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Every ten years U.S. Census workers go door-to-door across the country to count U.S. residents.
Census data is used to determine the boundaries of U.S. Congressional districts, and the Federal Government uses the information to distribute $300 billion dollars to local, state, and tribal communities.
According to census organizers and community advocacy groups, the challenge is that some groups of people are hard to count, especially the poor, and non-English speaking ethnic groups.
The reasons vary, according to community advocates who say that some people don't understand what the census is all about, while others are hesitant to share their information with the government.
How are census workers in the Gulf Coast going to maximize the efforts?
Visual Eye Media collaborated with Moving Forward Gulf Coast in Gulfport, MS to provide community and media relations training with Gulf Coast residents who will be working to count the people.
Amani Channel of Visual Eye Media and Maggie Kao of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund shared tips and media strategies about census outreach.
Here are seven key points they shared with the group:
A Flip video camera was used to shoot the trip.
- Media and community outreach strategies will be different for each community.
- Anyone engaging in media or communications should understand how the community shares information.
- Some hard to reach groups may not watch mainstream TV or read newspapers.
- Radio and word-of-mouth may be effective, as well as pamphlets, or flyers.
- Block parties, and cultural social gatherings may be great opportunities to both engage the community, and the media.
- Build relationships with journalists.
- Develop a timeline for your media outreach efforts, key events, or media opportunities.
Please watch the 3.5 minute video about the event.
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Amani Channel is available for media interviews, he can emcee, or speak at your next event. Channel is an award-winning writer and producer. He's appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, and has been a featured guest commentator on NPR. He is often asked to present at conferences, guest lecture at universities, lead panel discussions, and training sessions about journalism, new media, and video production. Call (404) 213-2121 for availability and booking.
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