Iowa Brown-Black Presidential Forum 
Jan. 17, 2000 at North High School in Des Moines.  5:00-6:00 p.m. (CST). 
Source: Iowa Brown-Black Presidential Forum.
Chronological History

The Iowa Brown-Black Presidential Forum, an opportunity for Iowa Black and Hispanic leaders to question presidential candidates on Black and Hispanic issues, was founded by Iowa State Representative Wayne Ford (Dem. Des Moines), now the only minority legislator in the State of Iowa.  Former Co-Chair Mary Campos and current Co-Chair Ila Plasencia are prominent members of the Iowa Latino community.
1976: Des Moines Community Leader Wayne Ford organized the first minority Democrat Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa.  It was sponsored by Concerned Citizens for Minority Affairs.  Jimmy Carter, Sargent Shriver, Birch Bayh and Fred Harris sent surrogates to the Des Moines Community Hall in the Model Cities area to discuss their candidates' views regarding minority issues.
1984: Co-Chairs Wayne Ford and Mary Campos envisioned a coalition comprised of Hispanic and Black leaders to ensure minority inclusion in the Iowa Caucus process.  This coalition became known as the Iowa Brown-Black Coalition.  The first Brown-Black Presidential Forum was held on January 10, 1984 at the Tiny Tot Child Care Center, located in the Model Cities area of Des Moines, Iowa and was attended by John Glenn, Gary Hart, Alan Cranston, and George McGovern.  Vice-President Mondale did not attend the Presidential Forum but met with the Brown-Black Coalition later in February of 1984.
1988: Wayne Ford and Ila Plasencia co-chaired the second Brown-Black Presidential Forum, held on January 20, 1988 at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa.  Bruce Babbit, Michael Dukakis, Richard Gephardt, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Paul Simon attended the forum.
1992: The third Brown-Black Presidential Forum was held on February 8, 1992 at the Community Hall located in the Model Cities area of Des Moines, Iowa.  Only Iowa Senator Tom Harkin participated.  No other candidates participated because Senator Harkin was an Iowa "Favorite Son" candidate.
1996: There was no forum because President Clinton was unopposed for re-nomination and Republican candidates chose not to participate.
2000: Democrat candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley will participate in the forum to be held on Monday, January 17, 2000 at 5:00 p.m. at North High School in Des Moines.

The Iowa Brown-Black Presidential Forum was established with three major objectives:

1. To have the presidential candidates and the national and international media focus on Black and Hispanic issues in Iowa and around the country.

2. To bridge the gap between the Hispanic and Black and the majority community about the voting process and on the issues and problems that affect them.

3. To assist in the mobilization of members of both the Black and Hispanic communities in Iowa and around the country in the political process.

Iowa Brown-Black Presidential Forum
P.O. Box 5042
Des Moines, Iowa 50305
Wayne Ford, Co-Chair (515)271-0605 or cell phone (515) 238-4142
Ila Plasencia, Co-Chair (515) 255-6885
E Mail:

Copyright 1999  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.