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The Diverse Suburbs Movement Has Never Been More Relevant

Lessons from—and for—this summer's tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri.
People protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson.
People protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

At a time when thousands of American suburbs like Ferguson, Missouri, are gaining more and more black and Hispanic families, the killing of Michael Brown this summer and the frustration that poured onto suburban streets afterward should prompt officials across the country to rethink their responses to demographic change.

“Ferguson is a cautionary tale,” says Jay Readey, executive director of the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and an advocate of fair housing policies and racially diverse communities. “The demographic wave that is overtaking America is brown. Less than half of the families looking for homes and communities to settle into over the next decade will be white.”