Joint Center Updates


Our April 2021 Work: CBC Chair, Biden Black Appointments, and More

Economic Studies

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty and Black Voters Matter Fund LaTosha Brown

Structural change that benefits Black communities: The Joint Center organized one-on-one conversations (moderated by Joint Center President Spencer Overton) with two key Black leaders, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Black Voters Matter Fund Co-Founder LaTosha Brown. The two conversations were a part of a session entitled Push Structural Change: What’s Next for Political Engagement, and focused on policy and systemic reforms needed to improve conditions in Black communities beyond federal and philanthropic emergency and response efforts. The session was a part of the 2021 ABFE Conference (formerly the Association of Black Foundation Executives) which celebrated the 50th anniversary of ABFE.

There’s still more to do: In a U.S. News & World Report article on racial inequities in the United States, Jessica noted that “we have to be careful not to equate the success of individual people of color with the elimination of structural barriers.”

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke on tech policy: The Joint Center organized an invite-only conversation with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) on cybersecurity, Section 230, and civil rights protections in tech policy. Congresswoman Clarke chairs the House Homeland Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee, and is a committed advocate of racial equity in tech policy. To learn more about our Voice at the Table series, email

AI bias and Black communities: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined the Knight Foundation’s podcast, The Future of Democracy, to discuss “how to prevent harm to communities of color on tech platforms.”

Broadband for aging adults: Dominique joined a panel at AARP Illinois’s Disrupt Disparities Summit: Advancing Racial Equity in Aging to discuss why aging adults need high-speed internet and technology tools.

Presenting insights on tech policy: Dominique presented an overview of policy challenges and opportunities in digital equity to the Workforce Matters Steering Committee. Dominique also shared insights from the Joint Center’s upcoming report on broadband in the Black Rural South.

The state of Black economic recovery: The March jobs data “signals the need for sustained investments in Black communities to ensure that Black workers are not left behind as the economy continues to recover,” according to analysis by Joint Center Research Assistant Aleya Jones and Vice President Jessica Fulton.

Joint Center research in the media: The Joint Center’s report, An Introduction to the Future of Work in the Black Rural South, was referenced in an analysis on the Daily Yonder on “the connection between race and opportunity in rural parts of the 5th Federal Reserve District.” The analysis shares that “manufacturing made up about 17% of employment in rural Black southern counties in 2017, followed by retail trade (16%), and accommodation and food service (eight percent),” which are all industries with high potential for automation.

Political Studies

Evaluating Biden Administration on Black appointments at 100 days: The Biden Administration reported that 100 days in, 18% of its agency appointees are Black. The Joint Center produced an extensive analysis of the Administration’s accomplishments and areas for improvement in its 100-Day Report on Black Appointments in Biden Administration.

Senator Jon Ossoff & Legislative Director Donni Turner

Tracking diversity in Ossoff’s office: The Joint Center’s report card, which tracks the racial diversity of all newly-elected members of Congress, was referenced in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s article on the diversity of Senator Jon Ossoff’s (D-GA) office. The Joint Center found that 54 percent of the voters who put Ossoff in office were Black and 66 percent of his top staff are people of color.

In Case You Missed It

The Joint Center is seeking a Vice President of Communications to help to develop and implement an innovative integrated communications strategy to amplify and advance the Joint Center’s strategic audience engagement, research priorities, and growth ambitions. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

The Joint Center is seeking a Vice President of Finance and Operations to co-create a vision of success for building the organization that inspires staff and creates holistic and flexible systems that support the Joint Center’s growth plan and are aligned and in service of the organization’s mission and values. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.


On May 21, Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson will discuss how congressional staff diversity is a key measure in understanding Congress’s performance at a Bipartisan Policy Center event. RSVP here.