The Center on Community Philanthropy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has welcomed more than 30 scholars with a vast array of experience, education, and expertise to take part in the Scholars in Residence program since its inception in 2009.
The Center on Community Philanthropy was created to focus its teaching, research, and leadership development exclusively on the emerging field of community philanthropy, the idea of giving time, talent, and treasure to build stronger communities from within.
Presidents, CEOs, executive directors, and university chancellors are among the leaders the Scholars in Residence program has brought to Little Rock. Their experiences include areas of expertise in economic development, community wealth building, racial equity, disaster recovery, public health, and social justice, among others. Each scholar writes an essay on community philanthropy, and each is highlighted in the Center’s series of compendiums. Many have delivered programs as part of the Clinton School Speaker Series.
“The residency gives these scholars the chance to further their own thinking about community philanthropy and public service,” said Dr. Charlotte Williams, Associate Professor and Director Center on Community Philanthropy. “It is at this intersection of theory and practice where the best opportunity for new innovation exists.”
Collectively, the scholars bring experience from various local, national, and international philanthropic organizations including the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Haas Institute, Arkansas Community Foundation, Cleveland Community Foundation, and The Andrew Mellon Foundation. Major nonprofit organizations such as Independent Sector and National Institution of Early Education Research have also welcomed their executive leaders into the program.
“Charlotte Williams has done an outstanding job bringing some of the country’s most influential names in philanthropy to the Clinton School,” said James L. “Skip” Rutherford III, Dean of the Clinton School. “Her book, ‘Passing the Torch,’ is an excellent resource for both nonprofit leaders and young people looking toward a career in public service.”
In addition to the Scholars in Residence program, the Center also hosts Researchers in Residence and Visiting Philanthropy Faculty. These scholars spend an entire semester at the Clinton School conducting targeted research or working with a local nonprofit to collect, organize, and analyze data to advance practice and performance of its mission. Scholars in this category have come from major universities such as the University of Florida, University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Indiana University Northwest.
In 2019, the Center will host Tonya Allen, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation in Detroit, Mich., as its spring Scholar in Residence. Allen is considered the architect of the “Good Neighborhoods Initiative,” a multimillion dollar philanthropic, nonprofit, for-profit, and government collaborative focused on revitalizing inner-city communities in Detroit. This work is the topic of the recent book, “A twenty-first century approach to community change: Partnering to improve life outcomes for youth and families in under-served neighborhoods.”