Beyond Census

The U.S. Census does not represent an accurate number of Arab Americans. ENGAGE students gathered personal narratives from Arab American individuals living in the Bay Area.

Project Objective:

“Beyond Census: The Lives of Middle Eastern Immigrants in Post -9/11 America” explored the political, cultural, and social logic proliferated by US Census data about the experience of recent Middle Eastern immigrants .
In partnership with The Arab Cultural and Community Center of San Francisco [ACCC], ENGAGE students gathered personal narratives from (Arab American) individuals living in the Bay Area.  Students aggregated data from multiple sources to reflect a more accurate census count, both by country and across all residents of Middle Eastern descent aiming  to expose the myths perpetuated about the Arab American experience through Census data. Finally, “Beyond Census” visualized the data sets said to represent the Middle Eastern experience and presenting them alongside personal stories from Arab American community members.


Project Outcome(s):

The ENGAGE course culminated in the publication of qualitative and quantitative data uncovered by research conducted throughout the class. In their publication ENGAGE students visualized American Community Survey GIS data sets and detailed their findings. ENGAGE participants also curated the personal stories (lectures/ films) of Arab American community members amongst the datasets, complicating (or as a way to speak back to) the restrictive (limited/obscuring/ inaccurate) representation communicated by the visualized data.