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(KTHV)- So many Arkansans don’t know where their next meal will come from. A new report from The US Department of Agriculture announced our state is the number one in food insecurity in the country.
It affects all age, but is especially true for seniors. “We want to make it a sustainable and education center,” said Read Admire, a student from Clinton School of Public Service. “I wanted to see it happen in an urban environment.”
After getting accepted to the Clinton Global Initiative, Admire piloted a project in the community that would collect restaurant food scraps and yard waste to turn it into compost for community gardens.
They are growing beets, carrots, collard greens and mustard greens.
Admire worked directly with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. They partnered multiple organizations, including The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.”They were the ones who provide the actual plants, the volunteers, and labor,” said Truman Tolefree, director of Little Rock’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
Kathy Webb, executive director for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance expects the produce to be ready to harvest by late October. “We collect fresh fruits and vegetables, and deliver them to people in Arkansas who are hungry.”
She said it is part of the Arkansas Gleaning Project. “Seniors choose between food and medicine. Or choosing to buy medicine over necessary utensils.”
Admire he said he does this as a way to give back on a larger scale. “What better to get the city and the state involved in local and urban agriculture?”
The article below originally appeared online at www.dailyrecord.us
A team of graduate students conducted research to help Arkansas Access to Justice Commission calculate the economic impact of civil legal aid services in Arkansas provided by the state’s two legal aid providers: the Center for Arkansas Legal Services, which serves 44 counties in central, western, and southern Arkansas; and Legal Aid of Arkansas, which serves 31 counties in northern and eastern Arkansas.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students Paola Cavallari of Termoli, Italy, Matthew Devlin of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Rebekah Tucci of Lakeland, Florida, spent the past year completing an assessment of direct cost/benefits and opportunity costs by comparing state and national data trends, as well as a qualitative assessment that included legal aid attorney interviews and surveys of circuit court judges and former legal services clients.
They collected basic information on these programs’ operations and assessed the impact of the services provided on individual clients and on the larger community. The data indicated that in 2013, the two legal aid programs created an estimated $25 million of total economic activity in the state. The financial recoveries and avoidance of losses for legal aid clients alone totaled more than $8.6 million — an amount that exceeds the programs’ combined operating costs by over $2.5 million.
The study found that in there was $1,503,991 in expenditures prevented by low-income Arkansans just through the pro se automated document resources provided by the this website.
“Access to legal representation often makes the difference between poverty and self-sufficiency for a family that is living on the edge,” said the Commission’s Executive Director, Amy Johnson. “This study has confirmed that civil legal aid not only improves the lives of Arkansas families, but it has a stimulus effect on the state’s economy.”
With access to the legal system at crisis levels for the poor and working poor in Arkansas, the Commission emphasized the need for data that will assist it in making the case to policymakers and funders that civil legal aid is a cost-effective tool for combating poverty.
The final report consisted of a more holistic understanding of legal aid services in Arkansas — including the direct and indirect savings to Arkansas taxpayers, a better understanding of the individual impact to the clients receiving services and a clearer picture regarding the impact of legal aid services on the administration of justice.
“This study has laid the groundwork for further examination of innovative ways that we can deliver services in a way that ensures that all Arkansans have access to the civil justice system,” said Johnson. “This is important work.”
The students completed the project as part of the Clinton School’s Practicum program, the first of three field service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
Alexis de Tocqueville, W.E.B. Dubois, Charles Dickens, Nikki Giovanni, John Krakauer, Willie Morris and Sheryl Sandberg are among 46 authors featured on the annual recommended reading list from new students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (UACS).
The Clinton School is the nation’s first to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree. Since 2007, students have compiled a list of suggested books for others to read.
“This book list is one of the most popular and requested items we have,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “There is always interest from bookstores, book clubs, libraries, teachers, individuals who attend our public programs, and Clinton School alumni. As has been the case every year, the selections are both fiction and non-fiction and cover a wide range of subjects and issues.”
