UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture 401 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, AR, 72201 firstname.lastname@example.org
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UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) Files on the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, 2013
0.5 Linear feet; 1 half document box
Scope and Contents Note
This collection contains the project report, interview transcripts, and CDs from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Seminar in Public History's 2013 project, "The Dragon Slayers: A History of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel," directed by Deborah J. Baldwin, Ph.D., which includes a history of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and interviews with former and current members and directors.
Project Staff: Leah Berry, Megan Dunaway, Dewey Dykes, J. D. Gatlin, Rachel Jeffries, Ron Kelley, Adrienne McGill, Sarah Riva, and Britany Simmons.
The Arkansas Public Policy Panel began as the Little Rock Panel of American Women (PAW), an organization that grew out of the Little Rock Crisis and the Women's Emergency Committee. The Little Rock Crisis of 1957 included Governor Faubus's call for an extraordinary session of the Arkansas General Assembly in August 1958, where a series of bills were passed to prevent further desegregation. Sixteen bills were signed by Governor Faubus, one of which closed several high schools in Little Rock. The Women's Emergency Committee (WEC) formed in 1958 with the goal of reopening the high schools closed.
After Little Rock's high schools reopened in 1959, WEC continued to be involved in the Little Rock educational system until the organization voted itself out of existence in 1963. Former members of WEC wanted to continue working on community issues with a focus on the effects of discrimination. Led by former WEC member Sara Murphy, the new group organized as the Little Rock Panel of American Women in 1963. Composed of diverse women, PAW members traveled across Arkansas to share personal stories of how discrimination had played a role in their lives.
In the 1970s, PAW focused on education and discrimination in schools. Toward the end of this decade, the organization and its focus expanded to include tax reform and economic justice. In 1980, PAW changed its name to the Little Rock Panel, Inc., (LRP) to reflect the organization's broader focus and the organization's makeup, which had by this time included men. Although the group had success in some of its endeavors, it realized that Arkansans needed to be more involved in the state's political process.
Toward the end of the 1980s, LRP decided to return to its grassroots work, which included educating Arkansans on the public political process, as well as more focus on community issues. In 1989, LRP changed its name to the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, Inc., to again reflect the organization's goals. Over the course of the 1990s, the Panel expanded out of central Arkansas and went across the state to help citizens address issues found in their communities. Out of this work, the Panel began to put communities with single-issues in touch with one another to create a multi-issue network of communities. This eventually formed a statewide coalition by 1998, known as the Citizens First Congress.
Over the course of its history, the Panel's initial focus of discrimination has grown to include economic justice, social justice, environmental justice, civil rights, agriculture and agricultural practices, as well as the accountability of big corporations who operate in Arkansas. The Arkansas Public Policy Panel continues its work within various communities across the state, educating Arkansans on the public political process and helping communities to identify and address issues within their communities.
Historical Note on UALR Seminar in Public History
The Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) is a required course restricted to graduate students in the Masters of Arts in Public History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Through direct readings and extensive research on specialized topics in public history, graduate students concentrate on basic skills needed for all specialized areas in public history. The objective of this course is for graduate students to experience team-research in the application of learned skills in report preparation, oral history, exhibition preparation, cultural resource management, and conservation techniques under a simulated contractual arrangement with a company or non-profit agency.
Arkansas Public Policy Panel.
Panel of American Women (Little Rock, Ark.).
School integration--Arkansas--Little Rock
University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Department of History. (source)
Women's Emergency Committee (Little Rock, Ark.).
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This collection is available for viewing at the Arkansas Studies Institute.
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UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST.7391) Files on the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, 2013, UALR.MS.0235. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.
Footnote or Endnote info:
Description of file number, UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) Files on the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, 2013, UALR.MS.0235.
Adrienne McGill, Graduate Student, M.A in Public History, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Summer 2013.