Public Allies Arizona announces expansion into Greater Tucson, hosts reception on Nov. 12

Public Allies Arizona announces expansion into Greater Tucson, hosts reception on Nov. 12


October 28, 2019 (Tucson, Ariz.) – Public Allies Arizona will expand to Southern Arizona early next year, bringing to Tucson an AmeriCorps program that has developed more than 400 young leaders since its launch in Phoenix in 2006. Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, the operating partner for Public Allies Arizona, will co-host an evening reception in Tucson on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to celebrate the launch and to honor Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who was a catalyst in bringing the program to the city.

Public Allies is a national AmeriCorps program, with sites in more than two dozen cities across the United States, that seeks to advance social justice and equity by engaging diverse young leaders in local communities. The program pairs these “Allies” with partnering nonprofit organizations for 10-month paid apprenticeships, offering invaluable work experience and leadership training while addressing real community needs and building a pipeline of diverse leaders.

“So many young leaders have been shut out of the process,” said Terry Marks, director of Public Allies Arizona. “And every time Public Allies is able to expand and bring in new young adults into the fold, we are provided with a greater reach into communities in need of positive social impact.”

Public Allies Arizona, now in its 14th year, received strong support from Mayor Rothschild for the program’s Tucson expansion. The mayor will be recognized at the Nov. 12 reception for his work clearing hurdles and championing Public Allies in the community.

Public Allies Arizona - Tucson will start with a cohort of 10 Allies, placed at the following organizations:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson
  • Community Food Bank So. AZ
  • El Rio Santa Cruz Health Center
  • Greater Tucson Leadership
  • Local First Arizona
  • Pima Community College
  • Reid Park Zoo
  • Tucson Clean & Beautiful

During their apprenticeships, the Allies will also participate in service projects, mentoring and peer-to-peer coaching, and training days on topics like leadership and social justice. After completing the program, they receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for furthering their education.

“Our Public Allies Arizona model of leadership is timely and proven, which makes our expansion into Greater Tucson so exciting,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “The launch of Public Allies Arizona in Tucson builds on our Center’s long-standing capacity building programs offered for years in Tucson and this newest effort holds great promise for engaging young, diverse leaders to advance the missions of vital nonprofit organizations serving in the region,” Ashcraft added.

Public Allies was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992, by Vanessa Kirsch and Katrina Browne, two young women who mobilized a diverse network of young leaders and experienced mentors. Confronting myths of young people as uncaring, apathetic or worse, Public Allies began with the belief that the untapped energy and idealism of young people can be a powerful force to transform communities.

The founders created a program that links diverse young Americans who want to make a difference with nonprofit organizations in their communities who need them. In the process, Public Allies shows young leaders how to turn their passion for making a difference into a viable career path. This unique approach has led Public Allies to grow nationally, in 25 communities across the country, while developing a respected, replicable model.

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation was founded in 1999. Through research, education, technical assistance and convenings, the Center focuses on advancing nonprofit leaders and philanthropists to solve problems, to realize a community’s highest aspirations and to accelerate social impact. It is part of ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its School of Community Resources and Development.

To learn more about Public Allies Arizona, its Tucson launch and how to get involved as an Ally or Partner Organization, email Jake Teskey,

You can reach our Tucson office at (520) 884-5507. We're located in the ASU School of Social Work's Tucson campus Tortolita Building, at 340 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 250..

Photos courtesy City of Tucson (top) and Phil Bencomo (below).

  • Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

    Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild helped bring Public Allies to Tucson after reading about the program in Michelle Obama's book, "Becoming." (She was the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago.)

  • Public Allies Tucson partners

    Public Allies Arizona will debut its first cohort of Allies in early 2020 with eight nonprofit partners.

  • Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild at launch event

    Two Public Allies Arizona alumni now based in Tucson, Celia Robidoux and Laci Lester, thanked Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for his support of the program.


Public Allies Arizona: Now placing Allies at Partner Organizations in Tucson

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