NAU to host African American commission’s Town Hall

The Arizona Commission on African American Affairs will hold its first Flagstaff Town Hall at Northern Arizona University next week to discuss the future of Arizona.

Commission member Deborah Harris, associate dean of NAU Student Life, said the first Town Hall not only will introduce the commission and its members to northern Arizona’s African American community but will also address topics important to African Americans and the entire region.

“Our primary focus is to address issues that are important to everyone, including justice, economic development, health, youth, environment/sustainability and education,” Harris said. “We hope to see people from across the region help lead in this task.”

The conference is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Friday, July 18, at The W.A. Franke College of Business on south campus. The theme is “It Takes a Village to Make Change.”

The commission was created by executive order of Gov. Janet Napolitano. Chaired by the Rev. Benjamin Thomas, pastor of Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix, the commission’s mission is to create change that empowers African Americans.

“The more people we have from diverse viewpoints proposing solutions, the greater the opportunity for successful models to be developed and applied,” said George Brooks, the commission’s executive director. Most important, we have found that successful solutions for our community benefit the wider society as well.”

The town hall is open to the public. For information or to RSVP, contact Brooks at (602) 542-0565 or by email at or