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David Ford, Thato Masire, and Dani Folks, members of the class of 2015 and the Crossroads Coalition Practicum team, attended the ninth annual dinner of their partner organization on December 3, 2013. The Dinner, “An Evening with the Candidates,” hosted all three candidates who are running to become Arkansas’ next Governor.
The annual dinner is an opportunity for the Crossroads Coalition to recognize the outstanding achievements of organizations and individuals within the Delta and raise awareness of the critical issues impacting the communities, businesses, and organizations they serve. On this night, the Crossroads Coalition also took a moment to highlight their excitement of the work being done by their Clinton School Practicum team to develop a business incubator blueprint and best practices report for the Delta region. The implementation of a business incubator is one piece of the Crossroads Coalition’s broader vision to stimulate growth in the Delta economy.
Clinton School Professor Don Ernst was recently interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers regarding his work as the Coordinator of the Children’s Initiative at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.
Today is #GivingTuesday, which is a unique movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the holiday season that takes place every Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday. In light of the spirit of today, below is a unique way you can help our community and help keep Little Rock warm.
We’re Hosting A Sleeping Bag/Socks Drive to Benefit Homeless – Join us!
It’s easy to take simple things for granted – a blanket to sleep with or socks to keep your feet warm. Many homeless people in the Little Rock community don’t have access to these things as they sleep outside in the cold. Students from the Clinton School of Public Service will host a ‘Keep Little Rock Warm’ drive for the homeless community. Help out by donating new or clean, gently used sleeping bags and socks at the times and locations below.
Donation drop-off times and locations:
- Friday, December 6, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall (1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201).
- Saturday, December 7, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Clinton School of Public Service Sturgis Hall OR Clinton Presidential Center (1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201).
Ways to participate:
1. Drop off new or clean, gently used sleeping bags and socks at the Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, on Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
NOTE: On Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Jingle Bell Run/Walk will take place in front of the Clinton School. For your convenience, you can drop off donations in front of the Clinton Presidential Center from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
2. Make a tax-deductible monetary donation. Make checks payable to The Van – a mobile homeless care unit. Click here for more information about The Van.
3. If you cannot drop off donations with us, the Salvation Army is always accepting donations. Please contact the Salvation Army (1111 W. Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201) at (501) 374-9296 to schedule a time to drop off a donation.
For more information, contact Katy Grennier at (414) 588-0276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The interview below originally appeared on digitallearn.org about his work as the Digital Literacy Instructor at Connect Arkansas.
What do you do at your organization?
I am their Digital Literacy Instructor and I’m expanding Connect Arkansas’s Adult Digital Literacy program from 17 counties to all 75 counties in the state. It helps that I only have to do the northern half.
How do you support digital literacy and digital inclusion in your organization or your work?
Connect Arkansas works to increase high-speed Internet subscription and improving and sustaining Internet adoption throughout Arkansas, which is one of the least connected states in the country.
Our Adult Digital Literacy program was created on the theory that for those who either don’t know how to use the Internet or why they should be on it will be unmotivated to seek an Internet subscription.
Why do you think digital literacy and digital inclusion are important?
Digital literacy is an essential tool to participate in contemporary civic life. Individuals without basic computer skills face big hurdles around everything from entering/reentering the workforce, to continuing their education, to being informed voters and patients. They also stay disconnected from so many amazing opportunities to plug into global citizenship.
Individuals who don’t have basic digital literacy skills are at a disadvantage when they need to apply for a job online (which is now required by most Fortune 500 companies), to finish a degree when classes are online, or soon even getting their GED as starting this January tests will only be offered on computers. This has been making a profound impact on regional economies in low-income, rural areas.
Beyond that, digital literacy is a platform for participating in the emerging global economy of ideas, where everyone can have their voices heard and everyone can engage with people on every corner of the globe. For myself, I’ve used different online resources to make friends all over the world (Couchsurfing, Twitter), was identified for a job position and then offered that job (LinkedIn), and have seen great ideas get funding to have a real impact in my (offline) community (Indiegogo, RallySTL). Lately I’ve been on Facebook a lot checking in on my friends in central Philippines who were hit by Typhoon Haiyon and seeing how I can best get involved in relief efforts. Through the Internet everyone has the potential to be a global citizen and develop the relationships, ideas, and opportunities needed to launch anything from a new business to a social movement.
