Philander Smith College in Little Rock has hired Tamika Edwards as executive director of the school’s Social Justice Institute. The appointment is effective Sept. 4.
Edwards has nearly 20 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 former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln.
“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,” PSC President Roderick L. Smothers said in a statement. “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 and resource for justice work.”
Established in 2007, the Social Justice Institute is the central 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, according to a news release, the Social Justice Institute has reorganized with
the intent of making a greater impact not only locally, but also regionally and nationwide.
A Little Rock native, Edwards is also a contributor to Talk Business & Politics.
“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to lead the courageous work of the Social Justice Institute,” Edwards said in a statement. “As we move forward on a bold new path, the Social Justice Institute will strive to train advocates who are willing to challenge the lack of fair and just relations in our society and recognize the public policies that contribute to inequitable systems. I look forward to working with the amazing students, talented faculty and staff, as well as our entire community, to address the conditions and public policies that contribute to social injustice.”
Edwards earned an English degree the 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 Doctor from UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law.