diversity

Courtesy / Google Maps

A new tour of the Black experience at the University of Arkansas can be taken physically or virtually and covers decades of stories that took place on campus. The tour, put together by students, originated in a U of A Honors College seminar.

We continue to share excerpts from a Walton Family Foundation panel discussion about making growth in Northwest Arkansas more inclusive and equitable. Rafael Rios, the founder and executive chef at Yeyo's Hospitality Group, discusses how mentorship can play a role in that goal.

This month, a virtual conference hosted by the Walton Family Foundation included a panel discussion about the region's growth and inclusivity. Allyson Esposito, the executive director of the Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange, discussed how art can be used to tell the stories of underrepresented communities in the region.

This month, the Walton Family Foundation hosted a virtual conference in tandem with the release of a five-year strategy for the foundation and its partners. One of the panels focused on diversity and inclusion as Northwest Arkansas continues to attract more people. On today's show, we hear from Benton County Judge Barry Moehring and Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese Executive Director Melisa Laelan.

This week, the Walton Family Foundation unveiled its plan for working with foundations and nonprofits during the next five-year grantmaking cycle. The strategy coincides with a conference the foundation hosted, virtually, that ended today. The plan places a priority on three goals: championing community-driven change, collaboration with partners and placing specific attention on diversity, equity and inclusion in its grants.

Organizers wrapped up a week of events in Arkansas with a virtual press conference Friday where they announced plans to create legislation that works toward racial healing in the state. Sen. Joyce Elliott is working on the bill which would recognize the National Day of Racial Healing as an official statewide observance, establish community remembrance projects in all 75 counties, and exonerate Elaine Massacre defendants.

More than a dozen area nonprofits are continuing the process of bolstering their diversity and inclusion. The effort, with support from the Walmart Foundation and Walton Family Foundation, creates partnerships between the organizations and a central program. We talked with a representative from one of the funders (above) and a representative from one of the participating nonprofits (below) about the TRUE initiative.

  

This year, the Women's Foundation of Arkansas launched the Tjuana Byrd Internship Program. The 10-week summer program, named for the WFA's first black president, provides women of color enrolled in Arkansas universities a paid internship with one of four Little Rock-based companies that focus on science, technology, engineering or mathematics. 

Courtesy / Evelyn Rios Stafford

Governmental bodies are becoming more diverse in some communities around the state. While the 15-member Washington County Quorum Court is losing one Hispanic Justice of the Peace, it’s gaining two more—Kenny Arredondo Loyola and Evelyn Rios Stafford. The latter also has the distinction of being the first openly transgender Arkansan elected to office in the Natural State.

Courtesy / Kevin Flores

Kevin Flores made history this week in Springdale as the first person of color to get elected to the City Council. After immigrating from El Salvador in the mid-1990s as a child, Flores grew up in Springdale, went on to serve in the Marine Corps, and is now an attorney. He beat incumbent Rick Evans with 57 percent of the vote.

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