Joint Center Updates
Happy International Women’s Month! It is especially apropos that this International Women’s Month marked the start of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Not only is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson exceptionally qualified for the judiciary, she’s already made history as the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court. As advocates for diversity in all levels of the government, the Joint Center looks forward to following the fair and swift confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the judiciary.
While we have been closely following the confirmation hearings, we also have remained committed to our rigorous research, with a keen focus on Black American communities. Read below to learn more about the Joint Center’s impact this month.
Black America’s economic priorities: Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Dr. Alex Camardelle joined the Black News Channel to discuss the Joint Center’s poll of Black Americans’ view on the economy and priorities one year into the Biden-Harris administration. In this conversation, Dr. Camardelle emphasized that, “you can’t fix … racist policy with race neutral solutions.” Today, “Black folks recognize that the government played a big role in creating these conditions. It has to play an even bigger role in fixing [them].”
Moreover, White House Correspondent for TheGrio, April Ryan, cited the Joint Center poll results in a recent interview with TMZ.
Discussing recent job numbers limitations: Dr. Camardelle discussed the previous month’s jobs report in Groundwork Collaborative’s monthly #BeyondTheNumbers Twitter chat.
Shalanda Young confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget: The Senate confirmed Shalanda Young to serve as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by a vote of 61 to 36. Joint Center research, as cited in The Root, emphasizes the importance of Black representation in cabinet positions.
In March 2021, the Joint Center submitted a letter signed by nearly 30 Black organizations calling for President Biden to nominate Ms. Young for director of the White House OMB.
State of the Union commentary: Joint Center President Spencer Overton’s tweet, in support of President Biden’s Federal Reserve Board nominees, including Dr. Lisa Cook, was featured in the White House’s roundup of constituent State of the Union responses. Mr. Overton’s tweet is seen in the “Black leaders” section of this statement.
Discussing systematic biases in the workplace: Mr. Overton discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in the private sector with Diversity Lab. During the conversation, Mr. Overton cites this toolkit, commissioned by the Joint Center, on how to advance corporate diversity in compliance with the law. Mr. Overton emphasizes that “Fortune 500 companies alone represent two-thirds of the GDP of the United States. We can use government to reform policing and even adopt economic reforms like expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit so that low-wage workers aren’t taxed into poverty. But until people of color are fully integrated into companies – as workers, third-party business partners, C-Suite executives, and board members – equity won’t really be a reality.”
Advocating for congressional staff diversity: Joint Center Senior Researcher Dr. LaShonda Brenson joined Charles Ellison of WURD Radio to discuss her analysis of the House Office of Diversity & Inclusions’ survey on diversity and representation. “Getting members of Congress as well as voters who elect them into office to really understand that hiring top [Black] staff matters; it’s not just an act of charity to get Black folks into these positions, but they actually matter because it affects how public policy is crafted … If we’re not in these positions, how can our interests be represented?” opined Dr. Brenson.
Diversity in the Senate: Dr. Brenson was a featured panelist in “Making Representation Meaningful: Staff Diversity in the U.S. Senate.” The discussion emphasized strategies and tactics for improving diversity among staffers on Capitol Hill. In this conversation, Dr. Brenson stated “what our work really shows is the importance of data and measuring a problem. I think we can’t fix problems that we don’t really have concrete data and answers to. The U.S. Congress requires a lot of federal agencies and companies to collect data on demographics, but they themselves don’t have any accountability … [regarding the] lack of diversity, especially in senior positions. That’s what we try to expose and provide transparency around … through our work.”
In Case You Missed It
One year after the American Rescue Plan: The Joint Center celebrated the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan through this explanatory Twitter thread.
Joint Center Vice President of Policy Jessica Fulton will be a panelist at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s virtual event to discuss theirRace for Results report April 11 at 11 a.m. ET.