DENVER — Inclusion and diversity is deeply embedded in the African Chamber of Commerce Colorado USA(ACCCOUSA) mantra. On Jan. 27, a Friday evening at Infinity Park Event Center, ACCCOUSA hosted its second annual business awards reception.
State Rep. Naquetta Ricks (D-Aurora), who is also a community leader and social activist, hosted the reception as she is president of the African Chamber of Commerce. She said Black-owned businesses “typically don’t get enough recognition,” which is why this reception is essential.
[Related: From Liberia to the Colorado State House, Rep. Naquetta Ricks opens up about her immigration journey]
“It also helps us to foster trade and networking and to provide business opportunities,” Ricks said. “The chamber empowers the immigrant communities of Colorado for economic wealth and economic health.”
The reception also included a silent auction where all funds raised went to ACCOUSA’s programs, which include leadership development, small business expansion and resources, and many other business skills.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulder) was the keynote speaker for the event. Other big-name special guests included Roland Martin, an award-winning journalist and author, who received the epic impact award, and well-known actor and Colorado State University alumnus John Amos, who received the lifetime achievement award.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, a Denver-based performance dance group that “uses the universal language of dance to honor the African Diaspora,” put on a performance.
“It’s important for us to create spaces like this where immigrants and everyone can interact. They’re doctors, they’re lawyers, they’re in our hotels, they’re in all manners of profession,” Ricks said. “We want to make sure that people feel connected and feel included in this community.”