On May 26, 2012, the Vanguard, along with the Tucson Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce presented “25 Most Influential African Americans of Southern Arizona” at Desert Diamond Hotel and Casino. Two of our members, Alilia McNeal and Tanisha Price-Johnson, were recipients and were recognized for their accomplishments in the areas of Community and Education.
Alilia McNeal was recognized in the Community category for her current position as President of Eta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Ms. McNeal recently relocated to Tucson where she is employed as Branch Chief of External Communications for the United States Border Patrol. She has been an employee of the federal government for 19 years, including a tour in Germany serving in the U.S. Army. Alilia is a graduate of Bowie State University, the President and Founder of Voices of Triumph Community Choir in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the author of two novels, Sisterhood, published in 2000, and Family & Friends, published in 2002. Alilia was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at West Virginia State College in 1998. The term as President of Eta Epsilon Omega chapter runs from 2012 – 2014. Her goal is to expand the chapter and to raise its level of participation in community service activities in the Tucson area. Alilia and her husband of 20 years, Scott Mc Neal, are members of Rising Star Baptist Church. She is the mother of sons, Nicholas Ibrahim and Kyle McNeal, and grandmother of Nicholas Ibrahim, Jr.
Tanisha Price-Johnson was recognized for her accomplishments in the Education category. Tanisha is a native of Tucson, a 5th generation member of her church and proud third generation Wildcat! Tanisha is active in Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in various ministries, including Publicity and the Chidlren’s Usher Board. She is the great-great niece of one of Mt. Calvary’s early pastors, Rev. P.B. Cornelius. She looks forward to working to increase Mt. Calvary’s outreach to college-age students at the University of Arizona. Education is very important to Tanisha and she is a huge fan of child and educational activist, Marian Wright Edelman. Her favorite quote by Edelman is “Be a can-do, will-try person.” Through her continued education, she hopes to help provide access to as many students as possible and is a current student herself. She is married and is the mother of five, one daughter and four stepsons.