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Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division

ABOUT THE HISPANIC/LATINO AFFAIRS DIVISION

The Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs examines and addresses the causes and challenges faced by the state’s Hispanic/Latino community. The division will address several issues including economics, education, health, criminal justice and human rights. The division is vital in helping the Commission achieve its mission of providing constructive solutions and approaches to support the policy and socio-economic development of ethnic minority communities.

MISSION

To establish the framework to ensure social equity and economic prosperity for all Hispanics/Latinos throughout the state of South Carolina through policy change, education, and increased awareness.

VISION

All Hispanics/Latinos of South Carolina will be treated equitably and see economic prosperity through policy changes, collaboration, educational initiatives, and increased public awareness of the significant contributions of Hispanics/Latinos to South Carolina’s rich cultural heritage. 

Program Services

  • Business Development
  • Capacity Building
  • Cultural Diversity Training
  • Information and Referral
  • Minority Population Specific Training
  • Organizational Development
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Technical Assistance 

CMA Sessions with Myrian

CMA Sessions: A Sense of Belong to Air Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Tune in Wednesday, September 1 at 12 noon for our next episode of CMA Sessions! In this episode, you'll hear from Dr. Myriam Torres, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies at the University of South Carolina, on how students and institutions of higher education must work together to foster a sense of belonging for Latinx students. Dr. Torres talks about her experience as a student and professor at USC and offers words of wisdom and encouragement for all Latinos to succeed in school. Dr. Torres is interviewed by Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division program assistants Alex Tovar (English) and Andrea Flores (Spanish).

CMA Sessions are a series of educational conversations, webinars and workshops to present information, resources and development opportunities. Presenters at the CMA Sessions include community activists, educators, social workers and experts on different areas of interest for minority communities in South Carolina. CMA Sessions are presented in English and Spanish, and air on the agency's Facebook page.

CMA sessions will continue in the upcoming weeks with topics of interest to students and young professionals leading up to the agency’s inaugural SC Latinx Student Summit scheduled for Wednesday, October 27 at El Centro Latino at USC Upstate. To view past episodes of CMA Sessions, visit CMA's Facebook page.

COVID-19 Action Plan

SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division Launches COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Workers and Latinos Living in Rural SC

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division has launched the COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Workers and Latinos Living in Rural SC. This action plan calls for collaborative efforts among state agencies, organizations, services providers, and community leaders/brokers to ensure COVID-19 information, materials, testing and vaccinations effectively reach this segment of the population.

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce’s Agricultural Outreach Plan projects the agricultural workforce need for South Carolina at approximately 12,750 workers. This total includes approximately 6,300 migrant and seasonal farm workers and 6,270 H–2A visa holders. The peak season is from April to September.

The fastest growing segment of many rural communities in South Carolina is the Hispanic population. According to the US Census data, the estimated number of Latinos living in rural areas is 23,395.  There are 16 SC Counties that meet the three definitions used by the Federal Government to define Rural: Hampton, Colleton, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Marion, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Lee, McCormick, Abbeville, Newberry, Cherokee, and Oconee.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled and intensified severe and pervasive health inequities among minority communities. Agricultural workers and individuals living in rural areas face challenges and barriers in accessing health and social services. Issues of trust and immigration-related fears add stress to the already complex interactions in a health care system that is not prepared to effectively meet the language, cultural, or navigation barriers experienced by this population.

  • Addressing the needs of agricultural workers and Latinos living in South Carolina during this pandemic is both a moral imperative and pragmatic strategy. Our action plan includes activities designed to ensure information, testing and vaccines reach this segment of the population despite foreseen barriers and difficulties. Our action plan is constantly adapting and includes the following activities:
  • Strengthen the working relationship with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, SC Department of Employment and Workforce, South Carolina Department of Education Migrant Education Program, SC Department of Agriculture and other state agencies entrusted with providing information and resources to agricultural workers and Latinos living in rural areas. 
  • Assisting state agencies and service providers to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials and resources to reach out to this specific segment of our population.
  • Furthering collaborative efforts with state agencies, organizations, coalitions, Latino media and individuals assisting the agricultural worker community and Latinos in rural South Carolina to foster coordinated outreach efforts and sharing of information and resources.
  • Fostering the participation of faith-based leaders/organizations in all activities related to keeping this community informed and aware of services and opportunities to receive information, testing and/or vaccination.
  • Establishing effective communication channels for community leaders/brokers, organizations and agencies to provide feedback regarding specific needs from the community they serve and to establish additional needed items for the action plan.
  • Offering cultural sensitivity training to state agencies, service providers and organizations in working with the agricultural worker community.
  • Influencing State Government and decision makers to ensure adequate materials and vaccines are available for this segment of the population.

If you are a service provider interested in joining the COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Worker and Latinos Living in Rural SC, please enter your information on our COVID-19 Statewide Workgroup for Latinx and Immigrant Communities directory. Make sure to select you are providing services to farmworkers and/or in rural areas. You can also contact Ivan Segura, Program Manager for the Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division at 803-995-8518 or isegura@cma.sc.gov. En español

 

Banner for COVID-19 Work Group

 

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, PASOs and Hispanic Alliance have formed a statewide working group of individuals, organizations and businesses serving the Latinx and immigrant communities in SC. The purpose of the work group is to coordinate and share information and resources available to families responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The group created a Directory of Service Providers to facilitate the process of finding resources, sharing information and promoting networking.

If you, or your organization, are assisting the Latinx/immigrant community, or if you want to start helping, please complete the form! To ensure an accurate database, please complete all information. For more information, contact Ivan Segura at isegura@cma.sc.gov or Louise Popock at LPocock@scjustice.org.

 

P.L.A.C.E. Network

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Hispanic Latino Affairs Division launched a new initiative called P.L.A.C.E. (Pathways for Latinxs to Advance Career and Education) to facilitate the careers and education of young professionals and students in South Carolina. Latinx students and young professionals will have the opportunity to learn about their shared experiences and available resources in their area. PLACE provides a platform where participants can network, interchange ideas, share resources as well as develop a sense of pride and belonging as a young Latinx in South Carolina.

Help the next generation of Latinx leaders by becoming a PLACE Partner. A PLACE partner can be an undergraduate student, a professional or entrepreneur. You can invest as much time as you want in helping your community by -- for example -- guiding someone through the college entrance process or giving advice or informally translating or interpreting for someone.

Become a mentor, speak or volunteer today. Sign up to be a PLACE partner here.