2022 Flinn-Brown Convention

The 2022 Flinn-Brown Convention was held Friday, Nov. 4 at the Dorrance Center at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The theme of the Convention, developed by the event’s planning committee, was “The State of Our Democracy.”

The all-day gathering included topics related to our democratic processes and institutions, including data-driven discussions on what Arizonans want from our policymakers, how the language we use can impact our messaging around civic engagement, and speakers and panelists who will speak to our state’s elections process and opportunities for reform.

The Convention also featured several art exhibits for Fellows to enjoy in the Ottosen Gallery adjacent to Dorrance. The Desert Botanical Garden featured nature prints from local Arizona artists. Our friend, Ann Morton, displayed samples of her textile squares from her Violet Protest series, and our own Flinn-Brown Fellow Elaine Kessler organized an interactive pop-up exhibit designed to cultivate conversation, collaboration, data, and engagement. Questions posed in the exhibit presented themes related to revolutionary love, democratic hope, and “citizen- ing.” Responses from participants, captured in a report Kessler compiled after the event, represented a variety of perspectives delineating motifs centered on collaboration, civic participation, hope in our youth/future, mentorship, health, and inclusivity.

Speakers for the 2022 Convention

Headshot of Katherine Gel
Katherine M. Gehl
Author, The Politics Industry

As our lunchtime keynote, Katherine M. Gehl, author of “The Politics Industry,” looked at America’s political system through an industry-competition lens in order to better understand its structure and problems, and to identity the most powerful and achievable solutions to those problems. Katherine’s work to better define the politics industry has sparked new strategies and organizations coast to coast who are working to convert theory into action.

Steven Olikara

As the founding & former CEO of the Millennial Action Project and a former candidate for office, Steven Olikara spoke about his experience of building the largest nonpartisan organization of young lawmakers in the U.S., as well as his work as a nationally-recognized political commentator and an avid musician who writes prolifically about the roles of artists in our democracy.

Dr. Sybil Francis
President & CEO
Center for the Future of Arizona
Kristen Cambell
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

Dr. Sybil Francis, Ph.D., opened the convention with a presentation on the Arizona We Want, specifically sharing Gallup polling data that identifies what matters most to Arizonans across a broad set of critical issues, including our state’s civic health.

Kristen Cambell presented the national results of the Civic Language Perceptions Project, which highlights how Americans, and Arizonans specifically, view the words we use when talking about civic engagement and civic health.

Helen Purcell
Former Maricopa County Recorder
Patty Hansen
Coconino County Recorder
Leslie Hoffman
Director of Recording Services
Maricopa County Recorder’s Office

2015 Flinn-Brown Fellow Daniel Ruiz II and 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow Robyn Stallworth Pouquette moderated a session with three election officials, Helen Purcell, former Maricopa County Recorder, Patty Hansen, Coconino County Recorder and Leslie Hoffman, former Yavapai County Recorder, on the the rewarding aspects of the job, the growing challenges during the current political climate, as well as how we can recruit and retain qualified election administrators during a time of a national exodus in the field.

Flinn-Brown Award Recipients

Five awards honoring high-impact leaders are granted each year at the Convention: Jack Jewett Award, Network Builder Award, and three Arizona Champion (Northern, Central and Southern Arizona) awards.

Flinn-Brown Fellow Ben Graff, the first recipient of the Jack Jewett Award, hosted this year’s Flinn-Brown Awards.

Congratulations to the 2022 Flinn-Brown Award recipients:

Sponsorships and Swag

We are very grateful to the Helios Education Foundation, Elaine Kessler Photography, and First Things First for sponsoring our Convention again in 2022!

Meet the Planning Committee

Thank you to the 2022 Flinn-Brown Convention planning committee, including co-chairs Paul Perrault (2016) and Josue Macias (2019).

Paul Perrault
2016 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Josue Macias
2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Paul Brierley
2011 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Kate Ali’varius
2012 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Fellow Pele Peacock Fisher headshot
Pele Peacock Fischer
2013 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Candace Park
2018 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Pearlette Ramos
2018 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Derrik Rochwalik
2018 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Patrick Tighe
2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow
Nicole Barraza
2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow