Goal Two

To provide research-based information and informed policy recommendations on issues of race and ethnicity.

With regard to race, when leaders cannot provide a clear picture of a problem and an informed path to improvement, they only succeed in making people feel bad and defensive.

There is a great need for good data at the state and local levels. One can often cite national data, but such data can be easily dismissed as not accurate or applicable at the state or local level. There is an absence of data that can be invoked to show structural racism’s impact at the community level.

As a Carnegie classified doctoral research university, UALR will bring to the issues of race and ethnicity exceptional faculty with their research expertise, plus ambitious graduate and undergraduate  students. This research capability and the opportunity for multi-disciplinary approaches to an issue constitute the unique asset of the university as compared with other stakeholders. The Institute staff ultimately will include a number of full-time researchers to provide leadership and coordination of the Institute’s research agenda. Faculty and staff across campus will be able to affiliate with the Institute as Institute Associates, greatly expanding the available expertise; and dozens are expected to do so.

We work to accomplish Goal Two through:

  • Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County surveys, research on trust (distrust) among racial and ethnic groups, disclosed during an annual conference
  • Analyses of structural racism in Little Rock and Arkansas – health disparities, housing segregation, criminal justice system disparities, discriminatory urban planning  practices, student achievement gaps, differentials in wealth accumulation, and other categories
  • The Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System research project on structural racism focused on convictions, sentencing, and incarceration in Arkansas
  • Development of repository of holdings for civil rights research in Arkansas in cooperation with the Department of History and the Butler Center of the Central Arkansas Library System
  • Historical research on race and ethnicity in Little Rock and across Arkansas
  • Secondary school curricula on race and Arkansas history
  • Periodic “State of Minorities in Arkansas” Report Identification of data deficits, action to eliminate or mitigate them, and posting information on Institute web site  clearinghouse as means of making them known and securing help in eliminating them.

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