Cambio de colores 2011 logo
Latinos in the Heartland

Latinos in the Heartland:
Migration and Shifting Human Landscapes

June 8-10, 2011
Holiday Inn SE Waterpark
Kansas City, Missouri

Press & PR
(PDF files)


About the Cambio de Colores conference

Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) is an annual conference that, since 2002, brings together researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and community members to discuss the issues that Missouri and all the Heartland states face as a result of the demographic changes reflected since the 2000 Census, which clearly showed large numbers of immigrants—most of them Latino or Hispanic, but including significant numbers of migrants and refugees from Asia, Africa, and Europe—settling in rural and urban areas of every state in the region.

Cambio de Colores is a collaborative effort of the University of Missouri and Extension, other educational institutions in the Midwest region, as well as government and private organizations.

The 2011 meeting will be a special multi-state conference that will showcase research and best practices from Midwestern and Southern states of the country. The last two conferences benefited from the cooperation of the University of Missouri's Cambio Center with the interstate initiative on “Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities,” North Central Education and Research Activity 216 (NCERA 216).  For 2011, the cooperation has been extended to include the Southern Extension and Research Activity 37 (SERA 37) “The New Hispanic South,” an initiative that brings together a large number of universities and institutions addressing similar changes in that region.

The planning committee wants to stress that, while native and foreign-born Latinos may constitute the majority of new arrivals in most communities in these regions of the country, it is important to note that immigrants from other areas of the world are also settling in these regions, mostly to work on jobs made available through the significant aging of the population and the decline in numbers of the younger demographic segments.  The integration of these very diverse groups is being studied by academics and pursued by stakeholders, as the new arrivals seek to become part and parcel of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the South and the Heartland.

The conference program builds on the sharing of university, government, and community resources, ranging from academic studies to the more applied perspective of people and institutions working at the heart of the changing communities. 

The 2011 conference aims to bring state-of-the-art research and best practices that benefit the participants and inform decision-makers and policy-makers of the multiple ways in which Midwestern and Southern stakeholders are addressing the most significant and transformational demographic and cultural change in decades. The conference will provide a platform to present, discuss, share, learn, and identify critical areas where the development of information and promising practices will facilitate the successful transition of all newcomers into our communities, while providing these communities with the tools necessary to address these changes in sustainable and beneficial ways to all.  It will also be a timely event to see the effects that current national and statewide discussions about immigrants and immigration are having in this transition.



Past Meetings

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

A groundbreaking, three-day event took place in March 2002 at the University of Missouri-Columbia: “Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors). Latinos in Missouri: A call to action!”

Subsequent conferences were in 2003 in Kansas City (“Neighbors in Urban and Rural Communities”), St. Louis in 2004 (“Gateway to a New Community”), Columbia in 2005 (“Connecting Research to Policy and Practice - Hoy y mañana.”) and again in 2006 (“Beyond Borders”).  In April, 2007, the conference went back to Kansas City (“Everyone Together – Todos Juntos.”)  In 2008, Columbia hosted the 7th conference (“Uniting Cultures – Uniendo Culturas.”) In 2009, the 8th Conference “Latinos in the Heartland” was held in St. Louis. It was the first conference organized with a Midwest focus, and included presentations from many states of the region.

In May, 2010, the ninth conference was hosted once again in Columbia (“Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities.”)

The diverse and enthusiastic participation in these very inclusive 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 Latinos and other newcomers settle as workers, families and members of communities.

The tenth conference will take place at the Holiday Inn Kansas City SE-Waterpark in Kansas City, Missouri on June 8-10, 2011.The conference is organized along themes that include change and integration, civil rights and political participation, education, health, entrepreneurship and economic development.

The main institutional support for the conference comes from the Cambio Center for Research and Outreach on Latinos and Changing Communities in Missouri, established by the University of Missouri-Columbia in the fall of 2004.


This page updated:
19 May, 2011


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