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Welcome to The Dean’s List! The Dean’s List will profile up-and-comers in Memphis who are certain to be the next group of leaders in the nonprofit, corporate, government, and faith communities. The Dean’s List is curated by Kevin Dean, the Executive Director of Literacy Mid-South.
Kayla Brooks, 27, is the Network Facilitator for Seeding Success, a nonprofit that collaborates with corporate, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations to ensure every child graduates high school prepared for college, career & success in life. Though she may work behind the scenes, but her impact on Memphis is huge. She coordinates hundreds of agencies to align their work, which could be a daunting task for many. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Clinton School of Public Service, Kayla returned to her hometown to make a difference. Kayla is a rising star to watch! She has a big future ahead of her!
Why do you call Memphis home?
Memphis is home because I was born and raised here. There is a soothing calm that comes over me whenever I cross the bridge returning home.
What do you think is Memphis’ greatest challenge?
I think Memphis’ greatest challenge is education. We are not where we want/should be as far as reading scores are concerned. The future of our city depends on how well we prepare our children. Education helps reduce crime and poverty rates and will improve health. That said, I am confident that this is an issue our community can tackle together.
Tell us why your job is important for Memphis.
I would not necessarily say my job is important, but rather the work I am collectively engaged in is important. I along with other community partners are working together to improved education outcomes cradle to career for youth in Shelby County. In particular, I work with organizations in the out-of-school and after school space. My role is to support these organizations in determining how to work collectively and independently in order to better serve their students and families.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen (so far) in Memphis?
The strangest things I have seen in Memphis are bike lanes in neighborhood where people do not bike.
If one of your friends was coming to Memphis to visit and wanted you to build their itinerary, what would it look like?
If I had a friend travel to Memphis his or her itinerary would probably include a tour of the Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum, and Slave Haven. This would be followed by a picnic lunch by the river or bbq at A&R on Elvis Presley. Depending on the time of year we may check out a Grizzlies or Redbirds Game. Evening activities may include: live music at Memphis Sound Lounge, a play at Hattiloo, or dancing at Prohibition Lounge.
What’s the one Memphis restaurant you couldn’t live without?
I could not live without Lenny’s I am addicted to the Philly Cheesesteak.
What makes Memphis different from other cities?
Memphis a gem and we don’t know it. I think that is what makes us different from other cities. We are our own best kept secret. I hear leaders and people influence discuss the need to recruit talent here. I hear Memphians talk about moving to other cities because those places have this or that. I think people do not realize that there is a wealth of untapped talent here. There are a wealth of activities here, you just have to expand your horizons. There is so much history in this place, especially Black history. The Orange Mound and Douglass communities are examples, just to name a few. Memphis is different from other cities because we think something greater exists elsewhere, but greater is right at home.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? I love to write and to travel.
Hopefully in 10 years I will have been able to infuse those passions into something meaningful and financially fruitful. I enjoy working in education and plan to continually engage in this work.
What’s the one misconception people have about Memphis that is simply untrue?
The biggest misconception is that you will get killed, shot, or robbed. That’s just not true.
What area of town is your favorite and why?
The downtown riverfront is my favorite area of town. I love to watch the water. It is also great inspiration when I am looking for something to write.
What can Memphians do to make a difference in our community?
There are several things that Memphians can do to make a difference in our community.We can all vote in EVERY election and hold our officials accountable. We can take the initiative to improve things in our community if there is something wrong e.g. pick up trash, volunteer at the local school, etc.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I always tell people Memphis is full of great things and full of problems just like any other city. However, I believe Memphis is a place for passionate people interested in change and who are not afraid of hard work. It is a place for change makers. This is why I made it my home.
Russell Carey’s career path has included several years at a retail giant, a summer in South Africa, studies at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and research work on foster care placement.
His varied work experiences have left Russell well prepared for his current role as a program associate at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he has numerous responsibilities.
“I get to work on a large number of projects, including our statewide Expect More initiative, technical and capacity assistance for individual nonprofits, leadership development, and grants management,” he said. “I work on removing barriers to nonprofit success, increasing philanthropic transparency, and making connections between business, government, education, and communities that will lead to family-supporting careers and prosperity for all Arkansans.”
The latest stop on Russell’s journey is as a member of the 2015-2016 Class of Hull Fellows.
“The Hull Fellowship is a fantastic opportunity to engage with my peers who are working on a broad range of missions with organizations that represent the spectrum of philanthropy,” he said. “As a fellow, I’m building my own leadership skills, and strengthening relationships across states and organizations.”
