U of A Institute Receives Grant to Support Local Marshallese

The IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas has received a two-year grant from the United Way of Northwest Arkansas totaling $213,000 to support economic mobility for low- and moderate-income Marshallese residents.

The U of A will partner with the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, the Economic Opportunity Agency and Credit Counseling of Arkansas to launch a dedicated savings program to help local Marshallese with homeownership and home repair, small business development and expansion and post-secondary education and job training.

"This grant aligns seamlessly with the IDEALS Institute and the U of A's commitment to promoting economic development, educational attainment and equity in the Northwest Arkansas region," said Yvette Murphy-Erby, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. "It also advances the United Way's vision of a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives. This grant is a prime example of the power of collective impact that can occur when various sectors collaborate with communities toward meaningful outcomes."

Partnering agencies hope the efforts made possible through the grant will improve several well-being metrics among the Marshallese population, including household income and assets, health and social support and less economic strain.

 "The Individual Development Account Program is the first of its kind for the Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas," said Marcia Shobe, director of research for the IDEALS Institute in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. "Marshallese families can now invest in themselves, their families and their communities through homeownership, small business development and/or post-secondary education. In other words, the IDA Program allows Marshallese individuals and families to have a greater stake in their communities." 

Reporting to the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the IDEALS Institute aims to be the go-to resource for diversity and inclusion leadership in Arkansas. Supported in part through external funding such as the United Way grant, the institute provides diversity and inclusion-related expertise, research, education and training as well as outreach and engagement to entities across the region and state.


John Post, director of academic communications
University Relations
479-575-4449, johnpost@uark.edu


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