Good Morning

Lyft forms alliance with leading organizations — including My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an Obama Foundation initiative, and The National Urban League — to help eliminate transportation as a barrier to upward mobility for under-resourced Black communities

Good Morning

By Valerie Jarrett, Lyft Board Member and Former Senior Advisor to President Obama

As we all know, access to basic needs — food, healthcare, employment, and reliable transportation — is essential to one’s livelihood. Yet, the destructive impacts of COVID-19 and other systemic inequities have laid bare the longstanding disadvantages faced by under-resourced Black communities in accessing these necessities. As we think about ways in which we can uniquely meet their needs across the nation, we recognize that reliable transportation is one of the biggest drivers of social and economic mobility

At this moment in history, it is more important than ever to remove barriers that stand in the way of people’s ability to access essential needs and opportunities; and as a result, make a meaningful difference for people in need.

This is why, today, I’m excited to announce that I will be chairing a new initiative called the LyftUp Access Alliance. For this initiative, Lyft is joining forces with impact-driven organizations; each of which will connect us to individuals who can benefit the most. We’ll work with partners like My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an Obama Foundation initiative, and the National Urban League to help eliminate transportation as a barrier to upward mobility.

LyftUp Access Alliance Founding Members include:

  • My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an Obama Foundation initiative

  • The National Urban League

  • Black Women's Roundtable

  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

  • The National Action Network

  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund

  • United Negro College Fund

  • National Bail Fund Network

  • NAACP

  • US Black Chamber of Commerce

  • National Black Chamber of Commerce 

Together, we will provide access to 1.5 million rides* to help under-resourced Black communities reach a powerful network of essential resources and services that’ll help meet the challenges we face in this moment of crisis, and to ensure that we all emerge stronger and more empowered on the other side. As part of that commitment, all LyftUp Community Grants for the remainder of 2020 will go toward local organizations directly supporting communities of color.

Collectively, these organizations were already providing services to millions of people per day before the COVID-19 crisis. Today, with millions of Black people without work, and many more holding essential jobs, these organizations are on the front lines of this crisis. From COVID testing and food delivery to mental health and job readiness, the LyftUp Access Alliance will support access to the essential services Black individuals and Black communities need to survive and thrive in the wake of COVID.

LyftUp Ride Access programs help people access essential services every day. Right now, LyftUp is helping under-resourced communities with access to family, food and medical care during the COVID emergency and helping healthcare and other essential workers get to the front lines. Chairing the LyftUp Access Alliance —  which will open doors of social and economic mobility for Black people — is my way of saying count me in. I hope you will join me.

If you work for a local nonprofit or community organization, please apply for a LyftUp Community Grant to help provide transportation access to your community. If you are an individual wanting to join us in this work, you can learn more and donate rides by visiting Lyft.com/LyftUp.

I sign off with this quote from Maya Angelou that greatly inspires our work.

“Here, on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, into Your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.”

Good morning, indeed. 

*Lyft and its LyftUp programs and partnerships will collectively help provide access to an estimated 1.5M car, bike and scooter rides (calculated based on average cost of each mode) through 2024 to help people in need reach food, essential jobs and services.