Recognizing Champions

Help YourSelf Publisher recognized as Champion

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Leta Anthony, Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, acknowledges Champion Award honoree Robert Kim Combs for his volunteer advocacy and publishing the Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory.

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In addition to Combs, four individuals and three organizations were awarded Champion Medallions in and recognition of their advocacy for and implementation of proactive reentry practices.

“I don’t know what to say,” Robert Kim Combs, Publisher & General Manager of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory, who is generally untypically articulate and well known among colleagues for insightful remarks, stammered humble appreciation for the “Champion” medallion awarded him by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition during its Annual Membership & Recognition Luncheon, held at the Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center on 12th Street, 23 January 2015.

One of eight recipients, Combs was the only one of the honorees who was not notified in advance that he was being recognized because, according to Leta Anthony, Chair of the CARE Coalition, those who nominated him for the distinction wanted it to be a surprise.

Combs was honored in recognition of the many years of volunteer service he has given to the coalition and other organizations which work to alleviate homelessness, mitigate poverty, feed the hungry and assist former inmates as they strive to successfully reenter free society.

As an ex-offender himself, Combs has personal knowledge of the pitfalls that too often pave the way back to prison after release and, since his own reentry process began nearly six years ago, has become a respected advocate for proactive change.

Working with CARE as the chairman of the group’s Policy & Law Committee Combs has been instrumental in the coordination of several reentry assistance and employment resource fairs, is frequently invited to speak at educational forums on reentry and social justice issues, was an active member of the panel that produced the Act 1190 Final Report: Recommendations for an Improved Reentry System in Arkansas compiled by Arkansas Community Corrections (ACC), and was instrumental in the development of CARE’s “8 Point Plan for a Safe Arkansas” which is central to the organization’s 2015 Strategic Plan to reduce recidivism, reduce corrections expenditures, and reduce inmate populations.

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Leta Anthony, Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition (standing at left) and Pat Brannin, Secretary of CARE (standing, center), overview CARE’s 8 Point Plan for a Safe Arkansas.

In addition to Combs, Arkansas State Senators Eddie Joe Williams, Stephanie Flowers and Joyce Elliot were awarded the Champion distinction as longtime proponents of criminal justice reform and for outspoken dedication to eliminating prison overcrowding and reducing recidivism.

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Senator Stephanie Flowers (left), Senator Joyce Elliot (center) and many others enjoyed the luncheon buffet sponsored by CSI Construction which was prepared and served by Rodney Isby, owner of Catering Designs by Rodney.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement was recognized for their work helping ex-offenders meet legal obligations, the City of Little Rock for their general support of organizations working on reentry issues, and Robert Davis, founder of iahWeh Entertainment, for his success as a returning citizen.

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Leta Anthony (left), Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, presents the Champion Medallion to Dan McDonald, IV-D Director of the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

CDI Construction, which also sponsored the luncheon buffet, was recognized for willingness to employ ex-offenders and give them a second chance.

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Jonathan Semans (center). Division Manager at CDI Construction, accepts the Champion Medallion from Leta Anthony (left), Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition.

For more information about the CARE Coalition, contact Leta Anthony, (501) 541-6038 or email centralarkansasreentry@gmail.com

For more information about Combs, visit the About page on this website.

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Donnie Rayford (center, seated), Co-Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, visits with representatives of CDI Construction.

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Arkansas State Senator Eddie Joe Williams (left) was one of three Senators to be honored with a Champion Award. Robert Kim Combs (right) and four others also received recognition.

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‎Tom Navin (left), Director of Social Action and Prison Ministry at Diocese of Little Rock, and Leta Anthony (right), Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition.

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Champions All: (left to right): Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Publisher Robert Kim Combs, City of Little Rock (Andre Bernard), CSI Construction (Jonathan Seman), Senator Stephanie Flowers, Senator Joyce Elliot,  Office of Child Support Enforcement (Dan McDonald).

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