Barry Lewis, Rubén Martinez, Juan David Coronado
This report provides an overview of the occupational lives of migrant and seasonal farmworkers to promote awareness of the many challenges they face on Michigan’s farms and across the nation. In Michigan, which boasts a $101 billion agricultural industry, the numbers of farmworkers and their household members are approximately 94,000, with nearly 6,500 guest workers brought to do labor-intensive work. In Michigan, and across the nation, these workers are in demand today even as there are widespread anti-immigrant sentiments. These sentiments have contributed to increased enforcement of immigration laws, producing labor shortages in agriculture and instability in the labor force, which has resulted in increased recruitment of H-2A workers. Agricultural work ranks among the most dangerous occupations in the nation. Yet, migrant and seasonal farmworkers seldom receive adequate safety training to protect themselves while in the fields. As a result, many fall victim to preventable health problems like skin rashes and musculoskeletal diseases. Poverty and the lack of livable wages are also major issues for these workers, many of whom are paid piece rates that make it difficult for some to earn the minimum wage rate. Some are required to pay for on-site housing provided by their employers. These houses are sometimes substandard and overcrowded, which contributes to physical and mental health strains. The children of migrant farmworkers often have their schooling disrupted, and some may work in the fields despite laws regulating child labor where they may be exposed to pesticides which, like poverty, diminishes their opportunities for healthy development.
German Cutz, Ana Legrand
From November 2013 to November 2014 UConn Extension in collaboration with Candlelight Farms in New Milford, Connecticut implemented a year-round urban agriculture program in Spanish. Fifteen urban, Hispanic immigrant residents from Danbury, Connecticut started, and 11 finished the year-round training. Most participants were adults between 30 and 45 years of age. The urban agriculture program included three components: classroom instruction, hands-on vegetable production, and entrepreneurship. Classroom instruction as well as field activities were delivered in Spanish. Three modules from the Connecticut’s Master Gardeners curriculum were translated into Spanish. Participants completed botany, entomology, and vegetable production. To measure knowledge gain, participants were administered pre and post-tests at the beginning and end of each module. Average knowledge gain from each module was as follows: botany 72.4%, vegetable production 70.1%, and entomology 69.6%. In addition, participants were given a cumulative final exam, where 10 out of 11 scored 70% or higher. The urban agriculture program showed the need to develop and deliver Extension programming in Spanish to help Hispanics understand the importance of agriculture literacy in urban cities.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga
This study presents findings from a sub-sample of the survey of Extension educators in the North Central Regional. This study was conducted by the Julian Samora Research Institute on behalf of the North Central Extension Research Institute Activity (NCERA). Results show that almost half of respondents in Michigan do not regularly interact with Latino communities, but the majority of respondents are interested in collaborating with Latino-serving organizations in their areas to reach the Latino population. A majority of respondents indicated that there is lack of Extension programs tailored for and the capacity to serve Latino populations. A majority of respondents also indicated that residents trust Latinos and that they contribute to the economic health of their communities. Further a majority believe that more resources should be allocated by Extension units to better serve Latino communities, including hiring more bilingual, bicultural educators.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga, Daniel Velez-Ortiz, Pilar Horner
A survey of Cooperative Extension educators in the Midwest conducted in the summer of 2015 yielded 724 completed questionnaires. Results show that the majority of respondents have little contact with Latinos but they are interested in learning more about these communities and recognize that more could be done by local Extension units to provide services to them. This includes training for educators so they can better serve Latinos and believe they contribute to their communities. Further a majority believe that more resources should be allocated by Extension units to better serve Latino communities, including hiring more bilingual, bicultural educators.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga, Daniel Velez-Ortiz, Pilar Horner, Sonia Acosta
Obese children are at higher risk for chronic health conditions such as heart disease and Type II Diabetes and are at a greater risk for social and psychological problems. The objective of this study was to evaluate a Spanish version of the Shapedown program and assess its effectiveness in helping Latino families in Pontiac, Michigan learn to make healthy lifestyle choices regarding nutrition and exercise as they build effective family support relationships.
