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Dr. Charlotte L. Williams has been confirmed as a speaker at the Rethinking Community Conference at Wake Forest University (October 19-21) in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Williams is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the Center on Community Philanthropy (The Center) at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The Center is dedicated to expanding the knowledge, tools, and practice of community-spawned and community-driven philanthropy.
“I’m honored to share the stage with so many local and national leaders,” Williams said. “I look forward to sharing our perspective on building communities from within and what that looks like both inside and outside of the Academy.”
Williams leads The Center’s work in Arkansas and the region that lift up community philanthropy as a powerful influence for turning communities toward positive change. Williams is responsible for launching The Center in its core work areas of Leadership, Scholarship/Research, and Convening.
The Rethinking Community Conference will bring together journalists, politicians, scholars and public intellectuals to discuss some of the most crucial issues influencing academic, political, and civic spheres.
Hosted by the Eudaimonia Institute and the Pro Humanitate Institute, the conference will feature timely discussions about free speech and safe spaces, the fight to end or defend DACA, a conversation about free press and fake news, and the powerful interplay of politics and sports today.
In addition to exploring some of today’s most complex and controversial topics, the conference will feature a hub for innovative expressions of the meaning of community from Wake Forest University student organizations.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is now accepting applications for enrollment in its Master of Public Service (MPS) degree program for the fall of 2018.
Competitive applicants will have a strong academic background, along with a demonstrated passion for helping others through public service.
The Clinton School MPS application is test-optional, meaning if applicants feel their previous academic transcripts, combined with their professional and public service experience, are sufficient, they are not required to submit a graduate school entrance exam in order to be considered for admission and scholarship.
The Clinton School strongly believes in educational accessibility, and in addition to being test-optional, the School has no application fee, inviting all interested public servants to apply to its MPS program.
The first school in the nation to offer a master’s degree in public service, the Clinton School welcomes students who are interested in pursuing or enhancing their careers in nonprofit, for-profit, or governmental work.
The Clinton School MPS program also offers concurrent degree programs in law, public health, and business. Partnerships with those degree programs include the Sam M. Walton College of Business (Master in Business Administration) at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; The Fay W. Boozman School of Public Health (Master of Public Health) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS); and the William H. Bowen School of Law (Juris Doctor) at UA Little Rock.
Clinton School alums enjoy positions in government, education, and nonprofits, as well as sectors like business development, entrepreneurship, and fundraising. The unique partnerships afforded by the Clinton School enable matching opportunities with organizations and businesses around the world.
“Students at the Clinton School combine skills learned in the classroom with experience gained in the field to provide positive outcomes for the national and international organizations they serve,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “I’m very proud of our high graduation rates, high career placement rates, and the many personal and professional opportunities our students receive during and following their two years of study.”
Modeled on President Bill Clinton’s vision of building leadership through civic engagement, the Clinton School offers a practical approach to learning through the combination of coursework and for-credit field service projects.
During the two-year, 40 credit-hour program, Clinton School MPS students complete three field service projects: a team-based project in Arkansas during their first year; an international project during the summer after their first year; and a final individual project in an area of their own interest.
The program also offers the opportunity to learn and network with the Clinton School’s renowned speaker series. Over its 13-year history, the series has hosted nearly 1,200 programs that have totaled over 190,000 attendees and more than 450,000 online views.
The series hosts more than 100 speakers per academic year, including senators, cabinet officials, ambassadors, academics, CEOs, philanthropists, authors, and journalists. In the past year, the series hosted its 44th ambassador, 23rd Pulitzer Prize winner, and 11th head of state.
This spring, the Clinton School will launch its new Executive Master of Public Service degree. The first-of-its-kind program is offered entirely online, giving mid-career professionals the enhanced knowledge, skills and network they need to advance their careers without relocating while also being able to maintain full-time employment.
For more information on applying to the Clinton School, visit ClintonSchool.uasys.edu or contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 683-5228.
Clay Turner, a graduate of Arkansas State University, plans on connecting his interests in human rights and arts policy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Turner graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in Spanish at ASU. In addition to internships with United States Congressman Rick Crawford and Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Turner has worked with the Foundation of Arts to bring attention to the arts in northeast Arkansas, specifically Jonesboro.
How did you develop your interest in the arts?
I got involved in the Foundation of Arts in Jonesboro in the third grade. I used it as an outlet at that point. I concentrated all of my energy on the arts when I was younger and kind of honed my abilities in that time, just because it was something to do and it was a good time. The older I got, I started performing. I was in shows pretty much every year. In high school, it was my way of getting away from academics and expressing myself artistically. Being able to get all of that energy out in another place that doesn’t involve school was helpful, because it gets overwhelming sometimes and you just want to scream.
I guess the arts were my way of expressing that, and it definitely provided a way for me to perform for the people and also hone my leadership skills. I was able to direct shows, and this past summer I was education director, so I was over all the education programs at the Foundation of Arts.
What is arts policy? It is listed as one of your areas of interest in public service.
Arts policy focuses mainly on arts awareness for different areas. For me, it would be like focusing on different nonprofit organizations that bring art to underserved communities. Jonesboro is doing well economically, but it’s not the artistic capital of the world. In that way, it’s serving an underserved community, because people don’t really think about the arts. We have the Bradbury Art Museum at Arkansas State, so that does bring some culture to the area, but still it’s not known for that. So, to me, it’s bringing arts awareness to underserved communities.
Is bringing arts awareness to underserved areas one of the reasons you are at the Clinton School?
That’s one of the things I’m interested in. I really want to revitalize the Foundation of Arts in Jonesboro. I’m also interested in human rights and LGBTQIA rights, because I am a part of that community, and for so long I had to deny that part of myself. I just came out this last year to my family, and they’re still trying to process it, trying to get around to it. But I’m definitely interested in human rights, and bringing those separate parts altogether.
What did you do in Jonesboro with the Foundation of Arts?
I was in a volunteer role mainly with my time at Arkansas State. So, I would just audition for shows, and I would have leads. I was the Nutcracker Prince in “The Nutcracker,” and Willy Wonka for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
I would also do fundraisers for the shows – just stuff that you don’t necessarily have to do, just a way to help the community. The last show that I assistant directed in the summer, we had a Strawberry’s BBQ fundraiser. The performers went around the community and sold pork steak, and we would actually sell it out front at The Forum. That was just a way to raise money for the organization. That’s essentially what it looked like.
What brought you to the Clinton School?
My friend Colby (Qualls), who was in UACS Class 12. He started here, at the Clinton School, last year after starting law school (at William H. Bowen School of Law) two years ago. He told me about it, and he told me all the different stuff that they do and speaker events and all the stuff like that. Having the political science background, I’m interested in politics and maybe public office one day, we’ll see. I thought that the Clinton School could play into that. We are tapping into an amazing network here. I’ve met more people in the past two weeks here than I’ve met in the past year. So, I wanted to come here to increase my network and expand my opportunities.
How does your political science major tie into your interest in the arts? Or are they completely separate areas for you?
They’re completely separate. The arts are a different world for me. I have to compartmentalize, because school is such a big part of my life. And I love school and everything, but I need a way to get away from it. I can still use my political science background to expand the opportunities for the organizations I have worked with, such as the Foundation of Arts, because I can use my network to hopefully someday help them.
Are you thinking of incorporating the arts into your IPSP this summer?
I was thinking about doing something with an arts organization and then for my capstone doing something with the Human Rights Campaign. So that to me would be the political side, sort of because it would be like human rights, LGBTQIA rights, and stuff like that. I don’t know, the State Department sounds interesting to me now. I’ve been saying all along that I didn’t want to do the State Department, and that I’m not interested in foreign affairs and foreign policy. But I think it would be kind of cool to work in an area. I also have a Spanish minor. So, if I could work at an embassy in Spain or Portugal, I could appease the foreign language side, foreign policy, political side, all of that in one sitting. It’s given me a lot to think about.
What is your Practicum team? Can you tell us a little about what you will be doing?
Hope Academy of Public Service. We recently went down to Hope for the first time. Last year’s Hope team developed a curriculum for the public service school and we’re basically going to assess the implementation of that curriculum on this year’s group.
We’re going to meet with community leaders. We met with the community on Tuesday and had a community breakfast, and a lot of people came. But we are going to continue to meet with community leaders and work toward making sure the teachers and faculty and administration are on the same page with the curriculum and that it gets unfolded in the way that promotes buy-in from the community, because that’s the most important part.
Supervisor: Anna Beth Gorman
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is investing in the research, design, and implementation of a new initiative, focused on women’s economic empowerment in Arkansas. As a part of the initiative, it is looking to create a designation/accreditation to businesses and employers that are committed to providing equitable opportunities for women in their workforce. Students will research models and/or best practices from other cities and states to help WFA create this tool for businesses that support women in Arkansas working toward economic empowerment.
Mission Statement: The goal of Women Empowered (WE) is to strengthen the economic worth and well-being of women in Arkansas – ranging from insecure to very secure – through strategic means. More specifically, this means we would collaborate with, raise awareness of, and support agencies, policies, and programs that engage with women with the objective of understanding and creating pathways to greater economic security. By identifying and addressing these issues, WFA seeks to facilitate education choices and career paths and shift the policy framework surrounding women’s financial literacy, debt management, and economic wealth.
Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’ (WFA) mission is to facilitate programs and shape policies that expand and strengthen the roles of women and girls in Arkansas. We are the only statewide foundation that focuses solely on significantly improving their academic, economic, and social well-being. To fulfill this mission, WFA serves as a grant-maker, a convener, and a resource on the status of women and girls. It is our belief that improving their lives not only advances gender equity but also improves the health and wealth of families, communities, and the state as a whole.
“The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is working to elevate the conversation of the critical role women play as a strategy to improve Arkansas’s overall economy. Through our Women Empowered Initiative we hope to bring together an intersection of public, private, and nonprofit support in an effort to advance women’s economic circumstance. We are proud to stand at that intersection and be the leading economic equity partner for women in this state. We are especially excited to have a team of Clinton School students helping us with this important initiative.” – Anna Beth Gorman, Executive Director
Supervisor: Paul Leopoulos
The scope of this project is to design and implement a research project gathering specific information about student scholarship winners who have won arts-related scholarships from 2003 through the present. The goal is to gauge how many received college degrees, in what field, and how long it took to attain them. Where are these individuals now and in what field are they working or studying? This primary data collection should be supplemented by the years of research that shows students who grow up with interest and participation in the arts, are more likely to graduate from college, be better in math, join social organizations, and other positive attributes.
Mission Statement: Thea Foundation’s mission is to advocate the importance of the arts in the development of Arkansas’s youth. Our programs are designed to help youth find confidence through creative expression, during and after school. Thea Foundation has awarded $2.25 million in scholarships to Arkansas high school seniors, distributed more than $1.5 million in art supplies to underfunded schools and implemented many programs that provide creative experiences for Arkansas’s youth.
“I’m extremely excited about working with the Clinton School of Public Service students on a project that is important for the mission and vision of the Thea Foundation. The research the students will design and implement will be an important study of the impact of the arts on Arkansas‘s youth. They will be contacting our scholarship winners back to 2002 to gather important information of their progress through college and life, and that will be related to years of research on the impact on students who participate in creative activities K through 12. I expect this information to validate the concepts of creativity and so many aspects of the human condition.” – Paul Leopoulos, Executive Director
In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Little Rock Central’s 1957 desegregation, The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service are partnering to encourage others to share their memories and recollections.
Entries about the 1958-59 “lost” year, the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools as well as other people, places, and events in the civil rights era in Little Rock, Ark., are encouraged. Those with Arkansas connections are also encouraged to participate.
Recently, Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford shared the story of the silent protests took place at a white members-only Little Rock location during the mid-to-late 1950s relating to Governor Orval Faubus, his Little Rock friends, and supporters.
Can you think of unsung heroes and heroines of the Central High Crisis? If so, help the Butler Center and Clinton School by posting your narrative at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas or on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas Facebook page.
The summit focus was on the importance of convening, collaboration, and creating space to lift up ideas, models, and movements for how philanthropy can align its investments along the themes of Resistance, Protection, and Empowerment. Attendees were challenged to support and expand individual and institutional practice towards advancing equity with an inter-sectional lens.
Clinton School alum Shanell Ransom also attended the summit. Ransom currently works as the Grants and Operations Manager at the Samuel S. Fels Fund in Philadelphia, Pa. She is also an officer with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), a national organization whose mission is to empower emerging leaders and elevate philanthropic practice in order to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.
Last week, the Clinton School was pleased to welcome Dr. Koomin Kim from Florida State University. Dr. Kim was in town to escape Hurricane Irma, which affected his current hometown of Tallahassee, Fla.
“First, I am so grateful for all the members of the school,” Dr. Kim Said. “They are very accommodating and very friendly. I have never experienced this kind of accommodation and friendliness.”
Dr. Kim is a close friend of Dr. Chul Hyun Park, an assistant professor and developer of the Clinton School’s new Executive Master of Public Service degree. Dr. Kim and Dr. Park were students together at Arizona State University.
Hurricane Irma forced Florida State University’s campus to close last week, while much of the city of Tallahassee was without power. While he was in Little Rock, Dr. Kim said he enjoyed visiting the Clinton Presidential Library and, along with Dr. Park’s family, attending a Sunday service at a local Korean Church.
“People are so kind here,“ Kim said. “This has been an unbelievable experience for me.”
Alum Hunter Riley came to the Clinton School as a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in 2007. Since graduating in 2009, he spent more than four years in various roles at the Pat Tillman Foundation. In 2013, he co-founded Schlep, a tech-enabled local logistics and delivery company in Chicago – with operations also in Milwaukee and soon to launch in New York City.
