Happenings in and around Historic 5 Points and Northeast Denver April 2012
Teen Killed Near Manual High School
5 POINTS NEWS Proud Recipient of the Dr. Syl Morgan Smith Excellence in Media Award
Although stories, recounts, assumptions, and explanations may vary concerning what happened near Manual High School, there is one sad unmistakable fact—DeQuan Walker-Smith, 18, was murdered in broad daylight, and Mannie Lee Legrand, 20, has been charged with his murder. Seeking to stem the tide of youth violence, Councilman Albus Brooks, and Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP) outreach worker Johnny Williams, immediately organized a Peace-Vigil. “Young black and brown men, this has got to stop,” said Brooks. Vowing to fight for a better community, Brooks has started a fund to honor the memory and life of Walker-Smith, and to prevent future senseless acts of violence.
I AM TRAYVON MARTIN!
Denver joins national protests demanding justice and the arrest of George Zimmerman Greg Goodlow was a crowd pleaser as his group headlined the Annual Juneteenth Festival on Welton street. The legendary Charles Burell thrilled seniors at the reemerging Juneteenth Senior Luncheon. Born in 1920, he was the first Black symphony performer in the country. Goodlow and Burell prove music is timeless.
The Sanford Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 18, by self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was shaping up to be a simple justifiable homicide, until the story hit electronic social media, and went viral. Had his death been at the hands of another black, few would have read, or forwarded the tragic story. However, this story was different. A Whiteman killed Martin. “Arrest Zimmerman! Arrest Zimmerman! What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” was the national outcry, as hundreds of thousands took to the streets across America. As a result of public pressure, a special prosecutor was appointed, and Zimmerman was arrested, and charged with second-degree murder. “I’m still not happy. It should have been first-degree murder,” said Terrance Roberts, director of the Prodigal Son Initiative. “Trayvon was profiled because he was black. His civil rights were violated.” As the case continues to unfold, the ghost of Rodney King and OJ Simpson reemerge, and the nation is again forced to confront its most sensitive wound–race. –brother jeff
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The Martin Luther King pavillion in City Park, and the State Capital were two locations where hundreds gathered to protest
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Letters to the Editor
Wow! She Looks Just Like...
Remembering Sarah Foster
Everyone has a twin, and this woman is the spitting image of....
A stranger walks up and says: “Are you? No, it couldn’t be. You look just like...” It happens to everyone. Years ago, people said I resembled actor, film director, Sidney Poitier. Today, I simply look like every dark-skinned Black man with a baldhead. Now, look closely into the face of the woman in the photo. Who does she look like? Look again. You’re eyes are not deceiving you. She looks just like Muhammad Ali! And she should. That is Maryum “May May” Ali, the oldest of nine children from the man who could ﬂoat like a butterﬂy, and sting like a bee. May May is an accomplished screen writer, comedian, and has made numerous appearances on talk shows and sitcoms. She also works with at-risk youth, and was recently at the Ford Warren Library working with young girls, teaching them life skills, the importance of self-esteem, and sharing advice. Speaking of ﬂoating like butterﬂies and stinging like bees, its springtime. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to put away the snow shovel and pull out the lawnmower. I hope you take the time to get away from the city, and enjoy the rest of the state. We don’t call it Colorful Colorado for nothing. Don’t spend all your hours working. Put on your springtime best. Get out there! And be ready when a stranger approaches, and says: “You look just like...” –brother jeff
Sigma Gamma Rho 48th Annual Debutante Talent Tea
I first learned of Mrs. Fosters’ death in the Black Weekly news and then your paper. She would be proud. I am sorry I missed her Home going Celebration, she truly was a delight and she loved her people and the Points. Claudia Jordan I was saddened to read that Sara Foster has passed on to her reward of righteousness and goodness. A person who cared for our community and who was always thinking of our children in our city. At several of the events she organized to protest youth violence or a prevention of drug violence, Sara always expected the community to be there for the sake of our children. During the time I served as manager of safety and deputy mayor, it was always my pleasure to work with Sara. But I also knew that if I didn’t show up at an event, or showed up late, Sara was not afraid to scold me and tell me to be on time next time. But she respected me and I loved her because she cared. Just a few months ago we messaged each other on Facebook. Sara was in tune with change and we were able to update the time we had been apart. I am sorry I didn’t know of her memorial service, but no doubt Sara will waiting when we meet again, and her first question will be, “what happened? Why didn’t you drop by the church?” I will apologize, we will hug one another and know that everything is okay. Sara Foster......a wonderful woman, a leader, and someone everyone knew she cared for the safety of our city. Sara Foster rest on in the arms of your Lord, you have earned a time of rest. Fidel “Butch” Montoya former Deputy Mayor/Manager of Safety
