Census 2020 will be the most controversial decennial census in decades, as the current administration has politicized the Census with the proposal to add a highly contested question on citizenship during an already politically polarized time. This event includes scholars who are studying this particular political moment and how different racial groups understand the government generally and the census more specifically, with broad implications for how we comprehend government trust and political divides as they impact racial groups across urban and rural communities. Dowling, Mora, and Rodríduez-Muñiz will present on their research on government trust and the census drawing from their research in both California and Illinois. Anita Banerji will then speak to the specific statewide efforts of nonprofits in Illinois to help increase participation in the census. As the Director of the Democracy Initiative for Forefront, a national organization for non-profits, Banerji is leading the statewide efforts to connect nonprofits in Illinois in collaboration for enhancing participation in Census 2020. Banerji will discuss the local Illinois stakes in terms of funding and political participation that are linked to census numbers. Griselda Vega Samuel will then discuss the importance of messaging with the Latino/a community. Vega Samuel heads the Chicago regional office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). MALDEF in collaboration with other civil rights organizations have been legally contesting the citizenship question. Overall this event will provide a nuanced and informative take on the race and place politics of the upcoming Census, including both academic scholarship and policy advocates.
with Julie A. Dowling (Latino/a Studies); G. Cristina Mora (Sociology, University of California Berkeley); Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz (Sociology and Latino/a Studies, Northwestern University); Anita Banerji (Director, Democracy Initiative for Forefront); Griselda Vega Samuel (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [MALDEF]).