Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder And President Of The Institute Of Caribbean Studies, To Serve As A National Profile Partner Of The U.S. Census

U.S. Census reaches out to encourage Caribbean communities to participate in the 2010 count

CaribPR Wire, DETROIT, MI, Mon. Aug. 31, 2009: Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), will collaborate with the U.S. Census and serve as a National Profile Partner to increase participation among Caribbean and other immigrant communities.  ICS is an organization that promotes initiatives that strengthen the Caribbean-American community.  Nelson also serves as Chair of the National Caribbean American Complete Count Committee.

In her role as a National Profile Partner, Nelson will act as a liaison between the U.S. Census and the Caribbean American audience.   Nelson will stress the importance of Caribbean communities participating in the Census, as well as the direct connection between the Census, government representation and support. 

Because of that direct link, Nelson also will communicate how an accurate Census protects the interests of Caribbean-American organizations, public institutions and social service programs that are directly relevant to the survival and growth of these communities. 

“The Caribbean population in America must be represented in full for continued economic and political progress in our community,” said Nelson.  “We must communicate to all Caribbean Americans that participation in the U.S. Census will not adversely affect our communities, but instead will allow them to flourish and be strengthened.  Whether you are immigrant or native born; whether documented or not; whether Barbadian, Haitian, Jamaican, whether African descent of Asian origin, it is important to us and our children that we stand up and be counted.” 

At this time, the Caribbean-American population in the U.S. is estimated at 5 million.  Many African Americans are second-generation Caribbean immigrants.

Since its founding in 1993, ICS has worked to ensure the well-being and future prosperity of Caribbean Americans, by placing Caribbean American interests in the center of U.S. policymakers.   Nelson has been a longstanding pioneer for public policy that affects Caribbean Americans, using ICS as a means to tout the contributions of the Caribbean population to America and serving as Campaign Chair for the Commemoration of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month.  She has also been a forerunner in shaping dialogue processes between immigrants of African descent and the African-American community, and serves on a variety of Boards and advisory groupings such as the Black Leadership Forum, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and the African Federation.

About Dr. Claire A. Nelson
Claire A. Nelson is the founder and president of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, a non-governmental organization working to promote Caribbean-American collaboration in policy and development issues.   She is also an international development expert with more than 25 years of experience.   Prior to founding ICS, she was artistic director of the Caribbean Heritage Group, a cultural arts organization.  A performance artist, storyteller and writer, Nelson has written, choreographed, directed and produced several plays, musicals, and video documentaries on issues related to social change and history.  She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Management from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Census
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.  Census data are used to distribute congressional seats to states and to allocate more than $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year. The 2010 Census questionnaire will be one of the shortest in history, consisting of 10 questions and taking about 10 minutes to complete.

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