Joint Center Updates
White House equity action plan: The White House released an update on how the Biden administration has executed its equity action plan. On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. A year later, the administration shared how all federal agencies have implemented and executed policies in line with this plan.
The National Urban League praised the Biden administration for their efforts toward advancing equity throughout the federal government and the nation.
Mask mandate debate continues: Although the Biden administration initially extended their measure on mask requirements for public transportation, a recent Florida court ruling struck down the federal mask mandate. As a result, the Justice Department announced it would appeal this decision if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports mask mandates as a viable public health measure at this point in the pandemic.
The Joint Center is committed to transparency and informing Black communities on any developments about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden administration announces Temporary Protected Status for Cameroon: The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the designation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. “The United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict in Cameroon, and we will provide temporary protection to those in need,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This development is in light of an influx of extreme violence and attacks from Boko Haram throughout the country. Only individuals residing within the United States qualify for TPS.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights issued a statement in support of TPS for Cameroon.
Conservative dark money organization undermines presidential appointees: The American Accountability Foundation was created in 2020 to prevent President Biden-appointment nominees from approval, according to a recent New Yorker article. The organization unfairly lobbied against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination by pushing the narrative that her record is too soft on sex offenders and Dr. Lisa Cook’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, claiming that she is not qualified for the position.
House Republicans block efforts to name Florida federal courthouse after Black State Supreme Court justice: After being sponsored by both Florida Republican senators, Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio, the House failed to name a Tallahassee federal courthouse after Justice Joseph W. Hatchett, the first Black man to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. The bill was expected to pass with broad bipartisan support, yet unexpectedly failed to meet the House’s two-thirds threshold, with 89 percent of House Republicans opposing the bill.
Submit comments for United States Representative Racial Equity Engagement: The United States International Trade Commission seeks testimonies on trade policy from American workers. Comments will contribute to a research project highlighting diverse perspectives on trade policy and outcomes.
The Joint Center wants to hear from you! Our Workforce Policy Program seeks your input to identify areas of opportunity for the program to better support a more racially just recovery for Black workers and jobseekers and maximizing future work opportunities for Black workers. This survey will inform research and policy priorities for the program going forward.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational and Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued a statement condemning the fatal police shooting of Grand Rapids, MI resident, Patrick Lyoya. According to LDF President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson, “the ruthless shooting of Patrick Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer demonstrates yet again that, for Black and Brown people in this country — even for minor offenses such as those relating to vehicle registrations, police encounters remain deadly.”
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law commended the U.S. Department of Justice for its efforts to censure the City of Springfield, MAMassachusetts police department for perpetuating a culture of excessive force. According to Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Damon Hewitt, “the violence that the Springfield Police Department narcotics bureau historically engaged in, frequently against residents of color, shocks the conscience. Police officers who swear an oath to serve and protect, should never kick, punch, or spit on residents or engage in the other racially abusive tactics, let alone cause the severe head injuries, detailed in the Justice Department’s report.”
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights expressed support for credit earning regulations reforms for incarcerated Californians. Ella Baker Center Campaign Manager James King states that “for decades, California has sentenced young people and people of color to extreme sentences in the name of public safety. Extreme sentencing is not justice. It doesn’t acknowledge the factors that contribute to acts of harm, and it doesn’t promote public safety. We support these modest credit earning rates because it acknowledges the need for hope, humanity, and dignity for everyone in our society, regardless of their socioeconomic status … ”
The African American Mayors Association 2022 Annual Conference, “The Time for Transformation In Our Cities,” will be in Washington, DC, April 27-29.
The Joint Center welcomes Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) for our first Voices at the Table conversation in 2022. Rep. Horsford will join Joint Center President Spencer Overton May 4 at 1 p.m. E.T. in a robust, one-hour conversation on tax policy, budget priorities, appointments, and other public policy issues that affect Black communities.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation will host the 2022 Health Equity Summit, part of its Policy for the People Virtual Summit Series, May 12.
The National Urban League Annual Conference 2022 will be in Washington, DC, July 20-23.