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28 June 2021

Our Community Is Stronger Together

CMD-IT stands for the Center of Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT. Our community is composed of people from the following groups: Black/African Americans, Indigenous/Native Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and People with Disabilities. While we work to address the industry-wide issue of representation within the tech and computing industries, we are aware of the challenges that people within our communities face in this country. What’s core to our organization is ensuring that all groups are treated fairly, presented with equal opportunities, and treated with the same dignity and respect awarded to other groups.

Our communities have always spoken out to demand justice and equality; from the 2016 Dakota access pipeline protests to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond. During these movements, people of different ethnicities came together to show their support and demand justice. When our communities stand together and show solidarity for one another, we can accomplish more. 

June marks the anniversary of the summer-long George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery protests that took place last year. We’re taking this time to reflect on how that tragic event sparked a national movement and how our communities can continue to support one another outside of attending a protest. 

How 2020 affected our community

2020 was a significant year for the Black Lives Matter movement. Tragic events, including the murder of George Floyd, reinvigorated this global movement within the Black/African American community. According to a study done by Ipsos, nearly three-fourths of American’s view the death of George Floyd by a white police officer a sign of underlying racial injustice, a considerable increase compared to a few years ago. Across the country, protestors demanded justice and stricter police regulations. 

Images of people protesting in support of Black Lives Matter

The protests illuminated the pattern of Black men and women killed at the hands of police brutality. 

As a result of the deaths of people like Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, Atatiana Jefferson, Stephon Clark, and many others, different races united together and joined protests across the country. In addition, people who weren’t able to join the demonstrations educated themselves on the issues supported black-owned businesses, and looked for ways to donate to the movement. 

Many corporations, organizations, and academic institutions put out statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. Some created marketing strategies with ads to show their support, while others made monetary donations to the movement. Several businesses made vows to prioritize increasing diversity and inclusion in their companies. 

Actions like the ones above resulted in change across the country. Although there is still plenty that still needs to be addressed to reach equality, we can see the difference we make when working together. 

How to support the cause

Whether you’re supporting movements like Black Lives Matter, Dakota Access Pipeline protests, DACA, Stop Asian Hate, Disabled in Action, there are still other ways that you can help outside of attending protests. Here are five ways:

  1. Educate yourself on the issues and join the conversation
  2. Support local businesses within our community. The following are great resources to find local businesses in your area:
  3. Your monetary support is needed; donate to causes that you believe in:
  1. Reach out to your local government to push legislation that helps fight discrimination.
  2. Reshare resources on your social media pages. 

As we learn to be better allies, let’s use our collective voices to make a difference and stand up for each other.