2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall To Prevent An Undercount

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25:  Former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and founder and chair of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams testifies during a hearing before the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of House Judiciary Committee June 25, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The subcommittee held a hearing on "Continuing Challenges to the Voting Rights Act Since Shelby County v. Holder."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall To Prevent An Undercount

Hear from former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and activist Stacey Abrams, Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders.

Published October 22nd

Written by Marc Morial

The 2020 Census could fail to count more than four million people, most of them Black and Latino.

An undercount of people of color means political influence will drain from already underrepresented diverse communities into predominantly white communities. An unfair census will deprive communities of color of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like Head Start, WIC and Healthy Baby programs, Medicare, Section 8, Pell Grants and infrastructure.

It would inhibit the just enforcement of civil rights laws, including fair housing, voting rights and other constitutional protections.

The National Urban League and our civil rights allies are determined not to let this happen. And you can help.

Join us on October 22, 8 p.m. Eastern time, for the 2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall.

RELATED: The 2020 Census Could Be The Worst Undercount Ever

We’re gathering leaders, activists, clergy, and experts for a conversation on ways to make sure the Black community is counted. Among the speakers is former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and activist Stacey Abrams

Abrams this year launched a new group, Fair Count that seeks to reach out to “hard-to-count populations” in Georgia before the census headcount begins next March.  She will be joined by the leaders of the organizing coalition, National Urban League, NAACP, National Action Network, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Visit http://bit.ly/MakeBlackCountTeletownhall to register.

You can also follow our efforts to ensure a fair Census on social media, using the hashtag #MakeBlackCount. Make Black Count! was the outreach campaign conducted by the Coalition for a Black Count, a project composed of 13 civil rights organizations spearheaded by the National Urban League under the leadership of former Executive Director Whitney M. Young, Jr.

“The Coalition feared that many non-white Americans would be missed in the 1970 Census,” Young testified to Congress. The Census Bureau’s plans for counting minorities “were fraught with many serious deficiencies”  such as inadequate mailing procedures, lack of assistance for completing the complex forms, poor community educational activity about the Census, and distorted publicity from the Bureau of the Census. 

Sound familiar? Fifty years later, the  challenges are greater for historically undercounted communities of color, including a fear of the government, lack of promotional and outreach materials for our communities, hiring and recruitment challenges to ensure a representative workforce, and the digital divide in poor and rural Black communities as we face the nation's first Internet, online Census next year--not to mention the lingering effects of the Trump Administration’s failed attempt to intimidate immigrants by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census form.

Fight back against the shortchanging of Black communities. Find out how on the 2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall

Marc H. Morial is President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation's largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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