diversity

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.

Courtesy / Arkansas United

Several diverse candidates ran for office across the state. Some have won elections and will now serve on city councils, quorum courts or in the Arkansas Legislature. Leading up to the election, Arkansas United also made numerous efforts to encourage minority communities to turn out to at the polls.

Courtesy / White House

 

The University of Arkansas is reviewing all departmental diversity trainings, workshops and materials in order to comply with the Trump administration's "Executive Order on Race and Sex Stereotyping." The order, which goes into effect Nov. 21, prohibits discussion of "divisive concepts" including systemic racism, white privilege and unconscious bias during workplace trainings.

Courtesy / Olivia Trimble

This week, the Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that allows the city prosecutor to add a hate crime component to certain misdemeanor offenses. City Council Member Teresa Turk sponsored the measure after spray painted hate speech was used to deface a City Council candidate's campaign sign and a mural on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. Arkansas is currently one of three state's without a state hate crime law.

According to data published by the Northwest Arkansas Council, the region's diverse populations have increased from making up less than five percent of the overall population in 1990 to nearly 30 percent in 2019. In Springdale, more than half the city's population consists of non-white residents. A person of color has yet to be elected to a city government role, but this election cycle three candidates of color are running for seats on the City Council.

Courtesy / University of Arkansas

A new course this fall at the University of Arkansas examines the role students played in the 1960s and 70s to create more inclusion in student and academic affairs. We speak with Charles Robinson, interim provost and professor of history at the University of Arkansas, about Bad Times.

An agency focused on sharing culturally-relevant content is helping revamp a digital diversity directory. To be included, ethnically-owned businesses can submit their information at www.diversitynwa.com. The project is sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Council and the Walmart Foundation.

Courtesy / Kiva

Startup Junkie, in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation, has launched a Northwest Arkansas Kiva hub. Kiva is an international crowdsourcing nonprofit that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners who don't qualify for traditional bank loans with lenders from around the world.

Courtesy / University of North Carolina

Erika K. Wilson, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy at the University of North Carolina School of Law, studies the effects diverse and homogeneous school populations can have on education and society. She came to the Carver Center for Public Radio during a recent visit to the University of Arkansas.

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