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Volume 27 Number 4 July 2013

Colorado Black Arts Festival...4

Summertime in the Rockies


Volume 27 Number 4

Summertime In The Rockies

July 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNIST Earl Ofari Hutchinson FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Johnson Hugh Johnson Tanya Ishikawa Angelia McGowan Twalla Stevens

Yes, we are in the thick of summer – forest fires, family reunions and the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of murdering 17-year old Trayvon Martin over a year ago. While some parents are celebrating the successes of their children, there are others who are experiencing the trial of their life – defending the honor of their son and seeking justice for his death. But June is normally the month to celebrate Father’s, weddings and graduations. In addition to the accomplishments of graduating, many students were recognized and bestowed with scholarships to continue their pursuit of getting a quality education. Organizations that recognized Denver’s youth were many and included the Tuskegee Airmen, Drs. Joseph and Alice Langley Scholarship Foundation, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Delta Eta Boulé, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and others. Our hats go off to you for supporting Denver’s youth. June is also the onset of summer festivals and this year is no different with the recently held Juneteenth Music Festival. This month, Angelia McGowan shares, in our cover story, what inspired Black Arts Festival Artistic Director Perry Ayers and his passion to continue to produce Denver’s number one family friendly arts festival. And don’t stop there. Upcoming also is the Winter Park Jazz Festival in July and the Genuine Jazz and Wine festival in August. So as we continue to enjoy what the Mile Hi city has to offer and feel proud of the many youth who are becoming ideal citizens, stay mindful of those who are no longer with us to pursue their dreams. As of our printing date, the verdict has yet to be revealed but we pray that justice will prevail providing some kind of resolution to the hearts of Trayvon Martin’s grieving parents. Peace and blessings to you.


Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix



The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2013 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

Afghan Women Leaders Must Have A Voice On Reproductive Rights

Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco can help guide the establishment of culturally appropriate policies and programs that promote and protect Afghan women’s reproductive rights. Now is the time for the U.S. and the rest of the world to strongly support the societal changes needed to keep Afghanistan moving towards a more open, stable, and equitable society. The involvement of women in every aspect of Afghanistan society is essential to drive and sustain the change that is needed. As long as Afghan women and girls are prevented from defending their personal dignity, the entire world has an interest in ensuring that transformational changes take place in Afghanistan. We unequivocally support the work of the Afghan women’s caucus to improve reproductive health rights. Policy changes spearheaded by Afghan women Parliamentarians are already making a difference. For example, the Shiti Family Status Law was introduced with provisions about how family matters such as marriage, divorce and child custody should be handled. Women lawmakers added critical amendments ensuring that women have control over their own income, and that they can leave their homes to work without their husband’s permission. As the final withdrawal of U.S. troops approaches in 2014, we urge our Congressional delegations from Maryland and Colorado to not abandon Afghan women and girls. Our sisters in Afghanistan have expressed

Op-ed by Angela Williams Recently, we attended a meeting in Ankara, Turkey sponsored by the Women Legislators’ Lobby of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) and the EastWest Institute’s Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention. Women leaders from Afghanistan, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the United States gathered to hear personal stories and political and cultural updates from women Parliamentarians regarding women’s choice and reproductive rights. The Afghan Ministry of Health — with input from a Parliamentarian working group on which MP Golalai Nur Safi serves — is developing new regulations regarding women’s reproductive health rights including greater access to information and awareness of family planning options throughout the country. Here is an opportunity to protect Afghan women’s access to comprehensive health services, and who better to advocate for those services than women leaders? Model health programs currently implemented in other Islamic countries such as

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


real on-the-ground fears of a Taliban resurgence and backlash that can threaten gains they have made in selfdetermination and civil society rights and privileges. We must craft policies and direct foreign aid to assure that Afghan women be allowed to continue efforts to secure their reproductive health rights and access to health services and education. Editor’s note: Colorado State Representative Angela Williams is an active member of the Women Legislators’ Lobby – a program of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND). Golalai Nur Safi is a member of Parliament in Afghanistan and an active member of Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention – a program of EastWest Institute. Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez. Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

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Small Town Carnival

The Roots Of Black Arts Festival By Angelia D. McGowan

When the carnival came to

Burkburnett, Texas in the early 60s, a spark was ignited in the imagination of a 10-year-old African American boy for what would become the Colorado Black Arts Festival ─ this summer celebrating its 27th anniversary. Referred to as the Black Arts Festival by generations of Denver families the event draws tens of thousands of people every year, and over its lifetime easily more than a million. The theme for the 2013 festival, happening July 12-14 in Denver City Park West, is “African American Style: An American Legacy.” Artistic Director Perry Ayers can recall African American artistic contributions from a very young age. “I was fascinated when carnivals came to town,” says Ayers, who co-founded the festival in 1986 with his brother Oye Oginga. “The colors brought excitement to a little town (population estimated at 9,000 at the time). It was a reason to gather people.”

Over time, the possibilities for a festival took shape as he witnessed how African Americans celebrated history and culture from New York to L.A. He was “really engrossed and intrigued” on a last-minute road trip with a friend in 1979 from Denver to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in a 1970 yellow Volkswagen Beetle. He recalls, “It was like no other place in America. It had its own way.” And the people had their own questions. “When we stopped at soul food restaurants down there, folks asked ‘you drove all the way here in that?’ You know everybody down there had a Cadillac,” Ayers said. Fast forward to festival 2013 which is poised to showcase a visual feast of color, movement and pageantry with sounds from the African diaspora on three dynamic stages. The Isaac Point’s Jakarta Band and Lonnie Hill are among the 10 local groups slated to perform between Saturday and Sunday, says Gregory Goodloe, who is coordinating the performance stages, which will feature R&B, dance music and smooth jazz. The Denver native, who grew up attending and performing at the festival, is also scheduled to perform with his band, The Light Years Ahead. Coming on board to present who’s who of local talent is “a mini-dream come true,” he says.

The Boogaloo Celebration Parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, is an event in itself, according to Ayers. “We are preparing to bring a show, a performance spectacle.” Visitors can expect to see the traditional features of the festival, including the Visual Arts Pavilion, Opalanga D. Pugh Children’s Pavilion for Art and Learning, “Watu Sokoni” (People’s Marketplace), Drum and Drill Team Exhibition, Vintage Car Show and Art Garden. New attractions this year include “Colorado Night at the Apollo,” a scavenger hunt to engage attendees in a fun cultural and educational adventure and a dance in the streets with some of Denver’s hottest disc jockeys. Old and new, the attractions are in place to continue fulfilling the festival’s mission to raise the level of appreciation for the role that black arts and culture play in the development and wellbeing of the community. Ayers admits that it has not been easy to keep the festival going for more than a quarter of a century. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Competition is intense. Festivals focusing on African American culture have become a cash cow for many people in the state and across the globe. A lot of people think they can do a festival. Organizing a festival is not for the faint at heart. It’s a juggling

The weekend of the Colorado Black Arts Festival coincides with the grand re-opening of City of Nairobi Park located at 36th and Cook Street in Denver to celebrate the park renovations and the Sister Cities relationship between Kenya and Denver. The event comes during a year that the City of Nairobi is celebrating 50 years of independence. On July 14, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. more than 150 people are expected to attend the celebration, featuring a Kenyan delegation, authentic Kenyan food and entertainment. “While we are not connected to the re-opening, we are happy about the timing and encourage the community to support the event as the Kenyan community has been a part of the festival in various ways over the years,” says Ayers. This year, local Kenyan representation at the festival includes up to 25 members of the Rosma Cultural Student Dancers, who will be marching in the parade and performing on one of the stages.

act with dozens of balls in the air. It’s about more than eating a turkey leg in front of a stage,” he says, noting the work of the estimated 1,300 volunteers, who have helped to run the festival since its inception. Each year he sets his sights on a simple goal. He wants visitors to leave with an “African American cultural experience. Cherish it. Embrace it and pass it on from generation to generation. I hope they go home and share old (music) records and memories with kids.” He believes the festival serves as a worthy distraction from a lot of the negative things happening in the world. “I hope that people look at this annual event as a way to support and embrace culture with a sense of pride. We appreciate that our corporate sponsors care about us and find the budget to support this event. Our corporate sponsors have been gracious, and need to feel good when they sponsor us.” The festival has multiple repeat partners and sponsors including the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) that will include an extension of its South African plant/Ndebele display this year. DBG Brand Manager David Rubin says, “This is Denver Botanic Gardens’ third year at the Colorado Black Arts Continued on page 6

According to Brande’ Micheau, a board member with Sister Cities and the director of constituent service with the Office of District 8 Councilman Albus Brooks, the renovations features multiple levels of upgrades for the community. The project consists of replacing a 24-year-old playground with a new multi-age, dual-level playground focused around the city of Nairobi colors and African patterns. Amenities will include a plaza area, tables, benches, age and skill-appropriate play equipment. It will have an interpretive panel and African animal play sculptures. It will also be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Micheau says the Hon. Alex Ole Magelo, the Speaker of Nairobi City County Assembly, is confirmed as part of the Kenyan delegation. For more information, visit

Nairobi Celebration

July 14, 2013 in Denver

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2008


Denver Kicks Off Second Annual Citywide Business Plan Competition The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) will honor the best and brightest ideas in small business this year through its 2nd annual JumpStart Biz Plan Awards. The program recognizes the top 10 start-up and early-stage business plan finalists with tools to help their businesses thrive in Denver. “Small businesses are critical to the success of our local economy, and never has the entrepreneurial spirit been more alive and well in Denver,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The business plan competition is just one way the city is helping the small business community thrive. Through this unique citywide contest, we look forward to providing a boost to promising small businesses in Denver.” The grand prize includes a $50,000 cash award, one year of office space at Galvanize’s G1.0 building, 35 hours of legal counsel provided by Polsinelli, 60 hours of strategic marketing services from Dovetail Solutions and entrepreneurship mentoring from TiE Rockies. The top ten finalists will receive memberships to TiE Rockies and the Rockies Venture Club. Additionally, all entrants will receive Business Plan Elite app software from AppIt Ventures, the grand prize winner of last year’s JumpStart Biz Plan Awards. “Winning the OED JumpStart Biz Plan competition had a profound impact on our company,” said Rob Carpenter, co-founder of AppIt Ventures. “It provided us with exposure we wouldn’t have received, and helped us nearly double our annual revenue in the months that followed. It’s just another example of why Denver is the best city for entrepreneurs and new start-ups.” Identified as a key strategic initiative in OED’s JumpStart 2013 strategic plan, the awards program is open to start-up businesses and established businesses with up to 25 employees that have been in operation for up to five years. Applicant businesses must reside or have plans to reside in Denver. “We received an incredible response to last year’s business plan competition,” said Paul Washington, OED executive director. “We’re proud to continue this award program as an important measure to recognize and celebrate our city’s strong culture of

Editor’s note: JumpStart Biz Plan Awards sponsors include US Bank, Deloitte, Galvanize, Polsinelli, Dovetail Solutions, TiE Rockies, Rockies Venture Club, AppIt Ventures and Business Catapult. The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.

innovation that resonates among our small businesses.” Applications will be reviewed initially via the Business Catapult online platform by a panel of OED staff and business partners. Top finalists will be reviewed by a panel of business leaders, including executives from Dovetail Solutions, Galvanize and Polsinelli. Awards program is open to the first 150 entries. Applications are being accepted now through August 2 or until 150 entries have been received. Winners will be announced September 19, during Denver Startup Week. For more information or to apply, visit 

At the Mental Health Center of Denver, we focus on recovery-oriented mental healthcare. Working with 100 active community partners, we help people overcome challenges related to mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and other personal crises. And it’s working. We’re the national model for success, with more than 75% of people receiving treatment going on to lead healthier, more productive lives. And each one of those individuals is part of a stronger, healthier community. Learn more about our efforts at MHCD.ORG.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


2013 Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn Offers Enjoyable Multi-Generational Experience The July 27 event in City Park supports the programs provided by The Center for African American Health in the Metro Denver community

Teams of coworkers, church mem-

bers and civic group colleagues will join hundreds of Denver area families for the third annual Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn Saturday, July 27 in Denver’s City Park, Colorado Boulevard and 23rd Street, adjacent to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Proceeds from the family-friendly, multi-generational event support the work of The Center for African American Health, which is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the African-American community that it serves year-round. “Healthy living is a topic that is near and dear to our organization because it allows us to serve so many people in our community,” says Penny Ware, Member of the Mu Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha

Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “We enjoy participating in The Center for African American Health annual Walk/Run/Learn because it provides us a chance to get in shape, learn more about health issues, and to give back through our volunteer efforts. We are looking forward to another great event.” Runners and walkers can select either the 5K route or the one-mile option for the Destination Health Run/Walk which begins at 8:30 a.m. A Health Education Expo area with more than 40 booths filled with important facts about vital health matters and active lifestyles, and a special Children’s Health and Safety Zone with fun activities and information for youngsters, will be featured in the event’s Learn segment. There also will be an awards ceremony recognizing the top winners in various age groups as well as the largest teams participating. Entertainment will be provided by Denver’s own Mary Louise Lee Band.

Online registration is accessible at Fees (including a Destination Health t-shirt and customized bib) are $30 for adults and $25 for team members. Special discount rates are available for children, teens and seniors. Destination Health on-site registration and packet pickup will begin at 7:30 a.m. in City Park. “This walk is in line with our sorority’s aim to create a healthy community,” says Djuana Harvell, PhD, president of the Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “We have accepted the challenge to form a team and by participating in the Center for African American Health 5K Walk/Run we hope to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle by becoming more physically active.” Allegra “Happy” Haynes, vice president and At-Large Member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education and a former Denver City Councilwoman, and Pastor Rodney Perry, Supply Pastor for Macedonia Baptist Church, are serving as cochairs for the 2013 Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn. The Center for African American Health partners with a wide variety of health-education and health-delivery organizations to develop and provide culturally-appropriate disease prevention and disease management programs to thousands each year. The Center offers information on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer, as well as a wellness program for seniors, and health literacy training. Destination Health sponsors include Lilly, CBS4, DaVita, AARP, Piton Foundation, Coca-Cola, Denver Health Foundation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Jammin’ 101.5, Live Well Colorado, McDonald’s, Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance Foundation, Pepsi, PopChips, Denver Urban Spectrum, Colorado Health Foundation, Colorado Trust, Colorado Access and Walgreens.  Editor’s note: To learn more about The Center visit To volunteer and assist with the event, email the Center at or call 303355-3423.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


CBAF, continued from page 4 Festival. We have had a fantastic time teaching kids about plants in the Children’s Pavilion – they are so enthusiastic.” He adds, “One of the most enjoyable parts of participating in the Colorado Black Arts Festival is seeing all the budding botanists. Children are naturally inquisitive, and once they see the unique plants we bring, the questions don’t seem to stop. This year, kids will learn about plants and their natural habitats, and then have the opportunity to actually plant a seed to take home. Hands-on learning enables kids to become better critical thinkers by actively engaging them in the process of information.” Ayers says this is a great example of the food for thought that comes out of the festival. “Everyone can get a full plate of knowledge, history and creativity.” The interactive history lessons are never ending at the festival through those who have passed, but left a legacy standing the test of time. Not only is the Children’s Pavilion named after a legendary figure in the Colorado community, other stages and honors are as well. The Louise Duncan Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts is presented to African Americans in the Denver community whose talents and input have made a great impression and difference. Named in honor of the first recipient, the award has become a treasured tradition of the festival. Local performer Hazel Miller will receive the award this year, joining more than 30 legendary Colorado artists to have received the award. Sunday afternoon features more than 25 local gospel groups on the F. Cosmo Harris Gospel Stage. The late Harris is the founder of the 42-yearold Denver Weekly News, Denver’s longest running African Americanowned newspaper, and at one time he also owned a radio station. “When I was younger, I always looked forward to hearing Cosmo play live gospel performances on his radio station. He was a pioneer.” The Joda Village was named in honor of Baba Adetunji Joda, the father of African drum and dance in the Colorado region. There will be a Nigerian procession from the Joda Village to the main stage for the Duncan award. No matter how you look at it, the imagination of a young Perry continues to live.  Editor’s note: The daily hours for the Colorado Black Arts Festival are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. The suggested donation upon entering is $2. For the latest information, visit

Metadata Brings Debate With Possible Use To Protect Americans From Threats By Hugh Johnson

Edward Snowden


dward Snowden has turned the world on its head with the revelation of two programs the National Security Agency (NSA) uses to monitor the American and global public. Snowden, a former employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, leaked classified information about two programs that allow the government to monitor phone calls and online information. The subsequent frenzy has many wondering how long will America remain “the land of the free.” On June 6, The Guardian newspaper released information about a secret court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that requires Verizon Business Network Services to hand over phone call records to the government. The records include who makes the calls, to whom and when and where the call is made. At this time, it is unknown if other phone companies have been asked to hand over their records. Alternatively, The Guardian also released information about PRISM, a program that grants the government access to personal emails, file shares and chats of foreign persons on US servers. The news has sparked debate from many. The leaks prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the Obama Administration for overstepping its mandate and violating the rights of Americans. The ACLU is suing over the order to collect phone data. As a customer of Verizon, the ACLU believes the news and capabilities of the new program could damage the ACLU’s relationship with its clients, many of whom are vulnerable.

President Barack Obama

“Nobody is listening to your phone calls,” President Obama said. “By sifting through this so called metadata they [the NSA] may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism. If the intelligence community then actually wants to listen to a phone call, they’ve got to go back to a federal judge.” However, The Guardian recently published an article stating that the FISC has already passed broad orders that allow the NSA to retain data collected inadvertently on US persons for five years. The Guardian also reports that the NSA can make use of that data if it contains enough intelligence on criminal activity. In front of a house intelligence committee, NSA Director General Keith Alexander claimed that both programs have thwarted over 50 terrorist attempts worldwide with at least 10 of those attempts being in the United States. One such attempt targeted the New York Stock Exchange. The NSA was able to prevent the attack by monitoring a former New York accountant who was working with contacts in Yemen. Arguably, the ends justify the means. For the government, the decision to employ these surveillance programs isn’t about popularity but ensuring that there isn’t a repeat of the September 11 attacks. “These programs assist the intelligence community’s efforts to connect the dots....The events of September 11, 2001 occurred in part because of a failure on the part of our government to connect those dots,” Gen. Alexander said. “I’d much rather be here today debating this than explaining why we were unable to prevent another 9/11 attack.” During his press conference, President Obama touched on one of

The ACLU makes many phone calls under the tenets of confidentiality and discretion. The ACLU fears that by tracking phone information, known as metadata, the government could become privy to details about a person’s religious, familial, professional and intimate associations. The use of these programs is allegedly authorized through section 215 of the Patriot Act which allows for: “The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.” The argument here is that phone metadata and electronic information count as tangible records that can aid against international terrorism. Government officials, including the president, contend that the technology is used to protect Americans from threats, be it from terrorism or otherwise. They also assert that a series of checks and balances is in place to prevent any one organization or individual from abusing the program. President Obama stated that if the intelligence community wants more details on a particular phone or conversation than what the surface information provides, they must obtain a warrant.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


NSA Director General Keith Alexander

the key points of this issue. What is a reasonable balance between respecting the privacy of American citizens and preventing terrorist attacks? For the president, the programs are as transparent as they can be while still functioning. If there is any more balance to be had it can only come from debating the subject with the public. “We have to make decisions about how much covert activity we are willing to tolerate as a society. We could not have carried out the Bin Laden raid if it was on the front page of the papers,” the president said in an interview. “We’re going to have to find ways where the public has an assurance that there are checks and balances are in place...while still preserving our capacity to act against folks who are trying to do us harm.” That discourse is perhaps why Snowden blew the whistle. He wanted people to know about some of the programs the government has in place and decide how the programs should be implemented. “This is something that’s not our [the government’s] place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong...This is the truth, this is what’s happening – you should decide whether we need to be doing this,” Snowden said. “The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all these disclosures, they’ll know the lengths the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society... but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things.” 

Believing And Achieving: HOPE’s Class Of 2013 By Heather O’Mara and Ruth Márquez West

HOPE’s Graduating Class of

2013 celebrated the commencement of a new journey on Thursday, May 23rd on the Auraria Campus. A “believing and achieving” theme prevailed throughout the evening in speeches, remarks and a special HOPE choir performance of “I Believe.” Yecenia Torres Zavala, who earned her diploma through a special HOPE program for young mothers, conveyed her pride in exceeding the expectations of those who underestimated her commitment. In her student address, she declared “I now know that, with dedication and hard work, anything is possible.” Valedictorian Colton Royer encouraged his classmates by pointing out that, “sometimes, that second time

Yecenia Torres Zavala

Colton Royer

Mario Martinez

means we win – and that second chance will give us the courage to take on our next big dream.” For many HOPE graduates, like those whose stories are summarized below, HOPE affirms their potential and their dreams. They remind us, as the late Christopher Reeve said, “Once you choose hope, everything’s possible.” Mario Martinez wanted to quit during his final college-readiness exams but triumphed with determination. Prior to his enrollment in HOPE, Mario was on a self-imposed hard road after yielding to bad influences. He is grateful to have awakened in time to avoid the sad consequences in the lives of his former friends. A first generation graduate and a serious musician, Mario shares his talents at area churches and events. Jakayla Romero’s family relocated to Colorado to join her extended fami-

Jakayla Romero

ly members of educators, when they opened a HOPE Learning Center. Jakayla plans to be an OB/GYN doctor, supported by her advanced math and science skills. A former captain of her volleyball, basketball and softball teams, Jakayla is a proven leader. Her grandmother and mother, both teachers, are her role models. Lonesha Giles is excited to begin classes at Adams State College in the fall, where she hopes to run track and begin work toward a degree in nursing. Academically advanced in her studies, especially math and science, Lonesha was also a leader in community service, serving as her Learning Center’s student council president. Her athletic talent was an asset to several high school teams. Colton Royer -Colton is a nevergive-up achiever in life, academics,

Lonesha Giles

Isaiah Ray Maderas

music and sports. His father, grandparents, coaches, teachers and mentors applaud his heart and pure effort. Colton overcame obstacles to become HOPE’s valedictorian. He is also a sought-after baseball pitcher, remembering to “give back” by coaching young athletes. The multi-talented graduate also won this year’s “HOPE’s Got Talent!” competition. Isaiah Ray Maderas – Isaiah Ray sees all his difficulties as advantages. He is enrolled in the Paul Mitchell salon training program, where he will follow the generations-long family tradition of hair care. Isaiah Ray is gifted in writing and excels academically in almost all his subjects. He is committed to reaching out to encourage others, following the example of his Learning Center leaders, Joey and Annette Trujillo. 

Introducing Breakfast After Midnight. Perhaps the greatest invention in the history of ever. McDonald’s introduces Breakfast After Midnight. Yes, you read that right. And yes, this is the most incredible thing to ever happen, ever. So now, in addition to the regular menu you can get after midnight, you can get some of your favorite breakfast items as well. Breakfast After Midnight. ®

breakfast after midnight 12 A.M. TO 4:00 A.M. Many restaurants serving Breakfast After Midnight. Participation varies. Limited time offer. ©2013 McDonald’s

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Summer Break Crucial Time For Creative Learning By Angelia D. McGowan

Around this time of the school

year, something sinister lurks below the radar of many parents who are helping their children celebrate the end of another school year and the beginning of summer fun and vacations. It‘s called “the summer slide,” and it is often described as what happens when “young minds sit idle for three months.” According to authors of a National Summer Learning Association report: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year.... It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month reteaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.” The impact can be damaging to a child’s future. This lapse in focused learning can impact a student’s recall of many lessons, for example, basic sight words and multiplication, according to Cherrelyn Napue, an area director for Club Z! in-home tutoring program. For nearly 20 years, the national program has had the privilege of providing high quality in-home tutoring and test prep services to nearly 300,000 students. In Denver, Club Z! offers private and small group tutoring during the summer as well as enrichment/academic camps. According to researchers at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and

analysis, “The best summer programs have small classes, encourage regular attendance, provide individualized instruction and offer a combination of academic and enrichment activities.” “Many of our tutors have one-onone study sessions at the kitchen table while the student’s parents are cooking dinner,” says Napue, whose area includes the E-470 Corridor from Green Valley Ranch to Saddle Rock Ridge. “So not only are the students learning, but their parents are staying engaged with their academic progress.” The benefits of the tutoring will help to rebuild self-esteem battered by bad grades from previous school year; close the achievement gap, help students catch up and get ahead before new school year; and reinforce skills for children, who might otherwise lose skills from a 2-3 month separation from formal learning. “Everyone wants to share fun memories when they go back to class in the fall, but it’s equally important for students to have consistency in their learning,” she says.

Based on the demand last year, the camp has expanded from just a reading club into four areas of focus: science, math, art, and reading/drama. All areas integrate writing skills. The camp, available to students in grades 1 through 5, happens the last week of July and the first week of August. Half-day sessions are available from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Limited enrollment is available. “With a small-group format, students receive a maximum educational impact,” adds Napue.  Editor’s note: To register for Summer Fun and Learning with Club Z! Summer Camp, visit www.summerdfunwithclubz. or call 303-399-CLUB. The camp fee is $85 per person, per session. Discounts are available for families. Registration fee per family is $40.

