[This is the first post in a new blog series that will explore racial disparities in California].
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the U.S. has seen a wave of civil protests in over 2,000 cities calling for the dismantling of systemic racism and policing practices. Not since the Civil Rights movement has the U.S. seen such broad-based calls for racial justice.
The disruption and hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, where at least 36 million people have claimed unemployment nationally since March 2020, is the backdrop for this movement, and may have contributed to the unrest. Many of the protesters have been people of color disconnected from the labor market and from educational opportunities as they seek a better life for themselves, free of discrimination.