POST BY: ANTOINETTE GRAJEDA

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Image source: Reimagine Arkansas project

There’s no question the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in education, but some of the issues aren’t new. Christhian Saavedra, a teacher at Rogers Heritage High School, says the public health crisis is simply highlighting problems and inequities that were already there.

“A lot of the issues that we’re seeing now I think they’ve been issues, they’ve been lacking,” Saavedra says. “It’s just they haven’t been brought up to the forefront because there wasn’t a need or there was always a way to mask certain things.”

One of those issues…


This collection of voices and inspired graphics offer the slow-burning hope of what education in Arkansas can be and the commitments it will take from all of us to get there.

By artist Shelby Lynn Osbourn

It was a teacher that first told Pamela she was smart.

It was teachers that helped Travis survive difficult circumstances in El Salvador and stay on the right path here in Arkansas.

For Portia, it was the belief that kindergarten is the groundwork for someone’s future.

And for Cara, it was the way she could light up the face of a child just by teaching him how to read.


Arkansas nurses and other healthcare workers are frustrated by larger forces impacting patients’ health during the Covid-19 crisis

We convened 12 nurses and healthcare staff across four Arkansas cities to share their hopes and concerns about the pandemic.

During those conversations, a common theme emerged: behind the data and the statistics of COVID-19, nurses are constant advocates, whether they sit behind the front desk or at a patient’s bedside.

They are focused on people and it’s their stories “that matter…and they need to be seen.”

Melanie decided to become a nurse when her diabetic grandmother back in the Phillippines was…


Explore Reimagine Arkansas’ first constellation of conversations with frontline advocates working on behalf of essential workers on issues such as bail and prison reform, immigration, healthcare access and economic mobility.

Between surging COVID rates, the bubonic plague resurfacing in Mongolia, and the possibility of a fall season without college and high school football, many Arkansans are wondering if this is what the apocalypse indeed looks like.

Yet, for a large group of frontline advocates working on behalf of diverse communities, these times are more revealing about our past than they are about prophesying the end of the world. …


Get paid to write thought-provoking articles, personal essays and other content based on the topics offered from our “constellation kits.”

Photo by: Aiman (Adobe)

Our editors are looking for contributors to the publication who can offer authentic stories, articles and other content based on topics found in the Reimagine Arkansas constellation kits.

If your story idea is accepted, we will pay for original content only. Submitted content should be between 600–3,000 or so words.

Sample story topics include:

— Various personal experiences or reflections

— Impact of COVID-19 on essential workers in your community

— How overlooked businesses have survived and/or thrived in the…


This Arkansas-based project is dedicated to listening to those who matter — when it matters the most. A listening channel tuned in to those around us.

Today, Arkansans seem to be united in the uncertainty around the question “What comes next?” Instead of waiting and worrying for the answers, we are traveling (virtually) across the state to listen and learn from under-heard voices about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives and what kind of future they hope will emerge from this time.

Reimagine Arkansas is a project funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation with a goal to help Arkansans share…


STORY BY: ANTOINETTE GRAJEDA

From February to April, the number of active, Black small business owners dropped by almost half. In the next episode of Affirmative Action, we explore how Arkansas business owners are coping amid the pandemic.

Christopher Austin, owner of Catchin’ Fadez; Nicole Calhoun, owner of Elxr Yoga Lounge.

Black-owned small businesses are taking a beating due to the pandemic. According to a report released in August by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the number of active small business owners fell by 22 percent from February to April, the largest drop on record. Black businesses experienced the largest decline with a 41 percent drop. …


A personal essay by Brandi Taylor

Photo provided by Brandi Taylor

It’s easy to get caught up in life.

There’s school, job-hunting, social life and other things that can get you bogged down and distracted. I sometimes forget how crazy this year has been. The unexpected pandemic, the deaths of Black and brown people on tv, protests and the divisive political climate.

This isolation has given some people the closeness to pull through and others the fuel and granted permission to spread hate. It’s heavy. I reach for my mask before stepping out of my car and head inside the store. …


Get paid to share your DEI stories and experiences from the University of Arkansas campus and beyond the hill.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Our editors are looking for contributors to the publication who can offer authentic stories about diversity, equity and inclusion at Arkansas-based colleges and universities. If your story idea is accepted, we will pay for original content only.

Submitted content should be between 600–3,000 or so words.

Sample story topics include:
- Cultural awareness (issues, lectures and special events)
- Various personal experiences or reflections
- On-going or published diversity research topics
- Racial disparities in academia (be specific!) …


A special place to share interconnected perspectives from students, faculty and staff across the state of Arkansas.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Arkansas Soul Media, has launched Intersections — a Medium publication powered by the stories and experiences of students, faculty and staff members across the state.

The mission of the publication is to highlight the various interconnected perspectives of the collegiate experience — from the freshmen navigating their first year of matriculation to the senior administrator grappling with the many challenges that equity work entails on often predominately white campus.

Intersections strives to cover topics where the core of our being intersect including topics…

Niketa Reed

Culture navigator — Brand slayer @niketareed

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