Building One America will hold its 5th biennial national Summit on July 20-21, 2017
Over the past 8 years, Building One America has worked to bring attention to increasingly diverse, middle-class communities across the country. We see these places as key to building multi-racial, middle and working-class constituencies needed to address some of our nation’s most pressing problems including racial segregation, fair and inclusive economic growth, and sustainable development.
The failure on the part of many of our nation's leaders to recognize and understand these communities has only contributed to the toxic level of polarization we are experiencing today with serious implications for racial injustice, growing economic inequality, environmental degradation and continued government dysfunction.
Because of this failure, our work since our last national summit has focused on engaging and recruiting groups and constituencies with the greatest self-interest in promoting a diverse, inclusive, and growing middle-class while developing a unifying narrative, policy agenda, and an organizing base that helps move us forward as a country.
These groups include:
- Civil Rights organizations
- Faith based institutions
- Organized Labor
- Local government and school district leadership
The issues we advance:
- Regional infrastructure investments in water, sewer, road, and transit to promote inclusive middle-class jobs, and bolster diverse and sustainable communities
- Pubic schools that promote middle-class opportunity while challenging racial segregation and debilitating concentrated poverty
- Fair housing policies that promote regional diversity, reduce segregation and create stable, healthy communities
The themes we will explore:
- The state of diverse, middle-class America:
- Demographic changes: social, economic, racial, and structural
- The challenges and the promise of diverse middle class suburbs
- The role of the suburbs in the recent national election and the implications for state and national politics
- Labor and Civil Rights:
- Drawing on the lessons of their historic relationship and the power of their still overlapping constituencies and interests
- Uniting the parallel but intersecting themes of racial justice and economic inequality
- The crisis and enduring legacy of the ghetto
- Revealing and understanding the central role of America’s racial apartheid as a force for political polarization; private profits; an attack on the public sector and organized labor; and the exploitation of both the urban poor and suburban middle class.
Organizing we will promote:
- Participants will be challenged, supported and trained in taking effective and strategic action to better organize their constituencies and coalitions, to defend our shared values, and advance a common agenda.
This year’s summit will not be in DC. It is being hosted by our partner, the Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE) led by Paul Jargowsky, author of the book Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City, at Rutgers Universality in Camden, NJ. Rutgers is a 7-minute subway ride to and from Center City, Philadelphia. Lodging will be available in downtown Philadelphia near Penn’s Landing as well nearby Cherry Hill, and on the Rutgers campus. Early registration is now avaiable at buildingoneamerica.org or register here: