February 11, 2004      #04-04




Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) 2004-Latinos in Missouri” is the third annual conference that focuses on issues related to current Latino immigration to the state in particular and to the Midwest in general. The 2004 theme is “Gateway to a New Community.” The three-day conference will take place March 10-12, 2004, at the Millennium Student Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis. 


From 1990 to 2000, Missouri’s Latino population increased more than 92 percent and currently makes up more than 2 percent of the state’s population. Approximately 22 percent of the state’s Latino population lives in the St. Louis area. Because of these diverse population shifts, the state needs to address the unique public policy concerns of Latino Missourians.


Five areas that the conference will address include change and wellbeing; civil rights; education; health; and youth, families, and communities. Academic research and extension specialists, public and private service providers, grassroots organizations, state and local government institutions, politicians, and newcomers themselves are encouraged to attend.


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; discuss the multiple contributions—economic, social, and cultural—that these new Missourians are bringing   to the state; share relevant scholarship and best practices; identify knowledge, service, and opportunities that this demographic change brings to the state, its people, communities, businesses, and educational institutions; provide a forum to discuss the change and growth challenges posed to institutions and people—both new and old Missourians; and identify knowledge and service gaps that need to be addressed. 

The keynote address, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Jaguar: The Future of Latinos in the U.S.,” will be presented by Sylvia Lazos, professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada-Las Vegas.


Conference co-chairs are Kay Gasen, director, Community and Neighborhood Development, Public Policy Research Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Domingo Martínez Castilla; International Agriculture; Hispanic and Latin American Faculty and Staff Association, University of Missouri-Columbia.


Honored guests include UM System President Elson S. Floyd and UM-St. Louis Chancellor Thomas F. George.


The conference will feature more than 80 presenters from academia, University Outreach & Extension, state and local governments, the public service sectors, and grassroots organizations. In addition to the presentations, government and private organizations will have exhibits with relevant material for the conference attendees.

The registration fee is $175.00 per person and must be postmarked by February 20. This fee includes all breaks, two breakfasts, one lunch, and one dinner, as well as a conference packet. Registration is $200.00 for applications received after February 20.

To register, visit, or call toll-free: 1 (866) 682-6663; or (573) 882-4038.

Sponsors include the University of Missouri System; the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Office of the Chancellor and Public Policy Research Center; University Outreach & Extension; Alianzas; University of Missouri-Columbia, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost, Vice Provost for Minority Affairs, International Programs, & Faculty Development; Hispanic and Latin American Faculty & Staff Association (HLAFSA); in cooperation with UM-St. Louis Continuing Education & Outreach and the MU Conference Office.


Additional sponsors include the Mercy Health Plans of Missouri, Inc., Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Missouri Foundation for Health, Saint Louis University, Premium Standard Farms, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS), and International Institute, St. Louis.


For more information regarding the conference, please access the conference Web site: