As part of the “Make Yourself Count” Census 2010 campaign, The Leadership Conference Education Fund is working with partner organizations for a “day of action” on December 22 to mark 100 days until the 2010 census begins and to raise awareness in traditionally hard-to-count communities about the importance of participating in the census.
The “day of action” will focus on outreach through faith-based communities. In a webinar, representatives from Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) and the Atlanta Urban League discussed how local organizations are incorporating faith-based messaging into their census outreach efforts and identified best practices for strategies that have been successful in educating and engaging traditionally hard-to-count populations on the importance of the census. The speakers also highlighted what groups can do to integrate census outreach into existing programs and activities during the week of December 22.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund is working with groups to produce materials to support activities around the December 22 action. Posters explaining that in the Gospel of Luke, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to take part in the Roman census are available to help with outreach in the Christian faith community. The posters are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Creole, Korean, and Chinese; a fact sheet and sample church bulletin are also available for download or by contacting Jheanelle Wilkins at Wilkins@civilrights.org.
Organizations, activists, and leaders seeking to organize around the December 22 “day of action” are encouraged to:
- Ask specific churches to display the poster and bulletin on or before Sunday, Dec. 20.
- Work with a specific church to display the poster, bulletin and ask the pastor to share from the pulpit the census Christmas sermon or ask to give an announcement about the census after the service.
- Partner with other churches representing other communities of color and hold a press conference on Dec. 22 highlighting faith leaders and 100 days until census day.
While the December 22 action is focusing on outreach within faith communities, the Leadership Conference Education Fund and partner organizations are running a broader census campaign in 13 cities. Non-faith-related fact-sheets and materials are also available for download and distribution:
- Confidentiality and Privacy (PDF)
- Race and Ethnicity in the 2010 Census (PDF)
- The 2010 Census and People Living in Non-traditional Housing: Group Homes, Shelters, Transitory Housing, and the Homeless (PDF)
- The Importance of the Census to Immigrant Communities (PDF)
- College Students and the 2010 Census (PDF)
Census information is used to determine where and how more than $400 billion in government funding is spent each year. Each person who goes uncounted will cost thousands of dollars a year, depriving local communities of funding for essential resources such as schools, health clinics, senior centers, and job training sites. Census information also helps empower communities by making sure that they are included when new congressional and legislative districts are drawn; and is used to enforce and monitor compliance with civil rights and anti-discrimination laws.