Bienvenidos! Welcome to the Hispanic/Latino Affairs
section of our website. Our
is that you will find the information on our site valuable and useful.
We encourage you to utilize this information to help
gain a greater understanding of the challenges faced by Latinos in our
State and also to look at the wonderful contributions that Hispanics
have made and continue to make in our State.
During the summer of 2000, Ms.
Sandra (Owens) Nieves, 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
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
Hispanic/Latino community to identify ways to better meet the needs of
this growing population. To fulfill the Commission's role,
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
would be their responsibility to identify barriers to the
of services to this primarily non-English speaking population,
and to advise Governor Jim Hodges of their needs.
became known as the Hispanic/Latino Ad Hoc Committee was held on
Monday, July 24, 2000. Thereafter, the Ad Hoc Committee
meet monthly. After a year long process of meeting and
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
consideration. Upon the recommendation of Governor Hodges, Ms. Janie A.
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
the bill and the statute was amended to now include Hispanic/ Latinos,
Native Americans, Asians and other ethnic minority
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
Program Coordinator was hired and the position was filled by Lee
Serralta McElveen, a native of Puerto Rico.
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To learn more about South
Carolina, visit sc.gov.