- Prospective Students
- Faculty & Staff
- Make a Gift
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has chosen three new Fellows, including two Clinton School students, to join DHS for the 2013-2014 year. During their year with DHS, Fellows work on specific projects that address real DHS issues, policies, strategies, or problems. The DHS Office of Policy and Planning oversees the program for DHS and this is its fourth year. The program’s purpose is to expose the Fellows to the state government sector in hopes they will pursue jobs in public service.
The Fellows work part-time at DHS for a year for up to 1000 hours and are assigned to a division project supervisor who looks at day-to-day aspects of the project. About 70 percent of the Fellows’ time will be spent on their specific project and the remaining 30 percent will be focused on career development and training by taking the Career Development Program through the DHS Organizational Development and Training as well as other training opportunities.
Clinton School DHS Fellows include:
Angela Bukenya, a Master’s of Public Service student at the Clinton School of Public Service, has experience in nursing, public administration, human rights, advocacy, small business management, and many professional and personal experiences with health care in the U.S. She has a passion for access to health care and is very excited about the opportunity to learn about Arkansas’ health care system transformation and how it will impact Arkansans. Angela will work closely with the Health Care Innovations Team as well as several other partner organizations to evaluate consumer understanding, satisfaction, and engagement in the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative.
Neena Viel, a Master’s of Public Service student at the Clinton School of Public Service, has a background in communications, and has worked on several qualitative research projects that assessed the needs of underserved youth in poverty, foster care, and other high-risk communities. She has worked on projects that included the Arkansas Out of School Network, Nyaka Aids Orphans Project, and Children’s Homes of Paragould. Neena will work closely with the Social Emotional Health Work Group and the DHS Divisions of Behavioral Health Services, Child Care and Early Childhood Education and Children and Family Services, as well as several other public and private organizations to support the implementation of recommendations from the Work Group’s strategic plan. This may include evaluating the feasibility of implementing the goals and strategies laid out in the plan, working with DHS leadership to determine which strategies should be prioritized, and identifying specific activities needed to support implementation.
“Wave,” author Sonali Deraniyagala
Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- On Dec. 26, 2004, Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, two sons, and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In “Wave,” she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York, working on issues of economic development, including post-disaster recovery.
“Hyrdofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know,” author Alex Prud’homme
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- “Hydrofracking” explores the debate surrounding hydrofracking and provides a clear guide to the science underlying the technique. In concise question-and-answer format, Prud’homme cuts through the maze of opinions and rhetoric to uncover key points, from the economic and political benefits of fracking to the health dangers and negative effects on the environment. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Time Magazine. He is the author of five books, including “The Ripple Effect: the Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century,” and the co-writer of Julia Child’s bestselling memoir, “My Life in France.”
“A Buyer-Led Approach to Creating Jobs for the Poor,” development economist, James Riordan
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- Riordan challenges conventional wisdom on international development work in his book, “We Do Know How: A Buyer-Led Approach to Creating Jobs for the Poor.” With practical guidance, he shows how to build on the incentives that drive businesses and, in the process, expand the incomes of poor people. Riordan takes buzzwords commonly used in development circles–”demand-driven,” “results-oriented,” “accountability”– and makes them real, spelling out a proven approach to drive economic growth. With more than 35 years of experience working in the public, non-profit and academic sectors, Riordan has designed and implemented anti-poverty, food security, business development, rural development, and policy reform programs in 59 countries.
“Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding,” development economist, Charles Kenny
Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- “Getting Better” lays out the evidence on growing income disparities between the global rich and the global poor and explains the failed search for a silver bullet to overcome economic malaise. Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, discusses the considerable successes of development, pointing to global progress in health, education, civil and political rights, infrastructure, and even access to beer. He argues that ideas and technologies are the driving forces behind progress and suggests what the success of development and the importance of innovation to that success mean for policies in the developing world.
“Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife,” author Dr. Eben Alexander
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Clinton Presidential Center, Great Hall) *Book signing to follow
- New York Times best-selling author and neurosurgeon, Dr. Alexander, explores his journey into the afterlife after slipping into meningitis-induced coma for seven days. Alexander’s near-death experience has changed him and the way he thinks about the brain forever. Alexander and his book investigate the true nature of consciousness through his miraculous experience.
