menu

contact

donate

event photos

videos

contact

event photos

videos

donate

COVID-19

African immigrants broke through barriers in the 2020 election

If any one word could sum up the 2020 election, it would probably be diversity. Around the country, up and down the ballot, we saw underrepresented communities step forward to represent themselves.

This election saw many firsts: First woman vice president, first Muslim Colorado state legislator. And among those first, across the country, were many African Immigrants elected to office.

Here in Colorado, our very own Naquetta Ricks made history as the first African Immigrant in Colorado’s General Assembly. After unsuccessful runs for CU regent and Aurora city council, the Liberian native has finally broken through the ceiling and claimed her seat in the state legislature. She is the first Liberian American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the country.

After her big win on election night, Ricks told a crowd of supporters “Together we can, and together we have to do it… please hold me accountable.”

In Wisconsin, Samba Baldeh a Gambian native became the first Black man to represent Dane County in the Wisconsin legislature, also making him the first Muslim to serve in that body. He told journalists “I hope my win is also an inspiration to particularly kids of color and Muslims to show them, ‘Look, we can do this. This is all our country and we should see it as such, and behave as such, and participate as such.”

In Minnesota, Esther Agbaje became the first Nigerian American elected to the state legislature. Esther ran on a progressive agenda and the belief that “together, we can build the inclusive and just society we deserve.”

The District of Columbia also elected the first Nigerian American to the U.S. Congress, Oye Owolewa. He made D.C.’s statehood his main focus during his successful campaign. He is now headed to the House of Representatives, where he will join Eritrean American Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado and Somali American Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Africa has the fastest-growing number of immigrants in the United States, according to a Quartz analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The number of African immigrants grew at a rate of almost 50% from 2010 to 2018.

This growth in population must be reflected throughout society, including in media, politics, and every other major sector. It will not be easy, but it is possible and that has been proven by the groundbreaking figures listed above.

Amadou Dieng
A native of Senegal, Amadou Dieng is a digital creator and a social justice activist who lives in Denver, Colorado. He currently works as a Media Strategist. As an aspiring Community Leader, Amadou is presently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Related Stories

Leadership Africa program stages joyous graduation celebration

Leadership Africa, the African Leadership Group’s new professional and civic leadership program, held its first graduation ceremony during a high-spirited celebration on the evening of October 23

Papa Dia and Rhonda Fields: Prop. 119 helps students recover from pandemic-driven learning loss

When it comes to providing quality educational opportunities for our students, we have an opportunity before us right now. Vote yes on Prop. 119.

Here is information on school board races, education initiative important to ALG

There are pivotal school board elections in Denver and Aurora, and a statewide ballot issue that, if passed, would provide funding for out-of-school tutoring and enrichment services for children ages 5-17. 

From Boardhawk: Denver school board candidates break little new ground in latest forum

More than 200 people tuned in on Tuesday night to hear a conversation between the Colorado League of Charter Schools, the Aurora-based African Leadership Group, community members and 11 candidates for the Denver Public Schools board of education.

Upcoming Events