December 6, 2019

The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College Galvanizes Black Community to Combat the Threat of Census 2020 Undercount 

December 6, 2019

Contact: Imani Dawson | TCC Media | 646-389-9520 | idawson@clsj.org

MEDIA ADVISORY: The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College Galvanizes Black Community to Combat the Threat of Census 2020 Undercount 

NEW YORK, NY— Black New Yorkers are among the hardest to count on the Census, with estimated 40% going uncounted in the previous Census, impacting billions in federal dollars for critical needs including healthcare, education, transportation and housing, as well as political representation at the local state and federal levels. In an effort to combat the undercount crisis, The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) held a Town Hall on Thursday December 5, 2019, using the history of the Constitutional ⅗ compromise as historical context for the contemporary undercount crisis facing Black communities. Its goal: galvanizing New Yorkers of African descent to complete the Census and encourage their friends, family and communities to do the same.

Community stakeholders, including students, researchers and local residents gathered for a thorough introduction to Census 2020, designed to alleviate fears surrounding the process and compiled information. The discussion provided much needed context about

enumeration and its importance for US Residents, as well as research from CLSJ detailing a range of data, including neighborhood changes and demographic shifts, 2020 NYC population estimates, and the projected percentage decline of Black New Yorkers. 

Led by CLSJ Executive Director Esmeralda Simmons, Esq, the interactive conversation gave attendees the floor to ask questions and voice concerns, then strategies for community mobilization, such as “Census Sundays” at places of worship and leveraging the public library system to bridge digital barriers for completing the Census, which will be online for the first time in history. Participants left empowered with both a detailed understanding of the Census and an imperative to ensure they and their communities get counted. The need to ‘Check Black’ and be acknowledged as a member of a protected class was also addressed. 

With the future of New York at stake, it’s time for Black New Yorkers to stand up and be counted on the Census,” said Esmeralda Simmons, Esq. “Filing out the Census ensures that we get our fair share of federal dollars and political representation. We can no longer afford to have our numbers undercounted. It’s up to us to ensure that by filling out the Census, we have at the table in New York and the nation.”

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL JUSTICE AT MEDGAR EVERS COLLEGE (CLSJ):

CLSJ’s mission is to provide quality legal advocacy, training, and expert services to people of African descent and other marginalized groups. CLSJ conducts research, advocacy, and litigation on racial justice issues on behalf of community organizations and groups that promote human, national, and international understanding. For additional information, please visit: http://www.clsj.org/

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