“Makers: Women Who Make America,” a film screening and discussion
Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. (Arkansas Union Theatre, Fayetteville Arkansas)
- The University of Arkansas Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will co-host “18 Million Cracks: The Legacy of Second-Wave Feminism,” the fifth symposium in the Blair Legacy Series. As part of the symposium, the public is invited to a free screening of the PBS documentary “Makers: Women Who Make America” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Arkansas Union Theatre. Sara Evans, one of the film’s advisers, will lead a discussion following the viewing, and a reception will follow the program. For more information about the Blair Legacy Series or the film screening, please see the Blair Center website.
“A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello,” author Peter Hatch
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In Partnership with P. Allen Smith
- Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years of experience in the restoration, care, and interpretation of historic landscapes. A celebrated author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as Director of Gardens and Grounds for 35 years, Hatch has lectured in 36 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. Presently, he gardens and botanizes from his home on Lickinghole Creek in Crozet, Virginia and consults on the installation and maintenance of both public gardens and private estate landscapes
“The Future of Korea and US Relations,” Consul General Suk-bum Park
Friday, November 22, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Ambassador Park, as the current Consul General of the Republic of Korea, is responsible for promoting the relationship between Korea and five southern states in the United States. Having served as Ambassador in Bangladesh and Iraq, as well as a key member of the negotiating team for the historic Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, he has an extensive knowledge and background in promoting trade, cultural awareness, exchange programs, and building relations with Korea on an international level. In his presentation, Ambassador Park will highlight recent major events, milestones and developments that affect the Korea-U.S. relationship to illustrate the importance of reinforcing the Korea-U.S. collaboration in the future.
“Political Branding 101,” political consultant Hogan Gidley
Monday, November 25, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Gidley is a leading communications and political consultant with over 15 years of experience on both the statewide and national stages. Most recently, he served as the National Communications Director for the Santorum for President campaign. Prior to that, Gidley served as the Director of Communications for then-Governor Mike Huckabee and the Executive Director of HuckPAC, served as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party and worked on behalf of a number of Republican candidates, including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole. Gidley is a regular on-air political contributor to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and FOX News and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and Minor in Political Science from the University of Mississippi.
*Reserve your seats by emailing email@example.com, or calling 501-683-5239.
Fulbright scholar and Clinton School professor, Dr. Christina Standerfer spent the 2012-13 school year in Albania, helping to organize the first ever debate for political candidates.
Working with the Act Now! Initiative, Standerfer, along with initiative coordinator Elizabeth Barnhart, worked to ready 14 young leaders from the five political parties to present and defend their positions to their opponents and the people of Albania.
Dr. Standerfer is featured in STATE Magazine regarding her work in Albania. You can read the entire article here.
The students are partnering with public service organizations on projects related to education, economic development, women’s issues, and social inequality, among other areas.The projects are part of the school’s Capstone program, which requires individual students to work with community leaders to help build healthy, engaged and vibrant communities and demonstrate their ability to work effectively in public service.
Through the course, students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their time at the Clinton School. Students select their own Capstone projects and devote at least 250 hours of time to them.
“Field service is a major component of our program and the Capstone is the culminating project of the students’ experiences here at the Clinton School,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the school. “Each project reflects on the individual skills and interests of our students. Capstone projects often lead students into jobs following graduation.”
The Capstone is the third public service project students complete during the two year MPS program. A faculty advisor oversees each project and the students are required to create a final deliverable and present their results to the Clinton School community upon completion of their project.
Some of the projects include:
André Breaux (Sacramento, Ca.)
Organization: Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson (http://portal.
As part of a broader fellowship with the Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson in Sacramento, CA, Breaux is supporting a coalition of community-based organizations working to mobilize parents and community members to improve school quality. Breaux is conducting best practices research and facilitate meetings with partner organizations to build consensus on a strategic plan of action.
Kayla Brooks (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Economic Development Commission (http://www.arkansasedc.com)
Brooks is working with the Small and Minority Business Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Through a pilot study, she is assessing the progress state agencies have made in ensuring that 10% of the total amount spent each fiscal year on state-funded and state-directed public construction programs and in the purchase of goods and services for the state is paid to minority businesses, which is a state mandate. The division works to promote growth and development of minority businesses as well as acts as an advocate for an equitable portion of state procurement contracts being awarded to minorities.
Mara D’Amico (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Policy and Research Committee (www.womensfoundationarkansas.
