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[i]AQ[/i] Q&A: Judith Morrison on Race and Ethnicity

Reading Time: < 1 minuteIDB Senior Advisor Judith Morrison sits down with [i]Americas Quarterly[/i] to discuss her [i]AQ[/i] article on data collection for racial and ethnic minorities in the Americas.
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Judith Morrison, AQ author and senior advisor at the gender and diversity unit of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), speaks with Americas Quarterly about the importance of accurately integrating racial and ethnic populations into data collection. The methods for tabulating race and ethnicity vary widely between national censuses and household surveys, especially since some countries are only beginning to consider these variables.

Morrison says that having accurate data is critical when designing social programs, in particular knowing who such efforts should target and which areas of the country should be prioritized. She notes how Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples historically “haven’t been incorporated as well into some of the mainstream social programs” compared to other demographic groups. Morrison discusses how civil society organizations have been instrumental in helping marginalized groups self-identify based on race and ethnicity and take pride in their identity. These metrics help the IDB analyze not only disparities in social program allocations, but also discrimination in the labor market.

Interview by Richard André.

Ms. Morrison’s AQ article, “Race and Ethnicity: Numbers Matter,” will appear in the Spring 2012 AQ to be released on April 26. Access the table of contents.


Ryan Berger is a visiting researcher in the Center for International Relations at the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro.

Tags: Afro-Latino, Race, Social inclusion
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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
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