Celebrating Juneteenth & Supporting BIPOC on our Platform
155 years ago on June 19th, hundreds of thousands of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas learned that the Civil War had ended, and that they were free from the institution of slavery. Even though the anniversary of that day — known as “Juneteenth” — is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States, it isn’t recognized as an official national holiday. Nor has Corporate America typically given the day off to employees. It’s long past time to change that.
Postmates has designated Juneteenth as a permanent paid company holiday, to address what’s needed for us all to work together to address systemic racism, and as a time to learn from and reflect on the Black American experience. We’re celebrating our first Juneteenth holiday this year with a festival that will include an art show where participants can bid on artwork Postmates has purchased from Black artists and creators in our fleet. We’ll donate the funds from the winning bids to the non-profits of the artists’ choosing.
Our commitment to celebrate Juneteenth is just one of a number of new initiatives at Postmates to make our platform more diverse and inclusive, and to respond to the demands for racial justice that have been spurred by ongoing protests across the country. We said early on that the responsibility to stand up to systemic racism falls on each of us, and so Postmates is pursuing the ways in which we can live up to that responsibility.
In addition to our Juneteenth celebration, Postmates is taking a number of immediate steps to make our fleet safer and more inclusive by incorporating valuable feedback the company has received from our Fleet Advisory Board (FAB). The FAB — a group of some of our top-performing couriers who help elevate the fleet’s voice to company leaders — have provided a number of suggestions for how Postmates can better support Black and underrepresented people on our platform. Based on those suggestions, Postmates is taking the following actions:
- We’re making it easier for couriers to report to Postmates when and where they’re feeling unsafe on the job. This includes collecting reports of incidents where couriers are targeted or harassed so we can take action to address discrimination taking place against our workers. No courier should ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable when they’re on the job and we have the responsibility to address and respond to racism and discrimination aimed at the people who power our platform.
- We’re also developing a program to support racial justice advocacy organizations nominated by Fleet members. Postmates will donate either financial or technical assistance to those organizations and grow our ongoing support of organizations that are making communities safer and stronger for all.
- And finally, we’re elevating Black merchants on the platform through our in-app collection of Black-owned restaurants so that customers can easily identify and order from them in their area. We also made delivery free for customers and removed commissions on deliveries from Black-owned businesses for the rest of June. In some cities, we’ve already seen orders from Black-owned restaurants quadruple, and we’re excited to continue finding ways to support the BIPOC merchants we are proud to partner with.
We’re committed to continuing to leverage the power of our platform and our community to stand with our Black merchant partners, workers, and customers. The last few weeks have weighed heavily on all of our hearts, but especially on theirs, and it’s important that we listen to their needs and take action to show our support and commitment to change. Celebrating Juneteenth, making our platform safer and more inclusive for couriers, and supporting nonprofits and Black-owned businesses is just the beginning of how we’re responding to the demands for racial justice, and we look forward to what comes next.