D’Amico is working with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to build the structure of their Policy and Research Committee. The Committee works to monitor local and national policies pertinent to women and girls and to produce relevant research. D’Amico is identifying best practices of nonprofit policy and research committees and adapt these to give structure to the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Policy and Research Committee. She will also identify strategic partnerships, plan outreach activities, and develop op-eds and blog posts.
Maggie Hobbs (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (http://www.arhungeralliance.
Hobbs is working with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance to develop a program that would enable food banks across the state to distribute beef to hungry Arkansans. Arkansas, along with Mississippi, has the highest rate of food insecurity in the United States. The project seeks to contribute to the organization’s mission to build sustainable and nutritional sources of food for distribution.
Angela Jimenez. M.D. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Department of Health (http://www.healthy.arkansas.
Dr. Jimenez is working with the Arkansas Department of Health to identify the predictive factors of adolescent pregnancies in the Latino population in Central Arkansas. With this project, the Arkansas Department of Health will be able to develop communication strategies with the Latino population to reduce the adolescent pregnancy rate in Central Arkansas.
Immaculee Kayitare (Kayonza, Eastern Province, Rwanda)
Organization: Imbuto Foundation (http://www.imbutofoundation.
Kayitare is working with Imbuto Foundation to sustain their Early Childhood Development and Family Center. The center was born after the Rwandan government passed an early childhood policy and strategy plan in September 2011 which aims to have all children in Rwanda reach their full potential physically, mentally, socio-emotionally, and cognitively. Kayitare will develop indicators for monitoring and evaluation to improve the quality of the daily services provided at the Center, in order for it to serve as a model to be scaled out throughout the country.
Marisa Nelson (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) (www.womensfoundationarkansas.
Nelson is conducting focus groups with women across the state to gauge reactions to “1973/2013: A Then & Now Report on the Status of Women in Arkansas”, published by WFA earlier this year. Focus group topics include the barriers and opportunities women face in seeking higher education, gainful employment, and positions of leadership. WFA works to promote philanthropy among women and to help women and girls achieve their full potential.
Roger Norman (London, England)
Organization: The ONE Campaign (http://www.one.org)
Norman is partnering with the ONE Campaign to conduct a study on increasing the organization’s volunteer base and developing campaign impact in Europe, specifically the United Kingdom. This will enhance the organization’s mission of advocating support for international aid to help fight poverty and preventable disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
Matt Orr (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Organization: Sarus (http://www.sarusprogram.org/)
Orr is working with Sarus to sustain their current peace-building exchange program, which fosters understanding between young leaders from Cambodia and Vietnam, and also to lay the groundwork for a similar program between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Sarus’s mission is to inspire and empower a generation of young leaders to build a peaceful and prosperous Southeast Asia through the implementation of exchange programs that focus on cultural immersion, leadership development, and conflict transformation.
Tyler Pearson (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation (http://giving.archildrens.org
Pearson is working with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation to conduct an internal assessment of progress made during the foundation’s Century of Possibility Campaign. The comprehensive audit will cover many areas, including major giving, planned giving, annual giving, operations, and external communication programs. The foundation consists of a professional staff of fundraisers and support service people who are passionate about raising funds to support the needs of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Jacob Perry (Pristina, Kosovo)
Organization: Balkan Sunflowers (www.balkansunflowers.org)
Perry is working with Balkan Sunflowers to design a health needs assessment of three minority communities in Kosovo in order to inform the creation and implementation of a national health insurance system. Balkan Sunflowers’s mission is social reconstruction with a focus on community, human dignity, and children and youth.
Lauren Remedios (Rajasthan, India)
Organization: Barefoot College (www.barefootcollege.org)
Lauren is creating a monitoring and evaluation template for Barefoot Women’s Solar Initiative, which trains rural semi-literate to unschooled women, in India and around the world, to become solar engineers. The template is aimed at measuring the quality of life, women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability of the initiative. Barefoot College addresses issues of poverty, water, energy, education, health, and unemployment through community-driven solutions with the objective of making communities self-sufficient and sustainable.
Jenna Rhodes (North Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Fit 2 Live (http://nlrfit2live.org/)
Rhodes is working with several neighborhoods in North Little Rock to build strong and diverse stakeholder teams to move through a visioning process as part of Metroplan’s Imagine Central Arkansas Campaign. Each neighborhood’s plan will consider transportation, educational opportunities, economic development, quality places, pedestrian design, and other elements. Fit 2 Live is an initiative working to make the healthiest choices the easiest choices for North Little Rock residents through education, activities, community gardens, and policy changes.
Cathrine Schwader (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Organization: Feed Communities (http://www.feedcommunities.
Schwader is working with the non-profit organization Feed Communities to conduct a community food assessment of Benton and Washington Counties in Northwest Arkansas. This assessment seeks to discover the challenges faced by people who are food insecure and the community resources available. Feed Communities works with individuals, organizations, local governments, and foundations in Northwest Arkansas to support and expand local food systems as a means of providing durable solutions for food insecurity and increasing access to healthy foods for all.
Emily Wernsdorfer (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Safe Places (www.safeplaceslr.net)
Wernsdorfer is working with Safe Places to develop and promote an online safe room for those affected by violence, abuse, and assault. This program will increase the online presence of Safe Places while providing victims with a secure, anonymous, and easily accessible support group resource. Safe Places provides resources and advocacy for children, families, and individuals who have been victims of abuse in Arkansas.
The following blog post, written by Clinton School graduate Ashley Bachelder and her project partner Neil Sealy, originally appeared in Shelterforce, a journal of affordable housing and community building.
Little Rock, Arkansas, the city internationally known for the 1957 Central High School Crisis, in which an angry mob threatened the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to enter the high school after desegregation became mandatory. They had to be escorted in and out by law enforcement, and eventually the U.S. Army, to ensure their safety.
Though we’ve come a long way, echoes of this history have continued to be felt in the behavior of the city government and big business toward communities of color in the city.
Little Rock city planners in the 1960s and ‘70s followed national trends by promoting urban renewal policies that uprooted several traditional African-American neighborhoods. In the 1980s, construction of the Wilbur D. Mills Freeway (I-630) through central and east Little Rock displaced hundreds of African-American and working-class white residents. A federal lawsuit filed by residents claimed that there had not been a sufficient environmental review of the project and won many concessions, such as a more generous relocation package for displaced residents, but did not prevent the completion of the freeway, which essentially became a barrier dividing the more affluent neighborhoods to the north from the working-class and mostly African-American neighborhoods to the south.
Fast forward to the summer of 2011, when the Little Rock City Board of Directors asked voters to approve a major increase in the city sales tax to fund, among other things, a technology park for scientific research. The city’s Chamber of Commerce, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and the city had been planning the tech park for six years.
A coalition of community groups, including the Arkansas Community Organizations (ACO), and faith leaders like the Rev. Wendell Griffen of New Millennium Church opposed the tax, saying it was too much of a burden on poor and working families and that it was going to fund several proposals, such as the technology park, that amounted to millions of dollars in corporate welfare. Supporters of the sales tax prevailed, however, outspending opponents by a margin of 20 to 1. The results highlighted the deep divide in Little Rock marked by the interstate, as precincts north of I-630 voted overwhelmingly for the tax, while precincts to the south voted against it.
But the problem with the tech park went deeper than the tax. As many learned only the weekend before the election, it would also destroy one of three predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Central Little Rock. The Rev. Griffen invited several community members to his church to hear a presentation he had put together on the technology park that was based on a study completed by the ANGLE Technology Group, commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce in 2009. The ANGLE Report gave detailed maps and descriptions of the neighborhoods slated for demolition. “No one in our community knew about these plans. I was in shock,” said Donna Massey, a community leader and resident of one of the targeted neighborhoods.
Following the election, the park’s sponsoring institutions—the City of Little Rock, UAMS, and UALR—hand picked the members of the new Little Rock Technology Park Authority (LRTPA), including the president of the regional Chamber of Commerce and the city’s most powerful Realtor. State statute gave LRTPA the power of eminent domain. With so much power and funding in place, the authority quickly gained a reputation of being unstoppable. Was another wave of displacement inevitable?
Not for Sale
The LRTPA made little effort to communicate with residents living in the park’s proposed footprint as the project got underway. Public board meetings were largely inaccessible to residents as they took place during work hours, were poorly advertised, and were intimidating to attend. Instead, news spread through word of mouth as neighborhood, faith, and community leaders told neighbors and friends. An African-American woman living in one of the proposed sites said of the experience: “They don’t look at what they are doing. They come and see an area that got a lot of poor people staying here and say ‘Let’s go in there and get that property.’ They’re preying on the most vulnerable. This takes me back to slavery—they just come in and take.”
