In the 1920s, women around the world marched for a seat at the table during the Women’s Rights Movement. Fast forward a century later, women are making decisions at the table and are partaking in major roles in modern society.
In 2020, Dr. Anne Williamson’s success is evidence that the Women’s Rights Movement held a century ago was a massive success. The nationwide housing policy expert, Williamson is thrilled about her new position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“It’s a real honor to join such a talented faculty and a school with marvelous programming,” Williamson said. “The faculty has a strong commitment to community engagement and to issues of social equity. I would like to build on the excellent work that is already happening so that we can be part of the solutions for issues facing communities in the state and the country. We hope to serve as an example of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education and how scholars can be strong collaborators in the community.”
Dr. Williamson is more than a director, she’s a woman with expertise on a mission to massive success. The vision of Williamson’s plan as the new director of the School of Public Affairs is revolutionary. Williamson has led more than 20 externally funded public service research projects such as the HOPE VI evaluations and has also used her expertise to provide important information about housing discrimination in the U.S. Federal Court. The Social Science Quarterly and Urban Affairs Review are two of Williams notable journal publications contributions.
Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education says Williamson brings with her leadership experience and expertise in both public and private sectors that help the University.
“She is adept at working in multidisciplinary teams on pressing community issues such as fair housing and youth homelessness,” Dr. Estes said. “She is lauded as an exceptional teacher. Her visionary leadership will enhance our ability to collaborate with our community and city as we educate future leaders.”
Women who are pursing a degree in Political Science or have a minor in Non-Profit Leadership Studies at UA t Little Rock can look at Williamson’s success story as a guide for their career after graduating college. Before becoming a director, she earned her Ph.D. in Public Administration and was a prominent scholar are several universities such as The University of Texas at San Antonio. Williamson has accomplished many achievements since the beginning of her career as a director and her skills in housing policy, tax policy, public budgeting and community development are superior.
“All of these areas are interrelated,” she said. “I look at how states have made use of federal resources for affordable housing, participation in public meetings by historically underrepresented groups, and effective means for community collaboration to address complex issues like public student homelessness.”
Arkansas student homeless rates have increased amid a global pandemic, which is why Williamson is implementing the “Impact KCK” program in the city of Little Rock. This program was a massive success in Kansas at lowering student homelessness rates and will be beneficial to the UA of Little Rock homeless students seeking an education.
“Impact KCK began in the poorest of the 105 counties in Kansas,” Williamson said. “By using effective collaboration and social service innovations to reduce poverty and housing instability, this has resulted in 95 percent housing stability in the families with children served. That was important before the pandemic. Now, it is tough to calculate the amount of people who are facing housing instability or homelessness.”
Applied research, non-profit organizations, and public service are a big part of the School of Public Affairs’s main focus, which makes Williamson the best leader to be chosen as the new director of the School of Public Affairs at UA of Little Rock.