Registration now open for Ourtown Institute, diversity training for emerging leaders

Just Communities of Arkansas is now accepting applications for their annual OurTown Institute for Inclusive Leadership to be held Wednesday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 20, at the Lake Point Conference Center in Russellville, Arkansas.

Ourtown 2014 ClassOurtown is a two and a half day interactive retreat that allows individuals to develop the skills and framework necessary to promote effective communication, positive interaction, and the prospect of coalitions for constructive change. Issues explored in depth are race, gender, sexual orientation, along with the nature of prejudice, discrimination, oppression and privilege.

According to Ruth Shephard, executive director of JCA, Ourtown Institute was developed in Little Rock in the early 1990s and has been replicated in cities across the United States.

The ultimate goal of Ourtown is to make Arkansas an even better place to live and work by removing impediments to personal and corporate success that are often based on perceived or real differences.

“Entergy Arkansas’ experience with JCA has been through their outstanding knowledge and experience in preparing and delivering training to all our team members about how the power of a diverse group of people, and their ideas, strengthen any organization and better prepare it, and themselves, for the future,” said Hugh McDonald, President of Entergy Arkansas.

Tuition is $500 per delegate and covers retreat materials, lodging, and meals. Apply through the online form.

Click here for more information or contact Ruth Shepherd at 501.372.5129 or

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The Institute on Race and Ethnicity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was founded in July 2011. With a vision to make Arkansas the best state in the country for promoting and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity, the Institute conducts research, promotes scholarship and provides programs that address racial inequities. It does so by facilitating open and honest dialogue aimed at empowering communities and informing public policy to achieve more equitable outcomes.

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