Hill Diversity

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Joint Center President Joins Women in Government Relations Panel on #DiversityOnTheHill

Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined a Women in Government Relations panel discussion on diversity in senior staff positions in the House and Senate (based on theJoint Center’s research). Other panelists included Kemba Hendrix (Director, House Democratic Diversity Initiative), Jennifer DeCasper (Chief of Staff, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)), Angela Manso (Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund). Taylor Lemmons (Co-Chair DEI Committee, Quorum) was the moderator.

The full description of the panel is as follows: “In 2015 the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released a report detailing the lack of diversity amongst senior level staffers in the Senate. The findings cut across both parties and highlighted a real lack of representation. In 2018 the Joint Center followed that first report with a deep dive this time into the House’s similar lack of diversity. With a new Congress being sworn in this is the perfect opportunity to hold bipartisan discussions on why this problem persists and what can be done about it. This is also an opportunity to encourage new Members of Congress to consider diversity and representation as they make their hiring decisions. Making the change on the Hill can reverberate elsewhere in DC. Men and women who start on Capitol Hill often go on to lead trade associations and policy and lobby shops. If diversity is wanting among Congressional staff, that dearth will pervade throughout the government relations industry.”

Tweets and photos from the panel can be found below.

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.