Ep. 49 - Census 2020 ft. Fernanda Castellanos & Brandon Lee
Play • 1 hr 3 min

Fernanda Castellanos is a community organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD). She started organizing when her mom Genoveva got stopped by police and then transferred to ICE. Her passion is to work with the undocumented folks and communities of color to fight deportations and criminalization. She leads the Community Asambleas for OCAD.

Brandon Lee is leading communications with the 2020 Census team at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He’s a lifelong Uptown resident who previously worked with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago. His first job out of college was doing community outreach for the Census in 2010.

BrownTown dives into this year's U.S. Census and all the reasons everyone (yes, everyone) should do it. Fernanda and Brandon inform about their work with OCAD and ICIRR as well as what census outreach looks like for immigrant, undocumented, and non-English speaking communities. They continue to explain why trust and relationship-building is crucial to grassroots organizing, especially in direct-service work. What if Trump's citizenship question was not struck down by the Supreme Court? Fernanda and Brandon explain the ramifications of this scary alternate reality as well as the differences (and similarities) between his administration and Obama's regarding deportations and immigrant's rights. With a state-wide and local scope, BrownTown and guests also talk funding and logistics within census outreach, the Chicago gang database, "sanctuary cities" and their loopholes, the paradoxical nature of Illinois politics, and personal experiences with all of the above.

This episode is part of a cross-platform, multimedia project commissioned by Chicago Reader's Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA).



Follow Fernanda on Instagram and OCAD on their site, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook; follow Brandon on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook; and ICIRR on their site, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.



CREDITS: Intro song Contejo by Don Omar. Outro song Mijente by Bad Bunny. Audio engineering by Genta Tamashiro. Recording session photos and episode photo by Andrew Merz.


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