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The Black Women’s Task Force (BWTF) Member Profile

BWTF members:

  • Cares about women’s issues in the community.

  • Understand the importance of collaboration and cooperation.

  • Realize that with preparation and opportunity all dreams are possible.

  • Are mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. 

  • Are business professionals, educators, parents, artists, and retirees. 

  • Are a support system and resource for each other

  • Are a network of women who take pride in being recognized for our efforts in empowering and inspiring women to set their own standards.

Become a collaborator in a women’s group with over 25 years of community involvement.  Join the Black Women's Task Force of Tucson

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Member Bragging Rights


Congratulations to our own Betty Liggins for winning the
Whitney Young Award presented by the Tucson

Urban League, January 27, 2016.

Betty Liggins’ amazing life was transformed by Martin Luther King (MLK) back in 1960.  From time to time she visited a lawyer friend at Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket where she got to know MLK.  It was MLK who personally advised her to leave her Post Office job and go to nursing school under a new federal program, the Manpower Development and Training Act.  She took Dr. King’s advice and was one of the first people to get her Licensed Practical Nursing certification under the Manpower Development Act.

 Betty got the education bug which earned her five degrees, ending with a Master’s degree as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of Arizona after moving to Tucson in 1978.  She used her training and expertise to change the lives of thousands of elderly people in need of health care.  Working for the UA College of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Betty provided direct health care regularly rotating her time to see residents of Tucson House, Craycroft Towers, Martin Luther King Apartments, and Burney Sidley House in Tucson – all health programs which she founded and implemented on behalf of the College of Medicine. 

At the same time she worked, she was involved in community service activities.  She served on the Pima County Board of Health from 1989-1975, and was president of that group from ’94-95.  She was a founder of the Pima County Nurses Association.  She served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, the Pima County/Tucson Women’s Commission, and remains a member of the Black Women’s Task Force to this day.  At age 84, Betty is still zooming.

 She is active in Sunland Vista Neighborhood Association and is a former president of this association.  She is the Vice Chair of the Democratic Party’s African American Caucus.  She was once targeted in her neighborhood by some of the gangs because she tried to force them to stop the drug trade.  This activity that took her to Washington, D.C. with the, then Tucson Police Department Chief Ronstadt, to testify before the Congressional Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice on the issue of gang wars and drug distribution.  In the 90’s Betty served as the First Vice-Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. 

Betty’s success in life is due to her grit, determination, intelligence, and determination to foment justice and equality for all.   Her contributions have been acknowledged through awards such as the Rosa Parks Award, the Jefferson Award, the MLK Drum Major Award, and the Women on the Move Award. 

Betty and her two siblings were placed in foster care together when Betty was around three years old after her tap dancer parents died in a car crash.  The three remained in foster care until they each turned 18.   She remembers attending three different primary schools, after being placed in first grade at age 10.  She remembers four different foster families over those years, which she referred to as Mom and Dad.    The final foster family she lived with was a cousin and his wife. Through those years, her relatives kept tags on the three siblings. 

Theirs was a famous tap dancing family.  Her mother’s brother was Willie Covan of the Four Covans.  (Check his amazing dancing skills on Youtube!)  Her uncle and his wife, Aunt Flo, opened a dance studio in Los Angeles with the help of Mae West, and it was there for MGM they taught dancing to stars such as Debbie Reynolds, Gregory Peck, Shirley Temple, Angie Dickinson and Kirk Douglas!!!  Her uncle lived late into his 90’s and Betty would often drive from Tucson to L.A. to visit him.   Yes, Betty Liggins has led an amazing life.  Her contributions deserve to be recognized by the Tucson Urban League.


Community Center Dedication

In the spirit of activism, the honorees that will be recognized contributed to the Tucson community through advocacy, education, arts and environment, public government service, business, faith-based efforts and health. Three Black Women's Task Force members were recipients of the Rosa Parks Awards on February 10, 2010.

Sandy Davenport Shirley Hockett Alison Hughes

Citizen of the Year Award presented at the National Association of Social Workers 2009.

Donna Liggins, March, 2009


“Ms. Rosas Parks Living History Makers Awards.”

Annie Sykes; Community Activist, February 2009


V-Day Vagina Warrior Award 2008

Sandy Davenport: for work against violence toward women and girls


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