Grantee Partner Spotlight: Southern Echo on the Frontlines of Census Advocacy

As the 2020 population numbers will shape how political power and over 800 million dollars will be shared in the U.S. over the next ten years, an accurate Census count is of monumental importance, especially to communities of color. Schott Grantee partner Southern Echo understands this and has engaged its volunteers to ensure that their community is counted in the 2020 census. 

What does the Census have to do with public education? A lot. The Census determines where and how $14 billion in federal public education funds will be allocated. Through programs like Title I, the National School Lunch Program, Head Start, and special education grants, these are dollars that will decide whether a school stays open or closed, or if a district can hire school nurses and support staff.

Southern Echo works to empower African American, vulnerable, low-wealth and marginalized communities throughout Mississippi and the Southern Region with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to demand accountability and action for political, education, economic, and environmental, health, and criminal justice.

Southern Echo has concentrated a majority of its efforts on the 202 Census, making sure their communities are counted. “Our goal is for Mississippi to have a complete and accurate census count,” said Southern Echo Inc. Executive Director Rachel Mayes at a convening in Jackson, MS. As the Census deadline approaches, Southern Echo and its volunteers plan to ramp up their advocacy and organizing efforts in Mississippi. 

The Census is not merely an instrument of accuracy: it ensures democracy and is a necessary step on the path toward equity and racial justice. Make sure you and your community are represented. Complete your 2020 Census here.

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