Summer Slide Meets Z! Summer Fun and Learning Camp

It’s commonly-known that parents’ to-do lists for their children tend to fade late summer. “Most camps end in mid-July, so parents are left scrambling, trying to piece together activities for the last few weeks of summer,” says Napue as she embarks on her second annual Z! Camp to meet this void. “The goal of the Z! Camp is for students to be outdoors while learning; the camp will use backyard experiences with activities students can find at their own homes,” she says. “For example, foursquare is used as a learning exercise in geometry and fractions. Trees and bushes are used as scales for estimation and art projects will include found objects.” Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Streamlines Initiatives By Heather D. Johnson

The Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce has been without a per-

manent leader since November when former president and CEO Eric Lee resigned to become the director of Colorado Community College Online. In January the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors appointed Nicole Singleton as interim president and CEO, and officially named Singleton to lead the organization in April. “My role as the interim president and CEO was not as comprehensive, but I have been working with the board to ensure our focus centers on

retaining and engaging our members,” she said. Singleton said that while the overall goal of the chamber has not changed, it is focusing its efforts on five tenets that include economic development, political advocacy, education, small businesses and minority owned businesses. “We want to ensure that we are streamlining our efforts in manners that will prove beneficial and successful to our members,” she said. “By prioritizing our initiatives the Chamber will be a much better resource to our current and potential members.” Singleton stressed the importance of engaging and retaining its members. Since becoming president she has been working closely with the board of directors to incorporate strategies that will continue to support the needs and goals of its members. “We have a strong relationship with all of our legislators and they have been very supportive of small businesses and business owners. They are committed to working towards our best interest and truly understand our needs,” said Singleton. Recently the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce not only worked to connect business owners and legislators, but also actively supported legislative issues, such as HB1167 that collects data on key demographics of business owners, helping to accurately identify the number of Black owned businesses. “Our members bring issues to us that are unique to minority business owners and we work with them to connect them to our legislators,” she said. “In response, our legislators are involving us very early in the process and our members understand that by coming together as a collective group we have a stronger, unified voice.” In addition to establishing the chamber and its members politically, Singleton said the CBCC is also working to build relationships with other area chambers. “We are all working toward the same overall goal, building and sustaining economic development, and connecting and collaborating with other chambers is essential to our success. All of the chambers including the suburban chambers, Hispanic Chamber, Denver Metro Chamber have all been very supportive.” Singleton said that by collaborating with other chambers and organizations, CBCC is also able to continue its community outreach. The Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce partners with local schools

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


and universities to help students understand how to become successful in the workforce. “A great deal of our outreach involves education,” she said. “We want to give students access to tools while also supplying them with the knowledge to be successful as they move forward in their education and in their careers.” CBCC has developed an education committee that advocates for equitable education for students and hosts career exploration events. Singleton said the committee is also planning to establish internship and entrepreneurial programs in the near future. She also said that although CBCC has strong relationships with Denver Public Schools, as well as the other metro area school districts, and as a minority member-based organization, CBCC strongly encourages the districts to continue to solicit diverse vendors and ensure that they are visibly represented in the districts. “Denver’s Black population is very small, but there are many successful professionals of color in our area. We want children to know that they can pursue work as an entrepreneur, or business professional and actively see and engage our professional representatives, while understanding that they (students) will be supported in our community,” Singleton said. Singleton said that although there are still a lot of goals to accomplish she is up for the challenge. She acknowledged that CBCC has a full calendar of events and programs scheduled for the remainder of the year. “While we have the five tenets that we are working towards, we are still very much committed to keeping our current members engaged, while also proactively demonstrating the need for our organization in our community,” she said. Traditionally, chamber organizations have experienced difficulty in encouraging their members to take advantage of available services. “CBCC represents over 300 minority owned businesses in our community. As African American business owners we have concerns that need to be addressed from a black perspective. We want our businesses to know that they have a strong voice in our community with advocates that will help them accomplish their goals,” she said.  Editor’s note: For more information about the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, visit or call 303-831-0720.

Summit Helps Business Leaders Reach Their Peak By Angelia McGowan On May 31 and June 1, the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit informed, inspired and helped more than 700 of Colorado’s movers and shakers imagine how to take their careers and legacy’s to the next level. The event featured more than 15 workshops, and addressed a myriad of topics from small business trends to the empowering role of women in ministry. “Power Players Panel: How’d They Do That?� featured Eula Adams, president and COO of Xcore Computer Corporation and Jerome Davis, regional vice president at Xcel Energy. Both reflected on their journey while candidly answering questions from the audience about their tenacious climb up the corporate ladder. Ed Refern, Jr., senior issue specialist for AARP talked about how baby boomers can re-invent themselves to stand out among the crowd. Keo Frazier, president of Keos Marketing Group, addressed the importance of social media for nonprofits during the “Social Media Tactics for True-toMission Nonprofits� workshop. “I’m very pleased with the caliber of facilitators and panelists represented,� said MRBES Executive Director Carla Ladd. “Each year I grow more and more impressed with the professional talent that Denver and Colorado have to offer. The feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.� The summit, which seeks to improve the economic standing of minority communities, also featured the WiLMA (Women in Leadership and Management Awards) luncheon, named in honor of former legislator and Denver’s first African American

first lady, the Hon. Wilma J. Webb. More than 500 people, including former Mayor Wellington Webb and current Mayor Michael B. Hancock, were in attendance at the luncheon that featured a keynote address by economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux and words of appreciation from Mrs. Webb as she honored this year’s recipients for their professional accomplishments and service to the community. The 2013 WiLMA awards recognized recognized Glynis A. Albright, CEO of Just Sweet Enough in the business category; Dr. Brenda J. Allen, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus in the education category; Priscilla Brown, co-executive director of the Black United Fund of Colorado in the community category; and Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields (HD42) in the political category. The second day of the summit saw the commitment of approximately 100 people intent on learning how to manage their financial life at a daylong Moneywise Empowerment Seminar featuring Kelvin Boston, author/educator Dennis Kimbro, Ph.D., and celebrity nutritionist/fitness specialist Robert Ferguson, MS, CN.

The 2013 WiLMA award honorees with Wilma J. Webb (far left) and Carla Ladd (far right): L t oR: Rep. Rhonda Fields, Priscilla Brown, Dr. Brenda J. Allen and Glynis A. Albright The impact of the summit will ripple throughout the year with the distribution of the Denver Little Black Book, which was distributed at the summit. The annual resource and entertainment guide, produced by Denver Black Pages and MRBES, contains a list of select businesses, things to do and places to go in the Denver metro area. It will be available throughout the year at DBP and other community events. With eight years of producing the summit under her belt, Ladd is appre-

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ciative of the community and corporate support that has kept the one-ofa-kind event for the Mountain Region alive and thriving. More than 20 sponsors came on board to make the event a success this year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thank all of our sponsors for their continued support of this community event and look forward to partnering with them for the 2014 Success Summit & Expo,â&#x20AC;? she said.  Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: For more information about the MRBES Success Summit & Expo, visit

Cirque du Soleil

Interview with Amaluna’s Peacock Goddess Amy McClendon By Tanya Ishikawa

Returns To Denver Photo Credit: Laurence Labat Costume credit : Mérédith Caron Supplied by: Cirque du Soleil


n her first visit to Colorado six years ago, getting used to the state’s higher elevations took time for dancer Amy McClendon. At the same time,

she was in awe of the beauty of the mountains and clear, starry skies. When she visits again this summer, it is audiences who are bound to be


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awestruck by the splendor and highflying performances of McClendon and the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna. McClendon, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., dances the part of the Peacock Goddess in the show, which is set on a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. She plays a key role in the love story between the island queen’s daughter and her young suitor, as they face demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can join together in harmony. Before joining her first tour with Cirque du Soleil in 2012, the dancer was performing on Broadway in musicals including Hairspray, The Wiz and Lost in the Stars. She is a graduate of the Fordham BFA Dance Program at the Ailey School in New York City, and danced at the PerryMansfield Performing Arts school and camp in Steamboat Springs in 2007. Of her festival experience, she said, “I completely fell in love with Colorado. It was my first time being surrounded by mountains. I was there in June and was shocked when it started snowing, especially being from Florida. To be in a jacuzzi on a rooftop with the snow falling was the most beautiful thing to me.” Arriving in Denver this month, McClendon is looking forward to reexperiencing the clear night skies and exploring the city for her first time. “All my colleagues at Cirque du Soleil are super expressive about how great

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Denver is. I hope to take a modern or ballet class while I’m there,” she said, adding that she also looks forward to the “exuberance and super loud cheering” of the Colorado audiences. McClendon believes audience members will have a real emotional connection to Cirque du Soleil’s 32nd production, Amaluna. “It’s exciting honestly, because it is the first show where the majority of performers are women. I’ve heard from audience reactions, that the feminine strength is an element of the performance that is beautiful. As women, we add so many levels of complexity to our performances. We are soft, sensual, powerful, bold, courageous... The women in the cast are still doing daring tricks and skills that a guy would do, and the women are just as bold and ready to conquer all that they can.” “The show is extremely interesting for men, too,” she added. “All the women are beautiful and beautiful in what we do. There are guys in the show as well, and definitely a balance as relates to all ages and genders. At the end of the day, the story is about love, which I believe everybody can relate to. The guys can bring that raw guy energy, and the women bring delicacy and strong power. It’s definitely a show for everyone.” As the Peacock Goddess, McClendon’s role in Amaluna is to teach the male suitor of the queen’s daughter how to love and how to take care of a woman – a task that many women can appreciate the value of. “We as women all possess that power,” the dancer explained. “Men are attracted to us, while we want them to meet standards of what we want and need. If they want you, they will try to meet those standards. As a man, if you really love her and care for her, you should be willing to sacrifice all for her. At the end of the day, that’s what women need. We hope we as women can teach this to our sons, husbands and lovers, and to understand what our standards are and what we want in life, and allow men to meet those.”  Editor’s note: Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna opens July 18, 2013 at the Pepsi Center Grounds and runs until August 25, 2013. For information and tickets, go online to or call 1-800-450-1480


Local Tuskegee Airmen Chapter Host Second Annual Scholarship Luncheon By Heather Johnson


munity involvement and scholarSunday, June 9, ship applicathe Hubert L. tion and “Hooks” Jones selected the Chapter of the four East Tuskegee High School Airmen, Inc. students as hosted its secthe top candiL-R Vorry Moon, Andrea Pickford, Keturah Kiper, Denver Mayor ond annual dates. Michael B. Hancock, Bailey Trieweiler, Constance Williams, “Becoming Scholarship Lowell Bell, President Photo by Ken Smith a Tuskegee Awards Luncheon at the University of Denver. Airmen scholarship recipient means more than being able to pay for my The Honorable Mayor Michael B. education…it means being able to estabHancock, as well as several other lish my career, give back to my commuDenver area elected officials attended nity and work with kids and encourage the event. Sam Hunter, Randolph them to dream big,” said Keturah Kiper. Edwards and Franklin Macon, all Although she was unable to attend Documented Original Tuskegee the luncheon State Representative Angela Williams sent a letter to each Airmen, also known as DOTAs, of the award recipients, which was attended, as well as Louise Biffle and read and presented to the seniors at Jeweldine Blair, both spouses of the ceremony. deceased DOTA’s, referred to as During the event, Mayor Hancock, “lonely eagles.” who was the keynote speaker, con“This is the second year our chapgratulated the graduates on their ter has held a scholarship award accomplishments, highlighted the valluncheon and it is an honor that our ues of education, and encouraged all elected officials and distinguished of the guests to commit to work members of our chapter were able to towards excellence. attend,” said Lt. Colonel (retired) The mayor also expressed his ongoVorry Moon, chapter vice president ing support of the Tuskegee Airmen and scholarship committee chair. and was presented with an honorary During the award ceremony four membership to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Denver East High School graduating National Organization and the Hubert seniors were presented with scholarL. “Hooks” Jones Chapter. As a symbol ships. Bailey Trierweiller and of appreciation chapter members preConstance Williams were each awardsented Mayor Hancock with the Hubert ed a Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Chapter L. “Hooks” Jones official headgear and a Scholarship. Trierweiller received a desk-sized replica of the P-51-D $1000 scholarship and Williams Mustang with authentic “red tail” markreceived a $1500 scholarship. ings signifying the Tuskegee Airmen Additionally, Keturah Kiper and during combat in World War II. Andrea Pickford were each awarded a “I have always held the Tuskegee $1500 Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Airmen in the highest regard. This is Foundation Award (TASF). indeed an honor,” said Mayor Trierweiller was also selected as an Hancock. alternate candidate for the TASF The Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones scholarship. Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Award “We are very proud of all of the is one of the methods the chapter utischolarship recipients. They have lizes to support the goals and objecdemonstrated the goals of the tives of the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen through perseverchapter members are very grateful to ance, by overcoming adversity and the Colorado Springs and Denver striving for academic excellence,” said metro areas for the generous support Candace Moon, chapter secretary. of its scholarship program and the Graduating seniors from high members plan to expand the number schools throughout Colorado were of recipients as well as the monetary encouraged to apply for the scholaramount of the awards in the near ships. The selection committee evalufuture.  ated the students’ written essays, comDenver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


