The alarming rise in xenophobic and racist hate crimes against Asian Americans over the last year, coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and racist rhetoric tied to the virus, is heartbreaking to witness. These latest attacks are yet another reminder that we must all use our voices and whatever platform we have to reject racism in all forms. As part of our continued commitment to stand in solidarity with communities of color, we at Yelp condemn this senseless violence and are committed to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, inside and outside our organization. Building on our commitment, today we’re sharing a few updates on what Yelp is doing to drive much-needed change.
Making it easy to support Asian-owned businesses
Today, in partnership with Gold House, we announced a new business attribute that will give businesses the ability to self-identify as Asian-owned if they choose to do so, and make it easy for users to find and support Asian-owned businesses on Yelp. Over the last year we’ve seen a rise in interest from consumers looking to support Asian business owners on Yelp as the rate of searches for Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 3,404% in February 2021 compared to the same period the year prior. Patronizing Asian-owned businesses is one small step we can all take to drive meaningful change and create lasting impact.
Supporting AAPI-serving organizations
During the months of April and May, the Yelp Foundation will double match Yelp employee donations to select Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving organizations that are fighting to stop Asian hate, and will also double match donations employees made in March. This list of organizations include:
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
- Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA)
- National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
- National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
- Stop AAPI Hate
As some of the horrific incidents were caused by gun violence, the Yelp Foundation will also double match employee donations to Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence during the same period.
Taking care of our employees
As we mourn the lives lost in the recent attacks in Atlanta as well as the many other victims of anti-Asian hate, I acknowledge the fear, pain, and frustration of our Asian and Pacific Islander employees, and have encouraged them to take the time to take care of themselves and each other. We’re hosting ongoing virtual events for our AAPI employees to create a space to process these recent events together in a safe forum. We’ve also established a new Yelp employee resource group (YERG) for our AAPI employee community, facilitating a dedicated space for conversation, support, and shared learning and development — this new YERG builds on Diverseburst, our long-established YERG for people of color and their allies. For the wider employee population, we’ve provided resources to learn about the realities Asian communities face and amplify the voices that need our attention.
These small steps build on the continued progress we’re making on our commitment to help create the change we want to see in the world here at Yelp and across our platform. We will continue to listen and learn where we can take further action to help put an end to racism and discrimination, and lay the groundwork for change that is long overdue.