It is widely known that by 2048, if not sooner, non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the U.S. population. Less clear is what these demographic shifts will mean for us who are living through these days of momentous and visible change. A friend who is a school social worker in the suburbs is watching the school diversify significantly and wonders how best to serve his new students. Another suburban friend is spending time with children of refugees and immigrants, looking for ways to explain how the majority culture actually works to those who learned about America on TV. Friends accustomed to being America's minorities look on with curiosity—and perhaps apprehension—as certain pundits and politicians decry the changing face of the country.
The participants at the first Multi-ethnic Church Conference were asking questions along these lines. More than one speaker referenced 2048 as a societal tipping point. But while the conference addressed the wider culture, many of the ...1