Jun 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Space industry responds to protests against racism, police brutality

Black Lives Matter written in DC from space.
The Black Lives Matter mural in D.C. from space. Photo: ©2020 Maxar Technologies

As protests against police brutality and violence erupted around the world, space companies have spoken out in support of those taking to the streets.

Why it matters: These statements suggest that the industry at large is trying to engage with what's happening on the ground and how it affects its employees.

Driving the news: Blue Origin, Axiom Space, Virgin Orbit and others released public statements.

  • The Planetary Society's statement commits the organization to fight racism and find concrete ways to make its portion of the industry more inclusive and diverse.
  • For All Moonkind, a nonprofit, is sponsoring a "Race in Space" webinar on June 18 to bring the conversation about race in the industry to a wide audience.
  • Phase Four — a company focusing on building a new kind of thruster — put out a statement explicitly in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and donated to ACCE Action as well.

Yes, but: It's not yet clear whether these statements of support will translate into specific action focused on bringing more diversity to the industry.

  • 87.5% of aerospace industry workers identify as white and 5.6% identify as black or African American, according to 2019 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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