The Frances McClelland Vision Award is given to honor a community leader who has made a lifelong commitment and significant contributions to the well-being of children, youth, and families. The community leader embodies the strength, dedication, vision and passion that Frances McClelland exhibited throughout her life. This award is for a community leader who has dedicated their life and work to helping Frances McClelland’s legacy and vision come to fruition for the people of Southern Arizona and the world.
The community leader should have at least 15 years of established commitment to Frances’ legacy and vision of improving the lives of children, youth and families in Southern Arizona and the world.
Linda Leatherman retired from Pima County on July 6, 2021, after 18 years as the Pima County Faith-Based Community Initiatives Coordinator. Linda was responsible for implementing Board Resolution 2003-224 with outlined purpose and goal to “level the playing field” so 650+ faith groups and their members utilized equal access to government resources. This involved developing and implementing processes and relationships between elected officials, County departments, non-profit corporations and the faith community. The success of her work as liaison for the government with the faith community is evidenced by the faith community’s collaboration with County departments in providing testing and vaccine sites and other collaborations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to working with the County, Linda directed the Southern Arizona Office of Congressman Ed Pastor, directed a post-secondary technical school, was a certified public high school teacher, wrote and administered grants for a non-profit state-wide organization. She has administered grants for the Navajo Nation, the Apache Nation and for the U.S. Dept of Labor. The U.S. Labor grants enabled the faith community of Pima County to better serve the homeless and to mentor youth. She is an active member of Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church and the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Her numerous awards include a Mayor’s Copper Letter and induction into the national Farmworkers Hall of Fame. In 2014 she was both honored by the Tucson NAACP for her work with the African American Community and inducted into the LULAC National Hall of Fame for Women in Washington, D.C.