University Park

2020 census panel discussion with Gisele Fetterman: Every Pennsylvanian counts

Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Fetterman is severing as a Goodwill Ambassador for the 2020 Census. She will host a panel discussion at Penn State on Feb. 19 about the importance of the Census.  Credit: SuppliedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Fetterman will host a panel discussion around the 2020 Census from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19, in the Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, on Penn State’s University Park campus. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. The talk will focus on why it is important to fill out the census, what the census means to Fetterman and her family, and why it is important for all individuals, including undocumented individuals to complete the census. For the discussion, Fetterman will be joined by a Penn State student and State College Borough representative.

The panel moderator for the discussion is Michael Gerber, assistant to the secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development with opening remarks from Provost Nick Jones, Penn State; Mayor Ronald L. Filippelli, State College Borough; and Chairman Michael Pipe, Centre County Board of Commissioners.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes a mammoth task: tallying up all the people living in the United States and recording basic information such as age, sex and race. The census captures increases, decreases and changes in community demographics, and is used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also determines the amount of federal funding Pennsylvania can receive for important programs and services, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the National School Lunch Program, Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, and Special Education grants among other programs and services.

With her 2020 Census Tour, Fetterman recognizes the importance of a census as she emphasizes that every Pennsylvanian counts.

Fetterman was born in Brazil and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, living as an undocumented immigrant for more than a decade. Fetterman has dedicated her career to working with underrepresented people. Due to Pennsylvania’s allotment of federal funding and size of its congressional delegation, people who don’t get counted in the census are affected by an undercount.

As Second Lady, Fetterman also founded 412 Food Rescue, a community-wide effort to end hunger and reduce food waste, For Good PGH, a nonprofit that inspires kindness, and Freestore 15104, where surplus and donated goods are received and redistributed to neighbors in need. While also serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for the 2020 Census, Fetterman has made it her mission to be an advocate for access and equity.

Fetterman’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post and on the TODAY Show, CNN, NPR and more. She is a Forty under 40 honoree, a TEDx Speaker, and a Jefferson Awards recipient.

For more information about the census visit

Last Updated February 05, 2020