Chakriya Peov, representing the Waddhanak Dance Troupe. (Contributed photo)
MINNEAPOLIS (March 10, 2010) – The Midtown Global Market was packed last week as Asian American community members gathered to send a message that their voices count. “Participate in Census 2010” was the theme of the Asian Pacific Islander celebration, which began at 5:00 with a program featuring many of the leading voices and role models of the Asian Minnesotan community.
Audience members heard comments by Ramsey County Judge Gail Chang Bohr, Mangala Sharma, the founder of Bhutanese Refugees Aiding Victims of Violence (BRAVE) and Bill Imada, CEO of IW Group in Los Angeles, California.
Other speakers included Bao Vang, executive director, Hmong American Partnership, Kazoua Kong Thao, Saint Paul Schools Board Chairwoman, and Sunny Chanthanouvong, executive director, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota.
The speakers resonated with the assurance of a safe, secure method when completing the census and that it was a “10-10-10” process. 10 questions in 10 minutes and the Census is every 10 years.
Why is the Census so important in 2010?
“There was a major undercount during the 2000 census that took several years to correct through costly research and verification through other community sources,” said Bryan Thao Worra of the Lao Assistance Center, the emcee. “And while tax and property records and other public information is helpful, it’s still not the best way of identifying the needs and opportunities in our community. Filling out the Census is definitely important for all of us.”
Entertainment was provided by Asian Media Access’ Minnesota Sunshine Dance, a member of AMA’s Pan Asian Artists Alliance , and a high school student, Chakriya Peov, representing the Waddhanak Dance Troupe. The event was sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Complete Count Committee.
“The future is in our hands, and now more than ever will help define a great deal of where American society heads in the coming years ahead,” said Abby Sookraj, executive director of SEWA-AIFW, an Asian Indian Family Wellness organization.
The forms have been sent to household addresses. If you have questions, help is available by phone at 1-866-783-2010 and at local Questionnaire Assistance Centers, locations can be viewed at www.mn2010census.org/centers/