In 2020, Uber called for anyone who tolerated racism to delete their app. Sadly, the number of incidents and complaints remained consistent. And while overt forms of racism are easy to identify and report, everyday micro-aggressions are more insidious, causing a lot of harm to the community. Uber asked us to help them develop a platform to educate and inform their community of earners and riders.
2020 - 2021
Racist attacks and incidents on the Uber platform increased in large metropolitan areas since the murder of George Floyd. The use of the N-word in incident reports also increased during the uprising of BLM movements.
We don’t believe in picking fights, unless we’re standing up to a bully. And in this case, racism was asking for it.
Micro-aggressions, often described as “death by a thousand paper cuts,” are a difficult concept to grasp, unless you’ve experienced them firsthand. We needed to make viewers feel the issue. To move them past sympathy and create true empathy.
“Stereotypes are an empathy blocker.”
W. Kay Wilson - "The Dangers of Othering in the Quest to Belong"
We created two immersive stories, taking the viewer through a day in the life of a driver and rider of color. We also created an online destination for educational content, developed in partnership with Paradigm, to help people understand what micro-aggressions are, how to recognize them, what to say or do instead, how to interrupt racism, and how to practice inclusion.
“Implicit racism is so ingrained... It is not enough to say: this is wrong, you cannot say this or that… We need to offer people some clues on what to say instead. Offer model behaviors they can replicate.”
Evelyn Carter - Paradigm, DEI expert
The educational platform was launched in April 2022 and has already garnered lots of traffic. We trust it will help foster understanding and reduce the number of incidents on the platform.
Standing up against racism requires continual learning. If you would like to join us in this journey, we invite you to explore some of the following resources:
In 2015, the American Psychological Association published a report on the physical and psychological impact of racism. You can read a summary of the report’s findings, as well as find the full report, here.
“What Is Systemic Racism?” is a video series that examines how racism shows up across institutions and society. Systemic racism involves the compounding effects of an array of societal factors and interactions of institutions and policies that yield power and privilege for white people, and oppression for people of color.
Finally, we recommend Barbara Love’s Liberatory Consciousness framework for confronting injustice.