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Joint Center Focus Areas

The Joint Center’s Institutes and Initiatives

As the national debate on relevant issues expands, the Joint Center continues to engage deeply in those conversations. In the past decade, the Joint Center has worked to create and strengthen our policy institutes as centers of excellence for specific issue areas of importance to communities of color. Established in 2002, our Health Policy Institute has become a leading provider of research and policy analysis on identifying and reducing racial and ethnic health inequalities. The Media and Technology Institute, founded in 2008, has set for a research agenda aimed at increasing knowledge of how people of color use the new digital communications technologies and where gaps still exists in these areas. Making its debut in 2011, the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute is rooted in our core mission of increasing civic and political engagement in the African American community, while our Energy and Environment Program is steadily bringing African Americans into the debates on the environment and energy. These signature programs complement our budding research and policy initiatives.



Health Policy
The mission of Health Policy Institute (HPI) is to ignite a health equity movement that gives people of color an opportunity for healthy lives. HPI’s approach to eliminating health disparities involves identifying the complex underlying causes of health disparities and defining specific strategies to address them. Toward this end, HPI engages in many activities, including research and information dissemination; policy workshops, forums, and conferences; technical assistance for community-based organizations; media relations; and outreach to minority organizations.


Media and Technology
The mission of The Media and Technology Institute (MTI) is to study how emerging communications technologies can become avenues of advancement for the disadvantaged.  MTI’s research is focused on technologies related to new media and the trends they are spawning, the impact of existing policy and regulation, and the broader implications of media trends, particularly from a social justice perspective.  MTI generates research reports and policy papers that inform dialogue within these areas, align with other Joint Center interests, and influence action on the part of policy makers, practitioners, industry service providers, and consumers.


Civic Engagement and Governance
The mission of the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute is to explore new avenues for increasing and enhancing the effectiveness of political participation by minority citizens, as well as providing them with tools for civic engagement and opportunities to advance their skills.



Energy and Environment
The mission of the Energy and Environment Program is to increase the understanding of climate change in the African American community and ensure they have a voice in the development and decision of critical solutions.  Since its inception, the Initiative has engaged with the policy community and the public through research, domestic and international policy analysis, issues briefings and a series of forums with program partners.

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