Riley acts as the CEO and COO at Schlep, which specializes in supporting businesses with their local logistical and heavy lifting needs. Through a partnership with ToolBank USA, Schlep has taken its services to Houston to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. He and his team have been in Houston for more than two weeks and took some time shortly after arriving to answer a few questions about Schlep’s role in the relief.
What are you doing through Schlep to help with Hurricane Harvey?
Schlep is a local logistics company based in Chicago. We partner closely with the Chicago Community ToolBank due to the fact that we share space with them. Proximity is an important aspect when it comes to collaborating. In that partnership, we manage the warehouse and the delivery of tools in Chicago and have gained a good reputation within the ToolBank USA network. Because of this, we were asked to come down to help manage the ToolBank here in Houston. So, specifically speaking, our team is coming down one at a time over the next several weeks to manage the ToolBank lending program here in Houston.
What have been your biggest challenges while working in Houston?
Traffic may be the biggest challenge (laughs). I’ve been down here since Monday; we flew in a week after the hurricane hit. The ToolBank itself, which is the nonprofit partner we’re helping lift up in this time, has had challenges that we’ve witnessed – just being able to staff during a time of such a high demand. After this massive flooding there have been communities, churches, and nonprofits that traditionally borrow tools from the ToolBank that can’t because there are not enough to go around. The ToolBank itself is doing an all call to send down the most needed of what they call muck and gut tools – wide mouth shovels, scrapers, squeegees, wheel barrows, and anything that can help clear a house of water-logged drywall and mud. So, that’s the biggest challenge we’ve seen – an insufficient supply of tools to lend.
For our specific purpose, the need for staffing to be able to manage the tools that are going in and out and the receiving of new tools that are being donated has been difficult. That’s where my company, Schlep, has been able to plug in and help Erika and her team down here at the Houston Community ToolBank stay on top of inventory and be able to continue to be that backstop of support that they are to the Houston community at large, and specifically in this post-Harvey cleanup and recovery time.
It’s been an interesting path since Little Rock. Particularly, going straight into the nonprofit management world at the Pat Tillman Foundation is what kept me firmly rooted in the public service community I built at the Clinton School. The connectivity that I personally have, and now that Schlep has, is definitely also impacted by my time at the Clinton School. Specifically, the fact that we see the nonprofit space as a partner for Schlep – a network we can support through our logistical offerings.
My team is taking our time here as a professional development opportunity – to come down to Houston and not only help out and volunteer our time, but to see how our skill set as problem-solving, logistics operators can plug in and support the ToolBank. Particularly during a disaster response and disaster recovery period, we are able to wrap our heads around the on-the-ground challenges and be a part of the organizing force. Personally, my time at the Clinton School and the nimbleness and adaptability that we learned while there – getting thrown into projects starting day one – has played a role in how I’ve lead Schlep to approach each new hurdle with an attitude of teamwork and a desire to create. Further, learning to come in with confidence and follow through with organization and hard work is something that, for me particularly, was honed at the Clinton School.
How did you and your co-founder, John Godwin, come up with the idea for Schlep?
That’s a good story. John and I grew up together in Arkansas. He was acting as a creative director for an ad agency in Chicago, and I was in a transitional year or two where I was contracting with a lot of different NGOs and startups and really trying to find what was next after the Pat Tillman Foundation. One of those contracts was with Good Weather, the contemporary art gallery in North Little Rock that my brother founded. I was transporting art around the United States, and happened to be in Chicago with my pickup truck, which led to the conversation with a former colleague that they needed support schlepping stuff. Schlep means to carry something large and awkward, and that’s where it all started.
We realized people needed help with transportation – specifically with heavy and large products – and after building on this idea for a few months, we started to realize there was a larger void in the local logistics niche. There was a need for two-man teams, pickup trucks, and sprinter vans to be able to provide furniture deliveries or event support on a customer-controlled timeframe, with less turn around time. Over the past 2-3 years, it’s really snowballed from there.
Is there anything else that you all are doing in Houston that you think that you want to talk about or that you think is important for this interview?
Just one final thing: I’d like to again shout out the Houston Community ToolBank – as they are the headwaters of the stream of support that is trickling into Houston. All of the volunteers coming into Houston and being coordinated on the ground ties back to the ToolBank – these volunteers are being engaged and activated with the tools that come from this shared resource ToolBank.
When you think of it, as we do at Schlep, in a logistical sense, they are the start of the supply chain – we just hope that people are aware of what they’re doing, not only now, but throughout the year in the cities that they’re located. So, a shout out to the ToolBank network (and our close friends at the Chicago Community ToolBank) and really a thank you to them for trusting our Schlep team to help manage their operations while they’re in this time of need.