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 economy over the next decade, and implications and opportunities for communities of color.

For example, how can disruptive innovations like Smart Cities, automation, machine learning, digital money, big data/analytics, and telemedicine solve challenges and improve quality of life in communities of color?  How can these innovations expand workforce and economic development opportunities?

How can we mitigate potential challenges, such as job loss, redlining, exacerbation of racial disparities, and structural bias in platform design?

Singapore, Estonia, and other nations have strategically used innovation to “leapfrog” ahead of other nations within a generation. Can communities of color in the United States use innovation to leapfrog ahead?

The Joint Center will answer these questions through the following work:

Sessions with leaders from industry, academia, nonprofits, government, and philanthropy to discuss anticipated shifts in our economy over the next decade.

Research reports for elected officials who serve communities of color with policy solutions on topics like Smart Cities and 5G, Businesses of Color and E-commerce, and the Future of Work.

Accessible policy briefs, fact sheets, and policy videos that grow out of the research reports on topics like Smart Transportation Systems, Smart Energy Grids, Expanding FinTech in Financial Deserts, Telemedicine and Healthcare Workers, and Innovation Education at HBCUs/HSIs & Community Colleges.

Public opinion surveys that oversample African Americans and Latinos and allow for detailed data and demographic analysis on the future of people of color and innovation, the results of which will be incorporated into the reports, policy briefs, and policy videos.

Place-Based Infrastructure: The Joint Center will build an infrastructure to partner with community organizations to implement the ideas above in areas like Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Santa Ana, and the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi.

Roundtables for Top State & Local Elected Officials of Color from the Midwest and West covering innovation topics from the research reports and policy briefs above. For past roundtables click here.

Bipartisan Breakfasts that bring together economic development leaders, civil rights leaders, and private sector leaders with a top speaker to discuss the future of communities of color. For past breakfasts click here.
Black Elected Officials Infrastructure: The Joint Center will also strengthen the infrastructure to implement innovation in communities of color. For example, 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. 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.