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Statement on Supreme Court ruling on citizenship question for 2020 Census

Children are at the heart of everything we do at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. But we know that for children to thrive, their communities need to be equitable places of opportunity. For that reason, and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children and families in our priority places (Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans), as well as other hard-to-count communities across our country, we affirm our steadfast commitment to a fair and accurate decennial count. 

All people in the U.S., no matter where they come from, are our neighbors and should be counted. The inclusion of a citizenship question only perpetuates false narratives and singles out immigrants – fueling the bias, division and fear that threaten children and families in our communities. These are people who contribute, create and lead in our communities. The possibility of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census severely undermines the efforts of civic leaders, administrators, teachers, health care providers and other nonprofit organizations to ensure all children thrive.  

With the Supreme Court’s return of the case to the lower courts, regardless of the decision, we are working alongside our many philanthropic, grantee and partner organizations to ensure full participation in the 2020 Census, with a focus on children under age 5 — one of the most under-counted groups — also seniors, renters, non-English speakers and immigrants, people of color, Native Americans, people living in poverty and people experiencing homelessness. 

The consequences of a diminished count would perpetuate non-equitable allocations of critically needed federal funds and services – a catastrophic outcome for generations of children. Every child, every family and every community deserves their fair share of support for education, medical care, infrastructure, economic development and the arts. 

When everyone counts, everyone thrives.

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