Arkansas Marshallese Consulate

J. Froelich / KUAF

The Marshallese Educational Initiative, in cooperation with the Republic of the Marshall Islands Consulate in Springdale, are joining forces today to deliver critically needed food and supplies to Marshallese families under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a new report issued by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, which recently deployed an investigation in Northwest Arkansas, Pacific Islanders are disproportionately affected by the virus. 

 

J. Froelich / KUAF

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese teamed up with the Arkansas Department of Health Northwest and Joseph Bates Outreach Clinic in Springdale to mass test over 200 residents for COVID-19. Individuals and families waited in long lines in vehicles at the Jones Center for Nonprofits to be tested, as well as to secure groceries donated by Tyson Foods, to be counted in the U.S. Census and to obtain free masks. 

J. Froelich / KUAF

A new Marshallese COVID-19 Task Force met for the first time this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Comprised of Marshallese leaders and medical providers, the task force is providing bilingual guidance to thousands of Marshallese migrants living in the tri-state area. Spokesperson Dr. Sheldon Riklon says islanders are at higher risk for infection.

Courtesy / ACOM

Experts believe Arkansas is home to the largest Marshallese migrant population in the world, yet census estimates widely vary. To obtain an accurate count, Melisa Laelan, chief executive officer of Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, in cooperation with the U.S. Census Bureau and with state grant funding, is preparing for the 2020 census by coordinating community outreach and Marshallese census enumerator training.

 

The Marshallese Supreme Court has recently reversed a law that barred absentee voting in future elections. But an emergency motion, filed after the high court's decision, requests the upcoming national election on Nov. 18 be delayed to accomodate Marshallese migrants living in the U.S. to vote on election day.

Department of Energy

The Arkansas Marshallese Consulate is hosting a remembrance for Nuclear Survivors' Day at 6 p.m. March 1 at George Junior High School in Springdale. The public is invited to this free event.