The Pikes Peak Diversity Council, Inc., and Colorado Springs Business Journal will partner together to highlight and recognize residents and businesses during the Everybody Welcome Diversity & Inclusion Awards from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 25 at Hotel Elegante, 2886 S. Circle Drive in Colorado Springs.

The celebratory luncheon, sponsored by the Colorado Springs Business Journal, ANB Bank and the Pikes Peak Diversity Council, will unveil the winner of the Southeast Business Plan competition, as well as the diversity council’s Diversity in Business Awards. The event also will showcase Southeast Businesses with an expo before the luncheon.

The awards event will highlight the cultural richness of Colorado Springs and the businesses that are doing their part to bring the city’s diversity to light, said Shirley Martinez, Pikes Peak Diversity Council co-chair.

Originally established in 2005 to create opportunities for Colorado Springs residents and businesses to explore, recognize and appreciate the city’s rich diversity, the Everybody Welcome Diversity & Inclusion Awards became an annual opportunity for businesses, companies, agencies and organizations in the Pikes Peak region to receive recognition for inclusive internal operations and civic engagement, Martinez said.

“This is our way of showcasing organizations and businesses that are doing the good work of diversity and inclusion,” Martinez said.

The event falls in line with the legacy of Fannie Mae Duncan, an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist best known as the owner of the Cotton Club, an early integrated jazz club in Colorado Springs.

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“The intention is to shout out that everyone is welcomed in our city, just as Fannie Mae Duncan proclaimed in the window of her world-famous Cotton Club,” Martinez said.

“Everybody Welcome” honors local entities from the public, private, military and nonprofit sector for inclusive organizational policies and benefits, and commitment to diversity training, education and volunteerism at all operational levels, Martinez said.

“We’ve got a lot of culture in this community and we’re all just trying to bridge that gap,” she said. “That’s why our theme of, ‘Connect, Engage and Include,’ is so important.”

General admission tickets are $40, with tables for 10 available for $350. Go to csbj.com/event to register.