City of Rogers and Rogers-Lowell Chamber partner to fund VP of Community Engagement & Inclusion

Geovanny Sarmiento was recently hired by the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce to help promote and implement diverse and inclusive practices in the area. One of his initial priorities will be to work with the Rogers Complete Count Committee to ensure an accurate 2020 U.S. Census. We recently sat down with Geovanny and heard his thoughts about this new position: “As our region continues to receive and welcome more and more people from all backgrounds, our work with diversity, equity and inclusion has become more important than ever. This is requiring intentional efforts to support our diverse communities to ensure Northwest Arkansas is a great place to live, work and play for everyone. Our goal is to collaborate with partner organizations like EngageNWA to enhance DEI initiatives and broaden our impact. Working together, we’re accomplishing our shared vision to make life better for all people who live here.”

big IDEAS.

Arkansas Times highlights NWA South Asian food scene as an example of entrepreneurship and inclusion

Pictured: Himabindu Sreepathy of Bentonville’s World Food Mart and Ali Momani of Community Butcher. Photos by Brian Chilson

Southern Foodways Alliance, part of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, recently interviewed members of the growing South Asian food community in NWA and the project was covered in the Arkansas Times. The stories behind the immigrant-owned businesses are great examples of the power of entrepreneurship to tap into new markets and create stronger community ties among residents.

Read the full article here.


“Somebody has to stand when other people are sitting. Somebody has to speak when everyone else is quiet.”

— Bryan Stevenson

take NOTE.

Spotlight on Local Latinx Influencers | KNWA

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, KNWA is profiling the stories and contributions of members in our regional community, beginning with Sonia Gutierrez, the first Latina City Council member in Fayetteville. In this feature, Sonia stresses the importance of representation and seeing people like yourself in leadership positions.

NWA Economic Growth | Northwest Arkansas Council

The Northwest Arkansas Council released this infographic as part of its 2019 annual report. Rapidly increasing population (including one-third ethnically/racially diverse individuals) brings economic, education and artistic opportunities unique to this place and time.

Census 2020 | Office of the Arkansas Governor

Governor Asa Hutchinson recently issued an executive order to establish a state level complete count committee. We were excited to see Melisa Laelan, Founder of Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, appointed as a member.

Conversations Around Race | KUAF

KUAF journalist Antoinette Grajeda invited Niketa Reed and Sara Bishop, both faculty members at the University of Arkansas and communication consultants, to discuss productive ways to engage in conversations around race, diversity and inclusion. Listen to the full conversation here.

make MOVES.

HOSTED BY: UA Office for Diversity and Inclusion and EngageNWA

9/19, 10-12pm at UA’s Reynolds Center Auditorium. Click here to register.

9/19, 1:30-3:30pm at the Northwest Arkansas Educational Service Coop, 4 North Double Springs Road. Click here to register or email

Designed for higher ed faculty/staff in the morning and K-12 faculty/staff in the afternoon, this workshop will help you recognize and intervene in the everyday bullying and harm of identity-based microaggressions in the classroom.


HOSTED BY: Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas

10/11/2019, 8-4pm at The Jones Center, Springdale

“Transformational: The Experience of Arkansas” is the theme of this year’s HWOA Annual Conference and includes sessions on politics and representation, education, women and LGBTQ issues.

Find more events here

we want to hear from YOU.

We know that putting words into action is hard. There’s a lot of exciting and promising initiatives going on, but getting something started, overcoming obstacles and sustaining energy and attention is something with which we all struggle.

How can we help you in your efforts to make NWA  a more diverse and inclusive region? What sort of tips and tools would make it easier? Send us your thoughts and your ideas so that we can together learn, grow and succeed as a region.

Our new website makes it easy.

Share Your Story