News from the 2012 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Business Meeting

News from the 2012 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Business Meeting


Camilla Fojas, (CMRS 2012 organizer) Associate Professor and Chair
Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University

Laura Kina, (Mixed Roots Midwest 2012 co-organizer) Associate Professor Art, Media and Design and Director Asian American Studies
DePaul University

Photo of Eric Hamako at CMRS 2012 by Ken Tanabe.

US Census Report from Eric Hamako

  • Nominated by a coalition of Mixed-Race community organizations, Eric Hamako has been selected to serve a two-year term on the US Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee (NAC) on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations.  (See press release.)
  • Two matters of particular concern for Multiracial people & Two Or More Races (TOMR) populations.
    1. ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS: For cost efficiency, the Census Bureau is considering using “Administrative Records” in some cases when a person doesn’t submit information to the Census (e.g., if Jane X doesn’t submit a Census 2020 form and doesn’t respond to follow-up requests, the Census might access other public and private databases that contain info about Jane X, to fill in info about her).  However, currently Census studies indicate that Administrative Records are worse at filling in info about non-Whites than Whites — and are particularly bad at filling in info about people who indicate Two Or More Races (TOMR), ranging from 4%-36% accuracy.  This is largely because many public and private databases do not allow respondents to Mark One or More races.  We need to find ways to improve the accuracy of Administrative Record use.
    2. ALTERNATIVE QUESTIONNAIRE EXPERIMENTS (AQEs): Long before each Census, the Bureau tests out various possible changes, using AQEs.  One of the many changes currently being considered is an option that combines the Race question and the Hispanic ethnicity question into a single question.  This would likely a) increase the accuracy of the count of Latinos, b) increase the number of Latinos who are indicating Two Or More Races, c) reduce the White population count by 6-8%.
  • Eric is soliciting community perspectives.  Please review NAC-related documents (see public GoogleDocs folder) and contact Eric at  Eric is also constructing a blog, “Two or More,” to communicate about the NAC,
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