Sonia G Morales Osegueda
Washington State offers development programs such as the 4-H Annual Teen Conference, held at the Pullman campus. The program targets youths from all ethnicities and backgrounds. Since 2009, seventy-two Latino youth from King County have attended the Teen Conference. This article describes how Latino youth benefited from a wide variety of educational workshops, ranging from skills development to college and career exploration. It also examines the influence parents have in supporting their children in this kind of experience that often provides the first encounter with a higher education environment that serves to spark the aspiration to pursue a college education.
San Antonio, Texas is the seventh largest city in the U.S. and the second largest city in Texas with a minority majority Latino population. It is the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the U.S. Despite its Latino demographic dominance, San Antonio has only had three modern Latino Mayors: Henry Cisneros, Edward Garza, and, Julian Castro. This essay examines why this city has had only a few Latino mayors and what it takes for such candidates to win the mayoral office. This essay concludes with the following findings. First, time and opportunity are critical to winning an election. Second, for a minority candidate to win the mayoral office, a coalition is necessary. Third, serving on the city council is a necessary apprenticeship for winning office. This report is significant for understanding the political incorporation of Latino mayors into American politics. All three Latino mayors highlight the importance of consensus building, cooperation, and the absence of a confrontational spirit, which is key for Latinos to have a place at the table.
Revitalizing Michigan’s Economy Through Minority-Owned Small Businesses provides an overview of approaches to promoting minority small businesses in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-08, and how they could prove useful for addressing ethnic minority business development in Michigan. With the national unemployment rate at 10.0% in the aftermath of the recession, Michigan reflected a significantly higher unemployment rate of 14.1%. The result was that a portion of the labor force began to leave the state and the lack of employment took a devastating toll on minority groups and their communities. This report holds that minority-owned small businesses promote investment in state and local economies and provide employment opportunities to minorities and women. The report also provides an in-depth look at federal, state and local programs that support minority business development through the availability of capital, tax incentives and other mechanisms, and calls for Michigan to create an agency that promotes business development among minorities.
Dawn Browder, Kimberly Greder and Sedahlia Jasper Crase
As the Latino population across the United States has rapidly grown, so has the prevalence of poverty and food insecurity, both of which compromise mental health. This study interviewed 103 Latina immigrant mothers living in rural communities in four states annually over three years to identify individual and family level factors that influenced maternal depression. Findings revealed that mothers who consistently had low depression scores had a higher participation rate in the National School Lunch Program and were more food secure than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Mothers who consistently had low depression scores more commonly reported supportive relationships with their spouses or partners and families of origin, less financial stress, and performed fewer roles than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Implications related to screening for depressive symptoms, strengthening strained Latino immigrant couple relationships, and implementing policies to ensure livable wages and access to health care are identified in this paper.
Rubén O. Martinez, Bette Avila
Using the Kauffman Firm Survey (2004-2009) data, this study examines the type of funding sources Latina-owned businesses utilized during their first year of operation, compares the results with businesses owned by Latinos and women of other racial/ethnic groups, and examines the association of type of startup funds with business survivability. Previous literature suggests that businesses that lack formal funds at startup have more difficulty surviving in the long run. The study sample consists of 4,815 businesses at the baseline year (2004). Overall, the results of the analysis suggest that: (1) Latinos are significantly younger and have fewer years of work experience, on average, compared to White men, while Latinas do not significantly differ compared to White women; (2) Latina-owned businesses represent a larger percentage of businesses within the low technology sector and a smaller percentage of businesses within the medium and high technology sectors compared to White women, while Latinos do not significantly differ compared to White men; (3) Latinos use significantly more informal funds compared to White men, while Latinas do not significantly differ in their use of any type of startup funds compared to White women; and (4) Latino- and Latina-owned businesses are significantly more likely to go out of business compared to White male and female-owned businesses, regardless of the type of startup funds they utilize. This analysis also provides factors at both the owner and firm levels affecting business success. Implications for future research and policy recommendations are discussed.
