On a beautiful if smoky evening on the green slopes of Ruby Hill Park August 7, the African Leadership Group launched its month-long, sixth annual 2021 Afrik Impact celebration with a Community Cultural Celebration and Concert at Levitt Pavilion, one of Denver’s newest performance venues.
Several hundred people attended, visiting vendor booths, watching a locally written and produced play of Diversity and Inclusion, and hearing a stirring performance by Senegalese musician Carlou D.
The event was expertly emceed by Darryl Collier.
ALG founder and Executive Director Papa Dia delivered opening remarks to launch Afrik Impact.
“This palace is home to us now, but many of us came from miles and miles away seeking to achieve the American Dream,” Papa said. “Some of us were forced to leave our country. The reality is that we are here now, and we have got to be here together.”
Several local elected officials and dignitaries spoke after Papa. Then attendees enjoyed a fashion show showcasing the talents of local designers.
The play, directed by Clay Walker and Myles Juniel, focused on how African Americans and African immigrants can come together to achieve mutual understanding. While their life experiences and outlook might appear on the surface to be very different from one another, just under the surface the two groups have much in common.
It also examined how white allies can truly support equity and racial reckoning in a nation with a deeply racist past.
Musical entertainment was kicked off by Zanib, fronted by a local woman whose parents are Sudanese immigrants. The music was distinctly contemporary soul, backed by a tight, jazzy band.
Following Zanib, headliner Carlou D. took the stage and performed a lively, 90-minute set that had people up and dancing in the aisles and on the sloping lawn of Levitt Pavilion.
Here is the full video of the event: