Census 2020: Importance of Reaching Hard to Count Populations


With over 200 associations across the United States and sister associations in 120 countries throughout the world, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix is proud to be part of a global movement dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. Locally, one of the ways we have chosen to focus on building equality and inclusion is to support an accurate count of hard-to-count populations for the 2020 Census.

Today, we began our first step in that work by convening our first Census Solutions Workshop. We have brought together local nonprofits to a conversation that is solutions-oriented and brings diverse organizations together to collaborate on addressing challenges and barriers in the communities they serve. Historically we know that hard-to-count populations can include: young children, people of color, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ persons, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, low income people, people experiencing homelessness, highly mobile people, people who distrust the government, and people who do not live in traditional housing. With an accurate count of hard-to-count populations, state and national policy makers as well as nonprofit organizations can have access to the information that can directly help them understand the demographics and dynamics of people’s lived experiences, thereby catalyzing the work needed to transform the systemic issues and barriers that these populations have historically faced in their communities.

YWCA’s intersectional mission demands that we show up to advocate against the oppression that many groups and individuals endure, therefore we advocate for a full and fair Census. Our national CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo said of the Census, “The Census is more than a count. It is the vehicle by which all people living in the U.S. have access to their fair share of the political representation, funding, and resources they deserve and need in order to be safe and healthy. An accurate, inclusive Census is vital to our democracy.”

In partnership with Census 2020, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix is convening two Census Solutions Workshops. The intention of the workshop is to bring together diverse nonprofit organizations and brainstorm solutions that target the challenges their organizations and hard-to-count individuals face. We are committed to ensuring that our communities understand that the Census makes a direct and real difference in their lives and communities.

Our next Census Solutions Workshop will be on November 14th and will guide participants through the Census’ ROAM (Response Outreach Area Mapper) tool which gives nonprofits and community members access to Census data that can aid in analyzing trends and community needs.

Together, we hope to get an accurate and inclusive count of hard-to-count populations and ensure that they get the representation they deserve. We, at YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, see our diverse community and understand many of the injustices they are facing. By working towards an accurate and inclusive count of hard-to-count populations, we strive towards further equity and justice for our communities and are excited to be a part of this work! 

To learn more about our work with Census 2020, or to find out about our next Census Solutions Workshop, please contact us.