Sociologist James Jones Posits Congress as America’s Last Plantation


Rutgers University | When RU-N Assistant Professor James Jones interned on Capitol Hill back in 2006 and 2009, he witnessed a stunning lack of diversity among congressional staff, then spent several years amassing demographic data to illustrate the problem for his Ph.D. dissertation. His findings—that just over 7 percent of senior congressional aides are people of color, while one-third of the country is—were published in a groundbreaking report at the end of 2015, and before long Jones and his study were all over the mainstream press. Earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) pledged to adopt some of Jones’ recommendations as the Democratic Party rebuilds in the wake of the 2016 presidential election loss.