How much thought have you given to the Census? While most people are aware that the US government conducts a census every ten years, many people do not consider the relationship between the census and race in the US. If you want to become better equipped to understand the 2020 census, especially the addition of a citizenship question, understanding the way that census questions about race have upheld white supremacy for over two centuries is crucial. This history can give you the framework to consider if or how the census can be used for justice in the future.
Karen Gaffney, Ph.D.
Professor of English, Raritan Valley Community College
Karen Gaffney, PhD, is the author of Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (Routledge, 2018), an accessible introduction to race and racism with tools for action. She’s an English professor at Raritan Valley Community College, where she teaches courses on composition, gender, and race. She facilitates anti-racism workshops in the community and at conferences, and she runs a blog with resources, Divided No Longer, which works to call out white supremacy, understand it, and dismantle it.