Often overlooked and undercounted, Black people in America have another opportunity to make their voices heard in a new project from Black Futures Lab. Launching on the last day of Black History Month, the Black Futures Lab Black Census Project offers Black communities a chance to weigh in on issues that matter.
Ahead of the 2022 midterm election, the organization hopes to capture a representative snapshot of the values, opinions and issues facing Black communities.
“Today, we’re launching the Black Census Project 2022,” Black Futures Lab tweeted Monday morning. “The Black Census Project originally launched in 2018 and is the largest survey of Black people conducted in the US in 157 years. What’s keeping you up at night? Take the survey and share your voice.”
“If you want to take a pulse on what is happening with the country at large, listen and be responsive to Black communities,” said Alicia Garza, principal and founder of the Black Futures Lab.
Through online submissions and in-person events, Black Futures Lab aims to capture input from at least 200,000 Black people. According to the group, this is the largest survey effort of Black people in over a century. The survey will take an estimated 10-20 minutes to complete.
Garza began designing the Black Census project after the 2016 election. Initially launched in 2018, the first iteration of the Black Census Project engaged over 30,000 Black people.
The Black Census Project will also lead focus groups in five prior states of Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Louisiana and California. These focus groups coincide with the group’s civic engagement outreach in the target states.
A detailed undertaking, the Black Census Project provides an opportunity for deep engagement of Black communities that is often lacking in traditional political efforts. Garza said Black voters require concrete action and clear commitments to tangible change to turn out in large numbers.
“Black people are dissatisfied with how elected officials have shown up for us after we changed the balance of power in Washington,” Garza said. “In an election season that will determine the direction of the country, we are reminding the entire political apparatus that engaging Black communities early and often is a winning strategy – the Black Census is key to that.”