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Aurora's African Leadership Group helps immigrants build the confidence to succeed

Aurora's African Leadership Group helps immigrants build the confidence to succeed
Aurora's African Leadership Group helps immigrants build the confidence to succeed 02:27

The African Leadership Group in Aurora was founded to support the integration of African immigrants into one of the most diverse cities in Colorado and the nation.

One of their signature programs welcomes the entire community.


"Nobody will believe in your speech if you don't believe it yourself," said Leadership Instructor Madiama Mbaye as he leads a course in public speaking.

Mbaye immigrated from Senegal and started a commercial cleaning franchise in Colorado.

He also owns a media company back in Senegal. 

"I set up a television station back in my home country, which employs now 25 young people who're working with me. We broadcast around the world. That is something very dear to me," said Mbaye.

Mbaye began teaching public speaking to adult students in Aurora when he saw how immigrants just like him were robbed of their self-confidence by the challenge of communicating in a new language.

"Sometimes they stay back and that for quite some time will just numb you. You no longer are that person who is standing to share their ideas," added Mbaye.


The African Leadership Group (ALG) has graduated more than 400 people from its 12 week public speaking class, and says the community wants more.

"I struggle with public speaking," said Bobbie Alexander, who grew up in Denver.  She says she's learned much about herself in the course.

"Seeing the community that they have built here and how they are a family and how they truly help people. They're doing great work," Alexander said.

ALG Founder and Executive Director Papa Dia also attends the course on occasion and says being open to all is integral to the group's philosophy.

Leadership Africa graduating class. CBS

"It was important for us as African immigrants, to merge ourselves in this environment and to do it with people from this environment," Dia said.

And Mbaye adds that giving people the confidence to advocate for themselves and to unleash their potential benefits all Colorado.

"We're not just here to take because we may also have something to give, we need to participate in the betterment of the American society," said Mbaye.

African Leadership Group also hosts a civic leadership program called "Leadership Africa."         .

The program empowers people to make positive change here in Colorado.


CBS News Colorado will air and stream an Elevating Black Voices half hour special on Monday February 19th at 6:30pm.

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