Joint Center Updates

Joint Center Mourns the Loss of Dr. William Spriggs

June 8, 2023

Chandra Hayslett,

Joint Center Mourns the Loss of Dr. William Spriggs

Economist played a critical role in the Joint Center’s growth

WASHINGTON — In response to the passing of Dr. William Spriggs, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies issued the following statement:

“We are saddened by the loss of Dr. William Spriggs, who was a longtime friend and supporter of the Joint Center. Dr. Spriggs, a leading Black voice in economics, was the assistant secretary for policy for the Department of Labor under the Obama administration, the first Black American to serve as chief economist for the AFL-CIO, and chaired the Economics Department at Howard University. Dr. Spriggs tirelessly worked to improve the financial well-being for Black communities and had a reputation for both centering Black voices in economic policy debates and questioning the status quo of the socio economic conditions of Black Americans,” said Jessica Fulton, vice president, Policy, who leads the Joint Center’s economic policy work.

Fulton continued: “As a friend of the Joint Center, Dr. Spriggs co-hosted a meeting for the Joint Center where Black leaders contributed critical feedback to our strategic plan and participated in Joint Center discussions on workforce data. We are grateful for his groundbreaking contributions in racial and economic justice and will miss him.”

President Spencer Overton said: “Dr. William Spriggs was a wonderful supporter of the Joint Center, and I personally benefited from his counsel. I regularly turned to him for his advice on economic policy, Black political appointees, protecting workers, and the labor movement. As someone who lived in both academic and public policy worlds, Bill was a role model for me. He was incredibly smart, honest, and witty, and also committed to justice, fairness, and community. Our nation is much stronger because of Bill and his many contributions. We will miss him deeply. His family members are in our thoughts and prayers.”

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.