This January, Centro SOL launched a Census campaign to encourage Latinx residents in Hard-to-Count (HTC) neighborhoods to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census. Our method: Collaborating with 10 Latinx promotoras, community health workers, to recruit and support families in completing the census. Leaders that, not only know spanish, but deeply understand the lives, fears, and hopes of the Latinx community because they have lived it.
“I wish I knew these things earlier, but 10 years ago, I was much more cautious about giving my information out; in fear that it could backfire. Now I know better and can help people not make my mistakes.”
says one of our promotoras. It’s easy for our staff to pull up a presentation about the importance of the census and call it a day. However, meaningful impact comes from within the community and that’s why our promotoras are the essence of this campaign.
HOW IT WORKS?
From January to March, our 10 promotoras are recruiting families in HTC neighborhoods to sign up for Census informational sessions located in Lakeland, Brooklyn, and Orangeville/Armistead Gardens. Neighborhoods, determined by the U.S. Census Bureau, as areas with populations that commonly go under counted in the census due to difficulties reaching and persuading these populations to participate. Groups that often fall in this category are people of color, immigrants, LEPs, single-parent households, households with small children, and more.
Our promotoras are recruiting at laundromats, Latinx grocery stores, schools, neighborhood meetings, and superstores to name a few. They have knocked on doors of neighbors and encouraged people to bring their ‘comadres’ (best friends) to the meetings. At the sessions, they facilitate the meetings and share their knowledge and thoughts on the Census; specially how they see the their participation in the census as a civic duty for their children and community.
After the sessions are completed, the promotoras will invite their guests back for a Census submission event at the library; where they will assist people with their Census questionnaire. Whether it be literacy, tech, or logistical assistance, the promotoras will be available all day to support their community. Lastly, they will follow up on those that may have missed the submission event. In turn, following their guests throughout the whole campaign, from recruitment to submission of the census.
“Sometimes you just need a hand to guide you. The way others have guided me through programs and assistance. I hope that this helps me give back and offer that hand to someone that might feel lost and confused.” says a promotora.
If you are interested in following the journey of our promotoras and this campaign, follow our social media @jhcentrosol on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.