While Russell is relatively new to Southern Philanthropy – he joined the staff of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 – he’s well-versed in the ideas and skills that drive the sector today: data, research, evaluation, technology, development of best practices and more.
During his first year at the Clinton School, Russell helped the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services research national and international best practices for placement and services for teens and young adults in the foster care system. He spent the summer of 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa, as a social media consultant for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre. He also spent several years at the corporate offices of the Dillard’s department store company, analyzing and interpreting merchandise sales data.
Studying at the Clinton School exposed him to the philanthropic field he now considers home.
“At the Clinton School, I was able to take courses on leadership and transformational philanthropy, and during these studies I was blessed to connect with the amazing organization that would become my job,” he said.
Russell, who lives in Little Rock, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in public service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. His interests include running, soccer, graphic arts and design.
In this week following the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Clinton School students reflect on a few events in which they participated, and why the topics of peace making, community building, and passion for leaving the world in a better place than you found it, extends beyond the 24 hours of MLK Day. This piece was written by students Akaylah Jones and Katherine Brown, with photos by Michael Watson
On January 16, 2016, Clinton School students traveled to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. For some, this was their first visit to this most comprehensive and powerful museum. The emotional walk through the Lorraine Hotel room 306 where Dr. King spent his last hours was a silent and reflective experience, after taking in the impacts of the past and present civil rights movements throughout the U.S. and the world.
In the language of the Apostle Paul, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “became all things to all people”. He was a leader, a martyr, a revolutionary, and a pacifist. He was a husband, father, mentor, and friend. He was an icon and Moses to a people looking for the Promised Land.
However, in all this, one thing we forget is that Dr. King was an imperfect man. In celebrating the man, we acknowledge our own strength and ability to achieve great things. We are fallible humans in a broken world, but in the spirit of unity we have strength to wage war against injustice.
In his final speech, Dr. King says, “I’ve been to the mountain top.” Peering over the edge, I’m sure he saw a landscape forever changed by the Movement he would die for. Yet, we still have a long way to go.
On Martin Luther King Day, a group of Clinton School students engaged in discussions about ways to promote peace with our neighbors at Jericho Way Day Resource Center. While wrestling with the question of how we get to peace, various solutions, generous insights, and reflections were shared with openness.
We must make an intentional choice to seek peace and equity for the greater good. It is necessary to recognize the humanity of all people knowing that we all have something to contribute to the work of building peace. This starts by first acknowledging both our fallible nature and celebrating every individual’s ability to think rationally, to take responsibility, and to take action.
It is this fundamental truth, active in our lives, which transforms the memory of a fallible man – Dr. King- into a perpetuated legacy.
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“Global Shifts in Markets, Business and Geopolitics: What It’s Going to Take to Be Successful,” Dambisa Moyo, award-winning author
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Dambisa Moyo is a global economist and author from Lusaka, Zambia who examines the interplay of macroeconomics and international business with the global economy. In her work, she also highlights the key opportunities for investment, capitalizing on her ability to translate trends in markets, politics, and economics into their likely impact on global business. Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by TIME Magazine, Moyo is the author of three New York Times best-selling books: Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa; How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead; and her most recent book, Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What it Means for the World. In Winner Take All, Moyo analyzes the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, the book explores the financial and geopolitical implications of China’s rush for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) in a world of diminishing resources. She completed her Ph.D. in Economics at Oxford University and holds an MPA from Harvard University, a B.S. in Chemistry and an MBA in Finance at American University in Washington, D.C.
“Diabetes in Arkansas,” a community conversation
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 6:00 – 8:00p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– According to the latest statistics available through the Centers for Disease Control, from 1994 to 2013, the percent of adults in Arkansas diagnosed with diabetes more than doubled – from approximately 5% to over 11%. This community conversation will bring Arkansans together to talk about how to best address this growing and costly disease in our communities and our state. Following a brief presentation about the research that went into developing the discussion guide that will be used, participants will engage in discussion facilitated by Clinton School students and alumni to explore various approaches to addressing diabetes in Arkansas. Light refreshments will be served.
“Expect More Arkansas: Our Jobs, Our Future,” with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Nearly 70 percent of jobs in Arkansas today require a high school diploma or less, and only about 30 percent require a postsecondary credential. Though Arkansas is poised for significant job growth over the next decade, the 70/30 split is projected to remain. Researchers from MDC, Inc. will present the findings of a report commissioned by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Where the Jobs Are, Opportunity and Challenges in Arkansas Employment, that answers the question “How can we make sure tomorrow’s jobs are better than today’s?” Following the presentation, Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, will moderate a panel of business, community, and government leaders to learn what we can do now to begin to expect more for Arkansas’s educational and economic future.
“Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle,” Jeremy Haft
Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– Jeremy Haft, author and adjunct professor at Georgetown University who lectures in both the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the McDonough School of Business, has spent two decades starting and building companies in China across sectors of the economy. In his book Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle, Haft explores the hidden world of China’s intricate supply chains and tells the story of systemic risk in Chinese manufacturing and what this means for the United States. He has also authored other books covering China’s economy, including All the Tea in China: How to Buy, Sell, and Make Money on the Mainland, which presents best practices for importing, exporting, and doing business in China.
“Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement,” Devery Anderson
Friday, February 12, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– Devery Anderson is the author of Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. He was determined early on to seek out the facts of the brutal, racially motivated murder of Emmett Till and bring them to light. Emmett Till offers a comprehensive account of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till and its aftermath, while also telling the story of the 14 year-old African American boy from Chicago. Till’s death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and helped spur the civil rights movement in the United States.
Larry Sampler, Assistant to the Administrator in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Larry Sampler serves as Assistant to the Administrator in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs leading USAID’s efforts for the agency’s two largest missions. Previously, he was Senior Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in the same office, working on Afghanistan and management issues. Before that, Sampler was Vice President and Director of the Communities in Transition Division of Creative Associates International. A recipient of the Constitutional Medal from President Hamid Karzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Sampler has served the private sector, in the military, and in post and intra-conflict missions of both the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations.
“The Good Story: Inspiring Leadership,” Leigh Hafrey
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Leigh Hafrey, author and a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has worked in professional ethics for over two decades, with a focus on ethical leadership, teaching college courses at Harvard Business School and MIT and consulting for private organizations around the world. For 17 years, along with his wife, Sandra Naddaff, Hafrey was a co-Master of Mather House, one of the 12 residential complexes in Harvard College. In his most recent book, War Stories: Fighting, Competing, Imagining, Leading, Hafrey covers the arc of military American self-perception on the screen, in print, and in public conversation over the past 20 years.
“Black & Brown Lives: Justice Over Social Divides” a panel discussion
Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– This panel discussion will focus on case studies that show how Black Lives Matter has come to function as a banner that has unified many other social movements. The speakers will draw from their own professional experiences as “teaching artists” and organizers to discuss movements, including work recently published by professor Dave Stovall about the speakers’ involvement in the development of the Little Village Lawndale High School Campus, an award-winning school whose construction is a story of creative, youth-led community building.
Esmeralda Baltazar is a visual artist and educator at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN, where she works with a number of cultural organizing and youth initiatives across the southern United States that focus on building multilingual spaces and multicultural coalition building.
Aquil Charlton is a hip-hop musician and visual artist who currently is an artist in residence at Chicago’s Urban Gateways and ALT-City ensembles. In 2011, Charlton traveled to Pakistan as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department before accepting a U.S. State Department One Beat fellowship.
This is part of Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, a public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA), is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.
“Why Americans Love to Hate Polls,” Andy Smith
Monday, February 29, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Andy Smith, the director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, will look at the development of the modern political poll, why they have become so common, and the impact they have on politics and policy today. The Survey Center is a nonpartisan, academic public opinion research center for governments, nonprofits, and faculty researchers. Smith is also an associate professor in the University of New Hampshire department of political science, focusing his research on survey methodology, elections, and public policy.
*Reserve your seats by emailing publicprogra
Arkansas could be doing a better job of reaching out to Latino families to get health insurance for their kids. That’s one finding in a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
Arkansas’ uninsured rate for Hispanic children is 11 percent, comparable to the national average, but more than double the uninsured rate for all children in the state. Marquita Little, health policy director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, says while historic gains have been made since the Affordable Care Act has taken effect, the state could make more progress.
“We’ve expanded Medicaid coverage and extended that coverage to adults,” says Little. “That’s helped, because if parents enroll in coverage, they also enroll their children. But we could also implement a federal option that would remove many of the barriers that allow children who legally reside in our state to enroll in our ARKids First program.”
She explains children in many Hispanic families face a five-year waiting period to enroll in the ARKids First program. She says taking advantage of the federal option would remove that barrier without costing the state additional money.
Little says one common challenge is covering families of mixed immigration status.
