In the last year, public outcries of racism and police brutality have caused many private and public sector institutions to look into practices that may perpetuate the issues. Now, public leaders are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and public media for equity audits on discriminatory policies and licenses.
A September letter from Congressional leaders to the FCC calls on the mass media regulatory agency to conduct an equity audit to identify and redress the harm the agency’s policies and programs have caused on Black people and minorities and the steps the agency will take to break down barriers in the media industry.
Website hosting platform Squarespace created a questionnaire that outlines what a racial equity audit, an independent analysis of a company’s business practices to locate and weed out any policies or behaviors that have a discriminatory effect, might look like; identifying individuals with a background in civil rights would be crucial for conducting the audit. Companies are encouraged to set a budget and scope for such an audit.
There has been mixed support in organizations that conduct racial equity audits.
McKensie Mack Group (MMG), a Black-led consultancy that centers around racial equity, released their Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) racial equity audit. The organization designed an audit process through a SACOG-wide survey that collected qualitative and quantitative research. Their report showed that there was a lack of representation in race, gender and Black leadership roles within SACOG. MMG recommends that SACOG create a culture of listening to restructure policies.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan shareholders have turned away from racial equity audits in a Forbes report. Despite this, CtW Investment Group, a company holding corporations accountable, calls for financial institutions to perform racial equity audits, according to Forbes. Morgan Stanley and CtW Investment Group are set to speak about a diversity review and meet with shareholders before their 2022 annual meeting.
Source: The Plug Insight