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Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families Expert Speakers

Does your group want to learn more about how policies at the state and federal levels affect kids and families in Arkansas? Our policy and advocacy experts can present on a wide range of issues, from how Arkansas’s tax system works to the importance of early childhood screenings.

Rich Huddleston, Executive Director, Bio
• Federal and state tax and budget policy
• Early childhood education
• Low-income K-12 education issues
• Impacts of child poverty/strategies to fight child poverty
• The high cost of being poor
• Child and low-income advocacy
• Nonprofit management
• TANF/welfare reform and health care

Ginny Blankenship, Education Policy Director, Bio

• K-12 education in Arkansas
• Poverty, race, and equity in education
• Grade-level reading
• Early childhood education
• School funding adequacy


Marquita Little, Health Policy Director, Bio
• Affordable Care Act overview
• The Medicaid expansion program
• Health coverage in Arkansas
• History of ARKids First program
• Infant/early childhood mental health
• Arkansas behavioral health transformation
• Early childhood screenings
• School health or the health and education connection
• Social determinants of health

Ellie Wheeler, Senior Policy Analyst, Bio
• EITC and fair taxes
• Tax and budget process in Arkansas
• Legislative updates
• Poverty and child poverty in Arkansas
• Selected topics(paid leave, housing, unemployment insurance, housing legislation)




Tamika Edwards, Director of Governmental Affairs, Bio
Laura Kellams, Northwest Arkansas Director, Bio
Rebecca Zimmermann, Outreach Director, Bio
• Overview of AACF issue areas
• How to advocate