Do you have any success stories or anecdotes about the impact of your work supporting digital literacy or digital inclusion?
I get a lot of people who have never read an email, who have never typed, or who have never before been on a computer. Every day I see people leave with brand new skills, and it’s not unusual for me to hear them say that they can now do something that they didn’t think they could ever do. While I focus most of the class time on the actual material, I spend the last ten minutes having them talk to each other about what challenges they’ve had in the class and how they overcame these challenges. I find that by helping people feel comfortable and empowered around computers that it magnifies the impact of the class.
What is one thing that you would like to see happen at the local level to increase the impact of digital literacy?
Workforce development is essential for the survival of many rural communities in Arkansas.
Between 2000-2009, Eastern Arkansas lost 9% of its population while southern Arkansas lost 7%, leading to a surge of poverty and unemployment in many of these counties. In order for these places to be more competitive in the 21st century economy these regions need to create new job opportunities that cater to the current demands of the global economy. Digital literacy needs to be a serious component of such plans.
Online services can frequently be provided from anywhere and companies like Onshore Outsourcing, is creating well-paying IT jobs in rural Missouri which serves companies all around the country. By investing in workplace education, Onshore Outsourcing is taking full advantage of the low cost of living while deeply enriching the small towns where they employ local people. This sort of innovative thinking is vital if we are to create economic stability in these regions of the state.
What is one thing that you would like to see happen at the national level to increase the impact of digital literacy?
We need national leadership in STEM education for kids, especially for those in marginalized communities. A lot of people don’t understand that by just letting kids play with computer coding in the fifth grade that they can develop a very high-demand, well-paying skill before they even graduate high school. Focusing attention on computer programming initiatives in historically marginalized communities where quality STEM education is scarce would create a huge return on investment for these areas.
What is one new digital skill you recently learned?
I also work for a St. Louis – based start-up called Openly Disruptive where we developed a software program that lets people create online, geotagged collages that tell the hidden histories of their neighborhood. It’s really fun and we kind of trick people into learning basic coding skills. I was on the administrative side of the program so the coding is new to me but by learning how programming works it has helped me better communicate how computers work in my classes.
What is one digital skill you recently taught?
Beyond the basics of creating email addresses or answering “how do I turn this thing turn on” I recently created a few “next steps” handouts that I go over at the end of each session.
One takes the principles of Design Thinking and applies these general methods to solving computer issues that students might later encounter. The other provides a list of self-guided learning websites on everything from cyber security to typing to creating a Prezi. It also includes tried and true steps of making sure your computer is working right (e.g. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”).
What are your favorite online tools for digital literacy support and/or training?
Mousercise (via Palm Beach County Library) and Mouse Exercises (via Senior Net) are great tools to help first time computer users feel comfortable being on a computer. I also use a lot of materials I find on DigitalLearn.org. Their step-by-step guides for search engine and email have been very well received by my students. I’ve also found great materials and resources on their community discussion boards.
The article below was originally published in the Pine Bluff newspaper, The Commercial. Authored by Michael S. Lee.
Mass media is guilty of implying that blacks commit more crimes than the factual record bears out and that whites are more frequent victims of crime than the statistics show, according to a professor from the Clinton School of Public Service who spoke in Pine Bluff Thursday night.
Travis L. Dixon, associate professor of communication studies at the University of California Los Angeles and Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy Visiting Philanthropy Faculty Scholar, gave a presentation on Race in the Media at the Donald W. Reynolds Center that attracted around 50 people.
“One of the things we want to do tonight is speak about media literacy,” Dixon said. “We are talking about educating yourself about the function and impact of the mass media. Scholars have found evidence that African-Americans are over-represented as criminal suspects in news programs compared to the actual crime reports. In addition, African-Americans are associated with the most negative possible roles and situations in crime news. Furthermore, whites are over-represented in more positive roles as police officers and crime victims.”
