Marker to Recognize Legacy of Enslaved Man in Fayetteville

The City of Fayetteville’s Black Heritage Preservation Commission is working to establish a permanent marker on the downtown Fayetteville square to recognize the story of Nelson Hackett, an enslaved man who fled Fayetteville in search of freedom in Canada. In partnership with The Nelson Hackett Project, a scholarly research and public history program of the University of Arkansas Humanities Center, the commission will determine the size and precise location of the marker during its April 21 meeting. If approved by the city council, the commission will apply a $3,500 state grant to pay for its creation and installment.

Hackett escaped enslavement in Fayetteville and fled to Canada but was extradited at the demand of Alfred Wallace, the man who claimed to own Hackett. Wallace owned a grocery store south of where the Bank of Fayetteville sits at the downtown square. Opposition surrounding Hackett’s extradition led to changes in Canada’s extradition policies to ensure that Canada remained a safe refuge for those escaping bondage in the United States.

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35 Nonprofits Selected to Join Regional DEI Initiative

TRUE Northwest Arkansas recently selected 35 nonprofits to participate in the second phase of its regional DEI initiative to help bolster the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of nonprofit organizations in Benton and Washington counties. The initiative, led by the IDEALS Institute at the U of A, is funded by a $2,185,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. The grant to IDEALS is part of’s recent three-year, $5 million commitment to building a culture of belonging in the region.

Rebranded as TRU Powered by IDEALS, the purpose of the initiative is to provide cohort participants with practical strategies to advance and strengthen their DEI efforts. The 2022 TRAIN cohort consists of 15 organizations new to DEI work; the 2022 RECHARGE cohort consists of five nonprofits already pursuing DEI strategies; and the 2022-2023 UPLIFT cohort represents 15 organizations led by and serving minoritized communities.

Selected nonprofits participated in a launch event on Tuesday, March 29, at the Jones Center in Springdale.

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NWA Fashion Week Returns, Uplifting Immigrant and Transgender Communities

After a three-year hiatius due to the pandemic, INTERFORM’s NWA Fashion Week returned with sold-out shows on March 10-12 at the Momentary in Bentonville. With a mission to celebrate Northwest Arkansas’ growing culture and raise awareness and support for local organizations, this year’s show featured models from Marshallese, Congolese, Latino and transgender communities and amplified the work of two local organizations, The Transition Closet and the Transgender Equality Network.

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 KUAF Podcast Explores Mental Health Access for All

Resilient Black Women is a new podcast from hosts Joi McGowan and Deneshia Simpson, founders of the nonprofit Resilient Black Women. Both licensed counselors in Northwest Arkansas, McGowan and Simpson seek to reimagine mental health access for communities of color and are committed to “redefining what it means to have courage, resilience and a heathy sense of self.” Airing every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, the podcast’s first season will run March through June 2022.

Listen to the first episode as McGowan and Simpson discuss how mental health impacts culture and their vision for the series and for the community as a whole.

Use Your Voice To Help Shape the Future of Downtown Springdale

The Downtown Springdale Alliance is offering several public workshops for community members to share their voices and perspectives that will help shape the future of downtown Springdale as part of the Downtown Springdale Master Plan Update. The Update is a joint effort of the City of Springdale and Downtown Springdale Alliance supported by the Walton Family Foundation and the Tyson Family Foundation.

Workshops will be held on March 30-31, May 18-19 with sessions available in English, Spanish and Marshallese. Learn more here.

Regional Refuge Resettlement Agency Seeks DEI Director

Spread the word! CanopyNWA is hiring a director of human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion. This is a full-time position reports to the executive director and serves as part of the management team. The position is focused on evaluating, implementing and coordinating all human resources activities, programs and processes for Canopy and will play a major role in refining HR and DEI policies, furthering their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and staff training. The ideal candidate will have a breadth and depth of knowledge in human resources and DEI.

¡ASCENDER! Free Minority Business Seminar Series
HOSTED BY: Springdale Chamber of Commerce

DATE: Thursday, March 31, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION: 202 W. Emma Ave., Springdale

¡Acompáñanos para aprender estrategias efectivas de contabilidad y manejo de su negocio!

Join us to learn Accounting & Bookkeeping for your business. (Spanish presentation)

Register here.

Arkansas Black Music Expo
HOSTED BY: Music Moves

DATE: April 15 at 5 p.m. to April 16 at 9 p.m.
LOCATION: The Jones Center, 922 E. Emma, Springdale

The Expo is a family-friendly, free event featuring musical performances by Grammy nominees Carl Thomas and Kirk Whalum, with additional regional artists scheduled throughout the two days. Food trucks and attractions for kids will be on site.

A full schedule of performances is available here.

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

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