LNewswise — OS ANGELES — Feb. 21, 2019 — Launching this week, Count the Nation aims to draw attention to the significance of the 2020 census and the critical role participation of all U.S. residents play in creating a national dataset because accurate census data is the foundation for an effective democracy that values all community interests and priorities equally. Led by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, which focuses on issues at the intersection of media, technology and society in collaboration with Wise Entertainment, the independent studio behind East Los High, Count the Nation is providing clear, compelling and factual content through social media, scripted entertainment and resources for news organizations.

Recognizing the vastly more complex media and technology environment than for the 2010 census, this team has created a broad media strategy that highlights the impact of this civic act. Content developed and shared by Count the Nation and its collaborators will demystify the census and motivate people to be counted — focusing on hard-to-count populations, which number in the tens of millions nationwide. Undercounting these groups will lead to a loss of federal funding for already marginalized communities and misalignment of political representation.

Conducted every decade since 1790, the census counts every person living in the United States, next on April 1, 2020. Census data informs nearly every aspect of community life, as the information collected is used to determine how over $800 billion in annual federal funding is spread across a 100+ programs and how Congressional seats are apportioned. This data is also invaluable for business, philanthropy and researchers in making decisions and tracking social and demographic changes.

“While we all know data is valuable, too few of us understand that the decennial census is not just a survey but the collective creation of a shared national dataset that fuels our communities, economy and democracy. Policy preferences differ widely, but we all rely upon accurate information to develop and implement decisions effectively.” said Dr. Colin Maclay, Executive Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab and Principal Investigator of Count the Nation. “Everyone counts — there are direct implications for each U.S. resident — and everyone must be counted on census day. In this chaotic media environment, communities look to trusted voices for guidance, creating unparalleled opportunities for informed engagement that is genuine and impactful.”

Count the Nation is live at https://www.countthenation.org/. Interested collaborators are able to sign-up to join the movement and all are welcome to follow Count the Nation’s progress on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About Count the Nation

Founded in 2018, Count the Nation is a collaboration led by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Wise Entertainment. Count the Nation's team of experts in social media, entertainment, journalism, research, civic engagement, data and technology is committed to an accurate 2020 census. CTN creates media across platforms to increase awareness of the census, dispel misinformation and inform, engage and entertain residents with information about the census’ centrality to democracy.