Philander Smith College opens help center

Project rooted in social justice focus

LITTLE ROCK -- Philander Smith College has established a community engagement center for people to access resources, support and programs related to social justice, community development, criminal justice and cybersecurity.

The initiative is an outgrowth of the college's social justice mission. In 2007 -- during an event in Little Rock featuring the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- Philander Smith College's then-president, Walter Kimbrough, used the phrase "Think Justice" and said justice would be integrated into everything the private, historically Black college would do.

The ensuing, ongoing dialogue about the justice initiative eventually led to what's now known as the Social Justice Institute in 2017 on the college's campus and the latest piece this year, the community engagement center.

The community engagement center will be at a visible site on West 12th Street -- 3999 W. 12th St., the location of the city of Little Rock's 12th Street Substation, which houses part of the police department and is near the Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center at 3805 W. 12th St., Little Rock.

Philander Smith College's community engagement center will have office space at the 12th Street Substation for the college's Social Justice Hub, Criminal Justice and Cybersecurity Program, and Community Development Corporation.

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