Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Bill Kopsky

Executive Director | Arkansas Public Policy Panel

Bill Kopsky is executive director of Arkansas Public Policy Panel.  The Panel is a 54 year old 501.c.3 non-profit that helps Arkansas families and residents improve their communities and develop policy solutions by taking collective action and building coalitions. The Panel is the organizer of the Arkansas Citizens First Congress, a coalition of 68 community organizations founded in 1998 as a 501.c.4 sister organization to lead progressive policy change in Arkansas. The two organizations' agendas, elected by their members, includes economic, education, environmental, and civil rights issues, as well as promoting civic engagement. Bill completed biology and creative writing degree requirements with a minor in philosophy at the University of Colorado where he was a student organizer. He is a graduate of the Southern Empowerment Project Community Organizing School and joined the Panel in 1996 where he was mentored by Brownie W. Ledbetter and other civil rights, community, environmental, labor, and feminist leaders. He became the Panel’s Executive Director in 1999. He is married to Liz Smith, Ceramic Arts Professor at the University of Central Arkansas, and they have 2 young children. 

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

21st Century Racial Equity and Leadership Strategy for the Nation’s South

The 21st Century Racial Equity and Leadership Strategy for the Nation’s South brings Race Forward and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, One Voice Mississippi and One Voice Louisiana together to advance racial equity. The partners are engaging communities of color to expose and dismantle systems of exclusion, especially around mass incarceration, access to high quality public education, economic opportunity and voting rights / civic participation. They are supporting broad cross sections of leaders on a collective racial equity analysis and strategies while building relationships and trust between communities. This workshop will highlight the experiences of local organizers in the South.

Speakers: Bill Kopsky, Glenn Harris, Ashley Shelton, Nsombi Lambright