Jul 15, 2021 Community

Empowering Communities of Color and Shaping the Future of Work with the National Urban League

By Mariah Ray, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Policy

At DoorDash, our commitment to empowering local economies begins with providing those who power them with tools to earn and grow.

We were privileged to be able to offer work opportunities throughout the pandemic, even as unemployment soared and so many industries faced an uncertain future. Between March and September 2020, 1.9 million new Dashers joined the DoorDash platform. Dashers who live in zip codes with above-average Black or Latino representation earned $2.1 billion in that period. Dashing provided a way for people to quickly access earnings opportunities, and the opportunities were extended to local businesses as well. As part of our five-year, $200 million Main Street Strong Pledge, we supported merchants through a $10 million Local Restaurant Grant Program and our Main Street Strong Accelerator, with an emphasis on supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic including businesses owned by underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Today, our partner, the National Urban League, released its annual State of Black America report. This report continues to serve as a necessary pulse check on the progress of Black America, and DoorDash is honored to be included in this year’s edition with a guest essay from our CEO, Tony Xu, on why the future of work must be based on where we’re going instead of where we used to be.

As Tony notes in his guest essay, it’s critical that our nation recovers from the pandemic in a just way, rooted in equity and access so that every community, especially communities of color, can thrive. The road to an equitable recovery includes access to flexible earnings opportunities that help people support themselves and their families on a schedule that works for them. Across the U.S., over 90% of Dashers work fewer than 10 hours per week in 2020. On average, Dashers deliver for fewer than 4 hours per week. We’re also proud to keep connecting local businesses with customers in new ways so they can compete in the modern economy.

“The pandemic didn’t simply unmask the stark racial inequities in our economic, health care and public safety institutions; it fueled a demand for racial justice,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “We’re proud to work with partners like DoorDash who recognize the need for systemic change and are committed to being a part of that change.”

Working to help propel communities forward, DoorDash is proud to partner with the National Urban League in developing the Financial Empowerment Program, set to launch in Fall 2021. This first-of-its kind program is designed to help NUL’s audiences — including Dashers — attain new job skills and build generational wealth through online education on financial literacy, educational funding, money management, and more. We believe we have a responsibility to take action and create what we want to be seen in the world around us. Providing tools that can help people on their path to financial security is one part of that responsibility.

“Dashing has given me the flexibility to work while attending grad school, in addition to helping me to fund my filmmaking goals. I am grateful for DoorDash and the National Urban League’s Financial Empowerment Program that will help me work towards my goals of home ownership and a better financial future,” — Vanessa Herron, Dasher, Thousand Oaks, California.

The National Urban League’s State of Black America report serves as a powerful benchmark of the work being done nationwide to promote equity and access. DoorDash is proud to continue our partnership with an important organization like the National Urban League to further our commitment to empowering Black Dashers, merchants, and communities