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Concurrent University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law student Alexandra Rodery Rouse, while working with the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance, created a nonprofit advocacy manual.
The manual was created to provide necessary information on involving nonprofits in the important political discussions that impact the nonprofit sector. Rouse sought to improve the involvement and engagement of nonprofits with local and national leaders, policy makers and citizen groups, to bring awareness of the nonprofit causes to result in sound public policy.
The goal of the advocacy manual is to be a single source for information specific to Arkansas nonprofit advocacy measures. It will quicken the research time by nonprofit leaders and serve to elevate confidence levels in advocacy through information.
“The importance of nonprofit advocacy has become more evident during the past few years from threats of reductions to the charitable giving incentive to cuts in AmeriCorps due to sequestration, but many nonprofits feel isolated from the advocacy realm.” Stephanie Meincke, president and CEO of the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance.
In creating the manual, Rouse researched the current nonprofit advocacy landscape in Arkansas at both the state and federal level, the current legal and practical realities of advocacy, and then created a compilation of advocacy information and successful strategies to engage and educate nonprofits of their rights and limitations.
The manual will be available for the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance members and potentially the general public.
This post was origiannly published by the Crossroads Coalition, which can be found here.
Eastern Arkansas has everything it needs to create a business incubator system capable of creating an economic revolution, according to students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
Speaking at Mid-South Community College on Thursday, April 3, the graduate students discussed their research, thoughts, and conclusions while presenting “Advancing Entrepreneurial Development through Business Incubation,” sponsored by the East Arkansas Crossroads Coalition.
“If you take nothing else away from this presentation, please let it be that this is absolutely feasible in your community,” said Dani Folks of Austin, Tex., a graduate of Texas Christian University with degrees in anthropology and social work. “You have a great set of assets in place.”
Folks, David Ford of Cleveland, Ohio, and Thato Masire of Botswana completed a comprehensive, five-state study of leading entrepreneurial development organizations and designed an innovative framework to meet the specific needs of the Arkansas Delta.
The students visited twelve existing business support organizations, interviewing experts in the field and examining key attributes, procedures, and practices. Additionally, the team conducted a series of meetings with community members and elected officials to determine the assets and needs of Crittenden County.
“We have worked very closely with this great team the last eight months, and they have done some fantastic research,” said Heather Maxwell, executive director of the Crossroads Coalition. “They took a very vague project concept and, through research, interviews and hours and hours dedicated to the project, moved us from a ‘wouldn’t this be cool if?’ idea to ‘this is how you could do it, and these are some of the best models you could employ.’”
Ford, who discussed job creation, funding, partnerships, and mentoring, said everything is in place for a successful incubator model in eastern Arkansas.
“You need an economic revolution, and you have everything you need in this region to build, sustain, and revitalize your communities,” said Ford, a U.S. Army veteran who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Ohio University. “From what we’ve observed, you have leaders everywhere.”
Attendees of the presentation included Dr. Glen Fenter, President of Mid-South Community College, far right. Photo by Don Threm.
Ford pointed out that the U.S. features more than 1,200 successful incubator projects.
“Incubators are a powerful tool in helping new business launch and existing firms grow,” he said. “The goal of an incubator is to get entrepreneurs with great ideas the resources needed to launch their firms.”
Masire talked about the history of business incubators and said communities throughout the U.S. are using them to support new companies and aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Business incubation is a program that provides small businesses with a nurturing environment needed to develop global focuses,” he explained. “The goal is to increase the chance that business startups can succeed.”
Upon implementation, an incubator program has the potential to create jobs, retain local talent, and provide access to entrepreneurial education.
Folks said the vision of the East Arkansas Business Incubator “is to create a community center for entrepreneurial support from the ‘crazy idea’ stage, to the launch, to the scaling up of businesses and the reinvention of businesses.
“Your incubator should be the front door for innovative ideas in your region,” Folks said. “You want your clients to know that they are never more than two steps away from the right person, entity, or organization to work with them. And everybody in the community needs to be involved in the effort.”
The Clinton School students are working under the direction of assistant professor Dr. Warigia Bowman.
“I have the privilege and pleasure to work with three outstanding students,” Bowman said. “They are very smart, hardworking, and entrepreneurial. This is a well-balanced team in a lot of different ways, and I’m excited about the work they’ve done.”
Maxwell said the interest in seeking assistance from the Clinton School came after a trip by the Delta Leadership Institute to New Orleans.
Crossroads Coalition Executive Director Heather Maxwell introduces the Clinton School of Public Service practicum team, who spent the last year researching business incubators in the South. Photo by Don Threm.
“We visited a social enterprise incubator, and what they were doing was community revitalization through social enterprise,” she explained. “It really hit home to me that what they were doing would work in our part of the world.
“They were taking a very low-income area of New Orleans, somewhat remote, and they went block by block partnering social and community needs with small business and entrepreneurship. That model could certainly work of us in east Arkansas.”
