AROC Census Campaign
April 1st of 2012 was officially “Census Day”, and in the days and weeks surrounding this date, households across the US filled out their Census forms to be counted in the country’s population. There are two central uses for the Census: it determines how federal budget dollars are distributed to local communities, and it determines how many Congressional representatives we have for our districts.
For the Arab community, many communities of color, and immigrant communities, the Census can be a controversial issue. For good reason, Arabs and Muslims are hesitant to give our personal information to the government. And we STILL don’t have our own racial or ethnic category on the form—come on already, get with the times!
AROC, alongside Ayadi and the Arab Cultural and Community Center, hit the streets to talk to the Arab community about these tough topics and more. The Census only asked for minimal information—probably less than required for any government form—and your information was legally required to be kept strictly confidential and not shared with any government or private agency.
We encouraged all Arabs to check the “Other” box (even though we’re sick of it) and to please write in ARAB. It was important that our community was counted as a whole Arab community and not separated into many nationalities or races.
Counting our community can help us fight for more services in our language and more resources that account for our culture and traditions.