Latinos in the Heartland:
Shaping the Future: Leadership for Inclusive Communities

University of Missouri - Kansas City
June 10-12, 2015
 Last Updated: 10 March, 2015

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Fourteenth Annual Conference
Cambio de Colores / Change of Colors
Latinos in the Heartland 

Shaping the Future: Leadership for Inclusive Communities

University of Missouri – Kansas City
University Center
June 10-12, 2015

—Call for Presentations—

 Key dates

Information about registration, lodging, and other details will be posted in February 2015.

About the Cambio de Colores 2015 conference

Communities throughout the Midwest have seen dramatic demographic changes in the last three decades, including the arrival of large numbers of immigrants who are settling in rural and urban areas. Since 2002, the Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) Conference has annually brought together community leaders and policymakers, those who provide services to newcomers in changing communities, researchers and other professionals to discuss the issues resulting from these changes.

This year’s theme, “Shaping the Future: Leadership for Inclusive Communities” seeks to highlight the important role of leaders within Latino and immigrant communities and the contributions they make in creating strong and resilient places. We are also interested in how leadership in receiving communities is organizing to make communities inclusive to all their members. As our communities continue to change with the push and pull factors that cause demographic shifts in places across the country, it is inclusive leadership that can truly shape the future wellbeing of our communities.  This year we are very interested in the research and best practices/proven programs related to supporting multi-generational leaders and developing inclusive communities.

Over the past fourteen years, this conference has served as a hub for researchers and practitioners to take stock of how our communities are adapting to changes and share experiences of how to improve immigrant integration and community wellbeing. While native and foreign-born Latinos may constitute the majority of new arrivals in these regions, the conference is also interested in immigrants from other areas of the world.  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 this call, 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 public and private service providers, grassroots organizations, education and healthcare providers, academic researchers and extension specialists, 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 conference, which engages a wide array of stakeholders in economic and social development.

Please distribute this message among your professional and organizational circles.

Please follow and share the Conference page on Facebook

Questions about submissions can be sent to:
Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) - Latinos in the Heartland
2015 Conference
Columbia, Missouri
June 10-12, 2015


Call for Presentation Proposals
This is a call for abstracts for presentations, posters, workshops, and papers on best practices and/or scholarly and applied research. 

The following themes provide the conference framework:
1.       Change and Integration
2.       Civil Rights and Political Participation
3.       Education
4.       Health
5.       Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

All submitted abstracts should relate to one or more of these themes. For a detailed explanation of these topics, please refer to the Description of the Conference Themes included in this document. Abstracts are limited to 500 words.

If your abstract submission is approved, you will be able to present your work at the conference, and have the option to submit a paper for publication in the 2015 Cambio de Colores proceedings, that will later be published and distributed to all participants. Please see the Paper Submission Requirements—in the following pages— for details on preparing articles for the proceedings book. 

Proceedings books from previous years are available in electronic form at the Cambio de Colores website at Each conference’s program is also available on the archival sites and the library page, which has links to past presentations.

Important dates:


Please note that all presenters will be responsible for their own travel expenses and conference registration fees ($175 early bird, $200 regular, and $110 students). At least one author per presentation must register by April 30. More detailed registration, hotel, and CEU information will be available at the conference website in February 2015.


Information about Submissions of Abstracts and Papers
Abstract submissions will be made online.
If you have difficulties uploading your abstract, or if you have any questions regarding this call, please send a message to
Theme Committees will evaluate and select the abstracts that best fit the needs of their respective themes. Additional information will be sent to the presenters of the accepted abstracts with instructions for the conference.

The following information will be needed to successfully complete a submission:

Please select the type of submission:
□   Research paper presentation (15 minutes)
□   Best practices presentation (15 minutes)
□   Organized panel (your submission includes several presentations sharing 60 or 75 minutes)
□   Workshop – i.e. an interactive or training session (60 or 75 minutes)
□   Poster (on display throughout the conference and interactive poster session)
Please indicate if you will submit a paper for publication in the 2015 Conference Proceedings book (deadline: August 17, 2015).  Please note that special consideration will be given to abstract submissions that include a commitment to submit papers for publication.

