Latinos in the Heartland:
Growing Together in New Destination Areas

Reynolds Alumni Center / University of Missouri - Columbia
June 25-27, 2014

 Last Updated: 3 December, 2014

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About the Cambio de Colores 2014 conference

See the 2014 Call for Abstracts.

Since 2002, the annual Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) Conference has brought together researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and community members to discuss the issues that Missouri, the Heartland, and other states face as a result of dramatic demographic changes. The U.S. Census clearly shows that large numbers of immigrants have been settling in rural and urban areas of many Heartland states.

This year’s theme, “Growing Together in New Destination Areas,” is meant to encourage the discussion of research and best practices that can be used by communities to assist integration efforts in areas with a recent intake of immigrants. While native and foreign-born Latinos may constitute the majority of new arrivals, the conference organizers emphasize that immigrants from other areas of the world are also settling in these regions. The integration of these very diverse groups is being studied by academics and pursued by stakeholders, as the newcomers seek to become part and parcel of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of their new communities.

Cambio de Colores serves as a unique venue to share, learn, discuss, and identify critical areas where the development of information and promising practices will facilitate the successful transition of newcomers into communities large and small. The conference organizers seek presentations, posters, and panels on the conference themes described in the full call for abstracts, as well as workshops targeted to community members, leaders, and officials with the tools necessary to address these changes in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to all.

Led by the University of Missouri, Cambio de Colores is a collaborative effort that includes University of Missouri Extension, the campuses of the Missouri system, and other educational institutions in the Midwest and the Southern regions, as well as government and private organizations. Since 2009, the conference has benefited from the cooperation of the interstate initiative on “Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities,” North Central Education and Research Activity 216 (NCERA 216). 

The conference convenes academic researchers and extension specialists, public and private service providers, grassroots organizations, education and healthcare providers, state and local government institutions, policymakers, corporations, and newcomers themselves. The conference program focuses and builds on the sharing of university, government, and community resources, linking academic studies to the more applied perspective and best practices of people and institutions working at the heart of the changing communities. This synergy is the signature characteristic of this annual conference, which engages a wide array of stakeholders in economic and social development.

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!” The success and relevance of this initial meeting made the conference an annual event.

Below is a list of all past conferences, with links to their archived pages.