Black Lives Matter

Courtesy / Bridge the Gap

Over Labor Day weekend, Aaron C. Williams, co-founder of the new Northwest Arkansas race reconciliation group, Bridge the Gap, traveled to Harrison to host a community cookout on the town square. In the days leading up to the event, Williams invited white nationalists from the region, including a local chapter of the KKK, to join him in finding common ground. A film crew from ABC Nightline was also on hand following Williams campaign for a segment scheduled for air Sept. 21.

Courtesy / Harrison Chamber of Commerce

The Boone County Quorum Court, Harrison City Council and Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce signed identical resolutions yesterday that denounce racism and encourage the Arkansas legislature to introduce and pass comprehensive hate crime legislation.

Courtesy / City of Fayetteville

After Fayetteville voters approved nearly $37 million in funding for a new police department headquarters in a special election in 2019, the city has entered the design phase of the project. But following the recent police shootings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake, opponents are calling for the money to be invested elsewhere.

Courtesy / ACLU Arkansas

Long-time legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union — Arkansas affiliate, Holly Dickson, has been selected to serve as executive director. Dickson assumes the positive during a global pandemic which ACLU declares is "laying bare the systemic oppression at the root of inequality in America." 

Courtesy / Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations

A petition demands the removal of a billboard in Harrison advertising a White Nationalist internet broadcast. The hate billboard is one of a half dozen erected, then taken down over the past decade.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Review Board approved the move of a controversial Confederate monument in Bentonville to a nearby private park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 for commemorating Confederate Veterans and their cause, the statue was installed and is owned by James H. Berry Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

photo provided

Aaron William Clarke and Jessica Angelica, with over 80 other Black Lives Matter supporters, demonstrated in Zinc, Arkansas Sunday afternoon calling for the dismantling of the Ku Klux Klan, which has long operated a remote compound in rural Boone County. The peaceful protestors offered a BBQ meal to hundreds of armed Arkansas militia and White Nationalists as county law enforcement closely monitored and controlled the situation. 

At a time when police practices are under scrutiny nationwide, U.S. Attorney General William Barr praised Arkansas law enforcement during his Thursday visit to Little Rock. Barr, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and U.S. Representative French Hill held a roundtable discussion with state law enforcement before taking questions from the media. To watch the full media availability, click here.

Courtesy / Simon & Schuster

The new book Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and a Story of Reconciliation is about the 1919 murder of hundreds of African-American men, women and children. The book's author, J. Chester Johnson, discusses the danger of ignoring, dismissing or downplaying the country's history of racism. We'll hear much more from him on an upcoming edition of Ozarks at Large.

Courtesy / Loudy Bousman

Long-time civil rights activist Ranaga Farbiaz and his partner, Loudy Bousman, traveled to the BOC Arena in Tulsa to protest President Donald Trump's first major rally since a global pandemic was declared. They provide an eyewitness account of events.