Osgoode Hall Law Journal
Over the past two years, US citizens have heard a great deal about diversity as it relates to race in general, and African Americans in particular. A string of deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of white police officers has galvanized the nation’s attention. When Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri in August, 2014, there was a considerable amount of discussion about the gross underrepresentation of African Americans on the police force and among local politicians. Many observers believed that a racially-homogenous police force and the homogeneity among political leaders partially explained the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of the white Americans in charge. In the months after Brown’s death, more African Americans were killed by police officers. Some of the incidents, including the shooting death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, were highly publicized. But Gray’s death was different—while everyone in charge in Ferguson was white, in Baltimore the state prosecutor, mayor, police chief, and several elected officials were African American. Even the group of six police officers involved in the incident was diverse: Three of the officers charged were black.
I mention the troubled relationship between some in the African American community and many police departments because it provides a symbolic narrative that offers insight into the discussion of homogeneity at the top of the most salient segments of society. Corporate boardrooms are one of these contexts. Aaron Dhir gives readers a nuanced discussion of this issue in Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity.