We asked 3 Airbnb hosts how they felt about the company banning white supremacists.

Airbnb's decision to issue lifetime bans to users planning to attend a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday is winning the company plenty of fans locally.

The move, which drew immediate scorn from the rally's organizers and "alt-right" sympathizers — earned praise from residents who share their homes on the service.

In conversations with half-a-dozen Airbnb hosts in the Charlottesville area, none said they'd been contacted by members of the rally group, though most said they were relieved that the company was taking steps to ban them. A rally in May, led by writer Richard Spencer, drew over 100 torch-bearing white nationalist activists to the community. A July Ku Klux Klan rally to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue ended when local police intervened to break up clashes between rally-goers and counter-protesters.


"Most of us are on edge because the potential for violence is so great," says Aly B. Snider, who operates two Airbnb listings, including a tiny house and a cottage close to downtown. "Many don't understand why a hate group was given a permit."

City officials expect 400 people at the demonstration, according to the document, though local police have indicated they're preparing for up to 4,000, including counter-protesters.

Snider says that she's grateful the company supports her in refusing to rent to those who want to "come into [the] community and cause problems," though she and others were careful to note they support the group's right to free speech.

Attendees at a July KKK rally in Charlottesville. Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images.

Airbnb host Marybeth, who hadn't heard about the ban, agrees that while AirBnB has the right to ban whoever it wants, the protesters "have the right to peacefully assemble and say things that might offend others." She dismisses the group as a "vocal minority" and feels most of the coverage of the upcoming rally is overblown.

Airbnb recently faced criticism from users for failing to adequately respond to the discriminatory booking practices of some hosts.

A study conducted by three Harvard Business School researchers, published in April, found that potential renters with "black-sounding" names were 16% less likely to be approved for a reservation than identical guests whose names appeared white.

The company hired a director of diversity in 2016 to oversee efforts to review hiring — the room-sharing service's staff, like many in tech, is predominately white — and to help develop measures to prevent booking bias.

Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images.

Last month, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing fined a host who dismissed an Asian guest with a racially-tinged comment, under a recent agreement with Airbnb that permits the agency to pursue such complaints.

Jason Lappa, a Charlottesville photographer who rents out his upstairs apartment on Airbnb, "fully [supports] the ban," which he attributes to the company's commitment to "community and inclusiveness."

In his view, the white supremacist protesters are simply desperate for attention. "This is their 15 minutes," he says.

Lappa attended and photographed the counter-protest of the July KKK rally — and left with a face full of tear gas after police intervened.

Nevertheless, he says, the brief scuffle failed to rattle the tight-knit community of Charlottesville, which bounced back to normal the following day.

"Nothing was different, people of all backgrounds and colors were doing what they always do, getting coffee, laughing with friends, eating great food, and ultimately, the Klan's presence had a zero sum effect," he says.

He believes Saturday's rally will be "more of the same."

Regardless of how the alt-rightists choose to send their message, they for sure won't be crashing at Lappa's place — soon or ever.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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