Bridge Forum ‘Time for Change’ Adds Fourth Part to Arizona Equality Series

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Collaborative Effort Between Law Enforcement, Arizona Government, Business, and the Young Voices Leading Change

The HeroZona Foundation is excited to announce part four of its Bridge Forum ‘Time for Change’ series, which will take place on Tuesday, August 25 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe (4400 S. Rural Rd.) in Tempe. The event is an addition to the Foundation’s series discussing systemic racism in America, and this special segment will include young leaders from various public and private Arizona organizations advocating for change. The invitation-only event is supported by the City of Tempe and Greater Phoenix Leadership. The forum will also be live streamed to the public on TheBridgeForum.com.

“When it comes to major policy change, too often we only speak with elected officials like me,” says Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “It's important that when we talk about the needs of the next generation, we actually include them in these conversations. That is why I am proud to support the Next Generation Bridge Forum. This event will place a much-needed spotlight on the voices of young leaders who are out in the community making change in unique ways. I look forward to learning the different perspectives of these six exceptionally impressive panelists."

“The point of our Bridge Forum series is to be as forward thinking as possible when addressing these difficult issues,” says HeroZona Foundation Founder and U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran, Alan “AP” Powell. “These young voices are the ones who are going to lead us into the future, which is why this installment will be so impactful. We are excited to give them the platform to voice their ideas on how to spark change.”

“Not only are these discussions timely but having this group of young leaders presenting solution-oriented ideas is crucial in inspiring change,” says Ted Trembath, general manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe. “We are honored to be the host of an event that is truly pushing us toward a better future.”

The event in August will be moderated for the fourth time by the President & CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Director of the Million Man March, and Assistant to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. Dr. Chavis first received international recognition in 1971 as the leader of the Wilmington Ten, when he was wrongfully convicted of committing arson and received the longest sentence before winning his appeal in 1980.

The upcoming event will include a mix of panelists from young prominent community members to policy experts. This includes West Mesa Precinct Judge Elaissia Sears, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Allen Kevin Hunter, Arizona NAACP Youth & College President and organizer of several Phoenix Black Lives Matter protests Armonee D. Jackson, Phoenix Suns Community & Player Programs Senior Coordinator Shaquin Albrow, Arizona Coalition for Change Civic Engagement Director Sena Mohammed, and 100 Black Men of Phoenix Health & Wellness Committee Chairman Navarro Whitaker. Also taking place during the event, 19-year-old local poet Jasmin Artaisha will be performing a piece titled “Can’t Breathe”, based on the murder of George Floyd.

"The voices of young Black leaders in the Valley are crucial to how we move our community forward in Arizona,” says Judge Sears. “Bridging the gap between seasoned leaders and those who are coming after them allows us the opportunity to achieve greater objectives together."

The forum is supported by City of Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, Arizona State Representative for District 9 Greg Stanton, Arizona State Representative for District 26 Athena Salman, Maricopa Country District 1 Supervisor Jack Sellers, and Greater Phoenix Leadership President and CEO Neil G. Giuliano.

The Bridge Forum: ‘Time for Change’ part one occurred on Tuesday, June 23 at the Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 and focused on current events within the black community and law enforcement to examine how communities can work together with police to create equality in the nation. The series’ second and third segments took place on Tuesday, July 14 at the W Scottsdale and Tuesday, August 11 at the Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West and focused on similar topics.

The Bridge Forum: ‘Time for Change’ parts one, two and three included panelists such as Superintendent for the Roosevelt School District No. 66 Quintin Boyce, Arizona State Representative from District 27 Reginald Bolding, Founder of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles Larry White, Police Chief of the City of Scottsdale Alan G. Rodbell, Chief Special Agent of Attorney General Arizona Reggie Grigsby, President of East Valley NAACP Roy M. Tatem Jr., President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns Jason Rowley, National Forum for Black Public Administrators Central Arizona Chapter President Travis L. Cutright, Mesa Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Driscoll, Arizona State Representative for District 25 and Speaker of the House Russell “Rusty” Bowers, and many other notable leaders.

The ‘Time for Change’ Bridge Forum will be the 11th edition by the HeroZona Foundation. Previous forums have included both high school and college aged participants in 2017 from South Mountain High School.

In January 2018, the Scottsdale Police Department implemented 29 new initiatives from the Scottsdale Bridge Forum 2017, which included establishing sufficient resources for police personnel dealing with trauma, establishing dialogue opportunities with under-served communities, enhancing engagement with the community’s youth and identifying ways to address the needs of the community related to behavioral health.

For more information about the Bridge Forum and to stream its upcoming event on Tuesday, August 25, visit TheBridgeForum.com.

About the HeroZona Foundation
The HeroZona Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers Heroes in the community through entrepreneurship, employment, and education. The group works with veterans, first responders and those that bring social good to future generations and under-served communities. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for the brave men and women who serve their country, and community, every day. For more information, please visit HeroZona.org.

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Ivana Morales
Evolve PR & Marketing
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