Race + Equity

Jonesboro High School volleyball coach C.C. Smith

Teachers, students voice support for AP African American Studies course

BY: - February 3, 2023

If C.C. Smith had had access to an African American history class as a kid, the self-described history nut said he “would’ve ate it up.”  Smith said he learned much from his father, “an expert on the Delta” and professor emeritus at Arkansas State University where he was the school’s first African American faculty member. […]

SESSION SNAPSHOT: Arkansas Legislature rolls through Week 4 with ice and amendments

BY: - February 3, 2023

The fourth week of the Arkansas General Assembly’s 2023 legislative session brought lots of ice and amendments. Senate Bill 43, which targeted drag shows, has demanded the most attention of any legislation through the first month of the session, but by the time the House and Senate adjourned for the weekend, it had been so […]

COMMENTARY
Celebrate Black History Month with USA flag motif

High schoolers need exposure to ideas in African American studies

BY: - February 2, 2023

As Black History Month begins, our education governor’s Education Department says it’s reviewing an advanced placement course in African American studies that’s being tried out in two Arkansas schools as part of a pilot program in 60 high schools nationwide. The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking questions of the nonprofit that […]

COMMENTARY
State Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro), at right, talks with Sen. Ricky Hill (R-Cabot) during a break in a November 2022 meeting. (Photo courtesy of Arkansas Senate)

The assault on diversity, equity and inclusion continues

BY: - February 1, 2023

Arkansas’ Republican overlords continued their assault on affirmative action and the very basis of righting past wrongs with the passage of Senate Bill 71 in committee on Tuesday. In doublespeak that George Orwell would have recognized, SB 71 sponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) characterized the legislation as anti-discriminatory because its stated intention is “to prohibit […]

Arkansas Senate panel recommends ending state affirmative action

BY: - January 31, 2023

A legislative committee Tuesday morning passed a bill to end state affirmative action, but most of the public was left in the dark on the proposal’s language because it wasn’t made publicly available until after the panel voted and adjourned. Senate Bill 71 by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) would do away with programs that encourage […]

Arkansas bill restricting school bathroom use heads to House for approval

BY: - January 31, 2023

A bill that would restrict bathroom use in public schools based on students’ gender assigned at birth is headed to the Arkansas House of Representatives for approval after passing the House Education Committee on Tuesday. House Bill 1156 would apply to multiple-occupancy restrooms and locker rooms, as well as rooms for students on overnight trips. […]

COMMENTARY
Visitors at the Birkenau Museum view the many faces of the men, women and children who died at the Auschwitz II – death camp. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Still close to home

BY: - January 27, 2023

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Arkansas Advocate occasionally publishes commentary from other sources, including other members of the States Newsroom network. This column from the Arizona Mirror reflects on the importance of educating younger generations about the Holocaust.) On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz camp complex in occupied Poland. What the Soviet liberators found […]

COMMENTARY
ACLU Executive Director Holly Dickson speaks against Senate Bill 43. At left is bill sponsor Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch). (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas’ would-be religious tyrants gather steam with ‘culture-war’ bills

BY: - January 23, 2023

I grew up Catholic in a deeply Catholic region of Louisiana. I don’t think I met any non-Catholics until after second grade. Imagine my surprise when I realized that not only were there Christians who worshiped differently from me but believed in a totally different Jesus. Imagine my consternation when I learned that some Christians […]

In this February 2021 photo, protestors hold signs that read "hate is a virus" and "stop Asian hate" at an anti-racism rally in New York City's Washington Square Park. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, the White House announced a multi-agency effort to fight anti-Asian American hate in the wake of the brutal stabbing of an 18-year-old Indiana University student. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

BY: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON— The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press briefing. […]

Little Rock Congregations Study Researchers Rebecca Glazier and Gerald Driskill

UALR researchers develop faith-based racial justice resource guide for congregations

BY: - January 17, 2023

Pastor Billy Burris at St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock believes the church needs to truly be a part of the community. This means providing support to neighbors, being a sounding board and discussing social issues like racial justice, he said. “Racial issues, social issues, the church can’t hide its head in the […]

COMMENTARY
American civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) delivers his "I have a dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, Aug. 28, 1963. (Photo by Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

How the distortion of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s words enables more, not less, racial division

BY: - January 17, 2023

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race. In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, […]

COMMENTARY
Spectators wave at parade participants during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in downtown Little Rock Monday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2023. (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate/01/16/2023)

In more ways than one, Dr. King taught us to speak up for the oppressed

BY: - January 16, 2023

The speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be cited throughout this day meant to honor his memory and legacy – and for good reason. As one of the world’s most influential orators of the 20th century, he brought truth to power with his words, time and again. Equally deserving of praise is King’s […]