The End of the Nuclear Age: How the Future of Family Depends on Letting Go of the Past

A convening hosted by Family Story and New America for cross-sector leaders in policy, advocacy, academia, and philanthropy.

Washington, D.C. — An invitation-only convening hosted by Family Story and New AmericaThe End of the Nuclear Age summit, was held today for cross-sector leaders in policy, advocacy, academia, and philanthropy. The programming challenged common assumptions about what family “success” looks like and examined how this definition shapes who is successful, then workshopped what a more inclusive definition could look like and strategized around what it would take to achieve it.

The fluid and dynamic ways that people choose to make family are at odds with the narrow, rigid approach taken by U.S. law and policy. As a result, families conforming to the “nuclear family” model (a married man and woman raising their kids together) enjoy protections and benefits that others are denied. This approach that privileges some families and marginalizes others contradicts our American belief that thriving families are the bedrock of a healthy society.

The summit featured open and interactive conversation and feature contributions from leading thinkers on these issues, including:

Philip Cohen
Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
Author, The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change

Brandi Collins
Senior Campaign Director, Media and Economic Justice, Color of Change

Stephanie Coontz
Professor of History and Family Studies, The Evergreen State College
Author, The Way We Never Were

Brittney Cooper
Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, Rutgers University
Author, Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women

Fatima Goss Graves
President-elect, National Women’s Law Center

Clare Huntington
Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law, Fordham University
Author, Failure to Flourish

Jared Make
Senior Staff Attorney, A Better Balance

C. Nicole Mason
Executive Director, Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest
Author, Born Bright

Cecilia Muñoz
Vice President, Policy & Technology; Director, National Network, New America
Former Director, White House Domestic Policy Council, 2012-2017

Nancy Polikoff
Professor of Law, American University
Author, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law

Brigid Schulte
Director, Better Life Lab, New America
Author, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time

Pamela Shifman
Executive Director, NoVo Foundation


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