Dr. Chul Hyun Park and Dr. Robert C. Richards, Jr., led research efforts for the first Arkansas Civic Health Index, a report that shows the current status of civic engagement in Arkansas and provides tangible recommendations on how to improve citizen engagement in the state.

The Arkansas Civic Health Index report was completed in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship, a federally chartered nonprofit organization that works with U.S. states and municipalities to publish these reports using special data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Additional partner organizations include Engage Arkansas, Arkansas Community Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Central Arkansas Library System, Arkansas Peace and Justice Memorial Movement, and Investing in Black Futures.

The Arkansas Civic Health Index is the first published report that describes the conditions of civic engagement in Arkansas.

The report for Arkansas has several uses:

  • Improving our understanding of political and civic engagement in Arkansas
  • Enabling us to identify areas of political or civic involvement in Arkansas that need attention and resources
  • Helping us determine issues and topics for future public dialogue
  • Allowing us to organize public events—including a conference—about current levels of civic engagement in our state

In addition to securing data from the National Conference on Citizenship, the report includes additional quantitative data, notably campus voting statistics from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, as well a survey of mayors from all of Arkansas’s municipalities, and qualitative data from interviews with Arkansas residents, civic leaders, nonprofit leaders, and public engagement professionals.

Civic Arkansas

Civic Arkansas Activator: A Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Program

In conjunction with the release of the report, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute has launched Civic Arkansas, an initiative to amplify civic engagement across The Natural State. The mission of this new program is to leverage these strengths and address identified weaknesses, aiming to foster a more civically engaged Arkansas.