By: Tasia Hawkins, Social Impact Manager, and Bie Aweh, Senior People Growth Manager of Women and URT Development
February 1st marks the start of Black History Month, a time of remembrance and celebration of Black achievements and history across the country. This month at DoorDash, in partnership with the Black@ DoorDash Employee Resource Group, we are anchoring our work and programs to one word: thrive. We want to empower the Black community – including merchants, Dashers, employees and beyond – to thrive in all aspects of their lives: professionally, financially, mentally and physically. Our goal is not to ignore the past, but to embrace the present and realize the endless possibilities to thrive in the future.
This will come to life in a variety of activities, programs, initiatives and events both internally and with our community that are designed to bring us together and help propel us all to reach our highest potential.
In July 2020, we launched a series of initiatives to support and highlight Black-owned restaurants and Black entrepreneurs in the food industry. We’re proud that hundreds of businesses across the United States have opted into the program this past year.
“We were a brand new company when the pandemic began. Without the visibility, resources and additional incentives we gained by utilizing the DoorDash platform and participating in programs like their Black-owned business program, we would not be in operation today.” – Brittney Hawkins-Dobard, Founder & Owner of NoLa Cookie
This month, we will continue to use our platform to highlight and support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in order to help them thrive. For each order placed from a Black-owned restaurant starting today, February 1, through February 28th, DoorDash will donate $1 (up to $100,000), splitting the funds equally between Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance*. Donations to Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice will be used to expand their grant program to Black-owned restaurants across the South, and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance will use donations to help strengthen their mission of advancing food sovereignty and economic self-determination for Black communities across the United States.
“The Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice fund started as a way to attempt to do big work with collective small actions. Formed in June of 2020 after the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, SRRJ was established by a community of business owners and food professionals who aimed to co-align in an effort to extend support to Black-owned businesses in our communities in the south. Our aim is to continue these collective small actions to contribute to the greater balance of equity in the restaurant industry and to, ultimately, serve as an important resource as restaurants rebuild and refocus as we find our way out of this economically disastrous time of Covid-19. We hope to be a resource that grows and changes as the need requires and this partnership with DoorDash truly opens the door for that kind of longevity of potential purpose.” – Lisa Donovan, Founder, Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice
Customers can find Black-owned restaurants in their community by searching “Black owned” on the DoorDash and Caviar app or website or visiting the carousels in app in select cities.
“Black-owned businesses are the pillars of strength in the neighborhoods they serve, and it was the swift support of partners like DoorDash highlighting Black-owned business like my very own, providing programs and tools in support of communities of color, and forming partnerships for financial outreach for which I am forever grateful.” – William Bonhorst, Owner & CEO, Man v. Fries
“We are very excited to be a part of the DoorDash Black-owned business program because this gives customers the opportunity to discover and support restaurants like ours. In these challenging times Black-owned restaurants have been hit hard and we need support more than ever. DoorDash Black-owned business program helps bring to light the wonderful array of foods that Black people have to offer.” – Gwen Niles, The Crabby Shack
In addition to these efforts, Black-owned businesses access matched loans through Kiva, and small businesses advising through Start Small Think Big. Businesses that would like to self-identify as a Black owned business can learn more here.
In celebration of the many ways we can thrive, it’s also incredibly important to build up our community, so we’ll be hosting events open to DoorDash partner merchants, organized by our internal Black Employee Resources Group. Events include:
- Fireside Chat + AMA with Bubba Wallace: DoorDash will host an AMA and fireside conversation with Bubba Wallace, open to merchant partners to attend. Bubba has been breaking barriers since he entered the sport of NASCAR, becoming the first African-American driver in several decades to win a national series race and be a full-time driver in the premier NASCAR Cup Series.
- Challenging Anti-Black Racism Through Allyship With the #BlackLivesMatter movement fueling America’s overdue reckoning over racism, we are observing an earnest desire to learn, reflect, and fight racism from all corners of the world. This workshop is a direct response to the call for unapologetic, courageous conversations around anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and thoughtful allyship. Collectively, we will create a compassionate space to have courageous conversations that will deepen our commitment to the long-term journey of becoming anti-racist. This session is for people who have expressed an explicit desire to deepen their understanding around anti-Black racism and how to practice allyship.
We will share details with merchant partners in the coming days to RSVP for these events.
We will continue our work to build a platform that reflects the communities we serve, and supporting Black communities and Black-owned businesses. We’ll be sharing more initiatives throughout the month including the details of our Main Street Strong Accelerator program, DoorDash’s program to help people of color and women-owned local businesses gain access to the capital and other tools they need to sustain and grow.
*For every purchase from merchants tagged as Black-owned between February 1st and February 28th 2021, DoorDash will donate $1 (up to $100,000) splitting the funds equally between Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance. Donations will be distributed through Round It Up America, up to $100,000.