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Volume 27 Number 8 November 2013

“Passionate Politician” Soldiered on as a Man of Principle

Joseph “Joe” Bernard Rogers...4

Photo by Bernard Grant








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Volume 27 Number 8

November 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris



Current events have delivered a few punches to the African American community, but none as surprising as the unexpected death of former Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, who served 1999-2002. His death on Oct. 7 reminded us of the accomplishments one can make when expectations are great. In this issue you’ll read about the public services held for this “man of principle.” You’ll also read about the Colorado Black Roundtable’s summit addressing the “Losing Ground” report, developed by the I-News Network ─ the public-service journalism arm of Rocky Mountain PBS. The report provides a balance sheet for the progress of Colorado’s African American and Latino communities over six decades. Another story of historical relevance is the 148th Anniversary of Zion Baptist Church, happening in November. It is a testament to how long a mission can live when you plan for those who will come after you. As part of the celebrations, the church will honor 102 members who have been with the church for more than 50 years. Art stories include a piece on the recently-created Colorado Black Arts Movement and Paul Hamilton’s African art collection which speaks to the rich history and contributions of the African community to the world. Angelia D. McGowan Guest Managing Editor

CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Earl Ofari Hutchinson Theo Wilson

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS James Ainsworth Charles Emmons Angelia McGowan Norma J. Paige Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris



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

Giving Thanks...

In a few weeks, friends and families will be gathering around the table for a festive Thanksgiving dinner. Although this holiday was a favorite for former Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, his family will unfortunately be sharing it without him. Many people will express the most common words of condolences but for others, silence is chosen because sometimes the hurt is too big for words. Our hearts go out to Joe’s wife Juanita and his three children – Trent, Jordan and Haley – for whom he was a blessing to – by being the man and father he was. So as we approach this holiday season, don’t just count your blessings but be thankful for them. God bless you Joe and rest in peace.


Children’s Future Is At Stake

being funneled down life paths that often lead to arrest, conviction, incarceration and even death. The urgent challenge for each of us and for our nation is to prevent this waste of our children’s lives and our state’s capabilities. Unfortunately, there isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to dismantling the achievement gap or improving public safety. Rather it’s the collective efforts of parent and family engagement, mentorship, good schools and teachers, accountability, and well-funded schools. On November 5, 2013 you will have an opportunity to cast your ballot and vote in favor of Amendment 66. Amendment 66 will: increase funding for, poor, special needs and underperforming students, provide all day kindergarten and preschool, and ensure money follows the student and not the administration. We have a fundamental obligation and duty to leave our country, state, and neighborhoods better off- Invest in our children’s future by voting YES on Amendment 66!

Editor: Approximately eight years ago, my brother Javad Marshall Fields was brutally gunned down with his soon to be wife Vivian Wolfe. Less than 30 days after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in communications, he was robbed of a bright and prosperous future. We were utterly devastated with grief, blame and agony. Javad and I were raised by a strong, resourceful, and loving mother, who sacrificed her all to give us a good education, “ Education is the Equalizer, you have to be better than the rest - arrive early and stay late, because people of color only get one shot” she would say. She strived to make sure we were corporate bound and not statistics. The hardest part of losing my brother is knowing he didn’t have an opportunity to harvest the love, knowledge and wisdom sown into his life. As hard as my mother fought, prayed and believed, he was unable to escape the statistics that plague our community. Since his death, my mother Representative Rhonda Fields, and I have worked tirelessly to improve public safety and educational outcomes of black youth. Through scholarship, community service, advocacy, and legislation, we have chiseled away at the economic and social barriers that lead to poor health and educational outcomes. Tens of thousands of youth are

Healing The Country

Maisha Fields Denver

Editor: Congress has a big mess to address. Reports from Washington, D.C. are suggesting that our country will reach its debt limit next month. Our nation is 3 weeks away from defaulting on bills. There has been pressure to raise the debt ceiling (again). As citizens, we do not have the luxury of increasing our credit card limits

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

when we reach them. Our debit cards will be rejected when we run out of money. We have all learned to some extent how to budget. Many of our Congressional leaders had successful careers prior to serving in office. Some even worked in the financial industry. Yet, collectively, they cannot come together to figure this out. It has only been two years since the ceiling was first raised. Clearly, problems have not been addressed. Budgeting is simple. Determine how much income is coming in. Spend less than that number. If spending is too high, find areas to cut back. It’s time to eliminate the waste. Let’s encourage our Congressional representatives to do their part to resolve this issue. No more band-aids!

Ozeme J Bonnette The Christian Money Coach

Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

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Honoring a Man of Principle By Angelia D. McGowan

n October 15, after dozens of

doves were released into a cloudy sky with a misting of snow, his wife,

Juanita, released another one as his

casket was carried into the rotunda of the State Capitol in Denver. The

youngest American elected as a state lieutenant governor and Colorado’s

second African American lieutenant governor (1999-2002) lie in state.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

ordered flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on all public buildings on that day from sunrise to sunset in

honor of Joseph “Joe” Bernard Rogers. Later that evening his casket was moved to his home church, True Light Baptist Church in Montbello for a public viewing. On October 16, the funeral service lasting more than four hours, was held at Rising Star Baptist Church in Aurora. Rev. Dr. William Golson, pastor of True Light Baptist Church delivered the eulogy. Rogers was laid to rest at Fairmount Cemetery. It is no surprise that two days were reserved to publicly honor the life of Rogers who died unexpectedly on Oct. 7 at the age of 49 at Rose Medical Center. During the funeral alone, his friends, family, business associates and fellow politicians could not say enough about the good times his presence brought to their lives. His youngest daughter, Haley, said that the snow was endearing. “My dad says when it snows on someone’s funeral they have been accepted into heaven,” she recalled, adding that con-

