Logo Cambio de colores 2004

Cambio de Colores 2004
Latinos in Missouri:
Gateway to a New Community

March 10-12, 2004
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Last updated:
May 19, 2004


About the conference

February 2003: Cambio de Colores has just obtained an
Exceptional Program Award
from the the Association for Continuing Higher Education!

(This document is also available in PDF format�190Kb.)

Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) in Missouri is an �annual conference that focuses on issues related to current Latino immigration to the state in particular and the Midwest in general. �The main objectives of the conference are:

  • To assess the changes brought about by the presence of new Latino settlers in every region of the state.
  • To inform about� the multiple contributions�economic, social, and cultural�that these new Missourians are bringing to many a community and to the state as a whole.
  • To understand the opportunities that this demographic change brings to the state, its people, communities, businesses, and educational institutions.
  • To provide a forum to discuss the change and growth challenges posed to institutions and people �both new and old Missourians.
  • To share relevant scholarship and best practices, and identify knowledge and service gaps that need addressing.

The conferences convene academic research and extension specialists, public and private service providers, grassroots organizations, state and local government institutions, politicians, and newcomers themselves. The conference is sponsored by the University of Missouri, in cooperation with community and state partners.

The Hispanic and Latin American Faculty & Staff Association of the University of Missouri-Columbia (HLAFSA), established in late 1999, took a principal role in creating and leading �these conferences, with the enthusiastic support of the University of Missouri System institutions, and the collaboration of many organizations in our state.

Over 250 people attended a groundbreaking, three-day event that took place in March 2002 at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Cambio de colores (change of colors). Latinos in Missouri: A call to action!� �A synthesis of the experiences, facts and knowledge derived from �this conference is Cambio de Colores. Immigration of Latinos to Missouri, which remains a state-of-the-art publication.

The 2003 conference, Cambio de colores (change of colors). Latinos in Missouri: Neighbors in Urban and Rural Communities�, convened on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.� Registered participants numbered 296 for this three-day event.

The participation in these events is demonstrating �the relevance and the urgency of addressing today the challenges and the opportunities that arise in Missouri and other Midwestern states, as Latino and other newcomers settle as workers, families and members of communities.

The third conference, Cambio de colores (change of colors). Latinos in Missouri: Gateway to a New Community,� will take place at the University of Missouri-St.� Louis, in March 10-12, 2004.� Preparations are well under way, with the added support of the vibrant St. Louis Hispanic community, other higher education institutions, and many organizations from our state.� The themes addressed include change, communities, youth, education, health, and civil rights.

Some Fast Facts about Latinos...

  • Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority ethnic group in the United States
    • The Latino population almost doubled in Missouri (92%) in the period 1990-2000.� Estimated Missouri Hispanic population for the year 2002 is 127,322, up from 119,721 in the 2000 census.
    • Latinos come to the state to work.
    • According to research by Pew Hispanic Center, it was found that�for the first time�second- and third-generation Hispanics account for most of the growth in the Hispanic population, replacing new immigrants, who fueled the growth in the past.
    • Hispanic population of the United States will increase by almost 25 million people by 2020 and that second-generation Hispanics�now in prime reproductive years�will account for 47 percent of that growth. ( PewHispanicCenter)
  • In Missouri, like in other Midwestern sates, Latino/as come to urban and rural communities:
    • Latino population has increased in 110 of the 115 counties of the state of Missouri.
    • Most immigrants have jobs and pay taxes, and an increasing number buy cars and homes: they are the new Missourians.
    • St. Louis Hispanic population is growing and very diverse.
    • Kansas City ranks eleventh nationally among the fastest growing Latino populations residing in urban centers.
    • Meatpacking rural counties�Sullivan, McDonald, Pettis, Lawrence, Saline, and Jasper�experienced from a 4 to 20-fold increase in Latino population.
    • Small cities, such as Joplin, Branson, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, and Warrensburg have doubled or tripled their representation of Latinos.
  • A 2000 report, drawn from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, showed 81 percent of America's crop workers are foreign-born, overwhelmingly from Mexico. Of these workers, 14% own or are buying a home with they work.
  • According to an Urban Institute report:� Self-employment is higher among immigrants than among native-born Americans.
  • Immigrants are substantially overrepresented among workers who are paid the least and are most in need of training to improve their skills and earnings. Nearly half (48 percent) of all immigrant workers earned less than 200 percent of the minimum wage, compared with 32 percent of native workers. The average low-wage immigrant worker earned $14,400 in 2001.
  • Immigrant Families Have Important Strengths. According to a 1999 National Survey of America�s Families (NSAF), policymakers believe that children will do better in two-parent working families. A higher proportion of children of immigrants live in two-parent families (80 percent compared with 70 percent of children in native families). The strength of immigrant families extends to their children's behavior, school engagement and share of children taking after-school lessons. On these measures, children of immigrants do as well as or better than their native counterparts.

This will be the third Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) - Latinos in Missouri conference.

Please visit the archival web sites of the two previous meetings: