No Box to Check
March 7, 2023
University of Toronto
Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Americans may at times feel as though they’re invisible. An estimated 3 million of them live in the U.S. yet have no box to mark their identities on government forms, such as the Census, and other surveys. Professor Neda Maghbouleh, who has spent years studying the exclusion faced by MENA Americans, laid out how the misrepresentation of their race impacts their lives. She explained what steps need to be taken to increase visibility for those who fall in the MENA category as well as what changes are already underway – thanks to efforts by Magbouleh and her colleagues René D. Flores and Ariela Schachter.
For more on this topic
- Check out Neda Maghbouleh’s OpEd in Newsweek, coauthored by René D. Flores and Ariela Schachter: 5 Years After Muslim Ban, Middle Eastern and North African Americans Remain Hidden.
- Read NPR’s story on her research: The US Census Sees Middle Eastern and North African People as White. Many Don’t.
- Read an interview with Maghbouleh conducted by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: Why a MENA Category Matters.
- Submit a public comment on the Federal Register Notice to add a MENA category to official docs (open until April 12th, 2023)