Nonprofits Chosen for TRU Powered By Ideals

Nonprofits Chosen for TRU Powered By Ideals
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Thirty-five organizations have been chosen to participate in TRU Powered by IDEALS, the second phase of a regional initiative launched in 2018 to help bolster the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of nonprofits in Benton and Washington counties. 

Selected participants will join a launch event on Tuesday, March 29, at the Jones Center in Springdale.

The initiative, led by the IDEALS Institute at the U of A, is funded by a $2,185,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. The grant to IDEALS is part of Walmart.org's recent three-year, $5 million commitment to building a culture of belonging in the region. 

The purpose of the initiative is to provide cohort participants with practical strategies to advance their DEI journeys and strengthen the efforts of local nonprofits. 

“Nonprofit organizations are often the gatekeepers determining how residents experience the region around them,” said Elecia Smith, executive director of the IDEALS Institute. “We couldn’t be more honored and excited to work with the leaders of these 35 organizations representing missions essential to our region’s health and vitality.” 

The acronym TRU stands for "Train, Recharge and Uplift" and signifies the different cohorts participating organizations were selected to join. "Train" is for nonprofits new to DEI work, "Recharge" will deepen the ongoing efforts of those already engaged in strategic DEI plans and "Uplift" will build the organizational capacity of nonprofits led by and serving minoritized communities. 

Uplift nonprofits will each receive $50,000 technical assistance grants from the Arkansas Community Foundation throughout their participation in the two-year program. 

“As an organization focused on Black cultural preservation, we are honored to be selected for ‘Uplift,’” said Airic Hughes of the Visionairi Foundation in Fayetteville. “The training and resources we receive will help us expand the cultivation of the Black community in Northwest Arkansas.”

For nonprofits new to DEI work, the initiative will provide foundational tools and knowledge to help address the challenges of serving increasingly diverse populations in Northwest Arkansas. 

“Domestic violence does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or anything else,” said Teresa Mills, CEO of Peace at Home Family Shelter. “It’s important for us to be part of this initiative so that every survivor and their children receive what they need to feel safe and supported.”  

The 2022 Train cohort members are Apple Seeds; Arkansas Behavioral Health Integration Network; Arkansas Environmental Education Association; Bentonville Islamic Center; Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista, Inc.; Fenix Arts; Innovative Poverty Solutions (Circles NWA); Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas; The New School; Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter; Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care; NWA Community Creative Center; Peace at Home Family Shelter; Sheep Dog Impact Assistance; and Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.

The 2022 Recharge cohort members are Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, Trailblazers + ETHIC (formerly NWA Trailblazers and BikeNWA); Mount Sequoyah Center, Inc.; NWA Center for Sexual Assault; and Girls on the Run of Northwest Arkansas.

The 2022-2023 Uplift cohort members are Arkansas Latinas en Bici, Arkansas Soul, bike.poc, Equality Crew, Conexion de Negocios Latinos, Entrepreneurship for All, Growing and Coping Together, Islamic Center of NWA, Light House Solutions, NWA African American Heritage Association, NWA Girl Gang, NWA Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee, Ozark Adaptive Sports Association, Visionari and Voice of Diversity.

To learn more about TRU Powered by IDEALS, visit www.truideals.org

About the IDEALS Institute: The IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas is a training, consultancy and research institute dedicated to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities. Since its inception in 2019, the organization has provided DEI education and training for more than 40 entities with over 10,000 participants. 

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

Contacts

Elecia C. Smith, executive director
IDEALS Institute
479-575-3312, ecs002@uark.edu

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