The books will be on display at the Clinton School’s Sturgis Hall, the renovated passenger train station adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Library. Printed lists will also be available at WordsWorth Books in Little Rock and at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main library.
The selections from each class are permanently housed in the school’s reading room.
Recommended Reading From The Class of 2016:
Joyce Ajayi: “Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Life and in Your Work” by Spencer Johnson
Joyce Akidi: “The Last King of Scotland” by Giles Foden
Nouroudine Alassane: “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erick Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
Berkeley Anderson: “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz
Kathryn Baxter: “Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary
Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work” by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Abigail Bi: “Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?” by Michael J. Sandel
Colin Brineman: “Revolutionary Suicide” by Huey P. Newton
Katherine Brown: “Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Pattillo Beals
Jordan Butler: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom
Melvin Clayton: “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois
Amy Crain: “Freedom Flight: The Origins of Mental Power” by Lanny Bassham
Amanda Cullen: “Death Without Weeping: Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil”
by Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Shadeed Dawkins: “Class Matters” by Correspondents of The New York Times
Andrew Forsman: “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School”
by C.J. Pascoe
Sarah Fuchs: “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story” by Donald Miller
Kerry Furr: “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Georgia Genoway: “Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer and Sex Changed a Nation At War” by Leymah Gbowee
Jennifer Guzman: “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell
Anne Haley: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
Austin Hall: “Holy The Firm” by Annie Dillard
Austin Harrison: “North Toward Home” by Willie Morris
Amber Jackson: “Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster” by Jon Krakauer
Akaylah Jones: “The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998” by Nikki Giovanni
Henry Karlin: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens
Helen Grace King: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Alex Lanis: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon
Coby MacMaster: “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” by Barbara Enrenreich
Amanda Mathies: “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle
Emma McAuley: “Anthill: A Novel” by E.O. Wilson
Molly Miller: “And The Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic” by Randy Shilts
Ashley-Brooke Moses: “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson
Florence Mueni: “Juvenile Justice: Redeeming Our Children” by Barry Krisberg
Dariane Mull: “The Glass Castle: A Memoir” by Jeannette Walls
Michelle Perez: “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
Shanell Ransom: “The Skin I’m In” by Sharon G. Flake
Jessica DeLoach Sabin: “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville
Maddy Salzman: “The Malthus Factor: Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development” by Eric B. Ross
Eddie Savala: “Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World” by Gary A. Haugen
Kat Short: “Our Kind: Who We Are, Where We Came From, Where We Are Going” by Marvin Harris
Dustin Smith: “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan
Becky Twamley: “Zoli” by Colum McCann
Victoria Vander Schilden: “Soul of a Lion: One Woman’s Quest to Rescue Africa’s Wildlife Refugees” by Barbara Bennett
Michael Watson: “True Compass: A Memoir” by Edward M. Kennedy
Nathan Watson: “The River Why” by David James Duncan
Brandon Wayerski: The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance” by Joshua Waitzkin
Nic Williams: “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene
WordsWorth Books & Company – 5920 R St., Little Rock, AR 72207. For more information, call (501) 663-9198 or visit www.wordsworthar.com
Central Arkansas Library System: Main Library – 100 S. Rock St., Little Rock, AR 72201. For more information, call (501) 918-3000 or visit www.cals.lib.ar.us
The Board of Directors of Gateway to Care (GTC), a Houston, Texas-based non-profit health care collaborative, is pleased to announce Idonia L. Trotter, JD, MPS as its new Executive Director beginning October 1, 2014. Trotter will follow in the footsteps of founder and long-time Executive Director Dr. Ron Cookston.
Trotter brings to GTC a distinguished career in health care advocacy, policy analysis, programmatic development and executive management. In May 2009, Trotter became the first to complete a concurrent Master’s of Public Service and Juris Doctorate of Law degree program when she graduated from both the UA Clinton School of Public Service and the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. She has served as Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission since June 2009. Her last day at AMHC will be September 19. Trotter also served as district field representative to former U.S. Congressman Jay W. Dickey (4th District of Arkansas) from 1993-2001.
Under her leadership, there has been an increased awareness of sickle cell disease, diabetes, health care workforce diversity, disproportionate life expectancy among minority Arkansans and the need for increased access to health insurance for underserved and underrepresented citizens of Arkansas.
Trotter has served for the past five years as the facilitator of the Arkansas Minority Health Consortium (Consortium). The Consortium is an alliance of public health advocates, state agencies, non-profit and faith-based organizations united to increase awareness of minority health, community issues that impact health and to provide needed services to underserved/underrepresented citizens through the strength of collaboration.
Trotter is lauded for her leadership in bringing partners together to pass legislation in 2011 which provided statewide, systemic support services for sickle cell consumers in Arkansas. Act 909 of 2011, laid the foundation in creating what is now the Adult Sickle Cell Clinical Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Trotter was at the forefront of the efforts in providing a voice for Arkansas’ grassroots communities into the Affordable Care Act debate in Arkansas. In 2013, Trotter was named as one of “Seven Women Who Shaped the Health Care Debate in Arkansas” by Talk Business Arkansas Magazine – September/ October edition. She was named one of “20 Play Makers – Influential African Americans in Arkansas” by Power Play Magazine – First Quarter 2014.
She has served as an appointed member by Governor Mike Beebe to the Arkansas Legislative Taskforce on Sickle Cell Disease and the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Legislative Taskforce. In addition, she has servedon the Health Benefits Exchange Consumer Assistance Advisory Committee, Health Information Technology Consumer Advisory Committee, Arkansas Diabetes Advisory Committee, and the Arkansas Heart Association Minority Action Committee. She has also served as a Board member of the Greater Ozarks – Arkansas American Red Cross.
ABOUT GATEWAY TO CARE
Gateway to Care (GTC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that each resident of the Harris County / Greater Houston area has access to affordable and accessible healthcare. Operating as a “Collaborative” of over 165 member and affiliated organizations who work together to coordinate resources and streamline healthcare services in the local community, the GTC Collaborative is responsible for bringing in over $100 million in health care resources and improving the health lives of over 110,000 individuals and families since 2000. The mission of GTC is to facilitate access to adequate health care for uninsured and underinsured residents in the Gulf Coast Region of Texas by establishing a mechanism for health care agencies, health service related coalitions, and advocacy groups to coordinate common administrative and service delivery requirements to provide a seamless service delivery system and cultivate a Culture of Health.
Twelve teams of students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will complete public service projects in partnership with public agencies, community initiatives, academic ventures, and nonprofit organizations across Arkansas during the 2014-2015 academic year.
As part of the school’s Master of Public Service degree program, the students will earn academic credit for their work on the projects, which include efforts to end childhood hunger in Arkansas, enhance health services, eliminate substandard housing, improve education access, and increase Internet bandwidth access for Arkansans, among others.
Organizations partnering with the Clinton School on the projects are located throughout Arkansas including Garland County, Newport, and Pine Bluff. Several of the projects are statewide initiatives, as well.
“Our program is unique because we put our students into the field right away so they can not only make a positive impact, but also learn how to be better public servants,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “We are grateful to all of our partner organizations and look forward to seeing the positive results of each project.”
The projects are part of the Clinton School’s Practicum program, the first of three public service projects completed during the two-year master’s degree program.
Forty-six Clinton School students will participate in the projects during their first year while also completing in-class coursework on topics such as program planning and development, field research, and communication.
The 2014-15 Clinton School Practicum Projects include:
Identifying Behavioral Health Services Provided in Arkansas
Partner Organization: Arkansas Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council (http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/dbhs/Pages/abhpac.aspx)
Team: Amanda Cullen (Panama City, Fla.), Henry Karlin (Brooklyn, NY), Ashley-Brooke Moses (Sharpsburg, Ga.), and Andrew Forsman (Mobile, Ala.)
This team will study the adequacy and availability of behavioral health services being provided in the state. The Arkansas Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council will use the information to aid in their efforts to plan and evaluate behavioral health service delivery in Arkansas.