The abstract should be 500 words or less.

Please have the following for the abstract:

  1. Title of the abstract
  2. Contact information for  the author(s): name, address, phone, email, title and organization; please list Contact Author first
  3. Theme: the theme you want your abstract to be considered in. If in doubt, please specify the possible themes, and the reviewers will determine what theme works best for consideration of your abstract.
  4. Type: indicate whether the presentation is research or promising practices; if it’s research, please specify methodology (qualitative, quantitative, case study, etc.).
  5. Scope of the presentation: local, state, regional, national, or global
  6. Article: identify whether your intention is to have a paper considered for inclusion in the conference proceedings publication (see paper submission guidelines below).

Please upload your abstract to, starting on January 5, 2015. The deadline for submitting abstracts is March 9, 2015 February 26, 2015.
Presenters chosen to participate in the conference will be notified by March 27, 2015.

Please submit your poster proposal using the online abstract submission form (available January 5 – February 26) and be prepared to follow the requirements as explained above in the section on Abstract Content. Posters should be set up on the first day of the conference. Easels and boards will be provided, and presenters should bring their own tape, pins, paper, or other materials. Poster size should not exceed 4’x4’.

The following information is for authors who will be submitting papers for the conference’s book of proceedings.
Submission Date:  Please submit the paper by August 17, 2015, in order to be included in the 2015 conference proceedings.
Length: limit the length of the paper to eight pages maximum. References should be included and do not count against the page limit. Papers should be double-spaced with one-inch margins in Times Roman or an equivalent 12 pt. font. Include title of the paper and name and affiliation of each author, beginning with the primary and contact author.
Format: electronic text formats only, including .doc, .docx, .rtf and .ods. Please do not submit pdf files.
Citation: please follow APA style guidelines (
All graphic elements, including diagrams, charts, and graphs, must be submitted with the paper as .jpg, .gif, or .png files, and must be high-quality images of no less than 300 dpi and be at least 3.5 inches wide.


Description of the Conference Themes

Change and Integration

 The increasing population of Latinos/as and other immigrants in the Midwest has affected communities, organizations, and institutions. In order to manage the changes taking place and facilitate integration many programs have been instituted at various levels encouraging dialogue with people from different backgrounds (race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and culture). Because change and integration are experienced differently between and among underserved populations, there is urgent need for studies focused on: how connections are made between local long-time residents and newcomers; the maintenance of cultural diversity under resource constraints and at times hostile circumstances; and how community members can be involved in policy and political leadership. In all of this, the voices of stakeholders are extremely important.

The Change and Integration theme invites submissions by academics, professionals, and practitioners from multiple disciplines that contribute to the current discourse surrounding causes, consequences, and responses to living in a pluralist society.  The goal of these sessions is to explore research and best practices that help us 1) better understand the various contexts of integration, 2) identify methods to maintain cultural differences in adverse community environments, and 3) identify effective tools for engaging new populations in the integration process.

We especially encourage submissions relating to this year’s conference theme: Shaping the Future: Leadership for Inclusive Communities. This may include strategies programs or communities have undertaken to: address issues of immigration, discrimination and racism within communities; measure effects of federal, state and/or local policies in different community contexts; study the significance of place on integration of immigrants; and to explore the opportunities, vulnerabilities, uniqueness, and commonalities associated with urban and rural Latinos and other immigrants; among many other possibilities.