Denver City Council Considers Banning Unauthorized Camping A proposal to ban ‘unauthorized camping’ has been introduced for discussion before Denver City Council, with a vote expected in late April. This proposed ordinance will effectively ban people from sleeping outside in public and in unauthorized private places within city limits. The ban appears directed particularly at those homeless who sleep on the 16th Street Mall and along the Platte River at night. Our District 8 Councilman Albus Brooks is the sponsor. The Councilman tells us that this ban will “help the most vulnerable of the homeless”, but it is not clear how. The Mayor and Council have been pursuing this ordinance for some months yet the homeless services and prevention community, and many of our houses of worship, have not been asked how we might help – before putting people in jail for the “crime” of not having a place to live. Up to 25% of our Denver homeless are veterans, many home recently from Iraq or Afghanistan. Ask Councilman Brooks to seriously reconsider; put services before punishment. –Joe Mauro District 8 Resident
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, Beta Rho Sigma Denver Alumnae Chapter recently held their 48th Annual Debutante Talent Tea. Pagent contestents included (from left to right), Kiera Florence, Alyse Ceile Harris, Jahmila Sharif, and Neffie Lockley. Harris was crowned “Miss Rhoer 2012” and will represent the Denver chapter at the 60th Western Regional this month in California. (additional pictures – page 11)
5 Points news
Monthly Publication - April 2012
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Arts and Culture Black American West Museum 3091 California Street, Denver, CO 80205 (720) 242-7428
Denver Kush Club 2615 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 736-6550
Blair-Caldwell African American Library 2401 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (720) 865-2401 brother jeff’s Cultural Center 2836 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 297-0823 Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 119 Park Avenue West, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-1759 Frederick Douglas Community Building 2745 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (213) 923-2981 Stiles African American Heritage Center, Inc. 2607 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 294-0597 Automotive Courtesy Auto 728 East 26th Avenue, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 861-4417 Banking US Bank 2701 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 296-4742 Wells Fargo 2559 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 297-7786 BaRBERs & Beauty Shops Dunbar Barber Shop 2844 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-9131 Five Points Beauty and Barber 2757 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 298-1078 Franklin Stigers Afro Styling 2755 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-9055 Hope for a Change Beauty and Barber Shop 2737 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (720) 434-9092 McGill’s 2843 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-1977 Mr. Puff 2754 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (720) 404-8154 New Look Barbers 2825 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-9192 BaRS Climax Lounge 2217 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 292-5483 Cleaners C & B Cleaners & Hatters 2748 Welton, Denver CO 80205 (303) 297-9544 COmmunications Wireless Express 610 26th St., Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-1788
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A Piece of Mine
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Hours of Operation Mon: By Appt. Only Tues-Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sun: Closed
Central Baptist Church 2400 California, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 292-6618 Kingdom of God Christian Center 2485 Welton, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 293-2233 Government Offices Councilman Albus Brooks Denver City Council District 8 2713 Welton, Denver, Co 80205 (720) 337-8883
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Support the many businesses and services in and around Five Points. 4 8 5 Points News
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Tom’s Cafe 800 E. 26th St., Denver, CO 80205 (303) 388-8035
Coleman’s Diner 2622 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205 (303) 296-3389 Welton Street Cafe 2736 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205 (303) 308-0860
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The Creamary 908 30th St., Denver, CO 80205 (303) 295-2404
Carries Place 1426 E. 22nd Ave, Denver, CO 80205 (303) 993-8982 Cora Fayes 2861 Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80207 (303) 333-5551 Frank’s Kitchen 2600 High St. Denver, CO 80205 (303) 296-3838
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Will My Plan Help End Homelessness?
