Forum on Inclusion and Equality in Tucson


equalityforum (1)

Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik and his staff organized this event to talk about racism in Tucson (in response to the Michael Brown  shooting in Ferguson, Missouri). Turn out to share, listen and learn from community leaders and the Tucson Community as well.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Very unfortunate to schedule this at the same time as a TUSD Governing Board candidate forum where compliance with the deseg order was a major topic of questions from the audience.

    • Not sure who scheduled first, but I think Councilman Steve K had this one scheduled a while ago. Yes, I noticed that many parents and other activists would have liked to attend this Catalina HS forum as well. Maybe the Councilman will continue this discussion, as nothing was really resolved. Some audience members last night asked that the TPD Chief be part of the panel in the future, and also a judge re: mandatory sentencing.

  2. Why isn’t a forum like this done in the Tempe/Phoenix area? There is always tension between Whites/Latinos/Blacks around town.

    Look up from the 1980’s/1990’s “Harmony In A World Of Differance” via PBS ‘Newshour’,ect

    • Well, ask your respective Councilmember about such a forum, and have him/her speak to our Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik, who organized this event. His email is, phone 520-791-4601.

  3. Over 90 people in attendance at this forum tonight, with the speakers listed above except for Reba Kalil who had a family emergency. Steve K’s intent was to have a community conversation about business/educational opportunities for Tucsonans instead of dwelling on racial disparities. After brief introductions by each panelist, the audience spoke of a wide range of topics including lack of minority representation in law enforcement, danger of mandatory sentencing, racial profiling, need for more job creation, access to education, violence vs. peace building, suggestion of a diversity festival, working with small businesses. Everyone seemed to agree that change was needed and that education was key/important to rising out of poverty. Many speakers said that an incident like in Ferguson could happen in Tucson. In attendance tonight were PCC Governing Bd. members Brenda Even and Marty Cortez, TPD Chief Robert Villasenor, former Councilman Chuck Ford.

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