The Mission & Vision of AZCAAR

Improve the quality of life
of African Americans in Arizona

Meet our Executive Board

Connie Robinson,

COO & Executive Vice President

Connie has over 20 years experience in HR and diversity sourcing for Fortune 500 companies. Connie is a management graduate from Arizona State University and has served on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations.

Roy Dawson,

Founding Board Member & Executive Director

Roy has over 25 years of experience in HR for Fortune 100 corporations in leadership development and intercultural relations. Roy holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and certificates in International Management and Executive Leadership from Duke University and the University of Virginia.

Sheneka Coleman,


Sheneka has worked for Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies with experience in business and technology program and project management, implementing multi-million dollar programs ensuring awareness of cultural norms and practices.

Thomas Claiborn

Visionary Consultant

Community Liaison with 14 years of professional experience developing synergy amongst individuals and organizations for collective action, such as translating the big picture ideas of policy and executive leaders, to tangible next steps and implementation that meets the needs of families. Strong expertise in child-development, team culture, and strategic planning for long-term significance.

Willie Varpilah

Board Member

Willie Varpilah is a community-oriented person who has been a board member of AZCAAR for about two and a half years. <br>He has been overseeing the Books and Barbershops program, which is aimed at enriching literacy initiatives within the community, making a meaningful difference in the lives of many families. Willie is also a proud father to two beautiful daughters and cherishes his family life.

Dr. Carlian W. Dawson , Ed.D.

A skilled leader and builder of leadership teams for school districts, post-secondary institutions and businesses with more than thirty-five years broad-based experience in education and organizational development. Demonstrated success in revitalizing underperforming organizations and improving instructional leadership while attaining academic objectives through effective intervention strategies and process improvements. Dr. Dawson has invaluable experience in facilitating climate and culture discussions. As a seasoned facilitator, her training sessions are highly experiential, practical and informative. For the last 5 years she has added the science behind trauma to her portfolio, being trained in a three-year program by the world renown brain scientist, Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., PhD of the Nerosequential Network.

She has two Master’s Degrees in Multicultural Education and School Administration from Arizona State University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Illinois State University.


Carlian Dawson, Ed.D.
James Robinson

Our Mission

AZCAAR was founded in 2007 on the premise to improve the life challenges facing African Americans in Arizona and to act as a resource for those serving the African American community focusing in the areas of:
Civic Engagement, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Health and Well-being, Leadership, and Racial Equity.

Our Values

Convene and collaborate with Arizonans to discuss and resolve issues that have socioeconomic and civic impact within the African American community


AZCAAR has identified 9 focus areas that are interrelated and dependent on one another to foster significant improvements in the lives of African Americans in Arizona.

Interrelated Focus Areas

  1. Civic Engagement: Promote and advocate civic engagement and voting to change and impact policy. 
  1. Communications: Develop sustainable mechanisms to inform the African American community of issues that directly impact them.
  1. Criminal Justice: Protect African American youth from entering the criminal justice system as inmates or detainees by addressing points of entry and contacts.
  1. Economics: Identify and address socioeconomic and financial issues that impact the daily lives of the African American community.
  1. Education: Promoting an EDUCATION-centric mentality in the African American community to drastically improve academic achievement and opportunity.
  1. Environment: Advocating healthy environmental factors in the African American community.
  1. Health Care: Improve access and promote a healthy lifestyle.
  1. Leadership: Focus on African American youth to develop leadership qualities to help address and solve the issues facing the African American community.
  1. Race/Gender/Age Relations: Identify and address those issue that impact the African American community. 

Since 2007, AZCAAR has been giving voice and visibility to African Americans in Arizona. We invite you to give your voice and show your support by your giving to support the needs of children and families in Arizona.



14850 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 485, Scottsdale, AZ 85254