Civil Rights and Political Participation

The goals of the Civil Rights theme are to raise awareness and to share initiatives about legal and civil rights issues that affect the livelihoods and integration of Latinos and other immigrants, especially in new destination states and regions. Changes and potential changes on the federal level deserve discussion, as well as ongoing attempts by state and local policymakers to address issues of immigration, and the effects those policies may be having on the integration efforts of communities.  Special attention will be given to presentations addressing the changing legal environment—including but not limited to the ongoing federal executive actions and expectations for immigration reform. The unrest and discussions raised in 2014 related to police-community relations are also relevant to this topic, particularly focused on newcomer communities.

We encourage submissions that deal with appropriate legal changes, as well as training and information dissemination programs that strengthen the ability of immigrants, receiving communities, and supporting organizations to respond to legal, political, and cultural challenges, as well as to develop political agency in the newcomer population.

Cambio de Colores is especially interested in presentations and workshops about outreach programs and legislative efforts that have improved, or might improve, the climate in communities receiving Latino and other immigrants, the study and analysis of the transition from undocumented to legal status and impacts on the individual and community, political engagement processes, and in presentations on current and historical research about the factors that favor or preclude integration of immigrants in the receiving communities.


Education plays an integral role in the construction and progression of our society; in addition to academic development, formal and informal institutions of education serve as sites for the development of complex social, cultural and linguistic skills and identities. The 2015 Cambio de Colores Conference is interested in presentations concerning Educational Research and Best Practices, which explore educational issues, policies and practices that impact Latino/a and other immigrant learners of all ages and backgrounds. Special attention will be given to submissions that emphasize the educational experiences of Latino students in the Heartland – in comparison to coastal cities and states – as they become more important and prominent throughout this region of the U.S. Research studies and best practices that illuminate the experiences of multiple generations of learners in myriad contexts, and that utilize diverse research methodologies and teaching practices are encouraged.  This year, there is special interest in developing a sub-track on research and programs about youth in and out of school settings, especially if they involve a development of youth leadership and positive pro-social behaviors.
The education committee would like to examine the educational experiences of Latino students from the perspectives of various academic disciplines to better understand the challenges, accomplishments, and contributions of all key stakeholders (e.g. institutions, students, families, and communities). Examples of Educational Research and Best Practice topics include: Educational experiences spanning early childhood through adult in rural, suburban, and urban school districts; community/ after school programs and resources; the relationship between culture, education and achievement, including multiculturalism in education; the influence of background experiences and language (e.g. legal status, prior schooling, English language learners); implications of federal, state, and local statutes on achievement; parental involvement and family outreach; high school and post-secondary education retention; preparing for and accessing post-secondary education.


In the age of globalization, more than ever, complexity defines health. Differences in economic circumstances, education, behavioral choices, living conditions and the physical environment can prevent newcomers in the Midwest from being as healthy as the general population, creating additional social and health inequalities. To help address the social determinants of health, we encourage submissions that highlight research and new perspectives, including comparative and multi-disciplinary studies, translating research into practice (best practices), and evaluation of policies which support or inhibit healthy behaviors. The following topics, among others, are very relevant: networking and community-based health care programs; cultural gaps and bridging; consequences of acculturation and health behavior modification; influence of race or ethnicity on doctor-patient relationship; cultural competence; traditional practices; health literacy; outreach to families with children with disabilities.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

Empowering economic development through research and educational programs that enhance involvement of Latinos and immigrants in entrepreneurial activities is vital to the expansion of local and regional economies and to the integration process of receiving communities. The empowering programs should take into account the risk-taking and eager mindset that usually characterize immigrants, as well as how to better use their own cultural and social capital assets to further their success as entrepreneurs. Research and education on themes that hinder and/or promote Latinos and immigrants’ involvement and success in entrepreneurial activities help to inform public policy, enhance service delivery, and provide additional support to individuals and communities. Proposals that take into account these issues will be of special interest, as well as workshops about best practices that could be applicable to Latinos and immigrants in US communities. Scholars, public service agency representatives, community advocates, and others working in the field of Latino and immigrant business and economic development are encouraged to share their projects, programs, and best practices.