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February 2024

Hi friends,

February has been such a busy month! From the many community events commemorating Black History Month to Love of Reading, we’ve had an amazing time celebrating culture, history, reading, and the importance of education and empowerment. There are so many opportunities to explore and learn about Black history in Tucson-- from The Dunbar Pavilion and the African American Museum of Southern Arizona to any of our Pima County libraries, there are many resources available! Love of Reading is truly one of our favorite times of the year!  It was a privilege to visit the schools and classrooms in D5 and share some of the books that my own children loved when they were growing up. The 3rd Annual D5 Youth Art Contest, focusing on why our young artists love their community, was a huge success-- picking up artwork was a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day and Arizona's birthday! We are very proud of the 300+ artists who sent in a submission and look forward to showing off the amazing works they created. Thank you so much to the teachers, parents, and friends who encouraged them to participate in our contest and we are looking forward to showcasing their work next month.  As always, we are here to serve, so please feel free to reach out to our office at anytime and follow us on social media for daily updates.



(Para español, haga click en el botón de arriba a la derecha y seleccione el idioma español.)



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Congratulations to the inaugural inductees for the Tucson Unified School District African American Student Services Department Student Advisory Council! Thank you to Marshon, Orin, Naveah, James, Debora, Eve, Chanceline, Denasia, Felista, Jurisa, Kayiden, and Xristian for serving TUSD and your schools in this way! This strong cohort of students represents a generation of confident, informed, and engaged young leaders and role models who embody the mission and vision of the AASSD and our community. As Dr. Tonya Strozier, Director, African American Student Services Department, Tucson Unified School District, said during the program, our students have a voice, they just need a microphone— and now they have one!

Felicidades, Council Members!

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Photo montage created by Scripps News Phoenix and KGUN 9 On Your Side

Congratulations to Audrey Jimenez, Sunnyside High School senior and one of our former D5 Youth Highlights, for being the first female in history to win the Arizona state championship while competing in the boy's division! Audrey has been an inspiration on and off the mat and this achievement is so impressive! In order to win the Division 1 Title, Audrey won all of her wrestling matches in the boy's division this season. She previously won the state title in the girl's division for the past three years in a row! Audrey, we are so proud of you! 

Felicidades, Audrey!




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Photo from the Day of Racial Healing at the YWCA

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Photo taken by Grace Trejo, Arizona Daily Star

Cute & Classy Krispies, a local, Black woman-owned small business, was founded by Ashley Cole in 2020 during the pandemic. Ashley, a registered nurse, wanted to find an outlet from her stressful job and nurtured her passion for crafting rice krispy treats for friends, special occasion requests, or simply as a delightful comfort for herself and her family. Three years later, Cute & Classy Krispies offers over 17 flavors, and their menu includes traditional, gluten free, vegan, and sugar free options. Check them out here and follow their Instagram to keep up with new flavors and pop up events! 


Trehon Cockrell-Coleman and Carmishun Coleman, founders of A Better Community (ABC), are working to promote and celebrate culture, resources, and community engagement in Tucson. Trehon and Carmishun organize monthly events focusing on providing the community a sense of togetherness, empowerment, and connection-- especially for the Black and African American population in Tucson. Their motivation to get involved and to help bring folks together stems from their experience with moving to Tucson and creating a network from scratch. Keep up with Trehon and Carmishun here for the next monthly event! 


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Every month, D5 will be highlighting an accomplishment that directly meets the goals and priorities of our Somos D5 Strategic Plan.

  • Big win for affordable housing in Pima County! Since 2023, the Pima County Board of Supervisors has secured $9.5 million for the development and preservation of 1,038 affordable housing units-- including new developments for home ownership and rental units. D5 is proud to have advocated for $5 million to be set aside every year for the purpose of increasing affordable housing and promoting home ownership in Pima County and will continue to advocate for additional budget allocations in the future.

 Check out our Somos D5 Strategic Plan webpage to learn more about each of our priorities or click the button below to dowload our complete Strategic Plan!

