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Our May 2021 Work: New Workforce Director, AI Bias, Senate Staff Diversity & More

On this Memorial Day, we remember the nearly 40,000 Black Union soldiers who died during the U.S. Civil War and the sacrifices of many other service persons. We also reflect on the loss of life and attack on Black prosperity 100 years ago during the Tulsa Race Massacre.

This is the Joint Center’s regular monthly newsletter, which reviews the Joint Center’s work over the past month.


The Joint Center’s New Workforce Policy Director

Alex Camardelle

The Joint Center is excited to announce Dr. Alex Camardelle has joined the team as the Director of Workforce Policy. Dr. Camardelle will lead the Joint Center’s efforts to center Black workers in policy debates concerning the future of work, workforce development, and access to good jobs.

Prior to joining the Joint Center, Dr. Camardelle served as the Senior Policy Analyst for Economic Mobility at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where his research and advocacy supported policy reforms shaping workforce development, worker justice, and access to core safety net programs for individuals and families with low incomes. He also worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he was responsible for strengthening economic opportunity through research, grantmaking, and partnerships. Read our press release welcoming Dr. Camardelle here.


Economic Studies

Next steps for good jobs: The Partnership on AI released “Redesigning AI for Shared Prosperity: An Agenda,” a foundational document of the AI and Shared Prosperity Initiative “outlining practical questions stakeholders need to collectively find answers to in order to successfully steer AI toward expanding access to good jobs—and away from eliminating them.” Joint Center Vice President Jessica Fulton is a member of Partnership on AI’s AI Shared Prosperity Initiative Steering Committee, which helped to shape the research agenda.

#FundWorkforceEquity: Dr. Camardelle joined Workforce Matters and WorkingNation for a live Twitter Chat on how philanthropy can advance racial equity in workforce development.

Talking tech: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined FIU Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator’s podcast, Tech Conversations, to discuss platform accountability, broadband access, privacy, algorithm experience, and how AI bias can “produce discriminatory outcomes for communities of color.” Listen to the full episode here.


Political Studies

How do U.S. Senate committees rank on diversity? Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson released a report card showing how each U.S. Senate Committee Chair and Ranking Member stack up in hiring diverse staff for senior leadership roles. The report card was covered exclusively by Politico. The report card shows that only 30 percent of Senate Committee Chairs and Ranking Members currently employ at least one person of color among their top committee staff.

Learning from history: Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined a conversation with University of Kentucky Education and Civil Rights Initiative Executive Director Dr. Gregory Vincent to discuss emerging civil rights issues for Black communities. The conversation was held at the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Education & Civil Rights for the New Decade virtual conference.

Funding for staffers: The Joint Center signed on to a letter to U.S. House Committee on Appropriations leadership urging them to “restore funding levels for Members Representational Allowances (MRA) and House committees to their FY 2010 levels, as adjusted for inflation” which could be essential for retaining congressional staff and increasing staff diversity.

Measuring Congress’s success: At a Bipartisan Policy Center event, Dr. Brenson discussed how congressional staff diversity is a key measure in understanding Congress’s performance.


Upcoming

On June 15, Dr. Harrison will join a panel discussion entitled “Can Black and Brown Banks Compete in a Digital Economy?” at an event co-hosted by Georgetown University Law Center and the Black Economic Alliance. The event will provide a “critical forum for exploring post-pandemic challenges facing minority-owned and minority-serving banks and financial institutions in today’s hyper-competitive, and often inequitable, landscape.” RSVP here.


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