Op-ed | It’s time for New York to adopt a MENA category

As leaders deeply invested in the well-being of New York’s diverse communities, we cannot afford to ignore the persistent erasure faced by Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) individuals.

For too long, our communities have been rendered invisible, lumped into the broad category of “White” in data collection efforts. This oversight not only perpetuates systemic inequality but also deprives us of the tailored support and resources we desperately need. For years we have organized in our respective communities – Little Palestine in Brooklyn and Little Egypt in Queens – and we have witnessed firsthand the impact of data erasure on our working-class immigrant families and neighbors.