Support Adding a MENA Category to the U.S. Census

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Action Alerts
Being counted by the census is one of the most basic forms of inclusion in America. Support Adding a MENA Category to the U.S. Census!
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Making Sure Arab Americans Count: Adding a MENA Category to the Census

Posted by Margaret Lowry on July 06, 2015 in Blog

The Iraqi American community is one of the fastest growing populations of Americans with origins in the Middle East or North Africa, but it’s impossible to get an accurate number of how large the population actually is. The most recent count by the Census Bureau estimates that there are 116,190 Iraqi Americans in the United States, but other data on the community suggests that this number is much too low. For instance, the Office of Immigration Statistics at the Department of Homeland Security found that in only the past decade, 103,487...

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Palestinian flag-raising is highlight of heritage week in Paterson

Posted by on May 04, 2015 in News Clips

PATERSON — A throng of more than 600 sang the Palestinian anthem and cheered as the Palestinian flag was raised at Paterson City Hall on Sunday afternoon.

Women garbed in hijabs and embroidered dresses and men in keffiyehs participated in the third annual raising of the green, black, red and white flag, in an event sponsored by the Arab American Civic Organization. The crowd waves Palestinian and American flags as Laila Ghannam, the governor of Ramallah, speaks during the ceremony on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

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Should the US census count Arab Americans differently?

Posted by KPCC on February 06, 2015 in News Clips

The U.S. Census Bureau is weighing a new category to more accurately count Arab Americans. The proposed classification is referred to as “MENA,” for Middle Eastern-North African.   Arab American advocates say the idea is a long time coming.   “We’re an ethnic constituency, and the challenge is that sometimes the U.S. doesn’t do ethnicity very well because they’re fixated on race," said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C.

Census bureau officials have been gathering input, public comments and opinions from experts and Arab American groups. They say they plan to test the category...

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Report: More data would make 2020 census more accurate

Posted by Philadelphia Inquirer on December 15, 2014 in News Clips

As the government looks ahead to the 2020 census, some civic leaders are seeking changes they say will paint a more vivid picture of an increasingly diverse United States.

"Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America," a report released last month by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a coalition of 200 civil rights groups, promotes a series of changes in how the data on race and ethnicity are gathered by the census and its companion American Community Survey.

Among the recommendations: Add a new ethnicity category for people of Middle Eastern and...

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Lobbying for a ‘MENA’ category on U.S. Census

Posted by USA Today on August 14, 2014 in News Clips

For many Americans, checking the right box on the U.S. Census form is a reflexive gesture, whether it's marking "black," "white," "Hispanic," "Asian," "American Indian" — or all of the above.

But for Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent, or "MENA," it's a real head-scratcher. They come in a variety of phenotypes and shades—ranging from pale to deepest ebony, and hail from 22 different countries, from Iran to Egypt to Sudan. And yet, for the census, since the beginning of the last century, the MENA community has been lumped into the "white" category.

Back in 1909, such a...

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Lobbying for a ‘MENA’ category on U.S. Census

Posted by USA Today on August 14, 2014 in News Clips

For many Americans, checking the right box on the U.S. Census form is a reflexive gesture, whether it's marking "black," "white," "Hispanic," "Asian," "American Indian" — or all of the above.

But for Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent, or "MENA," it's a real head-scratcher. They come in a variety of phenotypes and shades—ranging from pale to deepest ebony, and hail from 22 different countries, from Iran to Egypt to Sudan. And yet, for the census, since the beginning of the last century, the MENA community has been lumped into the "white" category.

Back in 1909, such a...

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American Muslims’ ongoing civil rights fight

Posted by Al Jazeera on July 13, 2014 in News Clips

Washington, DC - Thirteen years after the September 11 attacks, Arabs and Muslim Americans in the US still face continuing bias and prejudice, Arab Americans and civil rights activists say.

"It has gotten worse for us," said Nadia Tonova, the executive director of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) in Dearborn, Michigan. "We are a community that is constantly under suspicion. It's really at a point where it's out of control."

The NNAAC is rolling out a $4.5m grassroots mobilisation campaign called " Take on Hate " in New York City on July 15, designed to give Arab...

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Census Considers How to Measure a More Diverse America

Posted by The New York Times on July 01, 2014 in News Clips

When Alexa Aviles received her census form in 2010, she was frustrated by the choices. Like all Hispanics, Ms. Aviles, a Puerto Rican who lives in Brooklyn, was first asked to identify her ethnicity and then to answer a question about her race. Ms. Aviles, 41, who works for a nonprofit, thought, “I’m all of these!” In annoyance, she checked Hispanic, and then identified herself as white, black and “some other race.”

Mustafa Asmar, a Palestinian-American waiter in Paterson, N.J., does not like his options either. Arab-Americans are broadly classified as white in the census. “When you fill out...

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India leads all nations in sending people to Detroit

Posted by on June 06, 2014 in News Clips

Whether pushed or pulled, immigrants arrived from many countries. India

The largest single immigrant group in metro Detroit comes from India.

Of the 41,000 living in the region's four main counties, about half live in Oakland County, with 11,000 in Wayne and the rest in Macomb and Washtenaw counties.

The demand for professionals in the medical fields and computer technology has fueled an influx of highly educated Indian immigrants to metro Detroit, said Silvia Pedraza, a professor of sociology and American culture at the University of Michigan.

"They draw on what they know well and are good at," she...

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