DareToBelieve Creates GodlyBeauty By Twalla Stephens

you leave your job... Dance is a type of art"When that generdon't leave your money behind!" social,

ally involves movement of the body, or performed often rhythmic and to music. It is perfor an audience. It can Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP formed in many cultures as a form of also be ceremonial, competiFinancial Adviser emotional expression, social interactive or erotic. Dance movements may be significance tion, or exercise, in a spiritual per- Creekwithout 3200 or Cherry Drive South, #700 in themselves, as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a formance setting, and is sometimes Denver, CO 80209 gestural vocabulary or symbolic meanused to express ideas or tell a story. 303-871-7249 - ing as in some Asian dances. Dance may also be regarded as a form Dance does not leave behind clearof nonverbal communication between ly identifiable physical artifacts such Today forimplements a FREE or humans, other animals and oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s God. as"Call stone tools, hunting There are many styles and genres Consultation!" cave paintings. It is not possible to say of dance. African dance is interpretawhen dance became part of human tive. Ballet, ballroom and tango are culture. Before the production of writclassical dance styles. Square dance ten languages, dance was one of the and electric slide are forms of step methods of passing these stories down dance, and break dancing is a type of from generation to generation. street dance. Dance can be participatory, Another early use of dance may have

been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Although dance is often accompanied by music, it can also be presented independently or provide its own accompaniment (tap dance). Dance presented with music may or may not be performed in time to the music depending on the style of dance. Dance performed without music is said to be danced to its own rhythm. African American dances are those dances which have developed within African American communities in everyday spaces including an ugly parking lot in the middle of the Juneteenth celebration. Even though it is an ugly parking lot, in the midst of it all is a small Christian ministry dance group made up of seven people, Joe Hill, Cecile Perrin, Greg Trushel, Noah Jones, Aaron Beasley, Kenyetta Roberts, and Nehemiah Holiday, making all of the ugliness into something beautiful. Dancing to Christian rapper Flameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go Buck!,â&#x20AC;? Dare To Believe, is doing just that. Sweet moves are being performed then enters Joe Hill, full of the Holy Spirit, finishing off the dance with enthusiasm. This enthusiasm attracts more and more peopleâ&#x20AC;Śthe small crowd that was gathered for other groups soon multiples into hundred or at least it seems so because the cheers and applause that comes after Dare To Believe is like a roar. The other groups are chanting Flameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go Buck!â&#x20AC;? enviously saying at the end they wish they could add some of Dare To Believeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choreography to their dances. Although out of breath, group leader Joe Hill, appears like he is ready for moreâ&#x20AC;Śready to perform againâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have been dancing since I was way littleâ&#x20AC;ŚI am 34 years oldâ&#x20AC;ŚItâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a long time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all that I know.â&#x20AC;? Looking like a much younger adult he said â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had a vision five years ago to dance for God. He told me that if I dare to trust in Him that He would make us great. So, now, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all I do. I use my body as an instrument and

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thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how Dare To Believe was born. We all use our bodies as instruments with such enthusiasm that people folk to God.â&#x20AC;? Ironically, enthusiasm means â&#x20AC;&#x153;to be inspired from God.â&#x20AC;? When dancer Cecile Perrin (who is also the production assistant for the Denver Urban Spectrum) gets a cramp in her feetâ&#x20AC;Śa pain that dancerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often feel but you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know unless you are a dancer or former dancer, instead of stopping to stretch it out, she keeps moving like nothing happens. Her face is a glow because she looks like she is filled with the same enthusiasm as Joe and the others, and doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss a beat. Perrin has been dancing with Dare To Believe since 2009. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joe really is strict and he pushes us to be our best. He is like a big brother to me. I have a lot of respect for him. This is my family. The people in my group are my friends. Joe makes me proud to be a Christian. Christianity is a lifestyle, and he (Joe) has taught me that it is okay to be proud to be a Christian and live a Godly life.â&#x20AC;? Dare To Believe have performed at Heaven Fest (one of the biggest Christian Festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the world) and Revival Fest in Denver and in the Denver Metro Area. They are all members of Sure Foundation Community Fellowship Church located near 13th and Chambers in Aurora. The group offers a mentorship program, and is looking to expand from the group member. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just want to make it as big as God wants to make Dare To Believe. He told me that all that I had to do was to let Him use my body for His work, and I believe with all my heart that it will get bigger than I ever imagined. Because every dayâ&#x20AC;Śthis is what I do.â&#x20AC;? Joe Hill smiles an easy smile with the far off look as if he sees the vision that God gave him years ago. I see it also at this Juneteenth celebration.  Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: For more information on booking, email, visit on Facebook at dtbdaretobelieve, or call Cecile Perrin at 720-436-9822.

Colorado BeautillAion-Cotillion, Inc. (CBI) Dinner and Formal Presentation Photo by Picture Your World

A Time Of Recognition And Honor By Twalla Stevens


cholarships were abundant and recognition was extended last month as several organizations bestowed honor and recognition to many of Denver’s deserving students. Night in Paris was the theme of the Colorado BeautillAion-Cotillion, Inc. (CBI) Dinner and Formal Presentation on June 9 at the Marriott DTC. CBI is an enrichment program that provides personal development experiences and special recognition for Colorado’s premier high school students. CBI recognized, rewarded, and encouraged Colorado high school students to strive for higher levels of academic and personal achievement, participate in community service and to maintain a greater sense of self confidence and pride. Thirty three Beaux and 33 Débutante/Belles were presented during the event. Special guests included First Lady of Denver and singer Mary LouiseLee, singer Cicely O’Kain, and Walter Davis of the Pittsburgh Steelers. CBI is accepting applications for the 2014 Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion. For more information, visit

The Drs. Joseph and Alice Langley Scholarship Foundation hosted an awards reception at the Blair–Caldwell African American Research Library on

Saturday, June 8. Scholarship recipients Kayla Wright-Jackson, Anthony Sanford, and Sydney Brown each received $1,000 to be used at the college of their choice. Keynote speaker Mayor Michael B. Hancock spoke words of encouragement to the recipients along with motivation speakers Tracey Adams Peters, Sean Bradley, and Tanaka Shipp.

Members of Delta Eta Boulé introduced the 2013 Delta Eta Boulé Foundation scholarship recipients. They were James Brady, Martin L. King High School – University of Colorado; Josiah Martin, Eaglecrest High School – Howard University; and Langston Williams, George Washington High School – Santa Clara University. Delta Eta Boulé is the Denver Chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the oldest and most prestigious African American Fraternity in the country, founded in 1904. With 125 chapters and over 5000 members nationwide, the Boulé has made significant impact on communities nationwide through mentoring, supporting community organizations through grants, and funding extensive scholarship programs to aid young men in attending college. Since its inception in 1998, the Delta Eta Boulé Foundation has funded educational assistance for 52 young African American men from the Denver Metro area to the college of their choice. Many students come from single parent homes, are the first in their family to attend college, have never been away from home or traveled outside of their hometown, and a few have been homeless and without any financial support.

Scholarship recepients: Linda B. Medina Martinez, Imari Ross, and Taylor Hill

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority presented scholarships during the Zeta Zeta Zeta Chapter and Z-Community Foundation Scholarship Gospel Brunch at The Upper Room Community Church. The scholarship was created from the vision of a group of diverse women who exemplify the spirit of true sisterhood and are firmly committed to the continual growth of its membership and the delivery of outstanding service. As a part of this value system, scholarship recipients included Tonya Hill, Imari Ross, and Linda Martinez. The Keynote speaker was Johnisa Setwart of D.I.V.A, Inc. Featured artists included Arica Quinn, Ribbons Ministry, Bianca Breeze, Shelly Lindsey, Shorter AME Y.oung E.mpowered S.ervants (Y.E.S.) Ministry, Shorter AME Mime Ministry, and Zeta Phi BetaArchonnettes and Amicettes. Delta Eta Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted their Denim & Dazzle Gala on Saturday, June 15 from at The Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for Performing Arts in Denver. The Denim & Dazzle Gala is Delta Eta Boulé Foundation scholarship program’s signature fundraising event. Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


d! By an k m c Ba r De la pu o P

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opper Mountain has collaborated with the Republic National Distributing Company and Peak Performances to host the 29th Annual Genuine Jazz & Wine Festival. The event features renowned jazz musicians, an expansive collection of wines to sample, and a gourmet grill from August 23-25 in the Center Village at Copper. The festival will include 3-days of jazz stars taking the stage in the intimate Copper Conference Center Ballroom. Featured talent includes internationally renowned and Award Winning Jazz stars Rick Braun, Kim Waters, Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor, Michael Lington and Elan Trotman. An All-Shows Weekend Pass may be purchased for $88, with individual show tickets starting at $48. Several free outdoor performances will also be available as part of Copper’s Free Friday’s at Copper concert series. The wine tasting portion of the festival will feature nearly 20 wines, in addition to several cognacs and ports, available for guests to sample. This year’s wine collection has a unique ‘eco-friendly’ theme. Tasting packages, in which guests receive tickets redeemable for a sample of the wine of their choosing, may be purchased on-site. Guests will also enjoy the Gourmet Grill, which provides a taste of this summer’s freshest ingredients. Items available include a Grilled Salmon Sandwich topped with a Tomato Avocado Salsa or the Grilled

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich topped with spinach, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and a balsamic reduction. With the beautifully relaxing backdrop of Copper Mountain, festivalgoers can luxuriate in melodious jazz, outstanding wines and a delectable gourmet menu at this year’s Genuine Jazz & Wine Festival. For more information visit, and for lodging specials call 866-837-2996.

Kim Waters

With the release of his 1989 debut album, Sweet and Saxy, saxophonistband leader-composer-arranger-producer Kim Waters was instantly established among the premier Urban Jazz hit makers. Now, after over two decades as a music superstar with 16 Top Ten and 14 #1 singles, 4 #1 CDs and sales in excess of a million album units, Waters again elevates his already luminous career profile to an even higher pinnacle with MY LOVES, his 19th solo album and major label debut. Resplendent with all the Kim Waters signature in-the-pocket grooves, seductive melodies, virtuoso improvisations, state-of-the-art production and inspired contributions from his musicians and guest vocalists, MY LOVES, with an even deeper focus on the distinctly rich Urban Music mother-lode, is a soulful, 11track hymnal in praise of romance – always the essential emotional subtext of any Kim Waters album – in all its varied shadings, hues, depths, grandeur, yearnings and joyous fulfillments. Imagine an evening-long party

where two guests, meeting for the first time, realize they’ve found their forever partners. MY LOVES compellingly portrays the next once-in-a-lifetime hours with a most inviting “It’s a Party in Here,” one of Kim’s very best jazz creations to date. The spell has been cast, and next up is “I Wanna Love You,” co-written by Kim, guest vocalist Glen Jones and destined to become a soul power-ballad classic

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


beyond this first 2013 appearance. And there are few moments ever better than “Watching the Sunset” with your soul-mate in a shimmering musical mood of exquisite, the best is yet to come promise. Then it’s “High Steppin’” back to the party as your host and groovemeister Kim Waters keeps the goodtime vibe going big time with the very singular brewing of hot and cool

Waters jazz jams. The expressive title song is dedicated to all lovers newfound and life-long, and especially to Kim’s special loves, Waters daughters Kimberly and Kayla (who is a 2013 Howard University Summa cum laude graduate!). Next, the mood turns mellow with “Flamenco Nights,” featuring Kim’s sensuous sax lines embraced by a sumptuous orchestral ambiance with lush harmonies and insinuating rhythms followed by ”My Love is All I Have to Give,” a toast from our host to all his friends and one of Kim’s strongest power-ballad declarations. Then once again, it’s dance time with a scintillating mix of beats, hooks, lines and singer (Kim’s spellbinding solo saxophone) to introduce “The Groove Sensation.” Another of Kim’s special loves, his wife Dana Pope, brings her vocal talents and individual artistry to the classic soul anthem “Loving You” in a memorable interpretation sure to remain in the mind and heart for all the “Sunny Days” and star-filled moonlight evenings of “Red Wine and You” and the everlasting love all Kim Waters’ albums celebrate. In truth, one look at the titles of his hit albums from only the past decade proves that Waters knows quite a lot about romance and love with such stellar achievements as Love’s Melody, One Special Moment, From The Heart, Someone to Love You, In the Name of Love, All For Love, You Are My Lady and Love Stories, his classic 2010 collection. Inspired by such jazz icons as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Paul Desmond and Cannonball Adderley, Waters was born into a musical family. The Maryland native picked up his first instrument, the violin, at the age of eight. “That didn’t go over well with the fellas,” says Waters, who later found his true calling on the alto and soprano saxophones at age 13. Shortly afterwards he began playing in a band with his brothers, James (who he still performs with) and Eric, and his old friend, jazz piano legend Cyrus Chestnut. Over the years, Waters has shared stages with many of the best including Ray Charles, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Hyman, Gerald Albright and Grover Washington, Jr. to name a very few. Waters recently relocated to Elk Grove, California from his longtime Baltimore area home. MY LOVES is sure to further captivate all Kim Waters fans and earn him innumerable new ones as well again affirming that he has rightfully been acclaimed The #1 Urban Jazz Saxophonist and is here to stay! In this

regard, Kim once stated, “I enjoy helping others and it is my hope that my music in some way brings positivity to the world. I believe that the world cannot live without new music - I know I can’t!”

Rick Braun

Less known is the fact that he’s been a singer, and a good one (backing Rod Stewart and Sade among others, with vocals as well as his stellar trumpet) for most of his life, as well. Rick Braun Sings With Strings brings both those skills front and center. And it does so in a way that dips back into the music he’s been captivated by since he first picked up a horn. “This album,” says Braun, “feels a lot like coming home. I grew up hearing this music all around the house. Singing it, playing it. Listening to my mom, who was a singer and piano player. She was one of those people who knew every part of a song – the verse, the chorus, the refrain, all the lyrics.” The album will no doubt produce similar comfort feelings for anyone with a love for song. And not just Great American Song. Because what Braun and producer/arranger Philippe Saisse have put together in this eminently listenable recording is a gathering of tunes unlimited by boundaries of origin or style. Some are familiar. Songs such as “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “I Thought About You” and “The Things We Did Last Summer” have been memorable themes from the soundtrack of American love life for decades. Rick also especially recalls, “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” and “Time After Time” as “tunes I’ve known since I was a kid.” Others are less familiar, but no less

memorable. “Once Upon A Summertime” is an English version of Michel Legrand’s gorgeous French song, “La Valse des Lilas”; “It’s Love” is from the musical Wonderful Town by the brilliant songwriting team of Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein; and “Say It (Over and Over Again)” was written by Loesser and Jimmy McHugh for a 1940 Jack Benny film titled Buck Benny Rides Again. French song “Plus Je T’embrasse,” sung as a duet by Rick and French singer Jasmine Roy, may have unfamiliar lyrics for American listeners, but the melody immediately recalls its origins in the old pop song, “Heart Of My Heart.” “Lucky To Be Me,” which was given strong consideration as a title for the album, was one of three tunes – along with “It’s Love” and “Plus Je T’embrasse” – that were inspired by hearing a Blossom Dearie album. And Philippe Saisse, in addition to his lush orchestrations, encouraged the inclusion of “The Good Life,” based on Sasha Distel’s French song “La Belle Vie.” But what links the soaring melodies of all these songs is their embracing lyricism and deep emotional intimacy. Delivered via the jaunty, expressive story telling qualities of Rick’s singing and the warm sound of his flugelhorn (he does not play trumpet on this album), the results are prime examples of the way a gifted jazz artist can find the inner heart of a song. “I’ve always wanted to play lyrically,” says Braun. “For me, that’s where I live.” And it’s where his singing lives, as well. Braun’s not the first trumpet player to match instrumental prowess with engaging vocals. He’s preceded by – among others – Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Chet Baker, Clark Terry and Jack Sheldon. Their range extends from Armstrong’s innovative vocal style to Baker’s extraordinary balladry to Terry’s unique scat singing. “I’m a big fan of Chet’s,” says Braun, “for both his singing and his playing. I’m much more of an inside player, and my inspirations are minimalist players, like Chet and Miles Davis.” Which isn’t surprising, listening to the airy flugelhorn solos that surround Braun’s vocals on every track. Miles once said that the notes one doesn’t play are as important – maybe even more so – than the notes one does play. And that principal applies as well to singers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Sammy Davis, Jr. – whom Braun also lists as inspirations. Like those high visibility vocal

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


stars, Braun sings with a respect for the vital balance between words and music, for the many-layered connections between the inner story of a song and the beauty of its melody. He does so with the same respect for phrasing that one finds in a Sinatra or a Bennett performance. But what Braun does with that phrasing, with his use of the “minimalist” approach that he cites as an important element in his music, is his own creative craftwork. And that, as much as anything, is what makes this album so fascinating. At a time when the male jazz vocal field has been far too sparsely populated, Rick Braun Sings With Strings makes a convincing case for the arrival of a potential new star of the jazz vocal art.

Elan Trotman

So much so that he’s becoming the go-to sax-man for smooth jazz artists like Peter White, Paul Brown, Keiko Matsui, Brian Simpson, Rick Braun, and a guest spot on the Dave Koz 2012 Cruise to Europe. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr. and Kirk Whalum, among others, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that he’s a 3-time winner of the New England Urban Music Award for Best Jazz Male, 2-time nominee for a Boston Music Award, and winner for Instrumentalist of the Year (Barbados) in 2011. Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises. “I like to stretch out, take chances on my solos and on my records.” Inspiring and eminently listenable, Trotman’s music is never predictable. 

Childhood Stress: What Is Childhood Stress And Why Does It Matter?

considered the most threatening for children; weakening the architecture of the developing brain and creating physiological problems. Infants and children react to trauma, poverty and stress very differently than Some children re-live adults. For stress day after day

Part I By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland


nfortunately, the world does not always provide an opportunity to move from an unhealthy environment. Numerous adults report how their experiences with childhood trauma, poverty, and stress affected and continue to affect their life. Some Successful Begiinning people are highly impacted by unhealthy environments, while others attest they turned out “just fine.” So why is it, that some will succeed, while others develop social and behavioral problems? Researchers attribute having certain human qualities and psychological traits as the answer. If we teach our child to develop these specific qualities and traits, the child’s chances for success increase. The development of these specific qualities and psychological traits are valuable for life in general. If we think of teaching our children as changing the future, we want to make sure that we are giving them tools for success at the very beginning. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) “Train up a child the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This familiar passage, spiritual in nature, speaks volumes to the duties caregivers have in raising children. If we ‘train up’ a child with specific qualities and traits, that child can be resilient and equipped with the tools to succeed.

Trauma, Poverty and Chronic Stress in Children

Childhood trauma has severe impacts on children. Being exposed to violence, abuse, a serious accident, loss of a loved one, or any other stressors can be traumatic for a child. Children often “act out” the effects from living with stress in their behaviors; the way they interact with others and in their ability to cope with change. This

reality the impact is detrimental to not only a child’s development, but it has long term effects. Infants are just as vulnerable. Young babies are able to detect anxiety and stress from the tones in adults’ voices. Infants and children are dependant on adults for care, and can become anxious, stressed and/or fearful when they feel threats in their environment. Even babies still in the womb know when things aren’t right in the home. It is up to us to help our children gain the skills to be able to interact with stress and use those skills to strengthen them!

Train Up A Child

Caregivers can be parents, grandparents, family friends, teachers and others. Regardless of the relation to a child, all adults serve as educators; and it is important to model positive behaviors. Training a child to be resilient prepares that child to be a functioning steward in society when it’s their Healthy Environment time to leave the nest. The earlier we start being invested in how we train up a child, the greater Trauma, Poverty and Chronic the opportunity Stress in Children for a child to develop valuable skills and traits. Resilience is made up of a set of characteristics that can help a child with the negative effects of stress, poverty, and trauma. So, what are these valuable character traits linked Train up a child... to how children succeed? Researchers indicate these traits are: impacts a child’s ability to learn and •Persistence this reason adults often misinterpret succeed in school and in life. •Self-Control the effects of the trauma on the child; Symptoms that a child is being •Curiosity believing the child was too young to affected by stress include: •Conscientiousness know what was happening or think•freeze when they should run or •Communication ing the child will easily get over what scream •Grit has happened. •surrendering or shrugging it off •Self-Confidence We are often quick to think the •daydreaming •Self-Regulation child doesn’t know what is going on •crying •Transition Techniques in another room and may believe no •defiant behavior These qualities can be summed into harm has been done to them. In truth, •disconnecting one word – character; and helping children see and hear more than we •acting out develop a child’s character begins in want to admit, and it takes a toll. •sleep problems the early stages of life. Children are sponges and they are Some kinds of stress are common, Next month we will explore how to collecting information about their and can be positive – like the stress of develop these qualities and traits in environment at all times. They are starting school, or getting a shot at the our children at every age level, “How reading body language, overhearing doctor’s office. Some stress is related do I help my child build resilience?” to a specific situation and is tolerable – details without having a good way to and in August we’ll share “How do I process that information, and in many reduce unhealthy stress in my child’s like the loss of a family member or a natural disaster. The type of stress that cases they have to re-live the stress life?”  day after day. is really a problem is the toxic stress Editor’s note: The Nest Matters (TNM) is A child will often become unatderived from ongoing, long-term advice from “egg to flight” from early childtached or nonreactive, this can be mis- hood educators and leaders. TNM focuses exposure to negative situations – like interpreted as resilience, and become seeing or hearing or being aware of on early child development from prenatal traits that carryover into adulthood abuse in the home, being abused, or (the egg phase) through the stages of tweens causing them to struggle with relation- when children prepare to leave the nest (the repeated exposure to violence in the ships or the ability to stay on a job. In neighborhood. This type of stress is flight phase). Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013



Athena Project Presents Tell Martha Not To Moan

Russell Costen and Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, in Tell Martha Not to Moan


series of memories unfold in a family home in Detroit, 2007, and takes us on a unique and personal journey with a devoted but desolate elderly couple. Featuring the original cast and starring Russell Costen and Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Tell Martha Not to Moan by Clinnesha D. Sibley is about the 40th anniversary of the Detroit Riot. With compelling dialogue and complex relationships, Tell Martha Not to Moan is a glimpse into the changing world as viewed from an African American home and the first World Premiere of Athena Project’s 2013 Arts Festival. Founder and Executive Producer Angela Astle says, “We just can’t leave the Patterson’s alone. Our three week run during the Athena Project Arts Festival 2013 was an overwhelming success. Many audience members wanted to bring friends and family back to see the show. So we’ve decided to remount it, exactly as it was before, at The Fox.” Clinnesha D. Sibley is a published poet and award-winning playwright from McComb, Mississippi. Her plays have been presented for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Voices at the River Playwriting Residency, NYC Playwrights Play of the Month Series, D.C. Black Theatre Festival, Theatre Squared’s Arkansas New Play Festival, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and

Penumbra Theatre’s highly acclaimed Word(s) PLAY! Program. In 2009, she received the Key Woman Educator in Drama Award from the Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society. In 2011, her play, Tell Martha Not to Moan, received the Holland New Voices Award at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, was a semifinalist in the 2012 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her short play, Bound by Blood, is published in Black Magnolias Literary Journal 6.2. Clinnesha is an Assistant Professor of Drama at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Athena Project is a professional group of artists dedicated to supporting and expanding women’s artistic contributions to the Denver stage and the wider community. Athena Project envisions a world in which women’s voices are powerfully expressed and fully integrated into the creative life of every community. Athena Project’s mission is to empower women and strengthen the Denver community through developing and showcasing women’s and girls’ artistic contributions, while inviting new audiences into the creative process. Editor’s note: Tell Martha Not to Moan will be playing at the Fox Studio Theater July 5-21, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for Students/Seniors/Military Discount, and $18 for groups of 8 or more. To purchase tickets call the box office at 303-739-1970 or visit

challenged by daytime classes, while beginning and intermediate level dancers will find themselves very welcome and at home in the evening classes. A week long Children’s Week Day Camp for dance students ages 3-12 runs Monday July 8 - Friday July 12 from 9 3 p.m. Faculty includes Koffi Toudji (West African), Jeanette Trujillo (Folklorico), and John “Mr. Tap” Williams (Tap). This year’s Teen and Adult Institute faculty includes Milton Myers (Horton Technique), Theo Jamison (Dunham Technique), Cleo Parker Robinson (Cleodance,) Prosenjit “Tony” Kundu (Street Dance), Donna Mejia (Transnational Fusion), Mecca Madyun (West African), Iquail Shaheed (Horton Technique), Rennie Harris (House), Stephanie Powell (Contemporary Ballet). The diversity of the Summer Dance Institute’s Master Teachers attracts students from all over the world who seek exposure to a variety of dance disciplines and cultures all in one intensive course. Past students have remarked that their experience compares to taking dance classes from all parts of the globe without ever having to leave the city of Denver. Information, fees, registration and a full schedule of classes are available

CPRD Hosts International Summer Dance Institute

online at Adult classes begin at $20, and Children’s Week Day Camp is $300, plus a $20 registration fee. Partial scholarships are available based on individual need. Classes will be held at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Ave. West in Denver. Editor’s note: For more information, call Jen Archer, Director of Education at 303295-1759 x10, E-mailcleodanceedu@ or visit

Special Event

Arnez J

Since 1994, the International Summer Dance Institute (ISDI) “One Spirit Many Voices” has been the premiere program for intensive dance training and cultural enrichment in the West. The five-week artist-in-residence program hosts some of the dance world’s most extraordinary artists at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School. The Institute provides expert instruction in various techniques of Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, African and Cultural Dance. Five weeks of intensive dance training are offered Monday, June 23 Friday, July 26. Advanced, pre-professional and professional level teen and adult students will find themselves

July 5-6

Special Event

Eddie Griffin

July 19-20

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Special Event

Guy Torry August 9-11


2013 GEH Stipend and Scholarship Winners (L to R) Noah Johnson, Clarence Allen III, Langston Williams, Houston McCann, Alexander Neal, and Malik Taylor

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Awards 11 Scholarships To Area High School Students

