On August 15, 2023, members from Cox Communications, who are one of our Legacy Founder Investors, were presented with a gift from the African American Museum of Southern Arizona. The Buffalo Soldier Statuette was designed by local artist Quin Davis. We are grateful to Lisa Lovallo, Alfredo Prince, Autumn Van Den Berg, Chris, Trevor, and Natasha Gamboa! You all are simply… talented, amazing, and so supportive. Thank you!
Congratulations to our Executive Director, Beverely Elliott, for being honored with the Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award!
We are delighted to invite you to join us at the award luncheon, which will take place on Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Tucson Convention Center.
Beverely Elliott’s contributions to TUSD, and the community have been nothing short of extraordinary, and it is with great pride that we recognize her selfless efforts. Her dedication and passion for education have left a lasting impact on the lives of TUSD students and educators. This luncheon, organized by the Educational Enrichment Foundation, aims to raise funds that will further support TUSD students and teachers through various programs.
The criteria for the award are stringent and include the following:
● Member of Southern Arizona community with an upstanding reputation, ● Proven track record of impacting TUSD students/educators over the course of a lifetime, ● Personal passion for education is exemplified by …volunteerism, personal financial support, community projects, or collaborating in the community to further education or advocate for education, ● Ability to attract community support to benefit EEF programs in support of TUSD students and educators.
Ray Davies Lifetime HumanitarianAchievement Award Luncheon
AAMSAZ Receives Sponsorship from OneAZ Credit Union
Funding Tucson African American Children’s Swim Lessons
The AAMSAZ funds will go toward swim lessons by certified U of A teachers, swim essentials such as towels, goggles, swimsuits, flip flops, and a swim bag for African American children in the Tucson Community. There is a need: Fatality rates from drowning for African American children are staggering. Historically, African American children have not been taught to swim. Among the ages 5 to 19, African Americans drown in pools at a rate 5.5 times that of whites. When all age groups and venues are combined, the ratio is 3.2 to 1.0. That means that for every 100 white children who drown, 320 black children drown.
Researchers at USA Swimming and the University of Memphis found that 70% of African American people cannot swim at all, while for Caucasians, it is 31%. This program will serve the Tucson African American community, in particular African American children. We will serve 50 to 75 children (ages 4 – 18). If you know of African American children in our community in the age range above, please have them contact email@example.com
An Inspiring Juneteenth Celebration with REV. DR. BERNICE KING and DR. ILYASAH SHABAZZ at the University of Arizona
On June 19, 2023, the University of Arizona celebrated its inaugural observation of Juneteenth at Centennial Hall. The event, attended by a diverse audience of students, faculty, and community members, was an electrifying evening. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, honored the university with their presence. Moderated by Denise TrimbleSmith, the director of justice initiatives at the UA, the discussion explored the profound significance of Juneteenth and the enduring legacies of their remarkable mothers. It emphasized the pivotal role of women in driving meaningful social change.
We were grateful to the Beyond Juneteenth Committee, Mayor Regina Romero, and UA President Dr. Robert Robbins for organizing this incredible event. Their efforts contribute to the ongoing celebration and honoring of African American history.
We are truly grateful for the support from Dean AP Durand and the College of Humanities. We have worked for the past year with Africana Studies, Dr. Tani Sanchez, Dr. Bryan Carter, Dr. Praise, and Dr. Bayo. Thank you all for your support of our mission.
Bob and I took a trip to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, last month and joined in the annual “fly–in” celebration of the BPA! Many of these pilots flew their own planes to the event and participated in taking people up for rides. President Brian Worthington greeted everyone and made sure that there was plenty of viewing of “Operation Skyhook” and delicious southern eating! We were delighted at the skill of these fliers at the Pine Bluff Regional Airport “Gider Field” as we saw balloon drops and more. The Bronze Eagles of Texas, Roscoe Draper Chapter from Philadelphia, other cities like Kansas City, were represented.
We were invited by none other than one of the Founders of BPA, an Arizonan Les Morris, to attend.
The first phase of the two-phase project is currently underway, and the intent of the first phase is to provide an inventory and database of Tucson’s surviving properties (buildings, structures, sites, and landscapes) built prior to 1978 that are associated with our African American Community. The inventory will serve as an informational and management tool to identify and preserve Tucson’s African American resources as well as provide a strategy to prioritize and identify areas for further study.
If you have information about Tucson’s African American historic properties or have any questions about WestLand’s data gathering and research, please feel free to reach out to either Jennifer Levstik at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathryn McKinney at email@example.com
On June 14th, our museum advisory member Tina Jonson and interns (Emma, Melora, and Jenny) presented for the museum and introduced a pop-up museum for Geico associates to visit during their breaks and lunches. We value this partnership opportunity and look forward to future collaborations.
GEICO’s FastPitch campaign allows all associates to propose ideas that benefit the local community. We are thrilled to have been included in the “GEICO Fast Pitch Program.”
We want to express our gratitude to Veron Chapple and Michael Espino for inviting us to participate. Additionally, we would like to thank Larry Starks, the president of the Tucson Juneteenth Festival, for delivering a remarkable presentation on the history of Juneteenth in Tucson.
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. “
—-(Former President Barack Obama)
We always enjoy community and partnerships, and we were honored to be invited to the Juneteenth Celebration on Tuesday, June 13, hosted by the City of Tucson’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD). Museum interns Emma, Melora, and Jenny represented the museum at this event, and thank you, Emma, for the great presentation for AAMSAZ!
We wanted to thank Ernesto Portillo for the invitation to showcase the mission and purpose of AAMSAZ at the event. We appreciate Ann Chanecka, the interim director of HCD, for delivering a wonderful opening speech and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero for her inspiring remarks. Your dedication to the African American community and the official recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday contribute to the remembrance of our country’s progress for future generations.
During the event, Dr. Sanchez enlightened us with both heartbreaking and incredibly joyous facts about the experiences of African Americans. Her book The Meals and Memoirs, is a collection of African American Stories and Recipes from Southern Arizonans (including our ED Beverely Elliott). The book is Available on Amazon.com. You will love it and use it!
Please visit our website to watch the preserved Oral History of Dr. Sanchez and learn more about her important contributions to our understanding of African American history.