In 2018, the unemployment rate for those with a disability was more than twice the rate of those without.

October is Disability Awareness Month.
How are you building a more inclusive workforce?


Latino-owned and operated boxing gym nurtures dreams

We loved this feature segment on KNWA News highlighting the work of Tito Navarrette and the Hunger & Action Boxing Gym in Springdale. The gym opened in January and has quickly become a source of connection, mentorship, and support for young people in East Springdale such as 17-year old Cruz Delgado. "Everything it teaches me outside the ring is to always stay motivated, always strive for something." Although Tito and co-owner Robert Lowrimore both work full-time jobs, volunteers and staff keep the gym open seven days a week, mornings and evenings.



Black Advisory Council discusses community engagement with new Fayetteville Police Chief

Mike Reynolds recently became the City of Fayetteville's police chief and made diverse community engagement a high-level priority. Convening the city's Black Advisory Council, Reynolds requested assistance on recruitment strategies and police perception in largely black neighborhoods. In addition to partnerships with the School District and the Youth Citizen Police Academy, Reynolds supports efforts to learn best practices from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas and engage other international communities through organizations such as CanopyNWA.



Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann draws over 100 participants to microaggressions workshop

EngageNWA, the U of A Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the NWA Education Service Cooperative partnered to host a workshop series on September 19 entitled "The Everyday Bullying of Microaggressions: Recognizing and Intervening," led by Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann from UNT. The events attracted over 100 attendees from a session at the U of A for the campus community and a session at the Education Coop for regional school districts and other community partners. Participants were excited about the workshop, expressing the desire for a deeper dive into the topic and additional training for other educators as well as students. It was clear that witnessing microaggressions, even sometimes unknowingly as the perpetrator, is something educators confront on a regular basis and having accessible strategies and tools to recognize and react to microaggressions is crucial. Stay tuned for additional learning opportunities.


U.S. Census Director Speaks at HWOA | Democrat Gazette
Speaking at the annual conference of the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas, Steve Dillingham, director of the U.S. Census, had this message for the audience: “the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important.” While the census will be available in 13 languages, Melissa Laelan, director of the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese and EngageNWA network member, expressed concern that residents in Northwest Arkansas speak between 50-60 different languages and that it is vital that enumerators represent the communities they’re in.


“Prologues” Storysharing Salon Debuts in Springdale Impactnwa.org
Prologues debuted on September 26 and is designed to introduce the community to the good work happening around the region through the personal lens of the humans catalyzing positive change. Through the live-event storysharing salon, the hope is to deepen networks around community-building efforts. The next salon is tentatively scheduled for January 16, 2020.


CanopyNWA and the “Long Welcome” Canopynwa.org
As refugee admissions to the U.S. stand to be the lowest in decades, local resettlement agency CanopyNWA is responding with an expansion of its services to include long-term pathways to thriving. Read about the new initiative.


LatinXNA Empowerment Forum
HOSTED BY: Latino Business Speakers Bureau

10/31, 8:30-1pm at Grit Studios, 125 W. Central Ave., Bentonville.

The first annual LatinXNA Empowerment Forum is focused on catalyzing LatinX empowerment throughout the region and recognizing NWA organizations and individuals leading and developing LatinX talent in the region.

Crystal Bridges: Multisensory Saturday

HOSTED BY: LifeSources and the NWA Disability Awareness Month Committee
10/26/2019, 11-2pm, Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville

Sponsored by the Starling Family Charitable Foundation, Multisensory Saturday offers a gallery of activities that focus on access and inclusion and highlight all the senses.

Free, no registration required.


Spotlighting promising efforts and events in the region is getting easier thanks to all the hard work that you and others are doing to make Northwest Arkansas a region that values diversity and inclusion.

But we also know that those efforts took time, patience and, sometimes, struggle. Here at EngageNWA, we want to get honest about those challenges in ways that help others envision a path forward, build on shared experiences and discover community in the process.

So tell us about your work – the progress made and the challenges that still lie ahead. For every story submitted on our website each month, you and your organization will have a chance of winning lunch on us, up to $100 catered from diverse, local eateries in your community.

Congrats to Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs, at Beaver Water District for winning this month’s story submission contest! Read her story.