Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

2020 is supercharging an intersectional civil rights movement

The coronavirus and Black Lives Matter protests have supercharged a diverse, intersectional civil rights movement.

The big picture: 2020 is provoking a cultural awakening — a unique moment in American history that Black Americans, immigrants, Latinos, women, people with disabilities and advocates for LGBTQ rights are all hoping to seize.

"We are definitely trying to leverage what's going on to get our asks out there, and advocate for the needs and the rights of people," Claire Stanley, advocacy outreach specialist for the American Council of the Blind, told Axios.

Driving the news: The converging crises of 2020 are raising the public's awareness of issues that any number of underrepresented communities have been focused on for years, and highlighting the connections among them.

  • The coronavirus has laid bare the gross inequities of the health care system at the same time as massive protests over systemic racism in policing and criminal justice.
  • The virus has also highlighted the need for more accessible absentee voting — something people with disabilities — in particular, people who are blind or visibly impaired — have long fought for.
  • And immigration advocates hope the debate over America's militarized police forces will carry over into greater concern for the militarization of immigration enforcement.

Between the lines: Media reflect the leading edge of this movement.

  • People with disabilities have been lobbying for better representation in Hollywood — both to create more characters who have disabilities and to hire more actors with with disabilities, as the New York Times reported.
  • The Los Angeles Times Guild’s Latino employees have created a Latino Caucus to advocate for better representation at the paper and to push for more coverage of their community. In a letter to the company's owner and top editors, the group says that the Los Angeles Times "has covered the Latino community in dehumanizing ways, painting us as criminals or victims or simply ignoring us."
  • The latest public service announcement campaign from the nonprofit Ad Council addresses racism and harassment against the Asian and Pacific Islander community in light of COVID-19.

What they're saying: "The more you can show the success of people of color, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, the more rapidly people will embrace employing, partnering with, working with people who are different," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of the non-profit RespectAbility which is deeply involved in representation fights in Hollywood.

  • "People make assumptions about what people with disabilities can and can’t do. It’s sometimes difficult to get beyond that," Rita Martin, deputy director of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, told Axios.

The bottom line: In what has been a disastrous year in many ways, "I would like to look at one silver lining," said Sergio Gonzalez, deputy director at the Immigration Hub.

  • "It has awakened consciousness again around race and civil rights in a way that didn't exist before. I think that when we've seen major progress, around issues of social justice and civil rights. It's been when movements have been able to work together and across space.... I hope and believe that that's what we're seeing right now."

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories