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Joint Center News: May 2019

Economic Studies: Future of Work

The Joint Center hosted a future of work convening in Chicago, continued our monthly jobs day analysis, and Joint Center Black Talent Director Don Bell shared reflections on his congressional staff diversity work. Details below.

The Joint Center held a future of work convening in Chicago in partnership with Comcast-NBCUniversal Foundation.The event brought together practitioners, community leaders, workforce groups, the business community, and policy students from the University of Chicago to discuss the implications of the changing nature of work on African Americans in Chicago. More details here.

Black women are concentrated in a small number of occupations—many of which are at risk of displacement by automation. Learn more in Dr. Chandra Childers’ new report, “Digitalization, Automation, and Older Black Women: Ensuring Equity in the Future of Work.”

Marcus Casey and Sarah Nzau of Brookings wrote about how technological advances may be slowed by social norms. This may also slow the impacts of artificial intelligence on the future of work.

May Jobs Analysis

Employment Situation Report: On May 3, 2019, Harin hosted analysis on the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report. In our latest chat, Howard University’s Assistant Professor of Economics Jevay Grooms and Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s Senior Policy Analyst Alex Camardelle, and Harin discussed that while Black unemployment continues to decrease, many Black workers continue to lack access to health benefits.

Political Studies: Congressional Staff Diversity

Don Bell, who served as the Joint Center’s Black Talent Initiative Director, returned to his home state in Connecticut to pursue a career in public service. We appreciate Don’s many contributions in building our congressional staff diversity program, and we will announce his successor in the near future. Read Don’s reflections on his time at the Joint Center here.

Lobbyists say Congress should pay its staffers more. The Joint Center made a similar argument for paying interns—which can lead to more diverse recruitment for top staff. Read their argument here.

Legislative Director for Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Avanza Trailblazer, was honored by The Hispanic Lobbyists Association with the Avanza Trailblazer Award at the 2019 Avanza Awards reception. More here.

Joint Center Spotlight

In “Does Locked Up Mean Locked Out?” U.C. Berkeley Assistant Professor Dr. Tolani Britton shows that the Anti-Drug Act of 1986 both disproportionately increased the incarceration of Black men and disproportionately decreased college enrollment rates. Download the working paper here.

The Urban Institute published a report finding that stable housing could play a large role in reducing the risk of children experiencing “neglect, poor safety, abuse, and other harms.” Read it here.

Think Tank Roundup

Monica Anderson and Madhumitha Kumar of Pew Research Center find that although many Americans have made gains in tech adoption, a digital divide still persists between lower and higher income Americans. Anderson also wrote about survey results that show that racial discrimination varies for Black Americans depending on education level and gender.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Richard Kogan, Hannah Katch, Dottie Rosenbaum, Douglas Rice, Kathleen Romig, Ife Floyd, and Sharon Parrott report that President Trump’s 2020 budget will significantly cut services that help low-income households, including Medicaid, SNAP benefits, rental assistance, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

New America’s Michael Prebil and Lul Tesfai hosted a webinar to highlight how state governments can finance apprenticeship program expansions. Watch it here.

Sixty-five years after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, fourteen US states face lawsuits on either school funding adequacy or equity. Cortney Sanders of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote about efforts in Kansas and New Mexico to adequately and equitably fund public education in response to court decisions.

The Center for American Progress released a policy blueprint on eliminating racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality.


On his weekly podcast, WashingTECH Host Joe Miller spoke with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Sr. Legislative Advisor Randy Abreu on the Green New Deal, Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld on regulating digital platforms, President and Founder of Iconico Campaigns Luis Avila on empowering voters in Arizona, AI expert Kriti Sharma on “defeating AI bias by addressing the underlying human biases.” The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, and on WashingTECH’s website. New episodes every Tuesday. Listen here.

Daniella Gibbs of the Center for American Progress hosted podcasts on ending mass incarceration, the Equity Act’s likeliness to pass, sustainable policy ideas, and the current state of the economy. She also interviewed director and producer Ed Zwick. Find each episode here.

Kimberlé Crenshaw discusses the #MeToo movement and Black women on her podcast, Intersectionality Matters. Listen here.

At The Intersection hosts talk about the difference between gentrification and revitalization, and how systemic racism affects Black maternal health. Listen here.

In Case You Missed It

Policy Expert Nicole Tisdale published her book Right to Petition: A Practical Guide to Creating Change in Government with Political Advocacy Tools and Tips. It’s available here.

In an op-ed, Olugbenga Ajilore (Center for American Progress’s Senior Economist) argued that the withdrawal of Stephen Moore’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board is good for the economy.

Marcus Casey and Sarah Nzau of the Brookings Institution wrote about how artificial intelligence will disrupt the future of work.