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Focus Hope event encourages Metro Detroiters to participate in 2020 census

45th annual March 4 Hope held Sunday

DETROIT – It's about standing up for one cause, practically moving to the same beat.

Thousands of people converged on the Focus Hope Headquarters on Sunday for the 45th annual March 4 Hope.

"This is about encouraging people to know about our programs, food for seniors, youth development, early education and workforce," said Focus Hope CEO Portia Roberson.

Roberson said the much-needed organization started 51 years ago.

"They knew then, and we know now, (how important it is) that getting people trained for jobs, making sure our children have the education they need, creating strong teenagers, like youth development, and certainly taking care of our most vulnerable, our seniors," Roberson said.

The organization serves Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Sunday's event was all about the 2020 Census.

"The census is a social justice issue. It's an instrument to count people in. Unfortunately, it can be used as an instrument to count people out. Historically, the indigenous people of this country weren't counted in the Census before the 1900s," said Jasahn Larsosa, with Focus Hope.

"Each person matters. It's about $18,000 per person over a course of 10 years, so we need those funds to improve our livelihood," Javion Johnson said.

That's why Focus Hope and the city of Detroit want to make sure your all voice are heard, and they're not alone.

Some heavy hitters stopped by the event including Sen. Jewell Jones, Rep. LaTanya Garrett and Sen. Adam Hollier, Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

"The census is incredibly important because our communities across the state of Michigan need to show our strength. We need to show our growth," Gilchrist said.

The list didn't stop there, Local 4 representatives also participated.

Larry Spruill was the emcee of the event, WDIV's evening anchor Kimberly Gill was there with her husband and their son Basil, and Local 4's morning anchor Rhonda Walker was there as well.

There was a march at the end to signify the hope and change to come.


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