Criticized in the past for enabling discrimination on its platform, hotel-alternative site Airbnb is doing its part to neutralize the playing field when it comes to diversity and inclusion—and has recruited Danny Glover to help. Yesterday (Aug. 23), Airbnb announced it had hired the seasoned actor as an adviser to engage communities of color and assist them in taking advantage of the ability to host on their platform.
“Many people know Mr. Glover from his memorable performances in world-renowned films and television programs, but progressives throughout America and the world know Mr. Glover as a steadfast advocate for social justice,” Janaye Ingram, the company’s director of partnerships, said in a statement. “For more than five decades, Mr. Glover has fought for economic empowerment in communities of color. We’re honored to be working with him to ensure that all guests feel at home on Airbnb—no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they’re from.”
Back in March, Airbnb partnered with the NAACP after making a pledge to double the number of hosts in areas densely populated by minorities.
Glover’s new role takes its promise a step further. “I know Airbnb has had its own share of challenges in this arena, but working with them, I’ve seen firsthand how committed they are to getting it right,” he wrote in a statement. “I have been incredibly heartened to see the resources, desire, and drive they are directing towards ensuring that their service is used fairly and inclusively.
“African American, Latinx, and other communities of color are some of Airbnb’s fastest growing host communities in the U.S, which is a step in the right direction,” he continued. “But the underlying housing market is still fundamentally unfair—and, disappointingly, even as we have made progress in other areas, the Airbnb community can sometimes reflect the broader discriminatory realities of present-day American society.”
Glover promises he’ll be working closely with everyone at Airbnb to help more people of color benefit from home-sharing, so let’s see how this goes.