In America, there are essentially three major levers of political power: politicians, prosecutors and judges. Who controls those offices controls the laws and who applies them. To no surprise, those in power are disproportionately white men.
With the Reflective Democracy campaign, we created three interactive reports to expose the gender and racial demographic discrepancy between elected officials, candidates, prosecutors and those they represent. With the American Constitution Society, we showed that discrepancy among state judges.
The scope of the data collected was groundbreaking. We took each project from inception to launch – creating the logos, websites, infographics and animations. They each used simple and interesting data visualization to tell a clear and important story. In total, these four projects garnered more than 100 press hits. During the first project’s launch, #WhoLeadsUs trended on Twitter in Washington, DC.
We have a long way to go to reform our political and legal institutions – but now we know just how big the challenges are.
Who Leads Us? was a first-of-its kind analysis of the race and gender of 42,000 elected officials from the federal to county level — showing that white men hold 4 times as much power as the rest of the population.
“U.S. Is a Melting Pot, but Not So Much in Its Halls of Power” – The New York Times
Justice for All*? analyzed the 2,400 elected prosecutors nationwide and revealed that 95% are white and 79% are men, shining a light on the structural bias of the criminal justice system.
“Most States Elect No Black Prosecutors” – The Atlantic
Who Runs (in) America? analyzed the race and gender of candidates, finding that women and people of color are not only excluded from elected office, they’re excluded from our ballots.
“7 out of 10 people on last night’s GOP debate stage were men. Here’s why.” – Fortune