San Francisco Declares War on Racism; People 55 and Older Face Historic Levels of Unemployment; and More.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
(Public Domain)

San Francisco begins a citywide war on racism and discrimination.

Known as the birthplace of the “Summer of Love” and the counterculture movement of the 1960s, San Francisco has long stood as a bastion of individuality and inclusion. And now the city is continuing that fight with the launch of its new “Stand Together” campaign. Created by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and other community leaders, the program is designed to denounce and combat discrimination throughout the city through a series of regular town halls, awareness and education programs, community-inspired artwork, and youth-led projects. “San Francisco strives to be a city that celebrates all of its diverse communities, but we know that racism and discrimination persist, and have been heightened due to COVID-19,” Mayor London N. Breed said during his announcement of the program, which could spread to other cities. “It’s important that we talk about what we can do to support each other, and that we don’t shy away from calling out racism and having hard conversations. We need to send a strong signal that San Francisco will not tolerate racial discrimination and that we will stand together to oppose hate.”

Unemployment rates for Gen X and older hit a historic, all-time high.

Younger and midcareer workers historically have higher rates of unemployment than people 55 years old and older. But that trend has been startlingly turned upside down according to a new study from The New School in New York City. Researchers examining unemployment rates from the end of September (the most recent information currently available) found that the level of unemployment for the nation’s most experienced workers is at a 50-year high, with 9.7% of workers currently unemployed, compared to just 8.6% of midcareer workers. The finding shows that during the pandemic, workers 55 and older have lost jobs sooner, been rehired more slowly and continue to face higher job losses than their younger counterparts. According to the AARP, this reaffirms long existing data which shows that it typically takes older workers twice as long to find a new job after being laid off or fired as it does younger workers. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to worsen, AARP’s Susan Weinstock warned that “[the current pandemic] may be something that is pushing people out of the workforce and they may never get back in.” 


Culture of racism and hate still alive at Virginia Military Institute, report cautions.

Horrific social media attacks, threats of lynching, and professors fondly recalling their family ties to the KKK in front of a packed classroom are just a few examples of the blatant racism going on at Virginia Military Institute, according to CNN. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and a number of other leading state officials wrote an open letter to VMI’s governing Board of Visitors detailing the “clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism at the Virginia Military Institute.” In the letter, Northam and his co-authors write: “It is long past time to consign these relics to the dustbin of history. This culture is unacceptable for any Virginia institution in the 21st century, especially one funded by taxpayers.” While Board of Visitors President John William Boland responded to the letter and promised cooperation and transparency, he has also denied the school of having a problem. A state review by an independent third party is now underway, with findings due by end of year. Black students make up around 6% of the institute’s student body, with 102 Black students among its 1,698 enrolled in 2019. 


D.I. Fast Fact


Percentage of executives who report that their boards don’t have a specific time frame in place to implement diversity goals.


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