Rebuild The Dream

  • CA


San Francisco
United States

About Us

Rebuild The Dream is a 21st century think tank, fighting for an economy that works for everyone — and in which everyone can work.

We believe in liberty and justice for ALL and not just for some. We uphold the Statue of Liberty’s bold invitation to newcomers who recharge our democracy and bolster our economy. We champion the “deep patriotism” that can pull us together and we reject the “cheap patriotism” that pulls Americans apart.

We promote new economic ideas and champion innovative solutions. We especially lift up the voices of the millennial generation (young people born after 1980). Today, they face too few jobs, too much debt and too many threats to their survival (such as guns, the school-to-prison pipeline, deportation and the climate crisis). Though they will make up one-third of the eligible voters in 2020, their issues are rarely part of the mainstream political conversation.

Rather than persuading only the elites, we use mass media, creative projects, and digital tools to change popular opinion. We work with artists to transform hearts and minds, and we partner with celebrities to spread ideas. Our 500,000 members organize online to move the needle on issues that matter. Our president and co-founder, Van Jones, is a best-selling author and CNN contributor.

We believe that the economy is not broken — it was never designed correctly in the first place. New research into behavioral economics and ecological science reveals that many of our fundamental assumptions about the economy are wrong: our economic choices are less rational and more impactful than we believe. These flawed assumptions have guided the decisions of business leaders and politicians in both parties for decades, with disastrous results. To reinvent and reignite the American Dream in the 21st Century, we must jettison the 19th century economic ideas and 20th century policy proposals that have failed us for years.

Our country was founded on a beautiful idea that anyone — of any age, race, gender, identity, class, or creed — can create a better life for themselves through hard work. Though the reality often fell short, that single idea inspired generations of Americans. It was an idea the world called the American Dream — and it is still worth fighting for today.

Rebuild The Dream has built an incredible movement with over 500,000 members, 80 institutional partners, prominent celebrity endorsers, major legislative victories and a substantial media platform.

In February of 2011, pro-union demonstrations in Wisconsin rocked the nation.

Van Jones, Natalie Foster and Billy Wimsatt called for nationwide demonstrations to support the activists in Wisconsin as they could feel that the protests were giving voice to a bottom-up movement they knew reverberated beyond Wisconsin.

In response to their call, 50,000 people participated in “Save the American Dream” rallies nationwide, including every state capital. Encouraged by that success, they co-founded and launched Rebuild the Dream.

We've gone on to win important victories—including helping to prevent the federal Stafford student loan interest rates from doubling in July 2012. We also have helped to change the national conversation about principal reduction for home mortgages; the best way to solve the housing crisis is for the lenders to stop overcharging people for their homes. Learn more about our recent work on student loan relief, support for homeowners, and creative organizing through our partnershp with the rock star Prince.