African American Community Council

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The African American Community Council helps design the Arizona experience so that 100 percent of our students have the opportunity to integrate and apply their knowledge through real-world experiential learning. Our strategic emphasis is on equipping juniors and seniors with real-world experiences that foster career empowerment, cultural competency, and creative collaboration skills for a world of difference. Within this area, council members focus on the national educational crisis in recruiting, retaining, and graduating Black male students.  

We are committed to serving as a communications conduit between Southern Arizona’s African American communities and the UA. We also value and welcome your input. Please email your questions, suggestions, or comments. 

Karla Morales
Program Coordinator, Sr., Government and Community Relations
T 520-621-5522

Initiatives for 2015/2016

  • Serve as a resource to help the UA increase the number of African American faculty and administrators.
  • Plan for the African American Advisory Council’s Annual UA Fall Welcome Event.
  • Partner with African American Student Affairs to create a community mentoring program for students.
  • Engage in future fundraising in support of student programming.

Upcoming Events
UA Fall Welcome Event
The annual Fall Welcome Event connects faculty, staff, and students with community members. Contact us (Laura email link) for more information.

Council Members


Jomar Jenkins
Sr. Director of Corporate Development
The Providence Service Corporation

Richard Davis
Mesch, Clark, and Rothchild Law Practice Embry
President/CEO, Tucson Urban League
Vice Chair
Vice President, Information Technology
Raytheon Missile Systems

James Gaston
Procurement Director, City of Tucson

Daisy Jenkins 
Chair Emeritus
President, Daisy Jenkins & Associates, LLC

Jimmy Hart
Director of African American Studies
Tucson Unified School District

Donna Liggins
President, NAACP Tucson Chapter

CJ Battle
Small Business Entrepreneur
Chair, Tucson Urban League Board of Directors

Apryl Neal 
President, UA Black Alumni Club, Phoenix

Dr. Lehman Benson, III
UA Associate Professor
Exec. Dir. Sports Management Program
McCoy/Rogers Faculty Fellow

Mary Okoye
Government Relations Consultant at Scutari & Cieslak

Olympia Brookins
Chairperson, Systems Engineer
National Society of Black Engineers Alumni

Allen Reid
Vice President, Human Resources
Raytheon Missle Systems


The Council also focuses on a number of additional activities each year that yield significant results. These include:

  • The Council created the UA Fall Welcome Event. The annual event connects faculty, staff, and students with community members who recognize that a sense of belonging to the local community aids in the retention of UA students and employees. This event attracts more than 300 students and community members each year and is fully funded and sponsored by the African American Advisory Council.
  • Council members have helped increase the number of African-American students enrolled at the UA through activities such as contacting students who have been accepted to the UA, but not yet enrolled. Council members also write personal notes to participants of the UA’s African American Family College Planning Day, encouraging young students to consider college as part of their future.


African American Student Affairs

UA Black Alumni

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