Alumni Spotlight - Angela Hughey '97

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Angela Hughey profile image

Angela Hughey is the co-founder and President of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation. She is a proud 1997 Phoenix College alumna.

Valley Leadership Man and Woman of the Year posing for photo with Dave Brown, VL CEO and Koran Hardimon, VL Board Chair

Dave Brown, VL CEO, Brian Spicker, 74th Man of the Year, Angela Hughey, 74th Woman of the Year, Koran Hardimon, VL Board Chair. Photo courtesy of Valley Leadership.

Angela Hughey is the co-founder and President of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation, and a Phoenix College alumna (’97). Founded in 2008, ONE Community is the coalition of socially responsible businesses and organizations moving diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans forward. ONE Community Foundation provides educational opportunities to ensure better understanding of nondiscrimination and the importance of being LGBTQ inclusive.

In 2013, Angela and the ONE Community team launched the UNITY Pledge, a concerted effort by Arizona businesses and individuals to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and public accommodations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) individuals and their allies. Over 3,500 businesses and organizations including large Fortune 500 companies to small mom and pop businesses, and more than 20,000 Arizonans have taken the UNITY Pledge; the largest equality pledge in the nation. Angela is also credited with the Multicultural Conversation with the Candidates, Spotlight on Success Local Heroes Awards, the UNITY Summit, the Point of Pride Summit, the ONE Community Institute and The State of LGBTQ Arizona collaborative report.

Angela is also credited with leading bipartisan coalitions of business, faith, and everyday Arizonans in support of successful LGBTQ inclusive ordinances in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Tempe, Sedona, and Winslow. Her leadership has also led to the introduction and historic hearing of Arizona’s first bipartisan bill in support of updating our state’s law to include LGBTQ individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Angela is a 2012 graduate of Valley Leadership Institute. She has won awards for her work as an independent filmmaker and was honored with the YWCA 2013 Tribute to Leadership Award for Public Service. She has received the HRC Individual Equality Award and was inducted into Echo Magazine’s Hall of Fame. Angela is a 2012 Business Journal Diversity Champion and sits on the President’s Advisory Council for Phoenix College. In 2021, the Phoenix Business Journal named Angela one of its Most Admired Leaders.

In 2023, Angela, along with Maricopa Community College Foundation CEO Brian Spicker, were named Valley Leadership's 74th Man & Woman of the Year. They will both be recognized at a Valley Leadership reception on November 28, 2023. 

We caught up with Angela to learn about ONE Community's goals, to hear her PC story, and what inspires her.

Why did you choose to go to Phoenix College? Did anyone inspire you?

I'm a small-town girl, I chose Phoenix College for the smaller class size and personal attention, for me it's the best learning environment.

Do you have a story to share about a favorite professor or a special memory of your time on campus?

I will never forget performing Romeo and Juliet. We performed it in a Mad Max in Beyond Thunderdome Style. We had a great time experimenting and it was just an all-around good experience for me.

How did your education at PC help prepare you for what you are doing today?

My degree is in Theatre and in my role at ONE Community, many times I am presenting in-front of a large audience or talking with the media.  When those butterflies get going, I just remember to breathe from the diaphragm.

What advice do you have for PC alumni and students interested in pursuing your profession?

“When we started ONE Community, we were a small socially responsible business with a big heart. As we look back at our beginnings, we’ve realized that we were disrupters.  We looked at business models and took the best of what’s worked but we didn’t limit to current models for how we created ONE Community. It’s important to create an opportunity for everyone to participate in the conversation about inclusion.  Find numerous ways of entry for any group that you create.”

What is the single most important networking tip you can share with graduating PC students and job-seeking alumni?

Have a cup of coffee with everyone. That is my mantra. Don’t limit yourself by assuming someone’s title or the organization they represent is not a good fit and what interests you. You can learn from everyone. We all have fantastic stories to learn. Don’t see opposition; see opportunity!