“That creates a barrier a lot of times,” says Little. “Because of misinformation about how immigration status within a family may impact a child’s eligibility for coverage.”
She says if children are U.S. citizens and meet the other eligibility requirements, their family’s immigration status has no bearing on getting them covered.
To fight the misconceptions about coverage, education and outreach are critically important, says Sonya Schwartz, policy fellow with the Georgetown Center.
“We’re focusing a lot right now on the outreach and enrollment aspect, because this is the end of the open enrollment period, there are two more weeks for people to enroll in ‘healthcare.gov’ and state marketplaces,” says Schwartz. “And so, we want to make sure that we reach all the remaining eligible but uninsured Hispanic kids.”
The report says nationwide, most of the 1.7 million uninsured Hispanic children are eligible for coverage but haven’t been enrolled.
In recent years the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has practiced “Giving at Graduation.” Each year we select a local organization and encourage our students and graduation attendees to bring items for that organization.
In the past we’ve supported such groups as Volunteers in Public Schools; the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Mobile Dental Clinic; and places that deal specifically with homelessness, such as the Jericho Way Resource Center; Our House; and The Van.
We see every graduation as an opportunity to help others,, and we hope high schools and other college and universities around the country will do the same. At your graduation ceremony this spring, we encourage you to consider giving opportunities. We’ve found that even small acts of giving go a very long way. As an example, one year we asked for toothbrushes and toothpaste.
We truly think graduation ceremonies are great times to come together and not only celebrate the accomplishments of graduates and their families, but also to have significant community service impacts.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock holds a library of signed books by authors from Kennedy biographer Ted Sorensen to Texas joker Kinky Friedman — hundreds of volumes that nobody set out to collect.
These 400 books, give or take a tome, add up to an acquisition of “historic significance,” dean Skip Rutherford says. “In years to come,” he expects, “they will be very valuable.”
Most are from authors who have appeared in the Clinton School’s speaker series, an 11-year-old lineup of free, public lectures. The school does not pay for these talks, but if the speaker just happens to have a book for sale — and what author doesn’t? — it buys a book.
Some are donated, as by the school’s namesake, former President Bill Clinton. Every so often, he sends another box of books, Rutherford says.
In time, the books spilled from Rutherford’s office to that of Nikolai DiPippa, director of public programs, and finally out of the door of the red-brick school building next to the Clinton Presidential Center.
So now, they fill a line of glass-doored cases, specially built for them in the school’s classroom and study center in the River Market.
“It’s a great reminder, I think, for the students,” Rutherford says. They aspire to public service, and practically every book stands for exactly that.
Guest speakers give the school’s 100 students a chance to “interact with decision makers, educators and political leaders,” Rutherford says. The books are a who’s-who of big-name visitors to the school and to Little Rock.
Figure it this way; The collection includes a copy of editor Seweryn Bialer’s book, Inside Gorbachev’s Russia, from 1988. The hardcover in good condition goes for about $30 on the used book website abe.com. Bill Clinton donated this copy, having written his name in the back. Clinton’s autograph, as president, can be worth $500, according to a report on National Public Radio. But this inscription might be even more interesting. Dated two years before he ran for president, the autograph indicates Clinton had his mind on international relations even then, as governor of Arkansas — if so, an insight hard to calculate in dollars.
Or this: a copy of Primary Colors, signed by Joe Klein. It was hot buzz as published almost 20 years ago. Reviewers generally sniffed out the fiction as a thinly disguised farce about Clinton’s first presidential bid, originally credited to “Anonymous.” Time magazine columnist Klein denied several times having written it, but he finally owned up — and set pen to this copy. It’s not for sale, but if it went up for auction, the bidding might be anonymous.
Or this: a signed copy of Jesse Ventura’s book, American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies the Government Tells Us (2010). More recently, the former Navy SEAL, professional wrestler and governor of Minnesota has said he might run for president. “If we’re going to turn our politics into entertainment,” he told the Washington Examiner, “then I got a good shot.” If he won, the office could do an airplane spin on his current autograph value of $50, the going price for a signed index card on Amazon.com.
“He couldn’t have been nicer,” Rutherford says.
The dean’s favorite part of the collection? Might it be? — from basketball Hall of Famer Bill Bradley, who, instead of a book, inked a basketball.
Might it be? — Arkansas governor-turned author, TV pundit and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s bipartisan inscription to the Clinton School, “a great treasure for Arkansas.”
Might it be? — a signed copy of Mitch Albom’s best-seller, Tuesdays With Morrie, with the message added: “Giving is living.”
Might it be? — Texas musician and writer Friedman’s inscribed advice to Clinton to do as Winston Churchill said to friends and confidants, but not to the public, and not in the newspaper. Basically, translated from the unprintably irreverent: Hang in there.
“I read a lot of civil rights history,” he says, “and here it is, signed by Taylor Branch.”
“Either write something worth reading,” as Founding Father Ben Franklin said, “or do something worth writing.”
Do, write, and have a book on these shelves among authors including Al Gore, John McCain, David Pryor, Madeleine Albright, John Lithgow, Richard Dawkins, even Dr. Phil (McGraw).
Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, “rode a bus from Memphis to get here,” Rutherford remembers.
“The speaker series has got to where we have publishers and authors calling us,” DiPippa says. Another talk, another book.
The book collection is on display for students, faculty and campus visitors. To have a look by appointment, call DiPippa at (501) 683-5206. More information about the Clinton School of Public Service is available at clintonschool.uasys.edu.
*Reserve your seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (501) 683-5239.
“Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education,” Harry Lewis
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Harry Lewis, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books and articles, including his celebrated book on higher education, “Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future?” As a member of the Harvard faculty since 1974 and the former Dean of Harvard College, he has helped launch thousands of Harvard undergraduates, including both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, into careers in computer science. With “Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education,” Lewis explores the movement of information online and how it challenges the old rule of the lecture hall as the place where information from the professor is passed on to the students, while also exploring the emergence of mass online education and rethinking how faculty use classroom time.
“From Punishment to Public Health: Transforming Global Drug Policies and Supporting Human Rights,” Ernest Drucker
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Sturgis Hall)
– Ernest Drucker is Professor Emeritus at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in New York, where he conducts research in AIDS, drug policy, and prisons and is active in public health and human rights efforts in the U.S. and abroad. For 25 years, Drucker was the Director of Public Health and Policy Research at Montefiore/Einstein and founding Director of Montefiore’s 1000 patient drug treatment program until 1990, an NIH funded principal investigator since 1991, and author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, texts, and book chapters. His book, “A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America,” was published by The New Press in September of 2011.
“Jazz: Evolution of an American Art Form and Its Place on 9th Street,” Jazz Symposium
Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Mosaic Templars Cultural Center) *In partnership with the Oxford American and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
– This panel discussion will be moderated by musician and lifelong jazz enthusiast, Chris Parker, and feature panelists Amina Claudine Myers (born in Blackwell, Ark.), a New York-based jazz singer and pianist; John Cain, a Little Rock-based activist and 9th Street historian; and Nathan Hood, a Hot Springs-based baritone saxophone player. The panel will share personal experiences as jazz musicians and lovers of the genre, as well as the art form’s historical context within the African American microeconomics that existed in U.S. cities prior to the Civil Rights movement.
At 7:30 p.m. — following the 60-minute symposium — a jazz ensemble led by Chris Parker will play a 60-minute set of music. Featured members of the ensemble will include bassist Bill Huntington, drummer Yvette ‘Babygirl’ Preyer, and saxophonist Nathan Hood. Parker, Huntington, Preyer, and Hood have worked with an impressive and wide range of musicians, including Ellis Marsalis, Dr. John, Benny Powell, Art Pepper, Isaac Hayes, and Harold Ousley, among others. Admission for the performance is $10 regular or $5 for students/artists.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Arkansas,” a film screening
Friday, January 15, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Join us for a film screening of “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Arkansas,” which originally aired on KATV-7 on January 19, 1987 as a 30-minute television special. Narrated by Arkansas native Deborah Mathis, it includes Dr. King’s attendance at Ernest Green’s Little Rock Central High School graduation and his commencement address at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.
“A Conversation with Recording Legend Michael Fine”
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
– Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Director Phillip Mann will moderate a wide-reaching discussion with seven-time Grammy Award winner and Classical Producer of the Year, Michael Fine. Widely acknowledged as one of the top classical recording producers in the world, Fine has held the post of Vice President of Artists & Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon – the first American to hold the post of Artistic Director in its hundred-year history. Highlights of Fine’s producing career include work with Andrea Bocelli, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the London Symphony. Fine will premiere the chamber orchestra version of his “Suite For Strings” with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on its Intimate Neighborhood Concerts Series at 7:00 p.m. on January 21 at 2nd Presbyterian Church.
