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African American Commission

The Denver African-American Commission is charged with advising the Mayor on issues and concerns that impact or are of importance to the African American community. We serve as a bridge between the African American community and policy-makers and engage in responsible activism for the community:

  • Convener: Forums, communities, community groups, panels, focus groups, inbound information
  • Communicator: Via website, directory, flyers, urban spectrum, other city offices, indirect communication, outbound information
  • Advocate: Talk to policy makers
  • Resource: For mayor and city council


We are proud of Denver, its diversity and its commitment to providing the best atmosphere for all its citizens. 

2013 By-laws


Commission Meetings

The African American Commission Meetings are held the 1st Wednesday of the month.


Blair Caldwell Library (in the Community Room)
2401 Welton Street

Monthly Commitee Meeting Schedule


Contact the Commission

To apply: 
Complete the application
 and send it to

For questions, comments, or more information please contact:
Kim Desmond, DAAC Liaison

Darius Smith , DAAC Liaison


Commission Members

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Joy Brown was appointed in August 2016. A native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Cleveland State University, she holds both a baccalaureate degree in Urban Studies focused on Urban Education, as well a Master of Public Administration degree focused on public management.  After serving local government in Cuyahoga County, Ohio for 12 years, she joined the City and County of Denver as the Deputy Director of Child Support Services in 2013.  Joy became the IV-D Administrator and Director of the program in 2014. 

Since moving to Denver, she has engaged the community by getting involved in other metro area organizations including the Board of Directors for Public Service Credit Union. She has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated since 1995.

Joy loves music and travel, she is an avid learner, an advocate for change and enjoys mentoring youth and young adults.  

Gabrielle BryantGabrielle Bryant is a media professional and active community-based volunteer. 

She’s the president of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists; an advocacy organization focused on the success of blacks in Colorado journalism and affiliated professions. 

She’s a Denver native and prides herself in producing work that highlights the untold stories of everyday people, especially minorities.  She earned a BA in broadcast journalism and sociology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2010.  

A mother of two young daughters she’s committed to partnering with organizations that promote the successes of young women. 

She decided to serve on the Denver African American Commission to identify areas in which her community needs improvements and to be a tool in bringing forth that change. 

Barry BurchBarry was appointed to the Denver African American Commission in May of 2015. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he majored in political science with a concentration in pre-law and served as Resident Advisor, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity President, and Student Body President.

Following graduation, Barry was selected by Organizing for America to increase voter turnout. He successfully did so in his district by 16,000 people.

Since moving to Denver in December of 2012, Barry has served as a 4th grade teacher, a fellow in the office of City Councilman Albus Brooks, and as a journalist for Your Black World where his articles reached more than one million readers.

Barry currently serves as the Special Aide to the Mayor of Denver, and as a Denver Commissioner for People with Disabilities.

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Alexis started her political career here in Denver, Colorado after being involved with President Obama’s 2012 re-election bid as a field organizer for the University of Denver. Excited by the opportunity to support the African American community further, Alexis stayed in Colorado and  joined the New Era Colorado team, recruiting and teaching young African American millennials about the importance of being involved in the political process. Recently, Alexis served as Outreach Director for Senator Mark Udall’s re-election and campaign. Currently, Alexis is the Outreach Coordinator and Constituent Advocate for Senator Michael Bennet, working with disadvantaged communities across Colorado.  Alexis is an alumna of Spelman College.”

Nicole FrazierNicole Frazier is the Regional Director for U.S. Senator Cory Gardner. In this capacity, she focuses on building and strengthening relationships within the community, state and local government. In addition, she also covers a number of legislative issues in-state. Nicole has nearly eight years of experience in community relations, program coordination, and strategic marketing. She has a comprehensive background in personnel management, developmental marketing and policy implementation.

Nicole serves as an appointed commissioner with the Mayor’s Denver African American Commission. She is the former national public relation director for the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, North America’s oldest and largest network of faith-based crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers. Prior to joining Senator Gardner’s staff she served as the State Coalitions Director for the Colorado Republican Party.

Nicole completed her Bachelors of Arts degree in business and marketing from Michigan’s Cornerstone University. She resides in Aurora, CO with her husband Tim.

