Released on: September 16, 2008, 9:01 am

Press Release Author: Hard Beat Communications

Industry: Government

Press Release Summary: As Caribbean Americans we are virtually invisible to the U.S.
Census Bureau. Felicia Persaud, founder of CaribWorldNews and Hard Beat
Communications is teaming up with CBean and several organizations,
political leaders, community leaders, entertainers, media owners and individuals
across the U.S. to launch `CaribID 2010,` a campaign to simply and forcefully urge
the U.S. Census to allow Caribbean nationals/West Indians to be counted as an origin
category on the Census form to ensure this important bloc is counted accurately.

Press Release Body: Right now CaribID is in the arduous process of getting a
congressional bill introduced in the House to call officially for the category. This
will ensure that Caribbean nationals can finally be able to tell our story in
numbers and be given the credit we truly deserve.

The call to action is for every Caribbean national in this the United States to
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. This means that every national will be sought to become the
ambassador in getting the message out and ensuring our voices are raised in unison.

This historic initiative from Hard Beat is a concerted focused effort and its not
about the ego of any one group, association or individual. This is about the big
picture and the big goal of getting Caribbean Americans counted where it matters –
in getting recognition politically and being viewed as the economic power they are.

The census of everyone living in America takes place every ten years as mandated in
the U.S. Constitution at its very inception. Unfortunately the U.S. Constitution
does not provide detailed instructions for conducting these U.S. Census every ten
years. The details are left to the government and specifically the U.S. Census
Bureau. On the form everyone will be mailed in 2010 there will be 16 different ways
to self-identify racially and ethnically but no category for Caribbean Americans and
West Indians men and women to identify who they and their families really are.

Caribbean Americans and West Indians are forced to choose between checking the box
mis-identifying themselves as either African American, Asian American or Hispanic or
simply as other. That simply is unfair and Un-American.

Of course it’s not going to be an overnight thing but we’re going to start a long
over due movement and stay the course and get this done as a representative group
for us and our children and their children.

So that like Asians, Hispanics and African Americans we too can be truly counted and
our strength measured.

For we have no other identifying factor but West Indian since we are a huge ethnic
melting pot of ethnicities and like the people of Guam and Hawaii, we too need our
very own Census category.
Every Caribbean national, community leaders, entertainer, student, church leader and
the media across the Caribbean American landscape are urged to join this movement as
ambassadors to bring awareness to this issue under the `CaribID 2010` campaign and
to say simply and forcefully: ‘Stand Up & Be Counted.’
The Census data directly affect how more than $300 billion per year in federal and
state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public
health, education, transportation and much more.`
The census is also used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and
to redistrict state legislatures while census data are used to define legislature
districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of
The census is like a snapshot that helps define who we are as a nation. Data about
changes in your community are crucial to many planning decisions, such as where to
provide services for the elderly, where to build new roads and schools, or where to
locate job training centers.
Caribbean nationals are urged to register their support by joining the movement at

For more register at:


While there are several different ways an individual could self identify themselves
on the Census form, including, for example Samoan those of us who identify ourselves
proudly as West Indian or Caribbean cannot.

They are currently forced to fit themselves into other categories – African
American, Asian American or written in, in the OTHER box even though Caribbean
nationals come from a multi-ethnic region where the only common self-indentifying
denominator is `Caribbean` or `West Indian.`

Currently, West Indians, a largely English speaking immigrant group, are generally
classified as “black” by U.S. standards even though there are Indo-Caribbeans as
well as those who of Caucasian, Chinese, Portuguese, Amerindians and of course those
of mixed heritage.

We define "West Indian" to include all people born or descended from those born in
the Anglophone, Dutch and French Caribbean, especially Caricom member nations.
So how many Caribbeans live here is impossible to tell, since they alternately refer
to themselves as Asian, black or simply "other" on the census forms. In any case,
their numbers are far greater and their impact obvious in states all across the U.S.
from the 1600s to now as a huge part of the economically viable immigrant community.


• The Caribbean born accounted for conservatively 10 percent of the total US
foreign-born population in 2000 – that is less than 3 million of those who wrote in
that self-identifying option on the Census form and not those who simply ticked
African American or Asian American. In 2000, of the 31.1 million foreign born in
the United States, about 2,953,066 (9.5 percent) were born in Caribbean countries.

