Our Story

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 July 10, 2011, during the celebration and commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders coming to Little Rock to desegregate the Trailways Bus Terminal.

On that day, the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail was created to acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements made by those who have fought for racial justice in the state. Our goal is to raise awareness about the rich and important civil rights legacy here in Arkansas and honor those who have contributed to obtaining equal rights for all in the state.

As a permanent reminder of the civil rights movement in Arkansas history, additional markers will be added to the trail each year during a public commemoration ceremony.