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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. 



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


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

*Committee meeting locations rotate monthly to various community organizations. Please see the Monthly Committee Meeting Schedule for locations.

Note: All commission meetings are open to the public. Meeting agendas and minutes as well as other commission documents can be found here.


Jeri Ajayi is the Director of Congregational Health Ministry (CHM), at the Inner City Health Center (ICHC) where she promotes positive life-changing behavior. ICHC offers screenings and health education to various undeserved groups throughout Denver with the goal of connecting underserved individuals and families with health-care providers.

Ajayi joined the Commission to promote equity for emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual, and social wellness for residents throughout Metro-Denver.

Outside of work, Jeri enjoys gardening, yoga, and bowling.         

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Genene Duran is currently enrolled at the University of the Rockies in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Human Services with an anticipated completion date of July 2019. In addition, she is also a certified Mediator and have a certification in Public Relations as well.    

Duran works for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) as a Senior Communications and Public Relations Officer.

Genene joined the commission to provide a voice for underserved communities and affect positive change through leadership, strategic planning, relationships building, change management, community outreach and organizational training.

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Al Gardner is Vice President of Information Technology with Inspirato of American Express. In his role, he oversees Inspirato's technology initiatives, as well as IT changes and updates to all projects. As the senior technology executive for Inspirato he assesses IT systems, strategy, budgets and make decisions on investments and implementation of future technology.

Gardner joined DAAC out of an urge to utilize his talents and time to help improve and increase the overall economic, educational, and social influence in the City of Denver. He wants to offer his life experience, business experience, and relationship experience to broaden the reach and influence of the commission. He hopes to positively impact the African American community in Denver by working with other dedicated commissioners as they both learn from and provide new ideas to the community.

Outside of work and the commission, Al is a husband, father, and friend and enjoys playing golf and spending time with family and friends.


Bio coming soon

Alicia D. Harvey is a regulatory administrator with Xcel Energy. In her position, she oversees and is responsible for development, filing and processing of all Regulatory Administration cases and projects. She is also involved in driving and developing regulatory strategy and policy.

Harvey joined the commission to assist in brainstorming and developing ideas that will help the African American community. She has experience working with various charities and community organizations that will allow her to be of added value to the DAAC.

Outside of work and the commission, Alicia enjoys reading, exercising (competing in Triathlons), travelling, and shopping.



Benzel has spent the past 5 years at CSU as the Denver Five Points FLTI Initiative Manager; a 3 Generation Leadership and Civic Engagement Program. 

Jimmerson is currently moving into full-time entrepreneurship as the Principal Owner of Diversity Dynamics Consulting which offers facilitation, equity/diversity consulting, and the development of people, programs, events, and organizations. 

Benzel is also the founding member of Mile High Moguls; a group of African American Men focused on community, business, and policy.  Benzel is Economic Chair of Denver NAACP, a member of CBLC and DAAP founding member.

He joined the commission to develop core issue solutions which lead to true policy influence in the City and County of Denver and beyond with the belief that we live in a time as important as any other in African American history. 

Outside of work Benzel most loves his role as a father of 3 (+more who attached), an athlete, and outdoorsman.

Bio coming soon

Sam McGibbon Jr. is Vice President of Institutional Retirement Distribution for a large financial services and insurance provider where he is responsible for business development in the retirement plan industry.

McGibbon joined the commission out of a passion for financial literacy and an interest in providing positive change.

Outside of work, Sam is a family man that loves spending time with his wife and daughters.


Bio coming soon

Jonathan McMillan is a Chief Success Strategist at Be Better Than Average, LLC. In his work at Be Better Than Average Jonathan helps people, organizations, and communities, thrive through personal development, organizational change, strategy consultation, and coalition & network building.

McMillan joined the Denver African American Commission to ensure there is authentic representation and inclusion of his community in every part of the safety plans, economic development, education equity and overall prosperity of our City.

Outside of work Jonathan is a father and a husband who loves DJ'ing and watching all kinds of movies.

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Misgana is a Corporate Tax Audit Manager with the Colorado Department of Revenue. His expertise is in state & local corporate taxes and is Colorado’s representative on the Multi-State Tax Commission, Audit Committee.

Tesfaye has always looked for ways to serve his community. He served on his HOA board, helped organize community events, volunteered for political campaigns, advocated in community zoning matters, and helped establish non-profit work in the African American community. Recently, after discussions with his family, he decided to serve his community in a more formal manner through the Denver African American Commission. Denver is growing at a wild pace, and Misgana wants to help ensure we are all included in the City's growth and prosperity. His main goal is to promote economic equality and empowerment within the African American community.

Outside of work, Misgana is a devoted husband and father of two children. When not volunteering Misgana enjoys taking advantage of the Colorado outdoors with his family, frequently camping and boating in the Rockies. In true entrepreneurial spirit, Misgana also enjoys acquiring and refurbishing used cars for wholesale in the Denver market. He also loves to get together with friends and family for big backyard cookouts.


Michelle Webster is a poet and writer. Her personal focus is on the challenges facing Native Black Americans, striving to carve a path through the complex landscape shaped by American Slavery and the subsequent struggles of their ancestors and descendants.

While there are those who are having great success in the city of Denver and places throughout the country, she is aware that there are far more grappling with balancing their day-to-day lives due to low wages, limited opportunities and other difficulties that are compounded by this reality.

Through the DAAC, she will contribute to works and projects that inspire the collective and courageous efforts of individuals, groups, organizations and conscious allies, determined to bring about a profound, measurable and collective uplifting.

Though forever a journalist, Michelle also has vast experience in retail operations and management. She is a native of Flint, Michigan and loves music, especially the blues.



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map: Black or African American by percentage by neighborhood


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

Darius Smith , DAAC Liaison

Are you interested in joining the African American Commission?
Apply online today!



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