Joint Center Updates

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad

Joint Center Board Appoints Dedrick Asante-Muhammad as President

Feb. 22, 2024

Chandra Hayslett,

Joint Center Board Appoints Dedrick Asante-Muhammad as President 

Asante-Muhammad plans to position the think tank to lead beyond the nation’s long-standing divisions and injustices

WASHINGTON — Today, the board of governors of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies announced that Dedrick Asante-Muhammad will be the next president of America’s Black think tank.

Asante-Muhammad, who was the vice president of Racial Economic Equity and Research at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), will begin March 11, 2024.

Asante-Muhammad replaces Spencer Overton, who served as president for 10 years before stepping down June 14, 2023. Jessica Fulton, vice president, Policy, was named interim president June 14. She will remain in this position until March 11 and then will reassume her responsibilities as vice president, Policy.

“The board is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dedrick Asante-Muhammad as president of the Joint Center. With two decades dedicated to unraveling and combating racial and economic inequities, Dedrick’s renowned expertise in racial wealth divide analysis will undoubtedly propel our mission forward with insight and impact,” said Paul N.D. Thornell, chair of the board of governors and presidential search committee chair. “Dedrick, who was recently named by Time as one of the 18 Black leaders working to end the racial wealth gap, will guide our vision, ensuring it remains steadfastly aligned with the needs of Black communities. The board has full confidence in Dedrick’s ability and vision, and we are excited about the next chapter of the Joint Center under his leadership.”

For the past 20 years, Asante-Muhammad has dedicated his career to understanding and tackling racial and economic inequities. During Asante-Muhammad’s tenure at NCRC, he oversaw fair lending, fair housing, the Women’s Business Center of DC, the National Training Academy, the Housing Counseling Network, and started the Racial Economic Equity Department. As chief of Membership, Policy, and Equity at NCRC, Asante-Muhammad oversaw Membership, Organizing, Research, and Policy.

Before joining NCRC, Asante-Muhammad served as director, senior fellow, and founder of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative for Prosperity Now. Before this role, he worked as the senior director for Economic Programs at the NAACP; an associate fellow for the Institute for Policy Studies; was a Racial Wealth Divide coordinator for United for a Fair Economy; and served as Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network National field director.

“I am honored. I look forward to building off of the nearly 55-year legacy of this foundational Black institution. I have spent the last 25 years of my professional life dedicated to advancing the African American political economy. My upcoming position at the Joint Center is the capstone of my career,” Asante-Muhammad said. “The Joint Center was the principal organization to strengthen and advance elected African American officials during the last decades of the 20th century. In this 21st century, the problem of the color line is still at the center of inequality and division in the United States, and it is my goal to position the Joint Center to lead the nation beyond its historical divisions and injustice.”

While at United for a Fair Economy, Asante-Muhammad co-founded the State of the Dream report, an annual publication honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that examines the state of racial and economic inequality in the U.S. Asante-Muhammad has continued to be a co-author, providing analysis in publications, including “The Road to Zero Wealth” and “Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide.” Over the years, Asante-Muhammad has also become a thought leader in diversity, inclusion, and procurement, as reflected in the Opportunity and Diversity series and the “Racial and Ethnic Representation and Investment Framework for the Banking Industry.”

Asante-Muhammad has been featured in outlets including The Hill, MarketWatch, Yahoo! News, Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, Time, The New York Times, C-SPAN, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Atlantic, TheGrio, Black Enterprise, and Inside Philanthropy. An avid writer and researcher, more of Asante-Muhammad’s work can be found in Medium, HuffPost, and the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative’s blog.

“As the Joint Center continues to build on its legacy, we are grateful to the board of governors and the Joint Center search committee for selecting a stellar researcher and changemaker who is aligned with the organization’s values and can lead the Joint Center through its next phase,” Fulton said. “It has been an honor to temporarily step in to lead the Joint Center. The leadership team and staff are looking forward to working with Dedrick to continue to make an impact as the ‘go-to’ resource on emerging issues that are critical to Black communities.”

Overton said: “I’m excited about the Joint Center’s future under Dedrick’s leadership. He has consistently been a thoughtful and powerful voice on issues of economic equity, and has a deep commitment to justice, inclusion, and opportunity. I look forward to supporting Dedrick as he makes the Joint Center even more impactful in advancing the research and policy interests of Black communities.”

About Dedrick Asante-Muhammad: Dedrick Asante-Muhammad has worked at many of the nation’s top national non-profit advocacy organizations including the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Prosperity Now, the NAACP, Institute for Policy Studies and Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Previous to his work at national non-profits, Asante-Muhammad worked in higher education at Williams College, Oberlin College, and Morgan State University. He also helped coordinate a college program at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. Asante-Muhammad has served and serves on various advisory committees and boards including The Racial Equity Subcommittee of the Joe Biden Economic Policy Committee, Better Markets, the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative, and the Council of US Financial Health Network. Asante-Muhammad has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Williams College and a master’s degree in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary.


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.