Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities

NCERA 216 is an initiative of collaborative research, education, and outreach opportunities on Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities.  It started in the fall of 2009 with the following purposes:

  1. Catalyze Land Grant University faculty members, students, and Extension/outreach educators to collaborate in the development of knowledge and understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting the growing Latino and immigrant populations across the communities and cities of the Midwest.
  2. Strengthen the teaching, research, Extension/outreach, and public engagement capacity of the region's Land Grant and other Universities to address the needs of and promote the incorporation of the growing Latino populations and recent immigrants into Midwestern communities.
  3. Advance the capacity of the region's land-grant university system to provide timely and high quality educational and training programs for Extension faculty, outreach workers and community partners working to meet the diverse needs of their communities.

At the first NCERA meeting (Nov. 4-5, 2009), the focus was on establishing the organizational infrastructure to carry out the work of the initiative. An executive board was established, including a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Communications Coordinator. Representatives were chosen for each of the following thematic areas: Family and Education, Civic Engagement, Immigrant Friendly Communities, Diversity Capacity Building, and Economic Development. Participants selected thematic areas in which to focus their work, and discussed the next steps. It was further agreed to partner with the organizers of the Cambio de Colores: Latinos in the Heartland conference to facilitate professional presentations and meetings of the NCERA. Forty-two individuals attended this first NCERA 216 meeting.

On May, 26, 2010, a mid-year meeting was held to assess progress, reaffirm efforts, and to explore collaborative ties to SERA 37 – The New Hispanic South. New participants became familiar with the initiative and its goals. Thirteen NCERA members attended along with four SERA members. It was agreed that the Cambio de Colores conference would rotate across campuses in the Midwest and that a potential co-conference would be held with the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) Cumbre Conference.

Currently, NCERA 216 includes 119 members.

NOTE: All items listed were published or accomplished from October 2009 to present.