Joint Center News: September 27, 2017

In September, the Joint Center discussed innovation with Black elected officials and entrepreneurs in partnership with the African American Mayors Association, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the U.S. Black Chambers. We also developed strategies on the future of work, the future of entrepreneurship, and equitable development with over 20 elected officials and economic development leaders at our Midwest Roundtable in Detroit. Details below.

Black Mayors’ Tech Day On September 11, Spencer, Adzi, and Will from the Joint Center traveled to Philadelphia for the 2nd Annual Tech Day. The event was organized by the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) in conjunction with the Joint Center. Spencer moderated a session featuring Comcast Foundation President Dalila Scott, who discussed the importance of digital access and readiness, the future of work and entrepreneurship, and public-private partnerships. Other speakers focused on startups of color, incubators and accelerators that serve diverse communities, the creation of innovation zones, and equitable development. Click here for more .

CBCF ALC ’17 Issue Forum — Rep. Yvette Clarke’s “Smart Cities and YOU: The Future is Here, Don’t Get Left Behind”: The Joint Center wrote the leading report on Smart Cities and communities of color (click here ), and Spencer emphasized key insights from the report. Smart Cities can drive economic development. Local officials should help workers acquire new economy skills, promote diversity among Smart City contractors, and prevent data bias and redlining. Click here for more on the issue forum.
CBCF ALC ’17 Issue Forum — Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s “The Future of Work: How New Technologies will Impact the Workforce of Color” : The Joint Center released new data showing that over 26% of African American workers are concentrated in just 20 occupations that are at high risk to automation (e.g., cashiers, drivers, retail sales, laborers, movers, cooks, security guards, secretaries, wait staff, etc.). To see the data, click here . Spencer also reviewed actions that should be taken by individuals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and government officials to start to address this challenge. Click here for more on the issue forum.
Live Case Study of Black Entrepreneur’s Use of Tech Tools : On September 20, 2017, the Joint Center conducted a live case study with a member of the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) during the organization’s annual policy breakfast. The Joint Center’s segment featured Gotta Go Now, LLC — a Black-owned company that has experienced substantial growth directly attributable to its use of inexpensive tech tools.
Joint Center Midwest Roundtable in Detroit: On September 25-26, the Joint Center traveled to Detroit to host a roundtable of over 20 state and local elected officials like Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and economic development specialists like Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development Director Oscar Bedolla. Sessions covered equitable development, entrepreneurs of color, the future of work, and cradle-to-career skills in the new economy. Read more here .


  • In October, we will release our data brief on Technology Use of Black and Latinx Businesses at an October 24 Hill briefing with Congresswoman Lydia Velazquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Small Businesses. The data and analysis will be revealed and discussed with key congressional staff and other stakeholders ahead of the release of our full report on Black Businesses & The Internet Economy.
  • On October 1-3, the Joint Center will travel to Dallas, TX to host a Live Case Study on Hispanic Businesses & Technology at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Convention. The Joint Center segment will feature a USHCC company that has experienced substantial growth directly attributable to its use of technology to provide a live use-case demonstration and highlight the relevance of this topic for conference attendees.
  • On November 1, the Black Talent Initiative & NALEO will host a reception to celebrate our diversity partnership.
  • Why Using Data to Drive Tech Inclusion Makes Sense: Simply recruiting diverse candidates may not solve Silicon Valley’s diversity and inclusion problem. Survey Monkey recently released the questions they are asking to see whether workplaces are as well as diverse. Read the questions here.
  • Senators Cortez Masto & Harris Host Mentorship Initiative Meeting with African American Staffers:On September 11, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) hosted her third Cafecito con Catherine– a mentorship series that discusses challenges faced by congressional staffers of color and works to help improve and advance their career opportunities. Cortez Masto was joined by Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and spoke with African American women staffers. Cortez Masto previously met with Latina and AAPI women staffers. She hopes to highlight the need for succession by partnering with organizations to ensure women and students of color have access to internship and employment opportunities in Congress. Read more here.
  • Verizon’s AdFellows Internship Program gives students interested in marketing/advertising careers a paid internship (including housing) with Verizon and major ad agencies in New York City. Verizon is committed to 90% job placement for participants who complete the program and seek marketing and advertising careers. Click here for more.
  • Comcast’s Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program is currently accepting nominations. Principals or guidance counselors can nominate one student per school who has a strong commitment to community service, academics, and demonstrated leadership. Recipients receive a $1,000 grant.The deadline is November 30, 2017. For more information, contact International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. atComcast@applyists.com or at (855) 670-4787.