Writing for Refinery29, Olivia Harrison reports Bajan American Rohan Gilkes has created an answer to discrimination against “black sounding names” by white Airbnb owners by creating Innclusive.com, a competitor that strives to make accommodations available to all people and discourages discrimination in the process. Harrison writes:
“Gilkes is one of many people of color who have experienced discrimination while trying to book through Airbnb, but he wasn’t going to sit back and just let it happen. As a tech entrepreneur who’s launched several successful startups, he used his experience as the starting point for a new business.
Innclusive — originally named Noirebnb — is a competitor to Airbnb that strives to make users (all users) feel welcome. When asked in an interview with Fusion how his company differs from competitors, Gilkes said, ‘It seems really simple, but we actually start with our marketing. For the longest while, when you looked on Airbnb, there weren’t many black people on their site as a part of their promotional material.’ Gilkes wanted to make sure all types of users were reflected in Innclusive’s marketing.
Innclusive also has policies that discourage discrimination. Gilkes told The Root that his service does not permit hosts to relist their property during dates they have previously told users are unavailable. If one person can’t book during a given date, no one can.”
Gilkes’experience with Airbnb has been supported by a Harvard University study which found that Airbnb hosts are 16% less likely to book users with “distinctively African-American names.”
Read more at Refinery 29.