We were previously known as the Hispanic Liaison Office. Virginia is one of the places in the United States where the Hispanic community is concentrated. The presence of the Latinos in VA has enriched the area culturally and economically. The Spanish population in the area has grown dramatically over the years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in Richmond alone the Latin population comprises 6% of the residents. Many of these immigrants though do not speak English very well and because of the language barrier, living in the city can be quite challenging for them. This is one of the sole reasons why the Hispanic Liaison Office was created. Some of the Latin residents proposed the need and lead to the founding of the group in 2004.
In 2006, the organization transitioned at that time to the Human Services portfolio of the city of Richmond, under the Office the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services. The office provided a big help to the Hispanic community. Take for example, in October 2010 the National League of Cities issued their newest publication ‘Municipal Innovations in Immigrant Integration: 20 Cities, 20 Good Practices’. It helped promote the innovative programs and initiatives in the area of Immigrant Integration. In July 2012, the office was then transitioned into the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The group will continue to focus on serving the Latin immigrants and refugees while establishing relationships with community-based organizations, educational institutions, private and non-profit sectors.
Mission and Vision of OMA
The Office of Multicultural Affairs increases access to city and community-based services and promotes information, education and civic participation in order to promote the quality of life of diverse cultural and linguistic communities.
At the OMA, they envision Virginia to be a welcoming community that celebrates its multiculturalism and offers equitable opportunities and access to services for all.
Services and Initiatives
Ever since the day OMA or the office was established in 2004, it has worked towards realizing its goal of creating an access point for community resources and a welcoming front door for newcomers immigrating to the area. Below are the following services that the group offers.
community resource referrals
tax assistance programs
information for new Americans