A three-day conference is being held to address the integration of immigrants into the Midwest. The 13th annual Cambio De Colores conference started Wednesday night at the University of Missouri and runs through Friday.
Cambio De Colores focuses on the integration of immigrants in Midwest communities and the issues they face relating to healthcare, education, economic development, civil rights and integration. The conference brings together researchers, business professionals, educators, and community members to share research and the best practices used by communities to help integrate efforts in areas with a large number of immigrants.
Reuben Martinez is the director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. He said the conference engages scholars from land-grant institutions and members of the community at large that are Latino-focused in terms of their work.
"It's a conference focusing on the changing population here in the Midwest and particularly on immigrants in Latino populations and that kinds of issues that arise from the population changes that are taking place," Martinez said.
Domingo Martinez is the program director at the Cambio Center. Martinez said that as a land-grant institution, MU is obligated to respond to the needs of the state.
“One of the needs of the state today is to help communities that are going through 'dis-transformation.' We need to support the whole community to adjust the changes, both the receiving members, the established members of the community and the newcomers," Domingo Martinez said.
More than 100 guests will attend workshops to share ideas on the application of certain practices to serve the needs of immigrant families in the Midwest.