Five Named Maryland Census Champions – Each Help Make a Difference in Our Complete Count
Our champions this week are:
- Fai Nelson, Prince George’s County
- Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Anne Arundel & Prince George’s Counties (District 21)
- BJ Hall, St. Mary’s County
- Adrianne Dillahunt, St. Mary’s County
- Joni Martin Williamson, Wicomico County
A Maryland Census Champion is a person or group that has gone above and beyond in spreading the Census message in their community. Census Champions have devised innovative ways to get their community engaged in completing the 2020 Census. The individual or group being nominated could be a member of a local complete committee, a faith leader, a business leader/owner, or even someone in the community making a difference. Recipients of the Census Champion will be highlighted in this newsletter, on social media, and on the Maryland 2020 Census Champions web page.
Download the Census Champion Nomination form and nominate a champion in your community today.
Fai Nelson is actively engaged in Prince George’s County as a Census Ambassador for nonprofit and community based organizations. She has been a valuable member of the county’s Complete Count Committee since October 2019. Fai has gone above and beyond by seeking out and initiating opportunities within the community to promote the Census. As a member of the Mocha Moms Northern Prince George’s County Chapter, she executed a Census Sound Off weekly series, covering topics such as why the Census is important – now even more crucial following COVID-19 – and what the data indicates for the county. Fai has contributed many hours of her personal time, volunteering and participating in numerous CCC events including hosting information tables, establishing Census Hubs in traditionally low response rate communities, conducting hundreds of telephone bank calls to county residents, developing Census public service announcements distributed on social media, and by engaging in several trainings and webinars.
Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk
Delegate Peña-Melnyk is a member of the Maryland Latino Census Coalition, a group of elected and appointed officials focused on counting hard-to-reach populations, and communities where English is not the first language in the household. Delegate Peña-Melnyk has attended food distributions to support her community during COVID-19, providing information on the Census. She has shared the importance of the Census as a panelist on multiple social media events, including the “Count Me In” Series on Instagram Live and “CountMDin: The Importance of the 2020 Census Amid Covid-19” on Facebook Live. On many occasions, she has shared her legislative expertise to explain, in English and Spanish, the valuable resources and funding provided by the Census.
BJ Hall and Adrianne Dillahunt
William “BJ” Hall, president of the NAACP Chapter 7025, and Adrianne Dillahunt, Equity Coordinator for St. Mary’s County Public Schools, have taken every opportunity to advocate for completion of the 2020 Census. Both serve as members of the County’s Complete Count Committee. A big part of BJ’s and Adrienne’s outstanding effort is a weekly Facebook Live show they host called “Sunday’s in the Park,” where they continuously provide updates on the Census progress and advocate for completion.
Joni Martin Williamson
Joni Martin Williamson has been outstanding in providing organizational resources promoting the 2020 Census to the agents in her firm, ERA Martin Associates, and the Coastal Association of REALTORS. Edward Lee, ERA, of the Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee stated that “this type of support from the business community goes a long way in reaching those residents that we are trying to reach.”