Black@ Allyship & Activism Guide 2.0

Last year Airbnb published a guide designed by the company’s Black@ employee resource group to help interested people become better allies. The guide has been updated to reflect additional references to work from activists and experts in antiracism.


Injustice exists and many different people face it daily. For many Black people around the world, injustice ranges from microaggressions*, such as a woman clutching her purse when she approaches a Black man or a person telling a Black woman she “speaks well,” to acts of violence, including killings at the hands of the police or others who believe they are within their right to invalidate a Black person’s life.

When many of these instances come to light by way of social media or the news, people want to find ways to help. In 2020, during the “summer of racial reckoning,” we saw people participate in marches and spontaneous protests all around the world; engage in online activism by sharing posts; participate in solidarity activities like kneeling in support of George Floyd; running in support of Ahmaud Arbery; and singing, “We are not afraid” in support of Breonna Taylor. While acts like these are important and help to underscore the power that can come from unity, there is more that can be done to truly advance the cause of justice. Actions may look different based on how you exist in the world, but ultimately, everyone has a role to play in creating a more equitable society.

If we are to advance the cause of racial justice, we must act not only when we are outraged, but also in the quiet moments. Realizing the promise of racial justice means changing attitudes and beliefs, which ultimately leads to changed actions and outcomes.

Allyship in Action

Almost a year since writing the first draft of this document, we continue to find ourselves at critical juncture points where inequities against the Black community, often at the hands of law enforcement, are followed by a lack of accountability. The questions we are asking about these issues, and the challenges we take on, are a reflection of where we are in our understanding of the paradigm at work. 

If you find yourself asking “When will this end?,” realize the larger system is functioning as designed and intended. It will not end until we commit to protecting Belonging at all costs: in our systems, in our institutions, on our streets, and in the way that we share and use power. 

At this inflection point we invite you to reflect on your allyship, specifically, over the past year:

  • How have you shown up?  
  • When have you not shown up?  
  • In what ways has your allyship been purely performative, inconsequential, self-serving or for the approval of your peers and colleagues? 
  • Who is benefiting from your activism and how? 
  • In what ways are you indifferent or apathetic to the status quo? 
  • In what ways have you been an obstacle or a hindrance to the advancement of People of Color? 
  • In what ways have you undermined your colleagues’ visibility and opportunities? 

Moving past performative allyship begins with everyday Allyship in Action (see Allyship Phases II and III, below). Like most things in life, Allyship in Action takes practice, ongoing effort and doesn’t happen without making mistakes. Even if you have not been the perfect ally, you will have many more opportunities to continue to show up and grow in your journey. The end of racial injustice requires your commitment.  

Purpose of this document

This document was created to help interested people become better allies and has been designed and updated by Airbnb’s Black@ employee resource group. What follows is a guide for allies: learnings and actions Airbnb’s global Black employees want allies to explore in order to better support them. The knowledge and insights, from activists and experts in antiracism, can help start someone on their journey of learning or advance someone’s growth. Being an ally does not start and stop during moments of convenience and inconvenience. Being an ally is a journey of commitment to understanding the dynamic realities marginalized people face, while confronting the role the one’s privileges have played in creating and cementing those realities.

The journey starts by understanding social privilege, or a special, unearned advantage or entitlement, used to one’s own benefit or to the detriment of others. Groups can be advantaged (or disadvantaged) based on ethnic or racial category, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, and/or social class. There are a range of ways to use one’s own privilege to help marginalized communities. 

At the start, Phase I, one begins to be an ally, where a person with privilege seeks to understand the experiences of marginalized people and empathize with those experiences. 

Phase II begins when people leverage their own privilege to create space for marginalized people, particularly where those people might not have been able to exist, or step back themselves and allow for those who are  marginalized people to step up. 

Finally, in Phase III, one is actively working to dismantle the structures of privilege, even one’s own privilege, that keep others in a marginalized position. 

STEP 1 : First take this test to understand hidden biases that you may have developed : Implicit Association Test (IAT) by Harvard

United States


Immediate action

  • Be an active ally
  • Proactively question ways bias and racism show up daily in your community, and consider ways you can impart change
  • Do not remain silent during moments of injustice. Be heard so that others know that you do not condone injustice
  • Consider taking action to close the racial wealth gap by sharing your salary data to ensure equity, or advocate for Black talent to be hired, promoted and retained

During public outcries and uprisings 

  • Demand justice by supporting online petitions where Black people have been mistreated or by making calls to local leaders
  • Leverage your own networks to help educate others about the injustice that has occurred
  • Show up and make your voice heard: If you are a white ally, you can march with Black protesters or form a line to defend them
  • Financially support Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC) Led organizations, in moments when there aren’t active protests, as well as local organizations on the ground in the impacted place(s) in moments of active protests
  • Direct other people to the resources you find and are supporting, including voices who are educating you about the issues
  • If your relationship warrants it, check in on your friends and colleagues, particularly those who are Black, from a place of support
  • If you manage Black employees, be sensitive to the trauma that they are dealing with when one of these instances occurs and manage with compassion

During perceived calm

  • Here is a list of anti-racism resources; Educate yourself about the history of inequities that have marginalized Black people
  • Engage in a Daring Discussion with someone about a topic that you don’t understand or would like to understand better
  • Support national and local organizations who are working to uplift, center, empower and liberate Black people and communities – preferably those that are Black led
  • Educate yourself about the laws and policies that will negatively impact Black communities and advocate against them
  • Support elected officials and candidates with agendas that support the voices of the most marginalized people
  • Get civically engaged by voting in every election, but also supporting efforts to protect people’s right to vote (like volunteering for election protection, participating in get-out-the-vote activities, or advocating for legislation that expands the right to vote)

Active Campaigns 

In Support of the Black Community: 

In Support of Daunte Wright:

In Support of Adam Toledo:

In Support of Breonna Taylor:

  • Donate to Christopher 2X Game Changers, a Louisville nonprofit focused on early education and recommended by Breonna Taylor’s mom 
  • Read the letter Breonna’s mom, Tamika Palmer, wrote to the Biden administration in 2020 and explore her outstanding asks for police accountability 

In Support of Police Reform:

  • Advocate for the passage of the police reform bills in Congress as well as your state legislature
  • Advocate for police reforms as noted by the lawyers for these three cases
  • Learn about the Breathe Act and how it may differ from the Justice in Policing Act
  • Uncover opportunities for reform in your community with the Toolkit for Equitable Public Safety

Learn the Basics on How Policing Impacts the Black Community:

Visit Breathing Room’s Necessary Trouble Toolkit to educate yourself on the history of policing, how to influence policies and laws, and quick actions you can take to initiate change

Data Sources

Daring Discussion Guides

The goal of “Daring Discussions” is for participants on different sides of a given issue to learn about one another’s personal experiences and perspectives as a starting place to gain compassion, build respect, and form stronger relationships. Participants are asked to avoid judgment, defensiveness, and anger and to try to express any negative feelings and different views constructively from a place of giving as opposed to being oppositional or needing to be right.

To become an ally, you must seek understanding of the lived experiences of a particular person or group of people. Here is the Daring Discussions toolkit to help guide you through meaningful conversations with someone about a topic or set of topics that will help you build empathy and compassion for marginalized people.

Allyship Interventions


The list below is not exhaustive and should be considered a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about the history of inequities and how they were created. There are many other articles, books, podcasts, and media you can use to further your own self-awareness. 






Here are some of the organizations Airbnb has supported or currently works with:

Here are other great organizations you can support:

*Microagressions are a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.