Annual Convening Highlights Regional Progress

On July 31, 2019 at the new TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, EngageNWA hosted its annual convening to celebrate the work that business, education and civic leaders have accomplished over the last year and discuss opportunities for further progress. “Our goal is to facilitate and provide you with the support and information you need to build more inclusive practices at your work. That means we will be continually adapting, evolving, and pivoting based on your feedback,” EngageNWA Executive Director Margot Lemaster told the group of over 90 people who attended.

In addition to receiving a handout that described highlights from Year 1participants were asked to reflect on what EngageNWA means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

“Support” – “Resources and expertise” – “A critical point of connection and resources” – “Feeling welcome” – “An important conversation” – “Collaboration” – “Connecting the region and all within” – “Intentional awareness around inclusivity” –  “A place and community which intentionally fosters challenging conversation, builds inclusive connection and actions and advocates for transformational, regional change and place making together!”

big IDEAS.

A new local social enterprise coffee shop Grace & Flavor, an LLC of Spectrum Living Solutions, is opening this fall on Emma Avenue in downtown Springdale and will provide skilled job training and employment for adults with autism, Down syndrome and other learning differences. “One of the key elements that we focus on is diversity and inclusion and that means diversity and inclusion across the board,” says Executive Director Sandy Wright in a recent KUAF interview.

Listen to the full interview here.


“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

— Margaret Wheatley

take NOTE. 

Diversity in NWA | Arkansas Democrat Gazette

We were excited to see the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette devote a special section to the “state of diversity” in Northwest Arkansas on July 28, 2019. Reports on schools, healthcare, culture, police, business and housing illustrated both the progress that’s been made and the challenges ahead.

Census 2020 | Arkansas Economic Development Institute

An accurate and complete census count is vital to the future of Northwest Arkansas. Download and share this convenient handout that highlights what’s at stake and share with colleagues and stakeholders.

make MOVES.

Facing Race: Becoming Conscious Allies

Hosted by: All Saints Episcopal Church
Date: 9/14/2019, 9:30-3pm
Where: 2904 NW 3rd St. Bentonville

This all-day workshop situates the larger conversation around race and allyship within the context of faith communities. All are welcome.

International Festival

Hosted by: Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
Date: 9/15/2019, 2-6pm
Where: 4703 N. Crossover Road, Fayetteville

This free family friendly event will have interactive booths and dance performances that represent cultures from around the world.

Find more events here


we want to hear from YOU.

How is your organization working to make Northwest Arkansas a more diverse and inclusive region? What have been your challenges and your achievements, your questions and your solutions?  We want to share the work you are doing with our growing network so that together we can learn, grow and succeed as a region.

Our new website makes it easy.

Share Your Story