5 Years After Muslim Ban, Middle Eastern and North African Americans Remain Hidden

February 9, 2022

Wall Scholar, Neda Maghbouleh has co-authored an opinion piece in Newsweek that summarizes her newly published PNAS study on the rejected MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) Census box, showing that MENA Americans are not seen – nor see themselves – as White.

The study underscores the minoritized status of MENA Americans and supports the inclusion of a MENA identity category in the 2030 Census, which would help examine the social, economic, and health status of this growing population and empower policymakers to ameliorate existing inequalities.

By examining the unsettled MENA category from outside—and inside—the community, our study showed why it is wrong to count this group as white in official statistics. Bringing our federal ethnic and racial categories in closer alignment with how ordinary people see race is a powerful way to overcome inequalities faced by “hidden” groups. The bottom line is clear: It is time to have a MENA box on the U.S. Census.

Excerpt from NEWSWEEK

Read the oped in full on Newsweek.com

Update Feb. 17, 2022: The study was also featured on NPR. Read the article here.

Read the full research article on the PNAS website