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Analysis: What 2021 told us about equality

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We witnessed the destructive power of anger and resentment this year.

Brandishing Confederate iconography, insurrectionists laid siege to the US Capitol, in what amounted to an assault on multiracial democracy. Republican-led state legislatures enacted laws making it more difficult for people of color to vote, and also waged war on transgender kids. Within the GOP, Islamophobia proved to be as potent as ever.

Cruelty didn’t go unchallenged, of course. For instance, in the aftermath of the massacre in Atlanta that left eight people—including six women of Asian descent—dead, people across the country poured into the streets to demand change and combat hate. Still, 2021 was marked by a number of prominent issues, particularly on the race and equality front.

To explore some of these issues, I reached out to experts. They broke down some of the most important 2021 moments and trends—and reflected on how they might inform race and equality conversations as we trudge into the year ahead.

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