OWith 38 years in college, Chris Haines, interim president of Scottsdale Community College, has led educational initiatives designed to help marginalized and at-risk populations reduce barriers to access, such as the Hannelly Center One Stop Enrollment Center at Phoenix College and launching scholarships for DACA/Dreamer students.
As Co-Founder and President of ONE Community & ONE Community Foundation, Angela Hughey exemplifies leadership through her work within the LGBTQ+ community and Arizona’s broader business and political communities.
Alan “AP” Powell, President and CEO of AP & Associates, is a serial entrepreneur, Gulf War veteran, philanthropist and renowned strategic consultant who develops relationships for Fortune 500 companies. His non-profit organization, HeroZona, hosted a series of Bridge Forums with the goal of understanding different perspectives, attitudes and beliefs about community policing.
Haines, Hughey and Powell have all been named Communities Celebrating Diversity 2022 champions.
Diversity Champions are people who exemplify the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and who have enriched the community by empowering others. Eligible applicants must work, live or volunteer in Scottsdale.
“It’s a huge honor to be in the same category as Angela Hughey and Alan Powell. I’m in awe of these two guys, so it’s really an honor,” Haines said.
All three were honored at a dinner last week hosted by Communities Celebrating Diversity, a Scottsdale nonprofit that sponsors educational and community events to celebrate and raise awareness of the city’s diversity.
Its mission is to improve the perception and understanding of diversity, to offer citizens the opportunity to recognize similarities and recognize differences, and seek respect for the values of others as well as the unity of humanity.
While coaching women’s sports at South Mountain Community College, Haines realized that many players needed flexible hours to participate, and she adjusted practice times to accommodate everyone.
During the summer of 2020, as the campus community suffered from the tragic death of George Floyd, Haines held several town halls and encouraged everyone to share their experiences. She also quickly launched an extensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to engage and support the campus community.
“My grandma had a saying, she said, ‘Honey, everyone has a story that’s going to break your heart,'” she said, adding that making people realize that everyone has pain works much better than “telling people you should do this or you should do that.
“People don’t want to be told what to do,” she said.
But reminding people that everyone has a story will go a long way toward celebrating people’s diversity, she said. “You can’t see everyone’s story, you can’t see everyone’s pain, but we can reach out and say, ‘How can I help? ‘” Haines said.
Scottsdale may not always be seen as a paragon of diversity, but the work is being done in schools and at city hall, she said.
Case in point: The Scottsdale City Council unanimously passed an anti-discrimination ordinance with protections for the LGBTQ community and other protected classes last April.
“My favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote is, ‘You’re not only responsible for what you say, you’re also responsible for what you don’t say,'” she said.
Haines serves on the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, Community Celebrating Diversity, East Valley Think Tank, City of Scottsdale Education Committee, Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow (SCOTT), and Arizona Happy Tails Dog Rescue.
Hughey co-founded ONE Community in 2008 with the goal of engaging socially responsible businesses, organizations, and individuals that support and promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality for all Arizonans.
In 2013, Hughey and the ONE Community team launched the UNITY Pledge to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and public housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) people and their allies. More than 3,300 businesses and 20,000 Arizona residents have signed up to the UNITY Pledge, the nation’s largest equality pledge.
“We saw that businesses and organizations of all sizes wanted to have a real connection with the LGBTQ community and didn’t necessarily know how,” she said.
Hughey said there has been a cultural shift in Arizona, saying, “We educate people and meet them where they are, but also the majority of people in this great state know someone who is LGBTQ…. ” We want everyone to understand when you create an all-inclusive atmosphere, you get a better, healthier, more sustainable, and more vibrant community for all of us.
Arizona has 10 municipal anti-discrimination ordinances in effect protecting the rights of approximately half of the state’s population. This includes Mesa, Scottsdale and Glendale, which all passed anti-discrimination laws within 90 days last year.
“It’s created inclusive policies for over a million more Americans and that’s awesome,” she said.
The next step is to get Arizona to pass a similar law, she said. “We really hope that Arizona State takes inspiration from Mesa, Scottsdale and Glendale,” Hughey said.
Hughey has won several awards for her work on inclusion and awareness, including the Human Rights Campaign’s Individual Equality Award, Echo Magazine’s Woman of the Year, and the Al Community Leadership Award. Brooks of the Anti-Defamation League. Hughey is a 2021 Phoenix Business Journal, Most Admired Leader.
Working with former Mayor Jim Lane and former Police Chief Alan Rodbell, Powell and his team spurred the implementation of 29 community policing changes in Scottsdale.
“And we continue to work with the current administration, Mayor (David) Ortega and Police Chief Jeff Walther,” he said.
His last bridge forum in October focused on working with police officers under 30 and was themed “The Next Generation” because the average person who reacts to news in the media of police shootings is between 15 and 30 years old. .
Powell believes that much of the rift that has grown between community members and the police stems from misreading and overreacting to what is in the media.
“I think there’s an overreaction both ways,” he said. “I think the community can overreact and I think the police can overreact.”
There is, however, a simple way to counter this.
“Working together and living together is respect,” he said.
The community and the police need each other, Powell said.
“No one can live without law and order and the police cannot exist without the community. The police won’t have a job if there are no taxpayers.
Powell Foundation programs include HeroZona National Veteran Summit, Reach to Teach Veterans, Phoenix Tools 4 Schools, Bridge Forum, Play It Forward, among many others.
Previous topics addressed by his foundation include ways to better support veterans in recruitment, hiring, service opportunities, veterans in crisis, and support systems. Another of his most recent projects includes the Play It Forward program, which exposes students to the arts at an early age with opportunities to learn, create and grow.
“Arizona is one of the best states to live in,” he said. “Arizona is becoming a model of change. The test of time will help us all to persevere.