The killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols sparked outrage, with renewed calls for systemic change to police violence. Soon after, 11 people were killed while celebrating Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, which sent shock waves throughout Asian communities and triggered a painful reminder of the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings that killed six Asian women.
This state of grief and outrage is a place we’ve been to before. We felt it deeply three years ago after the tragic death of George Floyd, which resulted in a racial reckoning for corporations nationwide to look inward and do better. With millions of eyes on them, businesses vowed to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a real priority. Since then, 71% of companies reportedly implemented DE&I initiatives, with roughly $7.5 billion spent globally on those programs in 2020 alone.
And yet, three years later, corporate America’s stated commitment to DE&I is a slipping priority, being tested against a recessionary backdrop and widespread layoffs. Talent is still bringing in trauma from the outside world and facing headwinds in the workplace. For AAPI professionals, some of these headwinds go unseen.