University of Arkansas

IDEALS Institute

DEI education and strategy tailored to your needs

Connect with the IDEALS Institute

Whether your goals are driven by recruitment, retention or promotion or by important competencies that create a more inclusive organizational environment, the IDEALS Institute will help you develop and implement the best path forward.

As one of the largest employers in the state with experienced facilitators and robust research and scholarship capacity, IDEALS at the University of Arkansas serves as a unique conduit for government agencies, community groups, philanthropic organizations, businesses, public schools and fellow higher educational institutions to receive support, expertise and training in best diversity and inclusion practices.

To learn more or to inquire about customized trainings for your organization or company, please contact Executive Director, Elecia Smith.

We’ve Got You Covered

While the benefits of “DEI done right” are becoming more widely accepted and embraced, knowing where to start and what makes the most sense for your organization can be hard. We aim to take the guesswork out of DEI efforts, helping you effectively address current challenges and providing strategies to help secure a strong future. The IDEALS Institute provides services and supports in 5 focus areas:

Research

We support U of A faculty and Northwest Arkansas community organizations engaged in research, policy and/or practice related to DEI by offering grant support, assessing impact of data on communities and populations, and sharing knowledge with an extensive state-wide network of partners and collaborators.

Education and Training

We develop and deliver evidence-informed and innovative education, facilitation and training services ranging from traditional classroom instruction to distance instruction, immersive training experiences, coaching, consultation, speaker series, curriculum development and train-the-trainer efforts.

Outreach and Engagement

We support and uplift traditionally underserved and under-resourced populations and communities in meaningful ways to meet their leadership and organizational needs related to DEI through training, research and support.

Inclusive Practices

We strive to be a leader in the DEI field in the way we model, implement, inform, develop, replicate and support the scaling of evidence-based and evidence-informed practices to promote inclusivity and diversity.

Strategic Leadership Development and Supports

We are committed to bringing about large-scale change in organizations and communities by equipping leaders with the resources and supports they need to advance DEI efforts, including customized tool-kits, trainings and templates.

Meet the IDEALS Team

Dr. Elecia C. Smith, Ed.D., PHR, SHRM-CP

Dr. Elecia C. Smith, Ed.D., PHR, SHRM-CP

Executive Director

Dr. Rickey Booker, Ed.D.

Dr. Rickey Booker, Ed.D.

Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant

Magdalena Arroyo

Magdalena Arroyo

Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant

Anne Shelley

Anne Shelley

Trainer, Facilitator and Consultant

Dr. Marcia A. Shobe

Dr. Marcia A. Shobe

Director of Research

IDEAL Results

Numerous studies show that diversity and inclusion drive positive outcomes by attracting talent, encouraging innovation and fostering growth.This is true whether you’re talking about a classroom or a campus, a start-up or a global business, a private charity or a public agency. We believe that entire communities benefit when organizations, representing all sectors of society, commit to learning, collaborating and problem-solving in ways that increase access and opportunity for everyone.

We’re proud to have worked with the following organizations to start that journey.

Featured Clients

The trainers sharing their experiences and creating safe opportunities for employees to share as well was really meaningful and contributed to my learning greatly.

Workshop participant

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Great content. Great discussion.

The session was interactive, thought-provoking and challenging.

This will be very helpful to my organization as we move forward with our D&I initiative.

Workshop participant

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I really enjoyed this training and think its a great eye-opener to how bias affects us all. I will be using this training in my department to make sure diversity & inclusion is a top priority for us.

Workshop participant

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Are You Ready to be Powered by IDEALS?

Let’s Get Started

Schedule a consultation or learn more about available courses and trainings.