Rubén O. Martinez, Bette Avila, Olga Santiago & Jennifer Tello Buntin
Using the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) longitudinal dataset (2004-2009), this study examined the type of startup funding sources that Latino business owners utilized in their first year of operation, compared the results with businesses owned by other races/ethnicities, and explored the impact on firm survivability. Based on previous literature that suggests that formal (bank and financial institution) funds are vital to long term business success, we explored this hypothesis using a sample of 4,815 businesses at the baseline year (2004) with n=244 Latino-owned businesses. Overall, our results suggested that Latinos utilized a significantly (p > .05) larger percentage of informal funds as compared to Whites and a smaller percentage of formal funds and that Latino-owned businesses are at greater risk of going out of business compared to White-owned businesses regardless of startup fund type.
Rubén O. Martinez, Jennifer T. Buntin & William Escalante
The focus of this paper is legislation in Midwestern states passed between January 2009 and June 2010 in relation to immigrants. Recent enacted legislation is a reflection of concrete efforts to influence how immigrants should be or are being received into communities; whether they should be excluded, ignored or integrated. The research question addressed is: What state-wide legislative policies are shaping the contexts of reception for Latino immigrants across the Midwestern states? A context of reception can be integrating, passively accepting, or exclusionary. We used content analysis of enacted immigration legislation in the Midwest and organized them into three categories: integrating, exclusionary or neutral, each with points of significant and moderate values, and neutral tending toward one or the other categories. Results show that of the policies that were enacted in 2009 and the first half of 2010, forty four laws were found to be integrating, thirty nine laws were exclusionary, and twelve laws were neutral. Illinois is the most inclusive state in the Midwest, and has the largest Latino population in the region. North Dakota and Michigan are moderately integrating, Kansas and Ohio are inclusive-neutral, South Dakota and Wisconsin are basically neutral, Minnesota and Indiana are exclusionary neutral, Missouri is moderately exclusionary, and Iowa and Nebraska are the most exclusionary. The data suggest that Midwestern states are situated across the full spectrum between inclusive and exclusive positions, and that the policy environment is very dynamic, especially given the results of the 2010 election. When it comes to the context of reception, the Midwest has been "on the fence," but is tending toward stronger exclusionary state policy stances.
German Cutz & Emma Theuri
University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Joliet, Illinois, offered a technology summer program for Hispanic youth from June 22 to July 22, 2009. The program, "Looking Back, Moving Forward," utilized self-directed learning activities during the entire program. Eight out of fourteen Hispanic students completed sixty hours of training by attending a three-hour class from Monday through Friday. There were seven females and one male whose ages ranged from twelve to seventeen years old. To assess students' knowledge before and after the program, they were administered pre- and post-tests. The highest score on the pre-test was 32 percent, but that went up to 88 percent on the post-test. To document the factors that affected students' learning, they completed a self-report card every day. Student reports on factors that positively affected their learning included: 1) sense of accomplishment; 2) excitement; 3) experimenting; 4) self-directed learning; 5) confidence; and 6) time management. Factors that limited students' learning included: 1) inability to complete tasks; 2) frustration; 3) equipment malfunctions; 4) uncertainty; and 5) tediousness.
Communities in the Midwest region have been experiencing demographic changes associated with a growing Latino population and an out-migration of the non-Latino population. These demographic changes have an impact on places and people and are linked to local social and economic conditions. The economic restructuring in the Midwest also had devastating effects on people, families, and communities, exacerbating old wounds of inequality and economic hardships. Racial/ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by these structural economic changes—they have on average lower levels of education, lower access to employment, and lower wages, all of which contribute to higher levels of poverty. Using a multilevel framework, this study investigates the integrated influences of race/ethnicity, location, and local opportunity structures on household poverty. Data are drawn from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample data for the individual and household characteristics and from the American Community Survey Summary Files for labor market area characteristics. Results indicate that racial/ethnic minorities remain disproportionately disadvantaged in terms of household poverty. The odds of poverty are largely the result of differences in residential location and local labor market area socioeconomic and opportunity structures, net of the effects of individual and household characteristics, such as education, household structure, and industry of employment. These findings imply that improving the local labor market opportunity structures—i.e., creating and keeping good jobs in the Midwest, concomitant with improving education and job skills, and helping forgotten and disadvantaged communities—can better address the well-being of racial/ethnic minorities.
