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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER The Springdale area has the highest concentration of Marshallese citizens outside of the Marshall Islands themselves. Four designers blend the past and the present of their culture for NWA Fashion Week for a showcase in partnership with the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Northwest Arkansas groups serving underrepresented communities will receive about $1 million in grants over the next two years, the Arkansas Community Foundation announced Wednesday.

The Walton Family Foundation and the Walmart Foundation will provide the grants directly to the participating groups, a spokesman for the Walton Family Foundation said.

The Arkansas Community Foundation will provide support and technical assistance, according to its announcement. The effort is part of the Community Foundation's Train, Report, Uplift and Engage Northwest Arkansas initiative.

Northwest Arkansas is home to increasingly diverse groups of people, said Sarah Kinser, chief program officer for the Community Foundation.

The Little Rock-based nonprofit group and its 28 affiliates throughout the state promote efforts to improve communities and address local needs. The Community Foundation has awarded $250 million in grants to various communities around the state since 1976, according to its announcement.

Many of the groups representing communities within Northwest Arkansas are relatively new and need help in getting more organized and in launching programs, Kinser said.

The 10 participating groups in the two-year project are: Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, Arkansas United, Bentonville Islamic Center, Catholic Charities of Arkansas, Hindu Association of Northwest Arkansas, Hispanic Women's Organization of Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Equality, OneCommunity, RootED and the Urban League of Arkansas.

The 10 organizations selected serve more than 44,000 Northwest Arkansas residents a year, including African-American, Hindu, Islamic, Latino, and Marshallese communities, according to the announcement.

Train, Report, Uplift and Engage -- or TRUE -- is a three-year, community-based initiative to help ensure all members of the Northwest Arkansas community can "thrive and feel included," according to the announcement.

"TRUE seeks to train local champions of diversity and inclusion; report on the region's state of inclusion to build understanding around gaps and barriers; uplift the work of underrepresented populations; and engage communities through a local advisory council."

More information is available at truenwarkansas.org.

NW News on 01/17/2019

Print Headline: Grant goes to nonprofit groups serving minorities

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