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You Ghetts what you ask for

ghettsHere’s Grime artist Ghetts urging Black youngsters to take part in the next census, so that the community get their fair share of resources

Ghetts, formerly known as Ghetto, visited his home neighbourhood of Newham, in east London, to spread the message that “we can’t be invisible anymore.”

He released a new track, called Invisible, which says people must stand up and be counted, so that decision-makers take them into account when planning services like education and health.

It is believed that Black communities have been undercounted in previous census. While the last census in 2001 showed a total ethnic minority population of 9%, it could be as high as 15%.

comment-is-freeLester Holloway has written about the campaign on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free. He writes:

Just as voter registration initiatives combine endorsements by star names and practical grassroots action to instil the message about why we cannot afford to opt out of the political process if we want to see equality and justice, so too must the census-filling publicity match populism and street cred with sound arguments about what the social benefits are.

I’ve always believed the natural scepticism we have towards being counted and categorised is misplaced. But without raw information we simply don’t know what’s going on, and are therefore decision makers are unable to design policies to combat things like workplace discrimination.”

Ghetts, real name Justin Jude Clarke Samuel, who had chart success with the song Typical Me featuring, Kano talked to pupils at the St Bonaventure RC School in Forest Gate, before telling the audience of young people and community elders:

“I know so many guys who have just given up or can’t be bothered. We need to be heard and things in the community need to change. If we are going to be heard, then we can’t be invisible anymore.”

The campaign is supported by the Office of National Statistics, with the launch being driven by PR guru Glen Yearwood. There will be a ‘rehearsal’ for the census in the multicultural areas of Newham and Birmingham.

For more information visit http://www.census.gov.uk or telephone 0300 0200 901

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