Suzanne Bowen, a special instructor in the faculty of religious education at BYUH, said, “Census records are very useful in family history. Census records can help you see where a family has lived or if they moved around. They also help in finding out if a child in the family has died.
“Censuses are also helpful in finding out who else may have lived with the family like a mother-in-law or father-in-law. This information can help you add extra people to your family tree that you did not have before.”
According to Wesley, “Even in areas related to academic achievement and dis-aggregated data, Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in America were lumped with the Asian Americans who are excelling in education. This impacted the funding as well as its distribution,” he added.
This year’s census is very specific, asking for Pacific Islander’s ethnicity, such as Tongan/Samoan, Fijian/Chamorro/Other [for other islands in the Pacific.] Wesley expressed his hope that the 2020 census would find out the accurate count of the Pacific Americans.
Bowen also shared, “In the 1800’s and early 1900’s when people immigrated to the United States, families sometimes lived in the same building. If you look at one page before and one page after the family of origin, you might see parents or other families listed. The census is like a blueprint that can track families from one place to the next. It can also tell you if the family stayed in one place for a long time.”
He shared, “I hope Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders will complete the 2020 census to give accurate numbers in the United States, as well as benefit from federal funding.” Wesley invited the extended BYUH ohana to complete the census, saying, “Everyone is required by law to complete it. It will only take a few minutes to complete.
“Foreign students living and attending school in the United States should be counted at the on or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time,” according to the 2020 census website.
Meagan Crowell, a junior from Laie majoring in English, was on the census ad with her husband and four children. She said her sister-in-law invited them to participate in the census ad. “The commercial agent was searching for a local Tongan family with children to represent the Tongan community. The agent’s representatives thought we were a great fit.”
Like Wesley, Crowell shared that participating in census is important because it gives an accurate account of the population, which leads the state to receive more funding and resources for all the communities.