In this month’s roundup, EngageNWA shares Census 2020 information, talks to the new content managers of DiversityNWA and closes out 2019 with gratitude.


The Northwest Arkansas Council launched a new census initiative

The Northwest Arkansas Council announced an initiative to prioritize support for the 2020 census in partnership with John R. Tyson and Arkansas Counts. The goal is to educate and catalyze the local business community in reaching the region’s hard-to-count populations.

The initiative, announced during a special Council meeting last week, includes an NWA census toolkit of best practices and sample marketing messages to employees and customers. Tyson, along with Kara Wilkins of Arkansas Counts, asked businesses to make a commitment to support the census to ensure an accurate count.

“With 141,000 team members around the world and 25,000 in the state of Arkansas, we aspire to be leaders in the business community and the communities where we work and live,” Tyson said. “That responsibility includes advocating for census participation and helping everyone understand the importance of being counted.”

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution mandates a count of every person in America. Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and will need an accurate count of all residents to sustain and support this growth.


Arkansas receives nearly $10 billion annually in federal funding under various programs, according to a recent report from the GW Institute of Public Policy. The Arkansas State Data Center estimates a 1% undercount in Northwest Arkansas could result in $170 million in lost funds over 10 years for Benton and Washington counties.




Did you know 75% of workplaces hold holiday parties in the month of December?

For your workplace gathering, check out our go-to list of delicious and diverse local eateries for your catering needs.


take NOTE.

Welcome back, DiversityNWA!

DiversityNWA is back online, offering a digital business directory and resource for underrepresented populations across the Northwest Arkansas region.

We recently sat down with Jasmine Hudson, J’Aaron Merchant and Sierra Polk of the 4C Collective to hear about the challenges and opportunities they have taken on to revamp and re-energize DiversityNWA and the resource directory.

The women of the 4C Collective — which stands for “Connecting communities through cultural content” — have combined skill sets to support the Northwest Arkansas Council in delivering accessible information within one platform for diverse communities to grow, thrive and embrace NW Arkansas life.

The directory is also a chance to create a ripple effect by supporting diverse businesses and asking them, “what can we do to help you be successful?”


Are you a minority-owned business, community leader, or know of diversified groups across the region that should be included in this directory? Visit DiversityNWA to submit your business — this resource is for YOU.

make MOVES.

Arkansas Counts Census Summit

HOSTED BY: Arkansas Impact Philanthropy

Jan. 16 at 10 a.m., Philander Smith College, Little Rock

The Summit is an opportunity to learn and share how to ensure every Arkansas resident is counted in the 2020 census. Elected officials, nonprofit leaders, employers, and engaged residents who want to join the statewide movement are invited to attend.


24th Annual Recommitment Banquet

HOSTED BY: NWA Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Council

Jan. 20 at 7 p.m., Fayetteville Town Center, 15 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville

The EngageNWA community is invited to join and sponsor the NWA celebration of Dr. King’s life and work through scholarships, service awards and the Recommitment Banquet.



As 2019 comes to a close, I want to extend my deep gratitude for all the steps you’ve taken as individuals and organizations to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in Northwest Arkansas. Over the last year, we saw challenges turn into ideas and action, difficult and uncomfortable questions yield positive and empowering solutions, and siloed spaces give way to broader collaborations and deeper networks.

All because of YOU.


We celebrate and honor those network members who have been working on these issues for a very long time and embrace the enthusiasm and passion of those who have recently joined our efforts. We know there’s a lot more work ahead, but we’re hopeful and confident that more resources, more commitments, and more steps will be taken in this positive direction.

Thank you for all you do to make NWA a place where all people can prosper and thrive.

~ Margot Lemaster