Photos by Bernard Grant

dolences since his passing were affirmations that he was a “very caring man.” He was a man that instilled a strong sense of resiliency in his children. Haley, standing at the podium with her older siblings, Trent and Jordan, beside her, said the week “would have been much harder” if he had not taught them well. Acknowledgements, condolences and resolutions from a host of entities,

including True Light Baptist Church, the U.S. House of Representative and the City of Los Angeles, were read during the service. WatchCare Academy students (PK-8th grade) saluted Rogers with a presentation that demanded a standing ovation. The students demonstrated their knowledge by citing the pledge of allegiance, naming all U.S. presidents and answering trivia about the state and

Juanita K. Rogers

the U.S. Constitution. Rogers was a strong supporter of the private school. Dr. Syl Morgan-Smith, a community activist, called him an “unparalleled orator.” Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said he “defied expectations” through his life choice from playing tennis (as opposed to basketball or football) to being a Republican. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock thanked the family for “giving us Joe Rogers” and added that Rogers endured rocky times while in office, but “your daddy held his head high.” Rogers was the last man independently nominated as Colorado’s lieutenant governor, serving with Gov. Bill Owens. The fellow Republicans ran independently as candidates but he’s credited with helping Owens win a slim victory to become the state’s first GOP governor in 24 years. After the two clashed in office, the law was changed to allow gubernatorial candidates to pick their own running mates. Owens attended the Capitol service to pay his respects. Hancock also shed light on one of the inspirations for Roger’s book “Letter to My Son” for his son Trent and to provide hope and instruction to the “sons of his community.” The two political trailblazers often stood on the sidelines watching their sons play football and talking about what kinds of message they wanted to provide to their sons. Rogers followed through with the book. Former Colorado Congressman, District 7, Bob Beauprez (at one point a political rival) said, “You usually lose friends in a political primary. That’s when I got to know Joe. We bonded.” Apostle Leon Emerson, pastor of Now Faith Christian Center Church and former president of the Greater Continued on page 6

Trent J. A. Rogers, Jordan K. Rogers and Haley N. Rogers

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Cycles of Success Luncheon Continues Legacy of Support

Her 2010 book addresses intimate details of her life, from her struggles with alcoholism and teen pregnancy to the joy of being able to get a college degree as an adult, funded by her son. In 1997, she fulfilled a longtime dream of going back to school, graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science in business administration from the Adult Education Program at BethuneCookman University and went on to earn a master of arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. Also in attendance were Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Garcia said, “If we

President and CEO Sue Carparelli speaks to audience at Cycles of Success annual luncheon

By Angelia D. McGowan

“I want to study to be an ER

doctor,” said a 16-year-old last month at the Cycles of Success Luncheon, a

fundraiser for the Florence Crittenton

School. She says her experiences in the state’s largest and most complete

provider of services for pregnant and parenting teens, has helped her to

“feel good and that I can do it.” For those who know the school’s history spanning more than 25 years, her confidence is to be expected. President and CEO Sue Carparelli said the school “throughout its history has had tremendous support.” That was demonstrated at the 6th annual luncheon where about 500 people attended to support the students and listen to Lucille O’Neal keynote speaker Lucille O’Neal, author of “Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go” and teen mom of NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. The emcee for the program was Gloria Neal, CBS4 reporter and host of AM 760 Radio. The school has open enrollment year-round for 9-12 grade girls up to the age of 21, who are pregnant or parenting. Operated by Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado, the school provides a Denver Public Schools curriculum, a Qualistar-rated Early Learning Center for the infants and toddlers who are children of enrolled students, courses needed for high school graduation including online courses and those for elective credit that focus on parenting. The school also offers career readiness, child development and technology and the Family Engagement Center for young fathers and extended family. Staff includes counselors, social workers, registered nurse and psychologist as well as early childhood specialist and educators. During her presentation, O’Neal said her “heart was so full” from a visit to the school the day prior. She encouraged the audience “to make an investment in the human soul… because these young ladies are diamonds in the rough.”

In referencing her time as a teen mom, she said “my then is not my now,” to help the teen moms know that they can aspire to be whatever they want to be.

really care about kids, we need to care about their parents. We know the mothers and the children will grow up to be contributing members of our community and economy.” Hancock addressed the opportunities the school provides students and the importance of the community supporting them at this point in their lives. “I would rather participate on this end than in the prison system,” he said. The Colorado Health Foundation is matching funds up to $25,000 raised through the luncheon.  Editor’s note: For more information about Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado visit

Access to quality educa education tion iis s the civil civil rights movement of our our time.


arly childhood education education  Gif  Preschools and eearly Gifted ted and talented talented students  Charter t schools   Full-day kindergarten for every family tha thatt wants it   Char

 Low-income and underperforming students 

You Can Help V

Paid for by Colorado Commits to Kids Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


 English language learners 

@VoteYesOn66 @ VoteYesOn66

Continued from page 4 Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, recalled meeting him at a hot dog stand where Rogers asked for an endorsement from the alliance. “He boldly came, spoke to us and got the endorsement” inspiring Emerson to say, “It’s not about the party, it’s about the man.” He affectionately called him a “passionate politician.” Xernona Clayton, founder, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and creator and executive producer of the foundation’s Trumpet Awards, said, “I will love Joe’s memory forever.” Rogers received the award in 2001. That year 187 countries were able to view the awards on television and see Rogers be honored. Clayton, who travelled from Georgia for the services, also announced something that Joe already knew: Juanita would be honored in January 2014 at the Trumpet Awards. Originally presented by Turner Broadcasting in 1993 and now pre-

sented by the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., the Trumpet Awards was created to herald the accomplishments of Black Americans who have succeeded against immense odds. Special recognition is given to the few, who symbolize the many, who have overcome the ills of racism and poverty and achieved special greatness. Recipients include Muhammad Ali, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, General Colin Powell, and actress Lena Horne. A spoken word piece by Dr. Jennifer Williams Molock referred to Rogers as a “kind and kindred spirit.” Charles Casteel, partner with Davis, Grahams, Stubbs LLP and former president of the Denver Bar Association, said, “I’ve seen thousands of

attorneys, but none with the constellation and character of Joe Rogers.” A cousin named Joel D. Rogers, said his “success was no surprise to us. He’s a Rogers. All of his success was expected.” He emphasized to Rogers children that they “have a legacy, a heritage to live up to and carry on.” Dr. Paul Thayer, Colorado State University Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Special Advisor to the President and former director of Upward Bound, in which Rogers participated, said “he was never afraid to be different. He had class in the face of any challenge. He was a person of principle and integrity.” Rogers graduated from Colorado State University, where he majored in business administration. As a firstyear

Life’s Journey

Joseph Bernard Rogers

law student at Arizona State University, Rogers won the national American Bar Association Negotiation competition, drawing the attention of some of the West’s top law firms. As he rose up the ranks, he lifted others with him. Thayer said that Rogers invited Upward Bound participants to his offices, including Davis, Grahams, Stubbs LLP and to Washington D.C. where he worked for Sen. Hank Brown. He stressed to the students that this was “their government.” As a tribute to the importance of education to Rogers, new and or gently used books were collected at all viewings and the funeral for donation to two Colorado school districts. The Greeley Evans District 6 and St. Vrain Valley School District received the books. They were needed to replace books due to recent flood damage. Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home handled all arrangements and the burial at Fairmont Cemetery. 

moved to Washington, DC where he served as July 8, 1964- October 7, 2013 Joseph “Joe” Bernard Rogers was a man of God legal counsel to former U.S. Senator Hank Brown. who loved and honored God, family, and friends. He After two years, Joe decided to make his own bid for exemplified a belief that all things were achievable and possible through “faith in the good Lord.“ public office. Joe returned to Denver in 1996 and decided to run for a seat in the House of Joe was born on July 8, 1964, in Omaha, Nebraska, the second son to Lola Marie Rogers and Representatives. Although he started out the race as an unknown by the general public, he ran a Joe Louis Rogers. Joe accepted Christ at an early age. Much of what he learned as a young strong race and gained name recognition. believer was from his grandfather; the late Reverend Emmett T. Streeter who served as pastor of In 1998, Joe used the momentum from his run for the Congressional seat to run for lieutenant the Claire Methodist Church in Omaha for 19 years. Joe adored his grandfather and cherished governor of Colorado. In 1999, he was sworn in as the youngest lieutenant governor in the nation the wooden pulpit he inherited from him. and the second African American in Colorado to hold this position. In 1966, after his parents divorced, his mother moved Joe and his two brothers, Chris and Joe has been recognized for his work and commitment to strengthening America. Among his Tracy to Denver. In 1975, his mother married John Terry and the family became members of numerous awards is the prestigious Trumpet Award from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting; Bethesda Baptist Church in Commerce City. one of the nation’s highest honors bestowed in recognition of African American achievement and Joe attended Bradley Elementary School and Kearney Junior High School. He enjoyed music heralds the accomplishments of individuals who have made significant contributions and and loved to play tennis. He played the trumpet and became a drum major while attending enhanced the quality of life for all Americans. Persons who have received the award range from Adams City High School. Joe lettered in track, tennis, and the jazz band. He also participated in Muhammad Ali, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, and Lena Horne the Upward Bound Program, a program designed to prepare high school students for col- to General Colin Powell. lege, which changed the academic course of his young life. Joe has been profiled by Newsday, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The He worked his way through Colorado State University (CSU) majoring in Business Washington Times and Business Week, Ebony, Jet, and teacher magazines. Joe was also recogAdministration, graduating in 1986. While at CSU, Joe was highly involved as a student leader. nized by his undergraduate alma mater; Colorado State University’s Office of Black Student He served as the president of the Congress of Afro-American and he was initiated into the Alpha Services as a “Pillar of Excellence” in 2007. Phi Alpha Fraternity; Omicron Tau chapter. Joe was dedicated to service and was often the Joe excelled as a national and charismatic speaker with his “Dream Alive” program. He creatleader in marches and demonstrations against social injustices such as; apartheid and student ed the program 12 years ago as a tribute to the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He issues. He was a big brother in the Office of Black Student Services’ Big Brother/Big Sister proinspired and motivated audiences from grade school, high school, college students to corporations and various other organizations. Joe authored the book, “The Letter to My Son” dedicated gram and an active member of the Black Business Scholars Association. Joe was also an to his son Trent, to provide hope and instruction to the “sons of his community.” Orientation Leader with Preview CSU. In addition to the Dream Alive Program Joe continued to help others through his law practice. Joe was the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Overall Achievement He took on every case with zeal and passion. Award presented by the Office of Black Student Services. He was selected as the CSU Despite his busy schedule Joe still found time to give back to his community as a mentor in Homecoming King, becoming the first African American to hold this honor. In 1986, Joe was Adams City High School, “Reaching for the Stars Program” and a number of other activities. He selected by Business Today Magazine as one of the top 200 Student Leaders in the United was an active member of the True Light Baptist Church under the leadership of; Pastor William T. States. It was during these formative college years that Joe set his sights on studying law with a Golson, Jr. where Joe found time to be a true public servant, providing the gift of hope, love and focus on public service. However, one of his most memorable experiences while at CSU was compassion to all with whom he came in contact. when he met the love of his life and soul mate Juanita “Kay” Hardy, who would become his bride Joe’s motto was “to have a good time, all you need is good food, good friends, and good conon July 25, 1992. To this union three children were born; Trent Joseph Alfred, Jordan Kay, and versation.” Joe shared his life with everyone, especially on Thanksgiving when he opened his Haley Nicole. doors to all for his traditional home cooked dinner. Joe’s favorite place was Disney World, and Joe earned a scholarship to attend Arizona State University Law School where he enhanced was able to take his entire family on a Disney Cruise and to Disney World a few weeks ago. His his public speaking skills. Joe served as president of the Black Law Students Association, was a family will always remember this comforting and memorable time. member of the National Championship American Bar Association Negotiation Team and the The world lost a great young man who was a loving husband, thoughtful son, devoted father, Jencks Cup Closing Argument State Championship. He also won the National Bar Association’s caring brother, loyal friend, colleague and orator. Those left to cherish his memory include his wife National Negotiation Competition. of 21 years, Juanita K. Rogers; three children, Trent J. A. Rogers, Jordan K. Rogers and Haley N. After earning his law degree, Joe began his law career working with firms including Harris & Rogers all of Aurora, Colorado; his mother, Lola M. Terry of Denver, Colorado; his father, Joe L. Palumbo and Snell and Wilmer; and then served as an extern clerk for the United States District Rogers of Omaha, Nebraska; three brothers, Christopher J. Rogers, LaTra T. (Lai-NaAhtiCoa) Court for the State of Arizona. He then went on to practice law with Davis, Graham & Stubbs Rogers and James E. Jones, Jr. all of Denver, Colorado; and a host of other relatives and many, from 1989-1993. many friends. Joe then took the step of his dreams of working in public service. In 1993, he and Juanita Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Marching to Zion for 148 Years!


