Pew leaves behind Hispanic Center, welcomes Hispanic Trends Project

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    Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center and Hispanic Trends Project.

    Mark Hugo Lopez is Pew’s new director of Hispanic research. He’ll be focused not only on the Hispanic Trends Project, but on all Hispanic-related research at the Pew Research Center. (Pew)

    The Pew Research Center is leaving behind the Pew Hispanic Center. Sort of.

    The center’s Hispanic branch is becoming the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project. This name change is solely a name change, Pew’s new director of Hispanic research, Mark Hugo Lopez, told VOXXI.

    “We’re going to continue to do the work that we have done, and this does not reflect any change in our work,” Lopez said. “If anything, one of the things that it does reflect, particularly my new title, is the presence of Hispanic research across all of the projects of the Pew Research Center.”

    Lopez was previously associate director for the Pew Hispanic Center, and has been with Pew since 2008.

    The Pew Research Center — as an umbrella organization that has been in existence since 2004 — has always had projects as part of the center, such as the Pew Internet American Life Project and the Pew Global Attitudes Project. Since the Pew Hispanic Center predates the creation of the Pew Research Center, the name change is meant to reflect the fact that the Pew Hispanic Center was a project of the Pew Research Center.

    “In fact,” Lopez said, “our formal name, prior to this change was the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.”

    If you think you haven’t heard of the Pew Research Center already, think again — the nonprofit organization is the one responsible for estimating the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States: 11 million.

    A broad partnership between the Hispanic Trends Project and others

    The Hispanic Trends Project intends to continue to do all of the work that the Pew Hispanic Center had been conducting, from demographic analysis to surveying Hispanics to painting demographic portraits of the Hispanic community.

    “One thing, though, that is different — and this is where I’m looking forward to the opportunities ahead — is that we will be working closely with many of the other projects of the Pew Research Center to do research on technology use and Latinos,” Lopez told VOXXI.

    “But more than just the report that comes out of the [Hispanic Trends Project], instead something that is center-wide, or at least a partnership with one of the other projects of the Pew Research Center,” he added. “So it’s that part, being able to do work across all the different projects, which I think is the exciting part of this.”

    Lopez’s new title means that his work will not be solely for the Hispanic Trends Project, but he will also work across the center on all research related to Hispanics.

    Pew’s Hispanic Trends Project looks ahead

    As Pew’s Hispanic research enters this new phase, Lopez looks forward to expanding on past endeavors and exploring new topics.

    “I think that there are a number of areas where we have done work but we haven’t explored deeply in recent years, or it’s something that we haven’t necessarily focused on specifically,” the director said. “Looking at Latinos and ways that they practice religion… What are their views on religion? We did a report on that seven years ago, and we are on the verge of doing a new report on that, so I’m looking forward to those findings.”

    Lopez emphasized the importance of the work the Pew Research Center and its projects do, particularly to understand how the Latino community in the United States is changing.

    “In addition, in Washington the work that we do is important for providing information — not only about the demographics of Latinos, but also information that may be important for policy debates in Washington.”

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