Focus Policy Blog


Recent Joint Center Activities

We are providing officials of color–especially those in leadership positions such as state legislative floor leaders and city council presidents–accessible research and evidence-based policy solutions thatimprove life in communities of color.
In recent months we have:

  • Partnered with the Joyce Foundation and the Urban Institute to organize a study of the intersection of race, gun violence, mass incarceration, and policing in impacted communities, which included meetings in Washington, DC at GW Law School and the White House, and meetings in Richmond, VA, Milwaukee, WI, and Stockton, CA featuring religious leaders, youth activists, law enforcement and other government officials, scholars, civil rights activists, gun violence prevention activists, and criminal justice reform advocates.
  • Hosted a three-day June Roundtable on technology, financial services, energy workforce, and criminal justice 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, telecom, and technology challenges faced by people of color;
  • Retained several great new team members, including Public Policy Fellow Andrés Macías, Digital Media Strategist Morgan Butler, Executive Assistant to the President Samone Ijoma, Director of Survey Research Dr. Ismail White, and Peter Groff, who served as 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, the Lessons of Detroit, and voting (which will produce research papers);
  • Publishing a report on the status of diversity among top staff in the U.S. Senate;
  • 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!