How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority

As we move through this polarized election season, political organizations are spending millions of dollars chasing white swing voters—when in fact, it’s minority voters who increasingly make up the political majority and have the power to determine our next president. At the same time, politicos and pop stars alike—from the DREAMers and Kendrick Lamar to the Tea Party and Ted Nugent—are helping keep issues of race a central focus of the national conversation.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 we hosted a discussion with civil rights lawyer, political leader, and author Steve Phillips about the shifting demographic landscape and its underlying disconnects at the launch of his new book, Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.

6:00 pm

Welcome Remarks

Martín Abregú Vice President, Ford Foundation

6:10 pm

Brown is the New White

Steve Phillips Author, Brown Is the New White

6:20 pm


Ian Haney López John H. Boalt Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley
Deepa Iyer Senior Fellow, Center for Social Inclusion
Tamar Jacoby President and CEO, Opportunity America
Steve Phillips Author, Political Leader, and Civil Rights Lawyer
Moderator Van Jones President and Co-Founder, Dream Corps

7:00 pm


7:10 pm

Closing Remarks

Eric Ward Program Officer, Ford Foundation


Ian Haney López holds an endowed chair as the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches in the areas of race and constitutional law. He holds a master’s in history from Washington University, a master’s in public policy from Princeton University, and a law degree from Harvard University. The author or editor of five books, his most recent, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, lays bare how politicians exploit racial pandering to build resentment toward government, fooling voters into supporting policies that favor the very wealthiest while hurting everyone else.

Deepa Iyer is a South Asian American activist, writer, and lawyer. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion, Iyer served as executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) for nearly a decade. She is the author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, which was selected by the American Librarians Association’s Booklist magazine as one of the top 10 multicultural nonfiction books of 2015. Iyer’s work focuses on the policies and narratives that shape the post-9/11 environment, the changing racial demographics in America, and racial justice movements.

Tamar Jacoby is president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners working to advance better immigration law. A former journalist and author, she was a senior writer and justice editor at Newsweek and, before that, the deputy editor of the New York Times op-ed page. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. Jacoby is the author of Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration and editor of Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American.

Van Jones is president and co-founder of Dream Corps. Current initiatives, #cut50, #YesWeCode, and Green For All, create innovative solutions to “close the prison doors, open the doors of opportunity, into a new green economy.” A Yale-educated attorney, he has written two New York Times best sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a road map for progressives. Jones is a correspondent for CNN and a regular guest on political talk shows. In 2009, he worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the interagency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

Steve Phillips is a national political leader, civil rights lawyer, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. In 1992, he became the youngest person ever elected to public office in San Francisco and went on to serve as president of the Board of Education. In 2014, he co-authored the first-ever audit of Democratic Party spending and was named one of America’s Top 50 Influencers by Campaigns and Elections magazine. He has appeared on multiple national radio and television networks including NBC, CNN, Fox News, and TV One. He lives in San Francisco. Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority is his debut book.

  • Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice

  • Civic Engagement and Government


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