NEW: Black policy leaders will play a pivotal role in President-elect @JoeBiden's transition, marking one of the most diverse agency review teams in history. My latest for @AP:…
Of the 500+ team members announced, more than half are women -- & Black men & women are leading more than one-quarter of the teams.

Diversity is significant: The teams will be responsible for evaluating the operations of federal agencies that have a broad impact on Americans’.
More on why it matters: Biden will take office at a time when the nation is confronting a historic pandemic, joblessness & police brutality -- crises that have disparately impacted Black Americans.

Black voters powered his victory. They want action now.
Also worth noting: Many of these team members are HBCU grads. “The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One,” said Tony Allen, a transition advisory board member and president of historically Black Delaware State University.
Last thing I’ll note: Civil rights leaders & activists plan to press Biden’s administration. #BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, in a letter this week, congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory and sought a meeting to discuss “commitments that must be made to Black people.”

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More from @kat__stafford

1 Oct
Michigan AG Dana Nessel has filed felony charges against two well-known out-of-state Republican operatives for allegedly orchestrating robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the Detroit area.…
From the story: The calls were made in late Aug to nearly 12K residents with phone numbers from the 313 area code. They stem from a false robocall that discouraged mail-in voting by saying their personal info would be part of a public database used by police if they vote by mail.
Why is this significant? Detroit is the nation's largest Black-majority city, it will play a major role in deciding which way Michigan goes in Nov. & in turn, a role in the overall outcome of the election. Suppression tactics like this could impact turnout.
Read 4 tweets
22 Sep
Sen. @KamalaHarris stops in Flint at Magnificlips- a local downtown barber shop owned by Earl Jones and Tim Tyler. Due to the pandemic, their business was forced to shut down for a period of time one week after opening.
Harris was greeted by Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is wearing a black Biden/Harris face mask. Hard to hear but Harris talked to them about the challenges minority businesses owners face.
Sen. Kamala Harris taking a photo with a local business owner and her daughter. (Sen. Stabenow snapped the photo)
Read 24 tweets
24 Aug
I think often of how reporters are told to work their way up in newsrooms by starting out on a night cops shift/covering police. Breaking news is seen as an entry level, easy to do gig. But it's not. Nor is it a throwaway beat, it's an integral part of community coverage.
Why do many newsrooms treat it as if it doesn't require a certain level of expertise? Expertise that really is required on all fronts: Not just in learning how to cover a police department but more specifically the community that the police department is supposed to serve.
It's ingrained in reporters to develop police sourcing. Makes sense to a degree. But what if we spent as much effort developing sourcing within the community, too? Police coverage isn't just covering the institution itself but rather its interactions with the community.
Read 5 tweets
20 Aug
I'm encouraged to see so many newsrooms today publish internal diversity numbers & acknowledge that most don't reflect the communities they cover. But please remember, it's not enough to hire Black/POC journalists. These plans must include retainment & career advancement.
As you lay out hiring plans, ask yourself these questions: What sort of environment will these journalists be brought into? Will their voices be heard? Are they only being hired in entry level roles? Or in prominent beats and management roles?
Yes, newsrooms have shrunk/been decimated. But that doesn't change this fact: We weren't doing that great of a job covering these communities before that. The very future of journalism depends on all of us rising to the occasion to truly cover America's shifting demographics.
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
This narrative is a double-edged sword. Black women have consistently show up & show out at the polls in higher numbers than just about every other demographic, ushering along families & friends. Many argue it's time for someone else to shoulder that unfair burden & expectation.
Let's stop placing a burden at the feet of Black voters. Yes, they're vital. Yes, their votes count. But we know how that supposed adoration can quickly turn into blame. I.E. the narrative after 2016.
Ugh. Shown up and shown out.*
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
Michelle Obama: "... Here at home as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a never ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation's highest office." #DemConvention
Michelle Obama: "Kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another ... They're looking around wondering if we've been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value." #DemConvention
Michelle Obama: "Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country ... He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us." #DemConvention
Read 4 tweets

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