black census day 061920SPRINGFIELD – To celebrate 155 years of emancipation and encourage accurate representation of all Illinois communities, State Senator Elgie R. Sims (D-Chicago) urges African Americans to respond to the 2020 Census on Black Census Day.

“It’s no accident that Black Census Day falls on Juneteenth this year. Both are opportunities for us to stand united and amplify black voices,” Sims said. “It is so important to make sure that black communities are counted to help close funding gaps and provide desperately needed resources to African Americans throughout Illinois.”

Statewide census director Marishonta Wilkerson and the Illinois Department of Human Services have declared Friday, June 19, Black Census Day to encourage African Americans to respond to the census.

With census outreach hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak, the state is facing a lagging 66% response rate. Disadvantaged communities are historically hard-to-count populations, meaning that response rates in those areas are likely even lower.

“Filling out our census surveys is one way to create change in our communities by ensuring we have fair representation and funding for schools, roads, hospitals and more,” Sims said. “I urge everyone to be counted, and make sure your loved ones are as well.”

The fastest way to respond to the census is by filling it out online at However, individuals can also respond over the phone or by filling out the form they receive in the mail.