Arkansas Soul 2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review Poster

The last 12 months were unlike any Arkansans have seen in their lifetimes. A global pandemic, a contentious election and protests calling for racial justice mixed together to create an unforgettable moment in history. Before we welcome the dawn of a new year in hopes something better lies ahead, let’s take one last look at how far we’ve come. Here are 10 stories that highlight some of the challenges and triumphs of BIPOC Arkansans in 2020.


Over the summer, Black University of Arkansas students launched a social media campaign to share some of their negative experiences on campus. This video highlights some of their responses.

Progress Takes TimeRickey Booker Jr Headshot

In this opinion piece, Rickey Booker Jr., an associate trainer, facilitator and consultant for the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas, reflects on the death of George Floyd.

Latinx COVID mask

NWA Latinx Community Faces Distinct COVID-19 Threat

The Hispanic community has been hit hard by the pandemic. Rachell Sanchez Smith shares the stories of essential workers who feel they have no choice but to continue working during the health crisis.

Evelyn Stafford Rios headshot

Arkansas Elects First Openly Transgender Candidate to Office

After the original candidate dropped out of the race due to health reasons, Evelyn Rios Stafford took her place and is now the first transgender Arkansan elected to office.

Spanish Rental Assistance Flyer

Organizations Partner to Support Spanish Speakers Accessing Statewide Rental Assistance Program

Community groups have partnered to ensure Spanish speakers have access to a rental assistance program offered through the state’s Community Action Agencies.


Muscogee Artist Creates Mural for Museum of Native American History

The Museum of Native American History has commissioned Tulsa-based artist Johnnie Diacon to paint a commemorative Trail of Tears mural.

Nick Cave Exhibition

Artists Respond to Exhibition Exploring Racism, Gun Violence

Actors, dancers and musicians have created work inspired by a large, powerful exhibition created by Nick Cave.

Serena Puang sitting on a cliff

Racism About and At Home: A Personal Essay

An Arkansas native wants to defend her home to classmates at her Ivy League school, but struggles based on racist incidents experienced as a child.

Law Enforcement Task Force

Law Enforcement Task Force Submits Final Report to Governor

A new report includes 27 recommendations for police reform including enhancing accountability for excessive force and increasing mandatory bias training.

Marshallese with masks

Congress Approves Medicaid Access for Marshall Islanders

The federal COVID-19 relief bill passed in December restores Medicaid access to migrants who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.