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Youth & Racial Injustice

What Young People Have To Say About Racial Injustice in America

We talked to the young adults in the Cassandra Collective about the recent events in light of the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Here’s what they have to say about the protests, brands’ involvement, and the changes they hope to see. These qualitative insights, from online research conducted June 2-3, 2020, are supported by data from our ongoing quantitative research.

BRANDS & RACIAL JUSTICE

  • "I think it’s nice that some brands are trying to help the situation, [like] supporting the family of Floyd, but even then it's just money being sent to his family, it won't bring him back to life. It's honestly a bit strange. Brands [should] support new legislation to support and defend minorities from police. I think that’s the issue overall, [the] police have too much power, [they] can get away with murder." – Robert, 28, WI


  • The numbers from Cassandra: Black young adults (60%) are significantly more likely than White young adults (52%) to say it’s important to know where a brand stands on social issues and also to say they think less of a brand that doesn’t support the issues they care about (56% vs. 46%, respectively).

ON THE PROTESTS

  • "Protests must happen regardless of whether or not they make people uncomfortable. I tell people who are uncomfortable with the protests: ‘Close your eyes and imagine a police officer kneeling on your loved one's neck for 9 minutes as they beg for their mother. Does that make you uncomfortable? Good! It should make you more uncomfortable than the peaceful protestors looking to raise awareness. They have a constitutional right to do so.’ Plus, the violence only starts when police start shooting. I've been educating and informing on social media this entire week, and I will not stop. Ever." – Danita, 18, PA


  • The numbers from Cassandra: Racism is the #1 issue that both Black and Hispanic youth care about. For Black young adults this is followed by education, gun violence, poverty, and healthcare; and for Hispanic young adults it’s followed by immigration, environment/climate change, mental health, and gun violence.

THOUGHTS ON POLICE REFORM

  • “I think police departments can provide more training for their officers on how to deal with all people, but I think a lot of these departments have done a great job over the years in creating more community amongst law enforcement and the public. One incident does not represent ALL or how far law enforcement has come to where it is today. Do they need improvement? Definitely. But we also have to realize how much improvement has been made thus far.” – Daphne, 34, CA


  • “Looting was still going on yesterday and that needs to stop. Then they need to investigate all police stations and remove the cops that have racial incidents reported against them. They should not be employed if they racially profiled someone. They also need to offer jobs to everyone equally, not just certain races. – Victor, 15, IL