Jump into the weekend with PRIDE and Juneteenth events across NWA

Diversity, equity and inclusion take center stage this weekend with Pride Month and Juneteenth celebrations. Both celebrations represent two promising lights along the historic and ongoing journey to secure the rights, equality and belonging for everyone in our region, state and nation. We hope to see you at one of the many events taking place!

NWA Pride Festival returns on June 18 in Fayetteville

The 18th Annual Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival and Parade will take place in downtown Fayetteville on Saturday, June 18. Activities begin at 11 a.m. in the Walton Arts Center parking lot at Dickson St. and West Ave. The Tyson Main Stage and vendor festival, powered by Big Gay Market, will feature over 100 vendors, nonprofits and food trucks. The Equality Crew Family Zone located inside the Walton Arts Center will provide events and activities for children and teens.

The Trans March, honoring Arkansas’ trans and gender non-conforming youth, begins at 12 p.m. and the Pride Parade on Dickson Street begins at 5 p.m.

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Juneteenth Celebrations in NWA grow to include weekend of events

The NWA Juneteenth Planning Committee invites you to celebrate our annual Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebrations, commemorating the anniversary of African American emancipation. Starting Thursday, June 16, and running through Sunday, June 19, various free events are open to the public throughout the region:

  • Thursday, June 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. — Second Annual Arkansas Black Film Showcase, Great Hall, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
  • Friday, June 17, at 11 a.m. — Center for Black Excellence Ribbon Cutting, 4083 N. Shiloh Drive in Fayetteville.
  • Friday, June 17, at 7:05 p.m. — Black Action Collective will host Freedom Night with the Naturals at Arvest Ballpark. Pastor Curtiss Smith, senior pastor of the Historic St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville, will throw out the first pitch.
  • Saturday, June 18, at noon – Crown of Hope Luncheon at Mermaids in Fayetteville hosted by the Black Action Collective. Tickets here.
  • Saturday, June 18 at 8 p.m. – Juneteenth Sneaker Ball at Doubletree Hotel in Bentonville hosted by 4theCultureNWA. Purchase tickets here.
  • Sunday, June 19, from 1 to 9 p.m. – Freedom Festival at Shiloh Square in downtown Springdale. Free event hosted by Music Moves, Community Cohesion Project (CCP), Interform, University of Arkansas Juneteenth Committee and Crown of Hope.

The Freedom Festival is brought to you by Music Moves, Community Cohesion Project (CCP), Interform, and the University of Arkansas Juneteenth Committee. Foundation sponsors include Wal-Mart, Walton Family Foundation and Tyson Family Foundation.

EngageNWA Hosts Honoring Juneteenth in the Workplace

Juneteenth has been a regionally and locally celebrated holiday for decades but has only been recognized as a culturally and historically significant national holiday as of 2021. Dustin McGowan and Monica Kumar led a virtual session on June 14, 2022, that focused on understanding the complex history of Juneteenth from it inception to its recognition as a national holiday, how businesses can respectfully honor and support this day and its historic and modern significance, and local experiences and events happening around NWA as a springboard for engagement and future partnerships. You can review the event recording, PowerPoint presentation and additional resources at

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First El Salvador Consulate opens in Springdale 

Last week’s grand opening of the El Salvador Consulate in Springdale was a great achievement for Salvadorans in Northwest Arkansas and the culmination of a three-year long advocacy effort led by Salvadorenos Unidos Para Arkansas. Previously, the closest consulate was in Dallas, which presented significant barriers for the region’s second-largest Latino population to access essential consulate services, including identification and travel documents.The consulate will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at 3875 W. Sunset Ave. in Springdale.

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Equality Crew launches survey of NWA LGBTQ+youth

The Equality Crew is conducting an LGBTQ+ Youth Needs Assessment Survey in partnership with UAMS College of Public Health in Little Rock. The first of its kind in Arkansas, the survey seeks to collect demographic and life experience data of LGBTQ+ youth ages 12 to 18 residing in Benton and Washington counties. Findings will be compiled in a public report by 2023 and will help shape awareness and programming efforts that lead to effective support systems to improve safety and quality of life. In the first three days of the survey launch, over 200 responses were submitted. The confidential survey is open through August 2022.

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Crystal Bridges diversifies internship program with $10 million gift

The Alice L. Walton Foundation has donated $10 million to expand the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art internship program, emphasizing the recruitment of more diverse candidates. According to a press release, the museum plans to partner with Spelman College in Atlanta and Fisk University in Nashville to recruit interns from populations currently underrepresented in arts leadership. “This generous gift embodies everything I’ve known Alice to care about as a museum leader and arts patron – access, diversity, and nurturing the next generation, a representative generation, of arts leaders,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer at Crystal Bridges.

The grant will also allow the museum to add an administrator focused solely on the internship program.

Thank you for your continued commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in Northwest Arkansas!

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