Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to host census summit

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 12:26pm
Staff reports

The Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host the Tennessee Hispanic Census Summit: Assessing the Needs & Planning for the Future on Thursday, April 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Cost to attend is $35, which includes lunch. The session is open to the public.

The summit will offer community leaders the chance to join the discussion on the 2010 decennial census results focusing on Tennessee’s Hispanic population growth. It will feature notable speakers and panelists discussing how the Hispanic population growth will impact the state’s health care services (both public and private), education and economic development. How cultural issues may influence organizational planning also will be a topic of discussion.

Mark Lopez, Ph.D., associate director of Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C., will be the summit’s keynote speaker providing details and insights on Tennessee’s census data. Prior to joining Pew, Lopez was research director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement 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 Sota, 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,” Vasquez said. “This document also has the added benefit of providing regional and county information annually instead of once a decade.”

Vasquez said 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; Memphis-based Lisa Maples, of the National Hispanic Professional Organization; and Gera Summerford, president of the Tennessee Education Association. 

Trevecca Nazarene is located at 333 Murfreesboro Road. To register, visit www.tnhcc.org. For more conference information, contact Peter Woolfolk at (615) 783-1627.