Will You Stand Up and Be Counted?

Algernon Austin presents an excellent, concise, and wonderfully read scholarly examination of the complicated landscape of race, class and popular perception. Besides the prison industrial complex, black strides in education, poverty rates, crime and other indices contradict claims that blacks are “moving backward.”
--Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, Director, Institute for African American Studies, University of Connecticut and author of Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity (The Johns Hopkins University Press), 2004 and Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap (University Press of Kansas), 2007.

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The 2010 Census is coming! Will you stand up and be counted?

Every missing black person translates to a loss of roughly $13,000 in federal dollars for his community until the next census in 2020. This is a lot of money. On the 2010 Census you only need to answer ten easy questions to earn that money for your community. Will you stand up and be counted?

Blacks have lower income, less wealth and higher poverty rates than whites. On top of all of this the black completion rate of the 2000 Census was lower than the white completion rate. This means that poorer black communities lose out on desperately needed federal dollars.

On the 2000 Census, my predominantly black community had a completion rate of about 65 percent. The predominantly white community nearby had a completion rate of over 80 percent. My community probably lost out on federal funds. (Map the participation rate of your community here.)

If you are not counted by the government, not only does your community lose money, you are more easily ignored and neglected. Political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by the census counts. Entrepreneurs determine where to locate businesses based on census data. Public policies and social programs are created based on census data. If you are not counted you are more likely to be ignored.

Will you stand up and be counted?

Worth Viewing/Reading

Brookings report: Counting for Dollars:The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds.

Algernon Austin talks about minority unemployment on PBS Newshour.

NYC Police Department targets black and Latino youth.

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--Algernon Austin, Ph.D.

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