The Central Arkansas Library System will join with the city of Little Rock this week for the first in a four-part discussion that’s part of a national effort, Our Common Purpose, to produce a “more resilient democracy.”

The first virtual discussion, from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, will talk about how Little Rock can be a model for national communities in this project.


CALS has a full explanation here. From that:

Arkansas’s capital city will be the nation’s municipal “champion” as part of a nationwide effort – led by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences – to increase civic learning and engagement across America. The Academy launched a bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship to study political and civic life around the country. The commission’s final report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, includes 31 interconnected recommendations to help the nation emerge as a more resilient democracy by 2026. Little Rock was chosen by the Academy to serve as a model for the application of the study at the local level.

Aims include equality of voice and representation, empowering voters, responsive political institutions and a commitment to democracy.


Register for the event at

Participants in the discussion Thursday, to be moderated by CALS director Nate Coulter:


David Oxtoby, American Academy of Arts and Sciences President

Stephen Heintz, President and CEO of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Martha McCoy, Executive Director of Everyday Democracy

Prof. David Campbell, University of Notre Dame


Antwan Phillips, At-Large Little Rock City Director

Heather Larkin, Arkansas Community Foundation



Nate Coulter, Executive Director, Central Arkansas Library System