This past year has been a transition for our organization as our indelible leader, Spencer Overton, announced his plans to return to a full-time faculty position at the George Washington School of Law. For the past ten years, Spencer has led the Joint Center with passion, drive, and dedication, moving the organization from a collective of researchers to the nation’s leading think tank on issues affecting Black America, building on the longstanding legacy of the institution. I am honored to serve as interim president during this transition period and want to thank our partners, the Board of Governors, my colleagues, and Spencer for the opportunity to serve in this role.
Thanks to the dedication of our staff, the commitment of our Board of Governors, and your continued support, 2022 was another pivotal and impactful year. The Joint Center conducted critical research, provided in-depth analysis, shared policy recommendations, and convened with lawmakers, policy experts, and other stakeholders to advance Black Americans’ political and economic needs. Our clear and intentional focus on the needs and concerns of Black Americans centers Black communities in policy debates, furthering our mission of creating more equitable and just economic and political outcomes for African Americans across the country. We have made great strides in each of our major program areas — Tech Policy, Workforce Policy, Economic Policy, Hill Diversity, and the Black Talent Initiative — which we are excited to share with you in this 2022 impact report.
As we celebrate our 52nd anniversary this month, we are sharing our 2021 annual report that highlights our accomplishments that promoted ideas that advanced Black communities.
From our recommendations on pandemic relief for Black families that were passed into law in the American Rescue Plan to our research on the lack of broadband in the Black Rural South that became the foundation for key provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we worked to ensure that Black voices and needs were represented in policy debates, convenings, and solutions. We hope you enjoy reading our newly-designed annual report.
In 2020, the Joint Center quickly responded to the pandemic and recession, continued our long-standing work to address systemic economic inequity, led on critical tech policy debates, facilitated Black civic participation, led on increasing diversity among top staff in the U.S. House and Senate and in presidential appointments, and celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
In 2019 the Joint Center shifted the national debate on the future of work to include racial equity. We also realized historic gains in both U.S. House and Senate top staff diversity. In 2020 we will envision our next 50 years as America’s Black Think Tank.
In 2018, the Joint Center emerged as the leader in the future of work in Black communities and congressional staff diversity. We organized discussions on Black employment and produced key research to be released in 2019. The Joint Center's congressional staff diversity efforts resulted in the hiring of the U.S. Senate’s only two Black Democratic chiefs of staff (including the only Black woman), only AAPI woman chief of staff, and second Latino chief of staff; and the hiring of 20 top staff of color by newly-elected U.S. House Members, which so far represents a diversity top staff rate (31.3%) over twice as high as sitting House Members (13.7%).
In 2017, the Joint Center published groundbreaking research on race and the future of work, wireless and Smart Cities technologies, and Black and Latino business tech use. The Joint Center's congressional staff diversity efforts resulted in Senate and House Democrats adopting staff diversity rules and a 50% increase in top Black Senate staff. We mourned the loss of former Joint Center President Eddie Williams, and engaged in strategic planning.
In 2016, the Joint Center created the Black Talent Initiative to help place diverse staff in congressional offices, hosted 10 bipartisan breakfasts, hosted two roundtables for elected officials, published a 57-page report on gun violence and policing reforms, a voting policy brief, and survey data, added 5 new board members, and opened new offices at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Over 87% of people of color in the U.S. live in just 25 states (over 104 million people). We are focused on providing innovative ideas, data, analysis, and policy solutions to elected officials in leadership positions who serve these communities of color (e.g., mayors, city council presidents, county executives, county commission chairs, state legislative floor leaders and committee chairs, and members of Congress).
We are also providing infrastructure for thought leadership in communities of color through research and events.
Initially founded to encourage African American political participation in the wake of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies continues to promote civic and political engagement as the primary route to greater equality and opportunity for people of color. Our 2012 Annual Report explores our latest work on identifying disparities in African American and other communities of color - from health to wealth, unemployment to pollution to digital access - and providing solutions on bridging these gaps.
The challenges facing American society, whether social, political, economic or environmental, are growing increasingly complex, and policy initiatives devised to address them have deep, sometimes unexamined consequences for African Americans and other people of color. The Joint Center is guiding and supporting young leaders in their quest for solutions that unite their idealism with the pragmatic approach to public service needed to effect change in today's polarized political atmosphere. We invite you to examine this 2011 Annual Report to learn how the Joint Center is expanding and strengthening our research capabilities and building on our convening power to better serve communities of color and the nation at large.
