A Panel Discussion: Arkansas Civic Health Index

Join us on Monday, December 4 at noon for the release of the Arkansas Civic Health Index, a first-of-its-kind report, and expert panel discussion that considers the on-the-ground conditions of civic engagement in Arkansas.

This program is presented in partnership with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Central Arkansas Library System, and EngageAR.

Panelists will discuss the implications of the report’s findings across rural and metro communities, as well as the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • Gayatri Agnew, Senior Director and Head of Accessibility Center of Excellence for Walmart
  • Shana Chaplin, Former Director of EngageAR
  • Jeff Coates, Research and Evaluation Director for the National Conference on Citizenship
  • Lisa Hicks Gilbert, Mayor of Elaine, Arkansas

Dr. Jay Barth, Director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, will moderate the conversation. This program will be held in person at the Clinton Presidential Center.

Until now, no report has been published that describes the conditions of civic and political engagement in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Civic Health Index provides an in-depth analysis of Arkansas’s civic health – showcasing strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities – by bringing together quantitative and qualitative data, including:

  • Special U.S. Census Bureau data from the National Conference on Citizenship
  • Campus voting statistics from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement
  • Surveys of mayors from all of Arkansas’s municipalities
  • Interviews with Arkansas residents, civic leaders, nonprofit leaders, and public engagement professionals

Gayatri Agnew leads the Accessibility Center of Excellence for Walmart after having worked in the public sector, both in government and nonprofits. She found her way to business because of her desire to work on impact at scale. Agnew also serves as a City Council Member for the City of Bentonville.

Shana Chaplin is a community engagement professional with a demonstrated history in program, volunteer, and change management, as well as organizational development and advocacy. She is a founding director of Arkansas State CASA and is serving appointments to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board and Pulaski County Homeless Village Advisory Board.

Jeff Coates brings more than ten years of social science research and on-the-ground program evaluation experience as Director of Research and Evaluation for the National Conference on Citizenship. His prior experience in disaster relief and long-term recovery has given him the knowledge of various fields including community development, civic engagement, and economic development.

Lisa Hicks is the first Black, and first female elected Mayor of Elaine, Arkansas. She serves as Program Manager with the Lee Street Community Center in Elaine and is dedicated to addressing economic and social injustices in the Arkansas Delta. She is the founder of Descendants of the Elaine Massacre of 1919.

Clinton Presidential Center Presents is a partnership between the Clinton Foundation, Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, and Clinton Presidential Library.