Using data from the 2007-2009 Annual Social and Economic supplement of the Current Population Surveys, this study explores the relationship between poverty and the health of children from various racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families in the Midwest. Findings show that: * Racial/ethnic minority children experience poorer health than Non-Hispanic White children; * Increased poverty among children predicts poorer children's health; and * Immigrant children have poorer health than natives, and second-generation immigrant children have poorer health than first- and third-generation immigrant children. This study demonstrates the health disadvantages of Midwestern children from racial/ethnic minority families faced by poverty. The gap in children't health between Non-Hispanic White and minority children persists even after accounting for the effects of immigrant status, poverty, family structure, parental education, health insurance coverage, and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan residence. Improving the economic well-being of all racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families would improve children's health.
Jean Kayitsinga, Rubén O. Martinez &Francisco F. Villarruel
This paper examines the effects of family social capital, community social capital and collective efficacy on childhood overweight, employing logistic regression models. Using data from the Child Development Supplement and the 2000 U.S. Census, we find that both parent-child involvement in activities and parental enforcement of rules reduce the odds of childhood overweight, controlling for family and child characteristics. We also find that high levels of community social capital and collective efficacy reduce the odds of childhood overweight, controlling for community, family and child characteristics. These findings suggest that interventions of childhood overweight should target social processes in children’s environments.
Research by Eisenman and Dantzker (2003, 2006) has suggested that male and female Hispanic college students may have sex attitudes that lead to conflict between the sexes. Findings are presented here from 330 university students which show possible areas of conflict and also areas of agreement. The results mostly supported evolutionary psychology theory, with 23 of the 38 sex attitude items showing statistically significant sex differences, and mostly in the expected direction. In addition, 19 of the 38 items showed statistically significant differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. However, for both comparisons, all of the differences were relatively small. Overall, there was more agreement than disagreement with the sex attitude items. Implications are discussed.
Jean Kayitsinga & Rubén O. Martinez
This study focuses on the impact of race/ethnicity, household structure, and socioeconomic status on health and assesses how household structure and socioeconomic status explain the racial/ethnic gaps in health among adults in the Midwest. Data are drawn from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2006-2008. Findings indicate that the odds of fair/poor health are higher for African Americans, Latinos, and other race/ethnic groups than those of non-Hispanic Whites. Also, the odds of fair/poor health are higher for single male-headed householders and single female-headed householders than they are for householders in dual-headed households. As might be expected, higher levels of education and higher incomes are associated with lower odds of fair/poor health, even after controlling for age, foreign-born status, home ownership, nonmetropolitan residence, job quality, and health insurance coverage. Findings also reveal that the gaps in health between Whites and African-Americans persist even after accounting for household structure, socioeconomic status, job quality, and health insurance coverage, and that the gaps in health between White and Latinos are fully explained by household structure socioeconomic status indicators. Of all factors, socioeconomic status indicators are the most important source of reduction in racial/ethnic gap in health. The results imply that interventions to improve socioeconomic conditions and strengthen households, especially single female-headed households, may reduce the racial/ethnic gaps in health.
Even with the steady advancement of Latinas to elective office since the 1990s, they continue to be underrepresented in public office. Their relative absence diminishes the diversity of the voices of marginalized groups in U.S. politics, while their presence adds to it. Latina officeholders represent multiple groups through their support and advancement of policies that promote the interests and address the needs of many. Latinas in public office are noted for their unique means of coalition building, a characteristic approach of Latina community and political activists, that emphasizes relational politics. Based on data collected through group interviews in San Antonio, Texas, this paper identifies patterns of variables that influence Latina considerations relative to running for public office. Specific findings include the following: 1) gender and ethnicity intersect for Latinas to influence their decision to run for public office; 2) group consciousness and family support provide Latinas with resources to overcome barriers to becoming candidates, and 3) familial obligations, institutional designs of public offices in Texas, and risks associated with running for office constrain the willingness of Latinas to run for public office.
