CANCELED – The 2020 U.S. Census Count – What’s at Stake? UNC Asheville Census Symposium on March 24 to Look at Issues of Citizenship, Counting and Data, Implications for Native Americans and Racial Minorities, Redistricting and Politics.

Ashley Moraguez with students and a banner saying "Your Vote Matters"Ashley Moraguez (left), with students London Newton '22 (center) and Chase Loudermelt '20 at an on-campus gathering to watch primary election returns on March 3, 2020. Photo by Patrick Phillips '21
March 5, 2020

UPDATE MARCH 12 – This event is canceled.

UNC Asheville will present a free, public, all-day symposium on the 2020 Census, featuring faculty, community and government experts, student presentations and more. This event takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, in the Highsmith Student Union, Blue Ridge Room. The public is welcome to attend any or all symposium sessions.

“Getting an accurate census count is crucially important for our state, since it determines how much representation we will have in Congress, and an undercount could cost the state many millions of dollars in federal funding,” says UNC Asheville Assistant Professor of Political Science Ashley Moraguez who has organized the symposium, along with faculty colleague Anne Jansen, with support from the University’s student Political Science Club, and Student Government Association.

Moraguez, with her students, also will present about the census in two other free, public events: March 16, 5-7 p.m., as part of the Pints with Professors series at Archetype Brewing, 174 Broadway St., Asheville; and March 17, 6-7:30 p.m., at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville.

At UNC Asheville’s March 24 Census Symposium, student presentations will take place in the morning, and faculty/expert presentations will come after lunch, which will be provided for symposium attendees, along with coffee, tea, and light refreshments.

UNC Asheville 2020 Census Symposium, March 24

Introductory Remarks

  • 9 a.m.: Ashley Moraguez, UNC Asheville assistant professor of political science; and Anne Jansen, UNC Asheville assistant professor of  English and director of the University’s U.S. Ethnic Studies Program

Panel 1: The Census: What Does It Ask, and Why Does It Matter?

  • 9:15-9:30 a.m.: Data and Associated Concerns – student presentation
  • 9:30-9:45 a.m.: The Census and Federal Funding – student presentation
  • 9:45-10 a.m.: Race & Ethnicity Questions – student presentation
  • 10-10:15 a.m.: Q&A

Panel 2: Debates and Controversies: The Census and Diversity

  • 10:30-10:45 a.m.: The Citizenship Question – student presentation
  • 10:45-11 a.m.: The Census and Native Americans – student presentation
  • 11-11:15 a.m.: The Middle Eastern/North African Category Debate – student presentation
  • 11:15-11:30 a.m.: Q&A

Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-noon

Panel 3: Mapping the Census: Measurement, Representation, and Gerrymandering

  • Noon-12:15 p.m.: Representation: Apportionment and Redistricting – student presentation
  • 12:15-12:30 p.m.: Census Geography & Privacy – Blake Esselstyn, computational geographer, consultant on political mapping, GIS and urban planning; principal, EQV Maps, and FrontWater, LLC
  • 12:30-12:45 p.m.: Gerrymandering Litigation – Jake Quinn, chair, Buncombe County Board of Elections
  • 12:45-1 p.m.: Q&A

Break, 1:00-1:30 p.m.

Panel 4: What’s at Stake for North Carolina? Making the Census Count.

  • 1:30-1:45 p.m.: Implications for Racial Minorities – [tentative] Dwight Mullen, UNC Asheville professor emeritus
  • 1:45-2 p.m.: How to Get an Accurate Count – Chuck Megown, US Census Bureau partnership specialist
  • 2-2:15 p.m.: N.C. What to Expect in 2020 – Chris Cooper, Western Carolina University professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs
  • 2:15-2:30 p.m.: Q& A

Closing Remarks

  • 2:30 p.m.: Ashley Moraguez, UNC Asheville assistant professor of political science; and Anne Jansen, UNC Asheville assistant professor of  English and director of the University’s U.S. Ethnic Studies Program

For more information, please email Moraguez at

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