By Clementine W. Pigford and Annette R. Groves

hen the West was still

young, and the hunger for gold and silver filled the bellies of adventure-

some freed men and women, a small group of African Americans estab-

lished Zion Baptist Church in the

Colorado Territory. Zion’s archives cite Nov. 15, 1865 as its official date of birth. Each year the church celebrates the second Sunday in November to remember its founders and highlight current programs. This year a four-day anniversary program will celebrate history with music, hearty “vittles,” and promises to keep. The theme for this year’s 148th anniversary is “A Church That Christ Builds,” and will be celebrate Nov. 6, 7, 9 and 10. During the festivities, the church will present a 50-plus Year Member Banquet to honor these long-term members for their service to the

Rev. Frank Marvin Davis

church. Zion is a unique church with 102 members who have served for more than 50 years. The Rev. Frank Marvin Davis, a 32year member says, “The church owes its longevity to a ministry that meets the needs of the community-at-large. Zion is the church that has served in a way that no other church serves.” He adds that the senior members want to do things meaningful beyond

their lives. “They have made seniors valuable in our lives. Zion is the oldest African American Church in the Rocky Mountain West and we honor our inherited gift. “Our seniors are the ones who truly understand that what they do for Christ will last. They are engaged in doing services that will outlive their lives. I think we have lost that in this ‘Me’ generation where people are so

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


focused on ‘What can I get? What’s in it for me?’ They (senior members) want to leave strong legacies.” Davis, who was ordained on Oct. 23, 1988 by Dr. Wendell Theodore Liggins, became Zion’s pastor in July, 1993. During his 20-year tenure, Davis has made various Herculean accomplishments by establishing four community outreach ministries, securing Forest Street Compassionate Care Center and two Outreach Resource Centers, plus becoming the president of the Western States Baptist Convention. He has also created schools and a borehole in Zimbabwe, South Africa. The church offers a number of ministries that include youth, in-house scholarship commission, health, jobs, retiree, grant/resource, women’s and men’s retreats, evangelism, children, as well as the traditional ministries that keep the church tied to the needs of the congregation. All of these ministries offer continual, no-cost services. Continued on page 8

Continued from page 7 Other programs include Thanksgiving Feed the Community Day, Saint Luke Fourteen Service Day, Family Resource and Learning Centers, and For the Community Church in the Park.

Provide your baby with the best possible start in life!

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Be healthy before, during and after pregnancy: s Reduce stress s Connect to a support system s Get prenatal and medical check-ups s Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and maintain a healthy weight s Take a multi-vitamin with folic acid (a B vitamin) every day



Share more information and support on topics related to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby Connect you to community resources (medical and dental care, counseling services, housing, food and clothing)

Are you pregnant or parenting a child under two? Contact Healthy Start for details about this free program!

