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Center for the Future of Arizona Celebrating 20th Anniversary A year-long celebration of impact will culminate in an event with leaders from across the state

Posted on October 10, 2023 • Category: News Release

Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) commemorates its 20th anniversary, reflecting on the organization’s bold ambitions to amplify Arizonans’ voices and foster a future driven by the aspirations of the state’s diverse communities. In late October, an event will bring together dignitaries, leaders, partners, board members, and staff to cap the year-long celebration of the nonpartisan nonprofit’s collaborative work propelling the state forward.  

CFA was founded with a mission to bring Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for Arizona. Dr. Sybil Francis, CFA’s Chair, President & CEO, and Dr. Lattie Coor, Founding Chair Emeritus, formed CFA over several months in 2002 and 2003 — bridging their public policy and educational backgrounds with their love for Arizona and their hope to influence its future positively. In founding CFA, Francis and Coor created an intentionally and uniquely different, agenda-free entity — more a “do tank” than a “think tank” — that is faithfully committed to the greater good for all Arizonans based on the will of the public.  

Over the past 20 years, the organization has been a beacon of resilient information and action, sharing and mobilizing research and data around Arizonans’ shared interests, leading to new thinking and innovative, collaborative, and sustainable solutions for Arizona. 

CFA's mission echoes the voices and desires of Arizonans, emphasizing a collective vision that sustains in times of prosperity and adversity. The organization’s most significant contribution and the foundation for all its work is The Arizona We Want– a data-driven shared vision of success for Arizona, developed and shaped over two decades of rigorous listening and research. It is comprised of seven shared public values issues deemed essential to Arizona's future by more than 70% of Arizonans across all demographics and geographies.  

Through the meticulous integrity of research and data, CFA strives to ensure that insights accurately portray the myriad voices and experiences residing within Arizona’s dynamic landscape. The organization notably partnered with the gold standard in survey research on its decennial Gallup Arizona Survey– the first of its kind statewide research in the nation. Over the years, CFA has become a distinguished source for unbiased research and data and maintains its steadfast commitment to delivering valid and trusted information as the backbone for equitable and sustainable ideas and solutions.  

The Arizona Progress Meters, dynamic data tools designed and provided by CFA, serve as reliable barometers for communities across the state, measuring Arizona’s progress against the shared public values of Arizonans. These meters, along with the shared public values, offer clarity and direction for leaders, policymakers, and communities to focus energies and efforts. These tools have supported numerous communities and organizations in making informed decisions that have led to positive and enduring impact. 

Importantly, CFA has uniquely enabled leaders and decision-makers to tap into and foster Arizona’s sense of the common good – what the organization regards as a major opportunity for the state. The commonalities and shared aspirations among Arizonans are more than agreements—they present monumental possibilities to bring real change and to transform shared dreams into a reality that benefits everyone for generations to come.  

CFA’s unwavering commitment to turning insightful data and shared public will into action has fortified Arizona’s foundations in education, civic health, and workforce. Over the years, CFA’s initiatives have impacted more than 300,000 K-12 students and 14,000 teachers, strengthened Arizona’s talent pipeline, increased educational attainment, and improved economic mobility and civic engagement. 

To celebrate its achievements and momentum for the future, CFA will host an event in Phoenix in late October. The event serves to reaffirm the importance of working together toward shared aspirations as the key to unlocking the boundless potential of Arizona. CFA is grateful to the sponsors making the celebration possible, including Visionary Presenting Sponsor, Sharon Dupont McCord, and Bright Future Sponsor, The Burton Family Foundation. In conjunction with its event, the organization will release a 20th Anniversary Report. 

To learn more about CFA’s first 20 years of accomplishments and the impact it continues to make, explore The Arizona We Want in Action.