The Institute has begun scheduling local listening sessions as part of the next phase of Civic Arkansas. We are excited to move into this phase of our work, seeking to learn directly from Arkansans. We will start with listening sessions in May at the following locations:

  • White County: June 25 from 5:30-7 p.m.
    • Carmichael Community Center at 801 S Elm St. in Searcy, AR
  • Crittenden County: June 27 from 5:30-7 p.m.
    • West Memphis City Council Chambers at 205 S Redding St. in West Memphis, AR

  • Van Buren County: COMPLETED
  • Clark County: COMPLETED
  • Faulkner County: COMPLETED

If you would like an invitation to one or any of these listening sessions, please fill out the brief form below.

The goal of each session is to engage as many people as possible from as many backgrounds as possible (e.g., social, economic, racial, and political). Each 90-minute listening session will be hosted by a local community partner and facilitated by Institute staff. We hope to hear about the magnificent work happening in towns, cities, and counties to improve the lives of Arkansans and build social connectedness. We hope to learn about barriers keeping individuals from volunteering, organizing neighborhood or community events, meeting city officials, participating in local government, and registering and exercising the right to vote.

Shana Chaplin

Chief Program Officer

“Local people solve local problems best. That belief drives us to listen and learn in order to then facilitate civil dialogue within communities and organizations as we seek solutions. The Arkansas Civic Health Index Report highlights our state’s strengths in collective impact, owing to the ‘small-townness’ of Arkansas. Only by continuing to engage each other in conversation and learning from one another can we maintain that path.”

What is Civic Arkansas?

Civic Arkansas is our latest initiative to amplify civic engagement across our beloved state. The insights from the Arkansas Civic Health Index Report drive the creation of this program. Until now, no published report has described the conditions of civic and political engagement in Arkansas. Following the report’s advice, we want to encourage civil conversations about important topics, and we have the perfect process to do so — the Rockefeller Ethic. We invite you to join us in making Arkansas a state known for its robust civic engagement. 

Civic Arkansas Interest Form

"*" indicates required fields

Geographic Location*
Which listening session would you like more information about? (Check all that apply)*
In which area do you feel your professional/personal interests most align?*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  1. 1
    Candy M Webb on April 22, 2024

    I have a youth focus and would love to see our rural teens at the table!

  2. 2
    Linda Duncan on April 29, 2024

    I have a couple of people that might be interested in this – can you email the information to me to share and how they could register.

  3. 3
    We Love VBC on May 4, 2024

    My 501 c3 nonprofit is always interested in discussion about new ways to be of service to our County!

  4. 4
    Pamala Draeger on May 9, 2024

    I am concerned for the elderly in rural Van Buren County. As a provider of nutrition, transportation, socialization, and health promotion services I am keenly aware of the situations affecting particularly the homebound seniors. Though we offer some services, funding prohibits us from helping more, and there are needs that are not easily addressed. Even though we provide transportation we are unable to reach those who need both a wheelchair accessible vehicle and 4WD. We cannot provide electric or water services. We cannot provide home visits by a health care provider. We can’t fix roofs, patch holes in floors, replace windows, clean the house, haul the trash, cut the 2-inch toenails, etc. Some situations are heartbreaking, and we do what we can. Of course we refer to other agencies who may provide some services, but also lack funding.

  5. 5
    Mileage Robert on May 11, 2024

    I’m for any good that builds up our city, I want to encourage young people to believe in West Memphis future, be apart of that future.

  6. 6
    Tamara Hood on May 11, 2024

    My Professional and Personal Interest align with all of the subject areas because I am an Elected Official, I serve as President of the Crittenden County AARP Chapter #3502, I have Non-Profit, we need Civic Access and Education/Government and Media Transparency/Safe and Affordable Public Soaces for Civic and most definitely Conversations/Social Connectedness to Neighbors and the Community/as well as info on Voting and Election Laws.

  7. 7
    Sarah Igbere on May 12, 2024

    Southeast Arkansas should be on the list

  8. 8
    Bob Fowler on May 13, 2024

    Sounds interesting!

  9. 9
    Bob Fowler on May 13, 2024

    Sounds good!

  10. 10
    Bob Fowler on May 18, 2024

    Would like to attend.

  11. 11
    Joyce Robinson on May 20, 2024

    Sign me up for Civic and Education, although there are additional groups of interest. My location of interest is Marion/West Memphis, Northeast Arkansas.

  12. 12
    Denise Depierro on May 21, 2024

    I am new to Arkansas, in Clark County. Arkadelphia specifically. As a younger retiree, I’m looking for community involvement activities, maybe volunteer opportunities in early childhood education or support of the elderly. I have not found an obvious way to find these activities online quite yet. Looking to be an active community member.

  13. 13
    Wayne Croom on May 21, 2024

    Although West Memphis is known for a transportation hub with 2 interstates, 2 US Highways, a Mississippi River Port, for the central US, we also have good secondary education facilities and the ASU Mid South 2 yr college, an ISO Class 1 Fire Rating, good medical facilities, municipal airport, etc. but West Memphis is rated I one of the top 3 Ark cities as most dangerous per capita due to fatalities ((YTD approximately 8 young black men) and the infrastructure is deteriorating, there is no public transportation, no exercise areas unless you join a club, flooding within the city exist but not at the extend of 10 yrs ago, other

  14. 14
    Marshall ray on June 5, 2024

    I have a keen interest in the environment while advocating for business development by providing lifestyle enhancements.

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