Our Beginning

Watch President Clinton’s remarks on the Institute on Race and Ethnicity presented at the 50th Anniversary Freedom Rider event.

UALR established the Institute on Race and Ethnicity for the people of Little Rock, Central Arkansas, and the state under the leadership of Chancellor Joel E. Anderson. The Institute is a culmination of years of internal conversations, programming, research, and outreach on the subject of race.

Thanks to the diligence of Chancellor Anderson and the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity, the Institute has a clear mission to work together with the communities of Arkansas to end racial and ethnic injustice.

The Institute’s Launch was held during the celebration and commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders coming to Little Rock to desegregate the Trailways Bus Terminal.

What We Do

The mission of the Institute on Race and Ethnicity is to seek racial and ethnic justice in Arkansas by remembering and understanding the past, informing and engaging the present, and shaping and defining the future. See more about our mission and goals.

The institute is the vehicle through which the university will contribute to creating a fresh agenda on race and ethnicity in Arkansas. This fresh agenda will be designed to dismantle the historical, cultural, and institutional structures that were originally created to subjugate and vilify black people. The initial conscious intent is now unconsciously continued in the form of structural racism and contributes to black people, Latinos/as, and other people of color being disproportionately underrepresented in the indicia of well-being and positive achievements and disproportionately overrepresented in the indicia of dysfunction and under achievement.

The institute plans to fulfill its mission by creating avenues for dialogue among whites and people of color and developing research projects that will add to information on the disparities between whites and people of color in Arkansas, including in the imposition of criminal punishments, educational achievements, and health status. The institute will include stakeholders (those that have a particular interest and stake in the subject matter) in planning and analyzing the research projects and making any recommendations that may flow from that analysis to the appropriate policy makers, some of whom will be a part of the research planning and analysis.

The Institute on Race and Ethnicity plans to be a vehicle of racial and ethnic healing in Arkansas that supports the creation and maintenance of a peaceful, stable, and productive community in which all people are accepted and their contributions welcomed and supported.