Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

June 22, 2022

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Celebrating Juneteenth

This week marks the celebration of Juneteenth. It is the second time it has enjoyed its distinction as a federal holiday (since being proclaimed one in 2021), but it has been celebrated by many communities and extended families for decades, if not more than a century. The holiday honors the anniversary of the date in history when Texans were officially notified that enslaved Americans had been freed, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Considered the longest running African-American holiday, it is a day dedicated to celebration, reflection, spending time with family and commemorating the struggles Black people faced during slavery and after emancipation, and still face today.

While well-known in the Black community, those still learning about Juneteenth's origins and history should be reminded that the Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans when it was first issued: Crops needed to be harvested and Union troops to enforce the executive order were in short supply. Formerly enslaved people finally were able to embrace their freedom when Union soldiers moved into Galveston after the Civil War; some left Texas for the north and others quickly worked to reunite with family in neighboring states. Decades later, former slaves and descendants continued to pilgrimage back to Galveston as part of their Juneteenth celebrations.

The National Juneteenth Museum in Fort Worth, Texas has been founded by 95-year-old Opal Lee, who was instrumental in helping the day become a federal holiday. She has operated a modest museum for more almost 20 years and now, thanks to mostly private donations, a 50,000 square foot building is in the works. (Read more about this effort and the remarkable Opal Lee here and listen to a wonderful interview with her here.)

As more Americans become familiar with the holiday, the media has been replete with a variety of stories, op-eds and other coverage of the day. Those interested can find more information via the below links:


E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.

BookTalk: Environmental Justice and Resiliency in an Age of Uncertainty
June 28 | 1 p.m. EDT

Celeste Murphy-Greene, Faculty, University of Virginia

This book examines the issue of environmental justice across 11 short chapters, with the aim of creating a resilient society. Starting with a history of the environmental justice movement, the book focuses on current environmental issues, analyzing how these issues impact low-income and minority communities. Topics covered include smart cities and environmental justice; climate change and health equity; the Flint Water Crisis; coastal resilience; emergency management; energy justice; procurement and contract management; public works projects; and the impact of COVID-19. Each chapter provides a unique perspective on the issues covered, offering practical strategies to create a more resilient society that can be applied by practitioners in the field.

From the Archives

In honor of Juneteenth, the following archived programs may be of interest as we celebrate this holiday. Visit our archives to view more programs.

KeepingCurrent: IDEAs for Change: Academic-University Partnerships to Build Internal Capacity for Sustained Inclusion
In July 2020, the Boynton Beach City Commission approved the creation of a taskforce to address racial and social equity. Through a partnership with FIU, the city is undertaking a comprehensive approach to equity and is developing a community needs assessment that will render a racial and social equity strategy with policies and actions focused on health care, education, housing, public safety and economic opportunity. This presentation provided an overview of the project as a model for other communities and an in-depth discussion of the benchmarking of internal processes and policies.

KeepingCurrent: Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Equity and Social Justice in Public Administration: Examining the Causes and Effects of Anti-CRT Policies
Numerous decisionmaking bodies across the United States are debating (and some are enacting) policies against so-called "divisive concepts," principally, critical race theory (CRT). In these proposed policies, teaching theories like CRT will be forbidden and instructors incorporating such concepts could be impugned in several ways. To address these dynamics in this webinar, presenters explored the central tenets of critical race theory (CRT); how CRT informs how we view the history and practice of public administration, especially in the classroom; the causes and effects of anti-CRT policies; and centering values of equity and justice within the field.

KeepingCurrent: Exploring COVID-19 Inequities Among Black and Latinx Populations in the U.S.: Critical Race Theory Perspectives
Black and Latinx populations across the United States have been burdened disproportionately by the COVID-19 pandemic. These groups experience higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. This webinar brought together public administration, public health and ethnic studies experts to examine the seemingly entrenched nature of disparate health outcomes. Presenters discussed the necessity of using critical race theory in exploring disparate outcomes associated with COVID-19 and other social and health concerns.

KeepingCurrent: The Intersection of Public Administration and the Law: What Do Social Equity Scholars Think?
Many of the world's most pressing issues lay at the intersection of law and public administration, but does the assertion that “public administration has largely abandoned or forgotten its roots in public law” hold true? This webinar was the first in a three-part webinar series sponsored by American University School of Public Affairs (SPA) and featuring Professors Kenneth Meier, Neil Kerwin and David Rosenbloom, along with guest panelists, as they discussed these issues with emerging and established voices examining this cross-field integration and its challenges.

BookTalk: Race Neutrality: Rationalizing Remedies to Racial Inequality
Race Neutrality explores the history and logic behind the range of remedies to racial economic inequality that do not explicitly or directly target race. Using modern applied econometric tools, the book examines the application of race-neutral remedies to a wide array of market and nonmarket contexts. The analysis documents when and why race-neutral remedies work or do not work. A highlight of the book is the examination of the biggest affirmative action program of all: Federal disadvantaged business enterprise goals, a program that requires that recipients of federal funding maximize the race-neutral expenditures designed to improve performance of women- and minority-owned firms. We ask and answer the question: "How is it possible to target funding to women and minorities without targeting funding to women and minorities?"

