Airbnb will join with the NAACP in a new partnership. Getty

Airbnb has joined up with the NAACP in a partnership aimed at encouraging communities of color to use the home-rental service.

As part of the partnership, the NAACP and Airbnb will conduct outreach efforts through local NAACP chapters to highlight the financial benefits of Airbnb and encourage members to join the service. Airbnb has also agreed to a revenue sharing agreement and will give 20 percent of earnings gained through the partnership back to the NAACP.

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In a statement, interim NAACP CEO and president Derrick Johnson said the agreement will give its members and communities a chance to more easily take advantage of Airbnb’s services and features.

“For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations,” Johnson said. “This groundbreaking partnership with Airbnb will help bring new jobs and economic opportunities to our communities. Airbnb’s commitment to that goal is a tremendous step in the right direction for Silicon Valley to opens its doors to African-Americans and other communities.”

Elsewhere, the NAACP will also help support several diversity efforts for Airbnb. The company wants to expand its share of employees from underrepresented communities to 11 percent by the end of the year. By the end of 2019, it also wants to draw at least 11 percent of its suppliers from women, members of the LGBTQ community and similar communities.

As with many tech companies, Airbnb has its share of struggles with workforce diversity — according to its 2016 report, black employees made of 2.9 percent of its workforce, while Hispanic or Latino staffers had a 6.5 percent share.

“Airbnb is democratizing capitalism. Instead of a corporation controlling the supply and distributing the profits, hosts decide when they offer their space and keep 97% of what they charge for their listing,” Belinda Johnson, Airbnb’s Chief Business Affairs Officer, said in a statement. “Our fastest-growing communities across major US cities are in communities of color and we’ve seen how home sharing is an economic lifeline for families. This partnership will build on this incredible progress. The NAACP is unrivaled in its tireless work to expand economic opportunities for minority communities and we look forward to collaborating with their talented team.”

The Airbnb logo is displayed on a computer screen on August 3, 2016 in London, England. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

In the past, Airbnb has had its struggles handling renters who’ve cancelled reservations from minority users or directed racist and verbal abuse at them. A Harvard Business School study from 2014 found that users with African-American sounding names were 16 percent less likely to be approved for Airbnb listings.

In 2016, North Carolina Airbnb user Todd Warner was banned from the service for life after cancelling a Northwestern University student’s reservation and sending messages that included telling her to "find another place to rest your n----- head." On Twitter, users used the hashtag #airbnbwhileblack to share stories of their difficulties using the service.

Earlier this month, California Airbnb renter Tami Barker was fined $5,000 and ordered to take a course in Asian-American studies after cancelling a reservation because it was from an Asian Airbnb user, The Guardian reported. Barker’s case was also the first instance where Airbnb hosts were penalized on racial discrimination claims thanks to the housing platform's new agreement with California's department of fair employment and housing.

For users from communities of color, Airbnb has been working to improve its customer experience. While Airbnb previously took a hands-on approach to cases of racial discrimination among its users, Airbnb released the results of a report in late 2016 that detailed how it plans to improve the booking experience for users from communities of color. Initiatives from the report included new policies that prevent hosts from lying about their listing being unavailable and easier ways to report hate speech from other users.

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In the report, Laura Murphy, former director at the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington D.C. office, said Airbnb had the ability to play an important role in improving the quality of its service for people of color.

“These changes are merely a first step. Airbnb understands that no one company can eliminate racism and discrimination. Fighting bias is an ongoing task that requires constant vigilance from all of us. And there is no question that we will continue to see examples of bias and discrimination in society, the sharing economy, and Airbnb in the future. As certain product tools are built and implemented, they will need to be refined and updated. The task of fighting discrimination is difficult, but Airbnb is committed to continuing this work in the future, and I will personally hold them to their word.