AAMSAZ Presentation at Pima County Genealogy

Our wonderful Director, Beverely, was invited to speak at the Pima County Genealogy Society Monthly Meeting. Beverely shared her journey in founding the museum, detailing how it continues to evolve and preserve the community’s precious history. She also highlighted the museum’s achievements in its first year, and we take great pride and gratitude in the museum’s existence. Additionally, she shared information about the upcoming events we have planned for Black History Month.

The audience actively engaged with Beverely, posing numerous questions. It was a wonderful and engaging time! The Tucson attendees and Zoom meeting participants expressed their interest in visiting us in the coming month!

Hope you already joined us and are receiving the newsletter. We look forward to welcoming you all soon! 

Best regards,

Jenny Li, Digital Curator

MLK Weekend – One Year Anniversary

Fun Food and More!

Our 1 Year Anniversary on January 14, 2024 was a beautiful event. 

We express heartfelt gratitude to our Legacy Founder Investors for their continuous support during our inaugural year and before our museum opening. Special thanks to our Founders, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Oral and Legacy Historians, Volunteers, Interns, Staff, and all generous donors. Your support has played a vital role in bringing cultural richness to life and creating a space that respects our traditions. Thank you for believing in our vision; your contributions will have a lasting impact. This has been a year of sharing history, learning, and community.

We also celebrate Bob and Beverely for their achievements in the Museum’s inaugural year! We commend their exemplary leadership, dedication, and philanthropy. Sincere appreciation for their unwavering commitment to preserving and promoting African American history and culture, establishing Arizona’s First African American Museum. Their visionary leadership, boundless generosity, and selfless dedication as full-time volunteer positions and legacy founders have shaped the museum into a beacon of knowledge and inspiration. May their achievements continue to inspire generations to come!

Photos credits: Joe Jackson, Mingde & Jenny Li

African American Museum of Southern AZ celebrates one year anniversary

Watch the Report on News 4 Tucson KVOA-TV!

2023 Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day

Ruby Bridges will be inducted to the National Women’s Hall Of Fame!

We at AAMSAZ are so proud to have had Ruby Bridges visit Tucson as our guest!

The induction of Ruby Bridges and Serena Williams into the National Women’s Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor, recognizing their immense contributions to society in their respective fields. The 2024 class is truly a diverse group of women from various backgrounds. The women will be honored during Women’s History Month in March. The fact that the induction ceremony will be broadcast nationally in prime time from New York City indicates the significance of this recognition and provides a platform to celebrate and honor these remarkable women.

A Walk with Ruby!

November 14th, 2023: Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day

This year, schools throughout Southern Arizona, including TUSD’s Robbins K8 and Principal Chandra Thomas, supported the Walk with Ruby! Steve Freeman and Shakenya Humphries did as well and they invited us to speak at Holladay Elementary in honor of the walk. Executive Director, Beverely Elliott, helped to pass out stickers, string packs, and wristbands to the students along with their student ambassadors! Thanks Steve and Shakenya!

Ruby Bridges holds a significant place in American history for her bravery and contribution to the civil rights movement. Her integration into an elementary school in New Orleans marked a pivotal moment in the fight against segregation.

The painting by Norman Rockwell, ‘The Problem We All Live With,’ immortalizes that historic moment and continues to serve as a powerful symbol of the struggle for equality. It’s fantastic that we have a copy of this iconic piece at the museum.

The establishment of the Ruby Bridges Foundation speaks volumes about her commitment to promoting tolerance and change through education, emphasizing the importance of fostering understanding and acceptance among diverse communities.

Thank you for attending – AAMSAZ Winter Gala!

We had a wonderful time at our 1st gala fundraiser! We are delighted that some of you took the time to join us and contribute to the success and sustainability of the museum. For those who attended, your presence added immense joy and significance to the evening. For those who were unable to attend, we hope that you will enjoy the photos. We missed you! Please try to make it to our next event!

We had an enchanting time, filled with memorable moments and enjoyable conversations. Your support means so much to us, as it directly aids our research and exhibitions, supports our educational programs, and allows us to continue offering free admission, a free informative newsletter, announcements to our community, and information on upcoming events and workshops.

Together, we can strive for greater heights. Thank you once again for being a part of this extraordinary evening.

Our presenters were the stars of the evening!

Beverely, We are so PROUD of you!

Before Beverely embarked on her journey to establish the African American Museum of Southern Arizona, she dedicated her heart and soul to education as a High School Counselor in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) for over 20 years. During her tenure, she not only educated but also inspired, cared for, and nurtured countless students, leaving an indelible mark on their lives.