Al GardnerMr. Gardner has held leadership roles in the IT industry for more than two decades and is a technology thought leader speaking regularly on issues related to technology and management. Mr. Gardner is currently the Director of Information Technology for Inspirato with American Express. Mr. Gardner has a passion for education and is active with organizations that place a focus on careers in STEM related fields. Mr. Gardner serves on a number of non-profit boards in in the Denver Area and has received numerous awards from local, state, and federal agencies recognizing his contribution to his industry and community. Mr. Gardner holds a Bachelor Business Administration, Master Business Administration, and is currently a doctoral student pursuing a Doctor of Information Technology Management degree. Mr. Gardner’s greatest joy is spending time with his family, friends, and mentees.   ​

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Valmy C. Hartzog HowardMrs. Howard currently works in the Community Relations Division of the Denver Police Department, and has been employed with the City & County of Denver for 27+ years.

Although she is not a native of Denver Colorado, she has lived in Colorado for 46 years, and is a graduate of Montbello High School, and still owns the home in the Montbello neighborhood her parents bought in 1970.  She was afforded the opportunity to be involved in various programs as a youth, and want to see the youth of today afforded the same opportunities. 

She has a passion to work with the youth of today, in the communities that don’t necessarily hear about programs that can help expose children to greater experiences outside their neighborhood.  By being involved and staying connected in our black communities, she hopes to be a role model for youth, and along with other strong role models, mold our children of tomorrow into adults who will make a positive impact.   She enjoys working out, traveling with her husband, and spending quality time with her daughter, son-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren.  

Alicia HarveyAlicia Harvey is a former Field Sales Engineer for Keysight Technologies and has been in technical sales and support for over 21 years.  Prior to joining Keysight, Ms. Harvey was a student at the University of Denver where she completed the Joint Degree Program and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA from the Daniels College of Business.  Ms. Harvey has been and still is actively involved in the DU and Denver Community. She has served as the former co-chair (two years) of Colorado’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and continues her affiliation with the organization today out of a dedication to supporting and clearing the way for young people interested in math and the sciences.  As well, she is a member of The Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Black MBA Association, the Society of Women Engineers, the DU Daniels College of Business Executive Advisory Board, a former member of the DU Alumni Admission Council, and a former member of the DU National Alumni Board of Directors. 



Benzel JimmersonBenzel Jimmerson is currently the Program Coordinator of the Denver Five Points Family Leadership Training Institute, or FLTI.  In this role he develops both adults and youth in leadership and civic engagement.  FLTI youth and adults also develop projects which build our community.

Benzel is also the Principal Owner of Diversity Dynamics, a company which facilitates and consults family and community engagement, economic development and fatherhood specific movements.  Diversity Dynamics is also developing a website which will de-fragment the most trusted and effective organizations, resources, information, and opportunities in metropolitan Denver.  He also belongs to several groups such as DAAC, DAAP, CBLC, MBK an Aspen Institute 2Gen Ambassador, and several social entrepreneurial endeavors.  However; Benzel's most cherished position is that of a father to his 3 amazing children Dejave, Najave, and Benzel Amir.  His life's mission is One Healthy Generation of Whole Children; which is a purpose to die for with so much more to live for.


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Brande' MicheauBrande’ Micheau currently serves as the Denver City Council, District 9 Director of Constituent Services where she assists Councilman Albus Brooks and the North East Denver community as a neighborhood liaison. In her role, she performs duties related to city needs as it correlates to City policy and programming to multiple stakeholder groups requesting assistance and services. In addition to supporting various constituency groups, she aides in creating and implementing new legislation related to her Council member and district. Brande’ is a graduate from Colorado State University, where she earned an M.S. in Management. In her free time she enjoys travelling, volunteering, spending time with family and friends and enjoying the great outdoors of Colorado.

Businessman and father of three.

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Dwayne began writing seven years ago when he became fed up with everyday working life. He met the editor the Denver Voice and was invited me to join the paper as a Vendor/ Writer in December 2008.

Dwayne enjoys various aspects of the industry successfully doing jobs that challenge his abilities.

Ryan SimonRyan works at CiviCore where he seeks to make an impact by advocating for technology solutions which improve the use of information in nonprofits, foundations, and public agencies. Ryan is also a facilitator of anti-bias dialogue for the Anti-Defamation League and the Office of the Independent Monitor.

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