The Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research


The Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research is a multidisciplinary journal, released every two years, that publishes original research and analyses on public policy issues related to black politics in the U.S. and abroad. For our inaugural issue, we welcome in-depth and innovative approaches to advance the study of the full spectrum of black identities, ethnicities and diasporas and how these perspectives inform representative governance, with a particular focus on black members of Congress and their active coalitions. Our principal aim is to foster dialogue between the academic and applied fields in order to better inform policy, programs and practice. We seek to establish a productive and intellectually stimulating space where substantive research on legislation and political processes is produced, argued and publicly discussed by a broad range of contributors, from economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, law, media studies, feminist studies, LGBT and sexuality studies, geography, public policy, history and other related disciplines. All journal contributions are reviewed by our editors and follow the standards of rigorous scholarship and sound analysis, with quantitative and qualitative studies on the social impact of policy receiving special preference and consideration. The journal prioritizes writing that is jargon-free and accessible to an audience of non-experts who seek to engage with academic research and methodologies. With this objective in mind, authors should take care to address a readership outside their respective disciplines. Furthermore, the editors are especially committed to cultivating a forum for early-career professionals, with or without advanced degrees, whose studies have direct policy implications for programs and strategies at various levels of government and civil society that affect African American and minority communities.

Editorial Board

The Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research


  • Dr. Ivory Toldson, President and CEO of the QEM Network, Professor of Counseling Psychology at Howard University, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education

Managing Editors

  • Dr. Menna Demessie, Vice-President of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CBCF) Political Science, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Alexandra Antohin, Senior Research and Program Manager (CBCF) Social Anthropology, University College London

Editorial Board

  • Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Niambi Carter, Howard University, Political Science
  • Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew, University of Virginia, Law
  • Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr., DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Dr. Shayla Nunnally, University of Connecticut, Political Science
  • Dr. William Spriggs, Howard University, Economics


  • The Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research will be distributed to the Congressional Black Caucus members, staff and their affiliated networks and will be available in digital form at

Call for contributors for The Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research

Click here to submit your proposal.

Special issue: “Defining the Black Agenda in the post-Obama era” Edited by: Dr. Menna Demessie (Vice-President of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, CBCF) & Dr. Alexandra Antohin (Senior Research and Program Manager, CBCF)

The Black Agenda has reached broader social attention as a result of the two term administration of President Barack Obama. Though representation at the highest office has produced positive impacts for core civil rights issues, there is also a substantial critique that the Black Agenda has yet to gain the momentum needed to affect everyday change in the lives of African Americans. The monumental step of electing the first black president has not ushered in a post-racial society.

While the historic results of 2016 election represent a major sea-change that will significantly challenge how we study and predict mainstream political behavior, the disconnect between representative leadership and social realities on the ground has long been a point of tension for African American communities. A defining statement from William A. Clay Sr., founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, that “Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies…just permanent interests,” bears true today, as interest groups are forced to strengthen coalitions and working relationships to address key concerns over healthcare, environmental justice, education, police reform and local economic development. Politicians, practitioners, activists and other change-makers now have to contend and react to new elements, compositions, and behaviors of political representation.

For this inaugural issue of the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, we invite contributions of full length essays (4,000 – 5,000 words) of original writing and approaches to policy analyses, based on quantitative and qualitative research, substantial use of primary and secondary data, and explicit proposals for policy directions. The following are suggested topics for exploring the journal’s special theme, though proposals outside these areas will also be considered:

  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Economic Development, Housing, Jobs and Fairness
  • Criminal Justice, Policing Reform and Gun Safety
  • Healthcare
  • Poverty Reduction and Nutrition
  • Community Empowerment
  • Environmental Justice
  • Foreign Affairs and International Security
  • Voting Rights
  • Gender Inequality