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Arizona sports leaders come together to discuss social justice activism
The HeroZona Foundation announced a special segment of the Bridge Forum, ‘One Team’, where a panel of renowned Arizona sports leaders will discuss systemic racism in America and how major and minor league organizations can utilize social justice activism to enact social change. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 8 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix (2 E. Jefferson St) in Phoenix. The invitation-only event is supported by the RED Development, City of Phoenix District 8, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, MINT Social, Golden Rule Live, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The forum will also be live-streamed to the public at Facebook.com/HeroZonaOrg.
The participating panel of sports executives includes Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael J. Bidwill, Arizona Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez, Phoenix Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley, Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese, and Arizona State University Athletic Director Ray Anderson.
“Since the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited in May, major sports teams have ardently expressed their support for the cause by using their reach to advocate for change,” says HeroZona Foundation Founder and U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran, Alan “AP” Powell. “With such massive platforms, it is imperative that the community hear from these leaders on what steps they are taking to ensure that their organizations are not only standing up against racial injustice, but also taking concrete actions to fix the systemic issues at hand.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. Dr. Chavis is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Director of the Million Man March, and Assistant to Rev. Martin Luther King 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 event will be moderated by ESPN host and CNN columnist LZ Granderson.
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. The most recent Bridge Forum: ‘Next Generation, Young Voices Leading the Change’ took place in Tempe on August 25 and highlighted young leaders from various public & private Arizona organizations advocating for change.
The first four Bridge Forum: ‘Time for Change’ parts 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., 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, West Mesa Precinct Judge Elaissia Sears and many other notable leaders.
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, September 8, visit thebridgeforum.com.