The Hispanic population in New Jersey has grown dramatically over the last ten years. At 18 percent of the population, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the state, surpassing African-Americans.
Finding ways to harnessing that potential political influence is one of the challenges for state Hispanic leaders. Issue like this and others will be discussed at the Second Annual Hispanic Leadership Summit in Glassboro, N.J. next month.
It is planned to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. The September 22 event at Rowan University.
Co-founder and chairman, N.J. Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (D-Camden), says the Latino population in New Jersey grew by almost 40 percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Hispanics make up 18 percent of New Jersey's total population as compared with 14 percent for blacks.
"We as leaders have a responsibility to help empower the current and next generation," said Fuentes, and one of the major questions facing Latino lawmakers is "What can we do to empower Hispanics to get more involved" in the democratic process? (more...)
By John Barna/Gloucester County Times Gloucester County Times
GLASSBORO — Rowan University will host the Second Annual Hispanic Leadership Summit on Sept. 22.
The Summit will be held during Hispanic Heritage Month, and will feature several keynote speakers, various workshops and information booths. There will also be opportunities for participants to network and socialize with each other throughout the day.
“Hispanics in New Jersey have the potential to create tremendous positive change in our communities,” said Assemblyman Angel Fuentes,” D-Camden, who announced the summit. “We are the largest minority group in the state, with a population that continues to grow. It is vital that we work together to the benefit of us all.”
Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University has spoken about the importance of the institution's relationship with the Hispanic community in New Jersey.
“Rowan University is pleased to be involved in the Second Annual Hispanic Leadership Summit,” said Dr. Houshmand. “We recognize value in strengthening cultural awareness and of educating people about how best to engage their leaders.”
According to recent census data, there are 1.5 million Hispanics in New Jersey, 654,000 of which are eligible voters. At the same time, Hispanics have an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent and make on average roughly $20,000 per year less than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Also, a much higher percentage of Hispanics are without health insurance.
“This Summit is about providing Latinos with the tools to empower their positions and become effective leaders in their workplace, their community and the world,” said Fuentes.
September, 2011 - Assemblyman Fuentes to Chair Region's First Hispanic Leadership Summit
July 21, 20122 - Fuentes Kicks Off Hispanic Leadership Summit in Recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month
October, 2011 - Assemblyman Angel Fuentes Discussing the great Success of Hispanic Leadership Summit  on Comcast Newsmakers.
June, 2011 - Assemblyman Angel Fuentes Speaking about the up-coming Hispanic Leadership Summit
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