“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
It once would have been hard to imagine that the opening lines of a Dickens novel from 1859 would be prophetic for the year we have all collectively experienced. But the contradictions in those words from “A Tale of Two Cities” perfectly describe 2020—a year marked by tragedy and paired with delicate moments of compassion. A year in which scientists became superheroes to the masses while valiantly fighting against the villains of ignorance. A year in which an unspeakable act ignited a movement for justice that will reverberate for generations to come. A year in which the human spirit was tested beyond its limits, and still showed its resilience by materially transforming how we work, how we educate our children – and how we live each day.
Because of the time of year, I’m also reminded of another famous Dickens work—“A Christmas Carol”—a morality tale that preaches the value of society, the importance of giving and the anticipation of better days. In the upcoming year, I hope we continue to honor the fundamental goodness of people—many of whom have sacrificed their own health and welfare to keep us safe. And that the inspiration of everyday heroes continues to drives us to be the better versions of ourselves.
I would be remiss if I did not convey my sincere gratitude to all the Fellows who have been instrumental in helping me to transition into this role over the last nine months. I’ve called on many of you to support our work here—from the recruitment and selection of the 2020 Fellows to assisting in the programming for our CivEx sessions. As we head into 2021, I will continue to ask the Flinn-Brown Network to help us establish local chapters, contribute to podcasts and blogs and most importantly, to provide us with your talents as we showcase the important public policy contributions Fellows are making in the state.
Fellows in Elected Office
Congratulations to the following Fellows for their successful candidacies for office: Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson (2011), Representative Daniel Hernandez Jr. (2011), Representative Joanne Osborne (2012), Representative Jennifer Pawlik (2018), Representative Aaron Lieberman (2017), Representative Raquel Terán (2018), Tammy Caputi (2019), Becky Daggett (2014), Michelle Hess (2013), and Chip Davis (2012).
Past and Upcoming CivEx Webinars
We are excited to showcase our collaboration with our Flinn Scholars! Please join us on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. for our next CivEx: The Luminosity Lab—Finding Solutions for Now and the Future.
Finally, we are always more than happy to help promote your work through social media, so please reach out to me if you would like us to publicly recognize a professional accomplishment, event or program with which you are involved.
Karen Francis-Begay (Tucson, 2013) led an initiative to create a new exhibit in the Arizona Bookstore at the Student Union Memorial Center featuring the flags of 22 Native Nations in Arizona. The new exhibit was dedicated in November.
Diana Gomez (Yuma, 2016) was interviewed for a KAWC story about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Yuma County.
Did you miss a previous CivEx? Now you can find webinar recordings on our website. View past events.
Arizona Town Hall is hosting, Learning and Listening About Systemic Racism Virtual Town Hall, on Dec. 9. Learn more here.
On Dec. 9, the Water Resource Research Center at the University of Arizona is hosting a Brown Bag Webinar—Balancing Environmental, Municipal, and Agricultural Needs in the Edwards Aquifer: A Farmer’s Perspective. Learn more here.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation continues the Reimagining Today’s Workforce webinar series on Dec. 10 as Trevor Stokes, chief executive officer with the Partnership for Workforce Innovation, discusses comprehensive labor market data, the impact of COVID-19, and the future of Arizona’s workforce. Learn more here.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual legislative forecast luncheon will be Jan. 8, 2021. Learn more here.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts will present four Peer2Peer webinars for BIPOC teaching artists interested in exchanging best practices. The webinars will begin January 2021. Learn more here.
In January and February 2021, Arizona Together for Impact, as part of the newly formed Sustained Collaboration Network, is offering a first-ever online institute for consultants engaged in work supporting greater collaboration among nonprofits—to build consultant capacity, create standards of practice, and facilitating an environment for peer learning and networking opportunities. Learn more here.