Recent polls suggest that, in just over a month, somewhere between 15 million and 26 million people in the United States have participated in protests over the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people. Demonstrations have taken place in rural areas, small towns, and big cities. They have been incredibly diverse. And now, there is evidence that Black Lives Matter is the biggest movement in US history. Two-thirds of American adults say they support Black Lives Matter, with 38% saying they strongly support it. It is no wonder, then, that many companies felt compelled to respond.
Quickly, our inboxes and social media feeds filled with statements from CEOs, brands, and celebrities making new and renewed pledges to fight racism and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Pressure for companies and organizations to do better came from the inside as well as the outside, with many corporations and nonprofits receiving backlash over perceived hypocrisy. In the media industry, for example, public disclosures by workers about racism led to prominent firings and resignations.
A lot of the disclosures, in the media sector and beyond, were related to hiring and promotion practices, and racist company culture. And, across sectors, many action commitments—both in response to the protests and to criticism from workers and the public—seemed to focus in this realm as well.
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