The office currently employs roughly 140 people, according to an online count by the independent group Democracy in Action. The April photo appears to show the section of the office used by many of the roughly 80 staff who work on technology-related tasks, such as video production, software development and data analysis.
No employer could argue that there’s a lack of qualified African-American office staff in Chicago, said Sharon Jones, a diversity consultant in Chicago.
“We’re in a situation where we have huge unemployment … [and] for racial and ethnic minorities, unemployment rates are double” that of whites, said Jones. “There are a lot of minorities who could fill jobs … [and] there are people who could move [so] I don’t think there is a lack of human capital.”
Also, employers with an earnest desire to hire minorities turn to professional groups, such as Black Data Processing Associates, whose 8,605 members include software writers, graphic designers and video producers. “We get calls all the time from major corporations looking for black designers. … I could send them a list of 25 or 30 people right away,” said a manager in the association.
The campaign’s staff does include several African-Americans, and some Hispanics. For example, the campaign’s website features Loren Reedy, a receptionist, and Sheena Patton, the human resources director.