The “most vulnerable” and their allies decided they were going to fight back. In March 2012 the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, an organization in one of the targeted communities, began to protest by putting “Not For Sale” signs in front of homes. Realizing that no single organization could successfully stop the chamber-backed LRTPA, ACO members approached the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, New Millennium Church, Occupy Little Rock, and others to build the We Shall Not Be Moved (WSNBM) Coalition. The coalition intentionally sought out both residents of the neighborhoods and nonresidents, demonstrating the broader public’s disapproval of the LRTPA’s plan.
Pushing further, the coalition found allies within the sponsoring institutions. Students from both universities and public health faculty at UAMS who had relationships with ACO as a student service-learning site quickly became advocates. Faculty even designed a course in which students studied the health impact of displacement. Having advocates within the very institutions sponsoring the technology park provided a direct path to individuals with the power to influence the actions of the LRTPA.
The coalition also pursued city directors who opposed the LRTPA’s plan to take residential neighborhoods. One, City Director Ken Richardson, introduced an ordinance to cut city funding for the LRTPA if it used eminent domain to take homes. Having the topic on the agenda of city board meetings helped keep the issue fresh among city officials and the public.
WSNBM members hit the streets early and often, visiting the targeted homes to inform residents of the proposed plan and invite them to WSNBM meetings. They found many people were uninformed or misinformed of the situation they found themselves in because the LRTPA never contacted residents directly. One resident shared the feeling that “this research center has drove me crazy. I’m two steps away from having a nervous breakdown, because I’m in the ‘what if’ zone.” Coalition organizers encouraged affected residents to attend the LRTPA and city director meetings to speak about the impact the project would have on them. Flyers with headlines such as “The American Dream—Our Homes—At Risk” were distributed with written accounts of personal stories. Many residents spoke about how long they had lived in their homes and what made their home valuable to them. They often complained about how insensitive the members of the LRTPA were. The stories of the people being displaced—tales of raising families, planting gardens, building businesses in this neighborhood—humanized the people affected.
The coalition planned several months of targeted actions directed at the LRTPA and sponsors. There were letter-writing campaigns, online petitions, a phone blitz, two boisterous demonstrations at City Hall, protests in front of LRTPA meetings, and a press tour of potential nonresidential sites identified by WSNBM.
The coalition also fundraised to bring Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a psychiatrist and Columbia University faculty member recognized for her research on the harmful impact of urban renewal, to consult for three days. In a public lecture attended by over 100 people, including the mayor, Fullilove warned of the damage from neighborhood displacement.
Fullilove explained how policies resulting in displacement and forced relocation have devastating consequences. Beyond the loss of land, social networks are often fractured and rarely rebuilt, people are usually left poorer than before relocation, and individual health is weakened through increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness. Historically, policies that displace people fall disproportionately upon minority and low-income communities. Planners justify their actions using common stereotypes that blame the people living in the neighborhoods for problems such as crime and blight and it is often assumed that those individuals will not have the will or power to advocate for themselves.
Publicity from these activities began to sway public opinion in favor of residents and against the LRTPA. When members of the coalition gathered signatures at polling places near the proposed site of the technology park on primary election day, many people said that they had heard about the campaign and eagerly signed the petitions. Little Rock city directors reported receiving a lot of email on the issue in May and June.
Most actions were aimed at City Hall since it was city government that would provide the initial (and so far the only) funding for the demolition of the neighborhoods and the first phase of construction. With the public now on their side and three directors facing reelection in the fall, coalition members believed they had an advantage. WSNBM members challenged those three incumbent city directors for their seats. Although unsuccessful, their presence made the technology park an election issue and forced the incumbents to make promises to prevent the LRTPA from taking the neighborhoods.
Public Pressure Made the Difference
In June 2012, LRTPA announced a new plan to consider alternative locations. Subsequently, the city board passed a measure directing the LRTPA to study nonresidential sites for a six-month period. When pressured, Dr. Mary Good, the LRTPA chair, stated several times that the residential neighborhoods were off the table from consideration.