Add a Memoir to Your Bookshelf!

Son of Virginia, by L. Douglas Wilder, details the events of the author’s life to paint a portrait of the changing face of America. It is a story of constant struggle and conflict, not only Wilder’s struggle but also that of courageous people who stood up to decades of discrimination, corruption and greed. The book stands as a road map for continued American progress in our elections and laws, and a stark warning of what may happen if we relax our commitment to this program.

In 1981, the Commonwealth of Virginia, which had been dominated for decades by “the Organization,” a political machine led by former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Byrd Sr., took its first baby steps to becoming the vibrant state it is today. That year, Charles Robb rejected the machine and began a new Democratic Party in his campaign for governor. Instead of running against African Americans, Robb reached out to Douglas Wilder, the state’s only African American State Senator and other leaders in the African American Community to rally voters of color to support the Democratic ticket. With the help of a heavy African American turnout, Robb won and the Byrd machine was crushed.

In 1985, just four years later, Doug Wilder won the party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor against the cries of “Virginia isn’t ready” and, later that year, defied the naysayers by being elected to that office. Within five years, he would be sworn in as the first elected African American governor in American history.

Purchase this memoir from our bookstore and receive a copy signed by the author!

Print Copies of National Civic Review Available for the Classroom!

The National Civic League (NCL) is offering free print copies of past editions of the National Civic Review for your students. They are hoping, in the next academic year, you might be willing to include one or more articles from one of these editions in your coursework, in which case NCL would be willing to mail up to 40 copies of the print version for your use. Of course, for those who prefer online versions, those are available as well through the links below.

Below are editions NCL has produced during the past four years, in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation, that they feel have some of the more thought-provoking articles (there might even be one by you in there!). Each of the links below will provide a list of the included articles.

Please contact NCL as soon as possible if you would like them to mail you a batch of one of these editions. If you are interested in an edition that is not listed, please let them know that as well. If possible, please also inform them of your plans for using the edition. NCL might even be able to provide an incentive for having your class discuss these articles. Of course, please feel free to forward this offer to others in the field.

Available National Civic Review editions:


James Webb Space Telescope Program Close to Entering "Science Mode"

As reported by Gregory Robinson to Government Matters, the team behind the James Webb telescope indicates it is close to commissioning and then will go into science operations mode. Learn more when you listen to this episode from earlier this month!

Tips and Resources

How a Public Hearing Is Different from an Investigation—and What That Means for the Jan. 6 Committee
A former oversight staffer for the House of Representatives explains what such hearings aim to accomplish.

In the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity


Members in the News

ASPA members are in the news in a variety of ways. If you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

Americans Aren’t Asking for Transgender Sports Bans. So Why Pass Them?
Analysis by Andrew R. Flores, Donald P. Haider-Markel, Daniel C. Lewis, Patrick R. Miller and Jami K. Taylor

A State Tries to Attract Public Workers Who Have Resume Gaps
By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene

Charles E. Menifield Stepping Down as Dean of Rutgers SPAA

Why Local Action Is Important to Combat Police Brutality and Racial Injustice
By Clarence E. Anthony and Doug Linkhart

Kansas Public Administration Professor to Lead ASU's School of Public Affairs
Shannon Portillo to become new director of ASU's school.

Can Biden Avert a Health Insurance Cliff?
By Frank Thompson, Rutgers University

Are We Drifting Back to the America of the Articles of Confederation?
By Don Kettl

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals and other updates:
  • South Florida Chapter Posts Current Podcast
    Join us for the latest episode of the ASPA South Florida Podcast with special guest Ralph (Rafael) G. Casals, Town Manager of Cutler Bay, Florida. Cutler Bay is the newest municipality located in South Miami-Dade County. Ralph will discuss his interest and dedication contributing to a meteoric rise in public service administration, as well as current projects with Cutler Bay. This podcast is hosted by Tom Hotz, South Florida Chapter Board Member, with William Solomon, ASPA South Florida Chapter Board Member, and Benjamin Paley, Nova Southeastern University Law School (Bar Candidate). You can access the podcast online here or wherever you access your podcasts.

