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Building Black, elevating the neighborhood, and fueling career journeys at AfroTech 

June 16, 2023

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Raj Prashad

The neighborhood offers an opportunity to garner wealth, but also serves as a space to celebrate Black culture in a unique way. Simply put, when we empower and support Black-owned merchants and build pathways for the Black gig economy, it elevates the neighborhood. And that’s how we showed up at AfroTech, backed by the idea that when we build Black, we elevate the neighborhood.

Our presence at AfroTech across four days was energizing, offering opportunities for members of our Black@ Employee Resource Group, our recruiting teams, executives, and students that we sponsored to attend AfroTech to build community, connect with a diverse network of talented professionals, and share how DoorDash has brought to life some of the most rewarding work of our team’s careers. 

At our booth, we partnered with an Austin-based, Black-owned business — SLAB BBQ — to fuel the Expo Hall and convey our commitment to elevating the neighborhood alongside local merchants. We welcomed an on-demand mental health specialist to consult attendees and had representatives from DoorDash available to speak about what life at DoorDash is like.

On the Learning Lab stage, NASCAR star Bubba Wallace joined our very own Imani Grant to represent DoorDash and speak on his career, becoming one of the lone Black drivers in NASCAR, and how he’s remained true to himself. 

Throughout an engaging conversation, Bubba reflected on how he continues to break barriers as a trailblazer for Black drivers in NASCAR, pointing back to a tweet from 2017, where he told critics to “embrace it, accept it, and enjoy the journey.”

Bubba spoke on what it’s like being one of few Black drivers in NASCAR, and how despite feeling outside pressure, he’s remained authentically himself.

“I don't really sugar coat anything and that gets me in a lot of trouble. It's okay because that's who I am. It just so happens I was asked, ‘What does NASCAR need to do to take the next step to provide inclusion for everybody?’ And it was as simple as removing the confederate flag,” Bubba said.

“I didn't talk about it with anybody. I didn’t prep myself. I grew up in the South, I'm from Alabama, and I moved there when I was two. It wasn't until 2020 when the world was turned upside down, we had so many tweets that indirectly involved me about NASCAR and the flag from a lot of people saying, ‘I'll never go to a race or I'll never go back to a race because of the flag.’ And so (I just started working to figure out) what do we need to do to get rid of the thing? That was my opinion and to see where we're at now, to see how much NASCAR has changed the last two years has been incredible.”

s that indirectly involved me about NASCAR and the flag from a lot of people saying, ‘I'll never go to a race or I'll never go back to a race because of the flag.’ And so (I just started working to figure out) what do we need to do to get rid of the thing? That was my opinion and to see where we're at now, to see how much NASCAR has changed the last two years has been incredible.”

Bubba’s conversation offered attendees guidance on never deviating from who they are, and how he’s found success, happiness, and confidence by identifying ways to show self appreciation. After his rousing conversation, Bubba stuck around at our booth to meet with attendees, sign autographs, take photos, and engage in conversation. 

To round out our experience at AfroTech, Black leaders and change-makers across all industries and professions joined together for the Black Excellence Brunch, powered by DoorDash, to honor Black Excellence, build community, and share thought leadership. 

Across four day at AfroTech, we showed up, showed out, and had an unbelievable time building community. While the conference has wrapped up, we continue to prioritize investing in and advancing opportunities for historically underrepresented people. Our success as a company is firmly rooted in our inclusive culture and in advancing diversity throughout DoorDash to ensure we reflect the global audiences we serve.

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