Report Finds a Lack of Diversity Among Top Staff in the House of Representatives

A new report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has found that there is a severe lack of racial diversity among top staff in the United States House of Representatives. While people of color make up 38 percent of the country’s population, they only make up 13.7 percent of all House top staff.

The fact that African Americans and members of other racial and ethnic minority groups are having so little impact and influence in the hall of Congress, can have an impact on educational issues that come before the legislative body.

This disparity is prominent across both political parties. For the Democratic party, only 7.4 percent of top staff are members of underrepresented groups, whereas 37.4 percent of the population of the districts represented by these congressional representatives are members of underrepresented groups. For Republicans, only 3 percent of top staff are racial or ethnic minorities, whereas 25 percent of the populations of their  districts are from underrepresented groups.

Almost 75 percent, 313 members, of the House have no top staff members who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups. Much of the Democratic party’s staff diversity comes from the Congressional Black Caucus. While 53 percent of Congressional Black Caucus members’ top staffers are Black, only 2 percent of White Democratic members’ top staffers are Black.

“These findings demonstrate a profound and appalling lack of diversity and inclusion in what is supposed to be our most representative branch of government,” said Don Bell, Director of the Joint Center Black Talent Initiative. “It is clear that there is an urgent need for action. The people’s House cannot claim to be truly representative of the nation it serves without an immediate move to increase transparency and adopt a comprehensive bipartisan plan to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the chamber.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

In Memoriam: O. Jerome Green, 1954-2024

President of historically Black Shorter College O. Jerome Green passed way unexpectedly on April 8. Since he became president in 2012, the college has experienced record-breaking enrollment and graduation rates, created new academic programs, and established the STEM Center for Academic Excellence.

Federal Report Uncovers Lack of Faculty Diversity and Delay in Federal Discrimination Complaint Processing

In addition to a lack of diversity in higher education faculty, the report revealed a frequent delay by the Department of Education when referring discrimination complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Christopher Span Appointed Dean of Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

Dr. Span, professor of education policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, is a scholar of African American educational history. He has experience in both academic and administrative leadership positions.

Lingering Mistrust From Tuskegee Syphilis Study Connected to COVID-19 Vaccine Reluctance

African Americans who lived within 750 miles of Tuskegee, Alabama, were more reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than their White neighbors, as well as Black Americans from other United States regions. The authors attribute this finding to lingering mistrust of public health services as a result of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study which ran from the 1930s to 1972.

Featured Jobs