UA Little Rock’s Glazier honored for civic and community engagement work

February 19-25, 2024

By Angelita Faller


Dr. Rebecca Glazier, a professor in the School of Public Affairs at UA Little Rock, has been recognized for the impact of her faith-based civic and community engagement work through the Little Rock Congregations Study.


The American Political Science Association (APSA) has honored Glazier with the APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement. The award honors a political scientist for their significant civic and community engagement work, which merges knowledge and practice and has an impact outside of the profession or academy.


“I strive to have an impact with my research that reaches beyond academia,” Glazier said. “The community-based work I have been doing with the Little Rock Congregations Study since 2012 is a great example of that. I am so honored to know that this work is being recognized on a national level.”


The Little Rock Congregations Study is a community-based research project Glazier founded to engage students in hands-on research with places of worship in Little Rock. The project seeks to understand how congregational community engagement impacts the community, places of worship, and their members.


From 2020 to 2023, the Little Rock Congregations Study has been researching faith-based racial justice and reconciliation. In a 2020 study of nearly 2,300 people from 35 diverse congregations across Little Rock, researchers found that the No. 1 issue participants wanted their congregation to do something about was race relations. Further research with clergy members found that 88 percent of them said that Little Rock has a problem with racial division, while 64 percent believe race relations will get better and that clergy are able to help make that happen.


In subsequent years, the Little Rock Congregations Study researchers have held multiple conferences and focus groups with Little Rock congregations and created a free resource guide to help Arkansas congregations engage the community through faith-based racial justice and reconciliation work.


Glazier is also writing a book on the impact of faith-based community engagement for Temple University Press. The book, which will be published later this year, capitalizes on more than a decade of research from the Little Rock Congregations Study to make the case for congregations to get involved in their communities.


 “In the meantime, we continue to work on faith-based racial justice resources, to share those with congregations, and to measure their impact,” Glazier said. “I am grateful to work with such an amazing research team, including over 200 student researchers, who have been part of the Little Rock Congregations Study since 2012. They have really amplified the impact of this work, and I don’t think I would be receiving this award without them.”


The APSA recognizes the work of scholars who have made outstanding contributions to political science research, teaching, and service. Glazier has been a member of APSA for the past 18 years, during which time she has served as the co-chair of the Teaching and Learning Conference, program chair for the Religion and Politics organized section, program chair for the Political Science Education organized section, as well as multiple award and nominating committees.