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Association of Fundraising Professionals: Southern Arizona Chapter

Diversity

Presented by Julie Ragland & Debi Chess Mabie

After last year’s AFP talk on diversity & inclusion at our monthly meeting by Debi Chess Mabie and Liane Hernandez, a small group of people banded together to continue the conversation and explore ideas about how to take action towards greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in our community. After months of planning, the group is hosting an event called Looking In the Mirror: An Introspective Conversation on Race on June 21st, with hopes that the event will be the first step towards expanding the conversation and making progress towards greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in our non-profit community and beyond. Debi Chess Mabie returns in July as a guest speaker, along with Julie Ragland, to talk about the process of putting together the event, what came out of the event, and what’s next as we all learn how to be more inclusive in our practices and better allies, accomplices, and community leaders.

A Tucsonan since 1994, Julie Ragland has served as the Development Director at the Rialto Theatre Foundation since April of 2016, heading up the Rialto’s membership, charitable giving, and community outreach programs. Her work supports the Rialto Theatre Foundation’s mission of protecting and restoring the historic Rialto Theatre and bringing high-quality, diverse live performance to the Tucson community. A lover of the arts, animals, and nature, she’s been proud to serve many Tucson non-profits including the Center for Biological Diversity, Tohono Chul Park, Fox Tucson Theatre, El Rio’s Birth & Women’s Health Center, and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. She has also been working on grassroots efforts towards greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Tucson community.

Debi has over 25 years of nonprofit program development and leadership experience in a variety of sectors– including youth and community development, and arts-based economic development. She received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Wright State University, and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She served in the United States Peace Corps from 1989 to 1991.  Prior to moving to Tucson with her husband and children in 2010, was the Executive Director of BooCoo Cultural Center and Café in Evanston, Illinois.

She was the Development Director of the Loft Cinema for three years. She recently resigned her position as the Executive Director of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly Tucson Pima Arts Council) where she helped lead and shape the newly emerging conversation around the role of the arts–and funding for the arts– in economic development and city planning endeavors. She accepted a Community Impact Fellow appointment by the University of Arizona School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in November 2017. She is working in that capacity at the Dunbar Pavilion: An African American Center for Art and Culture, to help build capacity and steward the organization into its next 100 years of cultural significance in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

She is the Board Chair and a founding member of the Tucson Black Film Club, and a board member of the Non-Profit Loan Fund. 

 

 

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