(303) 360-6276 x2200 or

Gequinn Mattox, the church coordinator and 148th anniversary chairperson says, “A lot of times when things and people get old, they tend to get tossed aside and we don’t want that to happen at Zion. There’s a well of rich history here and an intriguing story to be told. I believe that when we learn our history, we will have an increased appreciation of where we are now and be thankful to God for those that he used to pave the way for us.” Members who have been with the church for more than 50 years include, Leneice Cole, Dr. Mabel Thompson Turner, Roy and Marilyn Norman, and Deacon John and Deaconess Ernestine Stovall. Dr. Turner, who joined in 1956, is a current trustee and a board member of the Zion Senior Center. Norman, a member since 1955, served as chairman of the trustee board, chairperson and president of N. E.D. C. O. (Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation). Sixty-year member Marilyn Norman served in the children’s ministry and music ministry. Deacon Stovall, a member since 1951, was a Sunday school teacher in the 1950s. He became a trustee and scholarship commission executive officer with N. E. D.C. O. Deaconess Stovall is the chairperson of Zion’s Altar Guild. Cole, who joined Zion in 1956, has six children who are also members of the church. “I love Missionary Society work. Esther Nash and Pearlie Mae Jackson Stean groomed me for missionary work. Reverend Liggins was dear to me. Now, Reverend Frank Marvin Davis is my dear pastor,” says Cole. “I am a happy member! Zion means everything to me! I always have been involved with my church, and I kept my children and grandchildren in Sunday school.” Annette Rease Groves is a 60-plus

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year member who served as the church pipe organist, choir director, chair of the trustee board, and deaconess throughout her life at Zion. Groves has one of the longest tenures as a musician in Denver and Colorado. She and her husband,

The Family of John Elijah Ford - Zion’s popular and successful Pastor in Denver and in Jacksonville, Florida.

John Elijah Ford and his siblings. Circa 1920s.

Deacon Elwyn Groves, now deceased, raised their three sons in Zion. Clementine Washington Pigford joined Zion when she was seven years old after leaving tons of cousins in Chicago’s South side. “My loving Denver family was small, and I was the only child amid paternal grandparents, parents, two uncles, and one aunt. Zion Baptist Church members became my family and my role models.” She adds, “With the exception of a few Denver Public School teachers, I could look into the faces of my mentors each Sunday morning.” 

Zion Anniversary Schedule of Events

Wednesday & Thursday Nov. 6 &7 at 7 p.m. Revival Guest Minister at Zion 933 East 24th Ave., in Denver

Saturday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. 50-plus Year Members Banquet Double Tree Hotel, MLK Jr. Blvd. and Quebec St., in Denver Sunday, Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. Zion Baptist Church 148th Celebration Guest Pastor 933 East 24th Ave. in Denver For more information,

call 303-861-4637

Editor’s note: For more information on the 148th anniversary events, call 303-8614958. For more information on Zion’s rich history and the book “They Came to Colorado with the Dust of Slavery on their Backs…and Beautiful, Beautiful Zion!,” contact Zion Baptist Church historians Clementine Pigford, Annette R. Groves, or Kathryne A. L. McKinney at 303-8614637.

Greg Moore

Chris Martinez

Michael Hancock

Bruce Littlehorn


Party With a Purpose...Pleases the Palate By Norma J. Paige

It’s been said that the way to a

man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, it is also the way to reach the heart of a community. The 100 Men Who Cook black tie gala being held Nov. 30 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel has gained the support of more than 100 men. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to the gala’s headline act Ron Ivory will serve as gentlemen chefs for the event, billed as “the premier black tie event in Denver.” The 100 men recruited to serve as chefs are mostly men who enjoy cooking or have one dish they prepare for special occasions. There are several professional chefs sprinkled throughout the array of doctors, artists, judges, politicians, personal trainers and every occupation you can imagine. Ann Williams, chair of the Host/Hostess Committee says, “On Nov. 30, 2013 it will be raining men, and they can cook!” “We believe this is being so well received because of the benefitting organizations. It’s truly a party with a purpose,” says organizer’s president, Chuck Moss. More than 800 guests will be attending this year. The gala is supporting three local organizations. The Struggle of Love, the Colorado Starlites Drum & Drill Team, and the Jazz C.A.F.É. (Cultivating A Future of Excellence). Each of these groups fit the mission of the 100 Men Who Cook, which is “to assist grassroots non-profit community organizations, whose focus is the support, education, and development of youth, by raising operating capital to sustain their goals and objectives.” The Jazz C.A.F.E. is an innovative youth music program created to positively impact youth in the Denver metropolitan area. It is designed to not only offer youth an opportunity to master the music genre of jazz, but to gain valuable leadership skills. Following students from grades 6 through 12, the Jazz C.A.F.E. is a very exciting venture bringing together entities that have a genuine concern

for youth in the community. It is a profound example of the collaborations between the corporate community, educational institutions, and community-based organizations can play in creating future leaders. Music Director Jeffrey Music director, Young says, “For most of us, music may only be seen as a source of entertainment that increases relaxation. Children however, can respond to rhythm, learn to play a musical instrument and most importantly, they can be motivated to tap