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Five Points Media
The last 8 months has been quite a ride and I am truly humbled to hold this position as your councilman, legislator, community organizer, constituent advocate and economic development officer. I feel like we are on a great path with a lot to be proud of. Today, I am writing you about one of our greatest challenges: our work to provide a comprehensive strategy to solve the problem of homelessness. The Metro Denver region has roughly 13,000 homeless people, with an estimated 6-7,000 located here in Denver. Denver Health spends $72 million every year on uninsured individuals from outside of Denver and 60% of the people sleeping on the 16th Street Mall are from outside of the City limits. The average homeless person is not who you see standing on the corner or the person you see sleeping in the alley. In fact, the average homeless person is the person you don’t see. It is the silent kid in the back of the classroom; it is the single mother looking for work. Currently, 80% of our resources go to 20% of the homeless population - men over the age of 40, while only 20% of the resources go to the 80% that live in the shadows - women, children and teens. This is not to say that we must abandon those who we see living homeless every day. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I am working in conjunction with the Mayor’s office to open a 24-hour shelter near downtown, in addition to ensuring that we have wrap-around services for the top 200 offenders in District Court, who are all homeless individuals. The average cost for these individuals, mostly men over 40, is around $23,000 per person. This amount is spent on services such as Denver Cares, the Denver Police Department, Denver Sheriff and Denver Health. We, the tax payer, spend $2.3 million on 200 people who are in a downward spiral of despair for services that do not help them rehabilitate. What if we invested $12K per year in wrap-around services that would help them recover from drugs, get them into affordable housing and transform their lives? My hope is that we can be much more focused in our approach to homelessness. Rather than trying to solve the
problem for the state, let’s focus on one chronically homeless person at a time. It is also important that we hold ourselves accountable, by ensuring that we aren’t simply throwing money at the symptoms while we ignore the root causes. It is completely unacceptable for any person to have to sleep outside. This is where most people agree. However, many people differ in their methodology of how we get people off the streets. In studying other municipalities it is my belief that it’s important that we protect the integrity of our public and private properties by not allowing camping on those entities. Those municipalities that have prohibited camping on public and private land, but have not provided shelter space, have failed to serve their residents that need help the most. I believe we can have a balance by providing a place for homeless people to stay and connect them with much needed services. This is why I believe we must enact an ordinance that prohibits camping on our public and private property 24-hours a day. This can be done while providing shelter, long term housing and other services for those individuals who are episodic or chronically homeless. This legislation will be based off of the language that helped develop the Sit & Lie Ordinance. This ordinance was enacted in 2005 and as of today has not prosecuted a single person. The new ordinance, which will protect Denver’s public and private spaces from camping, will be similar because it is not designed to have police officers arresting individuals, but rather outreach workers and police officers working together to assess what services people need and directing them appropriately. Many people have asked if this plan will help end homelessness or deal with the problem. I don’t think we will ever remedy homelessness, but rather we can continue to fill in missing gaps and tailor our approach for a better end result. We need the whole community to help mitigate this issue and offer ideas on how to make the ordinance efficient and as non-criminalizing as possible. We need churches and organizations to open their doors to help house those less fortunate. We also need businesses and others investing in Denver’s Road Home, so we can provide this service. For us to tackle this issue, we will need everyone’s help. As our Mayor has said, “We need your help to be a world class City where everyone matters.”
Councilman Albus Brooks Denver City Council District 8 2713 Welton Street Denver, CO 80205 720.337.8883 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Happenings in and around Historic 5 Points
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Congratulations Living Portraits Honorees
Elizabeth Lee, Sakile Lowman, Tameka Montgomery, Rep. Rhonda Fields, Bria Hudson, Lisa Roy
The National Council of Negro Women-Denver Section recently held their 2012 Living Portraits of AfricanAmerican Women award ceremony. Six outstanding women and youth were honored for their career achievements, community service, and leadership. The award ceremony held at Denver
Central Library began in 1993, at Ford Warren Library under the leadership of Dr. Claudette Sweet. “I felt it necessary to celebrate women in our own back yard,” Sweet said. “There are many role models that touch our lives daily.”
