Ten HBCUs are set to participate in a community education program launched by Apple. (Photo by: Shutterstock/michaeljung)

News Roundup: A Strike for Black Lives, a Tech Partnership for HBCUs, and a Neck Restraint Ban in Minnesota

Check out our news roundup of diversity and inclusion updates and insights from across the U.S.:

Minnesota Lawmakers Ban Neck Restraints, Initiate Police Reform

Almost two months to the day that George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the Minnesota Legislature has passed a broad slate of police accountability measures including a complete ban on neck restraints,” the Associated Press reports. “This is a really a great bill, but it is only a first step,” Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said at a news conference. “It paves the way for transformational change, but it doesn’t bring about transformational change.”

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U.S. Lost Jobs After COVID-19 But D&I Positions Made a Major Comeback

When COVID-19 began to make a big impact in mid-March, postings for job titles such as “chief diversity officer,” “diversity and inclusion recruiter” or “D&I program manager” fell nearly 60%, the Washington Post reports. However, after Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality sparked global engagement, those same job postings bounced back 50% in June.  It was the largest percentage increase over a four-week period since January 2016.

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For the Third Straight Year, LGBTQ Character Diversity in Films Decline

Last year saw record-setting representation of LGBTQ characters in the 118 films released by major studios, according to GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group. But for the third straight year, the racial diversity of LGBTQ characters has decreased.  In 2019, 34% of LGBTQ characters were nonwhite. That’s down from 42% in 2018 and 57% in 2017, the study found. “GLAAD is ​calling on the studios to ensure that within two years at least half of their LGBTQ characters are people of color,” a representative told the Washington Post.

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10 HBCUs Set to Join Tech Partnership Initiative

Apple plans to add 10 more HBCUs to its community education program meant to create opportunities for people who want to learn coding skills, USA Today reported. The announcement comes a month after the company launched a racial equality initiative aimed at communities of color. Of the 24 locations listed in Apple’s Community Education initiative, 12 are HBCUs.

Apple’s workforce is 9% Black — but that drops to 3% in leadership roles. Its share of Black technical workers remained flat at 6% from the end of 2013 through the end of 2017, the last year Apple published diversity data.

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Workers Walk Off Their Jobs in “The Strike for Black Lives”

The “Strike for Black Lives” led to tens of thousands of people walking off their jobs on Monday in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Washington Post reports. Members of the Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Teachers, and dozens of other labor and political groups participated. Organizers encouraged people who were unable to actually leave their jobs to either take a knee or break away from working for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which was the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck, eventually killing him.

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