By Henry Mubiru
April 2021 saw former police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of all charges over George Floyd’s death. The death of George Floyd in May 2021 prompted international outrage and a movement against police brutality, and a global conversation around race and the black experience today. To some, the verdict was a surprise in a country where police are rarely prosecuted for custodial deaths. While this verdict has been celebrated as a long-awaited step in the right direction for racial justice in the US, it’s still just the beginning – sparking a new era of policing and accountability. In the US, police are responsible for the deaths of 319 people this year alone. Beyond these murders, police continue to have coercive but non-fatal interactions with people, especially Black, brown and people living in poverty, that do nothing to advance public safety. A study from the University College London’s institute for global city policing found that young black males in London were 19 times more likely to be stopped and searched than the general population. A criminal conviction for this incident is unlikely to change the systemic problems within policing, both in the U.S and the UK. In addition to the content below, we recommend reading this article from the Evening Standard, where senior ex-Metropolitan police officer, Leroy Logan speaks about the growing cycle of violence and retribution in London.
Additionally, April is Autism Awareness Month and the 2nd April was also World Autism Awareness Day. This is an internationally recognised day and month that encourages every country to take measures to raise awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome throughout the world. The UN General Assembly declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day to “highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.” While the pandemic has exposed glaring inequalities around the world, people with Autism have long faced many of these inequalities. This day and month aim to address these issues and create a conversation that advocates for inclusion of people on the Autistic spectrum. To learn more, have a read of this article from the UN which goes into greater depth on the meaning of World Autism Awareness Day.
Please see below for some of the DE&I content that we read and discussed in April.
It was a landmark case for police violence against black people, and the verdict marks a significant victory for the activists who have pushed for policing reform: Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. This article from the BBC speaks on how this event will impact the police force and future cases that come before the court.
British artist, Henny Beaumont, has started a campaign to "remember and honour" every single woman killed by a man in Britain last year by painting their portrait. The North London artist got the idea after hearing Labour MP Jess Phillips read out all 118 names in the House of Commons on International Women's Day.
Older drinkers are at risk of being discriminated against for not having smartphones to order food and drinks at pubs and restaurants, a charity has warned. As lockdown restrictions eased in England some pubs are asking punters to order beverages through an online app in order to minimise contact with staff. Age UK said the measure rules out half of those aged 65 to 74 and 70% of the over-75s because they do not use a smartphone.
The French Senate has voted in favour of banning Muslim women under the age of 18 from wearing the hijab in public places. The bill also seeks to outlaw Muslim mothers from accompanying their children on school trips while wearing the hijab, refuse women wearing a burkini entry to public swimming pools and ban the hijab in French universities. This article talks about why these discriminatory policies will restrict Muslim women in almost every aspect of their life.
To learn more about Allison+Partners DE&I work in the company, please check out our recent blog post, “Embracing A+P’s Racial, Cultural and Ethnic Differences”, by Adina James and Pearl Xu!