Black Think Tank Pushes For Racial Diversity In Congressional Staffing

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A Black think tank has launched a new campaign, urging Congress to prioritize hiring diverse staffers in its top positions.

According to The Hill, the Joint Center, which calls itself “America’s Black think tank,” recently created a website to track diversity trends among the top staff of every member of the new Congress. The website will also provide a video on why diversity is important and how to solve the lack of representation in Congressional offices.

One key step to advance racial equity in our country is to ensure that members of Congress are advised by top staff who represent the diversity of our nation,” Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center, said in a statement.

“These critical staff roles influence lawmaking, a multi-trillion dollar budget process, and the Senate confirmation process, and provide oversight of the work done by over 4.2 million federal employees. The perspectives and decisions of top congressional staff shape the lives of everyday Americans — especially those from communities of color.”

While Democratic Congressional offices are more diverse than Republican ones, staffers of color are consistently paid less than their white counterparts.

The Joint Center also plans to send a letter signed by nearly 70 organizations and diversity stakeholders to members of Congress, advocating for increased racial diversity in staffing.

LaShonda Brenson, a senior researcher at the Joint Center, said in a statement that the lack of diversity suggests “key voices and perspectives are not being heard in rooms where major decisions are made.”

“Simply put, this is an issue afflicting the offices of Republicans and Democrats alike,” Brenson said. “It’s time for members of Congress to show and prove that the experiences of the communities they represent are being considered in their work and decisions for the country.”

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