West Indian immigrants tend to define themselves this way, even if they would not
all use the term "West Indian." They also tend to differentiate themselves from
both Hispanic Caribbeans and Haitians. They share an "Afro-Creole" culture as well
as a heritage of British colonialism. Many parents of today's second generation
came from places that were politically united at the time of their immigration, even
if they are now separate nations. In New York, they live in the same neighborhoods,
share similar niches in the occupational structure, and intermarry. Taken together,
West Indians are the largest immigrant group in New York.

• Slightly over half of the Caribbean born were women.
• The Caribbean-born population in the United States experienced slower growth
between 1990 and 2000 than the overall foreign-born population.
• Immigrants born in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Haiti accounted for
most of the increase in the numbers of the Caribbean born between 1960 and 2000.
• Of the Caribbean born living in the United States in 2000, just under two-thirds
arrived after 1980.
• The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti accounted for the largest number
of arrivals between 1990 and 2000.
• The Caribbean-born groups with the largest percentage of recent migrants were from
Guadeloupe, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.
• In fiscal year (FY) 2005, 108,469 Caribbean-born persons became lawful permanent
residents (LPRs) of the United States.
• In FY 2005, 30,370 Caribbean-born persons entered the United States on
nonimmigrant visas, most on temporary worker or student visas.
• Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California were the top five
states in which the Caribbean born resided in 2000.
• The Caribbean born composed at least 15 percent of the foreign-born populations of
Florida, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
• The Caribbean born were more likely to be citizens than the foreign-born
population in general.
• The Caribbean born were slightly older than the overall foreign-born population.
• Two-thirds of the Caribbean born spoke a language other than English at home.
• Just under two-thirds of the Caribbean born who spoke a language other than
English at home spoke English less than "very well."
• Over 60 percent of the Caribbean born had a high school or higher degree.
• Under one-sixth of the Caribbean born had a college education.
• The Caribbean born were as likely to participate in the labor force as the overall
foreign-born population.
• The Caribbean born were more likely to be unemployed than the foreign born in
• The Caribbean born were concentrated in sales or office and service occupations.
• Caribbean men from Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and Anguilla had the highest
median earnings.
• Caribbean women from Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and the Netherlands
Antilles had the highest median earnings.
• About one-fifth of Caribbean-born individuals lived in poverty.
About 46 percent of Caribbean-born householders owned their own home.

Nationally, they can be found from Schenectady, in upstate New York to Seattle and
even West Virginia. Caribbean Americans are flocking to Philadelphia, Washington,
D.C., Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, New
Orleans, Chicago, California, San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Milwaukee, and Florida cities, such as West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca
Raton, Tampa, and Orlando. – Black Diversity Study, Aug. 2003 (University at Albany,
State University of New York)

• Caribbeans are enthusiastically becoming a sizable portion of America’s
middle-class voting population. ––Black Diversity Study, Aug. 2003 (University at
Albany, State University of New York)

• The community is credited with contributing approximately $1.6 billion in
remittances to economies in the Caribbean region each year. – IADB Study, 2002

• In New York City, Caribbean Americans make up almost 25 percent of the population,
and their numbers are growing in the city’s suburbs – with sizable communities in
Westchester County, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. – U.S. Census 2000.

• A large percentage – about 73 to 75 percent – spend a significant amount of time
reading Caribbean newspapers and magazines, listening to Caribbean-oriented radio
and watching Caribbean-oriented television. – Caribbean Communications Study for
AT&T (1996).

• And most significantly, an AT&T study found that Caribbeans responded at the high
rate of 72 percent when communicated to as “a person of Caribbean Heritage” rather
than “an African American” or “a person in the general market.”

• Caribbean Americans are better loyal buyers of consumer goods who are vacationing,
owning homes, and sending their children to college at a higher rate than the
African American population. – Black Diversity Study, Aug. 2003 (University at
Albany, State University of New York)

AIM OF CAMPAIGN: To focus on the root of the problem that has affected us – whether
it’s the multi -billion dollar U.S. advertising and marketing industry or on the
social and political spectrum – the fact that there is no accurate count of
Caribbean nationals and hence no recognition on the issues that matter – economic,
social and political.


There is only one way to correct this omission and happily it is simple and straight
forward. Legislation introduced that need be literally no more than one sentence
long that will require the Census to add the word West Indian or Non-Hispanic
Caribbean to the question about national and ethnic origin/identity.

We are prepared to do the heavy lifting as required if you will only at once
introduce the requited bill in Congress before our window of opportunity closes
soon. Several Caribbean organizations, individuals and media houses have already
endorsed this project and are coming together to lobby for it and begin the push to
get ourselves truly counted as a bloc in the United States.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Felicia Persaud
Carib PR

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