by Max Brantley
While Secure Arkansas and its friends at the Family Council are decrying the rise in Hispanic population in Arkansas and doing all they can to discourage it, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is continuing in the spirit of its namesake and spending money to improve Latino leadership in Arkansas. Happily, Jeanne Burlsworth and Jerry Cox can't tell the foundation how to spend Rockefeller money.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 6, 2010) — A grant awarded recently to The Center for Leadership Innovation (TCLI) by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation will allow TCLI to partner with the Arkansas Coalition for Excellence and One Community! Una Communidad! to establish the Arkansas Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy (the “Academy”).
The two-year, $140,000 grant approved by the WRF Board of Directors in June will fund the creation of the Academy, which will focus on self-development, organizational capacity building, peer-to-peer networking, collaboration with other communities of color, and collaboration with the state’s mainstream nonprofit sector. In the first year, 11 Latino led and/or focused nonprofits in the state and up to 30 Latino leaders will benefit from this effort.
“Arkansas has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the country,” said Dr. Sherece West, President and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. “By promoting the development of Latino leaders and building the capacity of Latino nonprofits, we are supporting the creation of a pipeline of effective Latino leaders and strong Latino organizations that will have a positive impact on the state of Arkansas.”
A variety of nonprofit organizations exist in Arkansas to support the educational, social, and economic progress of Latino residents and their full integration into the state. The capacity of these organizations to serve their target population is directly tied to the skills, knowledge, and ability of the leadership.
“The Academy will provide participants with relevant workshops, on-site technical assistance, coaching, and exposure to relevant policy issues,” said Irene Packer-Halsey, Senior Vice President for Programs for TCLI. “Through these experiences, we will build the competency and capacity of Latino leaders and Latino nonprofits in the state and improve the effectiveness of the state’s nonprofit sector in general.”