Cambio de Colores 2005

Latinos in Missouri:
Connecting Research to Policy and Practice
Hoy y Mañana

Reynolds Alumni Center, University of Missouri-Columbia,
March 30, 31 & April 1st, 2005

Cambio de Colores Conference Welcome

  • Linda Espinosa, Conference Co-chair, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Mayor Darwin Hindman, City of Columbia, Missouri
  • Stephen Lehmkuhle,UM System Vice President for Academic Affairs (on behalf of UM President Elson Floyd)
  • Tom Henderson, Vice Provost and Director of Cooperative Extension, University of Missouri Extension
  • Lori Franz, Interim Provost, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Stephen Jeanetta, Conference Co-chair, University of Missouri Extension

Columbia mayor and MU representatives welcomed Cambio de Colores 2005 attendees to the fourth annual conference held at MU on March 30 at noon. The year’s theme, “Latinos in Missouri: Connecting Research to Policy and Practice: Hoy y Mañana,” demonstrated the new phase of the conference of applying research to Missouri and the Midwest communities.

Conference co-chairs Linda Espinosa and Stephen Jeanetta introduced the history and layout of the conference and Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman spoke of the significance of the conference for the city of Columbia. “Columbia, like so many other cities, is experiencing rapid growth in its Latino population, and we welcome that,” he said. “We’d like to have as much diversity in Columbia as we possibly can,” he said to the crowd of more than 200 participants.

Tom Henderson, MU vice provost and director of cooperative extension, said the conference was a “privilege and an opportunity to help the next set of people coming to our country.” “These individuals want to become part of American culture but at the same time maintain their unique cultural identity,” he said during the welcome ceremony.

“The interest of the community communicates a willingness to positively embrace this change,” Espinosa said in an interview after the event. “The impressive part is the good intentions of community government and leaders to prepare for these changes.” 

The three-day conference, organized around the themes of change and well-being, education, civil rights, health and youth, family and communities, was divided into five major sessions devoted to each theme with breakout sessions each afternoon. A new feature of this year’s conference was the additional time added between sessions for informal networking. The three-day conference returned to MU after being held previously in Kansas City and St. Louis. 

Day 1, Wednesday, March 30. Welcome Session, Noon

By Victoria Okoye

By Victoria Okoye

This conference report contributed by

Mid-Missouri bilingual newspaper.