Joint Center News: August 2018

In August, we analyzed Black job numbers, put the finishing touches on our soon-to-be released r eport on diversity among top U.S. House staff, and remembered  Congressman  Ron Dellums. Details below.

Economic Studies: Future of Work
Joint Center Organizes Discussion of Black Job Numbers:  Howard University’s Dr. Bill Spriggs, workforce expert René Bryce-Laporte, and the Joint Center’s Harin Contractor analyzed the impact of last month’s job numbers on Black communities. Despite lower unemployment, many Black workers remain disconnected from the workforce (read details  here ). Go to @JointCenter at 8:30 am on Friday, Sept. 7 when the Labor Department releases job numbers to follow the next conversation in real time.

Joint Center Speaks at 2018 National Urban League Conference:  Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined the panel “Equity By Design: Educating and Supporting the 21st Century Workforce” with Black Educators Rock CEO Dr. Melissa Chester, Kapor Center Research Chief Dr. Allison Scott, ProMedica’s John Jones, LinkedIn’s Jacqueline Jones, Per Scholas Columbus’s Toni Cunningham, and Include CEO Kristen Ransom. More   here .

Center’s Harin Contractor Appointed to Lead FCC Diversity Workforce Group:  Harin, a member of the Federal Communications Commission Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, will lead a subcommittee that will examine policy levers that could expand educational and up-skilling opportunities, and other workforce development efforts.

The Washington Informer Covers the Joint Center:  The Joint Center’s commitment to increasing workforce development in Black communities was highlighted in coverage of our statement about the Trump Administration’s National Council for the American Worker.  Story here .

In August, the Joint Center Analyzed Summer Employment for Black Youth. Harin found that the number of Black youth in the summer workforce remained stagnant, even though summer youth employment overall rose. More here .

#BlackLaborDay : The Joint Center participated in the second annual #BlackLaborDay social media conversation, led by the  National Black Worker Center Project . The conversation thanked Black workers and discussed the ways race affects Black workers. More here .

Opportunity@Work CEO Byron Auguste  busts through myths about the so-called “skills gap,” including not enough college grads, not enough STEM, and not enough salary. Read it  here .

Comcast Released an Update on its Internet Essentials Program for Low-income Families:  The program has connected six million low-income Americans to high-speed internet and distributed 85,000 affordable subsidized computers.   Eighty percent  of the program’s customers are people of color.  Read more  here .

Universal Basic Income (UBI) was discussed on Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show”  when the New Yorker’s Annie Lowrey appeared as a guest to promote her book Give People Money. Watch it  here . At an April Joint Center event,  economist William “Sandy” Darity observed that UBI might cause private sector employers to keep wages low since UBI would subsidize their employees’ income. In contrast, Dr. Darity noted that a federal jobs guarantee could increase wages by pushing the private sector to compete for talent.

Political Studies: Congressional Staff Diversity

Joint   Center Prepares to Release Report on Diversity Among Top U.S. House Staff:  In August, the Joint Center’s Don Bell met with several House offices to provide a preview and get feedback. The report will be released in September.

U.S. Senate Loses Only Black Communications Director:  An outstanding communications director and a good friend of the Joint Center, Darrell “D.J.” Jordan, announced that he was leaving the office of Senator James Lankford (R-OK) to join a public relations firm. There are now only six African Americans in top positions in DC Senate offices—three work for Republicans, and three for Democrats. While African Americans account for over 13 percent of the U.S. population, they now account for only 1.8 percent of Senate staff. More here .

Monica Garcia has become Deputy Communications Director   in the office of U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). Garcia previously served as Deputy Director of Communications at the Latino Victory Fund. Details here .

Black Women’s Congressional Alliance (BWCA) Celebrates Communications Professionals:  On August 21, the Alliance hosted a mixer at the Raben Group celebrating women in communications. Honorees included individuals from the private sector, advocacy world, and the civil rights community.

Think Tank Round Up

Connor Maxwell at the Center for American Progress (CAP) wrote that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh threatens the right to vote.
CAP’s  Aastha Uprety and Danyelle Solomon  wrote about combating hate, particularly white nationalism, in the digital space.  The piece calls for platforms to implement clear terms-of-use policies, expand enforcement mechanisms, and increase transparency and accountability.
Janelle Jones   from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)analyzed the latest Black unemployment data. DC has the highest Black unemployment rate at 12.4%, while West Virginia has the highest white unemployment rate at 5.1%.
In honor of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on August 7,  Madison Matthews and Valerie Wilson   of EPI wrote about howoccupational segregation affects Black women’s earnings.
Michael Hanson and Diane Quintero   of Brookings highlightthe growing segregation of the teacher workforce.
Andre Perry  of Brookings maps localities with high shares of Black residents with STEM degrees, and argues that localities should strategically build out a Black STEM workforce to attract investment, and that companies should invest in these areas. 
Amanda Novello and Andrew Stettner   at the Century Foundation wrote that the number of Black and Latino “gig economy” workers increased from 2005-2017(contingent work and arrangement employment), while the number of white gig economy workers declined. 
Several Brookings scholars recognized the one-year anniversary of the 2017 white supremacist march in Charlottesville .  Camille Busette and Vanessa Williamson   explained how Charlottesville highlighted America’s failure to address the brutal legacy of slavery.  Nicol Turner-Lee argued that we need another Kerner Commission. Rachel Barker and Alan Berube argued that lasting change in cities requires not just the removal of Confederate moments, but also tackling deep, structural barriersreflected in segregation, limited opportunity, and continued discrimination.
Miranda Simes   at The Hass Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society argues that “green cities” must focus not just on lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but also the disproportionate exposure of neighborhoods of color to pesticides, hazardous waste, bus depot emissions, and other environmental harms.
Robert Manduca of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth explained how rising income inequality has increased the average income gap between Blacks and whites. 

Remembering Congressman Ron Dellums
This summer Congressman Ron Dellums passed away at age 82. A former social worker, Ron Dellums rose to prominence as a national civil rights leader, a member of Congress, and Mayor of Oakland.

Dellums chaired the Joint Center’s “Dellums Commission,” which analyzed the policies that affect the physical, emotional, and social health of young men of color and their communities, and developed plans to alter policies that limit life paths for young men of color. In 2006-2007, the Joint Center’s Dellums Commission produced nine seminal reports , and laid the groundwork for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Executive Alliance on Men and Boys of Color, and other projects focused on challenges faced by men and boys of color. Click here for the Joint Center’s Dellums Commission research . Read his New York Times  obituary here .

The Ford Foundation is looking for a Program Officer to drive its new “Future of Work” program, which will ensure “future of work” discussions advance worker well-being and reduce inequality, especially for women, people of color, migrants, and people with different abilities.More  here.

The Partnership on AI (Artificial Intelligence) is hiring for several positions, including Director of Policy, Head of Communications, Chief Operating Officer, and Program Associate. More  here.

TONIGHT Watch Roland Martin’s New Daily Digital TV News Show, #RolandMartinUnfiltered!
Spencer will be on the debut show on Tuesday, September 4 at 6 pm EST, and will be a weekly panelist thereafter. Click here for details .
The Congressional Black Caucus will hold its 48thAnnual Legislative Conference in DC from September 12-16. Spencer will join Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester’s policy session on the future of work. It takes place on Saturday, September 15, from 10:30 am-12:30 pm in Room 206 of the Washington Convention Center . The official schedule  is here   
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators will host a Day on the Hill event on September 12. More  here .The Executive Leadership Council  will host a 2018 Leadership Development Week from September 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Details  here .

Juan Williams’s new book What the Hell Do You Have to Lose – Trump’s War on Civil Rights  comes out September 25. It is a response to then-candidate Donald Trump’s question to Black voters “what the hell do you have to lose?” Pre-order it here

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, founded in 1970, is a think tank that produces data, analysis, and ideas to solve challenges that confront the African American community. The Joint Center collaborates with top experts, various organizations, and others that value racial inclusion to maximize our impact. We are currently focused on the future of work in African American communities and congressional staff diversity.