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Common Good Challenge finalists announced


Photo of a group of young people working together on a project.

The Arizona Community Foundation, The Arizona Republic, and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy are pleased to announce the six finalists in the Common Good Challenge, the fifth philanthropic prize competition offered under the New Arizona Prize banner.

A total of 38 teams met the deadline to submit projects for consideration by the 32-member evaluation panel and six teams scored highly enough to qualify as finalists. These finalists will pitch their solutions during the Finalist Pitch & Prize Ceremony, which will be held at the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus in Phoenix and via livestream on Wednesday, May 24 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The top three projects, as selected by a nine-member Selection Committee, will be named during the event and each will receive $100,000 in grant funding.

The Common Good Challenge invited groups composed of individuals and organizations that have diverse viewpoints to identify a persistent problem that their community was facing and work together to develop a solution. The Common Good Challenge embraces the idea that society is stronger when people with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences work in coalition to explore meaningful responses to complex issues.

The six finalists represent a number of community organizations and partners who have joined forces to bring collaborative, innovative solutions to their communities.

Team: Anytown Leadership Program, Inc.
Project: Anytown: Developing Leaders for a Better Tomorrow
Counties Served: Coconino, Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai, & Yuma
Hate speech and hate crimes are dominating headlines. People are openly harassed because of their race, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, and more. It doesn’t have to be this way. At Anytown, we believe differences make us stronger and that young people are the key to a brighter future.

Team: ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation
Project: CoGenerational Service Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center
Counties Served: Coconino, Maricopa, & Pima
The ASU Lodestar Center CoGenerational Service Academy creates opportunities for sustained cogenerational relationship building and collaboration by engaging older and younger community members of diverse backgrounds, to learn from those of a different generation, and to solve community problems through collaborative, co-created solutions.

Team: Boys to Men Tucson, Inc.
Project: Healthy Intergenerational Masculinity (HIM) Initiative
County Served: Pima
To address crises related to how we raise boys—including gender-based violence, the achievement gap, school shootings, addiction, untreated mental health—a diverse coalition of community leaders launched a Healthy Intergenerational Masculinity Initiative. This community-based, systems-change project emerges from the wisdom that when men and boys practice wholeness together, our communities are safer.

Team: Creative Flagstaff
Project: ARTx: Art + Ideas Experience Arizona
County Served: Coconino
ARTx is a city-wide festival of art, culture, and ideas that invokes meaningful and accessible community discourse on critical topics, while evoking joy. Interactive and interdisciplinary art-centered experiences show up in unexpected places. Imagine a large floral installation surrounding an aerial dancer telling the powerful story of wildfire flooding in Flagstaff.

Team: Read Better Be Better
Project: Read Better Be Better After-School Literacy Instruction
County Served: Maricopa
Read Better Be Better is the only local nonprofit pairing middle school Leaders with 3rd grade Readers in a program facilitated by college education majors to solve Arizona’s literacy crisis. With this unique cross-age peer tutoring, Read Better Be Better serves two students simultaneously while providing future educators with valuable classroom experience.

Team: Tucson Food Share
Project: Tucson Food Share and Food Not Bombs Supporting Tucson Community
County Served: Pima
Tucson Food Share is a volunteer-run mutual aid project that re-distributes food. Through this process, we are creating and strengthening community bonds that empower resilience through relationships of trust and care. It’s a practice that fills the heart and soul as much as it fills the belly!

To view team videos and learn more about the finalists, visit

The New Arizona Prize is aimed at creating the Arizona of tomorrow: a state where innovation thrives, ingenuity is supported, and the best thinking is harnessed to create long-term, positive solutions to persistent needs. While continuing to award grants, scholarships, and impact loans that topped $145 million in its last fiscal year, the Arizona Community Foundation hosts philanthropic prize competitions designed to attract new thinking and innovation. Through these open, fair and transparent competitions, ACF, in partnership with Republic Media and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, deploys a portion of its philanthropic resources to generate innovative solutions to our state’s challenges.