Eleven students from the Greater Metropolitan Denver area received the Delta Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., “Harold S. Brown Scholarship Award.” This annual event, held on May 3, was also sponsored in part by The Center for Multicultural Excellence at the University of Denver and the George E. Hailey Endowment Fund. The students receiving the $500 stipends were Clarence Allen III (Highlands Ranch High School); Antonio Hill Jr. (Overland High School); J’Quan D. Howard (CEC Middle College of Denver); and Noah Johnson (George Washington High School). Students receiving the $1,000 Scholarship award were DVonte Johnson (George Washington High School); Ariel Manzanares-Scisney (Lakewood High School); Houston W. McCann (Gateway High School), Alexander H. Neal (Denver School of Science); Malik K. Taylor (Montebello High School), Dion Williams (Cherokee Trail High School); and Langston A. Williams (George Washington High School). Keynote speaker was George William Hoey, co-chair of the Student Affairs Diversity Committee at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Cleo Parker Robinson To Be Honored By Mental Health America of Colorado

On July 18 Mental Health America of Colorado (MHAC) will host “Transforming Young Lives,” an evening that will highlight prevention education and community leadership as they celebrate creativity and mental wellness in the school-based program, Check Your Head, and in the community-based program Mental Health First Aid for Youth at the Appaloosa Grill, beginning at 5:30 p.m. This event will include a program with live entertainment. In addition, they will be honoring dancer and Colorado-native, Cleo Parker Robinson. The Appaloosa Grill is located at 535 16th St. in Denver. For more information on tickets or sponsorships, call Mary Catherine Moss at 720-208-2243 or E-mail

Denver Elections Division Wins Two National Civic Technology Awards

Two cutting-edge customer service innovations created by the Denver Elections Division (DED) won 2013 Achievement Awards for use of technology from the National Association of Counties. Ballot TRACE is a Tracking, Reporting and Communication Engine that allows voters and the DED to track mail ballot envelopes through every stage of the postal system using the U.S. Postal Service’s intelligent mail barcode technology. Voters can sign up to get text or email messages alerting them of the status of their ballot from the time that it is printed through when it is returned to the DED. Ballot TRACE also provides reports to the DED to assure that ballots are delivered to voters. The iPad Accessibility Pilot Project (iAPP) allows voters in group residential facilities like nursing homes to use iPads as ballot marking devices by utilizing built-in assistive technology to do everything from enlarge text on the screen to read the ballot aloud to them. For more information, visit or

Denver Water receives Steel Water Pipe Century Club award

Denver Water has received the Steel Water Pipe Century Club award from the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association in recognition of the reliability of Conduit 40, a 24inch diameter steel pipe installed in 1911. A recognition plaque was presented to the Denver Board of Water Commissioners at the board meeting. Denver Water is Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility, providing high-quality water and promoting its efficient use to 1.3 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded by water rates and new tap fees, not taxes.

Simone Richardson Chosen for Prestigious Leadership Program Simone Richardson, (Zeta Pi, Spr 13) has been selected for the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Leadership

Academy – Leadership Delta Program for the 2013-2014 Centennial Sorority year. Richardson is the first collegiate ever selected from the State of Colorado for this highly competitive and prestigious program. Richardson was selected for her outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership potential. Leadership DELTA is designed to provide a broad range of leadership development experiences for high-achieving collegiate women. The year-long Leadership DELTA program officially begins at a national leadership conference scheduled for July 11-12.

Summer Pinning Ceremony Honors Practical Nursing Students of EGTC

Twenty three Emily Griffith Technical College students were bestowed honorary pins for their academic achievements in practical nursing during a special pinning ceremony which took place June 21 at the State Capitol. Students pinned were Traci Roebuck, Renee Olson, Shamim Namakula, Michael Catura, Robert Kolodziej, Justin Smith, Juliet Davis, Maria Hernandez, Maria Margarita Moreno, C. Elizabeth Grubb, Sviatlana Prakapchuk, Aimee Kover, Crystal Guzman, Samantha Calvetti, Clare Redding, Rosalie Corral, Claudia Jurado, Marijane Paolosso, Diana Castro, Ku Thao, April Markoff, Lori Sanchez, and Jennifer Price. The pinning ceremony is part of a traditional nursing practice which honors students prior to their beginning careers in the health care community. The Nursing Program at Emily Griffith Technical College combines studies in the college’s state-of-the-art training facility with planned and guided clinical experiences in client care at health care clinics, hospitals and community agencies.

Syrian Court #40 Awards First Book Scholarships

The Past Commandress (PC) Committee of Syrian Court #40, Daughters of Isis, awarded its first two book scholarships to two deserving students who struggled in early childhood. Armani Kiara Lee, a graduate of Bishop Machebeuf High School will be attending Grambling State University, Gramling, LA, majoring in Nursing. Armani’s scholarship is given in memory of the late Past Imperial Commandress, Dtr. Eva Ray Allen, the highest position attainable in the Order. Austin Fields, a graduate of Denver School of Science & Technology will be attending The University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, majoring in

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Medical Bioengineering. Austin’s scholarship is given in memory of Past Commandress, the late Dtr. Florence Moore, the oldest member, ever, in the entire domain. She remained a member in good standing until her death at age 104 years.

IHSS Foundation Lauds Heroic Local Healthcare Security Officers

A team of security officers from Denver Health was awarded the International Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation’s prestigious Medal of Merit. The honorees are Security Officers Kristopher Stevenson, Brandon Skalak and Omar Salgado. The three were cited for their quick thinking, bravery and decisive actions in saving the life of a drowning motorist trapped in an upside down vehicle that had gone over an embankment into a river across from the hospital complex.

Sewall Child Development Center Honors Four Champions For Children

The Sewall Child Development Center 11th Annual Champions for Children presented the 2013 Unsung Hero, Advocate, Return on Investment and Visionary awards highlighing the long-term community benefits of early education and inclusionary practices of David Brown, Betty Lehman, Cheryl Caldwell and Doug Price. David Brown, principal of The Denver Academy of Urban Learning, received the 2013 Unsung Hero award for his tireless work with students. Betty Lehman, a former executive director of the Autism Society of Colorado, and now a consultant with FAP Life Care Consultants, received the 2013 Advocate Award for her leadership in passing 14 pieces of Colorado legislation to assist children and families with special needs. Cheryl Caldwell, director of Early Education for Denver Public Schools received the 2013 Gene and Walter Koelbel Return on Investment (ROI) Award for her leadership in developing and establishing inclusionary early education models in classrooms throughout Denver. Doug Price, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Television, received the 2013 Visionary Award for his leadership in co-founding Qualistar Colorado. Sewall Child Development Center based in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood annually provides direct services to more than 600 children from birth through 6 and their families. For more information about Sewall, visit and Facebook/SewallChildDevelopmentC enter.

Rosemary Rodriguez Announces Candidacy for Denver School Board District


am running for Denver School Board because I believe that our public schools are the foundation of Denver’s success,” said Rodriguez. “The children of District 2 are a precious resource and deserve every opportunity to succeed. It is up to all of us to come together and unite to improve the quality of education we are offering our kids.” Rodriguez is a long time Southwest Denver resident and a pillar in the community. She served on Denver’s city council from 2003-2007, including serving as city council president from 2005-2006. From 1997-2002, Rodriguez served as Denver’s Clerk and Recorder. Most recently, Rodriguez has been State Director to the Office of United States Senator Michael Bennet. Tim Sandos, former Denver City Councilor At-Large and CEO of the National Hispanic Voter Educational Foundation endorsed Rodriguez. “Rosemary Rodriguez is a respected leader in our community and has been actively involved in strengthening educational and personal success for children her entire life. As a Denver City Council member her tireless work helped shape Denver into what it is today,” said Sandos. “As a member of the school board, I believe Rosemary’s commitment to the community and her vast professional experience will significantly benefit Denver’s kids and will help shape Denver’s future.” Rodriguez is known for promoting educational opportunity for Denver’s children. During her time on the Denver City Council, she served on then Mayor John Hickenlooper’s task force for early childhood education, which helped create the Denver Preschool Program. As a board member of both Girl Scouts and Mi Casa Resource Center, Rodriguez supported educational and leadership oppor-

tunities for girls and Latino youth. Rodriguez is also a “friend” of the Girls Athletic Leadership School, where she volunteers time to help GALS move into West Denver. “Denver would be honored to have Rosemary Rodriguez serve as a representative to the school board,” said longtime community leader Rudy Gonzales. “Denver’s kids deserve more than the status quo, and Rosemary is dedicated to educational achievement and excellence for every child in Denver.” Dr. Evie Dennis, former superintendent of Denver Public Schools is also supporting Rodriguez, saying “I’ve known Rosemary since she was my student at Lake Junior High School, and I believe she will represent her district with an honest understanding of the challenges that children face. I sent her to summer school to get help with Algebra and it’s something that she thanks me for to this day.” Rodriguez, a former DPS student herself, has been active in Denver’s public schools for years. She spent a semester in the DPL program reading to pre-K students at Force Elementary School. Early in her career, Rosemary tutored students on the P&R test which at the time was required for graduation from DPS. She has volunteered in the classroom with the Adult learning source, helping adult learners acquire English language skills. In 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Rodriguez to the US Election Assistance Commission. She served as commissioner for two years before returning to Colorado to act as Senator Bennet’s State Director. State Representative Dan Pabon has also endorsed Rodriguez’ candidacy “Rosemary will bring leadership and much-needed vision to the Denver school board. All of our kids will benefit from her passion and dedication to improving Denver’s schools.” The list of early endorsements in the race also includes: State Representative Pabon, Former Mayor Wellington E. Webb, Former State Senator Regis Groff, Former State Senator Polly Baca, Former State Senator Joyce Foster, Former State Representative Nolbert Chavez, Former Denver City Council President Elbra Wedgeworth, Former Denver City Councilor Tim Sandos, Marti Awad, Adrienne Benavidez, Mario Carrera, Zee Ferrufino, Anna Jo Haynes, Michelle Lucero, Nita Gonzales, Rudy Gonzales, Khadija Haynes, Tish Maes, John Lucero and Sherry Jackson. For more information, call Manuel Lopez del Rio at 909-270-6969 or Email: 

Congratulations to HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op’s Class of 2013 on setting high goals and attaining them.

Nowling! l o r n E

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op is a public, free, non-profit K-12 charter school dedicated to helping you succeed. HOPE has Learning Centers in neighborhoods across Colorado. Enrollment is open now. Join us!

REEL ACTION Movie Reviews By Kam Williams Excellent. Very Good.. Good... Fair.. Poor.

    No stars

Twenty Feet From Stardom

uniformly wooden and unconvincing. Not to worry, this stunt driven-spectacular is all about the eye-popping special effects, and boy does it deliver in terms of the wow factor! The plot of F&F 6 is little more than a lame excuse to pit an army of bad guys against an army of worse guys, both as simplistically-drawn as tag teams of opposing professional wrestlers. Here’s the storyline in 25

Fast & Furious 6

Twenty Feet From Stardom 

Backup Singers Belatedly Get Their Props in Pop Music Documentary


Fast & Furious 6 

Farfetched Sequel Features Cartoon Physics and Comic Relief Courtesy of Tyrese


t’s important to note that this edition of Fast & Furious is every bit as funny as it is adrenaline-fueled. Most of the laughs come courtesy of comic relief provided by Tyrese, who is back in an expanded role as trash-talking Roman Pearce, a card-carrying member of the fugitive gang of auto thieves led by macho Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Like a latter-day Stepin Fetchit, Roman revives a slew of offensive African-American stereotypes, behaving in an alternately shallow, jive, flamboyant, lecherous, felonious and cowardly manner, doing everything but put on a dress to make a joke work. To Tyrese’s credit, the campy performance somehow works, either because the character is so ingratiating, or because of the presence of several respectable other blacks in the principal cast. Whether entertaining a bevy of scantily-clad beauties on his personal jet (with “It’s Roman, bitches!” emblazoned on the fuselage) or making money literally rain out of an ATM to the delight of a crowd of appreciative strangers picking the bills up off the ground, the scene-stealing cynosure is always the center of attention. Well, except during the action, chase and fight scenes when the muscle cars and muscle heads take charge. Other than Tyrese’s, the acting is

words or more. Dominic coaxes his cohorts (Tyrese, Paul Walker, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) out of retirement for one last adventure, after rumors surface that his lateex, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), might miraculously still be alive. They hatch a plan to rescue the damsel in distress who’s suffering from amnesia and currently in the clutches of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a worthy adversary specializing in vehicular warfare. His posse’s recent attack on a Russian military convoy explains why Diplomatic Security Service agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is desperately seeking the assistance of Dominic’s crew. They agree on the condition that, should this mission succeed, they’ll be granted clemency for the host of crimes committed in F&F episodes 1-5. Hobbs okays the deal, and soon, a dogfight featuring fisticuffs, pyrotechnics and plenty of cartoon physics unfolds all over London, involving not only souped-up autos and state-of-the-art gadgetry, but a tank and a plane, to boot. The epitome of a summer blockbuster, complete with a post-credits set-up of F&F 7 (already slated to be released in July of 2014). Just remember to check your brain at the box office, and you won’t be disappointed. Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, mayhem, violence and intense action Running Time: 130 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures To see a trailer for Fast & Furious 6, visit:

o the names Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Tata Vega or Lynn Mabry ring a bell? Probably not, yet you are undoubtedly very familiar with their stellar work as backup singers for a variety of musical icons. For example, it’s Merry’s powerful voice which adds a memorable touch of soul to the Rolling Stones’ classic “Gimme Shelter” in the brief interlude where she makes the most of the opportunity to belt out the bizarre lyrics “Rape! Murder! It’s just a shot away!” The same can be said of Darlene who not only handled backup duties on hundreds of hits by everyone from Elvis Presley to The Beach Boys to Tom Jones to Sonny & Cher, but even anonymously ghost recorded the lead vocals on such Sixties anthems as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “He’s a Rebel” and “It’s in His Kiss,” without getting credit or decent compensation. Sadly, despite their amazing talents, folks pursuing this profession generally have precious little to show financially for their considerable contributions to the annals of rock, soul and other genres. For most of the backups are black and female with gospel backgrounds, and have stories to share about being underpaid, underappreciated and/or outright exploited. In fact, Darlene confesses to having to clean houses as a maid between gigs in order to survive at a low point in her career. Most backup singers are frustrated artists who spend years helping others shine while waiting for that big break that might never come that could catapult them into the limelight. Finally, thanks to Twenty Feet from Stardom, these neglected sisters are finally getting their props, if not the fortune and mega fame that has eluded them for so long. Directed by Morgan Neville, this very entertaining and illuminating documentary includes testimonials by

