Vivian Flowers is a fifth generation Arkansan, Pine Bluff native and dedicated public servant who has committed her life to public policy and good government in Arkansas. She now wants to serve the people in her beloved District 17.
Vivian’s service-commitment to good government began with her election to the state board of Common Cause Arkansas in 1996. Her efforts and dedication in that role contributed to the watchdog organization’s continued influence on Arkansas’ ethics and lobby disclosure laws. During that time, she also worked for the Bureau of Legislative Research as committee staff assigned to the House and Senate Public Health and Agriculture Committees, the House Rules Committee, and the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus.
The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus hired Vivian as its first full-time staff in 2000 and later promoted her to executive director in 2003. During her tenure with the Caucus, she conducted policy research, planned public forums and coordinated legislative meetings, including the Caucus’ statewide conferences and biennial scholarship fundraiser. She worked on policy issues ranging from public education reform to the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.
In addition to providing staff representation at the national legislative conference for the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Black Caucus for State Legislatures, she represented the Caucus on state panels, such as the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Task Force and the Racial Profiling Task Force. Her publication credits on behalf of the Caucus include its white paper on education reform and the Racial Profiling Task Force’s 2004 report to the Arkansas General Assembly (co-author).
Vivian’s public service record includes volunteer service for organizations and issues ranging from minority health to historic preservation. She received five appointments by House Speakers from 2000-2011 to serve on the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, serving as Chair from 2008 to 2011. In 2006, she was elected to the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Board of Directors, and served as the Women of Promise Chair for two years of her four-year tenure. In addition to the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission, the CASA Women’s Shelter in Pine Bluff, and numerous other public service organizations and professional associations, Vivian has volunteered and worked for Democratic Party organizations and local/state/national political campaigns. She is a lifetime member of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus as well as the Pine Bluff chapter of the NAACP.
Vivian attended Howard University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she graduated with Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and Professional Technical Writing. She was one of sixteen applicants and the only Arkansas resident accepted to the Inaugural Class of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. She interned for the Secretary General at Civicus in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed her practicum at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Washington, DC. The only graduate program of its kind in the nation, Vivian graduated from the Clinton School with a Master of Public Service Degree in December 2006.
In 2007, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) hired Vivian to lead the campus’ student diversity recruitment efforts. She currently works as the Chief Operating Officer for the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs. Vivian is a member of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church.