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UA Little Rock to hold open forums on race and ethnicity Nov. 11 and 12

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will hold a new round of open forums on race and ethnicity with faculty and staff on Nov. 11 and 12.

The first open forum for UA Little Rock staff members will be held from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. The second open forum for faculty members will be held from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.

The two upcoming forums will have a different audience than previous events that held one forum for faculty and staff and another for students. Since participation in the open forums for students has been low, Chancellor Drale will move those discussions to new events that she believes will be more effective in reaching students.

The Zoom links for the virtual meetings will be sent out the week of the forums. Anyone who would like to submit a question or comment for the open forums may fill out this online form.

The open forums with Chancellor Drale began in the summer as a way to enhance equality and inclusion at UA Little Rock through thoughtful and constructive dialogue and feedback from students, faculty, and staff.

After careful consideration of issues discussed during the open forums, Chancellor Drale announced campus initiatives to improve diversity, inclusion, and student retention at UA Little Rock. These include the development of implicit bias training for employees and students, best practices on diversity hiring, a salary equity study, and a campus-wide book discussion centered on topics of race and ethnicity.

UA Little Rock is also relaunching the Student Multicultural Center in Otttenheimer Library and hiring a new assistant director as well as relaunching the Student Affairs Diversity Initiatives with an expanded mentoring program with peer and faculty/staff mentors.

Additionally, the members of two new committees focused on race and ethnicity, the Racial Barriers Committee and the Chancellor’s Race and Ethnicity Advisory Committee, were announced in October.