Arkansas Civil Rights

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Nearly a month has passed since Arkansas’s governor called faith-leaders together to fill in the gaps in the state’s criminal justice system and now a new call, a fundamental critique of the system is garnering attention at a different summit.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman has this conversation with Pastor Wendell Griffin, also a circuit court judge, who is on a panel for the 9th annual Civil Rights Summit and Community Festival on Saturday. Events are from 10-3 at the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center in Little Rock.

Arkansas League of the South Chair R.G. Miller (right) in Batesville in 2015 working alongside the loosely defined heritage movement to restore a Confederate Flag on a courthouse lawn.
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National attention over Confederate imagery has subsided in recent weeks but a victory for flag advocates in Arkansas emerged this month and a battle over Little Rock's Confederate Boulevard remains.

A force behind the successful resurrection of a Confederate-era flag on the Independence Courthouse lawn in Batesville earlier this month is thanking the participation of the secessionist League of the South, which hopes to create a white, Christian nation. 

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Hillary Clinton promised a plan to cap the rising costs of prescription drugs and praised her husband’s and President Obama’s administrations in a speech before a raucous crowd at Little Rock’s Philander Smith College Monday.

UPDATE: The Washington County Clerk's office reports that voters approved the anti-discrimination ordinance 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent. 14,593 ballots were cast out of 49,634 registered voters. 

A northwest Arkansas city is getting a second shot at banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as voters weigh whether to challenge a new state law aimed at banning such local protections.

Dr. John Kirk at KUAR in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

KUAR catches up with the new head of UALR’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity Dr. John Kirk to talk about his mission, perceptions of the state takeover of the Little Rock School District, and where Black Lives Matter fits in the narrative of the civil rights movement.

Cummins arkansas department of correction prison
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas has the highest percentage of male inmates in solitary confinement in the country according to a new report.

Fayetteville's City Council in an August meeting on an anti-discrimination ordinance.
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A state judge has ruled a northwest Arkansas city can vote next week on a proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin on Thursday denied a motion to block next week's special election on the Fayetteville anti-discrimination ordinance.

Opponents of the ordinance had sought a temporary restraining order and had argued, among other things, that the ordinance violated a state law aimed at preventing local anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A cancer physician, a choreographer, a home-economics pioneer, and a NFL pro-bowler are among Arkansans named to the Black Hall of Fame Tuesday. Charles Stewart, the Hall of fame’s co-chair, said inductees are meant to inspire Arkansas’s African American community.

“We look for people who have Arkansas roots, who have achieved national or international acclaim in their chosen fields of endeavor. Sometimes, we will look at people who are just the salt of the earth and have made a difference here in Arkansas,” he said.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says a 2013 law allows someone to openly carry a handgun as long as they don't plan to illegally use it against another person.

The Republican said in an advisory opinion Friday that the law generally allows "open carry," but cautioned that other laws limiting handguns such as a ban on them on Capitol grounds and at schools are still in effect. She also noted that private property owners can still prohibit open carry of handguns.

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