Every year during the month of August, African Leadership Group showcases the impact of African immigrants in the state of Colorado. The group produces a spectrum of events in a few weeks. This year we were treated to: a youth empowerment gathering, community cultural celebration and concert, an entrepreneurial business pitch night (a la “Shark Tank”), a Carlou D concert, an education forum, and a business development and economic summit. ALG’s annual Afrik Impact Gala traditionally ends the month “loudly and proudly,” according to founder-executive director Papa Dia, with the opportunity to dress up, socialize and celebrate. This year’s theme of “Immigration, Integration and Civic Participation” was enhanced by Gov. Jared Polis, on hand to present the official proclamation declaring August 2022 “African Immigrant Month” in Colorado.

Dignitaries from the City of Thiel in Senegal (front): Marema Ndiaye, first vice-mayor (left) and Adjara Ndiaye, director of planning and development; (back): Deneba Diouf, deputy mayor (left), and Mayor Babacar Diop

On Saturday, Aug. 27, around 500 supporters gathered at Denver Botanic Gardens on a gorgeous summer evening to start the event with a chance to mingle during the outdoor tented reception. Guests enjoyed music by string quartet Cloud 9 and passed hors d’oeuvres prepared and served by Roots Catering, followed by a plated dinner and short program. Auctioneer Chelley Canales, of The Gala Team, led live fundraising activities.

Emcee Darryl Collier welcomed everyone and introduced a small delegation of Senegal civic leaders from the city of Thiel in attendance, including Mayor Babacar Diop. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also welcomed the dignitaries from Africa, and enthusiastically shared an update on DIA’s efforts to bring to Denver direct flights to and from Africa. Gov. Jared Polis spoke to guests as well, and then read and presented to ALG founder-executive director Papa Dia the official State “African Immigrant Month” proclamation. Keynote speaker was Thierno Thiam, PhD, professor of political science and international relations, and Co-Director of Integrative Public Policy and Development at Tuskegee University.

Steven Cartwright (left), with LaNeisha Booker and Ianandra Booker

Since its inception, ALG has organized multiple community events, engagements and discussions with programs focused on key issues such as education, career and job opportunities, business development, immigration, political and community involvement, and many other activities regularly reaching thousands of individuals in the local community and statewide. ALG advocates for the entire African Immigrant Community across national origin, tribes and language to ensure continuous improvement to immigrants’ quality of life. ALG upholds the following core values: transformation, diversity, equality, integrity and excellence. To read the story of how and why Papa Dia founded ALG, and learn more about the organization, please visit: https://usalg.org . If you are unable to view the accompanying video, please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxjXrWsQYlw .

Blacktie Colorado
Blacktie Colorado