Today, Airbnb announced a new partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBCI) to provide housing support for CBCI’s first-ever government relations fellowship program. Airbnb will provide CBCI with housing coupons to help fellows cover their housing costs during their respective private sector fellowships this summer.
The CBCI Fannie Lou Hamer Fellowship aims to create a pipeline for driven, highly-qualified law students interested in government relations as an alternate career path to the traditional practice of law. It answers the call of diversifying corporate government relations departments and K Street lobbying firms. The 6-week program will provide an overview of the lobbying/government relations field through courses offered by the National Lobbying Institute for Ethics, as well as webinars with top lobbyists and public policy experts. Fellows will be placed in government relations offices through partnerships with the Washington Government Relations Group, The Washington Heads of Office, and premier lobbying and government relations firms.
“The Congressional Black Caucus Institute has trained a pipeline of diverse, campaign-ready candidates and operatives for almost two decades. We are expanding that pipeline to include future government relations practitioners who will play an influential role in the policymaking process,” said Vanessa Griddine-Jones, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. “We’re proud to partner with Airbnb for our Fannie Lou Hamer Fellowship to provide the support that our fellows need as they plot their career paths to corporate government relations teams and K Street.”
“At Airbnb we are actively working to increase our employee diversity. We also believe that all US businesses must commit to creating opportunities for Black and other underrepresented communities,” said Cassidy Blackwell, Director of International Communications for Airbnb and a member of CBCI’s 21st Century Council. “We’re proud to be working with CBCI to support that mission and their inaugural corporate fellowship class.”
Airbnb’s partnership with CBCI joins a separate pilot program launched last November to provide transitional housing support to fellows from the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). This program is part of Airbnb’s goal to support the organizations’ long-standing efforts to build a more diverse pipeline of Congressional and public policy talent.
Airbnb is committed to learning from its partnership with CBCI and the initial pilot program and applying lessons for future partnership and collaboration.