Exploring the Feasibility of Expanding the Arkansas Commitment Program
Partner Organization: Arkansas Commitment (www.arkansascommitment.org)
Team: Dariane Mull (Little Rock, Ark.), Austin Hall (Hot Springs, Ark.), Michael Watson (Washington, DC), and Florence Mueni (Nairobi, Kenya)
This team will explore the feasibility of expanding the Arkansas Commitment program around the state and the region. Arkansas Commitment currently focuses on academically talented African American high school students in Central Arkansas and guides them in becoming leaders in their schools and communities.
Evaluating the Progress of a Statewide Campaign to End Hunger
Partner Organization: Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (http://www.arhungeralliance.org/)
Team: Abigail Bi (Kumming, Yunnan Province, China), Joyce Ajayi (Lagos, Nigeria), Amber Jackson (Camden, Ark.), and Colin Brineman (Little Rock, Ark.)
This team will evaluate the impact of the Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign as the campaign enters its fifth year. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, lead partner for the campaign in Arkansas, will use the results to determine their next steps in reducing food insecurity in the state.
Documenting Key Processes for Asset-Based Neighborhood Development
Partner Organization: City of Pine Bluff, Ark. (http://www.cityofpinebluff.com/pbar/)
Team: Katherine Brown (Canton, Mich.), Helen Grace King (Pine Bluff, Ark.), and Melvin Clayton (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
This team will support the Turtle Creek neighborhood in Pine Bluff, asset-mapping the neighborhood so that it can help Turtle Creek and can serve as a model for other neighborhoods to identify and mobilize their resources for improvement. These objectives are part of the Pine Bluff Economic and Community Development Department’s efforts to support thriving neighborhoods.
Creating a Healthy Homes Health Impact Assessment
Partner Organization: Clinton Climate Initiative – Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) (http://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-presidential-center/about/heal)
Team: Georgia Genoway (Maryland County, Liberia), Maddy Salzman (Wellesley, Mass.), Austin Harrison (Louisville, Miss.), and Coby MacMaster (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
This team will develop a Health Impact Assessment centered on the creation of a statewide Healthy Homes initiative, examining housing and health data as well as policies on energy efficiency. The results will support HEAL’s efforts to improve the quality of life for Arkansas citizens through healthy, energy-efficient homes.
Supporting the Expansion of Local Food Program
Partner Organization: Farm and Food Innovation Center (http://www.stjosephfarm.com/)
Team: Kerry Furr (Lonsdale, Ark.), Berkeley Schleicher Anderson (Waco, Texas), Brandon Wayerski (Menomonie, Wisc.), and Akaylah Jones (Little Rock, Ark.)
This team will help develop a plan for the Farm and Food Innovation Center to monitor its activities and map its local assets. The results of this project will benefit the center’s mission to increase sustainable agricultural production techniques, provide training and outreach to local communities, and connect local farmers’ products to differentiated markets in service of creating a local food hub.
Exploring Feasibility of Neighborhood Revitalization Program
Partner Organization: Garland County Habitat for Humanity (http://www.garlandcountyhabitat.com/)
Team: Emma McAuley (Glenview, Ill.), Jordan Butler (Jackson, Miss.), Anne Haley (Little Rock, Ark.), and Victoria Vander Schilden (Little Rock, Ark.)
This team will explore the inclusion of the Neighborhood Revitalization Project, focusing on rehabilitation of older homes, in the Park Avenue and Gateway communities near downtown Hot Springs. This project is part of Garland County Habitat for Humanity’s goal to eliminate substandard housing locally and to empower residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life.
Developing English as a Second Language Plan
Partner Organization: Literacy Action of Central Arkansas (http://www.literacylittlerock.org/)
Team: Michelle Perez (Maracaibo, Venezuela), Jennifer Guzman (Hialeah, Fla.), Nicholas Williams (Judsonia, Ark.), and Amanda Mathies (Newport Beach, Calif.)
