What Cities and Towns Should Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Webinar hosted by Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

When: Weekly, Thursdays at 11:30 am

Where: Live on Facebook or YouTube

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Centering Equity Conference

When: Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom

The Centering Equity Conference will influence thinking and engage participants in individual and collective action for social change. To ‘center equity’ means to focus on and create a point of action whereby fairness and justice are explicitly implemented in your personal and professional life and within your organizational structure.

This will be an all-day event with afternoon breakout sessions. As a conference participant you will . . .

  1. Explore techniques and strategies that will affect the ways in which you are activating humility in yourself, your community and your organization.
  2. Build a coalition of equity and principals committed to advancing equity through transformative and corrective policies and practices.
  3. Strive toward accountability to yourself and others by confirming and responding to issues of equity that are affecting humanity on health, cultural, economic, educational and social levels.


Connecting Communities: Exploring the Intersection of Health and Economic Equity

When: Thursday, May 13, 2021, 2:00 pm Central

Where: Virtual webinar

Good health enables individuals and families to engage in their social and economic lives. It allows them to contribute and benefit from the economy; although, the ability to achieve this level of health is not equal for all. Differences in health outcomes exist across many factors, including economic status, education, race and ethnicity, and geography. Working towards health equity means that every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential, and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their position in society or other socially-determined circumstances.

As COVID-19 spread throughout the country, its impact rippled through all facets of communities and the economy. As a result, the interdependency between health and the overall economy was made even more evident than it previously was. The pandemic reminds us of the importance of health as we work towards economic equity.

In this session, speakers will focus on the impact of COVID-19, historical and structural barriers to health equity, the relationship between health and economic equity, and practices to encourage equitable health.


  • Bobby Milstein, director of system strategy, ReThink Health
  • Jason Purnell, vice president of community health improvement, BJC Healthcare
  • Ruth Thomas-Squance, senior director of field building, Build Healthy Places Network
  • Nishesh Chalise, director of community-based policy and analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Matuschka Lindo Briggs, director of special projects and strategic support, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (moderator)

The Connecting Communities© webinar series is a Federal Reserve System initiative intended to provide a national audience with timely information on emerging and important community and economic development topics. The webinar series complements existing Federal Reserve community development outreach initiatives that are conducted through Reserve Bank regional offices and at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. All past sessions are in the Connecting Communities archive. For more information about this series, send us an e-mail at Click here to unsubscribe from future Connecting Communities Communications.


Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

When: Tuesday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. via Zoom

Entrepreneurship is a crucial piece of community and economic development in our state. Entrepreneurs help drive positive change through innovation and are the backbone of our local economy. If you want to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your community or region, you don’t have to do it alone.

During this Community Conversation session you will hear from and learn about several key organizations and individuals driving entrepreneurship across the state, including: the AR ConductorArkansas Economic Development Commission Minority and Women-Owned Enterprise DivisionArkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), Arkansas Small Business AdministrationMain Street ArkansasStartup Junkie,  and the University of Central Arkansas Minority Vendor Partnership Initiative.


34th Annual Community Development Institute (CDI)


When: August 2 – August 6, 2021

Where: University of Central Arkansas’ Brewer Hegeman Conference Center

What: The Community Development Institute (CDI) began at the University of Central Arkansas in 1987, with the goal of equipping community leaders and economic development professionals with the tools and strategies they needed to create vibrant, successful communities. 30 years later, CDI is still the go-to resource for training.