This contest is an opportunity for ALICE families in Arkansas to tell their story of heroic resilience for a chance to win cash prizes, hosted by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, The Yarn, Crystal C. Mercer, Jeff Dailey Media, and Chris James.


In Arkansas, 41 percent of households cannot afford basic household essentials as they struggle to make ends meet. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, and it is a national research effort led by United Way that features a more comprehensive way to analyze poverty and financial hardship. Through the #SeeALICE Contest we are determined to listen to and amplify the heroic stories of ALICE households in Arkansas. The contest winner will receive a $1,000 prize — two honorable-mention storytellers will receive $250.

ALICE families and workers face significant systemic barriers that limit their ability to gain financial agency — especially given the economic hardship many will encounter in light of COVID-19. Many of these barriers are the direct result of policies and practices informed by incomplete narratives which typecast ALICE families and workers as part of the problem instead of key stakeholders who address systemic poverty and economic inequity.



In order to get there, we must first change the narrative about the reality of poverty in Arkansas and the resourcefulness and heroism of ALICE families and workers.


We are grateful to our #SeeALICE Contest judges:

    • Miyah Bell, Project Coordinator, Philander Smith College Social Justice Institute (Little Rock, Arkansas)
    • Gina Gomez, Executive Director, El Centro Hispano (Jonesboro, Arkansas)
    • Anna Beth Gorman, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (Little Rock, Arkansas)
    • Abby Hughes Holsclaw, Senior Director, Arkansas Asset Funders Network (Little Rock, Arkansas)
    • Sarah Kinser, Chief Program Officer, Arkansas Community Foundation (Little Rock, Arkansas)
    • Raymond Omar Long, Director of Programs, Urban League of the State of Arkansas (Little Rock, Arkansas)

#SeeALICE Contest winners will:

    • Change the Conversation — an increase in public awareness will challenge knowledge and attitudes that result in false beliefs and assumptions about ALICE
    • Change Who Leads the Conversation — our work must privilege and amplify the voices and perspectives of ALICE and residents most impacted by inequity  
    • Change Behavior — challenging the beliefs about the status quo and storytelling about the lived experiences of ALICE will support the policy change necessary to dismantle and rebuild systems to advance equity


#SeeALICE Contest submissions will be accepted starting April 20, 2020, at until May 1, 2020. Ten storytellers will be notified of nomination to submit a video-recorded/digital media ALICE story on May 8, 2020.

Storytelling coaches and a filmmaking team will support the 10 nominees to refine and capture stories May 11 – 22. 

The winning storyteller and honorable mention winners will be notified on June 2, 2020. The Foundation, The Yarn, and other ALICE in Arkansas partners will release and publicize winners on June 2 as well. 


Because we seek to uplift and amplify ALICE with careful intentionality — are are determined to not engage in this storytelling project in an exploitative manner — we have developed guidelines to honor those who participate in the process.

To that end, submissions must:

      • Be Asset Framed: find a compelling way to focus on your resourcefulness and the determination of your family to succeed in spite of present reality
      • Characterize and Humanize: create a broader view of your experience as ALICE beyond painting a picture of suffering and sadness
      • Counter Stereotypes: reframe and debunk old myths concerning what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet, particularly around class, gender, and race
      • Offer Systemic Analyses: focus on the systemic implications of your personal story without attaching financial struggle to personal responsibility and/or charity

Have Questions?


      • Rev. Shantell Hinton Hill, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Equity Officer —
      • Brad Cameron, Big Big Box Founder and Chief Storyteller —

Share Our Videos

Check back soon to see how Arkansans will brilliantly and creatively share ALICE stories.


Lindsey: I will present a poem that points out the flaws of our government and our economy, also discuss how we can wake up and pay attention and the steps we as an ENTIRE human race can come together to make a difference.

Arnetta: I would like people to know that my struggle isn’t because I don’t work hard. I love my job and the students — but I still don’t make enough sometimes.

The #SeeALICE Contest entry deadline has passed. Check back May 29 to experience stories from contest winners.