At its Oct. 7 Focus Conversation event in Georgetown, held in partnership with La Colectiva de Delaware, the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) released Perspectives on the Latino Population in Sussex County, Delaware, the result of a research project commissioned by the DCF and conducted by researchers at the University of Delaware. The report will serve as a resource for nonprofit organizations, funders, community leaders and others striving to engage and advance this important segment of the community.
The report shows that, with a population of over 20,000, Sussex County Latino communities contribute more than $50 million in tax revenue to Delaware annually. There are more than 800 Latino-owned businesses in the county. Sussex County Latinos are buying homes, holding jobs, and going to school and church. However, they still face challenges related to language and cultural differences, unfamiliarity with U.S. systems and processes, immigration status and more.
The research team identified important moments that can be leveraged by community members, nonprofits, and pro bono services to build opportunity, including through culturally sensitive and bilingual programs and services for immigration assistance, college and financial aid navigation, public transportation improvements, home buying, business training, and banking.
DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay describes the report’s findings as encouraging and inspiring. “Sussex County’s vibrant and diverse Latino community is bringing new passion to the belief in the American Dream.”
The report was researched and written by Drs. Jennifer Fuqua and April Veness at the University of Delaware with the support of a grant from CFLeads to the DCF. The study was completed in collaboration with Dr. Christine Cannon, executive director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund at the DCF; La Colectiva de Delaware; La Esperanza; and many other partners.
For more information and to view the complete report and accompanying materials, visit delcf.org/sussex-latinos. Report materials are available in both Spanish and English.
Photo by John Mollura Photography