Friday, October 28 , 2016, 9:45 am | Overcast 64º


Partnership for Excellence Conference Takes Closer Look at Changing Demographics

Keynote speaker Manuel Pastor, a USC professor, discusses equity and the future of Santa Barbara County and the country

More than 500 people packed into Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort for Thursday's Partnership for Excellence Conference, the centerpiece of which was a talk that focused on how demographics are changing in Santa Barbara County and across the nation and the opportunities those changes present to nonprofits.

The theme of this year's event was "Co-Creating Our Future: Impacts and Evaluations that Matter," and the daylong conference featured a host of panels, breakout sessions and networking opportunities for those in the philanthropic community.

The conference was started by the Foundation Roundtable with the goal of connecting funders and nonprofit leaders to learn and network.

It was the 21st conference held by the group, which in years past has featured speakers such as Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone and humanitarian Dan Pallotta.

Ernesto Paredes, executive director of Easy Lift Transportation, called the event "speed dating for nonprofits. This is your chance to really get to know one another."

Paredes introduced keynote speaker Manuel Pastor, who is a professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and co-directs the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

Pastor's talk, titled "Demographic Change, Equity and Santa Barbara County's Future," was a funny and engaging look at changing demographics across the country, California and in Santa Barbara County in an effort to help local nonprofits focus on how to best reach people they are trying to serve.

Between 2000 and 2010, the growth rate of Latinos was 43 percent as opposed to the growth rate for non-Hispanic whites, which was 1 percent. Those national numbers present a "pretty big difference," he said, adding that immigration is not driving those numbers as many people think.

What's driving the growth is what's happening with the children of immigrants, he said.

The number of non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans is dropping in Santa Barbara County, while the numbers of Latinos and Asians are growing.

In 2040, the majority of people in the United States will be people of color, he said, but the country is going through changes that California went through in the 1980s.

"California is America in fast-forward," he said, adding that the process was marked by conflicts for the state.

As the population is stabilizing in California, the lessons learned here will be instructive to everyone, he said.

Pastor also said the median age for whites is 42 years old, while the median age for Latinos is 27 years old.

"It's a generation gap," he said. "It helps explain our politics."

As an example, Pastor cited Arizona, which has the largest gap of the whitest older people and the brownest young, and that the state has seen the largest cuts in education and services.

"That generational disconnect between older and young is driving inequality," he said, adding that the population might be less prepared to contribute to a health economy moving forward.

Young people of color "are very aspirational for themselves and the kind of world they're going to live in," he said. "We need to speak to their aspirations not to their anger, and we need to recognize that this is the population that will be moving us forward."

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >