Joint Center News: April 27, 2017

In April Senator Feinstein hired a Black legislative director, and the Joint Center went to the Hill to preview our upcoming House staff diversity numbers. Read more below!

Joint Center Commends Sen. Feinstein on Hiring Black Legislative Director: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has hired Roscoe Jones as her Legislative Director.  Jones previously served as senior counsel for Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).  Of the approximately 340 top staff in Washington, DC in the U.S. Senate, six are now Black (two Democrats, and four Republicans). That number has doubled since the Joint Center’s 2015 Senate reportRead more about Roscoe Jones here

House Staff Diversity Lunch: On April 7, 2017, the Joint Center convened top House staff of color to preview its upcoming Racial Diversity Among Top House Staff report. Read more here.

Washington Post Publishes Joint Center’s Don Bell: Black Talent Initiative Director Don Bell’s commentary appeared earlier this week. “Only 5 percent of Senate staffers are Black. Congress needs the ‘Rooney’ Rule.”  Read the full commentary here.

Republican Pizza & Placement Lunch: On April 21, 2017, the Joint Center partnered with INSIGHT America to convene African-American top House Republican staffers to discuss staff diversity.

DNC Diversifying Top Staff: DNC Chair Tom Perez announced the hiring of two new top staffers of color. Xochitl Hinojosa has been hired as the new Communications Director and Michael Tyler as National Press Secretary.

Republican Black Staff Association Doubles: Black Republican Congressional Staff Association President Ayshia Connors announced that the association’s membership has doubled since the last Congress. Read more here.


 Joint Center Travels to Northern California: Joint Center President Spencer Overton gave remarks at a LinkedIn conference for equity organizations on the the impact of innovation on communities of color. In several meetings over three days, he also received input about the impact of innovation on communities of color from the Mayor of East Palo Alto and officials from AirBnB, the City Innovate Foundation, LendUp, Lex Machina, Stanford Law School, and RevUp.

Joint Center Travels to Dallas for Foundations/Black Business Ownership Event: Joint Center President Spencer Overton travelled to Dallas to participate in a session sponsored by ABFE-A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities and the Council on Foundations. The topic of the event was “Collaborate & Innovate: Equalizing the Playing Field of Black Business Ownership in the U.S.”

Joint Center Talks 5G and Smart Cities at AAMA Summit: Joint Center President Spencer Overton is scheduled to present at the African American Mayors Association’s annual summit. The presentation foreshadows our upcoming report on 5G and Smart Cities.

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore talks driverless cars and job loss on WashingTECH: On this week’s WashingTECH podcast, Global Policy Solutions President & CEO Dr. Maya Rockeymoore discussed the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on people of color in the driver job market. She also gives policy recommendations for addressing job loss.  Listen here.

Despite Silicon Valley numbers, there are qualified workers of color: The Center for American Progress released a brief on the continued challenges in tech diversity. The brief dispels the myth that diverse candidates do not exist in the tech industry, and reports on diverse tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley-such as DC where 21.5% of tech workers are Black or Latino. More here.

DC gets its first inclusive incubator at Howard U: The Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) lab opened on April 17. The building will provide a space on Howard University’s campus to attract venture capital firms, minority entrepreneurs, and those who aim to serve underrepresented communities. More here.

Tech wage gap worse for women of color: According to a new study from Hired, the gender wage gap in the U.S. has been slowly shrinking over the past decades but is far from gone in the tech sector. For every dollar earned by white males, Asian women earn 87 cents, Latina women 83 cents, and Black women 79 cents. More here.

  • Joint Center’s LIHEAP Policy Brief was cited in an AP article on the impact of impending budget cuts on Native American communities here.
  • Joint Center President Spencer Overton spoke at a plenary at the annual North American Think Tank Summit, and with NAB President Marcellus Alexander at the Awareness in Reporting Event. Listen to the NAB podcast here.
  • ESSENCE Magazinereleased their Woke 100 list this month featuring leading women like Joint Center Roundtable alum Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, SLACK Sr. Engineer Erica Joy Baker, STEMBoard CEO Aisha Bowe, Black Women’s Roundtable Convener Melanie Campbell, BuyBlack Google Chrome Extension’s Angie Coleman, Technicolor DC cofounder Sibyl Edwards, Digitalundivided Founder Kathryn Finney, Senator Kamala Harris, Activist Janaye Ingram, DEMOS President Heather McGhee, Code2040 CEO Laura Weidman Powers, White House Correspondent April Ryan, Commentator Angela Rye, and Congresswoman “Auntie” Maxine Waters. Read the full list here.
  • The Joint Center will release its latest report entitled 5G, Smart Cities, and Communities of Color, highlighting the implications of 5G and Smart Cities on communities of color.
  • The annual Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies (APAICS) Awards Gala Dinner will take place Tuesday, May 16. This year, the gala will be hosted by CBS News Correspondent Elaine Quijano, who also served as the Vice Presidential debate moderator in 2016.
  • On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will host its 41st Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner.  This dinner convenes over 200 social justice organizations to present the social justice community’s highest honor. This year, the social justice community’s highest honor will go to Wade Henderson,who is stepping down as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. Congratulations and thank you Wade for your leadership!