Brown Suga Youth Festival Continuing the theme of “mentally edible conscious Hip Hop and natural remedies, The Brown Suga Youth Festival will unify people of all colors behind important, non-traditional themes, and will encourage young people to learn more about mental and physical health through Hip Hop. The festival will include informational booths for alternative medicine, organic food and health products, and a panel discussion. The festival is free and open to all ages. April 28, 12-9pm,.Crossroads Theater 2590 Washington street.
Gary Jackson Receives Award of Merit
Gary M. Jackson was a recent recipient of the Colorado Bar Association’s highest honor, the Award of Merit. Jackson is a founding member and former president of the Sam Cary Bar Association, an African- American legal association, as well as the Sam Cary Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides scholarships to law students at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. He likewise helped found the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, and was the 2010 Colorado Chapter President of the
American Board of Trial Advocates. He has also served his larger community. He chairs the Delta Eta Boule Foundation, which provides scholarships to Denver high school graduates. As an advocate for youth, he has chaired Northeast Denver Youth Services, which offers recreational and educational opportunities. He also has been involved with the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, the United Negro College Fund, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, 100 Black Men of Denver, Inc., Beckwourth Outdoors, and the Sixteenth of May Foundation. Jackson has been a partner at DiManna & Jackson since 1976, focusing his practice on complex civil litigation and representation of legal professionals. He started his career in 1970 in the Denver District Attorney’s Office. He later served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado and received a commendation from the Hon. Edward Levi for trial excellence. “I’m honored to receive the Award of Merit,” Jackson said. “It has been important to me to serve my community in any way I can, and it is gratifying to see that work be recognized.”
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6 8 5 Points News
Who is Captian Keesee?
Sergeant Betty Hale
Captain Tracie Keesee
Thank you Reverend Falls, and other 5 POINTS NEWS readers for bringing to our attention our mistake regarding Captain Tracie Keesee. Although the biographical information was correct, the photo was not. The photo we used was actually Sergeant Betty Hale. This being said, we are taking this opportunity to share information about Hale, another outstanding officer. Sergeant Hale began her career with the Denver Police Department in 1992.
Her policing experience includes Impact Team Officer, Academy Instructor, and Sergeant of Patrol in District’s Six, Five, and the Combined Communications Center. Betty is a Crisis Intervention Team Member and is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau, and these are only a few of her accomplishments. Like Captain Keesee, Sergeant Hale is an awesome role model in our community. Both officers model passion, leadership commitment, and determination. –Cynthia Martin
Earth Week Presented by Beginning with Earth Day Clean-up of Welton Street Free Graffiti Removal provided by the City of Denver Free Storefront Art Movement | Trash clean-up by community volunteers. Sunday|04.22.12- Earth Day Welton Street Clean-up Monday| 04.23.12 - Carla Madison Day Wednesday| 04.25.12 - Youth Activities Friday| 04.27.12 - Day of Service Saturday| 04.28.12 - Running Club with Councilman Albus Brooks
We would love for you to volunteer with us! Sign up at http://fivepointsearthweek.wordpress.com www.engage8.org
History Demands an End to Voter Suppression
On Sunday, March 7, 1965, 600 people attempting to march peacefully from Selma to Montgomery were attacked by state troopers and mounted deputies in riot gear simply because they dared protest the continuing denial of their constitutional right to vote. Television stations interrupted programs to show the brutal assaults on the nonviolent marchers. When it started, most of America had never heard of Selma, Alabama. When it was done, most of them would never forget it. They called it “Bloody Sunday.” Just five days after Rev. Martin Luther King led that March, President Lyndon Johnson announced he would sign the Voting Rights Act, insuring that no government could ever again impede people from registering to vote or from voting simply because of race. Or so we thought. Today, Colorado and the country face another wave of assaults on voting rights. These efforts threaten to turn back the hard-won victories of the civil rights movement. Just as important, they threaten the very fabric of our democracy on the eve of one of the most critical moments in our political and civic life: the 2012 Presidential Election. We must not allow it to happen. In this election, African-Americans, Latinos, women and other key populations must
– Rosemary Harris Lytle President of the NAACP Colorado/ Montana/Wyoming State Conference
Why Trayvon Martin Matters
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vote as never before – and must be vocal about the protection of our voting rights. Last year, the NAACP released a report revealing direct connections between increasing, unprecedented African American and Latino voter turnout and an onslaught of measures to suppress the votes and electoral strength of communities of color. The report, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America,” details a plethora of voter suppression initiatives. Right here in Colorado, voter suppression efforts are alive. Today, you might find yourself declared “inactive” for missing an election or subjected to robo-calls designed to trick voters. We also face a legislative effort that would require a photo ID to vote, harkening back to poll taxes. We must remain vigilant. Check your voter status. Make certain it’s active. Register; ensure your entire family is registered, your congregation, your whole neighborhood. We owe it to our history – and we owe it to our future.
