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Black Theatre United and Fair Count Team Up for New Census Campaign

Get counted, so you don't miss out on federal funding.

Black Theatre United, the recently formed coalition of Black theater artists, is partnering with Fair Count, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, to launch "only1ofme," a new campaign featuring iconic artists of color, to inspire completion of the 2020 United States Census amongst "hard-to-count"" populations. The campaign was developed by Technology Humans And Taste.

According to press notes, "Each census, certain populations are "undercounted" because they may be hard to locate, hard to contact, hard to persuade, or hard to interview. Often these populations are immigrants, people of color, small children, renters, low income people, undocumented persons or people who move around a lot. The Census Bureau calls populations that fit into this category "hard-to-count" populations."

The 2020 Census will direct the allocation of more than $1.5 trillion annually to more than 300 federal programs for healthcare, education, and more. However, as COVID-19 sweeps across the United States, it has made collection efforts among those hard to reach communities even harder. If these populations —many of whom have been the hardest hit by the pandemic due to systemic healthcare disparities and economic inequities — do not respond, then cities, counties, and states could lose out on billions of dollars that fund crucial services needed before, during and after the pandemic. These include hospitals, Medicaid, Head Start programs, school lunch programs, food stamps, and more.

With the Census Bureau announcing it will be ending the census September 30, a month ahead of the October 31 recommendation, there is increased urgency for "hard-to-count" populations to respond and avoid being cut out from those funds for the next decade.

Among the artists taking part are Billy Porter and Misty Copeland. Watch their promotional videos below: