In this month’s roundup, EngageNWA dips into the creative behind state census efforts, through local diverse artists on the rise and more!


(Creative) Census Count Efforts Underway!

Arkansas Counts hosted a Census Summit on Jan. 16 at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. Leaders and volunteers from across the state came together to discuss key strategies and best practices, including canvassing operations, immigrant community engagement and accessibility sites. Gov. Asa Hutchinson reiterated the fact that if just 1% of people go uncounted, the state will lose almost $1 billion in federal funding.

“I’m pretty good at math, so that’s $100 million a year,” Hutchinson said. “And that’s a lot of money that is at stake in the work we get done.”

Summit participants also learned about creative marketing efforts designed to address previous census shortfalls. In the 2010 census, nearly 1 million children were not counted. To avoid a repeat, nearby Fort Smith is distributing “Count Me!” onesies for all babies born now through April 1, which is Nationwide Census Day.

Check out EngageNWA’s Census 2020 page to learn how YOU can help ensure a complete count.

(Sponsors for the Census Summit included Tyson Foods, Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation.)


“"Diversity [...] is a natural and unavoidable output of a company that is successfully and thoroughly mitigating bias."”

Excerpt from article: "Should I Be Focusing on D&I or I&D?"--

big IDEAS.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Art Coverage Centers on Diversity & Inclusion

We were excited to see the topic of diversity and inclusion prominently covered in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s recent series about artists in Northwest Arkansas. A piece highlighting local LGBTQ artist Jody Travis took an expanded view on the broader LGBTQ movement and included a glossary of terms for readers. Travis described the importance of creating and supporting art in this space: “Words can get really combative. Art has this amazing, magical ability to just let somebody quietly observe.”

For Iranian student Ziba Rajabi, art gives her a way to reconcile her relationship with Northwest Arkansas and her hometown Tehran, Iran. Her portable, layered canvases are meant to inspire audience participation. “I wanted the participation of the Arkansas people with my work as a non-Arkansan,” Rajabi said. “I wanted to have a bridge between different cultures and different parts of art history.”

The series also included Springdale high school student Joyce Hitchfield who uses art to bridge the gap between American and Marshallese cultures. Hitchfield immigrated to the United States from the Marshall Islands when she was four and is excited to be part of the changes that art can help propel. 

take NOTE.

Honoring Dr. MLK, Jr. Across the Region | ImpactNWA

The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was celebrated and honored throughout the NWA region with commemorations, marches, vigils, community service projects and family-friendly events. The NWA Dr. MLK, Jr. Council held its annual recommitment ceremony on Monday evening with awards and scholarships.

Congratulations to the Council’s 2020 Salute to Greatness Award recipients: Paul Adams (Lifetime Achievement), Rodger Hunter (Ernestine White-Gibson Individual Achievement Award), Xavier Smith (Rodney Momon Youth Award), Marilyn Smith (Rev. J.A. Hawkins Posthumous Award), and Visionairi Enterprises (Nonprofit/Organization of the Year Award).

Refugee Resettlement to Continue in NWA | AR Democrat-Gazette

Gov. Asa Hutchinson decided earlier this month to continue to accept refugees into the state, and Canopy Northwest Arkansas is excited about the decision. Director of Community Engagement Hannah Lee said, “Canopy NWA is so grateful for Governor Hutchinson’s official consent regarding refugee resettlement in Arkansas! This decision will allow Canopy NWA to continue the ongoing work we have been doing since 2016: building a community where refugees are welcomed and equipped with all they need to build new lives.”

Prologues | KNWA.COM

Prologues, the live-event storysharing salon, took place at Black Apple Hard Cider in Springdale on Thursday, Jan. 16. To a standing-room-only crowd, regional change agents offered a personal lens to the work they do in our communities. Thank you to this month’s storytellers: Pia Agrawal, Ricardo “El Gallo” Cardenas, Tania Cardenas, Jo Hsu, Yee-Lin Lai, Elecia Smith, Mayor Doug Sprouse and Nate Walls.


make MOVES.

Census Trainings

HOSTED BY: Arkansas State Library

Tuesday, Feb. 20 (10 – 11 a.m. & 2 – 3 p.m.) | Fayetteville Public Library, 401 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville

Learn how to guide users through the census form online including nontraditional living arrangements. The training will also cover privacy issues and how census information will and will not be used.

Click here to register.

Empezando Un Negocio En Arkansas/Starting a Business in Arkansas

HOSTED BY: Beaver Water District, The Job Guide, and the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, Feb. 20 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) | Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, 317. W. Walnut St., Rogers

Presented in Spanish, this seminar is designed for first-time, small business owners.

Register and learn more here.


A new report was recently released by FSG and PolicyLink titled, “Advancing Frontline Employees of Color: Innovating for Competitive Advantage in America’s Frontline Workforce.” The report highlights the need to advance racial equity for frontline employees within companies, and the benefits associated with that such as building a management talent pipeline and using corporate commitment to achieve greater equity in society.

Walmart Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer Ben Hasan highlighted the report in a recent article connected to Dr. King’s work for economic equality.