chair (Courtesy photo)

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The NAACP and Airbnb forged a surprising partnership to help spread the economic benefits of home sharing to more communities, the civil rights organization announced during its 108th annual convention last week.

Under the new partnership, Airbnb and the NAACP will conduct targeted outreach to communities of color to help more people use their homes to earn extra income.

The two organizations said that increasing the number of travelers to communities of color, the partnership will spread the economic benefits of tourism.

“For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP interim president and CEO. “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 opens its doors to African-Americans and other communities.”

The collaboration also includes a unique revenue sharing model: Airbnb will share 20 percent of its earnings from this partnership with the NAACP. They will also collaborate on a series of projects to support the leading hospitality organization’s ongoing efforts to increase workforce diversity, as well as support Airbnb’s supplier diversity goals.

“Airbnb is democratizing capitalism. Instead of a corporation controlling the supply and distributing the profits, hosts decide when they offer their space and keep 97 percent of what they charge for their listing,” said Belinda Johnson, Airbnb’s chief business affairs officer.

Analysis have shown that Airbnb and home sharing can provide significant economic benefits to communities that have not benefited from tourism in the past.

Up to 50 percent of guest spending occurs in the neighborhoods where guests stay and communities of color are some of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the Airbnb community.

The company sites a 2016 study of the New York City host community finding that the number of Airbnb guests grew 78 percent in the 30 city zip codes with the highest percentage of black residents, compared to 50 percent citywide.

The Airbnb-NAACP partnership includes a series of commitments such as community outreach and education, diverse employee base and supplier diversity.

The NAACP will also provide direction on how Airbnb deals with racial discrimination issues that they’ve been marred by in recent months.

The company has implemented a series of steps to help fight discrimination towards people of color with anti-bias training for employees, a community commitment pledge and a no-tolerance policy for violators of their policies.

“Our fastest-growing communities across major U.S cities are in communities of color and we’ve seen how home sharing is an economic lifeline for families,” Johnson said.
“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.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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