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COLORADO COMMITTEE ON AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
 
Contact:  (303) 329-5881
                                                                                  
      The Colorado Committee on Africa and the Caribbean (CCAC) seeks to broaden the public's awareness of the political, economic and social realities of African, Caribbean and Latin American societies.  In metropolitan Denver most discussions and activities relevant to those regions occur on college campuses, usually at times when working adults cannot attend. Therefore, CCAC seeks to incorporate the general public.
     The first activiity occurred in October 2004 and the theme was the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa.  The Student Activities Division at the Auraria campus was a co-sponsor and we brought in Dr. Horace Campbell of Syracuse University to discuss the challenges facing Southern Africa. Two lectures were held, one on a weekday and the other on Saturday.  At the latter event a film, 'T-Shirt Travels', was shown.  The film explores the adverse effect that clothing imports have on indigenous textile and apparel businesses in Africa. 
     The Sudan (not specifically Darfur) was the topic of the two activities in March and April 2005. 1) CCAC brought in New York-based filmmaker Eddie Harris to give a talk and screen his documentary film, "Moon over Sudan".  Harris had visited the Sudan the previous year with the Christian Solidarity International group.
     2) The genocide in the Sudan motivated CCAC to take action.  The Congressional Black Caucus and several groups on the East Coast had initiated a call for divestment from companies doing business in the Sudan.  CCAC investigated and found that Colorado invested billions of dollars in pension funds in such companies.  Therefore, in April 2005 with the help of Representative Rosemary Marshall, CCAC held a press conference in the Press Room of the State Capitol.  Some legislators sent their staffaides.  Senator Peter Groff, at the time President Pro-Temp of the Senate, was especially interested.  Other organizations in Colorado began to focus upon the Sudan, and Representative Andrew Romanoff took up the issue.  In early 2007 the Colorado legislature voted to divest state pension funds, joining about a dozen other states that have done so.
     In February 2006 in co-sponsorship with the Student Activities Office at the Auraria campus, CCAC presented 2 lectures--one on campus, and one off-campus--on African economies.  The speaker was Peter Hardie, at the time Vice-President of TransAfrica Forum in Washington, D.C.     
     In Fall 2006 CCAC screened "All About Dartur", a documentary film directed by Tagreed Elsanhouri,  a Darfurian woman.  Mr. Ahmed Ali, President of the Darfurian Association of Denver, gave a talk which people in attendance really appreciated because few were aware that there was a Darfurian population in metropolitan Denver.
     CCAC has organized several programs including films about Cuba.  There have been screenings of "Salud", a documentary film which not only focuses upon Cuba's acclaimed healthcare system, but the work of Cuban health professionals in South Africa, Gambia, Honduras and Venezuela.  CCAC partnered with the Student Activities Office at the Auraria campus to bring in author Jane Franklin to talk about her decades-long work on United States-Cuba relations.
     CCAC has organized discussions and film screenings on Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique, Venezuela, the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia and the general African diaspora, including the African-American community in the United States.  Occasionally, CCAC organizes and/or co-sponsors events which are not specifically related to these areas, but which have a social justice and human rights focus.
     Recently CCAC has been involved in direct action campaigns for a change in U.S. policy towards Cuba as well as for the temination of profiteering by international finance companies of impoverished countries in the developing world.
     The Colorado Committee on Africa and the Caribbean participates in the Justice for the African World Working Group, a project of the TransAfrica Forum (Washington, D.C.) as well as the Vulture Funds Working Group, a project of Jubilee USA.