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Latino Census Campaign Supports Drive to 'Check Both'

By Bruno Gaston

International Editor

March 23, 2010, 8 p.m. - The census campaign for a group of Latino organizations is supporting the Afro-Latino Forum's campaign encouraging Afro-Latinos to acknowledge their Black and Latino heritage in the 2010 Census.

Jose Cruz - who is senior director of civic engagement for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund's Ya Es Hora: Hagase Contar or "It's Time: Get Counted" - applauded the forum's "Check Both!/¡Chequea las dos!" campaign.

“The (It's Time: Get Counted) campaign fully supports the efforts of every individual to self-identify on the 2010 Census form," Cruz said. "The Latino community in the United States continues to evolve and our multi-racial heritage should be recognized and celebrated.”

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Miriam Jiménez-Román, the forum's co-founder and executive director, agreed.

"Latinos have always acknowledged their multi-raciality but tend to emphasize their European and some distant indigenous ancestors," Jiménez-Román said. "This is an opportunity to recognize that some “Browns” are browner than other Browns, that some Blacks are also Latinos and that many Latinos are victims of racial—as well as cultural—discrimination. We are questioning the facile Black versus Brown paradigm and proposing a unifying Black and Brown."

"It's Time: Get Counted" was launched after the immigration marches on April 10, 2006. The program aims to help Latinos register to vote, participate in the census and encourages eligible immigrants to apply for citizenship.

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