Bullying and Multiracial Girls

Bullying and Multiracial Girls (Note, our own Dr. Cherrye Vasquez is interviewed in this story! She is on the Project RACE Advisory Board.) 
Credit: Twentyfour Students on Flickr, under Creative Commons

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NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)–After repeatedly being teased for her yellow complexion and long, curly hair at a neighborhood playground, 7-year-old Tiana Roe of Amityville, N.Y. ran home crying, asking her parents, “What am I?”

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“Kid’s made fun of me because I didn’t know exactly who I was,” said Roe, who is now 15. “They knew I wasn’t white but, when I told them I was black they didn’t believe me.”

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Raised in a predominantly black neighborhood in Long Island, Roe was often the only lighter skin child in her community. At school peers rarely let her join games of tag and hide-and-seek.

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“No one wanted to be on my team. I was always picked last,” Roe recalled recently in a phone interview from her home. “I didn’t feel human. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere.”

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Among the 160,000 children who are bullied everyday, 31 percent are multiracial, according to Clemson University’s “Status of Bullying in School” 2013 report.

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“People ask ‘what are you?’ because they are curious,” said Cherrye Vasquez, author of “The Diversity Daybook,” a journal designed to build diversity, in a phone interview. “Yes, this is socially inappropriate, but think about how often you yearn to know what race another is.”

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Dominique Sims,16, attends Amityville Memorial High School on Long Island. She knows all too well about being bullied. Sims, whose parents are African American and white, was taunted by two white female students in her early education class, they repeatedly called her the “N-word,” “hunky” and “chocolate.”

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“People don’t look at me as white,” Sims said. “Those two girls knew I was mixed. I was angry. It didn’t make me feel good. Why am I only being judged on the black side?” she said in a phone interview from her home in Amityville.

Harassment Began Online

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Sims said the harassment began on Facebook and spilled into the classroom. She felt “horrible” when the principal disregarded the racial slurs because she wasn’t explicitly mentioned in them.

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“It wasn’t fair” Sims said. “If they didn’t say ‘Dominique is a monkey,’ there was nothing they could do.”

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After several requests for disciplinary action were denied, the principal penalized both Sims and her bullies with detention. “They made us sit in silence for two weeks as punishment,” said Sims. “It didn’t do anything.”

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Racial bullying often goes unnoticed because of the gap in how teachers perceive interethnic relations, finds a 2012 report by the Integration Centre. This contributes to lower self-esteem and higher suicide rates among multiracial students.

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Leatrice Brown, 15, attends Walt Whitman High School in Huntington, N.Y. She said bullying by her black peers at lunch and in the hallways often is overlooked by teachers and administrators.

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“They don’t do it around teachers,” Brown said in a recent phone interview from her home in Huntington. “In school they’ll call me white, and it’s really annoying.”

Brown’s birth parents are biracial but her adopted parents are both black. She said the taunting escalates in the winter as peers begin to notice her “pale” complexion. This summer she spent extra time outside in the hopes it will prevent harassment.

“I would stay in the sun longer hoping to get a tan,” Brown said. However, sunbathing proved to be pointless as students continue to bully her. “You finally look black and you’re getting darker.” the kids tease.

When jokes surrounding Brown’s complexion worsened, she felt “uncomfortable,” “sad” and “insecure.”

“They started calling me albino,” Brown said. “I didn’t like that at all.” Afraid of being considered a “snitch,” Brown hasn’t told any teachers or family members about the bullying that began in her freshman year,

“I don’t think they can do anything to help,” she said. “If I [did] tell the teacher I would be made fun of more.”

This story is part of Teen Voices at Women’s eNews. In 2013 Women’s eNews retained the 25-year-old magazine Teen Voices to continue and further its mission to improve the world for female teens through media. Teen Voices at Women’s eNews provides online stories and commentary about issues directly affecting female teens around the world, serving as an outlet for young women to share their experiences and views.

Tatyana Bellamy-Walker is a student journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News, New York Amsterdam News and Teen Kids News.

Race and Barack Obama

In the 2008 election, American voters selected a black man to be president.

American voters selected a biracial man–not a black man–to be president. Barack Obama identifies racially as black, but most Americans see him as black-white biracial. According to a Pew Research Center survey, only 27 percent of Americans see Obama as black. This distinction is not trivial. Some people could not vote for Barack Obama if they saw him as a black man, but they could vote for a biracial Barack Obama. One white woman said that the reason she reluctantly voted for Barack Obama was because her sister told her, “You don’t understand–he is white too. He has a white mom and white grandparents.” Obama’s white mother and white grandparents were a prominent part of the narrative of the Obama campaign, so it should not be too surprising that these facts deeply inform how Americans think about Obama. Additionally, some Obama campaign volunteers emphasized that Obama is biracial when they canvassed. One volunteer stated,

If this issue [Obama’s race] comes up, even if obliquely, I emphasize that Obama is from a multiracial background and that his father was an African intellectual, not an American from the inner city. I explain that Obama has never aligned himself solely with African-American interests — not on any issue — but rather has always sought to find a middle ground.

