El Pomar Foundation Emerging Leaders Development program announces Dennis Barcial Apuan as the 2021 Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Room Inductee
By Will Keyse
Apuan to be inducted in a ceremony on August 20, 2021
Each year since 2006, El Pomar Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Development (ELD) program has recognized an ethnic minority leader in Southern Colorado in celebration of his/her civic contributions through the Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Induction Ceremony. This year, the honor is extended to former State Representative Dennis Barcial Apuan (1964-2020), a Filipino-American community leader and lifelong advocate for civil rights, equality and peace.
Mr. Apuan was born in Manila, Philippines before moving to the United States in 1984 and to Colorado Springs in 1997. Throughout his time in the Pikes Peak Region, Mr. Apuan was a tireless civic leader and represented a diverse constituency in southeast Colorado Springs’ 17th District during his tenure at the state house from 2009-2011. Outside of public office, Mr. Apuan served with the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, El Paso County Democratic Party, Colorado Unity, the UCCS Diversity Strategic Planning Committee and the National Federation of Filipino Americans Association.
In 2010, Mr. Apuan founded the Endowment for the Asian Pacific American Collection at the Pikes Peak Library District dedicated to building a substantial collection of books, DVDs and CDs that speak to the Asian American experience. He was awarded later that year with the Organization for Chinese Americans’ Asian American Hero of Colorado award.
Over the course of his life, Mr. Apuan founded multiple other civic ventures and organizations, including the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Colorado, KCMU 93.9 Colorado Springs Community Radio/Colorado Media Justice Foundation, Colorado Springs Council for Justice and Colorado Springs Says Welcome.
As an extension of the ELD program, which helps cultivate diverse leadership potential in Southern Colorado, El Pomar established the Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Room at Penrose House in 2006. This room is dedicated to preserving and documenting the contributions of African-American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino and Native American individuals from Southern Colorado. Through the Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Induction Ceremony, ELD celebrates and honors the legacy left behind by those who embodied the ideals of civic involvement and leadership. Mr. Apuan’s image and story will be added to the Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Room, in the company of the 14 previous inductees: https://www.elpomar.org/programs/emerging-leaders/milton-e-proby-room
Those hoping to RSVP for the event may do so at elpomar.org/mep2021.