SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — A Marshallese organization is preparing for the 2020 census and working with a local music group to reach more community members
M.A.R.K. Harmony has been singing together for over a year and they want to use their talents to support the Marshallese community. The group went live on Facebook with the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, also known as ACOM to talk about the importance of taking the 2020 census.
Michelle Pedro with ACOM said social media is one outlet they are using to reach more people. ”They can use their platform to let the younger generation know about the census and have them tell their parents about it and to respond to it .”
Pedro said during the last census the Marshallese community was under-counted so this year they are ramping up efforts to spread awareness about the upcoming census.
“We’re going to homes, having parties, and doing live videos,” said Pedro. “It’s very hard for them to be counted because of language barriers and also because of the fear of not knowing what it is.”
The census is taken every ten years and helps determine the funding for public services, healthcare and important programs like affordable housing and education.
ACOM is working to get more Marshallese to work as census takers which Pedro said will help with the language barrier. People can also stop by the office if they need some assistance filling out the form which for the first time will include Marshallese as a race category.
Kairo Langrus with M.A.R.K. Harmony said he wants to use what he learned to make sure his community does not go unheard. ”Coming here, I better understand the importance of it.”