Joint Center News: August 31, 2017


Joint Center News: August 31, 2017

The Joint Center sends our thoughts and prayers to the victims of racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn white supremacists, Nazi sympathizers, and federal leaders who fail to speak out strongly against these voices. We stand in solidarity with those working against these forces, and our day-to-day work is motivated by our desire to create an inclusive economy and democracy.

Day of Equity: Smart Cities


#ADayofEquity for Smart Cities : In participation with the Marguerite Casey Foundation's #DayofEquity project, the Joint Center produced a Day of Equity in Smart Cities video. #ADayofEquity would look like working families of color benefiting from Smart City technology—equal access to Smart City technologies, independent evaluations of systems for bias, and ensuring displaced workers get new jobs. Click here for the 1-minute video.
Ford Foundation Focuses on Equitable Development in Detroit Recovery : For the first time in about 60 years, the New York-based Ford Foundation has a new program officer, Kevin Ryan, stationed in Detroit. “Our focus is really going to be on equity in the recovery process," Ryan said. Click here for more.
Joint Center Session on Future of Black Rural Communities : On Aug. 10, Joint Center President Spencer Overton traveled to Tunica, Mississippi to speak at the One Voice summit. Spencer’s session—“Big Ideas” to Drive Communities Forward —focused on receiving ideas and input from 75 current and aspiring Mississippi Black elected officials about how the Joint Center should build a program on innovation and the future of African-American rural communities.Click here for more.


Black Talent Initiative Rolling Out Resume & Cover Letter Committee: The Joint Center’s Black Talent Initiative is working to complete a resume and cover letter review committee. This eight-member group will be bipartisan and utilize the diverse and relevant experiences of its members to provide resume and cover-letter review to candidates for Hill staff positions. We plan to introduce committee members in September.


Joint Center Moderates CBCI Session on Inclusion in the Workplace : On Aug. 11, Joint Center President Spencer Overton moderated a panel on Inclusion on the Hill and in the Corporate Workplace at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Annual Policy Conference in Tunica, Mississippi. The session featured Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Coca-Cola Federal Affairs & International Stakeholder Relations Director Curtis Etherly; Congresswoman Bonnie Coleman’s Legislative Director Michael Reed; Intel Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Barbara Whye; and General Motors Director of Federal Affairs Cherie Wilson. Click herefor more.
  • The Joint Center and the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) will host their 2nd Annual Technology Summit in Philadelphia on Sept. 10-11. Elected officials and experts will discuss the role technology plays in the development, investment, and growth of America’s cities. Joint Center President Spencer Overton will present on Smart Cities.
  • The Joint Center will present at the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference on its work on how automation, artificial intelligence, and Smart Cities will affect African-American communities. The Joint Center will present on two braintrusts: Rep. Yvette Clarke’s “Smart Cities and YOU: The Future is Here, Don’t Get Left Behind” on Friday, Sept. 22 at 3 pm and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s “The Future of Work: How New Technologies will Impact the Workforce of Color” on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:30 am. Both sessions are at the Convention Center in Washington, DC.
  • The Joint Center will host its Midwest Roundtable on Sept. 25-26 in Detroit. Twenty-five elected officials, economic development officials, and city officials who focus on technology policy will strategize about equitable development and the future of work.


The Joint Center was founded in 1970 as the Black think tank (history here ). Today, the Joint Center remains anchored in the Black community and collaborates closely with organizations from other communities, like the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. We focus on the impact of automation, artificial intelligence, and other innovations on the future of work, economic development, and quality of life in communities of color. We also work to increase diversity among staff in Congress. Click here for our 2017-18 plan.  
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