Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Thursday: Tennessee Hispanic Census Summit: Assessing the Needs & Planning for the Future

The Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce encourages community leaders to join the discussion on the 2010 census results at its only statewide “TENNESSEE HISPANIC SUMMIT: ASSESSING NEEDS & PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE.” This summit focuses on Tennessee’s Hispanic population growth and how organizations will adjust to the changes.

The half-day event will feature notable speakers and panelists to discuss how the Hispanic population growth will impact the state’s health care services, both public and private, education, and business development. How cultural issues may influence organizational planning is also a topic of discussion.

“Tennessee Hispanic Census Summit: Assessing the Needs & Planning for the Future” is set for 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at Boone Business Building, Trevecca Nazarene University’s campus, 333 Murfreesboro Road. The cost to attend is $35 which includes lunch. Registration at: www.tnhcc.org. The event is open to the public.

Mark Lopez, Ph.D., associate director of PEW Hispanic Center in Washington, DC, will be the summit’s keynote speaker providing details and insights on Tennessee’s census data. Prior to joining the Pew Hispanic Center, Lopez was Research Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) as well as a Research Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. His areas of expertise include labor economics, civic engagement, voting behavior and the economics of education. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

“For more than a year, the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been developing a program to address the impact of the growth of Tennessee’s Hispanic population once the census details were announced,” said Tera Vasquez, president of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “This summit provides the opportunity to offer more details on the census and other population growth reports, including the American Community Survey, and let us hear from experts on the issues.”

Renata Soto, executive director of Conexion Americas in Nashville, and Katherine Donato, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, will provide an overview of the American Community Survey (ACS), which will also add regional population growth details to the statewide discussion.

“The ACS is a very important document for communities because it is vital to economic growth and to prudent government and business decision making,” said Vasquez. “This document also has the added benefit of providing regional and county information annually instead of once a decade.”

Vasquez also added that the conference is not designed to address statewide immigration issues or related political discussions. “Our summit’s purpose is to discuss how this new census data could and will affect changes in serving the growing Hispanic populations across the state,” Vasquez said. “We expect this summit to help organizations launch positive solutions as our state’s population grows and changes.”

Initial featured panel speakers include: Claude Pressnell, president of Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association; Lisa Maples, (Memphis, TN) National Hispanic Professional Organization; Gera Summerford, (Knoxville, TN) president, Tennessee Education Association. Additional confirmations forthcoming.

Conference registration is available at www.tnhcc.org. For more conference information, call (615) 221-0316.

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