Image - Antonio Villaraigosa, Justin Gest, Molly Ball
Past Event

Justin Gest, Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Molly Ball: America at a Time of Demographic Change

Demographic changes at both the national and local levels continue to have tremendous impacts on America's political system. As diversity in the United States continues to flourish, the United States is evolving into a true multi-racial society. Yet the country remains deeply divided. What roles are demographic changes and a backlash to those shifts playing in shaping America's civic life? Leading demographer and political commentator Justin Gest believes he has some answers to these questions as the country 's citizens continue to grapple with what happens to the country when there is no longer a majority demographic group.

In his new pathbreaking book Majority Minority, Dr. Gest uses the case studies of six societies that have undergone the majority-minority transition to reveal insights as to the role of government in tempering nationalist sentiment and allowing diversity to flourish. He argues that the state and politicians can be powerful actors to help groups integrate and form a common identity for the benefit of all, while still respecting and celebrating the differences between them. Supplementing his analysis with surveys, studies and careful analysis of trends in the United States, Gest explains that the coming years will be formative in how diversity lives on in America, and how our society can gracefully transition into a majority-minority country.

The 2022 elections and, of course, the 2024 presidential election will be shaped by the impact of America's demographic changes. To help put these issues into context, Gest has invited former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and political journalist Molly Ball to discuss his new book and the critical moment in which the United States finds itself as its future as a cohesive multiracial democracy is regularly called into question.

Please join us for an important discussion on how we got here, what it means, and where we can go to remain an inclusive society for all Americans, regardless of origin.


Gest photo by Ron Aira; Ball photo by Tim Coburn.

April 19, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Justin Gest

Justin Gest

Associate Professor of Policy and Government, George Mason University’s Schar School; Author, Majority Minority

Imagge - Antonio Villaraigosa

Antonio Villaraigosa

Former Mayor, City of Los Angeles

Image - Molly Ball

Molly Ball

National Political Correspondent, Time