Growing up in a refugee family, I saw the importance of how dances, music, and art allow us to preserve our culture and history while also providing a space for community where our families can learn to navigate the American system together. As a young child, my dad passed on culture to me by teaching me how to draw objects and nature. After he was done drawing, I would color the pages. Through these practices, he taught me the importance of creative thinking and being a keen observer of the world.
But as a young child, though I could see the diversity of ideas and communities in the world, my community wasn’t always seen by the world around me. And that’s not just my perception – children in immigrant families, like the one I grew up in, are among those most likely to be undercounted in the Census. In 2010, the Census Bureau estimated that one million children went uncounted.
The Census draws a sketch of our communities, and it’s up to us to complete it with the texture and color, to bring it to life. That’s why we’re working to ensure that all children are counted, especially immigrant children, in the 2020 Census. Here are three things you can do right now to make sure immigrant families and immigrant children are counted this year:
1. Take the Census and make sure to count EVERYONE in your household.
2. Call your friends and neighbors about the Census, especially those with children, to make sure they participated as well.
3. Get involved with your kids! They can join FIRM and MIRA’s coloring contest here:
Special thanks to Brandon Lee from Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Ingird Zelaya-Ascencio from Community Change for contributing to this blog.