The 2020 Census: Don’t Let Time Run Out!

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Now, more than ever, as we experience the impact of shrinking federal resources for BIPOC communities, it is imperative that we encourage and push, if we have to, every member of our community to participate in the 2020 Census by filling out the form. I believe participation in the 2020 Census is as important and as urgent as voting on November 3, 2020.

In April, I shared with the readers of Arts & Culture Connections about the impact the Census has on funding for the arts. Population-based funding is used throughout the federal government, including for the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, etc.

To further inspire and fuel participation by BIPOC communities, there is a new campaign from the recently formed Black Theatre United coalition and the non-profit Fair Count, which was founded by Stacey Abrams, to push for census completion among people in “hard-to-count” communities. The campaign, which is titled “Only 1 of Me,” recently launched two promotional videos—one video featuring ballet star Misty Copeland, and the other video with Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter. Both of the videos were shot in locations of personal significance, with Mr. Porter walking the streets of Harlem and Ms. Copeland dancing around the Lincoln Center Plaza.

I urge you to begin with your family members, who may have not yet participated, and then reach out to friends across the country. Here is the link to the 2020 Census to pass along. Please also share the videos. Be proactive and use every platform you can leverage to make people aware of this critical need. Please use your database to send emails; post the link on your website and use your social media accounts to promote the need to participate in the 2020 Census.

As you may know, the White House was seeking to cut off the census collection one month early, but a federal judge blocked their effort. However, the legal battle is not over. While the window is still open, let’s ensure that every single member of our communities is counted!

As always, I’d like to know what you think. Please share your comments below.

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