Native People Count California announces partnership with Empowering Pacific Islander Communities in California 2020 Census outreach

Pictured: Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) co-hosted a Census convening in Long Beach, California, in the fall of 2019.(Photo: Jean Leasiolagi, courtesy Native People Count California)

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Indigenous communities partner to build energy as impending 2020 Census enumeration deadline looms

News Release

Native People Count California

The Native People Count California campaign and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) are pleased to announce a joint partnership empowering Indigenous communities across California.

The partnership is an important step in achieving a complete count of Indigenous peoples, including our urban Native communities, Tribal Nations, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders from Samoa to Micronesia. Partnerships between communities are imperative with the impending enumeration deadline of September 30, 2020.

Native People Count California and EPIC will be hosting joint and independent events during the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Census Week, September 7 through September 12, 2020, while Native People Count California partners host Tribal and Native urban community events from September 7 through September 12, 2020.

Native People Count California "United We Count" Census 2020 announcement flyer
(Image: Native People Count California)

Census partnerships in hard to count communities are crucial to counting our populations. The Census will be the most important source of nationally representative survey data about our community that is publicly available.

On September 10, the Native People Count California campaign and the Empowering Pacific Islander Communities will celebrate 2020 California Census Indigenous Peoples Day and dedicate their combined voices to raise awareness on the importance of accurate, clean data from our communities.

Tavae Samuelu, Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities said, “We are proud to stand and work with Native People Count California to ensure there is a fair and accurate count of all our communities. In California, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing racial groups statewide, and is home to the second largest number of federally recognized tribes and has the highest population of American Indian and Alaska Native people in the country. In a time of urgency where we understand that rural tribal communities are heavily impacted by COVID-19 and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have some of the highest infection rate in the state, there is no better time to work together as people of the ocean and land to tell our own stories through the census.”

Ricki McCarroll, Native People Count California Team Lead said, “We are thrilled to combine the energy of California’s Native peoples into this joint effort in getting our hardest of hard-to-count communities involved in the 2020 Census. Empowering Pacific Islander Communities’ mission is advocacy, research, and leadership, which reflects similar values of the Native People Count California campaign’s efforts in providing an accurate and complete count of Indigenous people in the 2020 Census. We need to work together to make sure our communities are aware of how to respond to the Census and why this data is so important to funding formulas in federal programs and representation in Washington, D.C.”

About Native People Count California

Native People Count California is the official California complete count – Census 2020 tribal media outreach campaign. Launched in January 2020 – the Native People Count CA campaign is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of the Tribal Advisor, the California Complete Count – Census 2020 office, and Tribal Media Outreach Partners NUNA Consulting Group, LLC, California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. (CIMC), and the California Native Vote Project (CNVP). Native People Count California was created with the belief that the 2020 Census is an integral piece to upholding the fiduciary responsibility by the United States federal government to Tribes and its delegated authority to state and local governments.

About Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities is a national organization based in Los Angeles and was established in 2009 by a group of young Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) leaders who recognized the urgency to address the growing needs of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families. With experiences ranging from grassroots organizing to higher education administration, these young leaders identified an immediate need to build a strong and unified advocacy voice for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders; a need for data that serve as testament to the needs of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families; and a need for a pipeline of strong leaders who can be advocates and influencers in, and on behalf of, the community. Since its inception, EPIC has rooted its work in advocating on behalf of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families; building partnerships within and outside the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community; creating tools and resources to support organizational and community capacity; and developing leaders and advocates. EPIC is fiscally sponsored by Community Partners.

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