5 POINTS NEWS Journalist Alijah Fard, 12
Everyone knows the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. He was just a teenager, and was shot, for practically no reason. A misunderstanding led to his death. People always ask the adults what they think about this tragedy. I asked two of my 12 year old best friends, Mariam Sheriff, and Kate Hartshorne, what they thought about this. I began my interviews with Mariam. Aliyah Fard: What do you think of the shooting? Mariam Sheriff: It was just messed up, he did not deserve to die, especially in that way. AF: If Trayvon hadn’t had on the hoodie, would he have still gotten shot?
MS: He still would have gotten shot even if he was wearing something different. Next, I interviewed Kate. AF: What do you think about the shooting? Kate Hartshorne: I think that this is very sad and should not have happened, especially, to a 17 year old. Treyvon should have been able to live his life peacefully, normally. I also know that it hurt many people, including myself. It wasn’t just a family issue because I know that it has spread across the globe. AF: If he hadn’t had on the hoodie, do you think he wouldn’t have gotten shot? KH: I do believe that he still would have been shot, because it wouldn’t have done a thing if he didn’t have it on. The dude that shot him is too jacked up to care. Then again, I think it may have been a bit different. I say this because even though it sounds odd, the man that shot him may have been in a gang or had something against the specific way that he was wearing it, or the color. I was very lucky to have been able to interview my friends on this topic. I think that it should not have happened, and hope this will not happen again. This was not fair, and people should not be afriad to walk around anywhere they want, without worrying if they are going to be killed.
April 2012 8
Carrie’s Place Opens
Are You Struggling With Math?
Aminah Fard Interviews Nicole M. Russell Ph.D.
Dr. Nicole M. Russell
Dr. Nicole M. Russell is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Dr. Russell holds a degree in multicultural and mathematics education from the University of Washington, where James A. Banks served as her dissertation chair. She also had the privilege to study with seminal scholars such as Dr. Geneva Gay, Dr. Nancy Beadie, and Dr. Ilana Horn (now at Vanderbilt University). Her research interests include mathematics achievement of African Americans; culturally responsive pedagogy; equity/access in mathematics classrooms; classroom discourse; the role of African American culture in learning broadly, and mathematics development specifically; pre-service and in-service teacher professional development; and the history of mathematics education of African Americans (1860s to twentieth century). Dr. Russell’s work is founded in the tenet of education as liberation. She utilizes a critical race and multicultural education lens to understand the historical, social, cultural, and political nature of mathematics teaching and learning in the U.S. and its role in perpetuating dominant ideologies of mathematics domain identity. Some of her hobbies include traveling, treating herself to spa services, and spending quality time with family and friends. Aminah Fard: How long have you been teaching math? Dr. Nicole M. Russell: I taught math for 10 years in public schools in Washington State AF: Why do you like math so much
when others just say it is hard? NR: I like math because it helps me in life. For example, without knowing how to do math, I would not be able to balance my check book, estimate my grocery bill, follow new recipes, plan for parties, and many more things. AF: When you were getting your degree did any obstacles get in your way? NR: When I was getting my degree, I didn’t experience any obstacles that I realized. I wanted to learn math, so I worked hard, asked questions when I didn’t understand, and used my peers for support. AF: when you were a child was it hard for you learn your math? NR: When I was a child, it was not hard to learn math because it was something that I really enjoyed. I remember in 5th grade, my teacher had to order me a 6th grade math book because I already understood all of the concepts in the 5th grade book. AF: What do you tell people that are really struggling in math? NR: What I tell people who are really struggling in math is that they can do it. I work with them on first forgetting about all of the bad experiences that they have had in their past math classes. Then I try to help them make connections between the math they DO understand and the new math topic that they are learning. Everyone understands some math concepts. No one is a blank slate. Math teachers just have to figure out how to bridge the gaps for students. NR: Thank you Aminah!
