UCF Chimes in on Florida’s Puerto Rican Population Growth
The University of Central Florida was well represented at a recent workshop held at the Orange County Commission Chamber on Feb. 3, 2017.
UCF Associate Professor of sociology, Fernando Rivera, Ph.D., along with several other UCF professors, presented their research at the Puerto Rican Demographic Workshop. The workshop was led by UCF political science graduate and State Representative Rene Plasencia, ’96.
The presentation, Puerto Rican Demographics, the Diaspora, Benefits and Challenges, was heard by local lawmakers, academic experts and Puerto Rican leaders. The discussion focused on issues regarding the growing Puerto Rican population in Central Florida.
“As the Puerto Rican population in Central Florida continues to grow, it’s essential that we understand their needs and the assets they provide to the community,” said Rivera.
The event is the first in a series of conferences that will cover Puerto Rican implications of demographic growth and related issues such as education, healthcare and housing.
“It is my hope that through these workshops we can better serve our constituents as we will all be impacted economically by the growing Puerto Rican population in Florida,” said Plasencia.
According to Rivera, there’s a particular interest from the Puerto Rican community to educate others about the issues they’re confronting and how centers of education, such as UCF, can be the one’s leading these efforts.
“This was a great opportunity to present some of my research to the members of the legislature and I’m excited that our work and expertise is being considered for building public policies,” said Rivera.
History Professor Luis Martinez, Ph.D., and Instructor of Accounting Professor Enrique Guerra Pujol Esq. J.D., also represented UCF at the workshop, along with professors from Barry University School of Law and University of South Florida.
As Florida will soon surpass New York in the number of Puerto Ricans living outside the island, it’s important that the issues relating to the growth are discussed among local lawmakers.
Future events include Puerto Rican Day at the Florida Capitol, held April 25 and 26.