More than a decade after his Clinton School Capstone project helped launch the annual event, Harvell Howard (‘09) will be honored as part of the 2020 Arkansas Summit on African American Males (ArSAAM), which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, November 19.
The theme for this year’s virtual summit is “The Art of Collaboration: My Brother’s Keeper.” It will celebrate the collaboration of African American Male Initiatives from across Arkansas that value the state’s young men and recognize the key roles that they play in strengthening the state’s communities and economy.
The event is free and registration is available online.
Opening remarks are set for 9 a.m. on Thursday and will be delivered by UA Little Rock Chancellor Dr. Christina Drale. The day’s events include a Q&A session with Scott Hamilton, CEO of the Urban League of Arkansas. There will be roundtable discussions with Dr. Richard Moss, Director of STEM Success Programs at UA Pulaski Technical College, and Joshua Smith, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Arkansas State University. Rev. Cory Anderson, Chief Innovation Officer for the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, will be honored as the recipient of the Leadership Legacy Award.
Additionally, Howard and three others – Dr. Logan C. Hampton (President, Lane College), Dr. Charles W. Donaldson (Vice Chancellor Emeritus, UA Little Rock), and Dean Darryl K. McGee (Vice President of Student Affairs, Lane College) – will be recognized as Pioneer Award recipients for their work in launching the conference’s first convening in 2010.
The four played essential roles in creating the event, initiated with the goal to bring partners and supporters from across the state, nation, and world to Little Rock to discuss critical issues affecting African American males in society and begin seeking sustainable solutions.
The group will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Anderson starting at 12:30 p.m. The panelists will talk about the impetus for establishing the consortium, its impact, and what is required to ensure its success into the future.
Howard originally connected with UA Little Rock on his Capstone project as the campus was in the early stages of creating an initiative to retain and graduate first-time entering African American males at a higher rate. The school had ideas and a framework in place, but needed someone to do the research and eventually help run the program.
“As I was laying out my Capstone proposal, someone said that it would be cool to add a consortium piece to it and bring schools and organizations from across the state to work on improving outcomes for Black males,” Howard said. “That’s how this piece came together.”
Howard completed his Capstone project and upon graduation was hired full-time by UA Little Rock, where he stayed until 2015. As the annual conference moved off of UA Little Rock’s campus in 2016, he returned to help organize the event, but in an unofficial role. His experience and relationships proved to be essential as the event has since been held on different campuses across the state, including UAPB, Philander Smith College, and Arkansas State University.
“Part of my job at UALR was to convene the partners on campus,” Howard said. “When it moved off of the UALR campus, it was initially supposed to just be me leaning in and helping out. But I’ve stuck around and have helped with the partners every year to help bring the conference into fruition.”
Howard said one of his goals is to eventually see a more formal consortium created, where partners can utilize each other’s resources throughout the year.
“That was always the vision,” Howard said. “That’s been one of the things that has kept me around. I’ve wanted to see that happen, to where it has its own life, and they have mechanisms in place so that if someone leaves, someone else can come in and replace them.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.