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Publication Date



59 U. Rich. L. Rev.




Corporate diversity has been in the spotlight for decades. Recent efforts have followed years of legal scholarship, arguments on the business rationale for greater diversity, and more recently, the racial unrest during the summer of 2020. Called by some, a “racial reckoning,” the summer of 2020 catalyzed many corporate declarations on the importance of diversity, and more to the point of this article, the necessity of righting the economic disadvantages of Black Americans. This article looks specifically at one intervention by a corporate player following summer 2020, Nasdaq’s volley to increase corporate diversity through required disclosure. This article reviews the state of Black representation on corporate boards: its history, proffered challenges and barriers, and calls to increase Black representation. Following a description of Nasdaq’s efforts, this article argues that disclosure of board demographics will be a powerful tool for increasing the ranks of Black corporate directors because of an important constituency, Millennials. Millennials exert influence as retail investors, clients of some of the largest institutional investors, and as consumers. The diversity, capital, social views, and ideas on corporate purpose shared by Millennials and their younger peers mean diversity disclosures can have material impact. This is important because diversifying the nation’s corporations can play a role in alleviating the centuries of economic exclusion meted out against Black Americans. This article is the first to connect the effectiveness of diversity disclosures on Black corporate representation with Millennials’ expanding investment activity. This confluence of factors makes Nasdaq’s disclosure rule an important model for others invested in diversity in the wake of recent U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence.



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