(NNPA)—Airbnb, the housing marketplace that connects travelers with hosts in 65,000 cities and 191 countries worldwide, is now on a mission to increase awareness about the company’s economic benefits in communities of color.
It’s part of an ongoing effort to increase diversity and eliminate discrimination on the platform that launched during the Great Recession.
In 2015, the company came under fire when Harvard researchers reported widespread discrimination by Airbnb hosts.
“Real Airbnb users of color said they weren’t surprised,” SmarterTravel.com reported. “Black users shared stories of repeated cancellations and failed booking attempts, using #AirbnbWhileBlack on social media.”
Janaye Ingram, the director of national partnerships for Airbnb, said that since those revelations were made public, the company recruited former Attorney General Eric Holder and Laura Murphy, the director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, as consultants to examine the claims of discrimination.
The home-share rental platform implemented a “Community Commitment” pledge and an “Open Doors” policy, which allows anyone who feels like they’ve been discriminated against to issue a claim to the company.
“We will rebook guests immediately to another listing, begin investigating the claim of discrimination and remove the host from the community,” if the claim is proven to be true, said Ingram.