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These two Iowans have been holding candidates accountable on race for over 30 years

Mary Campos and Wayne Ford are co-founders and co-chairs of the oldest minority-focused presidential forum in the nation, the Iowa Brown & Black Forum.

Ford organized the first Iowa Democratic presidential forum in 1976, to focus specifically on issues important to Iowa’s minority communities. Eight years later, he partnered with Latina community leader Campos to found the Brown & Black Forum. It’s been a part of every contested Democratic presidential primary ever since.

Campos and Ford, a former state legislator, will be hosting all three Democratic presidential candidates next week in Des Moines.

“I truly believe that if me and Mary had not gotten together in 1984, no one would even be talking about minority issues,” Ford told Fusion. “Why would the candidates talk about minority issues in the fifth-whitest state in America?”

“We want to make sure that black and brown kids get the same opportunities like anyone else,” Campos said.

Fusion will broadcast the Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum live from Des Moines on Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. ET. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Sen. Bernie Sanders will all take part.

The event will also be livestreamed on Fusion.net, Facebook, and YouTube. Fusion anchors Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez, along with Fusion contributor Akilah Hughes and New York magazine Writer-at-Large Rembert Browne will serve as moderators. And download the Fusion app and join the conversation during the forum. Available on iOS and Android.


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