At a recent Business & Education workshop, sponsored by the Phoenix Business Journal and Alliance Bank, speakers addressed the problem recruiting top-level executives to Arizona. Maricopa County Community College’s Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick discusses the challenges MCCC faces when it tries to fill college president vacancies through nationwide searches. At the 2016 VHRA State of the Industry luncheon, hospitality attendees were reminded of the consequences of national boycotts sparked by the MLK Holiday rescission, SBs1070 and 1062. It is obvious that, though Phoenix finally recovered from the recession, changing the national image of Arizona is going to be critical to its long-term economic sustainability.
People often hope for the next generation’s tolerance. Then Phoenicians and other Americans were shocked by the sight of six white, smiling female millennials sporting NI**ER tee shirts for a yearbook photo. But the swift reaction by Phoenix residents showed 1) that Arizonans recognized the seriousness of the incidence, and 2) refuse to accept this image as the norm and want the world to know that.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) is a newly chartered organization in Phoenix, whose mission is to effect meaningful and sustainable change to improve the lives of women and girls of African descent throughout the Phoenix metropolitan community and beyond. NCBW joined other community partners in working with Desert Vista and the Tempe Union High School District to develop plans to address inclusion of all people. One result was an April 25-6, 2016, socio-cultural learning experience called “What Do You Think? that included a school assembly and senior workshops on digital branding, bullying, history and other issues.
All parties were pleased with the opening assembly for students on Monday. Charlene Tarver, of NCBW AZ, said, “This is definitely a step in the right direction.” Fatimah Halim, whose Life Paradigms, Inc, partnered with NCBW on the initiative, said, “This successful template has the potential to impact the whole nation.” From the administration, Principal Christine Barela and TUHSD Assistant Superintendent Anna Battle were both thrilled with the enthusiastic reaction of the 3100 students, who attended.
It will take similar, continuing, collective and aggressive efforts from academia, non-profits, businesses, parents and youth to counteract discrimination and harassment quickly and firmly to let others throughout the nation and world know that Arizona is a welcoming community for all people and businesses.