Focus Policy Blog

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Recent Joint Center Accomplishments

We are moving forward!  Over the last year, we confronted and addressed past challenges.  We are now building a network of leading experts and elected officials who serve communities of color to produce research and policy solutions.

In recent months we have:

  • Hosted a meeting with the Joyce Foundation on the intersection of race, gun violence, mass incarceration, and policing featuring National Urban League President Marc Morial, Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Brown-Dianis, U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart, and 40 other religious leaders, law enforcement and other government officials, scholars, think tank researchers, civil rights activists, gun violence and criminal justice activists, and foundation officers at GW Law School and the White House EEOB.
  • Hosted a three-day June Roundtable featuring 25 state legislative floor leaders, committee chairs, and city council presidents of color–people like Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Vincent Sarmiento.  The Roundtable met at the U.S. Capitol Complex, GW Law School, and the White House EEOB, and heard from U.S. Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Democratic Whip U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer,  Congressional Black Caucus Chair G.K. Butterfield, U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott, Financial Services Ranking Member Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member U.S. Congressman John Conyers, Former NAACP President & CEO & Kapor Capital Partner Benjamin Todd Jealous, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator Larry Strickling, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, White House Director of Office of Urban Affairs, Justice, & Opportunity Roy Austin, and many others.
  • Issued 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act, which was the leading report surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and was cited in the Washington Post, the Nation, and other major publications;
  • Hosted a policy breakfast with FCC Commissioner Clyburn, FERC Commissioner Honorable, California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, and several Public Service Commissioners of color to discuss energy and telecom challenges faced by people of color;
  • Retained several great new team members, including Digital Media Strategist Morgan Butler, Executive Assistant to the President Samone Ijoma, and Peter Groff, who served as the first African-American President of the Colorado State Senate, and the third African-American State Senate President since Reconstruction;
  • Traveled to Selma, where we hosted a panel at the Selma Public Library featuring top scholars and marched with John Lewis, President Obama, and President Bush;

Right now, we’re focused on:

  • Organizing a December 6-8 Roundtable similar to our June Roundtable focused on workforce development, fiscal management, and voting (which will produce research papers); and
  • Publishing a report on the status of diversity among top staff in the U.S. Senate;
  • Updating our Roster of 11,000 U.S. Black Elected Officials (other groups publish Latino & Asian American rosters);
  • Updating our platform for regular public opinion research of people of color; and
  • Finalizing our plans for 2016.

Thanks for all of the support, and much more soon!