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20 Organizations Participate in the 2020 TRUE NWA Train Cohort to Explore Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Bentonville, Ark. (Oct. 12, 2020) –TRUE Northwest Arkansas selected 20 organizations for the 2020 TRUE NWA “Train” cohort training program. The 2020 Train Cohort will work to build leaders for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through peer learning opportunities, coaching sessions with experts in the field and development of individualized DEI plans. In 2019, another group of 20 organizations made up the first TRUE NWA Train Cohort.

TRUE Northwest Arkansas is a three-year pilot initiative to train, report, uplift and engage the Northwest Arkansas community towards diversity and inclusion. The program fosters an environment where all members of the community can thrive and feel included, building on existing efforts to enhance quality of life in the region. 

“At Trike Theatre part of our mission is to strengthen communities. Not only did the program help us create a sophisticated DEI plan that we are now able to execute, but it helped set a high bar for DEI goals for our community as a whole, setting in motion new cooperative initiatives that we believe will effect lasting and positive change,” said Paul Savas, executive director of Trike Theatre, a 2019 True NWA Train Cohort participant.

Members of the 2020 cohort include

Arisa Health Inc. The Jones Center for Families
Arkansas Arts & Fashion ForumNWA Ballet Theatre
Arts Live Theatre NWA Land Trust
Benton County Government Partners for Better Housing
Boys & Girls Club of Benton County Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce
Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County The Salvation Army-NWA Area Command
Girls on the Run NWA Teen Action and Support Center
Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce United Way of NWA
Mount Sequoyah Center, Inc. Westark Area Council, Inc.-Boy Scouts of America
Fayetteville Art Alliance Women of Oz NWA

“We are honored to be selected as a participant in the TRUE Northwest Arkansas program,” said Coletta Patterson, executive director of Teen Action Support Center and a member of the 2020 Train cohort. “Diversity, equity and inclusion is a major focus for us and something we value tremendously. We are excited to learn more about DEI and work alongside others who share our passion and commitment to making NWA a more inclusive place.”

TRUE NWA is made possible through grants to Arkansas Community Foundation from the Walton Family Foundation and Walmart Foundation. The project is guided by a diverse community advisory board of 18 stakeholders. Research, technical assistance and program design for the initiative are provided by Converge, a social justice consulting firm based in New Orleans.

“Fayetteville Public Library was grateful for the opportunity to engage in the 2019 TRUE NWA training program,” said Willow Fitzgibbon, director, library services. “It resulted in an implementation plan for refining internal and external library policies, programs and services. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core to library services, and through the TRUE NWA program, we identified sustainable and evolving DEI priorities that now guide our work.”

The Walmart Foundation’s support stems from its efforts to strengthen partnerships among local leaders and organizations to foster an even more inclusive and empathetic community. Likewise, the Walton Family Foundation funding, at the recommendation of Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, works to enhance the quality of life in the region and ensure both newcomers and long-time residents are welcomed and have access to opportunity.

For more information, visit

About Arkansas Community Foundation

Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs. By making grants and sharing knowledge, the Community Foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps.  Since 1976, the Community Foundation has provided more than $310 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve our neighborhoods, our towns and our entire state. Contributions to the Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 29 affiliates are fully tax deductible.

About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where the business has unique strengths, works to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or find us on Twitter @walmartorg. 

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2018, the foundation awarded more than $595 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.