People who perceive Barack Obama as having values and interests that are different from blacks are more likely to see Obama as biracial [PDF].

Source: The Huffington Post

Category: Blog · Tags: , ,

Not Fair to Multiracial Employees

Employee’s Change in Racial Self-Identification Cannot Support Discrimination Claim if Employer Unaware of Change

In recent years, more Americans have begun identifying themselves as biracial or of mixed racial heritage. This shift has resulted in changes to census and other forms where people are asked to self-identify by race. In addition, some persons of mixed heritage may change their personal identification with one racial category over time. However, as recently pointed out by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, this change cannot form the basis for a race discrimination claim if unknown to the employer at the time the questioned decisions were made.
In Fagerstron v. City of Savannah, the plaintiff was a police captain of Swedish and Japanese heritage. When filling out forms used for affirmative action purposes, the plaintiff had identified himself as white. When passed over for promotion to major, the plaintiff sued, alleging that he had been discriminated against based on his race in favor of two white captains. The plaintiff said that he changed his self-identification to Asian-American several years previously.

In an unpublished opinion, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of the claim, noting that even if the plaintiff now considers himself Asian, he never told his employer of this change. The police chief testified that he considered the plaintiff white and never had any information about his mixed heritage or change in racial identification. In the absence of evidence of such knowledge, the court concluded that the employer could not have discriminated on the basis of race.

Huh, Trevor Noah?!


Trevor Noah 3

I watched “The Daily Show” last week with Trevor Noah taking over from Jon Stewart. I have watched Trevor’s stand-up comedy for a few years. I’ve really liked him: young, talented, handsome, funny, and multiracial! Perfect!

Then I watched Noah’s opening monologue on the first night of The Daily Show. Sure he was a bit nervous, who wouldn’t be? He assured viewers that he would not try to make Stewart seem like “some crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa” and then added, “It must seem like dad has been replaced by a new stepdad and he’s black.” Trevor Noah went from years of being multiracial in his comedy act to suddenly being black on American television. I’m so disappointed.

There are almost 17 million multiracial people in the United States. That is almost 7 percent of the entire population and we need all the numbers we can get. Of course, some multiracial people prefer to claim to be of only one race (President Obama comes to mind), but this guy always seemed rather proud of his dual-racial identity. He liked being hyphenated. What happened?

The change in Noah is curious. He is from South Africa. Africans of black African backgrounds are called “black.” Those who have parents from two or more groups are called “colored.” They are a very small part of the population. Trevor Noah has, in his comedy routine, always referred to himself as “mixed race.” Did he turn black in America? Does he now identify as black to relate better to the black population? Did they poll his audience? Did the Comedy Channel decide his identity? Either way, he’s now black.

Coming from South Africa and being multiracial would certainly give him a unique perspective on race. I recall a doctor of mine who was white and from South Africa. He was always lamenting that he truly is African-American, but can’t identify that way in America, where he has to identify as white. It’s never easy.

I’m not mad at Trevor Noah, it feels more like a close family member who decided to defect and chose another family. I am sad. I won’t stop watching him, although I know I will shudder whenever he calls himself black. Perhaps we will see some interesting “Moments of Zen.”

Susan Graham





Famous Friday!

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson was born on November 29, 1988. He is of African American and Native American dissent. Russell is an extremely gifted Athlete.  Prior to his professional football career, he played football for the University of Wisconsin. It was there that he led his team to win the coveted Rose Bowl. If that wasn’t enough, he advanced into the professional football realm and landed the position of quarterback for the Seattle Seahawk’s. There he led the Seahawk’s to win their first ever Super Bowl win.  Russell tied Peyton Manning’s record for the most passing touchdowns.  He is also the second highest paid player in the NFL. Russell has also dabbled in the world of professional baseball. It seems that wherever he goes and whatever he does, he excels. Russell Wilson is just as awesome off the field on it. During the week he spends his off days visiting Seattle Children’s Hospital. Russell is also partnered with an organization that donates $3,000 to a charitable foundation for each touchdown that he scores.  One of my favorite Russell Wilson quotes is: “I truly believe in positive synergy, that your positive mindset gives you a more hopeful outlook, and belief that you can do something great means you will do something great.” Russell Wilson isn’t just a fantastic role model for someone who plays sports, but for anyone who has big dreams.

Happy Anniversary!


