The Brown & Black Forum was founded in 1984 by current Co-Chair and former Iowa State Representative Wayne Ford and former Co-Chair Mary E. Dominguez Campos.

The non-partisan Iowa Brown & Black Forum had humble beginnings  in 1984 and expanded to include U.S. Presidential candidate forums in 1984. The event has evolved to be inclusive of all Iowans, and serve as a platform for minorities across the country to ensure their voices reach the White House with reverberating effect.  It is recognized as the nation’s oldest minority forum for Presidential candidates.

Over the years, the groundbreaking event has attracted participation from the likes of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. MSNBC, C-SPAN, BET, Mediacom, FUSION and other national and local news organizations that have covered the event since its inception.

Addressing public policy issues to which minorities can relate, such as economic development, immigration, education, healthcare and bias in the justice system, has created a tradition of civic engagement in Iowa and around the country.

As the first of its kind, the Brown and Black Forums of America has become one of the oldest and most vital platform for Presidential candidates to share their ideas – specifically plans that would affect minorities across the nation.