LITTLE ROCK, AR – Philander Smith College (PSC), a historically black college, has announced that Tamika S. Edwards, J.D., has been selected to lead the College’s Social Justice Institute following an extensive national search. The appointment, which makes Edwards the second Executive Director in the institute’s history, will begin September 4.
According to an press release by the university, established by Philander Smith College in 2007, the Social Justice Institute is the center incubator for the College’s focus on its mission to “graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice….” In recent years, the Social Justice Institute has been inspired to rethink and re-imagine its approach to justice-driven education. With a newly broadened scope, the Social Justice Institute has reorganized with the intent of making a greater impact not only locally, but also regionally and nationwide.
“We are thrilled that Tamika Edwards is joining us to lead the critical work of the Social Justice Institute, the heart and soul of the campus culture at Philander Smith College. We are confident in her tremendous ability and experience in bringing people together to help enact meaningful change. Furthermore, her passion for addressing policies that breed inequality will help to elevate the Social Justice Institute’s status as a regional center an resource for justice work,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., President of Philander Smith College.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Edwards has nearly twenty years of experience in public policy and community development. Most recently, she served as Director of Governmental Affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) where she led the development and execution of the organization’s legislative strategy. Prior to AACF, she was Director of Public Policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners and previously served as Community Affairs Specialist in the Office of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln.
Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a master’s degree in professional and technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and a juris doctoral from UALR Williams H. Bowen School of Law. In addition to serving in numerous community leadership roles, she is a contributor to Talk Business and Politics, a news website that covers business, politics, and culture throughout Arkansas. In 2017, she was recognized in the inaugural edition of The Arkansas 200, published by Arkansas Business, as a leader “who influences the way we live, learn and do business in the state.”
ABOUT THE SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE AT PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE
With its most recent activities and events – to include a refreshed brand and look, to its Law and Justice Summit for local leaders, to its first-ever two-day ‘JusticeCon2018’ convening targeted at awakening and nurturing social justice activism in students – the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College is poised to become a global leader in justice education by inspiring and equipping students, thought-leaders, activists and community members to tackle the work of combatting inequity. More information about the Social Justice Institute can be found at www.rethinksocialjustice.org.
ABOUT PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE
Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is a small privately supported, historically black, four-year liberal arts institutions related to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
The College offers four degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Social Work. The College’s mission is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.
Philander Smith College, the only United Negro College Fund member institution in Arkansas, strives to provide a quality education for all regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or ethnic background. For more information about Philander Smith College, visit www.philander.edu.