In light of recent legislation passed in the state of Arkansas that targets the LGBTQ+ community, I share my concerns, and offer a message of welcome and belonging.
My focus over the past several decades has been on providing access: to arts and culture offerings through Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Art Bridges, to health and well-being initiatives through the Whole Health Institute and Whole Health Medical School, and to educational opportunities and efforts that promote equality through the Alice L. Walton Foundation. Throughout my life, I’ve seen how providing access to experiences and opportunities helps build understanding and acceptance, and I’ve dedicated my philanthropic work to providing that access.
The measures and sentiments of some recent legislation in Arkansas work directly against access and acceptance, and I’m deeply concerned with the outcome and the negative impact these policies have on the LGBTQ+ community, and on all communities. From limiting access to healthcare to focusing policy on an already marginalized community, these laws promote misunderstanding and deny a sense of belonging.
It is imperative that we welcome and empower all people, always—no matter who you love, where you are from, the color of your skin, your gender, or your abilities. The organizations and institutions that I have established will continue to welcome all, empower all, and work to promote understanding and acceptance. We’re committed to this meaningful and significant work, with access at its core.
- Alice L. Walton