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City of Little Rock Public Relations
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Contact(s):Carlette Henderson
(501) 244-5483

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, March 6, 2006

LR MAYOR DAILEY ANNOUNCES NEW DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

Diversity Councils to be Created in High Schools through Grant from State Education Department

Little Rock, AR (6 March 2006). Flanked by members of Little Rock’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission (RCDC) and area educators, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey today announced the creation of Diversity Councils in area high schools. This program was made possible by a $35,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. The Department’s director, Dr. Ken James was also present at the announcement.

“Since 1994, Little Rock’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission has been creating programs to increase our awareness of—and appreciation for—other backgrounds, cultures, and races,” said Mayor Dailey. “The creation of Diversity Councils is the next step in their efforts,” he continued.

Diversity Councils will be established at public, private, and parochial high schools in Central Arkansas to sponsor programs and activities to promote diversity, tolerance, and appreciation of different cultures. Student representatives from each participating school will be selected to serve on a Youth Advisory Council to work with the RCDC’s Education Committee.

Currently six schools are participating in the effort: Little Rock Central, Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Pulaski Academy, Mills, North Little Rock, and North Pulaski. Five more high schools are interested in participating, according to Carlette Henderson, RCDC executive director.

“Since 2004, the RCDC has sponsored the ‘Keeping It Real’ youth summit, which brings high school students from Central Arkansas public and private schools together for a day of inspiration, fellowship, and unity,” said Henderson. “Each year, this event empowers students to realize that they really can change the course of our City, State, Nation, and World for the better. But “Keeping It Real” is only for one day. We know that there are 364 other days in which we still need to equip youth. The Diversity Councils are the tools for this to happen.”

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