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Black Futures Lab reaches milestone in census project


Largest survey of African-Americans

On Aug. 23, the Black Futures Lab announced that it’s reached a historic milestone in the Black Census Project survey, which will conclude in October 2023. With nearly 130,000 responses from across all 50 states gathered to date, this effort already marks the largest survey of Black people conducted in the United States.

The Black Futures Lab is an innovation and experimentation lab focused on new ways of engaging Black communities civically and building our capacity to be powerful in politics. They close the gap between communities and the tools they need to build power.

“Going into another presidential campaign season, we know that Black communities are still being undercounted and under-engaged,” said Alicia Garza, Founder and Principal of Black Futures Lab, who began designing the Black census project after the 2016 election. “It is critical that we engage Black communities early and often. Every day, policy is made about us without us. We take the data from the Black Census and use it to inform a Black agenda that serves as a roadmap for policymakers and politicians on how to best address the needs of Black communities.”

The Black Census Project, launched in 2018, engages communities that are typically under-represented in traditional surveys and policy-making. The Black Census Project collects findings of black attitudes and opinions across demographics and geography, including LGB+ communities, incarcerated black people, black immigrant communities, and black people in rural areas.

“Now more than ever, it is essential that black trans people are seen, heard, and counted,” said Aria Sa’id, founder emeritus of the Transgender District. “ Given all the attacks on trans rights, we know black trans folks will be the most impacted. While our rights are taken away, our communities are targeted, and very few people are talking to trans people about what we’re experiencing, and what support we need to live dignified lives.”

The Black Census closes next month, and once it does, Black Futures Lab will use the survey to design and release the Black Agenda in early 2024. The agenda is a policy roadmap to inform legislators nationwide of the key priorities of Black communities across America.  It will be used to activate and engage black voters in advance of elections and encourage Black communities to stay engaged and wield political power to inform, influence, and impact all institutions and decision-makers who are or should engage black people.

To learn more about BlackCensus and your community, visit