Hispanic Community

Courtesy / HWOA

Saturday the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas will mix food, music and more in a partially-virtual, partially-drive-through "Festival Anual De Mayo."

Courtesy / Arkansas House

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, recipients are given legal work authorization; however, students pursuing a teaching career cannot gain licensure in Arkansas even though they take the same courses and undergo the same training as their classmates. House Bill 1594, sponsored by Rep. DeAnn Vaught, R-Horatio, aims to change that.

Courtesy / Venceremos

This week, a Democrat-led House panel launched a probe into coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants around the country. On Monday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent letters to Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA requesting information on the number of sick employees, facility closures, safety measures and leave policies for when workers tested positive.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Some two dozen George's poultry workers staged a walkout Tuesday morning in Springdale to protest a management decision to stop staggering shifts so that workers were not packed into a hallway as they were clocking in and out. That protocol was put into place as a COVID-19 pandemic precaution. Venceremos, an Arkansas workers’ justice organization, helped facilitate the protest and was on hand to support workers.

Courtesy / Arkansas United

Arkansas United, a statewide immigrant advocacy group, has served 800 agriculture and poultry workers impacted by the pandemic through its Essential Workers Fund. Another 300 workers are on a waiting list, so the organization is using Giving Tuesday and its annual Gala and State Convention as a launching point for an effort to raise more money for the intiative.

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.

About a week after announcing a statewide Voter Protection Hotline for all voters, the Democratic Party of Arkansas launched a hotline for Spanish speakers. The hotline is available by calling 501-299-5460.

About two weeks ago, the Arkansas Department of Health requested help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as COVID-19 cases surged in both the Latino and Marshallese communities that reside in Northwest Arkansas. The CDC team has been tasked with analyzing the chains of transmission within those groups and providing mitigation recommendations for the state. We speak with Arkansas CDC Team Leader Angela Hernandez about how they've been gathering information and data.

Courtesy / Arkansas Department of Health

A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in Northwest Arkansas investigating a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Hispanic community. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, about 21 percent of the state's active cases are Hispanic patients. Community Clinic in Northwest Arkansas reports there’s a 23 percent positivity rate among its Hispanic patients.