Clara Villarosa: Where is She Now? 5 POINTS NEWS recently ran into Clara Villarosa, entrepreneur, author, business coach and motivational speaker. Ms. Villarosa, started and managed HueMan Expeiriance bookstores in Denver and Harlem, before retiring in 2004. Her book, “Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women” was an NAACP image award Nominee. Ms. Villarosa’s second book, published in 2011 is a profile in inspirations titled “Words of African-American Hero’s”. Villarosa also sits as a Trustee of the University of Denver where she is committed to diversity in enrollment and retention.
5 POINTS NEWS Journalist Aminah Fard, 9
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Carrie’s Place offers something for everyone from chicken and waffles in the morning, to tilapia and its specialty, of tender smoked turkey legs, smothered and marinated in one of its three flavors of original smoked, barbecue and chipotle pineapple. Carrie’s does not forget about your “picky eater”, and offers a Kids Menu, where your picky eater, eats free on Tuesdays! Co-owner, Karlos Fields offers a casual dining experience among friends and family with reasonable prices, and many products locally grown. If you are in the neighborhood, drop by Carrie’s Place, you won’t be disappointed. –See ad below.
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African American Health Fair a Huge Success
National Kick Butts Day Kindergarten at Smith Elementary School is where I first saw that diseased, black, nicotine destroyed lung. Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! It turned my stomach, and prevented me from ever lighting up. After 40 years, there is was again, turning stomachs. Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! were the familiar sounds of yet another generation. That lung is still turning young people away from cigarettes. It works! In an effort to stop the use of tobacco products and smoking in our community, The Black United Fund of Colorado presented National Kick Butts Day at the Hiawatha Recreation Center. “We need to let our community know that they can stop smoking,” says BUFCO Executive Director Priscilla Brown. “We can give them all of the tools they need. Colorado is a smokeless state, and we want our community to be smoke free.”
Dr. Collis Johnson, DDS, was one of many volunteer providers at the African American Health Fair.
The Center for African American Health hosted their 10th annual Health Fair on March 17th and encouraged participants to live well by eating healthy and staying active and being advocates for their own healthcare With upwards of 1,200 people in attendance, many received free screenings and services spanning from prostate and clinical breast exams, to glucose screenings and flu vaccinations. More than 50 people received physicals, 60 individuals had dental screenings, 200 people got their blood pressure checked, and about 130 people participated in a survey about African American women’s hair impacting physical activity. In addition to the various health screenings and exhibits, Cooking Matters performed multiple cooking demonstrations and participants were encouraged to attend Diabetes or Mental Health workshops. Staying active was also part of the program, and everyone was invited to get on the dance floor to learn new line dances. “There is a special role that community based organizations, like the Center for African American Health, can play in the prevention and wellness arena—reaching people where they are and engaging them with cultural proficiency,” said Grant Jones, the Center’s founder and executive director. “The high level of participation in the Center’s annual health fair is a great indicator that the event is meeting a significant demand with the right services and cultural context.” From the numerous screenings, exams, workshops, and activities, the Center continues to fulfill their mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the African American community. For more information about the work of the Center, please call 303-355-3423 or visit the website at www.caahealth.org. – Ashley Knight
Chief of Police
Announces District Commanders Chief of Police Robert White announced his selection of Commanders, one of the major steps in the Denver Police realignment. These Executive Leaders bring 240 plus years of total law enforcement experience to the Commander positions. “The selection process was rigorous and thorough. There were numerous well-qualified individuals that applied for these positions which made my decision very difficult. I’m confident those selected will help lead this department in the right direction and we will continue to benefit from the expertise and talents of those outstanding officers that were not chosen,” said Denver Police Chief Robert C. White. The following officers have been selected as commanders: District 1 - Lieutenant Paul Pazen; District 2 - Captain Michael Calo; District 3 - Commander Joe Montoya; District 4 - Commander Mona Lisa Fair; District 5 - Lieutenant Les Perry; District 6 - Commander
