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Thank You!!!

Dear African Leadership Group friends and family,

Our recently completed Afrik Impact 2021 celebration was a rousing success. Hundreds if not thousands of people participated in a variety of roles, from volunteers to panelists to organizers to guests! I speak from the bottom of my heart when I say our celebration would not have been such a great success had it not been for each and every one of you.I would like to thank each of you in person, and eventually that will happen. But for now, here is a brief recap of some of the events that made Afrik Impact 2021 such a success. After an amazing August, we are indeed Standing Stronger and Prouder than Ever.

Community Cultural Celebration and Concert

Our first event was a wonderful Community Cultural Celebration and Concert at Levitt Pavilion on Saturday Aug. 7. Hundreds of people attended on a beautiful (if smoky) evening and enjoyed a fashion show, a locally written and produced play of Diversity and Inclusion, and a stirring performance by Senegalese musician Carlou D. Attendees also had the chance to buy native African artisan products from vendors at several booths. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

Educational Forum

On a more serious note, our first informational session focused on one of ALG’s top priorities: education. The Educational Forum was held on Monday evening, Augug. 9 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver. The audience was treated to a keynote speech by Professor Foulo Basse, founder of Foulo Basse Conseil in Paris. He addressed the crowd by Zoom from France.

Professor Basse said he finds it helpful to think of education as a relay race, where parents, educators, and the community work together to ensure that students succeed. He also said in countries with high-functioning education systems, “the well-being of the children is preoccupation number one.”

A panel of local education experts highlighted the evening. They included: new Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero; Andre Wright, Chief Academic Officer, Aurora Public Schools; Omar Montgomery, President of NAACP, Aurora Branch; Dr. Carrie Olson, President of the Denver school board; and Juliet Anosike, a parent. The dialogue was rich and informative.

Business and Economic Forum

One of the highlights of the African Leadership Group’s annual Afrik Impact celebration is the Business and Economic Summit, where participants can learn of business opportunities and assistance available locally, as well as opportunities in Africa.

This year’s summit took place on Wednesday, August 11, and featured two panels and a keynote address.

The first panel focused on business planning and current events in Colorado. Bill Tucker, a Certified Public Accountant with Hanson & Co. gave an overview of the vital functions CPAs perform and why businesses benefit from having CPAs as logistical and thought partners.

Wendy Lea, CEO of a new organization called Energize Colorado, said her aim is to help entrepreneurs succeed by “catalyzing change in a very difficult time.”

Keynote speaker Eric Osei-Assibey, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Ghana, shifted the focus to Africa, and why entrepreneurs in Colorado should turn their attention to that continent.

The second panel also featured two presenters: Megan Peiffe,r Director of the Global Trade Activator Immigrant Program at the World Trade Center of Denver; and, via Zoom from Paris, Alioune Ndiaye, an essayist and lecturer on African political economy and international relations. Peiffer described programs housed at her office that can help immigrants launch successful businesses. Ndiaye examined the wealth of business opportunities in Africa and how residents of this country can launch successful African ventures.

Homeownership and Financial Workshop

The new addition to this year’s Afrik Impact was our Homeownership and Financial Workshop that was held on Saturday, August 21 at the Summit Event Center. As you know, the African Leadership Group believes homeownership is the door to the American dream and a great way to integrate into American society.

With the theme of “Standing with Our Community to Build Generational Wealth through Homeownership & Financial Education” we hosted a roundtable conversation where community members had an opportunity to ask questions and talk to the experts about concerns and issues.

The panelists consisted of experts from Home Lending, Pre-approval, Credit building/Repair, Housing Market and much more. Attendees left the event armed with enough information to embark on their homeownership journey.

Sixth Annual Gala

Standing taller and prouder than ever, and dressed to impress, the African Leadership Group family celebrated the successes of a challenging year during the annual Afrik Impact Gala Aug. 13 at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

The star-studded event featured a video appearance by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, as well as short speeches from Botanic Gardens CEO Brian Vogt and U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, and a keynote address by esteemed Senegalese Professor Moussa Seydi.

The evening was capped by yet another rousing performance by Carlou D, which got the crowd of 200 off their feet and dancing.

And a paddle-raise fundraiser overseen by Darryl Collier raised $17,000 to support ALG’s work.

We emerge from Afrik Impact 2021 fired up to make the next year of ALG’s work even more impactful for our members and the Denver metro area in general. Please join us as we strive to make Colorado the best place in the world for anyone — immigrants of American-born — to live and raise a family.

Thanks as always for your support.

 

Papa Dia
Papa Dia is Founder and President of the African Leadership Group. A native of Senegal, Papa immigrated to Denver in 1998. He used his first job, stocking books, to teach himself how to read, write, and speak English. Beginning with an entry-level position in a local bank, over the next 17 years, Papa ultimately climbed the ranks to become a regional vice president. In 2017, Papa left his banking career to focus his full attention on running and growing ALG.

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