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Census Campaign For Accurate Caribbean Count Kicks-Off in New York

Census Campaign For Accurate Caribbean Count Kick-Off, June 20, 2008, New York
http://www.jamaicans.com/news/events/kickoff-6-2008-045.shtml
Published Jun 24, 2008


The campaign to get Caribbean nationals accurately counted by the U.S. Census in 2010 will kick off officially in New York on June 20, 2008.

“Being visible in America begins and ends with the U.S. Census,” proclaimed CaribID2010 chair Felicia Persaud, in announcing a campaign with widespread support among those of Caribbean descent living in the United States for the Census Bureau to “ finally recognize our existence. “If you don’t get counted you don’t exist in many important ways.”

The CARIBID 2010 CAMPAIGN is a movement to ensure Caribbean American or West Indians get their own category on the U.S. Census, whether on the short form or the American Survey initiative. The push is to get Caribbean Americans who remain undercounted and remain largely invisible as an economic and political bloc to mainstream America counted.

One Caribbean Radio will host the kick-off at its studios at Restoration Plaza at 1360 Fulton Street , Brooklyn , NY 11216 from 6:30 p.m. on Friday June 20th.

The census of everyone living in America takes place every ten years as mandated in the U.S. Constitution at its very inception. Unfortunately the U.S. Constitution does not provide detailed instructions for conducting these U.S. Census every ten years. The details are left to the government and specifically the U.S. Census Bureau. On the form everyone will be mailed in 2010 there will be 16 different ways to self-identify racially and ethnically but no category for Caribbean Americans and West Indians men and women to identify who they and their families really are.

Caribbean Americans and West Indians are forced to choose between checking the box mis-identifying themselves as either African American, Asian American or Hispanic or simply as other.

‘That simply is unfair and Un-American. Just as others can proudly identify themselves by origin so should we,” said Persaud.

Leaders and supporters will come together to announce their plans for the coming weeks and months both in Washington, DC and New York City as focal points to “get the Census Bureau to do the right thing.”

First and foremost will be to get legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress, then passed by Congress that will mandate that the new Census form add one word to the identity question on the short form - that word and option is West Indian or Caribbean American.

Irwine Clare, of the Caribbean Immigrant Services insists, `This is a timely endeavor for the Caribbean community as we seek to capitalize and maximize in any meaningful way on our presence here in these United States.`

`It is imperative that there be an official categorization of us as a people. Thereby the Census is the official recognized tool for engendering such,` added Clare.

Sherra Pierre March, of CbeanMedia added, `This CaribID2010 movement is critical to determining the economic futures of our communities. Every year the census data directly affects how more than 300 billion dollars is allocated to communities across the U.S.

`These dollars are associated to schooling, healthcare, small business growth, housing, elderly care and so much more. This data is the cornerstone to how we are ultimately viewed as a community – IT IS OUR VOICE. This single step to join the movement, will affect international policies that not only determine the flow of dollars in our communities in the US but also in the Caribbean and throughout the larger Diasporas we are ultimately connected to.

`So join the CaribID2010 movement, so our voices can be heard - this simple step of registering on http://www.caribid2010.com and filling out our sample census form will help drive the message to the US Senate that we are to be taken seriously. This is our time…this is the moment of change!`

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Kwasi's question does this initiative diminishes the power of African American or advances the caues of immigrants.

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