The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is joining forces with several national and state organizations to launch a social media campaign to get African Americans to fill out the 2020 census.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Unity Diaspora Coalition, the National Urban League’s Black Census Roundtable, and more than 40 national and state-based partner organizations have launched Black Census Week. A weeklong social media initiative focused on promoting and encouraging the black population (native and foreign-born) to participate in the 2020 Decennial Census by being counted via online phone or mail before Census Day on April 1.
“Count Me Black!” is the theme for this year’s initiative and it aims to aggressively utilize a variety of social media platforms to get African Americans to fill out the census.
The initiative originally contained door knocking and getting in front of people but turned to social media due to social distancing guidelines set due to the coronavirus outbreak.
African Americans, immigrants, LGBTQ+, children, and the elderly have been historically undercounted in past census counts. This has led to millions of federal dollars diverted away from hundreds of programs that support African Americans.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the census included same-sex couples living together on the form. Before 2013, same-sex couples counted as unmarried partners, even when couples reported themselves as spouses.
Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, believes African American participation in the census is a must.
“These are indeed trying times for our nation, as we endure the uncertainty of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Campbell said in a press release. “It is times like these that stress even more that each and every person needs to be counted so that we receive the resources and assistance that are due for our communities.
“For that reason, we all MUST participate in the 2020 Decennial Census. Despite the challenges each of us are personally facing, participating in the census has been made much easier for us through the use of social media and digital technology. We must take the time and make sure we are counted and say ‘Count Me Black!’”
The campaign formally launched Monday via teleconference and Marc Morial, National Urban League president and CEO, stressed, “This pandemic is as bad as we feared it would be, but we must move forward. We must encourage our people to fill out the forms online. The census is power and we must be counted.”
Morial said earlier this year that African Americans need to be more aware and woke in 2020.
The NCBCP Unity Diaspora Coalition will focus on encouraging “undercounted” groups to be counted online, by phone, or mail, including focusing on seniors and African American workers, men, women, and immigrants.