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Our Work

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Building diversity in our region is a major goal — it propels us forward both socially and economically. Between 1990 and 2021, the non-white population of NWA grew from less than 5% to over 29%.

Established in 2013, EngageNWA is a Council initiative that works to support and continue this growth. As a convener and connector for leaders in business, government and the community, this initiative provides a platform to demonstrate shared values, practical strategies for engagement and positive results around efforts to build a more inclusive region.

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Key Projects

NWA Leadership Pledge

The Black Lives Matter movement has underscored the need for all Americans to work together to address the racial inequities that still exist in our country. The Northwest Arkansas Council led conversations with community and business leaders to address systemic racism and build a better region for everyone. This pledge represents a commitment from more than 220 Northwest Arkansas organizations to take action. We invite others to join this effort.

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Diversity Resource Guide

DiversityNWA is a resource guide to ensure all community newcomers have the information and resources they need to acclimate to the region and take advantage of what it has to offer.

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Diversity Report

In July 2022, the Northwest Arkansas Council and EngageNWA released Engage the Future: A Look at the Growing Diversity in Northwest Arkansas. The report documents the region’s diverse population growth over the last decade, provides comparative analysis with several peer regions and highlights the racial and ethnic diversity in the region’s school districts. Between 1990 and 2010, the region’s racially and ethnically diverse populations increased from less than 5% in 1990 to nearly 24% in 2010. Since then, diversity has continued to increase. In 2021, the region was over 29% diverse and is expected to grow to over 32% by 2026. The region’s Hispanic/Latino population saw the largest gains, accounting for over 17% of the population in 2021 and forecasted to grow to 19% by 2026. The Northwest Arkansas Council, through its EngageNWA program, works with partners to foster belonging for everyone who calls the region home. This work will promote success for all residents and act as a magnet for recruitment and retention of talent, both at home and across the globe. Previous versions of this report were released in 2018 and 2020.

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Employer DEI Survey

DiversityNWA is a resource guide to ensure all community newcomers have the information and resources they need to acclimate to the region and take advantage of what it has to offer.

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Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: