Like many events during the pandemic, West Chester University’s 12th Annual WCU Latina/o Communities Conference will be held virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 8:30 AM-4:15 PM. It is free and open to the public. Zoom links will be available here.
This annual conference informs the university and broader community about a wide range of issues concerning Latinos in Southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. This year’s event represents 12 years of working to build and strengthen ties between West Chester University and the Latino community, as signified by the theme “Building Bridges/Construyendo Puentes.”
Hispanics accounted for more than half (52 percent) of the U.S. population growth (18.9 million) from 2010 to 2019, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, the last before 2020 census figures are released.
Between 2010 and 2019, the Latino population in Pennsylvania jumped by 273,900, while the state’s total population increased by 90,800. Pennsylvania is one of four states that have surpassed one million Latinos since 2010 (the others are Georgia, New Mexico, and North Carolina). Of the 12 states that now have at least one million Hispanics, Pennsylvania saw the fastest Hispanic population growth: 38 percent from 2010 to 2019. Pennsylvania also shows one of the lowest median ages of Hispanics (28 years) among those 12 states.
The conference appeals to a broad audience. Last year, more than 1,500 people attended, including WCU students, faculty and administrators, community members, and high school students. This year, the conference will offer six panels on a wide range of topics and issues for understanding the Latino community: COVID-19, voting, health and community services, high school education, community activism, and the immigrant experience.
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