Laborers carry materials to board up windows before the upcoming election
Laborers carry materials to board up the windows of the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

U.S. Cities Scramble to Prepare for Potential Election Day Unrest; First Black Female Director Named for Marvel Movie; and More

Dozens of major U.S. cities boarding up in preparation for potential Election Day unrest.

With nearly 100 million ballots already cast for what many are calling the most important election in generations, concern over potential rioting and civic unrest in major cities across the country is also at an all-time high. According to the Associated Press, “In downtown Washington, the sounds of hammers and power tools echoed through the streets Monday as workers boarded up dozens of businesses. In New York City, businesses from Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square to high-end shops in Manhattan’s chic SoHo neighborhood had already covered their windows.” 

 

In New York City, the NYPD warned officers to be prepared for “one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modern era.” Some of Manhattan’s top luxury buildings have hired armed guards to stand watch over entry ways in the coming days, protecting residents if needed. NPR reported preparation for potential chaos spread from Boston and New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles to Chicago and Washington, D.C., with some businesses applying boards over boards they already installed from previous local unrest. 

 

On the west coast, the city of Beverly Hills announced that they were prepared to bring in a SWAT team to save businesses if needed, while also closing the Rodeo Drive shopping district to cars and pedestrians. “In response to the fact that others believe that our area is one that should be targeted in terms of coming to protest, we feel we have to be responsive and protect everybody,” Mayor Lester Friedman told ABC7 News

 

In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot outlined the city’s “preparedness and safety plans” which included preparedness workshops for all emergency workers, increased police patrols and a plan to deploy anywhere from 60 to 300 “infrastructure assets” (including sanitation trucks and other city vehicles) to protect neighborhood and commercial corridors and critical businesses in the event of a public safety emergency. “The act of voting is sacred to our democracy,” Lightfoot said in a press conference. “In this city we have a long history of peaceful protests. Let’s honor that legacy in the days to come. I call upon each of you to channel your emotions into peaceful productive means of expression … no matter what happens on Tuesday.”

 

First Black female director named for Marvel movie.

Acclaimed director Nia DaCosta has been picked to helm the upcoming potential blockbuster sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, Black Enterprise has reported. DaCosta got her start after film school as a production assistant on various TV shows. In 2015, her script for a crime thriller western called Little Woods was selected as one of 12 projects for the annual Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab, where filmmakers get to workshop and develop upcoming projects. She raised funds for the film through Kickstarter and in 2018 it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Nora Ephron Prize for female writers or filmmakers with a distinctive voice. DaCosta followed up Little Woods with the horror film Candyman which she describes as a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 cult classic of the same name. DaCosta’s Candyman was originally set to come out in September 2020 but has been pushed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Captain Marvel sequel will be DaCosta’s third film as a director. The first film earned $426.8 million at the box office.

 

INROADS adds leaders to its board of directors.

INROADS, the nation’s largest non-profit source of paid internships for diverse, high performing undergraduate students, has announced six new members to its board of directors. “Our newest national board members advance INROADS’ strength and provide us additional visionary leadership, and unprecedented access to corporate and media resources,” said Forest T. Harper Jr., president and CEO of INROADS, Inc. following the announcement. INROADS newest additions to its board are: 

 

D.I. Fast Fact

At least 950

Number of instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists that have taken place during anti-racism protests across the U.S. over the past five months
Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture

 

Do you have a plan to vote? Vote.org provides a number of resources for voters including a state-by-state rundown of important rules and regulations to know, plus information on polling locations, voting hours and more. Visit vote.org for more info.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

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