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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Twyman named race, ethnicity institute director

Chancellor Joel E. Anderson announced today that Dr. Michael R. Twyman has been appointed the new director of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

Dr. Michael TwymanThe new director comes to UALR from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, where he has been director of grant programs in Indiana since 1999.

He will begin his new position at UALR on Aug. 12.

“I have a strong family heritage in Arkansas, and I look forward to joining Chancellor Anderson, the UALR family and the residents of central Arkansas to help accomplish community goals and aspirations through the Institute.”

“Now is an ideal time in the life of the Institute, for it is uniquely poised to lead the state and serve as a model for the nation in promoting racial and ethnic justice,” said Twyman.

In his role at the Pulliam Charitable Trust, Twyman was responsible for overseeing grant investments in the major program areas, which primarily benefit underserved populations and communities of color.  Similarly, Twyman previously worked in the public and private sectors to advance economic and community development in inner-city neighborhoods.

Racial diversity has been a central theme in the undergraduate and graduate courses taught by Twyman at Indiana University Purdue-University Indianapolis.  Like UALR, the IUPUI campus is in the state’s capital and has comparable student demographics and organizational dynamics.

“His unique combination of philanthropic expertise, academic preparation, and civic service has Dr. Twyman well prepared to accelerate progress toward the Institute’s mission and goals,” said Chancellor Anderson.

“I appreciate Dr. Twyman’s enthusiasm for the Institute’s work, and I am confident he will provide strong leadership as we continue to work with the university and community to address issues of race and ethnicity in Arkansas.”

Twyman was listed in “Forty Under 40” by the Indiana Business Journal. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, NAACP of Greater Indianapolis, and the United Way of Central Indiana Outstanding Board Service Award.

In addition to his work with the Pulliam Trust, Twyman currently serves on the boards of the Indiana Humanities Council and the City of Indianapolis Parks and Recreation. His previous board service includes the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis.

Twyman graduated cum laude from Fisk University in Nashville with a bachelor’s degree in political science and religious and philosophical studies. He earned a master of social work degree (planning and management concentration) and Ph.D. in social policy from Indiana University.

The mission of the Institute is to seek racial and ethnic justice in Arkansas by understanding the past, informing and engaging the present, and shaping and defining the future.

The university launched this important work with the firm belief that the fundamentals of respect, tolerance, dignity and cultural understanding begin at the local level, and that local success with an issue that exists all across the country will have national significance and impact.