Antonio Lopez; Major Crimes - Captain Ron Saunier; Vice/Narcotics/Gang/ Intelligence - Lieutenant Mark Fleecs; Special Operations - Lieutenant Patrick Phelan, and; Administrative Management - Lieutenant Magen Dodge “I have a lot of respect for Chief White and the way he included community members from all over Denver to be a part of the commander selection process. It did two things, it proved that our Chief values community input and community policing. It also showed that we have incredible leadership in the Denver Police Department at every level,” said Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks. “It was extremely tough to narrow down the almost 40 candidates to just 6 they were all exceptional. As a resident of the City and County of Denver and the Councilman for District 8, I feel confident in the direction the Denver Police Department is headed. We are in good hands,”
City of Denver Youth Curfew Begins Denver Safe City diversion officers and Denver police officers team-up every year from April to September to run the Denver SafeNite Program. The program offers court diversion opportunities for youth 17 years of age and younger while police actively enforce Denver’s Curfew Ordinance. Denver’s Curfew Ordinance prohibits youth from being in a public place or on public property from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday, unless: The minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (an adult friend does not qualify as a legal guardian) The minor is accompanied by an adult (18 or older) AND that adult is in possession of written permission from the parent or legal guardian The minor is in a motor vehicle being used in INTERSTATE travel The minor is working, traveling to work, or returning from work WITHOUT any detour stop Youth that break curfew during
the active enforcement period of April through September are transported to the Curfew Center housed at the District 1 police station at 1311 W. 46th Avenue. Their parents are contacted and a citation is issued. Youth cited for a first time municipal ordinance violation are given the option of participating in a diversion program as an alternative to entering the court system. If the option is accepted by the youth and his/her parent(s), a customized diversion plan is developed based on an individual assessment. Once the plan is successfully completed, the case is dismissed without a court appearance. The Denver SafeNite Program was implemented in 1994 and is a joint effort between the Denver Police Department and the Denver Safe City Office, both of which reside in the Department of Safety. For more information, contact Tiffany Vu from the Denver Safe City Office at 720-913-4619 or Lieutenant Magen Dodge from the Denver Police Department at 720-913-6023. April 2012 8
The Shout: A Gullah/Geechee Tradition Brother Jeff Founder/Executive Director of Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center The State of Black Colorado Education: Are We Making the Grade? Initiative
Professor Jackie Benton is a foremost scholar of Gullah/Geechee Culture.
One of the signatures of Gullah/ Geechee culture is the “Shout,” which is an African-derived form of worship brought into the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia by enslaved Africans and done in the Praise House. That’s why a visit to one of the few Praise Houses remaining on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, is a must stop on Jacquelyn Benton’s Gullah/Geechee trips. Reverend Joseph Bryant, a Gullah man, evokes images from centuries past, while Denver travelers sit on benches actually sat upon by enslaved people. Yet at the end of a service in the past, people would push the benches back so that they could do the Shout, sometimes called the Ring Shout, which Denver travelers did not get to see performed until 2009. On that trip, they were in coastal Georgia watching the renowned McIntosh County Shouters perform. The Shout itself has died out as an active part of worship in the Lowcountry; however in 1980, Doug and Frankie Quimby of the Sea Island Singers, heard that a church in McIntosh County, Georgia, was continuing this tradition. That was the year that Mr. Lawrence McKiver, a member of this church, assembled a group to do the Shout publicly for the first
time. Now in his nineties, McKiver is the Emeritus member of the McIntosh County Shouters, a group that will be in Denver in September as part of the Gullah/ Geechee Exhibit, “The Water Brought Us: Passport to Africa in America.” Johnson Legacy, Inc., an organization that commemorates Jacquelyn Benton’s parents, will curate the exhibit, in conjunction with RedLine, the art space in the Five Points area. The two-week exhibit will also bring in acclaimed Gullah artist Jonathan Green, as well as a Gullah Storyteller and Gullah Sweetgrass Basket Maker. Leading up to the event, Jacquelyn Benton will give a presentation on the Shout at Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center and Cafe.
This year, more than 1 million kids will drop out of high school—many of them right here in Denver. Without a diploma, these students are robbed of promise, opportunity and a bright future. But it doesn’t have to be that way. KUVO/KVJZ is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative to address the high school dropout crisis, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). As part of American Graduate, KUVO/ KVJZ is connecting volunteers like me with students who can benefit from support and mentoring – a proven, effective way to keep kids on a path to graduation. Critical, trusting relationships are built. Kids are engaged in school and see a path for success ahead. Our community grows stronger. Visit www.kuvo.org to learn more about how you can help. If we all do our part, the future will look brighter than ever.
Tiersta Institute The “Shout,” an African-derived form of worship brought into the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia by enslaved Africans and done in the Praise House
Johnson Legacy, Inc. in conjunction with RedLine invites you to an entertaining evening filled with finger licking food, entertainment and more... The Water Brought Us Passport to Africa in America Reception and Fundraiser Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. RedLine 2350 Arapahoe St. Denver, CO 80205 (on the corner of 24th and Arapahoe)
Jonathan Green Frogmore Crossing
The Johnson Legacy, Inc., a Colorado non-profit cultural and historical educational organization, will host “The Water Bought Us : Passport to Africa in America” Gullah/Geechee cultural exhibition, September 7 - 22, 2012 at RedLine.
You don’t have to wait until then to begin experiencing the beauty of Gullah/Geechee culture. Join us Thursday, April 26th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for a good ol’ Lowcountry Boil. Admission $10.00 : To RSVP, reply to JohnsonLegacy@msn.com
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The Black Church and HIV
What role does faith play in fighting the epidemic?
Rev. Dr. Henry Armington Sr., Byron Conner, MD, Rev. Frank Davis, Rev. Dr. Randolph West, Jr. Imani Latif, Gerald Borden, Minister Terri Lee, RN, MS, Sallie Campbell, Emma Jackson, RN
Black church organizations united to face off against HIV/AIDS stigma in the African American community. Zion Baptist Church led by Pastor Frank Davis, convened the Community Town Hall Meeting on HIV/AIDS. This meeting had a unique blend of community, church members, and clergy in attendance. brother jeff of brother jeff’s Cultural Center was the moderator for a panel discussion that included Rev. Davis as well as Rev. Dr. Henry Armington, Sr., Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Randolph C. West, Jr., Pastor, St. Steven Missionary Baptist Church, Min. Terri Lee, Byron Conner, MD, Gerald Borden, brother jeff’s Community Health Initiative, Imani Latif, Director, It Takes A Village, and Sally Campbell, Eve’s Garden. The panelist came with tangible solutions the audience could take back to their families, churches and small groups. All of the pastors on the panel are involved in HIV/AIDS ministry. Reverend Davis shared his experience in Africa. He was so moved he made it part of his mis-
sion. Reverend West has an HIV/AIDS ministry, while Reverend Dr. Armington shared a touching story of his experience facing stigma first hand. While Dr. Armington was a young minister, he was installed in a church with 20 members. As God would have it, the chruch grew in membership to well over 300 people. He and his award-winning choir were in demand. In the course of time, it became public knowledge that a relative of Dr. Armington had been diagnosed with AIDS. Suddenly, Dr. Armington was no longer invited to speak at area churches, and the once highly demanded choir was no longer requested to perform. Dr. Armington, his relative and his church were stigmatized because of HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately Rev. Armington’s experience is not an isolated incident. Stigma and fear is hurting our community. This Town Hall meeting shed light on the reality that if you are not infected, you can still be affected by HIV/AIDS.
The ACLU of Colorado Race To Justice Coalition advocates for and proposes solutions to systemic problems with our criminal justice system – law enforcement practices, sentencing policy, conditions of confinement, recidivism and other topics. Join the discussion by becoming a member today www.acluco.org/get-involved or email email@example.com for more information.
–Terrance “Big T” Hughes
5 Points News Photo Gallary
Community Town Hall Meeting on HIV & AIDS
Sigma Gamma Rho 48th Annual Debutante Talent Tea
April 2012 8
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