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This study aimed to investigate the impacts of Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of racial discrimination on political participation in 2020. Survey responses from the 2020 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey are matched with data on protest locations across the United States. From here, linear regressions are ran to determine the effects of the aforementioned two independent variables on political engagement. A third hypothesis tests if Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of racial discrimination had an interacting effect on individual-level participation. The results of this study show statistically significant results for Black respondents - Black Lives Matter protests and increased perceptions of racial discrimination each had a positive relationship with political participation, but the interaction between these two variables had a negative relationship with participation. This study does not yield statistically significant results for non-Black respondents, indicating that these two concepts had greater impacts on Black communities in 2020.

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2021




Race relations; Political participation; Racial justice; Political science; Social sciences

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156 KB


Faculty mentor: Elizabeth Maltby, Ph.D.


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Perceptions of Race Relations, Black Lives Matter, and the Shaping of 2020's Politics: How Race Influenced Political Participation in the Year of George Floyd