Please help us welcome the newest member of the EngageNWA team, Lulu Peredo!

We are excited to announce that Lulu Peredo has joined the EngageNWA team as the new Outreach Director, helping us to build and sustain DEI efforts at the city/county government level.  Lulu has been an integral part of our region’s welcoming efforts in her role as a welcoming coordinator in Springdale.

“I can’t say enough about the wonderful job Lulu Peredo has done as our Welcoming Coordinator here in Springdale, ” said Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse.

She has had a significant impact on our new residents, as well as our city government as we welcome people from all walks of life into our community.”

Now, with the support of the Walmart Foundation, she will be joining the team to work with the community and local government to drive momentum and advance equity and inclusion efforts in the region. Specifically, the grant from the Walmart Foundation will allow her to continue to build on the progress of the city’s Welcoming Communities program, regularly collect and implement stakeholder feedback, build community buy-in and support other EngageNWA programs. 

The goal of this grant and position is to increase the number of local government entities that are committed to taking action on equity and inclusion initiatives. To achieve this goal, Lulu will be working on an assessment plan that includes effective metrics for community engagement with the local government and creates a pathway for organizations that want to get involved in DEI efforts.

We had a chance to sit down with Lulu and talk to her about her new role:

Tell us about this new role and what you hope to accomplish?

This is something I envisioned when I first got involved in local government as the welcoming coordinator in Springdale. It’s important to understand that each city in the region is very different and unique. I hope to build connections with government officials and community leaders in each city to assist in the best way possible. We cannot take our DEI efforts to the next level in NWA unless leaders in each city are committed to working together to take action on equity and inclusion.

Why is this work so important, especially right now?

As the region continues to grow and prosper, it also becomes more diverse. I have lived in 5 different countries and many different cities around the world, and NWA is definitely one of the most diverse places I have ever lived. This type of work is extremely important because we have to realize that the definition of diversity goes beyond race and gender. It’s time to start digging deeper and finding solutions to make sure all of our community members are being represented and lifted up from situations of oppression

What has given you the most hope and inspiration during this time?

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have given us time to reflect on what it means to be American and a compassionate member of our communities. Also, social media and the massive involvement of courageous youth has brought awareness to situations that have always been present but are now easier to document and share with the world. 

The solid foundation that we built in Springdale through the Welcoming Program is an advantage that I hope we can utilize and continue to build on. We began to see results in Springdale when we all started working together and worked directly with the community.