2020 has been a year filled with unique challenges. While the African Leadership Group has always prided itself on nimbleness and responsiveness to community needs, we were tested this year like never before.
While any reputable, self-reflective nonprofit organization’s leadership always feels it could do more, and do it better, we feel that ALG rose to the occasion in 2020 and pivoted in several ways that brought direct benefits to the communities we serve.
Specifically, we shifted focus in the following ways:
- We’ve switched to virtual format for most of our events, and dedicated our program focus to connecting our communities with the resources they need. We have provided business owners with valuable information about local, state, and federal grants and loan programs. We have also provided students with computers and hotspots to facilitate their adjustment to online schooling.
- Earlier this year we were able to secure funds to help community members experiencing financial hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic, through our Cash Assistance Program.
- Through our partnerships with various organizations, we implemented a meal delivery program. We have provided more than 300 meals each week since March.
- Working with our partners, including the Colorado Black Health Collaborative, our Health and Wellness Committee provided free COVID-19 tests in June and flu-shot vaccines earlier this month.
- To help meet the educational challenges posed by COVID-19, we put in place an online schooling support program and an after-school tutoring program. Read about the programs here and here.
- The Financial & Homeownership Program was designed to prepare our community members to build their home equity and to facilitate the development of the generational wealth of this community.
- In August, we hosted three events during the Afrik Impact Program at the Denver Botanic Gardens:
- An educational forum, which 65 participants joined virtually via Zoom, 20 attended in person, and many others followed live on Facebook.
- A business and economics forum, with more than 100 participants. ALG welcomed Governor Jared Polis as our guest speaker. The governor proclaimed August 2020 as African Immigrant Month in Colorado.
- An in-person community evening of healing event held in the UMB Bank Amphitheater at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Our goal was to bring a sense of hope and ease to our communities. This event was especially important after the tragic Diol Family arson murder that had saddened many earlier in August. 150 participants attended this event.
- We realize that change comes through representation, hence our motto, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!” This is why, despite the ongoing pandemic, we continued our successful Public Speaking Class with 14 graduates, started Leadership 101 with 12 graduates, and are gearing up for Leadership Africa that is scheduled to begin January 2021 with 25 students. These leadership programs will help prepare members of our community to take on the multifaceted issues that we face on a day-to-day basis.