Dixon encouraged discussion on the topic of whether these biases are present in Pine Bluff media outlets.
“Television news is important because we expect it to reflect reality,” Dixon said. “But often it creates its own version of reality. We have not looked directly at Pine Bluff in our research but these images come up everywhere we look.”
Dixon said these media biases cause very different reactions from white versus black consumers of news media.
“White viewers are more likely to support tough crime policies including three strikes, the death penalty, stand your ground laws, and trying juveniles as adults,” Dixon said. “They support Republican political candidates and don’t support social programs like food stamps and welfare. Black viewers don’t support tough- on-crime policies and do support social programs.”
Dixon said the news media focuses on what he termed blue-collar crime, because it is easier to cover than white-collar crime.
“It’s easy to go out and cover a shooting or a robbery,” Dixon said. “White-collar crime takes more time to cover and is not seen as sexy.”
Dixon said the profit motive encourages an emphasis on the kinds of crimes blacks are more likely to commit, such as robbery; instead of crimes more likely committed by whites such as corporate embezzlement.
“Exposure to biased media portrayals triggers a negative mental image of black male criminals,” Dixon said. “This stereotypical association then leads to biased judgments that may be made even without the news viewers’ conscious awareness. One deadly consequence of this could be police shootings of unarmed black men, or the profiling of black shoppers. Research suggests that those who watch lots of news tend to think that blacks are dangerous and that black crime is out of control.”
After Dixon’s presentation the audience was divided into groups of six to 10 and encouraged to discuss what can be done to address racial bias in the news and to come up with ideas on how to combat it.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s Center on Community Philanthropy is hosting a community conversation on “Race in the Media: Understanding the Issues and Discussing Opportunities for Action” in Helena-West Helena. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on December 3rd from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Delta Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Doors will open at 5:00pm.
The Center’s Visiting Faculty Philanthropy Scholar, Dr. Travis Dixon, will lead the conversation. Dr. Dixon, an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at University of California Los Angeles, has extensively researched the portrayal of minorities in the media, and looks forward to discussing the topic with residents of Helena-West Helena and surrounding areas.
The community discussion will explore the degree to which racial stereotypes are perpetuated by media outlets and will encourage participants to work together to formulate ideas and actions for change.
“Stereotypes are the foundation of racism—if we can deal with them effectively, we can deal with racism,” Dr. Dixon explained. “Local residents often have a number of great ideas on how to address this issue in their own communities. Some of those ideas may turn out to be powerful solutions,” he added.
This dialogue is a part of the Center’s efforts to convene and engage Arkansans through its “Pathways to Racial Healing and Equity in the American South” initiative.
“The Center is pleased to offer this unique and timely opportunity to residents of the Delta,” said Dr. Charlotte L. Williams, Associate Professor and Director of the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy. “The Center is committed to taking discussions like this beyond academia and engaging individuals at the community level. Any positive initiative that is going to be successful in these communities must live locally.”
Dinner will be provided by the Center for this event. There is no cost to attend, however, space is limited and RSVPs will be required. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Sierra Fowler by email at email@example.com or call (501) 683-5216.
About the Center on Community Philanthropy
The Center on Community Philanthropy is a groundbreaking venture focusing its teaching, research and policy-making exclusively on the emerging field of sharing and giving in a community context. Although the center is part of a growing number of university-based programs focused on civic engagement and volunteerism, it is unique in its mission to study philanthropic concepts and acts emerging from within communities.
For more information, please visit the Center’s website.
Policy Solutions Challenge USA is pleased to announce that the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will be the site of the Southwest Region of the Challenge on February 28 – March 2, 2014.
Policy Solutions Challenge USA offers an annual policy analysis competition for U.S. schools of public policy, public service, public affairs, and public administration. Every year, teams of five students from each participating school will be asked to use their policy analysis skills to propose innovative and feasible solutions to one of the more difficult problems affecting the United States at the national level. Results from the Challenge will be transmitted to key executive branch and congressional decision makers, and promoted online to encourage new thinking and legislative activity based on the analysis and ideas produced by the student teams.
For the 2014 Challenge, the topic will be policy solutions to improving employment and earnings outcomes for younger workers. Governments around the world have struggled to improve employment and earnings outcomes for younger workers. In the United States, and especially since the 2008 start of the, “Great Recession,” workers ages 18-25 have found it increasingly difficult to find quality employment. There have been numerous reports in the news of significant levels of unemployment and underemployment among new college graduates. Organizations such as the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship advocate for a new emphasis on training high school graduates for skilled employment outside of the “college track.” Others point to such trends as the drop out rate from college and the relatively low interest of U.S. students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Amidst reporting on widening income inequality in the U.S. is evidence that younger workers are falling behind older generations in terms of their lifetime earnings potential.
The first phase of the Challenge will be regional competitions hosted at five sites including the Clinton School. At each site, a distinguished panel of professional policy analysts will receive presentations from each team entered in that region, offer the teams a chance to revise proposals based on feedback onsite, and then make a final presentation to the panel. The panel will select first- and second-place teams for that region.
Teams awarded first place in the regional competitions will be invited to participate in the National Challenge to be held March 21-22, 2014, in Washington, DC. At the National Challenge, a distinguished panel of professional policy analysts will receive initial presentations, provide feedback, and judge the final presentations. At the end of the national competition, the panel will select a national champion, first runner-up and second runner-up.
In addition to making presentations, each participating team will prepare brief reports on their analyses. The presentations and reports will be available to the public through the Challenge website at the conclusion of the national Challenge.
Founded in 2004, the Clinton School of Public Service is the first such school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree. The MPS gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service. While learning valuable lessons in the classroom, Clinton School students also complete “hands-on” public service projects, ranging from local work in Arkansas communities, to international projects on all of the world’s six inhabited continents.
A two-year graduate program with a “real world” curriculum, the Clinton School is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Ark. The school embodies former President Clinton’s vision of building leadership in civic engagement and enhancing people’s capacity to work across disciplinary, racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries.
For more information, contact Erik Devereux at Policy Solutions Challenge USA (firstname.lastname@example.org or (855) 744-0008) or Susan Hoffpauir at the Clinton School of Public Service (email@example.com or (501) 658-3724).
This post was written by current Clinton School student Kayla Brooks
Current Clinton School students, Anna Applebaum (class 9), Quiana Brown (class 9) and myself (Kayla Brooks class 8) along with Clinton School Alums Katie Hicks (class 7), Rebecca Kaufman(class 5) and Erin O’Leary (class 5), attended Women Lead Arkansas’s Campaign Training Workshop on November 16, 2013.
Women Lead Arkansas is a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to encouraging women and girls throughout the state of Arkansas to become involved in politics, policy and leadership. This daylong workshop was held at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, AR. It was the inaugural Ready to Run Campaign Training for Women. The goals of the workshop included educating and supporting women considering running for office, providing an opportunity to network with women politicians, learning from field experts and meeting political party representatives.
We joined about 40 other women from around the State for this rare training. The workshop covered a broad range of topics from notable facilitators. Alice Stewart, a Republican political strategist, presented on messaging and communication strategy with the media and Sarah Scanlon, a Democratic political organizer, discussed where to start when deciding to run for office. Political Consultant, Michael Cook, talked about the key elements of fundraising and field organizing.
We learned about the history of women running for presidential office in the U.S. and the numerous female heads of state across the globe. We also had the opportunity to hear from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office and the Arkansas Commission on avoiding ethical pitfalls and how to complete all proper paperwork required to run for office.
The workshop concluded with an informative session on current leadership opportunities for women and a question and answer panel. The panel was comprised of current and former office-holders and representatives from various political parties: Tachany Evans, Democratic primary candidate; Rep. Andrea Lee, candidate for Arkansas Auditor; Candace Martin, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas; Laurie Lee, impact management and conservative activist, and Stephanie Johnson, President o the League of Women Voters of Arkansas. Panelists spoke about what they felt women have to offer in the political arena and gave advice on how to overcome some of the obstacles they faced.