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


the likes of Sting, Springsteen, Bette Midler, Sheryl Crow and other greats freely paying tribute. A reverential retrospective representing the first tip of the cap to backups I can remember since Lou Reed warbled “And the colored girls go!” on the gritty ditty “Walk on the Wild Side.” Rated: PG-13 for profanity and sexuality Running Time: 91 minutes Distributor: Radius-TWC To see a trailer for Twenty Feet from Stardom, visit: Man of Steel 

Superman’s Roots Explored in Riveting Reboot of DC Comics Series


o my generation, Superman was just “a strange visitor from another planet” who was “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound“ in “a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.” But in this age of information, audiences want to know a lot more about a superhero’s backstory. Furthermore, what passed for special f/x on the original TV show were cheesy flying sequences in which support wires were plainly visible to the naked eye. And the underwhelming fight scenes generally ended when the bumbling villain with little imagination ran out of bullets and threw his pistol at the Man of Steel’s chest in sheer frustration. Over the intervening years, Superman has been revived twice on television (Lois & Clark and Smallville) and five times on the big screen. This sixth film version stars Henry Cavill in the title role opposite Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Laurence Fishburne as a black Perry White, and Rebecca Buller as a gender-bent Jenny, not Jimmy, Olsen. Director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) has ostensibly envisioned Man of Steel as a reboot of the storied franchise, given that plans are already in

REEL ACTION Man of Steel

ing no doubt that, even after 80 years, you still don’t tug on Superman’s cape! Rated: PG-13 for profanity, sci-fi violence and intense action sequences Running Time: 143 minutes Distributor: Warner Brothers To see a trailer for Man of Steel, visit: The Purge

the works for the character to reappear in an adaptation of DC Comics’ Justice League slated for 2015. Thus, like a lot of other origins tales, this episode devotes considerable attention to an explanation of Superman’s roots. The picture’s point of departure is Krypton where we find the parents (Crowe and Ayelet Zurer) of the planet’s first naturally-conceived child in centuries secretly sending their newborn on an otherwise unmanned spaceship headed to Earth. This development doesn’t sit well with genetic engineer General Zod (Michael Shannon), a megalomaniac in charge of deciding which of Krypton’s bloodlines are allowed to continue, and this renegade’s definitely isn’t one of them. The rocket crash lands in the cornfields of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), a kindly couple who proceed to raise the baby as their own. Of course, Clark isn’t like other boys, and he does his best to harness and hide his superpowers, although they occasionally come in handy like when he rescues a school bus full of students that’s sinking in a river. The plot thickens when aliens arrive from Krypton with annihilation in mind. Not surprisingly, they’re led by none other than the diabolical Zod, who commandeers the mass media, spouting typical invasion malarkey warning the “People of Earth” that resistance is futile. Not if Superman has something to say about it. At this juncture, the action the kids have been waiting for finally kicks into high gear, with a spectacular battle royal replete with dizzying technical wizardry and acrobatic dexterity mercifully replacing the pretentious dialogue laced with lots of pseudo-scientific babble. Ultimately, good triumphs over evil, ala the American way, and Superman survives to defend truth and justice in upcoming sequels and spinoffs. A righteous, riveting relaunch leav-

The Purge  1/2

Barricaded Family Fights to Survive in Futuristic Horror Flick


he setting is America in 2022, a disturbing dystopia where the prisons are even more overcrowded than we find them today. Consequently, the overwhelmed authorities have come up with a unique way of dealing with crime, namely, designating one night a year on which the rule of law is suspended, and anything is legal, even murder. The idea is that, with the cops turning their heads the other way, armed vigilantes can indulge their bloodlust and dispense justice simultaneously, thereby doing society a favor by ridding the streets of vermin. However, this means that it isn’t safe to be outside during that very dangerous 12hour period known as The Purge. For that reason, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) has carefully barricaded his family inside its heavily-fortified mansion. Besides outfitting the house with a state of the art security system, the wealthy homeowner has purchased a couple of guns just in case an intruder still manages to break in post-lockdown. But that seems highly unlikely once James punches in the computerized code, thereby dropping bulletproof steel shields over all the windows and doors. As the 7 PM siren signals the start of the gruesome festivities, he settles down with wife Mary (Lena Headey), son Charlie (Max Burkholder) and daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) in front of a bank of video surveillance monitors to watch whether anyone attempts to enter the premises. What they didn’t bargain for was Zoey’s boyfriend Henry (Tony Oller) hiding in her bedroom, or the sight of a wounded, homeless black man

(Edwin Hodge) on the perimeter of the premises begging for sanctuary from a bloodthirsty mob. Soon, the boundary is irreversibly breached when kindhearted Charlie lets the stranger inside at a moment of weakness, leading to a terrifying ordeal that lasts till dawn. So unfolds The Purge, a futuristic horror flick written and directed bv James DeMonaco (Little New York). His riveting thriller plays much bigger than a picture shot on a relativelymodest budget of just $3 million. Be ready to scream at the top of your lungs in response to the spinetingling fare cleverly edited to make you jump out of your seat when you least expect to. Meanwhile, the picture proves to be equally thought-provoking, given the philosophical questions it raises via a most unusual method of social engineering. A cerebral screamfest certain to give you goosebumps! Rated: R for profanity and disturbing violence Running Time: 85 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures To see a trailer for The Purge, visit: Or: 0vg9A3Q8Y

be applied to heroin, ecstasy and numerous other narcotics as well. However, we learn that pot is probably the easiest way to get started, given that it’s a weed that all you need is water, lamps and electricity to grow. In fact, it is now the most profitable farm product in the U.S., easily outstripping tobacco, cotton and even corn as the country’s top cash crop. According to one former kingpin, the possibility of jail time is actually worth the risk, provided you’re Caucasian, since 90 percent of the million Americans arrested annually for drugs are black or Latino. So, this illicit profession isn’t highly recommended for minorities, since the authorities not only target their communities, but employ tactics like profile stops which make apprehension all the more likely. As hip-hop mogul Simmons explains it, “If you’re a blonde fashion model, you’re not going to jail. But if you’re a black kid from the ‘hood, you’ll go away for twenty years.” He is a big advocate of an overhaul of the laws implemented as part of the War on Drugs which has really been waged in the ghetto while lily-white suburbia has benefitted from a pass, by and large. If you do decide to traffic in nar-

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

How to Make Money Selling Drugs 

Tongue-in-Cheek Documentary Offers Tips on Dope Dealing


re you unemployed or stuck in a dead-end job? Don’t worry, we have an answer!” That is the dubious proposition made by How to Make Money Selling Drugs, a tongue-in-cheek (I pray) documentary about the art of dope dealing. The film arrives accompanied by proven provenance, as it features appearances by celebs with street cred like 50 Cent, Eminem, Rick Ross and Russell Simmons. This fairly thorough training guide focuses on marijuana and cocaine, although its advice undoubtedly could

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


cotics, and land behind bars, the picture has a chapter on “How to Beat an Arrest.” But, permit me in closing to urge any viewers of How to Make Money Selling Drugs to resist the temptation to attempt anything illegal you see here and to watch the flick strictly for entertainment purposes. A step-by-step instruction video I fear might inadvertently influence some impressionable young minds to try an ill-advised line of work that will only land them in a lot of trouble. Unrated Running Time: 94 minutes Distributor: TriBeCa Film To see a trailer for How to Make Money Selling Drugs, visit:



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Hickenlooper Signs Compensation For Wrongly Convicted Bill

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill to provide compensation and other services for those who have been wrongly convicted. HB13-1230, sponsored by Reps. Angela Williams (D-Denver) and Dan Pabon (D-Denver), creates a state compensation program for people who are found factually innocent of felony crimes after serving time in jail, prison or juvenile placement. The case of Robert Dewey inspired the bill. Dewey, who was present for the bill signing, was wrongly imprisoned for 18 years for the rape and murder of Jacie Taylor. When he was released after new DNA evidence exonerated him, he had no money and no resources to properly acclimate back into society. State law forbade giving him so much as a quarter to make a phone call. To become eligible for the compensation, the innocent person must submit a petition and supporting documentation to the court. The bill will provide $70,000 for each year incarcerated, tuition waivers at state institutions of higher education, access to health care, compensation for child support payments and reasonable attorney fees. The exonerated will also be provided with financial literacy counseling.

Fair Share Jobs, Inc. Announces Goal To Reduce Black Unemployment

James (Dr. Daddio) Walker, chairman of the board of Fair Share Jobs, Inc. announced the creation of an initiative to reduce the gap in employment opportunities for Black workers in Denver and Colorado. While some officials are touting the improving Denver and state economic status, I-News, reported in January, 2013 in the study “Losing Ground,” that Black Coloradans were most unemployed in 2012 of any of the major ethnic groups, at 14.7 percent vs. 7.9 percent for white workers. The Black community in the state has been devastated by unemployment, poverty, and foreclosures. The mission of Fair Share Jobs, Inc. is “to alleviate and/or reduce the dis-

proportionately high unemployment rate in the black population in Denver, and Colorado. Fair Share Jobs, Inc. is dedicated to understanding the critical employment needs of the black family, the black worker, and the black community, and to help meet those employment needs.” Fair Share Jobs, Inc. is in the final process of development and plans to provide services to the black community within the next 30 days. Services will include recruiting and placing black unemployed workers in current jobs in publicly sponsored projects, including transportation and health; assisting employers and unions to meet their responsibilities for equal opportunity employment; providing individual and family counseling to long-term unemployed individuals and their families, and assisting them to use community resources already available; and serving as an advocate for black workers in emerging industries. Along with Walker, the team of individuals who serve as the five member board of directors include Geneva Doss, Lawrence Borom, Aundrey Wilkens and Billy Scott. Chairman Walker vows that Fair Share Jobs, Inc. “…will not be another organization in our community which is long on talk but short on accomplishment. We will be a non-profit, dedicated resource which will work with all sectors of the community which is serious about closing the economic gap between black workers and others. Fair Share Jobs, Inc. founders are all people who have demonstrated long-term personal sacrifice to equity for black workers. Our group includes the type of expertise and experience in placing black workers in jobs that is not matched by any other organization in the State of Colorado.” For more information and to be involved, E-mail Lawrence Borom at or call 303355-4635.

