Community Organization and Member Conventions
Arkansas United is building a culture of sustainable change making by engaging with our communities across Arkansas in a variety of ways. AU has laid out at three-year plan to become a membership-based organization focused on transforming individual members into communities with transparent structure and process to lead our work in communities across the state.
As of early 2018, Arkansas United has formalized member committees functioning in Northwest Arkansas, Conway, Fort Smith, Little Rock and Dardanelle. Member committees are being formed currently in De Queen, Hot Springs and Green Forest.
AU’s advocacy efforts are focused on efforts of providing in-state tuition for Dreamers, obtaining driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants and partnering with local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Civic engagement is at the fore of Arkansas United’s work. We have partnered with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement to provide our members with advocacy strategy training. These lessons will then be applied at pre-state, and state conventions to help members understand what our national platform means, to affirm AU’s commitment to the platform, and to articulate the challenges to immigration reform that are unique to Arkansas.
AU will also strive to hold candidate fora with for our immigrant and communities of color so everybody’s concerns can be heard equally. Our goal is to draft sensible, compassionate legislation regarding immigration reform, and creating a strategy for action toward enacting said legislation.
Advocacy at Local, State, and Federal Levels
Arkansas United’s intersection between organizing and public policy allows us the opportunity to aggregate immigrant and multicultural interests through broad-based coalition building. We currently support state co-ordination for: iDream Arkansas, Arkansans for Human and Civil Rights, Arkansas Keeping Families Together, and the Opportunity to Grow Campaign, and will continue to partner with other organizations with like minded goals to build a larger coalition in order to broaden and strengthen our message.
Since our founding as a 501c3 in 2012, Arkansas United has been a leader on turning out the Latinx vote. We have worked hard to identify low-propensity voters, and established relationships with Black, and Asian Alliances. Our efforts culminated in the largest turnout of voters of color in the Arkansas’ Central and Little Rock District in (add date).
We understand that one of the biggest deterrents to immigrant and communities of color when it comes to voting is the lack of candidates of color. Arkansas United is dedicated to making a bipartisan effort to reach out to our community leaders of color to encourage them to seek office, and making that decision more accessible by providing needed resources to aid this end.
In February of 2018, Arkansas United partnered with over ten African-American organization to create the “New Majority Network,” with the goal of building a pipeline of civic leaders/candidates of color, and empowering them. Participants in AU’s Minority Candidate School were encouraged and supported in seeking seats on school boards and city councils throughout the state. Support activities include workshops in: running for office, working as a person of color on a political campaign, serving as a poll worker, delivering Immigration/Race Equity 101 training for non-POC candidates.
Immigration Representation in State and National Coalitions
Arkansas United aims to be the leading voice for immigration reform in the State. We will join other like minded organizations across the state and nationally to continue to seek equality of all. As we have already done with many partners across Arkansas, we will continue to strive towards our goal of strong coalition building for immigrant advocacy nationwide. Our members will be educated and well resourced in order to enable others to have a seat at the table and have their voices heard.