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Joint Center News: January 2019

The Joint Center started the year off by participating in a panel at the Data for Black Lives conference, and we continued our diversity push amid the robust staff hiring season on the Hill. Details below!


Economic Studies: Future of Work

Black Jobs: The Joint Center’s Workforce Director Harin Contractor held his monthly Twitter discussion on Black jobs. Learn morehere.

Agriculture: Harin also participated in a workshop on agriculture at The Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative. More details here.

The Joint Center’s Economic Policy Director Jessica Fulton moderated a panel at the Data For Black Lives Conference. Watch it here.

Vox argues the “skills gap” doesn’t exist. Read here.

Apprenticeship coalition:Walmart, SoftBank Robotics, and Toyota joined Consumer Technology Association and IBM to launch an “apprenticeship coalition” which will provide “on-the-job training programs.” Learn more about it here.

Automation in the Hotel Industry: The Atlantic reported on Marriott International employees who are feeling the effects of automation. Read about it here.

#WOCinTech: Kapor Center’s Senior Research Associate Frieda McAlear wrote about the challenges faced by women of color in tech. Read here.

The Next Generation: PBS examined how colleges can adapt to prepare students for an ever-changing workforce, including careers that don’t exist yet.Read here.

Work is Changing: AARP’s Director of Thought Leadership and Financial Resilience Ramsey Alwin wrote on the future of work’s effect on workers and social insurance. Read here.

Political Studies: Congressional Staff Diversity

The Joint Center continues to track all new hires by new Members and top staff of color hired by returning Members. Stay up-to-date on congressional staff hires here.

Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show interviewed Joint Center President Spencer Overton on why now is the opportune moment to address the lack of Black top staffers in Congress. Listen here.

Spencer also joined Women in Government Relations for a panel on “Diversity in Senior Staff Positions in the House and Senate.” More here.

Roll Call talked to Joint Center’s Black Talent Director Don Bell about staff diversity. Read it here.

CNBCBoston Globe, and USA Today also featured the Joint Center.

Joint Center and NALEO Educational Fund’s Staff Up Congress Legislative Academy Participant Profiled: Eliza Ramirez shared her day-to-day life as a senior legislative assistant for a Massachusetts Member of Congress in Refinery29. Read the profile here.

People For the American Way highlighted the Joint Center’s reports in calling Members to hire diverse congressional top staff. Read it here.

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Need Diverse Top Staff: Politico’s Daniel Strauss reports on the benefits of candidates hiring people of color. Read here.

Think Tank Round Up

Andre Perry of Brookings wrote “Homeowners have lost $156 billion by living in a ‘black neighborhood’”Daniella Zessoules and Olugbenga Ajilore of Center for American Progress wrote “Wage Gaps and Outcomes in Apprenticeship Programs”

Daniella Zessoules, Galen Hendricks, Michael Madowitz, and Olugbenga Ajilore of Center for American Progress wrote “The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-January 2019 Jobs Release”

Olugbenga Ajilore of Center for American Progress wrote “A Provision in a New Senate Bill Will Only Further ‘Disaster Capitalism’”

Donovan Hicks, Heidi Schultheis,  Rejane Frederick, Azza Altiraifi, and Rachel West of Center for American Progress wrote “5 Ways the Trump Shutdown Is Harming Struggling Workers, Families, and Communities”

Kevin DeGood,Alison Cassady, Karla Walter, and Rejane Frederick of Center for American Progress wrote “Building Progressive Infrastructure: How Infrastructure Investments Can Create Jobs, Strengthen Communities, and Tackle the Climate Crisis”

Diana Boesch, Jocelyn Frye, and Kaitlin Holmes of Center for American Progress wrote “Driving Change in States to Combat Sexual Harassment”

Alan Barber of Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote “Are Your Workplace Policies Working? Use This Calculator to Measure Your Company’s Turnover Costs”

Ashley Burnside and Ife Floyd of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote “TANF Benefits Remain Low Despite Recent Increases in Some States” and “Policy Brief: Despite Recent Increases in Some States, TANF Cash Benefits Are Still Too Low”

“Congress in 2019: The need for bipartisan action on voting rights and election integrity” and “Enabling opportunities: 5G, the internet of things, and communities of color”


The Joint Center is looking for a Development Manager. More details here.

Data & Society is looking for Researchers for their Social Instabilities of Labor Futures Initiative, Post-Doc Scholars, and Faculty Fellows.

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is looking for fellows for the 2019-2020 academic year. Apply here.

Registration is now open for the 2019 NABJ Convention and Career Fair. The annual event takes place in Miami from Aug. 7-11, 2019. Register here.

For an overview of the Joint Center’s great work last year, see our 2018 accomplishments.

The Undefeated broke down the effects of the NFL adopting the “Rooney Rule” in 2003. The rule requires the league to interview at least one person of color for every head coach position. Read the stats breakdown here.

Cambridge University released an essay on tech and race. Learn more here.

#BlackWomenToo: Color of Change launched an interactive site to shed light on the systems that put Black women at risk. Check it out here.

Essence released a list of conferences Black women should attend this year. Read it here.

Vox reports on implicit bias in AI. Learn more here.

Yes Magazine argues that supporting Black businesses can “help bridge the racial wealth gap.” Read about it here.

New America named a new President and COO — Tyra Mariani.Learn more about her 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.

About Joint Center

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1970 and based in Washington, DC. The Joint Center's mission is to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination in order to improve the socioeconomic status of Black communities in the United States; expand their effective participation in the political and public policy arenas; and promote communication and relationships across racial and ethnic lines to strengthen the nation's pluralistic society.