Joint Center Updates


Our September 2021 Work: New VPs, Engaging with the FCC on the Digital Divide & More

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 Vice Presidents of Communications and Finance and Operations

Chandra Hayslett Quinci Moody

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is excited to announce Chandra M. Hayslett and Quinci Moody have joined the team as Vice President of Communications and Vice President of Operations and Finance, respectively. Chandra will be responsible for the development and implementation of an innovative, integrated communications strategy to amplify and advance the Joint Center’s strategic audience engagement, research priorities, and growth. Quinci will be responsible for co-creating a vision of success that is aligned with and in service of the organization’s mission and values that inspires staff and creates effective systems that support the Joint Center’s growth.

The addition of these two leadership positions are part of the Joint Center’s strategic plan to restructure and position the think tank as the “go-to” resource on emerging issues that are critical to Black communities. Read our full announcement here.

Economic Studies

Reducing poverty through the tax code: The Joint Center signed a letter, organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urging Members of Congress to “make permanent, through the reconciliation bill, the temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit contained in the American Rescue Plan Act and to extend eligibility to include all families, regardless of immigration status.” Other signatories include NAACP LDF, National Black Justice Coalition, National Urban League, and Time’s Up. Read the full letter, including details on how the changes will reduce poverty, here.

Engaging with the FCC on the digital divide: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel and Internet Innovation Alliance Co-Chair Kim Keenan to discuss “Deleting the Broadband Affordability Divide.” Dr. Harrison spoke about how the Emergency Broadband Benefit program connects families who need financial assistance to at-home broadband services, playing a critical role in closing the digital divide. Other roundtable participants included Joi Chaney, executive director of National Urban League’s Washington Bureau and senior vice president for Policy and Advocacy, and Rosa Mendoza, founder, president, and CEO of ALLvanza. Watch the entire conversation here.

Spending $100 billion on broadband: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined an Aspen Institute forum to discuss how the U.S. government should spend $100 billion on broadband. Other speakers included Michelle Connolly, professor of Economics, Duke University, Donald Cravins, Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer, National Urban League, and Greg Rosston, Gordon Cain senior fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and Director of Public Policy, Stanford University. Technology Policy Institute President Scott Wallsten moderated the conversation. Watch it here.

Addressing the digital divide: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined Aspen Institute’s Digital Equity and Inclusion roundtable to discuss “what happens next to move the country forward in addressing” the digital divide.

What’s next for AI? Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined a Politico roundtable entitled “What’s Next for AI? 2021 and Beyond.” Dr. Harrison explored questions including how AI can play a role in creating and perpetuating racism and bias and what safeguards need to be put in place in the use of AI for both commercial and government purposes. Emily Birnbaum, Politico tech reporter, moderated the roundtable.

Emerging technologies for underserved communities: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined a panel discussion entitled “Emerging Technologies and Underserved Communities,” hosted by ALLvanza, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. The panelists explored ways to ensure the benefits of emerging technologies are shared by underserved communities.

COVID & the future of tech: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined a panel entitled “What has COVID taught us about the future of technology and TPRC?” to discuss how emerging technologies and TPRC—a 501(c)3 that annually “brings together a diverse, international group of researchers from academia, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations to challenge each other’s ideas and to interact with policymakers and members of the private sector”—can navigate the future.

Closing the digital divide: Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy lunch series, Little Nuggets of Tech and Telecom, with fellows Jennifer Fritzsche and Carolyn Brandon, to discuss how the government can close the digital divide and her forthcoming report, “Expanding Broadband in the Black Rural South.”

The future of work for aging Americans: Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Dr. Alex Camardelle joined AARP’s virtual event entitled “The Future of Work for the 50+” to discuss how “work has changed and evolved with new trends and advances in technology, redefining work for the 21st century.” Other panelists include Sarika Abbi, Aspen Institute associated director of the Financial Security Program, Paul Irving, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging chairman, and Andrew J. Scott, London Business School professor of Economics.

The future of work in rural America: Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Dr. Alex Camardelle joined Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Congressman Bryan Steil (R-WI) to discuss the future of work in rural America. Other participants included Justin Maxson, USDA deputy under secretary for Rural Development, John Holevoet, Dairy Business Association director of Government Affairs, Timothy Martin, Case New Holland IndustrialNA human resource director, Dr. Adam Wolf, Arable Labs founder and CEO, Dr. Mark Rembert, Center on Rural Innovation director of the Rural Innovation Network, and Chuck Conner, National Council of Farms Cooperatives president and CEO.

Approaching economic recovery with antiracist policy: Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Dr. Alex Camardelle joined this year’s EARNConversations 2021, a series of conversations hosted by Economic Policy Institute’s Economic Analysis & Research Network. On the panel, “Economic Recovery & Worker Justice for All: Growing the Economy Through Antiracist Policy,” Dr. Camardelle spoke about “the need to center people of color in our economic research and policymaking, the particular harm Black and Brown communities suffered in the pandemic, and the state and local policies that can help us achieve a more equitable economy.” Other panelists included Angela Hanks, counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Rigo Valdez, Presidents’ Organizing Initiative coordinator at the Martin Luther, Jr. County Labor Council. Economic Policy Institute Economist Kyle Moore moderated the conversation.

Political Studies

Willie Phillips Reta Jo Lewis

Black Talent Initiative: President Biden announced that he would nominate Washington, D.C. utility regulator Willie Phillips to serve as commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and former State Department official Reta Jo Lewis to serve as president and chairwoman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Joint Center supported Mr. Phillips and Ms. Lewis through our Black Talent Initiative.

Roll Call covers the Joint Center’s hill diversity work: Joint Center data was cited in a Roll Call article on how Members of Congress are diversifying their outreach for their increasingly diverse districts. A 2018 Joint Center report found that 13.7 percent of top House staff are people of color.

In Case You Missed It

Joint Center President Spencer Overton gave the convocation address at his alma mater, Hampton University. During his speech, Spencer assured first-year students that they would have a great experience and told seniors they were prepared to thrive after graduation because “Hampton literally transformed” his life due to mentoring and support of faculty, other students, and alumni. Watch Spencer’s 13-minute speech here.


On Oct. 6, Joint Center President Spencer Overton will join the Next Frontier Conference & Expo’s discussion entitled “Achieving Parity for Black America by 2030.” RSVP here.

On Oct. 21, Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison will join the 5th Annual DC Fintech Week to discuss de-risking alternative data. More information here.

On Oct. 27, Joint Center President Spencer Overton will join the University of California, Irvine School of Law to discuss disinformation in American elections. RSVP here.

On Nov. 3, Joint Center Vice President of Policy Jessica Fulton will join a Financial Health Network panel to discuss financial health across race. More information here.