The City of Green Bay will host a “Soulful Saturday” event on the Summer Solstice — Saturday, June 20 — to entertain, offer a forum for statewide nonprofits, and — most importantly — raise awareness of the United States Census, ongoing now.
“Wisconsin does really well when it comes to our census return rate, but we have some challenges when it comes to communities of color,” said Celestine Jeffrey, Chief of Staff to Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. “We’re putting on an event to attract people from diverse backgrounds, people who are younger, and encourage them to fill out their census forms.”
The event will run from 5 to 7 pm on Facebook and Instagram live, headlined by DJ Dscribe, also known as Derrick Holt.
“He’s deeply embedded in the community here,” Jeffreys said.
Jeffreys said Green Bay is doing well on census returns generally, but certain neighborhoods are lagging behind — neighborhoods where people of color live.
“There’s a few things going on” to keep people from filling out the census, Jeffreys said. “People are not aware, people do not trust the government. I think also people don’t see what the census does for them. I would say the most urgent thing is that hospitals locate because of census numbers, businesses locate, both local businesses and national businesses locate because they look at census numbers. Funding, like community development block grant funding that actually really helps nonprofits and helps disadvantaged communities, that’s given based on census numbers.”
Demonstrating the value of the census is one reason to have nonprofits involved with the event, using Facebook comments to highlight the work they do.
“Look at all of these great people doing this great work in Wisconsin, nonprofit work,” Jeffreys said. “So that’s another reason for you to say ‘Yep, the census is a good thing,’ because look at all this great nonprofit work. And the nonprofit work uses the census information.”
We’re trying to just have something different on the solstice. People are still home, because we still have a pandemic. So, just trying to get something positive out there, something fun to get people to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Fill out the census. It’s a good thing.’
Jeffreys also notes that it’s easier than ever to complete the census — it can be done online at https://2020census.gov/ and only takes a few minutes.