Following the students’ presentation, John Auker, Delta Cuisine, and Matt Hampton, Elevate Entrepreneurship Systems, moderated a group discussion. Auker and Hampton are both involved in incubator and entrepreneurship efforts at MSCC.
Those being invited to the school’s graduation are encouraged to bring new toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and other new personal hygiene items. Donation boxes will be placed at the entrance of the Wally Allen Ballroom in the Statehouse Convention Center where the 2 p.m. ceremony will take place. Tax-deductible check contributions can also be made to the Jericho Way Resource Center and either brought to the ceremony or mailed to: Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.
“As part of our school’s ongoing commitment to public service, we have promoted giving as an important part of our graduation ceremony,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “If every high school and college in the country did this, it would have a tremendous impact at the local level.”
Previous Clinton School graduation donation recipients include Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS); Our House; the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Mobile Dental Clinic; and the Van.
A team of graduate students partnered with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel (APPP) to conduct research determining the feasibility of a public interest law firm in Arkansas.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students Elaine Frigon of Pine Bluff, Ark., Luke Frauenthal of Little Rock, Ark., Traci Johnson of Beech Grove, Ind., and Andy Lovley of Boston, Mass., spent the past school year interviewing industry leaders and surveying lawyers, non-profit organizations, and advocates, both in and out of the state, to determine if a public interest law firm could sustain itself in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is an advocacy group that brings together the concerns of groups across the state.
“It would be invaluable for our organization, other non-profits across the state and individuals from every walk of life to have greater access to legal services,” says APPP Policy Director John Whiteside. “To build a robust and long-term financially sustainable non-profit legal organization that could pursue legal advocacy not based on what is profitable but whose only guiding principle would be to do what is best for the state of Arkansas, would truly be a great and historic achievement for our state. We dream big; we know it will be a daunting task but we know there are very few things that would benefit the health of our democracy, our environment and the rights of every citizen.”
The UACS team conducted a study concerning unmet needs in Arkansas that could be changed through impact cases. Data was collected related to the potential firm’s case focus, along with information regarding how a public interest law firm could be sustainable. The team made final recommendations regarding development, fundraising, and potential law firm models for replication in Arkansas.
The findings will be presented on Thursday, April 24th at 6:00 PM.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Mara D’Amico of Grand Rapids, Mich. has extensively studied best practices for nonprofit policy and research committees, and has prepared a strategic planning report that will grow and strengthen the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’ (WFA) Policy and Research Committee.
By focusing on empowerment, education, and access to information for citizens and policymakers in Arkansas, a collective impact can be made on the status of women and girls in the state. Throughout the project, D’Amico researched organizations that are effective in educating the public about policy issues, spoke with representatives of some key groups, and drafted the strategic plan based on her research.
D’Amico has been working closely with members of the Policy and Research Committee, who represent a variety of sectors and areas of the state, to formulate the components of the strategic plan. Their input has guided her recommendations for the mission, vision, goals, and strategies of the committee.
“Under Mara’s guidance, a focused and lasting structure has been established for WFA’s Policy & Research Committee. Mara’s research, planning, and direction have positioned the committee to become a credible resource for the state to guide decision-making of community, church, civic, and nonprofit leaders,” said Lynnette Watts, the executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. “It has been a pleasure for WFA and the committee to work with Mara throughout this process. WFA will benefit from her efforts for years to come.”
Through her work, D’Amico hopes to increase knowledge about issues of relevance to women and girls among the general public and state elected officials, in addition to service providers and other groups, and get more Arkansans civically engaged.
Based on D’Amico’s recommendations, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas will strengthen the Policy and Research Committee throughout 2014, and will be well positioned to produce more research and educational materials for 2015 and subsequent years.
About Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) promotes philanthropy to help women and girls in Arkansas achieve their full potential. WFA serves the community as a grant maker, a resource on women and girls, and a convener. They empower women and girls in the state through the following initiatives:
- More information about the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is available at www.womensfoundationarkansas.org.
As part of the final project for the public service master’s program, Angela Jimenez, M.D, from the University Of Arkansas Clinton School Of Public Service, researched and identified the protective factors against unplanned teen pregnancies in Arkansas, alongside the Arkansas Department of Health.
Dr. Jimenez’s work involved creating a survey administered to the female Latino population in Little Rock to identify protective factors. Results indicate several statistically significant protective factors against unplanned pregnancies, like Latino family structure and encouragement to complete a higher level of education. The development of recommendations focused on a community-based participatory research approach were shared, along with the research findings, with organizations and academic institutions such as UAMS, The Woman’s Foundation of Arkansas, The Arkansas Department of Health, The Clinton School of Public Service and The Mexican Consulate in Little Rock.
Providing the research results to these institutions help to increase awareness regarding the Latino community’s capacity to elude risks and stimulate social and cultural competence to avoid teen pregnancies. Even when some risk factors are still present in the surveyed Latino population, the protective factors approach creates the opportunity to implement community-based participatory strategies that promote the protective factors against unplanned pregnancies in vulnerable communities.
