Arkansas is home to a large and diverse community of immigrants, boasting the country’s fastest-growing Latino and fourth fastest-growing immigrant population between 2000 and 2005. While organizations have begun facilitating services to these groups, many immigrants in Arkansas still lack the information and capacities to become full participants in the state’s economic, political and social processes; a reality that impacts all Arkansans.
In 2010, AUCC was founded to respond to this gap, and build on opportunities identified during the four-year Reform Immigration for America (RIFA) campaign. Through outreach, education, trainings and information sessions with elected officials, RIFA worked in Arkansas so that state processes would respect immigrants.
Committed to community building, grassroots organizing and guided practice strategies, in 2011, AUCC:
- fostered coalition-building among immigrant activists concerned with 287(g) and Secure Communities in Arkansas;
- co-organized a Latino-Marshallese Policy Summit, generating action items for pursuing improved policy outcomes;
- supported the state Reapportionment Committee, garnering input from the Latino community around the designation of a majority-minority district;
- spearheaded coordination amongst 11 organizing partners interested in diversity promotion through “Fest of All: Celebrating Multiculturalism in the Ozarks”;
- fostered awareness about successful immigrant movements through a Little Rock screening of the documentary “Tony and Janina’s American Wedding”; and
- launched a web-based resource center to enable coordination and communication among key stakeholders working with immigrants.