'Moana' star Auli’i Cravalho encourages families to be counted in the U.S. Census

For Immediate Release
Fri, 08/21/2020


Stephanie Hlywak


Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association

(312) 280-5042


CHICAGO—Actress Auli’i Cravalho, star of the animated Disney film "Moana" and Netflix’s upcoming "All Together Now," will remind families of the importance of completing the 2020 Census and counting their children in a read-along video premiering on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. Central time on the American Library Association’s Facebook page.

Cravalho will read from WE COUNT! A Census Counting Book for Kids, (and the Grownups That Love Them) (Simply Put Media 2020), an interactive counting book with illustrations of diverse American families by artists representing their own cultural heritage.  

“In the movie 'Moana,' the people of my island were counting on me, a young girl, to make a difference. Now our communities are counting on each and every one of us, young and old, to make a difference by taking the Census,” Cravalho said.

The results of the Census will allocate billions of dollars in federal funding to local communities over the next decade, including more than $1 billion to libraries. The deadline for U.S. households to complete the Census has been extended until at least Sept. 30, 2020 – so it is not too late to complete your questionnaire.

As of late August 2020, only 64 percent of U.S. households had completed the self-response form by mail, online or by phone. A complete count is vital to ensure communities don’t miss out on billions of dollars in needed funding for libraries, schools, healthcare, and other services.

“We are so grateful to Auli’i Cravalho for shining a light on this important issue,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “As we enter the last month of counting, empowering voices like Auli’i’s are more necessary than ever to remind people they count and that we are counting on them to complete their Census forms.”

Libraries across the country are invited to join us and involve their communities in the push for a complete count by reading along with Auli’i Thursday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. Central time on the American Library Association’s Facebook page. After the premiere, the video, as well as additional resources, will be available for download via the ALA website for sharing via social media and library channels and websites.

The WE COUNT! counting book and the online reading are supported in part by Carnegie Corporation of New York, whose education and democracy programs have long recognized the important challenge of counting everyone in the U.S. The WE COUNT! video was also produced with the support of Civic Nation, a nonprofit that uses organizing, engagement and public awareness to address some of our nation's most pressing challenges.

For more resources for libraries to support an inclusive count in the 2020 Census, visit ala.org/census and follow the conversation on social media with #CountOnLibraries.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

About WE COUNT! and Simply Put
The WE COUNT! book, animated story, and program were produced and published by Simply Put, a nonprofit organization that creates commercial quality media for (and with) families in diverse, marginalized communities who rarely see their stories, strengths, or even faces reflected in traditional media.  Simply Put has sold or donated 500,000 copies of the WE COUNT! book in 15 languages to communities and organizations across the country (such as libraries, schools, health, and childcare programs) that support vulnerable families and has provided free online access to all of the WE COUNT! materials, including an evaluated relational organizing training for educators and providers.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's programs focus on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: education, democratic engagement, and strengthening international peace and security. 

About Civic Nation
Civic Nation is a non-partisan non-profit that works in four key areas: education access, civic engagement, gender equality and social justice. Our team combines the power of policy experts, community organizers and creatives who have united together for greater action. Our initiatives are grassroots efforts, locally supported to make a national impact.