Arturo Vega & Rubén Martinez
This paper assesses the effectiveness of the Closing the Gaps Higher Education Plan approved and implemented by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000 to improve the quality of higher education and address educational gaps prevalent among the stateÕs diverse populations. The plan targets the four areas for improvement: 1) student participation, 2) success, 3) excellence, and 4) research. This paper focuses only on the first and second goals. In addition to providing an overview of Closing the Gaps, a Latino Scorecard is presented for 34 of TexasÕ public universities based on eight institutional measures including resources, enrollments, graduation rates, student/faculty ratios, affordability, student diversity, faculty representativeness, and local population figures. The overall scorecard is produced by adding the z-scores for the eight measures for each institution. Negative values are assigned to two z-scores, one a measure of student/faculty equity and the other a measure of affordability. The negative values provide counterweights to the effects of Latino majority enrollments at South Texas institutions (a correlated variable) and to the relatively higher tuition costs at some institutions (another correlated variable). Statistical analyses show that Latino students are concentrated at institutions at the lower end of the StateÕs higher education stratification system, which are located in South Texas where this population is concentrated. They also show that these institutions received fewer resources than those institutions at the top of the system. Consequently, while the scorecard ranks the institutions in terms of how well they do by Latinos, the statistical analyses shows that geographic location is related to Latino enrollments and institutional resources are related to Latino graduation rates.
Walter A. Ewing
It is sometimes said that the hallmark of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This maxim succinctly describes the U.S. government’s long-standing approach to the problem of undocumented immigration. Since the mid-1980s, the federal government has tried repeatedly, without success, to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to the United States with all sorts of immigration-enforcement initiatives: deploying more and more agents, fences, flood lights, aircraft, cameras, and sensors along the southwest border with Mexico — increasing the number of worksite raids and arrests conducted throughout the country — expanding detention facilities to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants apprehended each year — and creating new bureaucratic procedures to expedite the return of detained immigrants to their home countries.
Marcelo Siles, Lindon Robinson, Israel Cuéllar & Sheila LaHousse
This study evaluates the important role that social capital plays in the Latino immigration process into the Grand Rapids, Mich. metropolitan area. Demographic data published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census shows that the number of Latinos moving to Grand Rapids has increased considerably during the last decade. Latino immigrants tend to cluster in well-defined urban areas where they put pressure on local resources, including housing, education, health and municipal services, and to the job market.
Isidore Flores, Ann V. Millard & K.C. Donnelly
The Health and Migration section research dealt with the health of populations residing in South Texas colonias, which generally are unincorporated settlements with low living standards and residents who are largely isolated from the U.S. medical system.
Pablo Forni, Marcelo Siles & Lucrecia Barreiro
El concepto de Capital Social es profusamente utilizado en ciencias sociales desde la década del noventa a partir de las contribuciones de autores como Bourdieu, Coleman, Putnam y Portes, y constituye probablemente una de las innovaciones más prometedoras de la teoría social contemporánea. En años recientes, ha generado un importante debate académico respecto de su definición y, consecuentemente, respecto de las dimensiones e indicadores adecuados para su análisis empírico. Paralelamente, se ha vuelto un componente importante de las formulaciones de los organismos multilaterales, las agencias de cooperación e incluso parte del discurso de dirigentes políticos, funcionarios y periodistas al referirse a los problemas de las sociedades latinoamericanas y sus posibles soluciones, ya que el concepto aparece como especialmente apto para la elaboración de políticas orientadas a la inclusión. Note: This publication is currently only available in Spanish
Lisa J. Gold
Nearly a decade ago, the EPA implemented comprehensive regulations intended to protect farmworkers from the harmful effects of pesticides in the workplace. These “Worker Protection Standards” mandated that farmworkers receive training in the avoidance of pesticide exposure and what to do if an exposure occurs. The WPS was a sign of progress in the area of occupational health of farmworkers, and brought farmworkers closer to receiving some of the protections provided by federal law. In 1996, JSRI published a research report which examined the history, requirements, and implementation of the WPS. That report discussed the absence of information available in Michigan about farmworker health and occupational illness. This research report updates to the earlier one, examining issues affecting the implementation and efficacy of the WPS since 1996, and examing what can be learned from recent information on the occupational health of farmworkers regarding pesticide exposures in the fields.