American Dreams in the South: Immigrants, Philanthropy and Opportunity for All

American Dreams in the South: Immigrants, Philanthropy and Opportunity for All

Arkansas Place-Based Learning Tour

October 6-8, 2015

Register today and reserve your hotel now - before the special hotel room rates end next Friday, September 11th!

 Scroll down for updated agenda overview.

The Southeast region of the United States is in a moment of great change and great opportunity. The South is home to the fastest growing foreign-born population in the country, with newcomers invigorating communities and spurring growth. Policies like DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and other forms of administrative relief for immigrant families, have crucial implications for the region. At the same time, civil rights organizations are still alive and communities are making critical wins. Many immigrant rights organizations are partnering with civil rights organizations to form powerful coalitions and surface critical interconnections between the struggles. The region has a rich history of coalition-based work and cross-sector collaboration for social change – work that continues today.

During this time of change, it is critical for grantmakers to partner with immigrant and allied communities to best understand how we might invest in quality and affordable education for all, workforce development with meaningful pathways to quality jobs, and the broad civic engagement that builds community power for growing populations. Arkansas communities offer creative organizing strategies that can be models for the region and the country.

Join Neighborhood Funders Group, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation for a learning tour in Arkansas. This tour will provide an important backdrop for funder-to-funder conversations about how to best support the changing population and collaborative organizing in the South. The tour will delve into: 

  • Recent demographic shifts, future population trends, and their current and potential impact on the region

  • Proven and promising immigrant integration efforts that boost economic vitality, increase participation in civic life, and bolster the outcomes for children, youth, and families

  • Interconnections and collaborations between civil rights and immigrant rights history, campaigns, and community organizing;

  • Leaders from across the region; and

  • Funding needs and opportunities under recent policies and possible immigration reform that may offer millions of undocumented immigrants the chance to become fuller members of American society.

While highlighting place-based immigrant integration strategies that are effective within the Southern region, we will explore ways for grantmakers to coordinate, collaborate, and leverage funding to advance our shared futures and to strengthen communities.

The goals of this this tour are to:

  • Foster increased philanthropic attention to the South

  • Highlight immigrant integration organizing strategies within place-based funder-field collaborations for social change, in both rural and urban locations in Arkansas

  • Root these strategies in the context of a regional story about immigrant and allied communities in Arkansas, and throughout the South

  • Surface and illustrate the connection between a history of civil rights organizing and immigrant rights organizing in Arkansas and the south, and the collaborations between the two organizing communities now.

  • Highlight strategies for cultural organizing that engage, bridge, and spark social change in communities. 

Registration Cost: $150. Register now by filling out the form below. Please send your questions to

Co-sponsored by Four Freedoms Fund, Hill-Snowdon Foundation, Mary Reyonolds Babcock Foundation, Philanthropy Southwest, and Southern Partners Fund.


Tuesday, October 6th - Little Rock, AR

Capital Hotel  

To reserve a room, call 1-877-637-0037.

The group block has closed, but rooms may still be available. Before calling the hotel, please write to us at to inquire about a room.

Wednesday, October 7th - Bentonville, AR

21c Museum Hotel 

Group booking is available online and by phone: 1-479-286-6500.

The group block has closed, but rooms may still be available. Before calling the hotel, please write to us at to inquire about a room.

Air Travel

The tour will begin in Little Rock and end in Northwest Arkansas. Participants are encouraged to fly into Clinton Airport (LIT) by late morning on Tuesday, October 6th, and out of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Important note for planning your travel on Thursday, October 8th:
The tour will end at 2:00 pm; the bus should arrive at XNA airport by 2:45 pm. The bus will not return to Little Rock until nearly 7pm; flights out of Little Rock may require next day travel.

Agenda Overview

The tour will begin early afternoon on October 6th. Please plan to arrive in Little Rock by 12noon to check in to the hotel and register with the event team. Please write to us at with any questions regarding the agenda.

Tuesday, Oct 6th - Little Rock, AR

Our Past: Civil Rights, Immigration, and the Struggle for Equality

1pm   Registration opens

2pm   Looking Back to Look Forward - Tour of Central High Historic Center and School Grounds

          With Sybil Hampton, former Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation President

3:30pm  Immigration and Civil Rights: Intersections and Opportunities
             Opening plenary and context setting with Dr. Perla Guerrero  

4:40pm   Break

6pm        Dinner

              With special guests

Wednesday, Oct 7th - Little Rock and Clarksville, AR

Our Present: The Numbers, The Need, The Opportunity

8:15am   Breakfast and begin the day at the Winthrop Rockfeller Foundation

9:15am   Immigration in the South by the Numbers

              With Chris Kromm, Executive Director, Institute for Southern Studies, and a panel of respondents

10:45am  Travel to Clarksville

12:30pm  New Growth: Rural Communities Embracing Change

               Community Conversation and Lunch

2:30pm    Travel to Fayetteville

4pm         Building Infrastructure for Change

               Conversation with southern funders and grantee partners

5:15pm    Travel to Bentonville

5:45pm    Crystal Bridges Museum - visit and dinner

Thursday, Oct 8 - Bentonville, AR

Our Future: Building Infrastructure for a Better Future

8am          Funder Conversation: Supporting Immigrant Communities in the Region

                Breakfast Discussion with speakers: 

                - Lisa Melton, Texas Access to Justice Foundation
                - Regan Gruber Moffitt, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation 
                - Althea Gonzalez, GCIR

                Moderator: Monona Yin, Four Freedoms Fund

9:15am      Context-Setting for Visit to Tyson Foods Plant

10am         Visit to Tyson Food Plant

12pm         Investing in a Changing South – Debriefing and Planning


Please write to us at with any questions regarding the agenda.