Historical Perspective

Based upon the 2000 Census, South Carolina's population is becoming more diverse.  Whether you travel to the rural areas of the State or visit one of the metropolitan areas, it is no longer the norm to see only black and white faces.  Everywhere you go, you see persons from Latin America, Asia, and other counties providing services and often speaking languages unfamiliar to many South Carolinians.  This report specifically focuses on the fastest growing segment of the United States population, the Hispanic/Latino community, and how that growth is also being experienced here in  South Carolina.

During the Summer of 2000, Ms. Sandra Owens, 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, this report reflects the findings and recommendations of the members of the Ad Hoc Committee.  This report is not intended to be the final study of this matter, but only a beginning of what should become an ongoing process to address the changing needs of the growing Hispanic/Latino population. 

Special thanks is extended to all persons who served on the Hispanic/Latino Ad Hoc Committee.  Whether that service was limited or extensive, your comments and contributions were appreciated.

Hispanic/Latino Ad Hoc Committee
Ms. Diane Bullard
Cathloic Charities
Conway, SC
Mr. Alex Cordero
Community Service
Saluda, SC
Ms. Ruta Couet
Education Department
Columbia, SC
Mr. Hector Esquivel, Esq.
La Isla Magazine
Hilton Head, SC
Mr. Carlos Garcia
La Brava 1440 AM
Greenville, SC
Ms. Cynthia Johnson
Wateree Migrant Head Start
Sumter, SC
Mr. Wilfredo Leon
Latino Newspaper
Mauldin, SC

Reverend Flor Morales
Community Service
York, SC

Mr. David Nieves
Community Liaison
Aiken, SC

Mr. Robert Ortiz
Community Service
West Columbia, SC

Mr. Arturo Ovalles
Hispanic Coalition of SC
Columbia, SC

Ms. Sandra Owens
Community Liaison
West Columbia, SC

Ms. Deborah Para-Medina, PH.D.
SC Hispanic Health Coalition
Columbia, SC
Mr. Joe Parsons
Charleston Hispanic Association
Goose Creek, SC

Ms. Nancy Pennington
Aiken/Edegefield Farm Workers
Aiken, SC

Ms. Gardenia Ruff
DHEC - Minority Health
Columbia, SC

Dr. Carlos Salinas
Community Service
Charleston, SC

Ms. Irma Santana
Hispanic Outreach
Columbia, SC

RSM Sister Lupe Strump
Diocese of Charleston
Hardeeville, SC

Mr. Jess Torres
Department of Education
Columbia, SC

Additionally, special thanks to more than 500 persons from the Hispanic/Latino community who attended four community forums and shared information with members of the Ad Hoc Committee for the purpose of developing this report.  Also, thanks goes to the many persons from state agencies and other organizations who participated on subcommittees and made many of the recommendations contained in this report. 

Finally, we recognize the hard work of the staff from the Governor's Office and the Commission for Minority Affairs (CMA), who administratively supported the work of the Committee.  They are:

Ms. Leah B. Moody, Esq.
Deputy Legal Counsel
Office of the Governor
Mr. Robert Coaxum
Special Projects Coordinator
Office of the Governor
Ms. Janie A. Davis
Executive Director
Commission for Minority Affairs
Mr. Thomas J. Smith
Administrative Coordinator
Commission for Minority Affairs
Mr. Bobby Tucker
Program Coordinator
Commission for Minority Affairs
Ms. Ann Johnson
Research Analyst
Commission for Minority Affairs
Ms. Dawn Jennings
Fiscal Technician
Commission for Minority Affairs
Ms. Yoko Harris
Administrative Assistant
Commission for Minority Affairs
Mr. Jorge A. "Tony" Perdomo
Student Intern
Commission for Minority Affairs
Ms. Carol Rawlings
Temporary Secretary
Commission for Minority Affairs


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