Local organizations to receive funds for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

NWA Pride Parade / Staff photo

Fourteen local organizations will receive funds to bolster their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, officials announced last week.

The funding is part of TRUE Northwest Arkansas, an initiative of the Arkansas Community Foundation paid for by the Walmart Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. TRUE aims to Train, Report, Uplift, and Engage the community towards diversity and inclusion, according to the website.

A total of $1,267,500 will be distributed to the groups for a host of programs, including training, research, strategy development, and other initiatives. A full list of recipients of the funds, with a brief description of their plans for the money is below.

Fayetteville Public Schools, for example, will use the funds to support the district’s equity plan.

“Fayetteville Public Schools’ partnership with TRUE has played a valuable role in the development of our five-year equity plan, which is designed to grow and sustain a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Fayetteville Superintendent John L. Colbert, Ed.D. “With this grant, the district can now provide professional development on culturally responsive education, bias, and decreasing disproportionate discipline; help diversify staff through recruitment and retention; and make investments in important community partnerships.”

For more information about the TRUE initiative, visit truenwarkansas.org.

TRUE Grant Recipients 2020

BikeNWA: Develop a methodology and plan for measuring progress, including creating a regional population profile to ensure equitable practices, planning processes and infrastructure initiatives.

Circle of Life: Provide internal training, as well as leadership and professional development, to enhance overall DEI efforts.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Enhance overall DEI capacity through assessment, dialogue, continuing education and organizational strategy.

Downtown Bentonville, Inc.: Support training, strategy development and community engagement to help ensure inclusive programming.

Downtown Springdale Alliance: Develop a strategy to build and cultivate relationships with diverse communities through inclusive outreach, events and public programs.

Fayetteville Public Library: Conduct an internal assessment to determine how policies, procedures and operations can better reach underserved communities.

Fayetteville Public Schools: Support the district’s Equity Plan and five-year engagement with the University of Arkansas IDEAL Institute.

Northwest Arkansas Council: Develop a roadmap and policy recommendations to increase staff and board diversity, support training and assess strategy and programming.

NWA Center for Sexual Assault: Complete an assessment of staff, board members, volunteers, providers and programming to ensure a holistic, fully integrated DEI focus.

Ozark Literacy Council: Help develop a more robust volunteer base, educate volunteers on DEI values and strengthen social networks within the community.

TheatreSquared: Support the organization’s focus on DEI through staff development, program implementation and training.

Tricycle Theatre: Provide internal training and support research listening sessions to increase access to future programming for diverse stakeholder groups.

University of Arkansas IDEALS Institute: Develop, implement and evaluate six virtual and on-campus DEI trainings for participants from all sectors.

Walton Arts Center: Ensure policies, procedures and governance support DEI goals; increase training to foster an equitable environment; promote inclusive and authentic programming; and prioritize listening and learning to support diverse communities.