Skip to main content
Home News & Events Newsletter Archive Newsletter February 2022

February 2022

New! Our monthly update
The Arizona We Want Newsletter
We are proud to introduce CFA's email newsletter, The Arizona We Want. You can expect it in your inbox each month, covering our progress in advancing The Arizona We Want and key updates, partner and community news, and what’s on the horizon. This month’s issue features a note from our President & CEO, an update on the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a look at the 2022 elections, and more. 

From Our President & CEO

Dear Friends,  

I’m excited to share CFA’s first monthly newsletter with you! We have so much to share about our work in advancing The Arizona We Want, and this is where you can learn about what we are doing across Arizona and with our partners to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. We are focused on a positive message of coming together around what unites us that is grounded in our Shared Public Values and actions needed to achieve our goals. Informed by our most recent Gallup Arizona Survey, we know that there is more that we agree on than divides us and that knowledge provides a powerful foundation on which to build a better future. Here you will learn more about our quest to ensure that all Arizonans thrive and about how you can help and get involved. 

This is a pivotal year— with the statewide midterm elections drawing near, the importance of working together to address the priorities of Arizonans has never been more important. I’m encouraged by our strong network of collaborators and champions for Arizona who are focused on innovative and promising efforts to build The Arizona We Want. 

Our intention in launching The Arizona We Want newsletter is to provide a go-to place to learn about exciting work around the state advancing economic prosperity, quality of life, and opportunity for all Arizonans. We will bring voices and progress reports from communities and leaders across Arizona and share our own efforts to create The Arizona We Want. Please let us know what you would like to see included or how you would like to get involved!

Thank you for all you do to advance The Arizona We Want!


Sybil Francis
Sybil Francis, Ph.D. 
President & CEO 
Center for the Future of Arizona 

Making an Impact


Strengthening Arizona’s Workforce to Build The Arizona We Want

Workforce Academy Event Fellows
In partnership with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) and with the support of Walmart, CFA successfully launched our first-ever Greater Phoenix Workforce Leadership Academy. This local Academy is part of Aspen Institute’s national network of leaders that aims to strengthen, innovate, drive, and sustain workforce and strategies to better serve workers’ and businesses’ needs.

Today, at the culmination of their 10-month fellowship, our inaugural cohort of 20 workforce development professionals from across the Valley and from multiple workforce sectors unveiled their innovations and recommendations to benefit Arizona's workforce ecosystem

Learn more about the Greater Phoenix Workforce Leadership Academy and partner with us to provide future Academy cohorts.  

ASU Students to Develop Solutions for Arizona Education System 

Ideas Welcome Initiative with ASU Office of Applied Innovation and Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College Kicks Off 
 ASU Students to Develop Solutions for Arizona Education System
Shown here earlier this month, CFA’s Dr. Amanda Burke presented the findings from our latest Gallup Arizona Survey and the Arizona Education Progress Meter data at the kickoff event for Ideas Welcome: Education Equity Challenge. Thanks to the efforts of ASU’s Office of Applied Innovation, 250 ASU students from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College TEL-171 class began a semester-long endeavor to develop solutions for improving Arizona’s education system and student outcomes. The participants will use these data and resources to align their projects with the priorities of Arizonans. The top teams will publish their ideas and receive funding to implement them. 

This mobilization of Arizona’s future teachers and community leaders builds exciting momentum around collaborative solutions to achieve The Arizona We Want. We look forward to sharing the ideas and proposals that emerge from the process as the students imagine new possibilities for Arizona’s future.

Honor the Black Community This Month and Every Month  ​​​​​​

We will achieve The Arizona We Want when all Arizonans can partake of the fruits of our state’s successes and enjoy economic prosperity, quality of life, and equitable opportunities. We are proud to have been a lead partner in developing the State of Black Arizona’s (SBAZ) Volume V Report, Driving Local Investment in Black Arizonans, a publication focused on telling a data-driven story that promotes inclusivity and positive change in Arizona.

The State of Black Arizona

The Volume V report reveals truths and challenges and highlights opportunities to address disparities impacting the state’s Black community. It is the basis for ongoing conversations with community, business, education, and elected leaders committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Arizona. Exploring and sharing historical and other data pertaining to Black Arizonans is an essential first step in fostering understanding. It can serve as a catalyst for reimagining what can be and achieving The Arizona We Want for all Arizonans.

The month of February is dedicated to recognizing Black history in the U.S. We also recognize that Black history is every day, as history is in the making, and it is what we make it. We’re dedicated to the vital work in partnership with SBAZ and many others to activate the findings of the Volume V Report.

Take Action: Read the Volume V Report. 
  In the News

Op-ed: How do we get Arizona’s governor candidates to talk about issues that matter?

As we look at the year ahead, the gubernatorial election is top of mind for many, and voters want to know how elected officials will work to solve the long-term problems facing our state. 

In a recent op-ed with The Arizona Republic, Dr. Sybil Francis laid out how the media and candidates can address what Arizonans want in forthcoming campaigning and reporting.  

Increasing Equitable Access to Education and Economic Mobility Thanks to Cognizant Foundation  

We’re grateful to the Cognizant Foundation and their generous support of our Arizona Pathways to Prosperity (APTP) initiative. CFA is proud to be one of 13 organizations across the country slated to receive an investment from the Cognizant Foundation, intended to foster equitable access to industry-aligned education and career pathways and ultimately increase economic mobility in communities throughout the country. 

Read the full announcement. 


Dr. Sybil Francis Named Among 48 Most Intriguing Women of Arizona

Dr. Sybil Francis48 Arizona Women, an Arizona Centennial Legacy initiative launched in 2012, recognizes Arizona's most remarkable women every ten years for making an impact in their communities. In partnership with the Arizona Historical Society, they have named the 48 Most Intriguing Women of Arizona for 2022. We are so proud CFA President & CEO Dr. Sybil Francis is recognized.

Later this spring honorees will be formally recognized at a luncheon and featured in a new book, “Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women – A New Decade,” telling each woman’s story in words and photos.

Read more about this recognition and the full list of honorees.
  Arizona Progress Meter Update: Education

In partnership with Education Forward Arizona, we released new ​​​​Arizona Education Progress Meter data, our state’s widely accepted framework for measuring and reporting on the educational outcomes of Arizona’s P-20 education system. The data are sobering and confirm that the pandemic has impacted every aspect of the education system and that there is much work to be done to ensure excellence and equitable outcomes across our state. If you haven’t had a chance to review the updates, catch up here.  
Arizona Progress Meters CFA developed the Arizona Progress Meters as a tool for policymakers, business leaders, civic leaders, educators, and others across the state to understand how Arizona is doing across key sectors important to Arizona’s future. They provide trusted information, report and measure progress, help frame conversations, and prompt action in support of achieving The Arizona We Want. 
  Upcoming Events

Southern AZ Educators: Join Our Spring Executive Leadership Training Program

Great schools need great leaders, and CFA is forming a new cohort of the ​​​Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy this spring, and we invite district and school leaders to join. Along with a cohort of peers, participants are guided through research-based executive leadership training that helps them create better quality schools and improve outcomes for students. Sign up by March 15!

Please email our Program Director to discuss pricing questions, and register for the 2022 Spring Cohort in Southern Arizona:  [email protected]
Download Report Progress Meters Take Action
Action Agenda
The Center for the Future of Arizona brings Arizonans together
to create a stronger and brighter future for our state.
Center for the Future of Arizona
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin
Like what you see? Support CFA's work to advance what matters most to Arizonans.
Give today »
541 East Van Buren, Suite B-5, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Copyright © 2022 Center for the Future of Arizona. All rights reserved.