- This team will create a comprehensive action plan for English as a Second Language programming for Literacy Action of Central Arkansas. This plan will serve as a guideline to assist the organization in creating curriculum to teach the critical English speaking and writing skills that are needed to gain and maintain employment, access healthcare information and services, and to engage in family English literacy activities to the immigrant population of the Central Arkansas region.
Developing Alumni Awareness and Recruitment Strategy
Partner Organization: Newport Economic Development Commission (http://newportarcity.org/economic-development/)
Team: Shanell Ransom (Columbia, SC), Joyce Akidi (Pader, Uganda), and Alex Lanis (Ada, Okla.)
This team will develop an engagement and outreach tool to provide information and resources to citizens and former citizens of Newport. The Newport Economic Development Commission will use this tool to continue to enhance, promote, and create increased innovative opportunities for economic well-being by developing and implementing strategies that will improve quality of life and encourage new investment in Newport and Jackson County.
Researching Best Practices in the Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention of Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Students to Increase the Diversity and Academic Preparedness of Arkansas’s Future Healthcare Workforce Pipeline
Partner Organization: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Center for Diversity Affairs (http://cda.uams.edu/) and Regional Programs (http://ruralhealth.uams.edu/regionalprograms)
Team: Shadeed Dawkins (Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica), Kathryn Baxter (Glenside, Penn.), Eddie Savala (Nairobi, Kenya), and Becky Twamley (Brainerd, Minn.)
This team will research best practices to recruit, enroll, and retain underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students in Arkansas into health professions educational programs. This project will inform UAMS policies to enhance the effectiveness of institutional recruitment efforts, enrichment programs, and related partnerships resulting in a health professions pipeline for Arkansas that is more ethnically and geographically diverse and better prepared to meet the healthcare needs of Arkansans.
Creating a Statewide Asset Map of Services Provided by UAMS
Partner Organization: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (http://www.uams.edu/)
Team: Molly Miller (Sand Springs, Okla.), Sarah Fuchs (Hayward, Calif.), Dustin Smith (Jonesboro, Ark.), and Amy Crain (Hot Springs, Ark.)
This team will identify existing UAMS services and relationships around the state, including direct clinical services, educational programs, research partnerships, and community outreach. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will use this report to continue its strategic work in improving the health, healthcare, and well-being of all Arkansans.
Identifying Barriers to Bandwidth Access
Partner Organization: University of Arkansas System eVersity (http://www.uasys.edu/)
Team: Nathan Watson (Fayetteville, Ark.), Nouroudine Alassane (Bassila, Benin), Kat Short (Hot Springs, Ark.), and Jessica DeLoach Sabin (Little Rock, Ark.)
This team will study barriers to Internet bandwidth access in the state and develop strategies for providing increased access to Arkansans. The results will benefit the University of Arkansas System’s new initiative, eVersity, which will provide high-quality, accessible, affordable, online education relevant to the modern workplace.
*Reserve your seats by emailing email@example.com or calling (501) 683-5239.
“Memphis: The Musical,” a panel discussion
Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
- Set in the musically-rich Tennessee city, “Memphis” tells the story of a local DJ with a passion for R&B music and an up-and-coming singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. As their careers rise, their relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures and prejudices of the outside world. “Memphis” has received eight Tony Award nominations and won four Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Musical. Panelists will include members of The Rep’s creative team in a conversation about what it’s like to bring this exciting production to life.
“How Do We Keep the Best Teachers in The Delta? Coach ‘em up”
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Jeremy Rogoff is a social entrepreneur and educator. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Rogoff joined Teach for America as a high school teacher and athletic coach. After teaching algebra and Spanish in Clarendon, Arkansas, Rogoff moved to Washington D.C. to join the teaching staff at KIPP DC: College Preparatory, the highest performing open-enrollment school in the district. Rogoff recently took a break from the classroom to explore new approaches to supporting teachers in rural areas through targeted and engaging digital learning communities. At the Clinton School, he will release the findings of a summer pilot program that matched new teachers with remote instructional coaches.
