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‘You deserve to belong.’
Following the game, Airbnb revealed its goal to provide short-term housing to 100,000 people in need over the next five years. This announcement follows up CEO Brian Chesky’s tweet about housing refugees in response to Trump’s travel ban.
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Going with the theme of the ad (and Lady Gaga’s halftime show), Airbnb opens this project by accepting people as they are, “no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong.”
Though Airbnb aims to give priority to refugees, disaster survivors, and relief workers, it is also open to helping communities in more abstract ways—including putting its money where its mouth is.
“Airbnb will contribute $4 million over the course of four years to the International Rescue Committee to support the most critical needs of displaced populations globally,” the post reads.
Last summer Airbnb faced claims of racism from renters of color, after some patrons were reportedly ignored, overlooked, or even harassed by housing hosts. It attempted to combat these discriminatory practices by minimizing the presence of avatars on user profiles. The company further addressed that issue in this announcement, and promises to do better in the future.
The end of the post provides links to donate to a few organizations—National Immigration Law Center, International Refugee Assistance Project, and International Rescue Committee—as well as a call to volunteers to provide housing. Airbnb promises to match donations up to a total of $300,000 to these organizations. Over $80,000 has already been donated.
In the sign-off from all three founders, a bigger vision of the future that suggests Airbnb may have more plans in the works:
“It’s possible that a child today will grow up in a different kind of world, one where they’re accepted for who they are, no matter where they are. Because we really do believe that the world is a better, more beautiful place the more we accept each other.”
Audrey Browning is a content creator and social media manager. In August 2017, she joined Main Street Grub as a community manager.