This May marks a painful anniversary for Black Americans and their allies around the world. For many, vivid memories linger of the shocking video showing an officer, charged with public protection, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Nine minutes and 29 seconds later, Floyd was gone, and the world reacted to another traumatic death of a Black man at the hands of an officer.
These memories are particularly acute today in the aftermath of the Derek Chauvin trial and guilty verdict. Through the lens of the trial, we have relived media reports from last spring and summer that recounted the public response—explosive outrage, nightly vigils and protests across the U.S. and around the world.
During the same period, we also saw increased focus on the health inequities and economic disparities weighing heavily on Black Americans given the pandemic. That focus meant an opportunity for corporations to lead with purpose, and many did step into the fray for justice last year.
Some launched Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts for the first time. Others stepped-up their DE&I commitments to employees and their promises to the world. Many organizations made bold public statements expressing support for the Black community and announced an intention to do their part to create a more just and equitable society. It was a moment that woke many Americans up to a tragic reality of Black life. But, for all the genuine sentiment, worthwhile effort and activism, what has really changed for Black Americans?
Click here to download our findings and counsel for navigating the commemoration of this anniversary.