Bill Kopsky: Early History of the Panel of American Women & the Arkansas Public Policy Panel (1960s-1970s)

Lora Smith

Bill Kopsky became Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel in 1999. The Panel helps Arkansans improve their communities and develop policy solutions by taking collective action and building coalitions. In 1998, it organized the Arkansas Citizens First Congress, a coalition of 58 community organizations advocating for progressive policy change in Arkansas. The organizations promote civic engagement and focus on economic, education, the environment and civil rights issues.

Kopsky joined the Panel in 1996 and was mentored by Brownie W. Ledbetter and other civil rights, community, environmental, labor and feminist leaders. Kopsky was a student organizer at the University of Colorado, where he studied biology, creative writing and philosophy. He is also a graduate of the Southern Empowerment Project Community Organizing School.

In this clip, Bill Kopsky talks about the early roots of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel with the emergence of the Panel of American Women.