“Peter and the Starcatcher,” a panel discussion
Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
– Arkansas Repertory Theatre producing artistic director, Bob Hupp, will host a panel discussion on the upcoming production of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the prelude to J. M. Barrie’s fantasy classic “Peter Pan.” Based on the popular Dave Barry books, and mixing British pantomime with playful elements of childhood make-believe, this adventure journeys into the forgotten realms of the imagination and the secret history of the ‘Boy Who Would Never Grow Up.’ “Peter and the Starcatcher” embarks on an ocean voyage as Molly, a young Starcatcher aboard the good ship Neverland, races to escape the comical clutches of the dread pirate Black Stache. Accompanied by a trio of Lost Boys, she is soon marooned on a not-so-deserted island filled with otherworldly enchantments and exhilarating danger, all leading more to the untold story of Peter Pan.
“Historical Significance and Current Trends in the Iowa Caucus,” Steffen Schmidt
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Steffen Schmidt’s is a University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University and an internationally recognized expert on American elections. He’s the author of 70 articles in scholarly journals and 11 books, including the best-selling college textbook “American Government and Politics Today (19th edition),” which has been read by over 3 million college students, and the recipient of numerous prestigious teaching prizes, including the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and Teacher of the Year award. Known as “Dr. Politics,” Schmidt has been analyzing the Iowa caucuses and US national politics since 1972 and is currently teaching a free, short online course on the caucuses.
Dan Visconti, award-winning composer
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
– Dan Visconti is an American composer whose compositions often explore the rough timbres, propulsive rhythms, and improvisational energy characteristic of jazz, bluegrass, and rock. His work has been performed by some of the top interpreters of contemporary music in some of the best venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has received numerous awards. For his ongoing initiatives innovating concert experiences that address social issues through music, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the 30th Anniversary TED Conference in Vancouver. Visconti serves as composer and Director of Artistic Programming at Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble, a nonprofit organization that reaches new audiences with an emphasis on civic outreach, educational programming, and collaborative projects with other artists. He is also composer-in-residence at the Fresh Inc Festival, where he works with young entrepreneurs in building musical careers in line with their own unique vision and values.
*Reserve your seats by emailing email@example.com or calling (501) 683-5239.
*If you are unable to attend a public program in person, you can watch most programs live online for free here.
This article was originally published by Arkansas Money & Politics.
Several high school students in the Little Rock School District are learning how to build their own business from the ground up this semester as part of the new pilot program called Spark, a partnership between the City of Little Rock’s Department of Community Programs and Junior Achievement of Arkansas, with help from the Little Rock School District, Iberia Bank and the Clinton School of Public Service.
Students began the 15-week course by doing research and devising a business plan for a product that would be relatively cost-efficient to produce as well as meaningful to consumers. The winning idea? A small wall clock that buyers can customize with art. The program culminates with the marketing, selling, and order fulfillment of the clocks — just in time for holiday orders.
The interactive class, being taught at both Central and Parkview high schools, offers training using a blended-learning approach that incorporates real-world lessons with classroom instruction on the basics of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business success.The sessions contain interactive content, including videocasts led by subject matter experts that explore concepts such as brainstorming a product or service. Lessons also discuss the importance of conducting market research to refine the product or service to meet consumers’ evolving needs.
“As a former Junior Achievement graduate and former entrepreneur myself, this type project has always been an ambition of mine,” says Dana Dossett, Director of Community Programs for the City of Little Rock. “Since most jobs are generated from small businesses, learning effective entrepreneurship skills at a young age are crucial to the future of our youth as more startups open and succeed. The potential opportunities this type of joint project embodies are endless.”
“The Junior Achievement program really goes above and beyond the state frameworks for entrepreneurship,” said Little Rock Central business and marketing teacher Mary Tippin. “I love how theory is being put into practice.”
As the course winds down, Tippin’s students are in beginning production of the clocks with the hopes that their marketing efforts result in even more orders over the next few days. The goal is to fulfill initial orders in time for Christmas.
“The new Spark Program gives students the opportunity to play a greater leadership role in the process with volunteers encouraging them to find their voice and spark the entrepreneurial spirit,” states Chad Kauffman, Executive Director of Junior Achievement of Arkansas. “They have the opportunity to apply concepts used by this generation’s entrepreneurs, such as e-commerce and crowd-funding. In addition, participants are provided an opportunity to present their own business ideas for selection and launch of their own business. Those selected will be presented with additional training, mentoring, and seed funding to start and staff their business.”