Thirty-five organizations were chosen to participate in TRU Powered by IDEALSthe second phase of a regional initiative launched in 2018 to help strengthen the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of nonprofits in Benton and Washington counties.
Selected entrants will attend a kick-off event on Tuesday, March 29 at the Jones Center in Springdale.
The initiative, led by the IDEALS Institute at the U of A, is funded by a $2,185,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. The grant to IDEALS is part of Walmart.org’s recent three-year, $5 million commitment to create a culture of belonging in the region.
The goal of the initiative is to provide cohort participants with practical strategies to advance their DEI journeys and strengthen the efforts of local nonprofits.
“Nonprofits are often the gatekeepers that determine how residents experience the area around them,” said Elecia Smith, executive director of the IDEALS Institute. “We could not be more honored and delighted to work with the leaders of these 35 organizations representing missions essential to the health and vitality of our region.
The acronym TRU stands for “Train, Recharge and Uplift” and signifies that the various cohorts of participating organizations have been selected to join. “Train” is for nonprofits new to DEI work, “Recharge” will deepen ongoing efforts of those already engaged in DEI strategic plans, and “Uplift” will build organizational capacity for nonprofits. led by and serving minority communities.
Uplift nonprofits will each receive $50,000 technical assistance grants from the Community Foundation of Arkansas throughout their participation in the two-year program.
“As an organization focused on preserving black culture, we are honored to be selected for ‘Uplift,'” said Airic Hughes of the Visionairi Foundation in Fayetteville. “The training and resources we are receiving will help us grow the culture of the black community in northwest Arkansas.”
For nonprofits new to DEI’s work, the initiative will provide foundational tools and knowledge to help meet the challenges of serving increasingly diverse populations in Northwest Arkansas.
“Domestic violence does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or anything else,” said Teresa Mills, CEO of Peace at Home Family Shelter. “It is important for us to be part of this initiative so that each survivor and their children receive what they need to feel safe and supported.
Members of the Train 2022 cohort are Apple Seeds; Arkansas Behavioral Health Integration Network; Arkansas Environmental Education Association; Bentonville Islamic Center; Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista, Inc.; Fenix Arts; Innovative Solutions Against Poverty (Circles NWA); Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas; The new school; Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter; Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care; NWA Community Creation Center; Peace at Home Family Shelter; Sheepdog impact assistance; and Northwest Arkansas Symphony.
Members of the 2022 Recharge cohort are the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, Trailblazers + ETHIC (formerly NWA Trailblazers and BikeNWA); Mount Sequoyah Center, Inc.; NWA Center for Sexual Assault; and Runaway Girls of Northwest Arkansas.
Members of the 2022-2023 Uplift cohort are Arkansas Latinas en Bici, Arkansas Soul, bike.poc, Equality Crew, Conexion de Negocios Latinos, Entrepreneurship for All, Growing and Coping Together, Islamic Center of NWA, Light House Solutions, NWA African American Heritage Association, NWA Girl Gang, NWA Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee, Ozark Adaptive Sports Association, Visionari and Voice of Diversity.
To learn more about TRU Powered by IDEALS, visit www.truideals.org.
About the IDEALS Institute: The IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas is a training, consulting, and research institute dedicated to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and communities. Since its inception in 2019, the organization has provided DEI education and training to over 40 entities with over 10,000 participants.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion for Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the United States with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.