Living Color Gala to honor individuals, groups fostering diversity in Utah

Sep 7, 2022, 8:20 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — One state organization is celebrating diversity this week as they honor people and businesses who have made strides in our community.

Living Color Utah works with diverse business owners across the state, helping them network, recruit and grow their businesses. They offer a creative space for people from all walks of life.

“In the business community, I’ve seen a huge amount of progress towards diversity and inclusion, especially in the last five years or so,” said Liz Pitts, CEO of Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.

This Friday, several honorees will be recognized at a gala presented by Utah Business and Living Color Utah.

One of the organizations is Ngoma y’Africa Cultural Center.

Yvonne Nsabimana Baraketse opened the center six years ago. After graduating from Brigham Young University as an international student, she felt it was important to teach Utahns about her African culture through music, dance and language.

“We have values, traditions and when Utahns learn about these things they can also realize we have more in common than we think. It also works towards eradicating misunderstanding, racism, etc.”

The next step for Baraketse is raising money to secure a facility and employees.

Right now, they operate solely with volunteers. For more information about Ngoma y’Africa Cultural Center, click here.

Some of the individuals and organizations being honored this year include:

  • Amir Jackson – Nurture the Creative Mind
  • Emilio Manuel Camu – OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah
  • Merine Vida Tu’itama’alelagi Hafoka – Malialole Polynesian Cultural Arts Ensemble
  • Nickolis Arteaga – UCASA – Unidx – SafeZone Utah
  • Abigail M. Dizon-Maughan – Parsons Behle & Latimer
  • Roy Banks – CEO of Weave
  • Westminster College
  • Luis Martinez – Utah System of Higher Education
  • Ben Kolendar – Salt Lake City
  • Jami Iwanmoto – Utah State Senate
  • Sunny Washington – Utah Tech Leads
  • Ivette Lopez – University of Utah and Utah Area Health Education Centers
  • Raymond Christy – Salt Lake City Department of Airports
  • Ross Romer – Inclusion Strategies
  • Sione Havili – Domo
  • Stacy Bernal – See Stacy Speak LLC & Awesome Autistic Ogden
  • Victoria Petro-Eschler – Salt Lake City Council
  • Stephanie Benally – Utah Foster Care
  • Yvonne Nsabimana – Baraketse – Ngoma y’Africa Cultural Center
  • Beth Sawyer – Project Success Coalition

For a list of all the “Living Color” honorees, click here.

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Living Color Gala to honor individuals, groups fostering diversity in Utah