Black Women's Expo webinar aims to get African American women counted in this year's census

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Black Women's Expo in Chicago was canceled this year, but attendees are invited to a virtual event Saturday.

It's a webinar open to anyone, but the emphasis is making sure African American women are counted in the 2020 census.

The founder of the Black Women's Expo has partnered with Illinois Census 2020 for the virual "#WeMatter On the Frontline: A Black Women's Agenda" event.

"If that will have an impact on how we are represented and what dollars come into our community then we need to stand up and do that," said Merry Green, president of MGPG Events.

The expo that draws up to 30,000 people annually was canceled this year but Green invites anyone to participate in #WeMatter to emphasize the need to fill out a census questionnaire.

"It was online. Just sit down and do it," Green said.

Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin said African Americans have about a 50% response rate so far for the census in Illinois.

"Those billions of dollars coming from the federal government need and must come to our community," Conyears-Ervin said.

Rev. Janette Wilson, senior advisor to Rev. Jesse Jackson at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said getting the word out to women will help the whole community.

Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Census is now accepting responses through October.

The #WeMatter free webinar will be held Saturday from 1-6 p.m.

To register, visit the Black Women's Expo website here: http://www.bwenext.com/wematter.

There's also a link to fill out your census form.
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