Human Face Set of Faces Collection Diversity Concept

It all began October 1, 1990-25 years ago! A group of parents of multiracial children were fed up with not having a place for their children on forms that require racial and ethnic categories. We began approaching our school systems and healthcare facilities, but we GREW!
We got legislation passed in six states. And we GREW. We were asked to go to Washington and testify before congressional subcommittees. And we GREW! Multiracial teens and adults wanted to join us. So, we GREW. Kids wanted to join and help. We GREW again! The media began interviewing us, so word spread about what we were doing. Yup. We GREW!

Project RACE GREW because of all the support we have received over the years. We are still taking on schools, state agencies, healthcare entities, and businesses. Without your support and willingness to stand-up for change in our country, we could not have done any of it. Stay with us, because we have more work to do!


Visit us at our website: www.projectrace.com

Stay current on our blog: www.projectrace.com/blog

Watch us grow even bigger on Facebook! www.facebook.com/ProjectRACE

Meet our Project RACE Teens on Facebook! www.facebookProjectRACE Teens

Join in with us on Twitter! @Project RACE

Sign up to volunteer during Multiracial Heritage Week: http://www.projectrace.com/mhw-2016-volunteer-form

Subscribe to our e-mails: www.projectrace.com



Racial disparities in medical outcomes have emerged as an important topic in quality healthcare. Differences in outcomes have been associated with socioeconomic status, but new data are emerging that indicate certain cancers may have differing biology based on ethnicity. Below are links for some of those studies.

Inflammation, Race, and Atrial Fibrillation


Genetic Differences Between Primary Breast Cancer Among Black and White Women


Comparative Effectiveness of ACE Inhibitor–Based Treatment on Cardiovascular Outcomes in Hypertensive Blacks vs Whites


Effect of African-American Race on Tumor Recurrence After Radical Cystectomy for Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder


 Blacks fare worse than whites after heart attacks





Famous Friday!

Riley Curry, the Preschool MVP


This little girl is no ordinary toddler! She is so cute that when her Dad, All Star guard Stephen Curry, led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Championship this year, it seemed like the world was talking more about three year old Riley than any player in the game. 

During the Championship Series the TV cameras always showed Riley doing something funny in the stands. She stole the show at the post game press conferences again and again and when she didn’t show up for the press conference there was so much public interest in Riley that she was still as big a part of the story as her dad or LeBron.

My own dad played seven years in the NFL, and my sisters and I have gotten to do a lot of fun things because of it. In fact, this weekend we are going to Cleveland Browns Alumni Weekend. But my Dad retired before I was born so I never got to see him play live or go to a press conference.  Watching Riley makes me think about how fun it would have been to grow up while my Dad was still playing.

I’m sure this kid, our youngest ever Famous Friday, has a big future ahead of her. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here. Maybe she will grow up to be an actress and model like her mom, Ayesha, or a baller like her Dad. Or maybe she will find her own special way to continue to capture the attention of the world!

– Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Kids President

Photo credit: Instagram


Great video! Click link below.


Bone Marrow


Below is a report put out by the U.S. Census Bureau. This one happens

to be about the Hispanic population. They do it for other races and

ethnicities. The subject line of the email is: PROFILE AMERICA

FACTS FOR FEATURES: Hispanic Heritage Month 2015.

Yes, all upper case and very bold. The Bureau never does that.

They really want us to pay attention to this! Wouldn’t it be GREAT

if the Census Bureau did the same thing for the MULTIRACIAL

population for MULTIRACIAL HERITAGE WEEK  in June?  Hmmm.

They won’t even call us MULTIRACIAL!-Susan Graham


Hispanic Heritage Month 2015

SEPT. 18, 2015 — In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) of the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 is the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.


55 million

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2014, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPASR6H?slice=hisp~hisp!year~est72014>

1.15 million

Number of Hispanics added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014. This number is close to half of the approximately 2.36 million people added to the nation’s population during this period. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, National Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic origin <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2014/index.html>, See first bullet under “Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin”


Percentage increase in the Hispanic population between 2013 and 2014. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, National Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic origin <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2014/index.html>, See first bullet under “Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin”

119 million

The projected Hispanic population of the United States in 2060. According to this projection, the Hispanic population will constitute 28.6 percent of the nation’s population by that date. Source: Population Projections <http://www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2014/summarytables.html>, Table 10


The percentage of those of Hispanic origin in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2013. Another 9.5 percent were of Puerto Rican background, 3.7 percent Cuban, 3.7 percent Salvadoran, 3.3 percent Dominican and 2.4 percent Guatemalan. The remainder was of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic or Latino origin. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table B03001 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/B03001>

States and Counties

10.4 million

The estimated population for those of Hispanic origin in Texas as of July 1, 2014. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, State Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPASR6H?slice=GEO~0400000US12!hisp~hisp!year~est72014>


