FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2021
Arkansas Lighthouse Academies Partners with Frontlines of Justice
to Bring First-of-Its-Kind Social Justice Course to Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 4, 2021) - Arkansas Lighthouse Academies (ALA) announced a partnership with Frontlines of Justice (FoJ), bringing social justice education programs to its charter schools in the state of Arkansas. The new social justice course will begin fall 2021.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Frontlines of Justice,” said LaShawnDa Noel, executive director and superintendent of Arkansas Lighthouse Academies. “The civil unrest of the last year was a profound reminder that radical change is needed in the name of social justice. Our academies are committed to eliminating the achievement gap and paving the way for scholar success. We believe this partnership further enables this commitment.”
“As educators, we must do all that we can to address disparities in diversity, equality and
inclusion,” said Roger Sundermeier, board chairman of Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School. “We must be aware of, and embrace, the impact that we have on future generations and stand firm in the principle of calling out inequities and addressing these challenges head on. Arkansas Lighthouse Academies is the right leader, at the right time, to bring this education to our state because of its long-standing commitment to both community impact and scholar success.”
FoJ is a learning management system that incorporates culturally responsive teaching
competencies, based on comprehensive research by New America. “We’re excited about this partnership with ALA,” said Co-founder and Producer Chad Williamson. “All teachers should be exposed to the culturally responsive teaching competencies and all students should understand how to engage in social justice work.”
The digital platform is conducive for professional development and ALA teachers and scholars alike will partake in online courses covering social, racial and educational justice.
“This collaboration between LaShawnDa (Clinton School Student) and Chad (Clinton School Alum) is a testament to President Clinton’s vision that public service is a noble pursuit,” says Skip Rutherford, dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. “Implementing this program is not only a game-changing moment for education in Arkansas, but serves as a beacon for the nation proclaiming social justice and public service are bound together in the pursuit of our common humanity.”
The curriculum is a collection of digital lessons designed to help teachers and students discover and analyze the history of systemic oppression that has affected justice-impacted people and communities for centuries. Scholars learn how to work toward an equitable and just society. The foundation relays to scholars an obligation to themselves and their community to identify, name and destabilize injustices. This social justice curriculum is designed to inspire scholars to be upstanders and provides them with the analytical and practical tools to lead and serve.
About Arkansas Lighthouse Academies
Arkansas Lighthouse Academies is an affiliate of the national nonprofit network of charter schools known as Lighthouse Academies. This network encompasses more than 6,000 scholars and families, in addition to 605 teachers, principals, and staff members. ALA has four campuses: two in Jacksonville, one in North Little Rock and one in Pine Bluff. Each of its schools follows a unique, civic-minded program emphasizing social development designed to give its scholars an edge and prepares them for college, career and life in an ever-changing world. Scholars are prepared to activate their hopes and dreams and to affect positive change and a significant impact on the community around them. ALA educators inspire and empower scholars to think curiously, creatively, critically and collaboratively about the human experience and to explore answers to open-ended questions. Scholars’ ability to critically listen, think, evaluate, generate new ideas and understand their own learning process are the organic products of the Purpose of School. This development of scholar agency is an indicator of success as it enhances the ways scholars think, solve and communicate about the complexities of the world around them.
About Frontlines of Justice
Frontlines of Justice (FoJ) is an online, video-centric eLearning platform designed to create social, racial, and educational justice through compelling content and curriculum. FoJ reimagines education through the lens of film, technology and high-fidelity storytelling.
Mary Claire Hill Mhill@mhpteamsi.com