Economic Policy


Joint Center Announces Data for Black America Project 

May 15, 2023

Chandra Hayslett,

Joint Center Announces Data for Black America Project 

Research shop to shed light on structural inequities heightened by COVID for Black communities

WASHINGTON — The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today launched its Data for Black America Project, an in-house research shop that will analyze the structural inequities facing Black communities and their responsiveness to various policy issues. This research aims to inform decision-makers about the challenges Black Americans face and provide scholars with valuable data to use in the future. This initiative will periodically field surveys and conduct focus groups on various economic and political issues of particular relevance to Black communities.

Joint Center research and recent events demonstrate that Black communities’ challenges are distinct, varied, and often hidden. For public policy to truly prioritize racial equity, researchers and policymakers must dig deeply into better data and recognize the unique needs of different Black communities.

“The Data for Black America Project fills a void because of the implicit biases in current data collection, where results often obscure the specific challenges facing Black communities,” said Jessica Fulton, vice president of Policy for the Joint Center. “For example, many surveys only report topline data on the ‘typical’ American, neglecting to include enough Black respondents to highlight our unique experiences. Others that do go deeper often report data for Black Americans as a monolith, but fail to investigate the myriad of Black experiences.”

Through Data for Black America, the Joint Center is committed to developing concrete strategies and practical policy solutions informed by Black communities. Research produced by Data for Black America focuses on understanding Black perspectives and the profound structural inequities that left Black communities feeling more vulnerable to COVID-19, and that could, if unaddressed, prevent Black communities from fully participating in the post-pandemic economy. Data for Black America seeks to enable a sustained equitable and inclusive economic recovery by offering meaningful data and actionable strategies to policymakers, private sector leaders, philanthropists, and Black communities.

About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.