Amid signs of an economic recovery, measured progress on a number of key legislative initiatives and a hard-fought midterm election, the year 2010 was marked by accelerating policy activity across a wide spectrum of issues. Through it all, the Joint Center worked on many levels to inform debates and enhance policy discussions with its contributions of critical research and ideas. "Engagement" has always been a key, operative word at the Joint Center. From its earliest days, when its principal objectives were to equip, encourage and inspire African Americans to fully exercise their hard-won rights to fully participate in the nation's civic and political life, the Joint Center has put engagement at the forefront of its agenda. On the pages of this year's Annual Report, you will find that after four decades, the Joint Center not only still believes that to be true, but as an institution it continues to practice what it has long preached.
As the Joint Center celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2010, we reflect on our history and legacy in our 2009 Annual Report with the theme "Research ~ Empowerment ~ Engagement." The report describes the impact of the Joint Center's work in 2009 among America's most influential policymakers. Highlighted are our Health Policy Institute's groundbreaking research on persistent racial inequities and their enormous costs, our Media and Technology Institute's leadership and knowledge on the use of broadband technology by people of color, and the strength of our Climate Change Initiative in bringing new voices and concerns into the debate over global warming. Above all, this report is a demonstration of the Joint Center's continuing role as a trusted source of information and leadership on the nation's most critical issues.
As a thought leader in many major issues facing our nation, the Joint Center 2008 Annual Report highlights significant accomplishments and advancements in critical policy areas. This report describes how the Joint Center has shaped its research priorities to reflect the intense interest in housing, poverty, employment, and retirement security fueled by the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. It details the expansion of the Health Policy Institute, including its work with its Place Matters teams and the promotion of greater knowledge and understanding of the social determinants that affect patterns of health, illness and disparities in health outcomes. The report looks ahead as the Joint Center begins two new endeavors: an exploration of the media industry and emerging communications technologies for their impact on African Americans and other people of color and an entrance to the swirling debate on climate change on behalf of African Americans who too often are left out of the conversation. Finally, this report updates the Joint Center's role as a leader in encouraging civic participation, as well as in conveying the political perspectives of African Americans, through its national surveys.
The 2007 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities of the Joint Center for the calendar year. It presents highlights of the Annual Dinner, describes the work of the Health Policy Institute and its Place Matters teams, summarizes other major initiatives, and focuses on the Joint Center's alliances with elected officials and policymakers. It also looks ahead to launches of a Media and Technology Institute, a Civic Engagement and Governance Institute, and an Education Policy and Opportunity Institute. This report identifies the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, lists its publications for 2007, names its contributors, and presents its financial statement.
The 2005 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities of the Joint Center for the calendar year. It presents highlights of the Annual Dinner; describes the work of the Health Policy Institute, the work of Office of Governance & Economic Analysis, and the Emerging Leaders project; and details the Joint Center’s post-Katrina activities. The report identifies the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, lists its publications and events for 2005, names its contributors, and presents its financial statement.
The 2004 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities of the Joint Center for the calendar year. This report details Joint Center initiatives, particularly increasing access to prescription medications, encouraging community-based approaches to reducing health disparities, and promoting oral health. The report identifies the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, lists its publications and events for 2004, names its contributors, and presents its financial statement.
The 2002 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities of the Joint Center for the calendar year. The report explains how the Joint Center conducted research to identify common political views across ethnic groups and details the “data warehouse” it maintains to accent community planning and development. The report also describes how the Joint Center facilitated a voting rights and minority rights initiative, encouraged community outreach, provided post-election analysis, and continued its commitment to ameliorating the spread of HIV/AIDS. The report identifies the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, lists its publications and events for 2002, names its contributors, and presents its financial statement.
The 2001 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities completed during the calendar year. In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, the Joint Center continued work on national policy priorities, economic advancement, and minority entrepreneurship. It also addressed election reform, redistricting, and voting rights after a close and controversial election. Along with information on these initiatives, the Report lists publications and events for 2001, the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, and its financial statement and contributors.
The 2000 Annual Report of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies summarizes the major activities of the Joint Center for the calendar year. The report analyzes the platforms of the presidential candidates and assesses the effect of these platforms on African Americans. It also describes the Joint Center’s participation in the Eighth National Policy Alliance and its efforts to advance minorities through the Minority Business Roundtable and to shine a light on the study of HIV/AIDS. The report identifies the Joint Center's Board of Governors and staff, lists its publications and events for 2000, names its contributors, and presents its financial statement.