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Guiding Principles

The Institute of Race and Ethnicity ascribes to the following core values to instruct and guide its work:

▪ We maintain that there is no scientific evidence proving one particular race of people is either inferior or superior to another.

▪ We recognize that race at its core is a social construct and therefore should never be used alone to define a person’s or group’s total being or potential.

▪ Racism stems from ignorance and fear and has existed since the earliest of civilizations.

▪ Racism narrowly defined is when members of a dominant group deem themselves superior to other races and who have the means by which to exercise oppressive power.

▪ America’s constitutional and governance ideals were built upon a pluralistic democracy, guaranteeing its citizens the rights to equal opportunity and protection under the law.

▪ The enslavement of Africans in America has had long-lasting negative effects on blacks’ social, economic, and political power as an ethnic group.

▪ The Institute rejects the notion that America has entered into a post-racial era with the election of an African American president, and to the contrary, continues to see racial oppression as the greatest threat to the nation’s health and well-being.

▪ The Institute was created to lead change in Arkansas by being a catalyst for racial justice by facilitating dialogue and forging community partnerships.

▪ Given the country’s legacy of racial discrimination and the resulting tensions that still linger between blacks and whites especially in the South, the Institute gives heightened attention to race relations between these two groups, but it is also committed to the growing Latino population and other communities of color in Arkansas.

▪ The Institute believes that the courageous efforts of Daisy Bates, attorney Christopher Mercer, and the Little Rock Nine to end school segregation in Arkansas was a defining moment for the Civil Rights Movement in the state and the nation.

▪ The University of Arkansas Little Rock is committed to modeling behaviors and practices that honor racial diversity and promote racial equity.

▪ UALR must prepare students to be able to compete, communicate and think critically about topics related to ethnicity and race in an increasingly global and interconnected world.

▪ The Institute believes that evidence-based research can be a resource for problem solving related to issues of race and racism.

▪ The Institute accepts that it cannot tackle racism in Arkansas alone, nor do we have all the answers; thus, we commit to continued learning about ourselves and our work.

▪ The Institute’s work is integral to UALR accomplishing its goal to be One of the Top Metropolitan Community-Engaged, Research Universities among the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) by 2020.

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