A non-profit bankrolled by some of the nation’s largest corporations and left-wing billionaire George Soros is conducting a racial census of House and Senate staff as part of its effort to establish a "Bipartisan Diversity and Inclusion Office," according to internal emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Senate and House staff received emails from a researcher at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies starting in July asking them to confirm their "racial and ethnic identity" as part of an alleged data collection effort. In at least two cases, senior congressional staffers who declined to provide their races were told by the researcher that the organization's current data indicated they "may identify as white" and asked the staffers to update if the information was incorrect.
Information collected by the group will be used in its annual report that lobbies for "structural changes on Capitol Hill that would allow for more people of color to be hired in senior positions," a previous report from the group states. That report is made possible in part by millions of dollars in donations to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies from Apple, Google, Meta, Pfizer, the Soros-backed Open Society Foundation, among dozens of other large corporations and nonprofits.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ survey is part of a broader trend by left-wing organizations to pressure workplaces and governments to increase affirmative action policies. Often couched in promoting "diversity, equity, and inclusion," those policies have received criticism for coming at the expense of competence and offering advantages based on race instead of merit. The Free Beacon previously reported on DEI initiatives gaining prominence in medical schools, the Department of Homeland Security, and tech companies such as Google and IBM.
One of the congressional staffers contacted said she was offended by the inquiry. The racial identification of her office's team, she said, has no relation to its quality of work.
"I don't even read the emails they send," the senior House staffer said. "They go straight into my trash folder."
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies bills itself as the nation's premier "Black think tank." According to its mission statement, the organization works on "compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America."
Its largest corporate donors include Amazon, Apple, Comcast NBC Universal, Google, and Meta. Those four corporations donated at least $100,000 and up to $499,999 in 2020 alone.
Amazon faces a racial discrimination lawsuit for offering a $10,000 stipend to "Black, Latinx, and Native American entrepreneurs." The plaintiff in that case alleges that whites are excluded from the program, a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
The Free Beacon previously reported on a potentially unlawful Google fellowship which caps the number of whites universities can nominate. Google also offers employees DEI training seminars that claim "colorblindness" is "covert white supremacy."
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which did not respond to a request for comment, seeks to establish a "Bipartisan Diversity and Inclusion Office" on Capitol Hill. That office, according to previous reports released by the group, would "be staffed by professionals in expertise in diversity who support … identifying, recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse talent."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) created the House Office of Diversity & Inclusion in 2021. The office is currently led by Dr. Sesha Joi Moon, who, according to her bio, lives by the "coined philosophical stance [that] ‘diversity is delegating differences and inclusivity is celebrating differences—but equity is elevating differences.’"
In 2021, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, along with more than 35 other left-wing groups, called on Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer to form an identical office. A letter to Schumer from the groups said "Diversity must be a priority" on Capitol Hill.
Some Democrats, such as Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), endorsed the proposal. Schatz said in July that such an office "would be tremendously helpful."