For Immediate Release: Friday, May 29, 2015
Contact: Safiya Khalid, Executive Director
Institute for Immigration Research
OAA and George Mason University’s Institute for Immigration (IIR) Collaborate on Research about the District’s African Immigrants
(Washington) – On May 25, 2015, the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (OAA) and the George Mason University’s Institute for Immigration Research (IIR), agreed to collaborate on compiling a survey research project focused on the African immigrant population in DC. This agreement was issued on Africa Day 2015 and marks a significant step forward in documenting demographic details such as age, employment, and education as well as linguistic and cultural diversity among African-born constituents in the District.
The survey research will also track the experiences of under-employed African immigrants and examine ways to better leverage their skills and create economic stability. “This is an important opportunity to expand the IIR’s work on the economic contributions of immigrants to include the Nation’s Capital, which is home to one in ten of all African immigrants living in the US,” said James Witte, Director of the IIR. The research will culminate in a jointly-issued annual report designed to address the critical gap in information and lack of policy recommendations that serve the African community and its various stakeholders.
“I am thrilled to announce this partnership which builds on previous efforts of our office to gather important demographic information on our diverse African communities,” said Director Mamadou Samba. “This report and its analysis will not only fill in gaps that exist in the US Census and the American Community Surveys regarding demographic details of African-born constituents, but further facilitate the work of service providers and government agencies in connecting the African community to resources.”
Washington DC and its metropolitan area ranks as the second destination of choice for about 161,000 African immigrants. About 17,000 of these call the District home with most settled in Wards 4, 5 and 1, followed by Wards 7, 6, and 8, respectively. Over 30 African languages are spoken among DC Public School students and over 50 African countries are represented.
May 29, 2015