Corporate Accountability: One Year Later

Of the $50 billion corporations have committed to addressing racial inequality in the year since George Floyd’s death, a new analysis estimates only $250 million–or .5%–has  been spent. 

The anniversary of George Floyd’s death marks a year of reckoning with racial injustice. And one of the most important ways companies can mark the anniversary is to take a hard look at their own progress towards diversity, equity and inclusion goals within their own walls and broader communities.

The 2019 statement signed by 181 CEOs expanding the role of corporations to encompass social responsibilities besides maximizing profits for shareholders was quickly tested by the pandemic and racial justice demonstrations last spring.

And shareholders are likely to hold companies’ feet to the fire, with the opportunity to vote on 300 ESG proposals this spring. 

On the legislative side, Congress is unlikely to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act police reform bill on this anniversary— President Joe Biden’s deadline to approve legislation— or before the end of the week. 

However, top negotiators Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) are expected to continue talks this week, with Sen. Booker commenting that they are “making good progress, hopeful progress, but we still have some work — a lot of work to do.” 

President Biden was hosting Floyd’s family at the White House today to help build pressure for the legislation.