On October 26th, 2023, the Educational Enrichment Foundation (EEF) honored Beverely as the recipient of the Ray Davis Lifetime Humanitarian Award at the Tucson Convention Center. The event was attended by almost 400 people who came together to celebrate her extraordinary contributions to our community. Together, the attendees generously donated over $160,000 to the EEF to address the needs of students in TUSD. This heartwarming act of generosity reinforces our shared commitment to educational excellence.

We would like to extend our gratitude to all who attended and encourage those who weren’t able to participate to consider contributing to the EEFTUSD, and AAMSAZ. Your support is vital to advancing the mission of education, cultural preservation, and community development.

Today, as we all witnessed, Beverely continues her unwavering commitment to our community. She is not a curator, historian, or docent; she has dedicated herself to our museum as a Volunteer Executive Director, working more than double-digit hours every day, including weekends. She is making an incredible gift to Tucson and the Arizona community. It’s challenging for me to find words that do justice to her, but she truly deserves all the accolades. She is creating a beacon of knowledge and culture in the form of the African American Museum. It’s always a pleasure and honor to work with her!


Jenny Li, Digital Curator

Tucson Electric Power…Thank You

Beverely Elliott, recently had the honor of presenting TEP with the prestigious Buffalo Soldier Statuette, a locally designed work of art by R. Quinro Davis. These statuettes are awarded to those who contribute $100,000 or more to the museum, highlighting TEP’s significant commitment to the cause. What’s even more commendable is that TEP didn’t stop at just a financial contribution. They went the extra mile by partnering with the University of Arizona’s Eller College and offering a paid internship opportunity at the African American Museum of Southern Arizona to an Eller College student.

This internship opportunity is a testament to TEP’s dedication to education and the development of local talent. Dean Karthik KannanColleen Perra of the Eller College, and Wendy Erica Werthen of TEP had an opportunity to meet AAMSAZ’s selection of Michael Frees, a senior student who has already proven himself to be a valuable asset to the museum. TEP’s support and partnership with the museum will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on both the community and the future generations of students involved with AAMSAZ. It’s heartwarming to see such collaboration and commitment to preserving andcelebrating the rich cultural heritage of the African American community in Southern Arizona. Thank you, Tucson Electric Power, for your ongoing support and dedication to the community and education.

Free Swim Lessons

We will serve 50 to 75 children (Ages 5 – 18)

Students Will Get: FREE Swim Bag, Flip flops, Goggles, Swim Towels, and Free Lessons! Historically…. Children of Color were not allowed to swim due to racial prejudice. Let’s work on changing that! Lessons take place at The University’s Student Recreation Center Pool on 6th Street. Certified swim instructors will instruct the children. 

For information or to register, scan the QR code!

Mission Garden Field Trip for Booth Fickett

On September 14th, we were excited that Ex. Dir. Beverely (AAMSAZ) collaborated with Mission GardenGeicoTUSD’s Booth Fickett K8 (Ms. Parish, Ms.Bray and Jeff Sawyer), The UA School Gardens Workshop, and The Tucson Chapter of the Links, Incorporated to develop a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and the Arts and Math) education program.

This program engaged 4th and 5th-grade students in a unique learning experience. 

As part of this program, the museum provided terra cotta pots for the children to decorate, promoting creativity and the arts. Students also learned practical math skills by measuring the circumference and diameter of their pots.

Thanks to the U of A School Garden Program, students received an Almanac to enhance their understanding of science. Additionally, Geico generously provided SWAG items, including water bottles and sunglasses, allowing students to explore the science of hydration.

The program introduced students to the science of companion planting, emphasizing the importance of diverse plant interactions in gardening.

To further enrich their experience, students toured the gardens and learned about their historic significance, integrating technology into their learning journey.

The program included a cooking and tasting demonstration, where students had the opportunity to savor the herbs and vegetables they had planted.

Mapping Racist Covenants

Thank you Dr. Jason R. Jurjevich of the University of Arizona.

We were honored to have played a small part in this grant.

The importance of housing equity cannot be overstated, as it lies at the heart of various social and economic challenges facing the United States. This issue is closely tied to historical and ongoing systemic racism, and it has far-reaching implications for individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

Why housing equity is crucial:

  • Historical Context: Housing inequity has deep historical roots in the United States. Policies such as redlining, racial covenants, and discriminatory lending practices were systematically used to segregate communities and deny housing opportunities to people of color. These practices have had long-lasting effects, perpetuating racial disparities in wealth, education, and overall well-being.
  • Along with economic stability, educational stability, access to health care, community development, and more!

The Award Presentation with Cox Communications

The Award Presentation with
Cox Communications

The Award Presentation with
Cox Communications

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!

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