Immigrant Heritage stories: Kim in New York

Airbnb is proud to partner with I Am An Immigrant—a nonprofit organization that honors the connections between America and the immigrants who’ve built it—to celebrate the diverse international community we’re all a part of. As part of this partnership, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories of hospitality and belonging as seen through the lens of the immigrant experience. Find out more at www.iamanimmigrant.com.

“I remember being surprised by the level of diversity in the United States. Often times, when it is presented abroad through the media, it is not advertised as a country built by immigrants. It was exciting for me to feel connected to the culture through the legacy of immigrants and the black diaspora… Being an immigrant allowed me to be more understanding and open to the cultures and life experiences of others.” — Kim, an Airbnb employee in New York

Kim has been working at Airbnb for three years as a Community Organizer, serving as a resource to the Airbnb community in New York as they work through the legitimization process of home sharing, growing Airbnb’s host community in predominantly marginalized and underserved communities, and building strategic partnerships. Originally from Haiti, Kim moved to the US a decade ago while Haiti was going through a period of political unrest.

“Airbnb is special because we place such a big emphasis on the concept of community, both internally and externally. It’s not often that you find a company where the business model relies so heavily on human connections and interactions.”

Education has always been a priority for Kim, who was performing at a college level at a very young age. Her parents always valued education, and emphasized the importance of school and being self-empowered. Her passion for education and multicultural understanding helped her transition to life in the US.

“My first experiences at school, work and my local community helped unmask the very real and present conflict between the different ideologies and cultural practices in the United States.”

Kim’s love of travel originally drew her to Airbnb. Airbnb was interesting and unique to her as a tech company because it fosters real-world, human connections by bringing hosts and guests from all walks of life together. Making travel more accessible is important in helping people discover their similarities and celebrate their differences.

“I’m lucky to be working in an office where our team reflects the market we are focused on and understands the value of having people from different walks of life work together.”