BELLE GLADE – Two local high school juniors recently moderated an online panel discussion focused on increasing Census participation in their community. Anajiah Graham and I’Yunni Phillips, who both attend Glades Central High School, organized “Let’s Talk Census” an online conversation on the importance of the Census as it relates to their community, the Tri-City area of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay.
The panelists included: City of Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, City of Belle Glade Public Relations Coordinator Mary Beth Evans, South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles, and Angela Johnson a Partnership Specialist at the US Department of Commerce/Census.
Video of the event is online at: https://youtu.be/a4SlZzqA5XA
“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to attend and contribute to our virtual event, including our local leaders, teachers, assistant principals, counselors, and other educators. Stand Up; Be Counted truly believes it takes a village to build the community that we all hope to live, work, and grow in together” said 17-year-old Anajiah. During the discussion Census Representative Johnson shared that less than 50% of residents in the Tri-City area have been part of the census. Up to $675 Billion could be allocated to the area if citizens would take part.
Seventeen-year-old I’Yunni said about the panel “from this event, we hope that our neighbors will utilize what they learned and apply those lessons in their own lives. Stand Up; Be Counted will continue to be a voice focused on uplifting our community as we strive for the ultimate goal of increasing our collective influence by making our voices heard.”
Stand Up; Be Counted was recently awarded $10,500 by Philanthropy Tank (www.philanthropytank.org). Graham and Phillips applied and was named a finalist for the prestigious nonprofit program that focuses on mentoring and funding future philanthropists focused on addressing issues in the community. Stand Up; Be Counted’s mission is to increase the number of people in their community who participate in the Census and register to vote. The teens presented their idea to a group of Philanthropist-Investors who decided to fund the teenagers’ impactful cause.
“When Anajiah and I’Yunni first applied to Philanthropy Tank we were thrilled because it was obvious they truly understood and embraced the concept of developing a program that would address an issue in their community. These bright and committed young CHANGEmakers’ insight and passion is highlighted by their ongoing efforts to promote Census completion and voter registration in the Tri-city area.”
Currently, Philanthropy Tank is accepting applications for its sixth class of CHANGEmakers. Teenagers living in Palm Beach County can apply by visiting www.philanthropytank.org.
Sept. 30 is the last day for households to self-respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.gov/, by phone or by mail.