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Joint Center News: September 2019

The Joint Center convened experts on data privacy, moderated a discussion on Black businesses and entrepreneurship, and hired a Senior Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. LaShonda Brenson.

Economic Studies

The Joint Center hosted an invite-only roundtable to identify key data privacy concerns for the African American community. Attendees discussed challenges and solutions related to data privacy and highlighted research questions open for future inquiry.

Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Harin Contractor spoke on a panel at Center Forward’s Future of Work Congressional Staff Briefing alongside Third Way Economic Program Senior Vice President Gabe Horwitz, Mine the Gap Co-Founder Jessica Grounds, and others.

Joint Center President Spencer Overton moderated a conversation on Building Economic Power in Black Communities through Business and Entrepreneurship at the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference. Discussants included Association for Enterprise Opportunity Vice President Corey Briscoe and JPMorgan Chase Institute Director of Business Outreach Dr. Chris Wheat. The session was co-hosted by ABFE | A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities and JPMorgan Chase.

Joint Center Economic Policy Director Jessica Fulton attended the inaugural Automation and the Middle Class Conference hosted by Marcus Casey and Richard Reeves of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at Brookings to learn more about forthcoming research on the future of work.

Harin joined Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC’s webinar on how the future of work will affect the Asian American community.

Verizon will provide 5G network access to 100 Title 1 schools across the US. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Center, over 13 million Black and Latino children attended Title 1 schools from 2016-2017.

September Jobs Analysis

Harin hosted an analysis on the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report. In our September 2019 chat, The Education Trust Higher Education Policy Analyst Satra Taylor and Data and Policy Analyst Kayla Patrick joined Harin to discuss how African American youth (ages 16-24) are participating in the summer labor force at higher rates than before.

Political Studies

Dr. Lashonda Brenson

Dr. Lashonda Brenson

Dr. LaShonda Brenson joined the Joint Center team as our Diversity and Inclusion Senior Fellow. The diversity and inclusion program includes our efforts to improve congressional staff diversity. LaShonda earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science from the University of Rochester. Her previous roles include Civil Rights Analyst at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Research Director at Project Vote. Learn more about LaShonda here.

The Joint Center commends Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard “Dick” Durbin (D-IL) for appointing Ariel Marshall (pictured left) and Jasmine Hunt (pictured right) as legislative director in their respective personal offices. Marshall and Hunt join a handful of Black women serving as legislative directors in the Senate, including Zephranie Buetow (Senator Peters (D-MI)), Courtney Temple (Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)), and Deanne Millison (Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)).

LaShonda participated in a roundtable, Thinking Outside the Box: Applied Careers in Political Science, at the American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting.


On his weekly podcast, WashingTECH Host Joe Miller spoke with Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po Assistant Professor Jen Schradie on social media bias, Uber Technologies Head of Global Policy for Accessibility and Underserved Communities Malcom Glenn on transportation access, Digital Influencer and Brand Consultant CJ Johnson on marketing and public policy, USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future Director and Research Professor Jeffrey Cole on the likelihood of Netflix surviving the streaming wars. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and on WashingTECH’s website. New episodes every Tuesday. Listen here.

In Case You Missed It

Marguerite Casey Foundation spotlighted a Black farming community in a two-part report.

Finding My Voice: Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving senior advisor to President Barack Obama, released a memoir, Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward.

Artist LaToya Ruby Frazier premiered her latest body of work, “The Last Cruze,” at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago on Sept. 14. The series of photos focus on the workers at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio who have been severely affected by outsourcing and automation.