Black Census Table seeks accurate count of African heritage communities

Photo courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

Stand up and be counted!

The Black Census Table is a coalition of African heritage organizations mobilized to engage in a strategic, grassroots outreach campaign to ensure a complete count and increased participation in the Census 2020.

The U.S. Census Bureau and other thought-leaders have identified 19 historically undercounted communities projected to be at risk of an undercount. Paramount among those groups are African Heritage communities, including African descendants of Slaves and African immigrants.

Minnesota is anticipating 17% non-self-respondents. Over 900,000 Minnesotans are projected for an undercount—51% are in five counties: Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties.

“Representation matters. Not being counted means not getting the resources and development our communities need,” said Anika Robbins, executive director of the ANIKA Foundation. “The 2010 Census resulted in the loss of a North Minneapolis City Council seat as a result of redistricting. Numbers matter, YOU matter.”

Robbins convened the Black Census Table to establish a cohesive mobilization model to effectively engage and prepare African Heritage communities to participate in Census 2020. “Participating in the Census proves our existence and stakes an irrefutable claim to needed resources, representation and opportunities.”

According to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, 1 in 3 African Americans lives in a hard-to-count area (HTC). African American men are historically undercounted more than men of any other racial group. Seven percent of young Black children were overlooked by the 2010 Census—twice the rate for young non-Hispanic White children.

Organizations in the coalition include the Minneapolis Urban League, NAACP, African Career and Education Resources (ACER) Minnesota Voice, Black Votes Matter MN, Council of Minnesotans of African Heritage (CMAH) and several other agencies.

The coalition aims to amplify the message to “Stand Up & Be Counted!”—a nod to the Civil Rights era. “Like voting, filling out the Census form is a way to exercise your basic civil right.” added Robbins.

With the goal of increasing awareness across approximately 300,000 households statewide, the collective is targeting so-called “hard-to-count” neighborhoods and zip codes across Minnesota with a focus on the Twin Cities—East & West Metro—Rochester, Duluth and St. Cloud.

— Information provided by Black Census Table.

To learn more, visit: www.becountedmn.com and www.theanikafoundation.org or call 1-877-90-COUNT.

To learn more about Census, visit, www.census.gov.