Program of the Year and established in 2008. SOL is a Colorado community based non-profit organization. SOL was created by Joel and LaKeshia Hodge to provide community awareness, involvement and social activities, for the poor and underprivileged individuals. SOL offers alternatives to those with limited opportunities that may not qualify for any other community based assistance programs. SOL’s wish is to inspire and educate future generations so they can make a positive difference in the world. Their goal is to give back to the community in areas of struggle. “Showing Our Love to Save Our Lives” is a quote often heard from founder Joel Hodge. SOL conducts programs and events throughout the year such as, the annual Reach 4 Peace Picnic; an annual Backpack Give-away; Thanksgiving food and clothing assistance; Christmas Toy Giveaway; and a sports/mentoring program that fosters improved self-confidence and selfesteem through experiences in sports activities. Participants are given the opportunity to experience growth in the areas of interacting with others, teamwork, sportsmanship, and skill development. “We have witnessed a positive change in student’s communication skills. Academic levels have increased as a result of the program and most of all SOL’s participants are able to maintain the 2.5 grade point average as required,” said SOL cofounder LaKeshia Hodge. Entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by The SoBo Four; Yasuo Ishikawa; SuCh; Larea Soul, DJ Regina Johnson and Ron Ivory & the MilesApart Band. Local businessman, Norvell Ballard of Ballard Family Mortuary stepped up as the title sponsor of the gala this year. Additional sponsors include Denver Urban Spectrum, Denver Black Pages, Jammin 101.5 FM radio, Xcel energy, Urbandwellers, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Editor’s note: The Denver Renaissance hotel is offering special room rates for $79 with a breakfast buffet only $10. Reservations can be made by calling 303336-5213 and mentioning the 100 Men Who Cook.

into their creativity. I believe that music has the power to reach children in nontraditional ways by motivating them to appreciate their individual differences.” Founded in 1981, The Colorado Starlites, which includes a drill team, drum line, and pom squad, is directed by founder Teresa (Barnes) Page. One purpose of the Colorado Starlites is to promote positive reinforcement and discipline in youth. Their goal is to establish a foundation in young people in the community and set a precedence of determination and excellence that will extend far beyond their youth. Participants are prepared to be constructive citizens and leaders for today and tomorrow. The outcome is a remarkable team oriented group of young people, who have enduring faith, belief in themselves, and who are dedicated to promoting a positive impact in the community. Benefits from the gala will help purchase uniforms, equipment and instruments for the group. This year’s cornerstone organization is the Struggle of Love Foundation (SOL), recipient of the Colorado Fatherhood Council’s 2013

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Losing Ground Report: Colorado Blacks and Latinos Falling Behind By Annette Walker

is even a recently released film, “Inequality For All,” (based on the writings of Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration). The film is an exposé on the widening economic gaps and

For Colorado’s African-American

community, 2013 has been cause for celebration and for dismay. Barack Obama, this nation’s first African-

American president, was inaugurated

for a second term in January. However, on Inauguration Day in Colorado, a report was released which cast a shadow over the euphoria generated by Obama’s second victory. The ‘Losing Ground’ report was prepared by the I-News Network, the investigative news affiliate of Rocky Mountain PBS. The report documents that the African-American and Latino communities are losing many social and economic gains that resulted from the Civil Rights Movement. The report focuses on family income, family structure, poverty rates, infant mortality, life expectancy, health, education, home ownership, and judicial issues. The I-News team

CBRT “Losing Ground” Summit attendees and participants with organizer John Bailey (far right). Photo by Lens of Ansar

analyzed demographic data from six decades (1960-2010) of the U.S. Census Bureau. Colorado, however, is not isolated from the national social and economic situation. Since 2008, media investigations, books, and analyses abound regarding the impact of the national economic crisis on the general population including racial minorities. There

the diminishing middle class in the United States. The Losing Ground analysis, however, has startled many people because of the positive image of African-American achievement in Colorado and Denver, in particular. “Denver has been seen for decades as a liberal bastion in terms of race relations,” said Larry Borom, former president of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver and an adjunct lecturer at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “In the 1970s, Ebony magazine placed Denver on a list of Best Cities for African-Americans,” he added. Although they constitute only 10 percent of Denver’s population, African-Americans have often kept pace with cities with much larger populations. In the early 1950s, George L. Brown became one of five African-American staff reporters on the 2,000 metropolitan daily newspapers throughout the United States. In 1955 he became one of the few Blacks elected to a state legislature and in 1975 became this nation’s first Black elected lieutenant governor. Another example is that by the late 1960s, Denver had as many Black public school principals as New York City, in each case just a few. The Losing Ground report does indicate a positive trend for secondary education. High School Graduation. The 2010 Census indicates an 86 percent graduation rate for African-Americans, up from 31 percent in 1960. The rate for Latinos has improved, although the 65 percent significantly lags behind the 95 percent for whites. Unfortunately, other social and eco-

