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2022 Future of Black Communities Summit

The Joint Center's one-day summit is dedicated to exploring the current challenges facing Black communities and proposing solutions for the future.


Watch the entire program below.

To view photos from the event, click here.


Opening Reception

Gina Raimondo, U.S. Commerce Secretary
Shalanda Young, OMB Director

Fireside Chats

Kristin Johnson, Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, discussed funding Black founders and Black investors in cryptocurrency; the advantages and privacy risks of the current cryptocurrency landscape; the government's role in protecting historically-marginalized consumers in cryptocurrency; and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s role in regulating cryptocurrency.

Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator, and Joseph Shepherd Miller, Founder, President, CEO, and Founding Board Chair, WashingTECH, discussed the implications of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 for broadband infrastructure development; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s role in empowering local leaders in the Black Rural South; and how to ensure an equitable federal and state-level broadband infrastructure roll-out in the Black Rural South.

Charlotte Burrows, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and April Ryan, Author and White House Correspondent and Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief, The Grio, discussed the policy priorities of the EEOC; how employers are using AI and other software tools and the problems that these tools pose in assessing Black workers; and what employers can do to reduce the chances that their AI or automated decision-making tools will result in unlawful discrimination.

Luncheon Speakers

Reta Jo Lewis, President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), and Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, talked about how EXIM can support Black businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities; President Biden’s commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment’s impact on underserved communities businesses and communities; and the Joint Center’s Black Talent Initiative’s role in supporting Black appointees.

Don Graves, Deputy Secretary, Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, talked with Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, about the status of equity in commerce; how the Department of Commerce ensures workers and businesses are competitive and inclusive; how the implementation of policies, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, effects Black communities; and how Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers are the one-stop shops for minority business owners to understand the resources that are available from the federal government.


Technology Policy Priorities for Black Communities

The featured speaker and panelists for the Technology Policy Priorities for Black Communities conversation discussed how Black communities are targets for discriminatory ad targeting; the prevalence of online disinformation and digital hate speech that prompts real life-harms; the misuse of data in employment and lending; obstacles with the lack of broadband access; and tech policy solutions that will keep Black Americans safe while online.

Opening Remarks:

  • Geoffrey Starks, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission


  • Chanelle Hardy, Head of Civil Rights, Google
  • Steve Newell, Assistant Director, Innovation and Equity, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Yvette Badu-Nimako, Vice President, Policy/Civil Rights, National Urban League
  • Damon Hewitt, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    • Moderator: Patrick Lucas Austin, Editor, IT Brew

Economic Policy Priorities for Black Communities

The panelists for Economic Policy Priorities for Black Communities discussed the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic and the current inflation trends; the persistent lack of access to good jobs and workforce training for Black workers; resources to grow businesses and wealth; and economic and tax policy solutions that center the well-being of Black workers.


  • Natalie Madeira Cofield, Former Assistant Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Angela Hanks, Chair of Programs, Demos
  • Dr. Seft Hunter, Director, Black Led Organizing and Power Building, Community Change
  • Dr. Alex Camardelle, Director, Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
    • Moderator: Jessica Fulton, Vice President, Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Corporate Investments in Racial Equity

The panelists for Corporate Investments in Racial Equity discussed moment vs. movement trends in corporate investments in racial justice following the murder of George Floyd; which companies have excelled and which have fallen short in their commitments to racial justice; and how allies can move companies to effectively invest in Black communities.


  • Tia Hodges, President and CEO, MetLife Foundation
  • Monique Baptiste, Vice President of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
  • Cadene Russell Brooks, Counsel, WilmerHale
  • Fabrice Coles, Senior Manager of Global Public Policy, PayPal
  • Jonay Foster Holkins, Senior Director, Policy, Business Roundtable
    • Moderator: Gail Coles Johnson, VP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Executive Leadership Council

Prioritizing the Black Rural South

The panelists for Prioritizing the Black Rural South discussed challenges and opportunities in the Black Rural South; the differences between the Black Rural South and the Delta Regional Authority; explained the obstacles with the lack of broadband and the impacts in the upcoming federal and local investments in broadband; and what needs to be done to ensure equitable buildout in the Black Rural South.


  • Clint Odom, Vice President for Strategic Alliances and External Affairs, T-Mobile
  • Robert Branson, President and CEO, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council
  • Dr. Corey Wiggins, Federal Co-Chair, Delta Regional Authority
  • Dr. Dominique Harrison, Director, Racial Equity Design and Data Initiative, Citi Ventures Studio
  • Oleta Fitzgerald, Board Chair, Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative
    • Moderator: Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Philanthropic Investments in Racial Equity

The panelists for Philanthropic Investments in Racial Equity discussed the impact of the influx of philanthropic dollars to Black-led organizations two years after the murder of George Floyd; how grantmaking has changed in the last two years; trends in the philanthropic sector to determine if we are in a moment or movement; and the most effective approaches for addressing racial justice within the philanthropic sector.


  • Dr. Avenel Joseph, Vice President of Policy, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Leslie Boissiere, Vice President of External Affairs, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Tahira Christmon, Vice President of External Affairs, Association of Black Foundation Executives
    • Moderator: Kenneth JonesSenior Vice President and COO, MacArthur Foundation

Advancing Black Agency

The panelists for Advancing Black Agency discussed the state of diversity among Congressional staff; shared insights into the innovative approaches to diversity staffing by the Biden administration; explained the relationship and timing between the midterm elections and advocating for increasing Congressional staff diversity; and discussed how the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion can help to further increase Congressional staff diversity.


  • Dr. Sesha Moon, Director, House Office of Diversity Initiative
  • Gautam Raghavan, Director, White House Presidential Personnel
  • Mike Lynch, Chief of Staff, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Staff Director, Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee
  • David Strickland, Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs and Transportation Technology Policy, General Motors
  • Dr. LaShonda Brenson, Senior Researcher, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
    • Moderator: Elliot Williams, Principal, The Raben Group

Special thanks to our staff, sponsors, speakers, and Board of Governors, who helped bring our 2022 Future of Black Communities Summit to you.


Paul N.D. Thornell, Chair Paula Boyd, Secretary Kenneth Jones, Treasurer Spencer Overton, President A. Scott Bolden LaTosha Brown Michael Collins  Chanelle Hardy Barbara Johnson Dr. Safiya Noble  Dr. Dianne M. Pinderhughes Robert Raben Carla Thompson Payton Antonio Williams 






Lyft W.K. Kellogg Foundation Waymo

Charter Communications

Annie E. Casey Foundation Business Roundtable PayPal American Express

Democracy Fund Ariel Investments NCTA