...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division recently visited Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to engage with stakeholders in underserved communities and reaffirm the department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.
U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross for the Eastern District of Arkansas joined her for the meetings and events on both days.
During her visit to Little Rock, Assistant Attorney General Clarke met with Principal Nancy Rousseau and students at the historic Little Rock Central High School to discuss careers in civil rights and the Civil Rights Division’s efforts to enforce federal civil rights laws.
This school year marks 65 years since the desegregation of the school. Afterward, she took a tour of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
She also participated in a fireside chat with President Roderick L. Smothers Sr. and students at Philander Smith College, an HBCU founded in 1877.
The Assistant Attorney General also met with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas, thanking the office’s leadership and staff for their service and commitment to protecting civil rights.
She then attended a community conversation at the Willie Hinton Community Center to hear about local civil rights and racial equity concerns.
On her second day, Assistant Attorney General Clarke traveled to Pine Bluff to meet with Mayor Shirley Washington and Police Chief Denise Richardson to reiterate the Justice Department’s commitment to working with local leaders to address civil rights and racial equity issues.
She also met with students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to encourage them to pursue careers in government and public service, and discussed the division’s broad civil rights enforcement efforts.
Her trip concluded with a community listening session with local leaders, faith leaders, and long-time residents to discuss the department’s efforts to combat hate crimes, ensure educational opportunity, and address modern-day redlining.
Assistant Attorney General Clarke’s visit to Little Rock and Pine Bluff highlights the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to engaging with underserved communities and protecting civil rights for all Americans.