  • ABFM Awards Call for Nominations
    Nominations are now being accepted for awards to be presented at ABFM's 2022 Annual Conference. Awards include the Aaron B. Wildavsky Award, the S. Kenneth Howard Award, the Paul Posner Pracademic Award, the Michael Curro Student Paper Award, the ABFM Best Book Award and Award for Scholarly Engagement in Public Budgeting and Finance. Nominations for all awards are due by July 1, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • AAPAM Call for Papers
    AAPAM welcomes papers from experienced practitioners, scholars and researchers on its 41st Roundtable Conference, taking place December 6-9, 2022 at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of the event will be "Africa’s Renewal in the Era of Sustainable Development: Shared Responsibility for Strengthening Public Institutions." The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced policymakers to re-engineer processes in allignment to the new normal. Institutions have been further challenged to perform optimally despite limitations ranging from lack of capacity in the form of skill gaps to finances. It is evident that the importance of long-term national capacity development through institution-building, human resource development and confidence-building among the national actors is fundamental to disaster management as well as the attainment of the Sustainable Devlopment Goals and Agenda 2063. It is for this reason that the 41st Roundtable Conference will focus on strengthening institutions. Proposals are due by July 15, 2022. Contact [email protected] for more information.

  • 2022 NECoPA Call for Proposals
    The Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) is intended to provide educational opportunities for scholars, practitioners and others interested in public service in a collaborative environment by educating all on current issues, research and practice in public and nonprofit organizations. This conference will be NECoPA’s 13th year of bringing together scholars and practitioners from the northeast region, the United States and internationally. This year's theme, "Public and Nonprofit Administration in a Hybrid-Connected 21st Century," recognizes that the events of the last two years accelerated the pace at which both our professional and personal lives have become intricately intertwined with technology, as we live and work in a hybrid—virtual and in-person—world. Public and nonprofit administration has been tasked with adapting and navigating public programs in this world to ensure they continue to be delivered in an effective, efficient, economical and equitable manner. All proposals are due by July 31, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.

  • 2022 Cascade Chapter Student Symposium Call for Papers
    Whether it’s local, state, federal or tribal, the United States governing systems are designed to promote democracy and community. In recognition of this, ASPA Cascade Chapter welcomes presentation proposals related to analyses and practical review of collaborative efforts between local, state, federal and tribal governments; tensions in promoting democracy or facilitating community in a local, tribal, state or federal context; a case study related to how local, state, federal or tribal government has positively engaged community or expanded democratic practices; and/or analyses, practical review or case studies with international comparative perspectives. Students whose papers are accepted and present at the Chapter’s fall event will receive an ASPA student membership and an invitation to present their paper at ASPA's 2023 Annual Conference. ASPA Cascade Chapter prioritizes submissions that align with the organization's guiding principles, which focus on social justice and racial equity. We encourage students of all majors and backgrounds to submit a paper proposal related to this theme. No prior presentation experience required. All proposals are due by July 31, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.

  • Ethics Volume Call for Chapters
    Empowering Public Administrators: Ethics and Public Service Values, complied by Amanda M. Olejarski (West Chester University) and Sue M. Neal (Arkansas State University), seeks contributors to this edited volume. We need to empower public administrators to make tough decisions. Acting in the public interest means doing what is ethical, even when it may be the unpopular choice. Too often, public servants at the local, state and federal levels hide behind the notion that their hands are tied and they are limited in their ability to effect change. They are professionally trained experts in policy and management and have the choice to act value-neutral or to exert their soft power. This text provides a lens for viewing administrative decisionmaking as modern bureaucrats govern public affairs in a political context. The primary aim of this volume is to educate students, scholars and practitioners on public service values and administrative discretion as a basis for ethics in the public sector. The book is organized around seven public service values: the public interest, bureaucracy in a democracy, balancing politics and administration, transparency in reporting, the hollowing of government, ontology and epistemology, and rationality or incrementalism. Proposals from both scholars and practitioners are welcome; the goal is to have diverse contributions. Interested authors should send a proposed chapter abstract to [email protected] by July 30, 2022. Include a description of the ethical issue to be examined and which public service values will be applied. Please also include an estimated desired word count for the chapter and a brief author bio.

  • Award for Public Service Call for Nominations
    ASPA's Section on South Asian Public Administration (SASPA) is proud to announce a call for nominations for the 2023 Jai Mangal Paswan Award for Public Service. The award is named after Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan, chief engineer from the Indian Engineering Services, 1978 Batch, Government of India. Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan graduated with a B. Tech degree from Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Bihar and was the first engineer from his village, Sitamarhi, Bihar. He was a first generation officer from Sitamarhi district of Bihar, India and served as the deputy director general (coordination), Government of India. He pursued an MBA in Faculty of Management Studies (F.M.S), at the University of Delhi; he worked on the Intelligence Bureau Headquarters project by the Ministry of Home Affairs; he was involved with the Border Security Force, border fencing and lightening project in the Jaisalmer district; he served the Government of India for 38 years before retiring in 2016; and after his retirement, he served as a consultant for the National Institute of Technology, Delhi. During his life, he contributed immensely toward the development of society, guiding young officers and service aspirants. He was a tremendous source of inspiration for the people of his village and his family. This award is presented to honor the best paper submitted and presented at the ASPA Annual Conference in the field of public service in the South Asian region and carries a cash prize of $200.



Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)


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