Joint Center 2017

Joint Center Plan for 2017

Inclusion, Innovation, & Economics


The Future for Communities of Color

In 2017, the Joint Center will examine shifts in our culture and economy anticipated over the next decade, and implications for communities of color. For example, how will disruptive innovations like Smart Cities, driverless cars, automation, machine learning, digital money, big data/analytics, and telemedicine shape quality of life, workforce, and economic development in communities of color? What steps should elected officials and entrepreneurs take now to maximize opportunities such as increased services and efficiencies, employment, education, and entrepreneurship for communities of color? How can we mitigate potential challenges to communities of color, such as job loss, redlining, exacerbation of racial disparities, and structural bias in platform design?  Can communities of color use innovation to “leapfrog” ahead of other communities resistant to economic change?  

Sessions with leaders from industry, academia, nonprofits, and philanthropy to discuss anticipated shifts in our culture and economy over the next decade and implications for communities of color (both opportunities and challenges) in areas such as health, financial services, voting, energy, education, transportation, workforce, and minority contracting.      


Research reports and accessible policy briefs, fact sheets, and policy videos with policy solutions to maximize opportunities and mitigate challenges for communities of color of anticipated shifts in our culture and economy over the next decade.     

Public opinion surveys that oversample African Americans and Latinos and allow for detailed demographic analysis (e.g., African Americans and Latinos by age, gender, income, geography) on the next generation of wireless broadband (5G) and Smart Cities, mobile and small businesses of color, and the impact of innovations on people of color in other areas such as health, financial services, voting, energy, education, transportation, workforce, and minority contracting.

Bipartisan Breakfasts with Top Officials that bring together 25 economic development leaders, civil rights leaders, and private sector leaders to hear a top speaker, such as a congressional committee chair or cabinet official about policy issues that shape the future of communities of color. For past breakfasts click here.

Roundtables for Top State & Local Elected Officials of Color from the Midwest and West covering issues that will shape the future of communities of color. By engaging with top state and local elected officials, the Joint Center can develop a leadership class of officials of color who are committed to creating innovative policy solutions and using data to solve challenges that face communities of color. For past roundtables click here.

Black Elected Officials: The Joint Center will also strengthen the infrastructure to implement innovation in communities of color by investing in its traditional work with Black Elected Officials. The Joint Center will collaborate with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the Center for Technology and Civic Life, and other partners to pilot a digital platform to more efficiently compile and update the Joint Center’s Roster of 10,000 Black Elected Official and NALEO’s Roster of 6,000 Latino elected officials, including those on the municipal level.  The Joint Center will also work with organizations like the African American Mayors Association, the National Association of Black County Officials, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and the National Black Council of School Board Members on projects like training for new Black Elected Officials.


Diversity Among Hill Staff & Agency Appointments 

The Joint Center's report Diversity Among Top Senate Staff stimulated discussion about the lack of diversity on the Hill. In 2017, the Joint Center will continue tracking the status of diversity in political appointments and will work to place strong candidates of color.

Diversity Among Top House Staff Report : The Joint Center will publish a major report on diversity among U.S. House Chiefs of Staff, Legislative Directors, and Committee Staff Directors. We will also start research on the second edition of our Diversity Among Top Senate Staff report.

Black Talent Initiative: Our Black Talent Initiative (see, led by a director and two staff members, will identify, recruit, and advise African-American candidates for key positions on staffs of Members of Congress and the executive branch, and maintain an online searchable resume database of candidates. The Black Talent Initiative will collaborate with NALEO, congressional staff associations of color, and other organizations focused on diversity in government appointments. 

Public Education: The Joint Center will continue our conference calls, fact sheets, and other activities that inform civil rights organizations and media outlets (including state and local outlets) about the status of diversity among top Congressional staff. For example, click here for a fact sheet on the topic, and click here for a statement commending Members on recent diverse hires.


Click here to read the Joint Center's 2016 accomplishments.