NWA Community, Growing the Latino Voice

ROGERS, AR--Business leaders, police officers and local organizations are teaming up to give the Latino population a voice across Northwest Arkansas.

"This is our community. It's not a Hispanic community. It's not a non-Latino community. It's not a Black community. It's Northwest Arkansas," said LULAC member Shawn McGrew.
Over the past 10 years, the number of Latinos in Northwest Arkansas has quadrupled. But the League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC, says challenges remain.

"There's a lot of um disparities as far as uh understanding um culture and sometimes that's language," said Shawn McGrew.

As a LULAC member McGrew works to empower Latinos in Northwest Arkansas through stronger communication.

"The best way to break those barriers is to really sit down and have conversations, that's what LULAC has done through the years. Being able to bring the communities together and have an understanding," said McGrew.

The Rogers Police Department is part of those talks. Communication issues often affect the way Latinos report crimes. But officer Keith Foster says the PD is making progress.

"At one of our last meetings we had several business owners from some of the Hispanic uh businesses up and down south eighth street come and say hey we've had these, these break-ins what can we do, that kind of stuff," Foster said.

Better understanding each other means solving more cases -  and preventing other crimes.

"You know the biggest thing for us is just been it's just communicating. It's listening to what the concerns are and you know doing everything we can to try to address those concerns, get their ideas and come up with ideas of our own," said Foster.

Ideas and relationships that result in a stronger Northwest Arkansas community.

"The best way we know to close the gap is through education and that's the main purpose of our local council, said McGrew. "Northwest Arkansas is for everyone and we want to be a part of that,"

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