Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review


Blair Johnson


The year 2020 brought the United States’ ongoing issues of racial injustice and police brutality to the forefront. With the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless other people of color, the Black Lives Matter movement has focused on uprooting and dismantling systemic racism in the United States. During what may be “the largest movement in U.S. history,” individuals and organizations are asking themselves what actions they can take to combat systemic racism in the country. Many corporations have chosen to speak out and use their platform to raise awareness of the issues of racism in the United States. Others have chosen to remain silent. The ones who have chosen to use their voices have done so in ways such as posting statements on social media or their websites. Raising awareness by posting statements only goes so far. Tangible actions to address systemic racism must follow. This Comment argues that corporations should implement anti-racism strategies into practice after making anti-racism statements during the Black Lives Matter movement. Additionally, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) should amend its rules to require more diversity and inclusion efforts when corporate executives nominate board members. While helping to progress society, companies should consider diversity and inclusion efforts because they will see a positive outcome for themselves. In the end, it is a win-win situation. Not only does diversity help businesses internally, but it helps externally as well with investors and markets. Studies have shown that companies with ethnically diverse boards are 70% more likely to capture new markets than those with less diverse boards. The companies with diverse boards generate 38% more in annual revenue from innovative products and services. Hopefully, with internal corporate changes and external SEC changes, a shift will occur where more people of color are involved in the corporate world.