(Under contract with Joint Center of Political and Economic Studies)


Andra Gillespie, Emory University

Boris E. Ricks, California State University, Northridge



The editors seek contributors/researchers to update The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ (JCPES) Roster of Black Elected Officials (BEOs).  Editors are rebuilding a list of over 12,000 Black elected officials for the first time in more than a decade.  The updated roster will include all BEOs serving in the U.S. by November 2016 (an estimate of about 12,000), including federal, state, and all sub-state (county, city, township, village, etc.) officials.  This includes elected county executives, mayors, councilors, sheriffs, commissioners, school board members, water board members, public service commissioners, judges, state legislators, members of  Congress, etc… 

This project historically marks the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and will contribute to research questions about the contemporary relevance of civil rights and the enduring impact of social justice.  As Black voters were added to the election rolls, their ballots changed the composition of legislatures, city councils, and state/local commissions everywhere.  Full participation, along with spirited civic engagement, has proved to be both transformative and impactful.


The editorial team welcomes proposals from faculty and graduate students wishing to volunteer their personal time or the effort of their research assistants.  Research team members will be responsible for identifying all of the Black elected officials within an assigned geographic area. The editors encourage proposals from scholars who have special regional knowledge.  Proposals can be submitted to Andra Gillespie (Emory University) at angille@emory.edu or Boris E. Ricks (California State University, Northridge) at boris.ricks@csun.edu by August 10, 2015.


Research Team selections will be announced in September 2015.