North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield currently serves as the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo by Shevry Lassiter
North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield currently serves as the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo by Shevry Lassiter

Congressional Black Caucus Chair G. K. Butterfield (NC), Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and California Rep. Barbara Lee issued a joint statement Thursday lauding home-sharing network Airbnb for its efforts to address racial discrimination and abuse.

“The Congressional Black Caucus commends Airbnb and its CEO, Brian Chesky, for taking this significant first step to address racial discrimination and exclusion of African Americans and other minorities on the company’s platform,” said Butterfield, who serves as co-chair of the CBC Diversity Taskforce. “We appreciate the opportunity to voice our concerns and provide recommendations on earlier reports, and the company’s willingness and efforts to take the issue of discrimination seriously, which is evident with the measures set forth in the report designed to prevent future discrimination and ill treatment of its customers. This is a standard that can be modeled throughout the tech industry.”

Lee, co-chair of the CBC Diversity Taskforce, said she’s encouraged by Airbnb’s efforts to address racial discrimination and abuse.

“Today’s report displays a real and serious commitment to serving all people,” she said. “This report is an important first step that I’m confident will be followed by further action.”

In June, Butterfield and Cleaver submitted a letter to Airbnb Inc. CEO, Brian Chesky to urge the company to conduct a comprehensive review of accusations of racial discrimination practices and find solutions that address the issue.

Members of the CBC Diversity Taskforce also applaud Airbnb for the new policy solutions the company has developed. The policies include increasing workforce and supplier diversity and implementing a new nondiscrimination policy with a commitment to equality and fairness in user treatment regardless of race.

“After meeting with Airbnb staff, it is encouraging that the company has decided to respond constructively to the letter Chairman Butterfield and I sent to CEO Brian Chesky in June regarding discriminatory behavior by a number of Airbnb hosts,” said Cleaver, a member of the taskforce. “This is a commendable step in the right direction, and I am confident that Airbnb will continue to take the correct actions to ensure that all consumers are treated as equals when using Airbnb’s services.”

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