“The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election,” professors John Sides and Lynn Vavreck
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- In “The Gamble,” professors John Sides and Lynn Vavreck take a look at the 2012 presidential election in the United States. However, they look beyond anecdotes and instead draw on extensive quantitative data about the economy, public opinion, news coverage, and political advertising to separate what was important and what was irrelevant. “The Gamble” looks at the interplay between the candidates’ strategic choices – the ads, speeches, rallies, and debates – and the chance circumstances of the election to provide the most data-driven account of the election possible.
“The New Democrats and the Return to Power,” author Al From
Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow *In partnership with the Clinton Foundation
- In 1984, Al From organized the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Its mission: to rescue the party from the political wilderness, redefine its message, and, most importantly, win presidential elections. Founded after a series of defeats to the Democratic Party, the DLC provided both the action agenda and the ideas for New Democrats to redefine the center of the Democratic Party. From played a prominent role in the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton and served as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Clinton transition. In “The New Democrats and the Return to Power,” From explores the founding philosophy of the New Democrats and outlines the principles at the heart of the movement, including economic centrism, national security, and entitlement reform.
“Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences,” professor John Hibbing
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- John Hibbing is a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the co-author of “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences.” Hibbing claims our biological predispositions are responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that we witness every day. In “Predisposed,” Hibbing presents evidence that people differ politically, not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information, but because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. Hibbing will discuss how these biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics.
“What’s Going On In the Middle East,” professor Dr. Gokhan Bacik
Friday, September 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Gokhan Bacik is a professor of international relations at Ipek University in Ankara, Turkey and the dean of Ipek University School of Government. Dr. Bacik is the author of many books and articles on world politics, international relations and Middle Eastern studies. He is an associate member of Turkish Academy of Sciences and is a contributor to the US German Marshall Fund Turkey’s Series. Dr. Bacik will discuss the current conflicts in the Middle East and possible outcomes.
“Besa: The Promise,” part of The Reel Civil Rights Film Festival
Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Riverdale Theater) *In partnership with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
- The film “BESA: The Promise” weaves Albania’s heroism in WWII through the journeys of two men. One is Norman Gershman, a renowned Jewish-American photographer determined to document first-person accounts of the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust and the other is Rexhep Hoxha, a Muslim-Albanian. With Gershman’s help, Hoxha travels to Bulgaria and Israel to fulfill the promise made to a Jewish family his father rescued during the Holocaust and returns to them a set of Hebrew books they left behind. More than seven years in the making, “Besa: The Promise” a story that that bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews.
Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps at the Corporation for National Service
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Bill Basl is the director of AmeriCorps, which engages more than 75,000 men and women in intensive service each year at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. In the 20 years since President Clinton signed the bill into law, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members, including 51 Clinton School students and alumni, have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
“Cultivating a Better Food System,” Dani Nierenberg, president and founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Danielle Nierenberg is the president of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on the spread of factory farming in the developing world, food systems and infrastructure, corporate responsibility, and innovations in sustainable agriculture. Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank in 2013 as an organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, and nourished eaters. Nierenberg will discuss her work at Food Tank as it spotlights environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty, while creating networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.
“One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s STEM Crisis,” Vince Bertram, president and CEO of Project Lead the Way
Monday, September 29, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- America and its students are facing a crisis of STEM education. By 2018, jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math will grow by 18 percent, nearly double the rate of other occupations. Currently, there simply aren’t enough students in the current pipelines to learn the skills and gain the interest needed to meet America’s economic needs for the future. Vince Bertram of Indiana is the president and CEO of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), which is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW features a world-class curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model that helps students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy. Dr. Bertram will address the educational and economic crisis in STEM education and will discuss ways in which businesses, educators, and communities can work together to ensure a brighter future for local communities, the state of Arkansas, and our country.