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Photo taken at Grijalva Elementary School by TUSD Communications

February is Love of Reading Month! Every year, D5 makes it a goal to visit all 27 of the elementary schools in our district to share the love of reading with students. We always have so much fun visiting our youngest D5'ers. Having the opportunity to share some favorite books, visit familiar campuses, and meet many of the amazing teachers and school staff who serve our community is an honor! Reading and education are so important, and it's crucial to start off the love of reading at a young age-- reading opens worlds, minds, and futures! Happy Love of Reading 2024! 


Pets of Pima Parade 

The Pets of Pima Parade & Friends of PACC Festival was a big success— so many pets and their owners paraded down 6th Avenue to the festival for an enthusiastic crowd! From dogs and cats to snakes and mini horses, the number of animal companions and community organizations helping promote this great event was very impressive and diverse. Thank you to all of the partners who worked to make this parade possible. Pima County loves our pets!

Art Contest Evaluation Sessions

The 3rd Annual D5 Youth Art Contest has its winners! Thank you so much to our wonderful student and community judges for helping evaluate the 307 submissions that we received this year! Our student judges, Ella Maldonado and Ryan Nightingale, from Pima Community College, and Vi Keifer, from the University of Arizona, and our community judges Morgan Wells, Tucson Museum of Art, C. Mary Okoye, Blue Lotus Artist Collective, and Chelsea Farrar, University of Arizona Museum of Art, selected the finalists and winners of our contest— and their own Judge’s Choice highlights! Thank you for helping us with our contest and making some incredibly difficult decisions!

An Evening with Carlotta Walls LaNier

A truly inspiring evening with Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest of the Little Rock Nine, as she recounted her life and how she, when only 14 years old, and 8 other Black teens desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. Hearing from Ms. Walls LaNier about the bravery that these young people and their families displayed in the face of racism, sexism, and brutality from classmates and teachers, neighbors, law enforcement, and even the governor was an awe-inspiring experience. Thank you to the African American Museum of Southern Arizona and Bob and Beverely Elliot for organizing this conversation and for your tireless advocacy for our community and for keeping Black History alive!

Black and Brown Health Fair

What a wonderful turnout from the community for the Second Annual Black & Brown Health Fair at the Donna Liggins Recreation Center in Sugar Hill! The Pima County Health Department's event had so many wonderful resources, health organizations, classes, food, and music! It was great to see many of our friends and meet some of the people working to make our community a better, more healthy place. 

Merchant and Mission-Focused Marketplace

What an incredible turnout for the first Merchant and Mission-Focused Marketplace, celebrating Black History Month and the many Black-owned local businesses and organizations in Tucson! Thank you to all of the organizers and partners who worked to make this event happen, including A Better Community, Connections that Count - Merchant & Mission-Focused Marketplace, Arizona Coalition for Change, Regina Hart - State Farm Agent, and The Dunbar Pavilion!

"Sanctuary: Who Belongs Here?" Panel & Reception

A powerful and thought-provoking panel discussion to kick off the opening of the Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries’ new exhibition “Sanctuary: Who Belongs Here? The Search for Homeland on the US-Mexico Border, 1848 to Today.” Thank you to the panel for sharing their experiences and perspectives on sanctuary, what it means, the history of the sanctuary movement, and the unique position that Tucson plays as a border city. Check out the exhibition at!

Pima County Black History Month Celebration

Celebrating Black History Month the Pima County way! Thank you to the Pima County Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Pima County Public Library for organizing such a wonderful evening of song, celebration, and conversation on the importance of inclusion, education, empowerment, and Black History Month in Pima County. As Elections Director Constance Hargrove said, “Black History reminds us of the shoulders on which we stand and provides perspective, context, and an understanding of our shared history.”

Gem Show Welcome Reception with Visit Tucson

Happy to join Pima County, Visit Tucson, the City of Tucson, sponsors, and visitors of the Tucson Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Showcase at the wonderful UArizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum to celebrate the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. It’s great to welcome the many thousands of people from all over the world who, for over 60 years, have come to Tucson for the show and to celebrate what happens when the right mix of policy, financial investment, and community engagement combine! Here’s to many more decades!

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