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


nomic statistics indicate negative trends. Family Income. In 1970, Black families earned 73 percent of white family incomes and Latino families earned 72 percent. By 2010, Black families had dropped to 60 percent and Latinos 50 percent. Between 1970 and 2010, federal jobs fell from 6 percent of all jobs in the state to 3 percent. In 1970 15 percent of all jobs held by African-Americans was in the federal sector. By 2010, that figure had dropped to 6 percent. Furthermore, thousands of Colorado’s well-paying, blue-collar manufacturing jobs disappeared. In 1982, Pueblo’s CF&I Steel employed 13,000 people. By the 1990s, there were only 1,300 employees. In the 1950s and 1960s, Denver’s Gates Rubber company employed 5,500 people. It closed in 1991. Samsonite Luggage company in previous decades had employed 5,500 people. When it closed in 2001, there were only 340 remaining. In 2010, Denver’s general unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, but for African-Americans it was 14.4 percent. Family structure. The percentage of single-parent families and the number of births to single mothers has soared among Black households. Fifty percent of Black families in Colorado were headed by a single parent in 2010 compared to 25 percent of white families. Infant Mortality. Whites experience an infant mortality rate of five deaths per 1,000 live births. This is lower than the national average. Blacks in Colorado experience 15 deaths per 1,000 live births, and for Latinos the rate is eight deaths per 1,000 live births. Life Expectancy. In 2011 it was 80 years for Caucasians, compared to 79 for Latinos and 77 for AfricanAmericans. Health. Whites experience a diabetes death rate of 14 per 100,000 residents, while it was 36 for both Latinos and Blacks. Blacks are more likely to suffer from asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate cancer and obesity than whites. Home Ownership. In 1970, 60 percent of Latino households were owner-occupied; now it’s a little below 50 percent, compared to 70 percent for whites. Ownership among Blacks has remained at about 40 percent. College Education. The percent of whites with college degrees is three times higher than Latinos and double the Black rate. Incarceration Rates. In 2010 about one in every 20 Black men was incarcerated in Colorado state prisons compared to one out of every 50 Latino males and one of every 150 white males.

Community Dialogue

The I-News team has a nontraditional relationship with the public. News personnel rarely engage in face-to-face dialogue about issues with the public. However, beginning in late January, the I-News team initiated presentations on many campuses around the state as well as the BlairCaldwell African-American Research Library. Subsequently, the Colorado Black Roundtable not only invited I-News to more than one monthly meeting, but spearheaded a community summit held in September at Manual High School. The Summit, attended by a few hundred people, featured speakers representing a cross-section of the African-American community. Mayor Michael Hancock was the first speaker and gave an overview of his administration’s achievements. “Good things are happening in this city,� he said. Among these are 1,000 new businesses, thousands of jobs, youth summer employment programs, and free access for youth to municipal recreation centers and swimming pools. Hancock also emphasized the importance of strengthening families. “Families that pray together, stay together,� he continued. City Councilman Albus Brooks’ (District 8), who covers the downtown area and Northeast Denver, lists among his administration’s achievements, a job training program for 30 youth in his district. He also led a youth group to Kenya last year. Brooks proposed a public meeting with officials overseeing major projects, such as the light rail expansion, to see how African-Americans can be included. Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) plans to submit two legislative proposals, including child care to enable low-income parents to participate in workforce training programs and funding for GED, trade and technical skills programs for adults. Rep. Angela Williams (HD-7), who represents sections of Northeast Denver, Montbello and Green Valley Ranch, is considering legislation for an increase in the minimum wage and for an analysis of Colorado’s procurement contracts. Some speakers contended that government ─ city, state and federal ─ must assume major responsibility for turning around the ‘losing ground’ situation. Fair Share Jobs, a nonprofit organization established last year by a group of African Americans, has already begun job creation initiatives that include recruitment efforts for the Denver Public Safety Cadet Program and brokering for inclusion of African

Americans in Aurora’s Gaylord Hotel project and other development sites in metropolitan Denver. “Many Black youth are talented, although dispirited,� said Billy Scott, a Fair Share Jobs board member and also a speaker at the summit. “However, they are at the bottom of the political totem pole and no one pays attention to them,� he said. “If these issues are not addressed, the entire state will pay a high price,� said Laura Franks, executive director of the I-News Network. Borom believes there must be open dialogue between elected officials and the African-American community. “Mayor Hancock may need to

appoint a ‘czar’ to deal with the issues shown in the Losing Ground report,� he said. Other speakers emphasized community efforts.vernment,� said Dr. Anthony Young, president of the Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists. “We have to work closely with the two institutions that we control ─ the Black church and the Black family,� he said.  For more information about the Losing Ground Report, visit For more information about Fair Share Jobs, visit

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n his own easy-going, humble and understated manner, Paul Hamilton can be described as what people throughout Africa call a “fundi” – a wise and learned man, an elder, a teacher, a researcher or someone who has specialized expertise, skill or knowledge in a given area. The name has many meanings and connotations; a musician can be a “jazz fundi,” an artist or sculptor can also be a “fundi,” and an educator or counselor who has a special way with youth is even yet another type of “fundi.” As an art collector, college professor, school principal and teacher and an author, Paul Hamilton’s life experience naturally confers many dimensions of that respected title. Now at 72, as he faces retirement, Hamilton has a unique opportunity to reflect on his life journey and to place his body of work into an enduring perspective. As the owner of a highly respected African art collection, Hamilton is facing certain decisions regarding the future legacy of his anthology of authentic carvings, sculptures, paintings, books and manuscripts. A visit to his home is an unforgettable experience; sculptures, carvings, masks, figurines and ceremonial folk art of every conceivable size, shape and texture are placed on just about every available shelf, corner, stairwell, window sill and credenza. As natural light falls across these beautiful pieces, the Hamilton home has an atmosphere of grace, antiquity and character; a veritable master symphony of African expressions, qualities and personalities. Hamilton dearly loves his art, and eagerly recites endless reams of information about the background, history, religious and ceremonial functions of