The number of states with a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents in 2014 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, State Characteristics: Population by Race and Hispanic Origin <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPASR6H?slice=GEO~0100000US!hisp~hisp!year~est72014>


The percentage of all the Hispanic population that lived in California, Florida and Texas as of July 1, 2014. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, State Characteristics: Population by Race and Hispanic Origin<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPASR6H?slice=GEO~0100000US!hisp~hisp!year~est72014>

15 million

The Hispanic population of California. This is the largest Hispanic population of any state. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPASR6H?slice=GEO~0400000US06!hisp~hisp!year~est72014>

4.9 million

Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population of any county in 2014. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-113.html>


Harris County in Texas had the largest numeric increase of Hispanics from 2013 to 2014. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-118.html>

Families and Children

12.2 million

The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2014. Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table F1, by Race and Hispanic Origin <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/cps2014/tabF1-hisp.xls> <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2014F.html>


The percentage of Hispanic family households that were married-couple households in 2014. For the total population in the U.S., it was 73.3 percent. Source: Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/cps2014/tabF1-hisp.xls> <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2014F.html>


The percentage of Hispanic married-couple households that had children younger than 18 present in 2014, whereas for the nation it was 40.1 percent. Source: Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/cps2014/tabF1-hisp.xls> <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2014F.html>


Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents in 2014, whereas nationwide it was 68.7 percent. Source: Families and Living Arrangements, Table C9 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/cps2014/tabC9-hispanic.xls> <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2014C.html>


Percentage of Hispanic married couples with children under 18 where both spouses were employed in 2014, whereas nationwide it was 59.7 percent. Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table FG-1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2014FG.html>

Spanish Language

38.4 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2013. This is a 120 percent increase since 1990 when it was 17.3 million. Those who hablan español en casa constituted 13.0 percent of U.S. residents 5 and older. More than half (58 percent) of these Spanish speakers spoke English “very well.” Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table DP02 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/DP02> and Language Use in the United States: 2012 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf


Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2013. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table B16006 <http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_B16006&prodType=table>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance


The median income of Hispanic households in 2013. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, Table A <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-169.html>


The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2013. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, Table B <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-169.html>


The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2013. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-169.html>



The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older that had at least a high school education in 2013. Source: American Community Survey: 2013 Selected Population Profile in the United States, Hispanic or Latino, Table S0201 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/S0201//popgroup~400>


The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2013. Source: American Community Survey: 2013 Selected Population Profile in the United States, Hispanic or Latino, Table S0201 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/S0201//popgroup~400>

4.2 million

The number of Hispanics 25 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013. Source: American Community Survey: 2013, Table B15002I <http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_B15002I&prodType=table>

1.3 million

Number of Hispanics 25 and older with advanced degrees in 2013 (e.g., master’s, professional, doctorate). Source: American Community Survey: 2013, Table B15002I <http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_B15002I&prodType=table>


Percentage of students (both undergraduate and graduate) enrolled in college in 2013 who were Hispanic. Source: School Enrollment Data Current Population Survey: October 2013, Table1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/2013/tables.html>


Percentage of elementary and high school students that were Hispanic in 2013. Source: School Enrollment Data Current Population Survey: October 2013, Table 1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/2013/tables.html>



Percentage of the Hispanic population that was foreign-born in 2013. Source: American Community Survey: 2013 Selected Population Profile in the United States, Hispanic or Latino, Table S0201 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/S0201//popgroup~400>


Percentage of the 10.3 million noncitizens under the age of 35 who were born in Latin America and the Caribbean and are living in the United States in 2010-2012. Source: American Community Survey Brief – Noncitizens Under Age 35: 2010-2012 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/acsbr12-06.pdf>



Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2013. Source: American Community Survey: 2013 Selected Population Profile in the United States, Hispanic or Latino, Table S0201 <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/S0201//popgroup~400>


The percentage of civilian employed Hispanics or Latinos 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2013. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table C24010I <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/C24010I>



The percentage of voters in the 2012 presidential election who were Hispanic. Hispanics comprised 4.7 percent of voters in 1996. Source: The Diversifying Electorate − Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections), Table 3 <https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-568.pdf>


The percentage of voters in the 2014 congressional election who were Hispanic. Source: Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978-2014: Figure 5 <https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p20-577.pdf>

Serving our Country

1.2 million

The number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table B21001I <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/B21001I>

The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

African-American History Month (February)

Super Bowl

Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)

Women’s History Month (March)

Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

Earth Day (April 22)

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)

Older Americans Month (May)

Mother’s Day

Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)

Father’s Day

The Fourth of July (July 4)

Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)

Back to School (August)

Labor Day

Grandparents Day

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15)

Unmarried and Single Americans Week

Halloween (Oct. 31)

American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)

Veterans Day (Nov. 11)

Thanksgiving Day

The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office.


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