301 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Contact: Domingo Martínez, Cambio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cambio Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
MO—Latinos are quickly changing
the face of Missouri
and until now the extent of their impact has gone virtually unresearched.
This October twenty-sixth the University
of Missouri-Columbia will
unveil its latest research think-tank, the Cambio Center, which will be the premiere statewide
pioneer research center to investigate how Latinos in Missouri are drastically affecting the
state’s overall landscape.
Latino migration to Missouri
has contributed to the largest demographic shift in the state in more than 50
years. The population of Latinos has more than doubled within the past ten
years. According to Domingo Martínez, coordinator of
the Cambio Center, “There is preliminary evidence to support the
possibility that wherever large numbers of Latinos settle in Missouri, they significantly contribute to
the revival of local economies. The Latino settlement is no longer a case of
migrant workers. They are settling as our newest Missourians.”
The Center will address several issues critical to Missouri. Foremost, the
center will fulfill the federal land grant system’s mission to repay the state
by providing research for the public benefit. Second, the center will address
the lack of academic programs related to research on Latinos. Presently, no
Latino or Latin American studies programs exist in Missouri even though, domestically, Latinos
are creating the largest demographic changes. In addition, according to Martínez, “Mexico
has become the second largest trading partner of Missouri.” The Cambio Center will contribute pioneer
scholarship to fill the void. In doing so, the center will provide research
stability to the already highly successful three-day annual conference, Cambio de Colores, a conference
that has pooled public and private multi-state resources to share
state-of-the-art research and outreach practices on Latinos. The center will
incorporate charter fellows from nine MU colleges, plus MU Extension.
“In the past, immigrants tended to settle in Hispanic
enclaves….today Hispanic immigrants are dispersing much more rapidly as they
move throughout small and large US and Latin American communities.
Consequently, societal changes are occurring at a much more rapid pace as the
newcomers and members of the sending and receiving countries and communities
interact,” as stated in the proposal for research to establish the Cambio Center.
The Cambio Center ribbon cutting
ceremony is by invitation only and will take place at 2:30pm, Tuesday, October
26 in 301 Gentry Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Members of the
media are invited to attend.