The coalition also caught the attention of the Arkansas Public Law Center, a new public interest law organization. The Center researched a legal challenge to the LRTPA’s power of eminent domain and committed to represent residents should LRTPA return to the neighborhoods.
While Richardson’s ordinance would have more decisively prevented the LRTPA from taking residential neighborhoods, WSNBM demonstrated that public opinion could be as effective as legislation.
Successful media engagement and positive relationships with bloggers, columnists, and reporters assured constant coverage of the issue. Reporting of formal meetings coupled with information obtained through regular Freedom of Information Act requests kept the public informed. Direct quotes from LRTPA members toward the community—often demeaning, insensitive, and insulting—were constantly in print and published online. When students from the UAMS College of Public Health presented their study based on in-depth interviews with 15 residents in the area targeted by the park, for example, Dr. Mary Good batted it away by complaining that it “was a small sample,” without acknowledging the legitimate concerns of people threatened with losing their homes. Another LRTPA member told residents at a public meeting they were being “too emotional” when speaking about the possibility of being displaced.
Headlines like “If I had a hammer, I’d hammer the Tech Park Authority” demonized LRTPA members and caused the sponsors to demand a change of course. Both the chancellors of UAMS and UALR addressed the Technology Park Authority and urged them to respond to the concerns of residents. The public shame directed toward the LRTPA was so widespread that it was ultimately one of the greatest factors that kept the neighborhoods out of the LRTPA’s grasp. Another resident describes the general opinion by saying “Legally, they are using their position and power to their advantage and not considering the community and residents. They’re bending the law to benefit them. . . . lying, stealing, and taking.”
“City Hall and big business are used to making decisions behind closed doors,” says community leader Donna Massey. “We pushed the doors open and let people know that their tax dollars might be used to destroy neighborhoods and displace homeowners. We won the battle for public opinion.”
A political science professor at the University of Arkansas, using data from the Blair-Center-Clinton School Poll, found that foreign-born Latinos surveyed view the role of government differently than those born in the United States.
A greater percentage of foreign-born Latinos feel government-ensured equality with whites includes the areas of health care services, jobs and schools. Rafael Jimeno, an assistant professor of political science and the Diane D. Blair Professor in Latino Studies, attributes to gap to the socioeconomic distinctions between foreign-born and native Latinos.
When it comes to the issue of health care services, 73 percent of Latinos responded that they believe it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that minorities have equality with whites, even if it meant they would have to pay more in taxes to accomplish the goal. The nationally representative survey found that 55 percent of the population as a whole agreed.
The pattern also held true for government-ensured equality for housing (61 percent to 45 percent), schools (72 percept to 59 percent), jobs (64 percent to 45 percent) and treatment by courts and police (75 percent to 64 percent).
When broken down into attitudes among foreign-born and native-born Latinos living in the United States, the story deepens. As Jimeno further analyzed the health care data, 77 percent of foreign-born Latinos responded that the government should ensure equality, while 69 percent of native-born Latinos held the same view.
“Previous analysis has revealed differences between foreign-born and native-born Latinos when it comes to issues such as perceptions of other minority groups and various policy preferences,” Jimeno said. “Such findings add to an increasing body of research that highlights how subsets of the Latino community can be distinct from one another, especially when moving beyond traditional groupings based on country of origin or ancestry.”
Similar discrepancies among the groups were found when asked about the importance of other issues, such as the government’s role in ensuring equality in relation to employment and education. However, attitudes were virtually identical when asked about housing and treatment by courts and police. A breakdown of these numbers is contained in the full report.
These differences in attitudes toward policy initiatives may be rooted in socioeconomic differences as much as a respondent’s place of birth, Jimeno said. Foreign-born Latinos tend to be far less educated than native-born Latinos, he said.
Almost half (43 percent) of foreign-born Latinos reported that their highest level of education was less than high school, while less than one-fifth (17 percent) of the native-born respondents gave the same response. The gap also held true for income. More than half (53 percent) of foreign-born Latinos reported income levels of less than $35,000 per year, while roughly one-third (34 percent) of native-born Latinos were in the same economic category.
“The Latino immigrant population has socioeconomic pressures and needs that cannot be remedied without the support of government,” said Jimeno. “This is similar to other ethnic minorities in this country. It is important to have a more nuanced understanding of each community’s particular needs and how those needs impact policy preferences.”
