Report: Racial injustices and inequities persist in Silicon Valley

New report underscores persisting racial injustices and inequities in Silicon Valley

On June 22, 2022, the San José State University Human Rights Institute released its third annual Silicon Valley Pain Index (SVPI), which underscores the stark disparities that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) individuals and families in our region face in economic mobility, leadership representation and housing. Silicon Valley Community Foundation has funded the annual report since its inception in 2020.

“Originally inspired by the murder of George Floyd in June 2020, as well as Professor Bill Quigley’s Katrina Pain Index following the devastating 2005 hurricanes, the annual Silicon Valley Pain Index illustrates the persisting racial discrimination and wealth inequity that continue to define our region,” said Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, professor of sociology at San José State University Human Rights Institute and the lead author of the SVPI report.

San José State University Human Rights InstituteAlong with the extreme racial inequities in our region, the third annual SVPI also reports on:

  • Lack of leadership diversity: The Silicon Valley technology sector produced astronomical wealth this past year, yet continues to lack representation of African American, Latinx, Pacific Islander and Indigenous people at the executive level or in the boardroom.
  • Income declines: Incomes of African American and Latinx households are decreasing, while incomes of white households rise.
  • Worsening housing crisis: Skyrocketing rents, rising mortgage interest rates and record levels of inflation continue to push housing further out of reach for working and middle-class families.
  • Disparities in other systems: Troubling racial and social class disparities continue in the criminal justice and public education systems.

"Silicon Valley Community Foundation funds the annual Silicon Valley Pain Index because we know that the data is critical in informing solutions that will create an inclusive, equitable and vibrant Silicon Valley for all residents," said Avo Makdessian, SVCF's vice president of community partnerships and learning. "We hope that the urgency of the report's findings will drive our community -- including local corporations, policymakers, leaders and individuals -- to enact change."

View the 2022 SVPI report here.

Watch the recording of the SVPI press conference that took place on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, which featured the following speakers:

  • Dr. William Armaline, Director of the SJSU Human Rights Institute
  • Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, SJSU Professor of Sociology and lead author of the 2022 SVPI
  • Reverend Dr. Bryan Frazen, Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church and Chairperson of the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission
  • Cynthia Ouandji, Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet, CEO of Bangou Productions, and Afrouprise member
  • Jean Cohen, Executive Officer of the South Bay ALF-CIO Labor Council
  • Corina Herrera-Loera, Alum Rock School Board Member