By Ryan Velez
You may recall a few months ago when Black Girls Code actually turned down a $125,000 grant from Uber. Now, Black Enterprise reports that the organization has partnered with the ride-sharing service’s biggest rival, Lyft.
On Friday, Lyft revealed that it added Black Girls Code to a list of non-profits that benefit from its Round Up & Donate program, which allows customers to round up their fares to the nearest dollar and give the extra cash to charitable causes. This program has raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Human Rights Campaign, Girls Who Code, Habitat for Humanity, and the ACLU Foundation to date, at over $4 million in total.
“Our partnership with Black Girls CODE represents our long-term commitment to inclusivity with an organization who for years has done the important work of affirming and empowering young girls of color with a passion for innovation in technology,” Lyft head of diversity and inclusion Tariq Meyers said in a statement.
Black Girls Code teaches and exposes African American girls to computer coding and other STEM-related skills. They are very selective when choosing what organizations to partner with. “We look very closely at prospective partners with that in mind and pay special attention to those that believe in the power of community to affect change,” said the group’s founder, Kimberly Bryant, according to TechCrunch. “Through the work they’ve done over the years, we know Lyft embodies these same attributes and they share in our mission of coming together to provide young girls of color with the skills they need to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”
So, why didn’t Uber make the cut? The initial grant offer was made during a time where the company was dealing with a series of allegations of s*xual harassment and lack of diversity last August. Bryant called the move “PR-driven” while calling out the fact that Girls Who Code got an offer nearly ten times as large.
“We were not happy with some of the things that were occurring in the organization around the treatment of women as well as the treatment of underrepresented minorities,” she told USA Today about Uber. “We also wanted to make sure that we were supported in a way that we felt we deserved.”