Some proponents of reduced immigration levels or more punitive enforcement of U.S. immigration laws have asserted that Latinos are unwilling to learn English, but the data do not support this assertion. “Latinos report that retaining the ability to speak Spanish is just as important to them as learning to speak English.”
Again, when the Latino population is considered separately, based on place of birth, differences emerge. While both groups hold that learning English is vital, the research shows that the foreign-born are slightly more likely than the native-born to say that learning to speak English is “very important” (86 percent to 82 percent).
“Expecting government assistance does not mean failing to recognize one’s own responsibilities,” Jimeno said.
This is the seventh report of findings from the Blair Center-Clinton School Poll. Previous reports have included analysis of attitudes on southern identity, the economy, women in the workplace and immigration reform. Additional reports will be released throughout the year. For more information about the Blair Center-Clinton School partnership, visit the poll website.
The national sample included 3,606 respondents, with 1,792 participants living in the geographic South. The sample also included 1,110 Latino, 843 African American, and 1,653 non-Hispanic white respondents.
About the Partners:
The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society was established in 2001 by an act of U.S. Congress. This research center was named in honor of Diane Divers Blair who taught in the political science department of the University of Arkansas for 30 years. The Blair Center reflects her academic model and strives to approach the study of the American South from a variety of angles, attempting to reveal the undercurrents of politics, history and culture that have shaped the region.
The nation’s seventh presidential school, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is the first school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (M.P.S.) degree, giving students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service. Additionally, the mission of the Clinton School’s Center on Community Philanthropy, directed by Charlotte Williams, is to promote issues and research into community-based philanthropy and its role in generating social, economic and political change.
The article below originally appeared on the University of Arkansas Newswire website, which can be found here.
After the Tsunami, the latest documentary from Emmy winner and journalism professor Larry Foley, will be featured in October screenings at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the Fayetteville Public Library and the Clinton Presidential Center.
This 30-minute film tells the story of Indonesian college graduate students who came to universities in the United States on scholarships following the 2004 tsunami that killed 173,000 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It also follows graduates who are back home working in the fields of education, agriculture, government and business. One of the graduates runs an orphanage for children who lost their families in the tsunami.
“Students from Indonesia who had been through tragedy and disaster were able to come to Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas to help rebuild their lives and their country,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service. “While most of the students in Arkansas attended the U of A, three attended the Clinton School and they were extraordinary. This is an excellent film about an amazing achievement that President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton were able to accomplish together.”
Former presidents Clinton and Bush championed the program, which intended to help restore the human capital in Aceh Provence. Much of the early relief was dedicated to food, shelter and the necessities of everyday life. While roads and houses were being rebuilt, scholarships allowed 75 students to go away for a brief time so they could come home to rebuild what could not be replaced with asphalt and brick and mortar.
“It’s a powerful and meaningful story — perhaps the most emotional of my career,” Foley said.
The film was narrated in first person by Rina Meutia one of the students who graduated from the Clinton School. It was written and produced by Foley, and Leslee Wright served as associate producer. The photographers were Jim Borden, Josh Irwin and journalism instructor Hayot Tuychiev. Tuychiev also edited the film. James Greeson, Emmy-winning composer and professor of music composition, wrote the original musical score. After the Tsunami was filmed in Arkansas, Texas and Indonesia.
Daniel E. Ferritor, former chancellor of the University of Arkansas and current vice president of academic affairs for the University of Arkansas System, served as the director of the Arkansas Bush-Clinton Fulbright scholarship program.
DVDs are available through University of Arkansas Press.
In an article for the Boston Globe, 2010 Clinton School graduate and fourth-year medical student at the University of Massachusetts, Dimas Espinola, reflects on his career path and how the Clinton School has helped him along the way.
“During my time at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, I worked on two pediatric health projects, one focusing on behavioral child health and one on minority child health disparities, and had an opportunity to work with general and specialist pediatricians committed to service,” Espinola said. “As a general pediatrician, I will meet an infant and hopefully see him or her into early adulthood. Additionally, I have a US Army military commitment through a medical school scholarship, so I will have an opportunity to work as a primary care pediatrician serving the men, women, and families of the armed services.”
You can read the full article here.
Clinton School graduate Anatoliy Shatkovskyy was recently featured in an interview on National Ukrainian television for his work with Danone. Anatoliy works with co-ops and their members through training and consulting services on how to increase milk production from cows and produce business plans.