What is Cambio de Colores?

Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) is a multistate conference about the integration of Latin@s/Latinxs/Hispanics and immigrants in new destinations. It is a professional development opportunity in which people from various fields who work with Latin@s/Latinx/Hispanics and immigrant communities come together to share research and best practices that facilitate the integration of newcomers. See the conference topics here.

What is the importance of this conference?

Rural and urban communities throughout the Midwest have been reshaped by the arrival of immigrants and refugees, many of whom identify as Latino/as, Latinx, and Hispanic.  Over the past eighteen years, the Cambio de Colores Conference has served as a hub for stakeholders to explore how our communities are adapting to these changes and share how to enhance immigrant integration and community wellbeing.  This multidisciplinary conference has traditionally focused on native and foreign-born Latin@/Latinx/Hispanic and immigrant communities, but is interested in the challenges inherent in multicultural changing communities, including the experiences of all newcomers, faith groups, and marginalized groups. The integration of these very diverse groups is being studied by academics and pursued by stakeholders.

The 2020 Conference

The conference theme this year is “Embracing Differences and Empowering Communities”. Although many people work hard to welcome and integrate immigrants and Latin@s/Latinxs/Hispanics into their communities, there remains increasingly negative rhetoric at local, state, and federal levels, which marginalizes newcomers, sometimes even denying them access to basic public services. With the upcoming election, 2020 marks an important year for the possibility of political and social change by mobilizing Latin@s/Latinxs/Hispanics and immigrants to participate in the elections and to be counted in the Census. Including our communities in these important activities can be empowering. Read more about the theme in the Call for Presentations.

The conference convenes public and private service providers, artists, grassroots and advocacy organizations, education and healthcare providers, academic researchers, students and extension specialists, state and local government institutions, policymakers, corporations, and Latin@s/Latinxs/Hispanics and immigrants. The conference program focuses and builds on the sharing of university, government, and community resources; it links academic studies to the more applied perspective and best practices of people and institutions working at the heart of changing 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. See details about submissions and theme groups in the following pages.

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 across the United States, 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), and since 2015, has benefited from the cooperation of the Missouri Dual Language Network (MODLAN).