Joint Center News: June 28, 2018

In June, we met with Black Labor leaders and other key allies to talk about the future of work and our strategic plan. We also published on congressional staff diversity. Read more below.

Economic Studies: Future of Work

Joint Center Meets with Black Labor: Dr. Bill Spriggs (AFL-CIO) and Clayola Brown (APRI) hosted a second meeting for the Joint Center with Black leaders from AFSCME, AFGE, TULC, the Machinists, UFCW, the National Black Worker Center Project, and other key organizations. The group gave feedback on the Joint Center’s strategic plan.

The Education Trust Publishes Two Briefs on Higher Education and Racial Degree Attainment Gaps: The organization’s report, The State of Higher Education Equity, found that increasing the number of college-educated Blacks, Latinos, and members of other ethnic groups is critical to addressing racial equity issues. Additionally, the report found that Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, and Washington have the highest degree attainment for Black adults. The full report is here.

The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and the ILR School of Cornell University Launch the Gig Economy Data Hub: The site provides insights into the gig economy and its workers, and indicates that agency temps, on-call, and contract company employees are more likely to be Black or Latino. More here.

Google Releases Its Employee Diversity Figures: A June report released by the tech giant revealed that its workforce remains overwhelmingly white or Asian and male, with only 3% of its employees identifying as African American. Read the full report here.

Jobs for the Future Announced it Will Launch a $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge with Schmidt Futures: The campaign will identify the most promising ways to meaningfully increase people’s annual incomes and help close the income gap for at least 100,000 workers by 2021. More information is here.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum Release Series of Reports on the Economic Cost of Racial Inequity: The data show that the U.S. would add $8 trillion to the nation’s GDP by 2050 by eliminating persistent health, education, incarceration, and employment racial disparities that affect people of color. Read the series here. Political Studies: Congressional Staff DiversityThe HillPublishes Joint Center Op-Ed Calling Out Staff Pay Inequity: Black Talent Initiative Director Don Bell wrote an op-ed on recent LegiStorm data finding that white staffers in the Senate earned, on average, $7,000 more than Black staffers. Read the op-ed here.

Don Bell Writes Op-Ed for SalonAbout Youth in Public Service: Following the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, Salon published a piece by Don Bell on June 11 that discussed RFK’s legacy and millennial engagement in public service. Don highlighted the Joint Center’s collaboration with NALEO to identify, counsel, and place people of color in policy positions on Capitol Hill. Read more here.FCC Nominee Geoffrey Starks Testifies at Senate Hearing: Starks, a Democrat, was nominated by President Donald Trump on June 1 to fill the Federal Communications Commission role recently vacated by Mignon Clyburn. Starks testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on June 20. A day later, the Joint Center issued this statement touting the significance of the nomination of Starks, who would be the only Black FCC Commissioner. Read the Joint Center’s statement here. Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Down Payment on Paid Internships: On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $5 million to help offices pay for internships beginning in FY 19. Approximately $50,000 will be set aside for each office, with adjustments based on state population. Providing paid internships can increase diversity and inclusion among Capitol Hill staff.CBC Hires New Policy Director: The Congressional Black Caucus hired Kwabena Nsiah as the organization’s policy director in June. Nsiah was previously the senior policy advisor to Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) on the Joint Economic Committee.

D.C. Bar Profiles CBC ED Fabrice Coles: In June, the District of Columbia Bar Association highlighted member Fabrice Coles who has held a variety of jobs on Capitol Hill since graduating from the Howard University School of Law in 2008. Coles currently serves as the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, where he leads efforts to help CBC members and their staff develop policy that benefits African Americans. The full profile is available here. Black Women’s Congressional Alliance Hosts Female Former Chiefs: On June 4, the Black Women’s Congressional Alliance, in partnership with the African American Women on the Hill Network, presented an Empower Hour where former female chiefs of staff shared their experiences on Capitol Hill. Panelists included Chanelle Hardy, Tisha Cole, Nicole Venable, and Patrice Willoughby. More information is here. Think Tank Round-Up In honor of Juneteenth, Dēmos economist Algernon Austin wrote about the social exclusions facing the Black community during the Trump administration. The piece, which looks at mass incarceration, persistent segregation, and the suppression of civil rights, can be read here. The Brookings Institution released a report about accelerating local solutions to economic inequalities emerging in urban communities. Read the full report and the press release here.

After a recent string of public pardons, Andre Perry at the Brookings Institution argued that we should never confuse the political use of pardons with policymaking. Read it here. Valerie Wilson and Jessica Schieder at the Economic Policy Institute provided a snapshot on child poverty, arguing that the child poverty rate has increased over several decades largely because Black and Latino children continue to make up a larger share of poor children. They also explained how countries that invest more in social programs have less child poverty. Read their arguments here and here.

Danyelle Solomon and Connor Maxwell at the Center for American Progress discussed structural racism in a case study about the combined impact of mass incarceration and Black infant mortality. Read it here.

The Joint Center is looking for a new Development Manager and Office Manager. The Development Manager will work directly with the President to foster donor relationships and explore potential partners, monitor data, and organize events. More information is here. The Office Manager will be responsible for the Joint Center’s office operations and managing vendor relationships. Check out the posting here.

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is looking for a project coordinator to help manage a diverse range of activities related to its Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative. More information is here.

  • Money 20/20 Calls for USA Startup AcademySubmissions: the Money 20/20 USA conference will feature startups and select a group of 100 new, inventive companies looking to revolutionize the future of money. The deadline to apply is June 30and more information is available here.
  • The National Organization of Black Elected Women’sAnnual Legislative Conference will take place from June 28 to July 1, 2018 in Birmingham, AL. Information is here.
  • The National Association of County Officials’ 83 Annual Conference will be July 13-16 in Davidson County (Nashville), TN. Details here.
  • The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Summer Conference will be July 25-28 in Hollywood, FL. Details here.
  • TheNAACP will hold its 109th Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX on July 14-18. The 2018 convention theme is “Defeat Hate –VOTE.” More here.
  • The National Urban League will hold its national conference August 1-4 in Columbus, OH. More here.

  • The Democratic National Committee is investing millions on a strategic plan to mobilize minority voters. Party insiders say this is the largest initiative ever by the Democratic Party to motivate minority, millennial, and rural voters. Read the full story here.
  • The Urban Institute released this month a brief examining whether the country has closed the disparity gaps in housing, education, employment, and other issues in the 50 years since the Poor People’s Campaign. You can find the full report 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.