4,000 letters sent: NNAAC helps exceed requirement for Census testing of MENA category



The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) would like to thank the thousands who voiced their support of a new Census classification for people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. With their help, NNAAC sent over 4,000 letters, which contributed to exceeding the requirement of 5,000 positive comments to the U.S. Census Bureau in support of the MENA classification. This means the MENA category will now be tested for possible official inclusion in the 2020 U.S. Census, thus giving Arab Americans and other groups their own category. 


NNAAC received support from community leaders, elected officials and people across the country in Michigan, New York, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Virginia and Texas, to name a few.

The Census Bureau needed to receive 5,000 positive comments, before the public comment period ended on Feb. 1, in order to continue with its plans to test the category for possible inclusion in the 2020 Census. NNAAC's efforts, combined with the efforts of other organizations, were enough to reach and exceed this number. Had the goal been missed, there would not have been another opportunity to voice support of having Arab Americans counted in the Census until 2025.

NNAAC would like to extend special thanks to all of those who helped reach this goal, including NNAAC member organizations, the Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP), youth at the Arab American Association of New York who created this innovative BuzzFeed article and, of course, all those who took action and helped spread the word.  Thank you!

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