Chancellor Joel E. Anderson was honored as “Scholar in Residence” for the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy and delivered a lecture on racial and ethnic justice in December 2010 as part of their “Clinton School Speakers Series.”
Dr. Joel Anderson’s commitment to the development of UALR’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity was also profiled by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In an article by Evie Blad printed Jan. 3, 2011, the chancellor provides historical context for the creation of the center and shares some of the defining moments that made this a personal ambition:
In his segregated schools, Anderson, who is white, heard jokes and taunts about his black peers, but he was largely unaware of situations he would later come to view as injustices.
He developed a passion for racial equality as a freshman at Harding University, where a mix of conversations with peers from integrated schools and teachings on biblical principles led him to examine his worldview.
“Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself,” Anderson said. “Neither one of them is optional.”
Chancellor Anderson points to UALR’s record of community dedication in central Arkansas as well as a desire to change Little Rock’s perception in civil rights history as the foundations for making this dream a reality now.
Little Rock is an ideal place for such an academic center, Anderson said. The university has a history of involvement with city and state projects, and the state is known throughout the country for turmoil surrounding the integration of black students at Central High School.