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About Dēmos

Dēmos is a non-profit public policy organization working to build a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy and economy. We work hand in hand to build power with and for Black and brown communities, forging strategic alliances with grassroots and state-based organizations. 

For nearly 25 years, Dēmos has worked at the intersection of democracy reform, economic justice, and racial justice—drawing on our expertise in policy solutions, research, legal advocacy, and narrative strategies. Dēmos has moved progressive issues from the movement to the mainstream, such as debt-free college, voting rights access at public agencies, and strong credit card protections for consumers. And there is more to do. 

Today, our focus is clearer than ever: we must build power for Black and brown people and move our nation toward a new era of inclusion, equity, and shared power. 

The Dēmos Power Agenda is our affirmative vision for creating a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy and economy by building civic, political, and economic power for all. It calls for structural reforms that restore and expand voting rights, fortify worker rights and protections, and decentralize power to the people—the dēmos

How We Work

Our democracy is at a critical juncture, and the stakes for Black and brown communities are high. The resurgent threat of white supremacy and authoritarianism has undermined decades of political and economic progress. Our grassroots partners and racial justice champions have long understood the necessity of power-building for systemic change. Their successes and challenges in the long fight to secure political access and economic opportunity necessitate a deeper commitment from organizations like Dēmos to build and sustain power for Black and brown communities.   

The solutions are many and require analyses that center power-building, racial equity and uplifting systemically marginalized communities facing blatant hostility to equity and justice. Explicit strategies that target the inclusion of Black and brown families, immigrants and systems-impacted people will ensure our vision encompasses all people. 

At Dēmos, we pioneer bold, progressive ideas, reinforce them with original research and analysis, and equip grassroots partner organizations to move them into practical reality. Our core strategies include:  

Strengthening state and grassroots partnerships  

A strong, connected, well-resourced grassroots movement is essential to sustain power building. Dēmos will elevate state and grassroots partners’ power and insight through legal strategies, policy, and research support and create opportunities for local leaders from across the country to connect and strategize together.  

Developing strategies and analyses to facilitate power-building 

Grounded in the expertise and lived experiences of our grassroots and state-based partners, Dēmos will develop and advance a power analysis and policy agenda that articulates the necessary strategies to shift power to the people, particularly Black and brown communities—an essential ingredient to realizing a multiracial democracy. Read our Power Agenda Framework to learn more.  

Advancing long-term systemic change 

Listening to our partners rather than simply offering ideas for structural change, Dēmos helps to advance ideas to realize change in structures and institutions that form the basis of racial inequity. Dēmos will work alongside national, state-based, and grassroots partners to advocate for concrete policy solutions and support campaigns and legal strategies for systemic change. 

Disseminating new narratives around our democracy and economy 

Prevailing narratives mask the realities of who wields power and upholds the status quo by making inequity and racial injustice appear inevitable. Through strategic research and communications, Dēmos will advance alternative narratives that offer what is possible instead of a traditional winner vs. loser approach.  

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