Joint Center Updates

Karine Jean-Pierre Appointed as White House Press Secretary, Dr. Lisa Cook Confirmed by Senate & More: May 12 Roundup

Biden Administration

Karine Jean Pierre

Karine Jean-Pierre appointed as White House press secretary: President Biden announced that current Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President Karine Jean-Pierre will be promoted to White House press secretary. She will replace Jen Psaki, who will leave the administration May 13. Jean-Pierre will be the first Black woman and LGBTQ person to serve as White House press secretary.

White House celebrates private sector commitments to expand national broadband access: The White House announced a new private-public partnership to ensure that high-speed broadband internet is more affordable for millions of Americans. As a part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Affordable Connectivity Program is the most extensive high-speed internet affordability program in our nation’s history. This program is a direct link to a recommendation from our report, Expanding Broadband in the Black Rural South, which suggests establishing a permanent broadband benefit program for lower-income households.

Joint Center President Spencer Overton attended the White House Rose Garden announcement.

Don Cravins nominated to lead Minority Business Development: President Biden announced a new slate of nominees to serve in his administration. Of these, Donald R. Cravins Jr. was nominated as under secretary for Minority Business Development, Department of Commerce. Cravens currently serves as  executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Urban League.

The Hill 


Dr. Lisa Cook

Dr. Lisa Cook confirmed by Senate: Dr. Lisa Cook was confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors by a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie. Dr. Cook is the first Black woman confirmed to the Board in its 108-year history.

The Joint Center has continuously supported Dr. Cook throughout the nomination process. In a statement, Joint Center President Spencer Overton said, “Dr. Lisa Cook is an incredibly important and long overdue addition to the Federal Reserve Board. Dr. Cook’s rigorous and groundbreaking macroeconomic research underscores her steadfast commitment to a better economy for all. Her thoughtfulness and deep expertise will allow her to contribute a unique perspective to the Fed that facilitates equity and maximizes widespread economic growth. Black communities are among those most adversely affected by inflation, and the Senate’s confirmation of Dr. Cook equips the Fed to more effectively develop and implement policies that expedite a post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Pay raise for Hill staffers: Nancy Pelosi announced a new minimum salary for Hill staffers to retain talent in this current economic climate. The new minimum annual salary for staffers of $45,000 will go into effect on Sept. 1. Hill staffers have advocated for changes in an attempt to make the offices a better workplace culture.

The Joint Center consistently encourages greater diversity on Capitol Hill. We hope that this measure will allow for more diverse staffers in the Hill offices.

Upcoming congressional hearings include: Healthy Aging: Maximizing the Independence, Well-being, and Health of Older Adults (House Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, May 12); “Changing Market Roles: The FTX Proposal and Trends in New Clearinghouse Models” (House Agriculture Committee, May 12)

Movement Building

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court leak, foreshadowing the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Damon Hewitt, president, and executive director, stated, “[t]he Supreme Court has signaled its intention to upend nearly fifty years of legal precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade. This would be an utterly cataclysmic decision that, if issued, will endanger all of us, particularly Black women and women with low incomes.”

Black Futures Lab invites individuals to submit responses to the organization’s Black Census Project. The Black Census Project aims to survey “200,000 Black people from diverse communities across the country … to capture a more accurate picture of who we are and what we care about. The Black Census asks Black communities what we see as the key issues in our communities and asks us about what we think needs to be done to address those issues, so that our lives can change for the better.”


Policy for the People

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation will host the 2022 Health Equity Summit, part of its Policy for the People Virtual Summit Series, May 12.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 29th Annual Mervyn L. & Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Scholarship Classic will be at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina, June 26-29.

The 113th NAACP National Convention will be in Atlantic City, July 14-20.

The National Urban League Annual Conference 2022 will be in Washington, DC, July 20-23.