National Urban League Applauds Minority Leader Schumer on Commitment to Implement the Rooney Rule in Staff Hiring

On March 3rd, the National Urban League applauded Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for introducing rules that prioritize diverse Senate staff hiring after years of urging the U.S. Congress to adopt the same standards of diversity it requires of private corporations.

“Staff diversity is critically important to ensure a legislature that is representative of all Americans,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial.  “Senate Minority Leader Schumer fully understands this.  We applaud his leadership in committing to adopt the Rooney Rule within the Democratic Caucus and to help fix the Senate’s abysmal record on staff diversity.”

In January, Marc Morial along with leaders from the nation’s foremost civil rights organization met with Senator Schumer to discuss legislative priorities for the 115th Congress.  Among those items discussed were recommendations for how the Senate can ensure that diverse, qualified candidates are hired and retained for senior positions by applying the NFL’s Rooney Rule to the U.S. Senate.

“While we commend the Minority Leader on this great first step, we believe that more can be done to ensure diverse hiring practices,” said Don Cravins, Jr., National Urban League’s Senior Vice President for Policy and former Chief of Staff to Senator Mary Landrieu.  “To that end, Congress must also publicly post all staff vacancies, particularly senior staff vacancies, providing full transparency and allowing qualified individuals a fair and open interview process.  Additionally, Congress must enact legislation or rules subjecting it to laws or policies that will require our federal legislature to report its employment numbers.”

In February, the National Urban League delivered resumes of qualified African Americans ready to assume senior positions to Senators representing states with a high percentage of minority residents.

Cravins said, “Diversity and inclusion at every level of government and industry, including the U.S. Congress, has long been a part of the organization’s legislative and social agenda.  We are going to continue sounding the alarm on this issue until there are measurable results.  We would like to work with all members of Congress to make full representation a reality.”

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