“Solving the Dancing Bear Problem”
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Little Rock Zoo
- Known in India as the “Bear Man,” Kartick Satyanaran is the co-founder of Wildlife SOS – a non-profit wildlife conservation organization famous for its campaign to rescue the “dancing bear” in India. “Dancing bears” were sloth bears that were used for human exploitation for the past 400 years. Today the organization has evolved to actively work towards protecting the Indian wildlife, conserving habitats, studying biodiversity, conducting research, and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities. He began the organization with his aunt and fellow animal rights champion Geeta Seshamani in 1995, and since then, they have rescued over 550 bears. The foundation has since expanded to preserve other wildlife such as elephants, reptiles, and leopards.
This article was originally published by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
The ultimate American Dream: The son of a single mother from a rural town in a small, Southern state becomes president of the United States and brings the nation’s only advanced degree in public service to his home state. A place called Hope, indeed, and now that hope is in action. The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is the nation’s first higher education institution to offer a Master of Public Service degree. It’s also the embodiment of President William J. Clinton’s approach to bettering the world: Building our own future by helping others to build theirs.
“I came to the Clinton School with a nonprofit background, but my experiences there made me a stronger and wiser professional, advocate and citizen,” said Kelly Ford, director of development for the Arkansas Arts Center. “The curriculum uses both a global and local lens that provides a real opportunity to explore possibilities for positive change wherever you find yourself.”
The Clinton School’s mission is to educate and prepare professionals in public service who understand, engage and transform complex social, cultural, economic and political systems to ensure equity, challenge oppression and effect positive social change. According to Skip Rutherford, dean of the school, the program gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service.
“It’s a two-year graduate program with a real-world curriculum,” Rutherford said. “It’s different than any other master’s program because a significant portion of instruction is direct field service work. Essentially, the state of Arkansas is our laboratory.”
The Clinton School, which is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, was born from a collaborative decision between President Clinton and Alan Sugg, former president of the University of Arkansas System. While it could have been located anywhere, according to Rutherford, the Clinton School was set at the presidential center and park so students could connect personally and professionally with major worldwide issues and developments. The first year’s enrollment in 2006 totaled 16 students; eight years later, just over 100 students from all over the world are in attendance.
The vision of the Clinton School is its belief in the right of all individuals, without exclusion, to participate fully and democratically in the social, cultural, economic and political systems that affect their lives. Professional public servants must understand, engage and transform these complex systems to ensure equity, eliminate injustice and effect positive social change.
“We believe in the right of all individuals to reach their full potential and to embody the spirit of democracy,” Rutherford said. “These students must join with people who are marginalized so they are advocates for bettering their lives and developing their own communities. We also believe in moral leadership that includes integrity, compassion and a commitment to social justice, and that means the students who graduate from this program and go on to pursue their careers in public service must listen to and learn from diverse groups, compromise and build alliances and take strategic and decisive action to advance the common good. They can learn to do all of this and put it into practice right here in Arkansas.”
Field service promotes the Clinton School vision by emphasizing the “practice” of public service by placing students in challenging environments, ones where they work with community leaders to help build healthy, engaged and vibrant communities, both in Arkansas and around the world.
“There are some distinct advantages to nonprofits located in Arkansas,” Rutherford said. “There is a nucleus of national and international organizations here that already put into practice what public service seeks to accomplish, including Heifer International and Winrock International. We also have nonprofit professionals who already live here and want to stay to build their careers. That’s probably the single largest benefit we boast in the state — a qualified and compassionate labor force.”
The Clinton School builds leadership in civic engagement by enhancing its students’ capacity to work across disciplinary, racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries. Arkansas is unique in that it can offer all of this experience within its borders, and that work ranges from local work in Arkansas communities to international projects on all of the world’s six inhabited continents.
Students are required to complete three courses where they engage in field projects: The practicum, which takes student teams into Arkansas communities, including the Delta, to foster community development and social change in areas such as economic development, environmental awareness, public education, youth leadership development and health improvement; the international public service project, which places students with organizations all over the world that are combating global hunger, fostering educational opportunities for children, promoting corporate responsibility and expanding health care in the third world; and, the final Capstone project, which challenges students to put their skills into action and complete an in-depth public service project to benefit a government or nonprofit agency and, ultimately, lead the student into a career upon graduation.
