Mission & Vision

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

To make Arkansas the best state in the country for promoting and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity. We strive to achieve this vision through the following set of ideals:

Inquire · Reveal · Empower

Inquire– ask the tough questions which may make some uncomfortable but are necessary for understanding the root causes of racial inequities.

Reveal– expose the truth and bring attention to the problem of racism in a historical and contemporary context.

Empower– use solid research and data to inform decision making and formulate public policy that will achieve more equitable outcomes.


The Institute on Race and Ethnicity is about changing the thinking and culture of UALR, Little Rock and the state of Arkansas to one that embraces racial equality. This is reflected in the Institute’s new vision statement, guiding principles, theory of change, and each of its six strategic goals.

Beginning in 2003, the UALR Institute of Government began conducting the annual Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County Survey which laid the foundation for the university to take a leadership role in confronting the race problem in central Arkansas. We will continue to engage UALR faculty, staff, and students in leveraging opportunities and resources to be successful in achieving the Institute on Race and Ethnicity’s vision.

The Institute on Race and Ethnicity came into existence in July 2011 after several years of conceptual planning by Chancellor Joel E. Anderson and members of the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity.

For the foreseeable future, the Institute will involve itself with work that stacks up to three fundamental tenets: meaningful, manageable, and measurable.

Meaningful the Institute will engage in activities that have explicit purpose and whose objectives closely align with its mission and demonstrates added value.

Manageable –the Institute will undertake work that maximizes its limited human and financial resources to develop and execute efficient processes that produce outcomes at a consistent level of excellence.

Measurable the Institute will continually assess its effectiveness in realizing its mission and vision through critical internal and external evaluation.               

The strategic directions give a general overview of our priorities. The Institute’s internal work plan includes specific tasks and activities that support our objectives in the six goal areas.

Additionally, the Institute will continue to build a case for long-term funding support, including the creation of an endowment to sustain its operations to further the most important work in Arkansas.

Guiding Principles>>>