Working across three longstanding programmatic areas — protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, improving K-12 education, and investing in its home region of northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta — the foundation will focus its support on innovative and inclusive solutions designed to assist individuals and organizations working to improve their communities. To that end, the plan prioritizes three goals: championing community-driven change; prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion; and collaborating with partners to develop innovative approaches that bring people, resources, and ideas together from government, local communities, and the private and philanthropic sectors.
Specific initiatives under the plan include support for community leaders who are using market demand for sustainably produced products to improve agricultural practices and fisheries management; elevating the voices of those affected by water policies to bring their perspectives to bear in crafting policy solutions that strengthen environmental and economic outcomes in their communities; building diverse coalitions that advance policies in support of community-driven educational models; supporting entrepreneurs and innovators breaking down barriers to progress and developing new solutions that advance students' learning and growth; working with organizations in northwest Arkansas to ensure that every resident of the region can fully participate in its economic and other opportunities; and elevating the voices of a diverse group of local leaders and frontline organizations working with communities in the region.
"Today's challenges are more complex and interconnected than ever, and solutions require setting ambitious goals, bringing people with different ideas and backgrounds together, and developing innovative approaches," said Walton Family Foundation board chair Annie Proietti. "As we work toward lasting change for tomorrow, we are committed to unlocking opportunity today and breaking down barriers that stand in the way."