Worthen Appointed to Arkansas Civil Rights Committee

January 11, 2017

Diana Gonzales Worthen of the College of Education and Health Professions is in the lower right corner.
Diana Gonzales Worthen of the College of Education and Health Professions is in the lower right corner.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has selected five University of Arkansas faculty members to serve on its Arkansas Advisory Committee. 

The Arkansas Advisory Committee was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 as a bipartisan, independent, investigative federal agency. Its mission is to improve the enforcement of federal civil rights laws and advise the development of national civil rights policy. The committee aims to play an important role in the advancement of civil rights by means of objective and widespread investigation, research and analysis of issues that concern the federal government and the public.

The committee members review alleged voting rights deprivations, as well as alleged discrimination based on race, sex, color, disability, religion, age, or national origin, or in the administration of justice.

The faculty members appointed to the committee are:

Valerie Hunt, associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Hunt also serves as the associate director of the Public Policy doctoral program in the Graduate School and International Education. Her research focuses on issues of discrimination, intersectionality and policy analysis, institutional transformation, and community development and empowerment.

Cynthia Nance, dean emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor in the School of Law. Nance was appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court to serve on the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Committee. She is also a member of the Arkansas Bar Association Leadership Academy Committee and Commission on Diversity. Nance serves on the board of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation, is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the Council of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education, a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is a member of the American and Arkansas Bar Associations.

Sean Teuton, associate professor in the Department of English and director of the Indigenous Studies Program in Fulbright College. Teuton, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel. His teaching and research interests include the topics of decolonization and the Indigenous novel, Cherokee studies, social movements in North American Indigenous literature, and global Indigenous literature.

Xavier Medina Vidal, Diane D. Blair Professor of Latino Studies and Assistant Professor of Political Science in Fulbright College. His research and teaching interests incorporate elements of Mexican and U.S. Latina/o studies with a focus on questions related to identity, institutions and transnationalism. His areas of expertise in U.S. politics are Hispanic/Latino political behavior, Spanish-language media, and immigration politics.

Diana Gonzales Worthen, director of Project RISE in the College of Education and Health Professions, which seeks to increase the number of English as a Second Language-endorsed in-service teachers in Northwest Arkansas. She is co-founder of two nonprofit organizations, OneCommunity and Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas, and serves on the boards of the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni and Partners of the Americas Arkansas-East Bolivia Partnership.

In addition, Warigia Bowman, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas System's Clinton School of Public Service, was named chair of the committee. Robert Steinbuch, professor of law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William Bowen School of Law, was also appointed to serve on the committee.

For more information about the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, visit www.usccr.gov.

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