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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Public forum to focus on Money, Class, and Opportunity

An expert panel will discuss Arkansas’s economic future at the 11th annual Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County Forum from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock.

The event, titled “Money, Class and Opportunity,” is free and open to the public. Registration is available online at 2014 Forum.

Senator Joyce Elliott

Senator Joyce Elliott of the 33rd District will moderate a panel of civic leaders as they discuss what class, finance, and business mean to Arkansas residents.

In addition, Chief Economist and State Economic Forecaster Dr. Michael Pakko of the Institute for Economic Advancement at UALR will give an economic overview of Pulaski County.

The panelists are Maria Elena de Avila-Peters of the Arkansas Department of Career Education; Heather Larkin, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation; Rep. Fred Love of district 29 and grants administrator for Pulaski County; Carmen Parks of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Terry Richard-Trevino, LULAC state director and professor in the UALR Department of Sociology; and Rep.Darrin Williams of district 36 and CEO of Southern Bancorp Inc.

Dr. Michael Pakko, UALR

The featured guests will discuss some of the key topics addressed in the 2014 Racial Attitudes Survey such as business practices and consumer behavior, paying taxes, public policy, small business ownership, employment, and what role education plays in financial stability.

The UALR Institute of Government has conducted the Racial Attitudes Surveys since the beginning of Chancellor Joel E. Anderson’s tenure in 2003.

“The Institute of Government’s survey findings have helped inform important discussions surrounding race in central Arkansas for some time now and this year’s report is no different,” said Dr. Michael R. Twyman, director of Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

According to the recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in 2012, nearly 20% of all people in Arkansas lived below the poverty line – the fourth highest in the nation.
“As a city and state, we must position ourselves so that we can adequately address these economic issues. It starts with open and honest dialogue and by fostering mutually beneficial partnerships,” said Twyman.

The Institute will host the forum in the heart of the River Market district in downtown Little Rock this year.

“We decided to host the forum near downtown businesses this year for several reasons, among them, is to give our students the opportunity to network with professionals in the thriving commercial atmosphere.”

Register for 2014 Racial Attitudes Forum The Institute also recognizes the university’s commitment to being responsible stewards of our physical resources.

Therefore, the 2014 survey report will be released online the day of the conference in lieu of printed copies this year.

All of the previous year’s surveys and corresponding data are currently available online at 2003-2013 Research.

“With the topic of the survey in mind, we are attempting to be even more fiscally and environmentally responsible in order to reduce our carbon footprint and printing costs. We also encourage UALR students, faculty, and staff to carpool to the event if possible.”

To learn more about the 2014 Racial Attitudes Forum, go to Money, Class and Opportunity.

For more information, contact the Institute at race-ethnicity@ualr.edu or by phone at 501.569.8932.