“It was a year in which that relentless pursuit of equity became real. And we were ready as a team, ready as a board, ready in our partnerships to use our voice, use our dollars, use our influence, to make change.”


Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, CEO of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation ☊

For the 2020 annual report, WRF partnered with Reimagine Arkansas to listen to the voices disrupting systems of injustice and explore the ideas, investments, and collaborations needed to build more just, joyful futures.

Conversations w/ Equity Partners






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How to Listen:

Move your cursor or finger over the underlined, highlighted words and click to hear that particular piece of audio and to read the broader context of the speaker’s quote.

When the pandemic arrived, it hit Arkansas hard ☊. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) had no choice but to show up and keep our economy running, loading-trucks, delivering food and packages, providing care for infants and toddlers, and checking in patients at clinics and hospitals. But these same heroes also experienced disproportionate sickness and death, lost jobs and wages, struggled to work while also caring for kids and aging parents, and had difficulty accessing loans to keep their small businesses afloat.


The virus may have been new, but for ALICE, it only served to navigate well-worn paths of inequity ☊ that have long faced Arkansas’ most hardworking individuals, leaving even more households vulnerable. Today, 1 out of 2 households ☊ in Arkansas is ALICE.

Early into the pandemic, WRF and its equity partners across the state recognized that the COVID-19 crisis was a moment ☊ to both survive and seize. With inequitable systems laid bare for new eyes ☊ to see, WRF carried its relationships and resources to meet its partners on the road towards a relentless pursuit of equity. The path we’re on is not about revolution ☊. It involves small steps ☊ toward a future that works for ALICE, supports working families rather than penalizes them, and levels the playing field for Black and brown communities.


Today, our backpack is brimming with ingredients we found essential to this journey. From the clarity and direction ☊ needed to create the map to the space, flexibility ☊, authentic touchpoints ☊, and self-determination ☊ of the communities we aim to serve, we are preparing for more than a one-year or even five-year journey. We are building gateways to empathy through storytelling ☊, creating convening power ☊ to sustain multisector and multiracial coalitions ☊, and providing quick ☊ and impactful ☊ funds that address longstanding patterns of inequity. The essential ingredients of our journey include facing the reality that our systems are not working ☊ for everybody and expanding the table of individuals and organizations working towards solutions ☊.

Many are joining us along the way, sharing resources, stories, ideas and experiences on how best to build different futures ☊ where Arkansas’ hardworking households are thriving ☊, not just surviving. You belong here, too. In fact, we can’t do it without you. So grab your pack and your own special ingredients and walk with us on this journey towards relentlessly pursuing equity. And, together, we’ll reimagine Arkansas.
What essential ingredient do you bring to the equity potluck? What part of this table would you like to join? Text “Equity” to (479) 309-8277 or click button/scan QR code.
Join the Convo

Reimagine Arkansas

Because the future belongs to all of us.