Mike Johnson Announces Candidacy For Denver School Board

With the support of over 175 community leaders, parents and educators, Mike Johnson, a proud father of three DPS-educated daughters and long- time public school advocate and school finance expert, announced his candidacy for Denver Public School Board for District 3. As one of the most respected school finance experts in the state, Johnson has a proven track record of solving the difficult problems facing our schools and community. At the state level, Johnson is the legal counsel for

the Building Excellent Schools Today program, which has provided $1.1 billion to construct and renovate 170 schools throughout the state. Johnson has served as school finance counsel for more than 20 Colorado school districts, including DPS for the last 15 years, giving him a unique understanding of our schools. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. For more information, visit

Tax Help Colorado Helps 9,200 Low-Income Tax Payers Receive $18.5 Million In Refunds

The Denver-based Piton Foundation announced that the Tax Help Colorado program provided free tax preparation assistance to more than 9,200 individuals during the 2013 tax season. In addition, it processed 236 prior-year returns, bringing the total number of returns prepared to 9,444, which is a 35 percent increase over last year. A partnership between The Piton Foundation and the Colorado Community College System that was created in 2007 to alleviate the financial burden of commercial tax preparation on low-wage earners, Tax Help Colorado helped families claim more than $18.5 million in tax refunds in 2013, including nearly $6.8 million from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This year, 16 colleges participating in Tax Help Colorado operated 26 free tax sites statewide, where nearly 400 IRS-trained students prepared and filed tax returns free of charge for individuals with household incomes of less than $50,000. Ninety-six percent of tax returns prepared by Tax Help Colorado were e-filed. By offering free tax preparation services, Tax Help Colorado helped low- to moderateincome families save more than $1.9 million in commercial tax preparation fees. One of the nation’s most successful anti-poverty programs, the EITC and other work tax incentives like the Child Tax Credit promote employment while providing valuable refunds to low- to moderate-wage earners who oftentimes struggle to meet their families’ most basic needs. According to The Piton Foundation, research shows that lifting family income through the EITC helps improve education and health outcomes in children while also boosting the local economy. For more information on the Tax Help Colorado program and The Piton Foundation’s Working Families Public Information Campaign, visit

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


MAYOR’S CORNER Denver’s Road Home Launches New Blue, Donation Smart Meters

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Donations designated for mental health services and substance abuse treatment for the homeless Community members looking for an opportunity to help the homeless will be able to easily make a donation by swiping their debit or credit card or dropping spare change at any of the Better Way to Give donation smart meters located throughout the city. Denver’s Road Home, in partnership with IPS Group, Wyless, Arrow Electronics and Denver Public Works, will replace the existing red donation meters with new, light blue donation smart meters capable of accepting both debit and credit card and change donations. “What’s unique about the Better the Way to Give campaign is the opportunity it offers every person in our community to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Each person walking by a donation meter has the ability to make a change for someone in need by making a simple donation. By donating at a meter, you will be helping to provide direct services that help the homeless.” “We selected the color blue because of its symbolic nature. Blue symbolizes strength, new beginnings and optimism – all qualities the homeless must embrace on their journey to selfsufficiency,” said Mayor Hancock. As part of the launch, Denver’s Road Home announced it would designate all meter donations for the next year towards mental health services and substance abuse treatment. “There are over 5,000 homeless people living in the City and County of Denver who desperately need our help,” Mayor Hancock said. “With 21 percent of the homeless self-reporting a mental health matter and 18 percent self-reporting a substance abuse issue, we feel it is important to allocate specific funding towards these services.” The 85 donation smart meters and technology were generously donated by IPS Group, Wyless and Arrow Electronics. “As a longstanding partner with the City and County of Denver, IPS is honored to provide donation meter stations to Denver’s Road Home to help end homelessness” said Dave King, President and CEO of IPS Group. “We hope that the additional payment flexibility the Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


meters provide will lead to more frequent and larger donations to help further the City’s humanitarian initiatives.” Jones International, a first-time sponsor of the Better Way to Give donation smart meter campaign, joined Mayor Hancock to unveil the new smart donation meters. “Just as Jones International University is committed to changing lives through the enabling power of education, we’re excited to be part of the Better Way to Give smart donation meter launch and the quest to make a difference in our local Denver community,” said JIU Chancellor, Dr. Milton Goldberg. “We believe funds collected by the Better Way to Give campaign will enrich lives and assist in the continued effort to build a better tomorrow.” Denver’s Road Home Executive Director Bennie Milliner discussed the importance of collaboration. “We are incredibly grateful to IPS Group for donating 85 smart meters to help our cause. And, I want to thank Denver Public Works and our sponsors for their ongoing commitment to support the Better Way campaign. It’s this type of collaborative spirit that helps to advance our efforts to end homelessness in our community.” The Downtown Denver Partnership showed its support during the unveiling. “We are pleased to join the City and Denver’s Road Home in re-launching this important effort by making it even easier for individuals to make direct contributions to Denver’s Road Home,” said Tami Door, Downtown Denver Partnership CEO & President. “We are proud to be home to the majority of the donation meters in Denver as they provide high visibility for the entire program as well as an ongoing opportunity for people to give to those in need.” The meters will be located in and around the downtown corridor and placed along existing meter routes for easy change collection. Businesses, community groups and individuals are invited to sponsor a donation meter for $1,000 a year. The donation smart meters accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards in increments of one-dollar to onehundred dollars. And, donors can continue to drop spare change into the meters. The Better Way to Give campaign began in 2007. Since this time, the program has raised more than $200,000 for Denver’s Road Home. To learn more about the Better Way to Give campaign and Denver’s Road Home, visit

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Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced the creation of “Denver Days,” a new citywide tradition aimed at creating stronger neighborhoods by fostering community service projects and neighborhood gatherings. “Denver Days” will be an annual August event, with the first celebration running this summer from August 3-11. “’Denver Days will be a coordinated, citywide celebration where neighbors will get together, work together and serve together,” Mayor Hancock said. “By connecting our neighbors and neighborhoods, we will build upon our city’s civic infrastructure and make Denver and even more vibrant, safe and healthy place to live. I want to encourage all Denver residents to help us continue building a world-class city where everyone matters by participating in this new summer tradition.” City residents should begin planning now for “Denver Days” by organizing a community service project or planning a fun, festive neighborhood gathering. From community clean ups to backyard potlucks and block parties, this citywide celebration will provide a unique opportunity for residents to connect with their fellow neighbors. All “Denver Day” events should be registered at “This will be a new, exciting way for Denver residents to celebrate the indelible, Mile High spirit,” said Derek Okubo, Director of Human Rights and Community Relations. “The city is making it as easy as possible for people to participate in ‘Denver Days’ by waiving the insurance fee for block parties, providing ideas and support for community service projects and securing expert speakers for events.” “Denver Days” is being coordinated by committee made up of staff from the Mayor’s Office, Human Rights and Community Partnerships, Public Works, Denver Police Department, Environmental Health, Denver Parks and Recreation; as well as local nonprofit, business and community leaders.

Tonsorial Artists For Gods Glory

The First Lady Of Denver And DIA Team Up for a Student Art Exhibit

The First Lady of Denver, Mary Louise Lee, and Denver International Airport (DIA) are teaming up on an art exhibit to display the top student artwork from the first annual “Bringing Back the Arts” visual arts competition. The competition was held in early May and more than 100 Denver Public School students ages 718 participated. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with DIA to uplift some of our city’s talented, budding student artists,” said Lee. “By seeing their artwork on display at a recognized city landmark, we hope to inspire these young artists to pursue this craft further and begin creating a pathway to continue the Mile High tradition of cultivating renowned, world-class artists.” The visual arts competition is a signature feature of the First Lady’s “Bringing Back the Arts” foundation, which works to restore art programs in Denver Public Schools, expand access to our city’s cultural institutions for all residents and spotlight local performing artists. CLICK HERE to learn more about the initiative. The DIA Art and Culture Program is a collaboration between Denver International Airport, the City of Denver, and arts organizations and creative professionals throughout the region. The program produces and promotes new artworks, exhibitions, cultural events and design projects that are unique to the airport setting – enriching the experience of people using the airport and supporting the region’s creative economy. “We are excited to partner with the Bringing Back the Arts Foundation to display this wonderful collection of the best young artists in Denver Public Schools,” said Matt Chasansky, Art and Culture Program Administrator. “The airport is the first thing that thousands of travelers see each day when coming to Denver and this exhibit will showcase how important the arts are to our city, especially when it comes to supporting our future artists.”

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Life Story of LeRoy F. Collins, Jr. September 29, 1923 – June 4, 2013 Dr. LeRoy Franklin Collins, Jr. passed away in his beloved town of Chicago, where he was born, raised, and spent his entire life. He was 89. LeRoy, known to family and friends as “Roy,” was born to LeRoy F. Collins, Sr. and Amelia Collins (nee Adams). Roy’s life was an incredible and unique journey. He grew up in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side along with his parents and two older sisters, Erma and Cornelia. Although four years in age separated each sibling, they would remain close throughout their lives ─ the sisters protective and yet respectful of Roy’s needs, at times, for space. The family attended St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church together. At Englewood High School, Roy excelled at sports, including basketball, football, and track. He also developed a love for chess, which he would maintain an avid interest in and mastery of throughout his life. Roy maintained a love of football, as well, and was a lifelong Chicago Bears fan through thick and thin. Roy was drafted into the Army during the Second World War. He became a Sergeant in the Engineering Corps and traveled extensively throughout Europe on his tour of duty. He went ashore in Normandy nine days after D-Day. He was also stationed in Belgium ─ in action during the infamous “Battle of the Bulge” ─ and was in Nuremberg when the war ended in 1945. Roy returned to Chicago and attended Roosevelt University on the GI Bill. During this time he lived in the newly developed Rosenwald apartment building where his mother resided as well as his sisters, their families, and many other family members and friends. While in college, Roy pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. It was several of those fraternity brothers who accompanied him on a “lark” to audition for a movie being filmed in Chicago by Oscar Micheaux, legendary African-American author and producer of more than 40 films. The young men thought they’d perhaps get a shot at being stagehands, but Micheaux, whose work focused on race in America, zeroed in on Roy and selected him to be the lead actor in the semi-autobiographical film, The Betrayal. The movie, which would be Micheaux’s last before his death, would be both first and last for Roy who had no long-term interests in acting. Roy would go on to marry his co-star, Myra Stanton, after the end of filming. The marriage lasted a short duration and the two produced no children together. Strangely enough, a burgeoning interest in the life and work of Micheaux, some 50 years later, would lead to several interviews, articles, books, and documentaries featuring Roy. He even received a star on the Oscar Micheaux Center’s Walk of Fame in Gregory, South Dakota, the filmmaker’s adopted home town. Roy completed his undergraduate work at Roosevelt and went on to obtain his Master’s Degree from the School of Education at Loyola University in Chicago. He began a long career in the Chicago Public Schools, first as a teacher at DuSable High School, and later as the principal of Goethal’s Educational and Vocational Center. In the late 1970s, Roy obtained a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) from Nova University. Roy met and married Janet Rosemond, who had moved to Chicago from her native home of New Orleans. Janet, a vivacious and gifted young woman, also worked for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teaching French and Spanish at Hirsch High School and Hyde Park Career Academy. Truly a yin and yang bond, Janet brought out a lighter and more playful side in Roy. Together they quietly raised their three children ─ Edward (Tony), Leroy (Roy), and Angelle (Angie) ─ in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Roy’s sisters and his cousin June and their families all lived within a mile and shared holidays and social time together. The house swelled daily to include extended family and friends in laughter and the many vicissitudes of life. Janet died suddenly of a cardiorespiratory failure at the age of 48 shortly after their youngest, Angie, graduated from high school. At the age of 60, Roy, a widower, married Elizabeth (Ramel) Wilson. The two had known each other decades prior and shared friends in common. The two also were dedicated members of the Congregational Church of Park Manor. Ramel, also a retired educator, had one offspring: Lesly Wilson. Roy was blessed to have two granddaughters Danielle and Daryn, now 19 and 16. They live with their parents, Angelle and James Fouther in Denver. Roy and Ramel were married until her death in late December of 2012. She had battled Alzheimer’s disease for several years. Ramel also had two granddaughters from her daughter Lesly and son-in-law Billie. Roy spent the greater part of the last year living at Montgomery Place, a retirement community in Hyde Park. He tried to continue doing the things that offered him joy ─ an occasional chess game with a neighbor, weekly attendance at Sunday service in the chapel, visits with family members, and a glass of his favorite wine: Chardonnay. But his journey ended and he was called home; quickly and peacefully. We celebrate his life and legacy, not in sadness, but in the same spirit of joy he sought and found during his extraordinary life. Roy is survived by his children Edward Collins, Roy Collins (Jerry), and Angelle Fouther (James); grandchildren Danielle and Daryn Fouther; nephew Steve Stevens (Wayne); nieces Karen Smith and Sharon Stevens; cousins Charles Collins, Jr. (Liz), Robert Collins (Kitty), Lisa Finch, Tina Finch (Tom), and a new generation of younger cousins.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013



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Mountain Region Black Economic Summit Around Town - Denver, Colorado - June 2013 Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2013


Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for calendar years 2014 and 2015 for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funds administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This notice applies to the following programs: Section 5311(f) Intercity Bus, Section 5311 Rural General Public and Section 5310 Elderly and Disabled. CDOT is currently accepting only Administrative and Operating applications (including Mobility Management). There will be a separate NOFA for capital applications later in the summer. Detailed application information is available online through the CDOT Transit Program website: l/transit . Applications must be received by CDOT by 5:00 pm, August 12, 2013. For further information, contact Eric Ellis, Transit Grants Manager 303-757-9766 or







Saturday, S aturday atur day,, JJuly day uly 27, 27, 201 20 2013 13 – Denver’s Denver’s City City P Park Par ark ar k Walk or Run the 5K! Stroll the One Mile Course with Family and Friends! Visit the Health Education Expo! Entertainment provided by Mary Louise Lee Band Destination Health Co-Chairs: Allegra “Happy” Haynes and Rev. Rodney Perry

REGISTRATION REGISTRA TION INFORMA INFORMATION TION Schedule 7:30am 7:30 am – rregistration egistration & packet packet pick-up pick-up 8:00am 8:00 am – warm-up warm-u m-upp 8:30am 8:30 am – 5K & oone ne mile star startt 9:00am 9:00 am – aawards wards & eentertainment ntertainment

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Denver Urban Spectrum July 2013 Issue