Midwest Roundtable

We are hosting a series of regional roundtables across the United States. The first of these was held at the ABF on June 6-7, 2016.

As part of these roundtables, we asked keynote speakers to prepare white papers on:

1. History of Latinos in the region   

This white paper focuses on the history of the Latino presence in the Midwest. The white paper was written by Professor Lilia Fernández (Professor, Rutgers University). Fernández provides an historical overview of the Latino presence in the Midwest, tracing the arrival of both Mexican-origin and Puerto Rican migrants, their participation in the labor force, and their eventual mobilization in pursuit of improved government services and enhanced political representation.

2. Demographic profile of Latinos in the region

The demographic profile of Latinos in the Midwest provides a statistical snapshop of how the Latino population in the Midwest is faring with respect to immigration, educational access, economic participation, and political mobilization. Project manager Dr. Pilar Margarita Hernández Escontrías and Research assistant Simone Rivera authored this paper.

Sylvia Puente (Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum) created and delivered a PowerPoint presentation, which can be found here. This presentation focused specifically on Latino demographic trends in Chicago and Illinois, with suggestions about how policy can either negatively or positively impact Latino economic and political growth.

3. Key law and policy levers in the region

The law and policy white paper was prepared by Ricardo Meza (Officer at Greensfelder Attorneys at Law, former Executive Inspector General for the State of Illinois, and former Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and Layla Suleiman Gonzales (Director, Human Services Interdisciplinary Program, Loyola University Chicago). This white paper describes critical developments in law and policy in the Midwest region.