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The award ceremony celebrated the companies and individuals in Western New York who prioritize the importance of diversity and inclusion, champion equitable human resources practices and develop inclusive cultures.
Akono, a second-generation union carpenter, grew up in the city of Buffalo and joined the Carpenters union in 2005. He went through the apprenticeship program at the age of 34, working as a journeyman for over 5 years before becoming a Council Representative in 2016.
“I’m very thankful to the union leadership for putting me in position to make change,” said Akono.
Akono has played a fundamental role in the Council’s diversity outreach efforts in Western New York, and continues to pursue goals to diversify the Local Union by working to represent local demographics and to increase the number of women in the trade through special pre-apprenticeship initiatives: specifically, the Sisters in the Brotherhood program.
By hosting his weekly community radio show “Access to Africa” and establishing community relationships with organizations that work to help empower African Americans, other minorities, and disadvantaged individuals to secure economic self-dependence, Akono has made a remarkable difference to bringing visibility about the career opportunities available within the Carpenters union to people of Buffalo and beyond.