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Hispanic/Latino Affairs Initiative

Hispanic Latino Affairs History

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During the summer of 2000, Ms. Sandra Vergara-Duarte, Community Liaison with the City of West Columbia, met with Governor Jim Hodges to discuss the needs of the growing Hispanic/Latino population.  As a result of that meeting, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs was contacted by Ms. Leah Moody, Deputy Legal Counsel for the Governor’s Office, and asked to facilitate discussions with the Hispanic/Latino community to identify ways to better meet the needs of this growing population.

To fulfill the Commission’s role, the staff identified persons from throughout the State from various backgrounds, who interacted daily or were knowledgeable about the culture, language and needs of the Hispanic/Latino population.  It would be their responsibility to identify barriers to the delivery of services to this primarily non-English speaking population, and to advise Governor Jim Hodges of their needs.

The first meeting of what became known as the Hispanic/Latino Ad Hoc Committee was held on Monday, July 24, 2000.  Thereafter, the Ad Hoc Committee agreed to meet monthly.  After a year long process of meeting and gathering information, a report was completed by the Ad Hoc Committee, which reflected the findings and recommendations that would help to address the many challenges faced by the Latino population in our State.

The findings were then presented to Governor Hodges for consideration. Upon the recommendation of Governor Hodges, Ms. Janie A. Davis, Executive Director of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs, began working with members of the General Assembly to amend the statute to include the Hispanic /Latino population so that the commission could continue doing research on this population to help improve the social and economic life for this population.

During the 115th SC Legislative Session Bill H 3426 was introduced and read for the first time on January 28, 2003.  On July 2, 2003, Governor Mark Sanford signed the bill and the statute was amended to now include Hispanic/ Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and other ethnic minority groups   Then in May 2004, regulations for the formation of Advisory Committees for each one of the minority groups (African American, Native American, Hispanic /Latino) were approved by members of the General Assembly and funds were allocated for program coordinators for each program.   In the year 2004, the first Hispanic/Latino Program Coordinator was hired and the position was filled by Lee Serralta McElveen, a native of Puerto Rico.

Hispanic/Latino Data Reports

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs publishes documents on minority concerns in the state, including a statistical profile by counties, community resource directory, and results from education surveys. Below are reports that relate to the state’s Hispanic and Latino population.

Hispanic Outreach – Hurricane Matthew 2016
This report details outreach to our Hispanic community through various agencies before, during and after Hurricane Matthew. 

Promulgation of Agency Regulations Findings Report 2016

Higher Education Minority Retention Report 2016

2016 GRIT Final Report

Historic Forum Findings Report 2015
Summary: The Hispanic Forum Findings Report – Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties is a report compiled by SC CMA to serve as an information tool and resource to our local councils, state government and organizations. It is our hope that it can be utilized in planning for future programs that will meet the needs of our diverse communities. Hispanic Community Leaders and other special groups/programs with an interest in the Hispanic community were invited to share the needs and challenges of the organizations as well as the challenges of the community.

The purpose of the Forum was threefold:

  1. Inform community leaders and organizations about the mission of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs and to share information regarding programs we offer
  2. Meet and network with leaders of the area to discuss services they provide;
  3. Assess the needs and challenges of the Hispanic Community and its service providers. 

Historic Forum Findings Report 2014
Summary: The Hispanic Forum Findings Report- Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester is a report compiled by SC CMA from information obtained at the Hispanic Forum held in North Charleston, SC on August 2014.This report will serve as an information tool and resource to our local councils, state government and organizations. It is our hope that it can be utilized in planning for future programs that will meet the needs of our diverse communities. Hispanic Community Leaders and other special groups/programs with an interest in the Hispanic community were invited to share the needs and challenges of the organizations as well as the challenges of the community.

The purpose of the Forum was threefold:

  1. Inform community leaders and organizations about the mission of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs and to share information regarding programs we offer
  2. Meet and network with leaders of the area to discuss services they provide;
  3. Assess the needs and challenges of the Hispanic Community and its service providers. 

SC Targeting Aggressive and Distractive Driving (TADD) Highway Safety Hispanic Survey Report 2013
This report provides a summary of findings from the TADD Grant Hispanic-Latino Highway Safety Survey. This Highway Safety Survey was completed by participating Hispanic-Latino family respondents living in Greenville County. 

DHEC South Carolina Hispanic/Latino Health Report 2010
This report is a report of the health challenges faced by Hispanic/Latinos in South Carolina based on a 2010 health assessment survey. 

South Carolina Profile of Minority Housing Data

Older Veteran Behavioral Health Resource Inventory

SCDVC Outreach Toolkit

Immigration Information and Executive Orders

Many of our communities are receiving incorrect information about current immigration enforcement and executive orders. In order to help our communities receive accurate information we have provided an Informational Sheet with links that may be helpful in understanding the current political climate and change.

The information provided is only for information purposes. The SC Commission for Minority Affairs is not responsible for third party views and information.