“We have limited knowledge of the Latino community in Arkansas and this research helps inform us of how we may work with the community to reduce unwanted births,” said Brad Planey, Branch Chief, Family Health Branch, Arkansas Department of Health. “The focus on the protective factors makes this research unique and provides a positive approach to change in a sensitive area of health for the community”
Dr. Jimenez’s work uses, encourages and recommends a community-based participatory research approach to engage the Latino community as a way to increase awareness, prevention, and reduce the teen birth rate in Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation announced today that Sturgis Hall, the restored 1899 Choctaw passenger train station adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Library, has received Gold LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council.
The Earth Day announcement makes the 115 year-old Clinton School building the oldest building in Arkansas to be LEED certified and one of the oldest university buildings in the world.
Jason Hartke, vice president of national policy with the United States Green Building Council, presented Debbie Shock, director of operations and facilities for the Clinton Presidential Center, with the award during a morning press conference in Little Rock. Shock was the project coordinator. Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation and Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School both spoke at the event.
In August 2009, the Clinton School received a stimulus grant from Governor Mike Beebe to implement sustainable and maintenance practices for reducing the environmental impact of the building. Shock said utility bills costs have already been lowered by $38,000 annually and water usage has been significantly curtailed.
“This LEED designation confirms that higher education, historic preservation and environmental protection can work hand in hand,” Rutherford said. “Outcomes do matter and the successful greening of this historic passenger train station is a collaboration that has worked.”
A team of graduate students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will present findings on how to increase University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) volunteer participation and raise community awareness and access to the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Center.
The presentation will be held on April 22, 2014 at 4pm in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health building, room 8240.
Clinton School students Haylee Fletcher of Prescott Valley, Ariz., Caroline Head of Little Rock, Ark., Laetitia Tokplo of Benin, West Africa, and Angela Toomer of Little Rock, Ark., researched ways to market the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Center to the surrounding community and to recruit volunteers from UAMS. They are presenting a communications plan and marketing toolkit that recommends best ways to increase access and UAMS volunteer involvement, ultimately contributing to a healthier community.
The 12th Street Health and Wellness Center is located on the south side of I-630, in a community historically underserved by health services. Students from five UAMS colleges and the graduate school provide preventive healthcare under the supervision of licensed health professionals within this student-led, inter-professional Center.
“The 12th Street Center will rely on the team’s results and recommendations to craft our community communications plan,” said Lanita White, Pharm.D., director of the Center. “An effective communications plan will enable us to reach more patients in our efforts to improve the health of Arkansans.”
Fletcher, Head, Tokplo, and Toomer bring experience working with underserved populations around the world. They look forward to contributing to the growth of the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Center and impacting the health of Arkansans in a positive way.
UAMS and the team welcome community members and health professionals to attend their final presentation.
A University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student partnered with the ONE Campaign to formulate a strategic plan for increasing organizational membership and enhancing the impact of the organization’s advocacy campaigns in the United Kingdom.
Roger Norman (’14) of Benton, Ark., conducted and analyzed data from focus groups, interviews, and surveys collected from over 230 individuals across the United Kingdom involved with the ONE Campaign.
The ONE Campaign advocates the importance and successes of international development budgets and urges political leaders to sustain such funds. The organization accomplishes this through grassroots campaigning from ONE members across the world.
Norman’s study collected information on effective campaigning strategies, barriers that inhibited member’s campaigning, ways ONE could better support an individual’s advocacy efforts, and techniques other organizations use for campaigning and volunteering management in the United Kingdom.
“As an organization with limited resources but unlimited ambition we must constantly challenge ourselves to firstly, provide the most compelling reason for members of the public to join our fight against extreme poverty and secondly, ensure that we maintain a fulfilling and fruitful relationship with those individuals,” said ONE project supervisor Saira O’Mallie. “It’s as challenging as it sounds. Roger’s research has given us clarity of focus, justification for some of our existing practices but, most importantly, clear and strategic steps that we can realistically take in the next few months and years to secure meaningful partnerships with the people on the ground who will help us to end extreme poverty by 2030.”
Based on the research findings, a set of recommendations was formulated, highlighting strategies the ONE Campaign should adopt for increasing the impact of the organization’s campaigning in United Kingdom.
“Partnering with the ONE Campaign has been an invaluable experience,” Norman said. “Working to increase the number of individuals in the United Kingdom urging political leaders to defend international development funds is something that will save lives and help end the cycle of poverty for many across the world.”
Norman completed the project as part of his Capstone project, one of the three field service projects completed during the Clinton School Master of Public Service degree program. His other field service works includes a project with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and other projects with the ONE Campaign.
About the ONE Campaign:
The ONE Campaign is a non-partisan, non-profit, advocacy organization with over 3 Million members that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support effective policies and programs that are saving lives and improving futures.
More information about the ONE Campaign is available at http://www.one.org/us/