“The state is small enough that you aren’t just a number,” Rutherford said. “We’re a state where people know each other personally, and hospitality is an art form in Arkansas. The fact we are small does not impact the quality of the work we can do to make a global impact through training the next generation of public servants.”
While the Clinton School’s students come from all backgrounds and experience levels, such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America and military veterans to medical, business and nonprofit professionals, it will take the right opportunity to keep them here.
“All of these entities recruit our students,” Rutherford said. “But there is a net ‘in-migration’ of students who move here for the program and want to stay here after graduation. In fact, as more people in Arkansas connect with our students, they want to hire them and keep them here. What we need is more opportunity for these leaders to pursue professional and private lives that are fulfilling. If they can find those positions in our state, we can keep them here and benefit from it.”
Marie Lindquist Traded Snow Plows for Public Service
Marie Lindquist moved to Little Rock from Memphis by way of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. As the director of field services for the Clinton School of Public Service, Lindquist is familiar with and skilled at navigating radically different cultures, landscapes and temperatures.
“I worked for nine years at Rhodes College in Memphis, and when the opportunity to work at the Clinton School of Public Service came up, I couldn’t turn it down,” Lindquist said. “I hadn’t been to Arkansas except just over the border in Helena-West Helena so I really didn’t have a concept of what was good or bad about it. I don’t make assumptions about places because, in general, they just aren’t true.
“When I moved here, I was so glad to have the opportunity to move somewhere with such natural beauty. Being from Minnesota, I really missed that. Memphis has a lot of cultural and what might be considered a ‘big city’ vibe, but there really isn’t anywhere to walk or ride or sit amongst nature. Certainly nothing like what is available here.
“Little Rock is such an easy city to live in. It’s easy to get around, and the people are so friendly. In fact, that is one of this city’s best points: The citizens in Arkansas are so accepting and accessible. You can knock on the door of the mayor or any local leader, and they will talk to you. It’s certainly not like that in other cities, and I think it’s a major reason why things get accomplished in the nonprofit industry here.
“Part of what I love about Arkansas is the students at the Clinton School want to come here, and when they get here, they stay. The stereotypes about Arkansas do not hold up once you get here. It’s not what people outside its borders think it is. It’s not pretentious in any way, and what I find particularly refreshing is Arkansas is a place that is always working to improve, to get better and be better for its citizens and visitors.”
Dear Clinton is a collection of photographs and letters explaining what public service bridge our students are building. This special collection was produced in partnership with Dear World, an innovative photography venture for social good.
Dear President Clinton,
I envision a world where every woman is safe. This goal is of the utmost importance to global and local development and prosperity, and while its scope is huge and daunting, I also feel that it is feasible.
The word “safe” tends to make us think in terms of physical security. To most people, being safe means being free from physical abuse or injury. Discussions about the safety of women center around little girls being safe to attend school without the fear of being shot or women evacuating countries rife with political instability to start successful businesses.
However, physical safety from violence, while vital, is not the only form of security that women must be given. I dream of a day when women are safe from the persecution, ignorance, discrimination, disdain, scorn, disapproval, and mocking that so often comes along with simply being female.
I want all women to feel safe in every way.
Safe to speak up about injustices or seek aid openly. Safe to refuse participation in practices like female circumcision. Safe to challenge outdated and harmful norms to make autonomous decisions. Safe from being coerced or forced into prostitution. Safe to participate and make meaningful, recognized contributions to their communities. Safe from rape or sexual assault, no matter what they wear, where they walk, or what they drink. Safe to seek medical care when necessary, or to demand access to healthcare when it’s considered secondary for a woman to receive treatment. Safe to seek an education. Safe to have a career. Safe to express opinions that aren’t written off as weak or overly emotional. Safe to love and marry whomever they wish. Safe from the horrors of war and the fear of displacement. Safe to call people out for their problematic ideas of what a woman “should” be.
I want all women to feel safe being strong, resilient, independent, talented, beautiful, capable, world-changing women.