In this month’s roundup, EngageNWA revisits the Racial Equity Tool with RaceForward and a host of ways regional institutions explore inclusivity in sport, higher education, business and government.


3-Day Workshop Trains NWA leaders on Racial Equity

EngageNWA partnered with the IDEALS Institute to host Glenn Harris of Race Forward for a three-day, train-the-trainer racial equity workshop with more than 30 participants from across the region. Participants included representatives from local chambers, schools, businesses, nonprofits and healthcare organizations. As more companies and organizations in Northwest Arkansas are devoting resources to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, this program helps grow the region’s capacity to provide these services. 

Next Steps:
EngageNWA will be working closely with the IDEALS Institute to support this new cohort of facilitators, including providing information on how to apply racial equity analysis to policy and practice as well as facilitating productive conversations on racial equity in the region. 


“"Companies should recognize that diversity isn't a 'recruiting' issue. And finding diverse talent isn't the end game. When employees of all demographics and backgrounds are respected members of the organization, that sentiment shows up when recruiting."”

Excerpt from HRDive,"Don't blame it on the pipeline."

big IDEAS.

Bentonville Women of Oz Create Inclusive Model for Recreation

It’s not uncommon for Northwest Arkansas to make national news when it comes to mountain biking and cycling. So we weren’t surprised to see VeloNews’ profile on the Women of Oz (WOZ), Bentonville’s women’s biking club, as a model for inclusivity in the sport.

Since the group’s flagship ride in March, more than 600 women have participated. WOZ board member Ashley Patterson argues that the success is not just a function of the expansive trail system; rather, “when you see someone like yourself doing it, you think ‘oh, that could be me.'” WOZ leaders recognize the barriers that keep others from accessing the sport, namely, equipment, intimidation and education. Therefore, programming and community outreach are designed with those barriers in mind. From new enthusiasts, ride leaders, committee heads and active board members, the WOZ network is determined to create a space where women fit biking into their community rather than fit women into a biking community.

take NOTE.

Springdale Civic Academy Graduates First Class | KNWA

Nearly 20 Springdale residents just completed the first offering of Springdale Civic Academy, a city of Springdale initiative designed to promote civic engagement in the community. Academy participants met twice per month from August to October, getting to know government officials and touring a variety of public services, including police and fire departments as well as animal services. Welcoming Coordinator, Lulu Peredo, said the benefits of the program were felt on both sides: participants indicated greater comfort navigating government services and officials learned ways to make their services more accessible.


UA History Dept. Offers New LGBTQ-plus Course | UARK News

A new course at the University of Arkansas explores the history of LGBTQ-plus people through primary and secondary sources, identifying and exploring an archive that begins long before the 1969 Stonewall Riots or the 1980s AIDS crisis. James Gigantino, professor and chair of the Department of History, noted that “Queer studies is at the forefront of gender history and has been a largely neglected field nationally until recently. We are happy to begin regularly offering this course to challenge students to think critically about their own conceptions about the past.”


UX Designer Talks Inclusion & Graphic Design | FindingNWA

We loved this recent profile of Fayetteville resident Arika Lewis as part of a new “Meet the Local series” on FindingNWA. Lewis, recently recognized as Adobe’s 2019 Top UX Designers to Watch, helped launch the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the largest membership organization promoting the advancement of design⁠, and serves as its vice president of inclusion & initiatives. In addition to sharing her favorite spots in the region, Lewis talks about her passion for educating underrepresented young people interested in design and hopes that “the region grows more and more into an inclusive and accessible space for everyone.”


make MOVES.

Change Champions Gala

HOSTED BY: Arkansas United and NWA Hispanic Leadership Council

Nov. 15, 6 to 9 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 3303 S. Pinnacle Hills Pkwy, Rogers

Tickets are still available for the 2019 Change Champions Gala honoring immigrants making a difference in Arkansas. Enjoy silent auction, book signing and emceed event by local Univision celebrities.

Arkansas Urban League Town Hall

HOSTED BY: Arkansas Urban League Young Professionals (AULYP) – NWA

Nov. 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Circle of Life, 901 Jones Road, Springdale

Urban League of the State of Arkansas is looking for community feedback to help guide its 2020 strategy. The NWA affiliate of  AULYP aims to empower underserved and unserved communities in Arkansas. Learn more here.


Thanks to your story submissions, we are learning more about the “behind the scenes” challenges, decisions and actions required to make NWA a region that values diversity and inclusion.  Check out our website for blog posts highlighting those stories and interviews, including a new piece about Rockin’ Baker Academy in Fayetteville that highlights one woman’s efforts towards hiring and training individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Congrats to Jamaikhan Dickey of Northwest Arkansas’ Human Resources Association, an affiliate of SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management. She is our November contest winner and will receive a $100 gift certificate to enjoy a staff meal at a local, diverse eatery.

Share some news, stories or reflections with us for a chance to win next month.