Denver Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2010Urban Spectrum — — November 2013



the various objects of his personal passion. Earlier this year a group of artists, organizations and Curtis Park community groups were coalescing around a plan – spearheaded by Denver’s dynamic Redline Art Gallery – to redevelop the historic Temple Emmanuel Synagogue as a theater venue, artist studio and retail space. His collection would serve as the foundation of an African American museum and community arts center. But with administrative changes at Redline and the future of the ambitious project being unclear, Hamilton is now looking toward a new international art auction fundraiser that he hopes will introduce his African art to elite collectors around the world. The black-tie art event, which benefits the Howard Dental Center, will be held on December 14 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Denver. It is expected to draw between 500 and 800 people. Joseph Bankston, an art dealer and appraiser who handles Hamilton’s collection, said that African art has always been among the most prized art forms in the international world of elite artists, galleries and patrons. “African art is one of the strongest art forms on the planet because basically African art has affected Picasso and the rest of the more famous abstract artists of Europe and America and elsewhere,” Bankston explained to me during a recent conversation at Café on the Points. “They use African design in all of their work, and most of it was a reflection of African art. So if you look at some of Picasso’s art, you’ll see replicas of African ritual pieces, and on and on. If you look at Dali and some of the rest of them, you see African art within them – they

basically took their new form of modern art from designs in African art.” With a soft smile that belies decades and vast experience in the art collecting world, Bankston said that African art “has always been one of the most collectable arts on the planet, besides Chinese and Asian art and European art. It can be, at some point, one of the most expensive arts to collect; it depends on what it is.” He said that the auction – which will become an annual fundraising event to support dental services for those suffering from HIV/AIDS – is already developing its own “buzz,” with well-known celebrities and art collectors expected to be in attendance. Online bidding begins in November, a full month ahead of the actual event.

“We sent out media presentations to all of the newspapers, televisions stations, PBS, and also the auction companies will put it out to the public, and it will be widely acknowledged,” Bankston said, adding that premier auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies will be participating. “All the galleries will be notified by email and they will notify their clients and artists – so it’s a domino effect.” The auction will also feature an inperson appearance by renowned artist Majid Kahhak. He lives near Aspen and is well known for his live performance art paintings of celebrities, including Bill Clinton, Ray Charles, Tiger Woods, Marcel Marceau, King Hassan II of Morocco, Jack Nicklaus and former Denver Bronco Terrell Davis. For Hamilton, the auction is an opportunity to serve the Denver community while also increasing the international profile of his African art col-

lection. He is donating the full proceeds of several of his pieces that have been appraised at more than $60,000; however, his focus is less on the monetary value and more on a long term institutional arrangement for his collection. “I’ll make a little money on income tax. The big thing for me will be getting my name out there and getting my collection out there to Europe and Asia and places like that,” Hamilton said in a recent telephone interview. He added that he was very disappointed when he learned the Redline project fell through. “My idea was to have my collection set up where different art groups and creative people can work and get inspired by the place around them, and also you have some kind of performances. So you take Redline and you expand the concept to have other groups, and then you have my art collection and library.” Hamilton has had numerous discussions with Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Museum curator Terry Nelson, but the space couldn’t accommodate his thousands of books and manuscripts, let alone his art pieces, although he previously loaned some of his collection to the museum for temporary displays. As much as he loves African art, his scholarly research is particularly close to his heart, which was the basis for his seminal book, “Shattering the Myths: African People’s Contributions to World Civilizations.” is The book includes scientific research of race and evolution, historical perspectives on Ancient Egypt and Nubia, the great kingdoms of West Africa and the African cultural roots of Western science, mathematics, philosophy and religion. It is out-of-print after three printings in the early 90s and remains in high demand. Hamilton, a teacher at Brady High School in Jefferson County, has committed to retiring at the end of this school year, and he would like to write a second volume in addition to producing a large, high quality coffeetable photography book on African art. With the Howard Dental Center’s first annual art auction and the freedom of a well-deserved retirement, we can expect some wonderful new offerings from one of Colorado’s greatest “fundis.”  Editor’s note: For more information on the Howard Dental Center Art Auction, see, and for more information on Paul Hamilton and his art collection, see James Ainsworth is a freelance writer in Denver, and he can be reached through his web site at Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013



Dr. Everette Freeman Appointed As President Of The Community College Of Denver

Learn. Achieve. Graduate.

Dr. Everette J. Freeman, currently president of Albany State University, Albany, Georgia, has been appointed president of Community College of Denver. Cliff Richardson, former vice president of Finance and Administration for the Colorado Community College System, has been serving as interim president of Community College of Denver since March 2011. A long-time employee of the CCCS, Richardson has held several positions with the Colorado Community Colleges, including serving as interim presidents for five of the community colleges. Richardson plans to retire at the end of this appointment. Dr. Freeman was selected as the finalist after an extensive national search and open forums at Community College of Denver. Freeman earned his doctorate of education in Educational Foundations at Rutgers University, a master of arts in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor of arts in Sociology and Economics from Antioch College.

Colorado Parent And Child Announces Rosemarie Allen As New Executive Director

A Free Online Public K-12 School Proven to Help Students Succeed

Colorado Parent and Child Foundation welcomed its new Executive Director, Rosemarie Allen, October 15. Allen will lead the nonprofit's mission to help parents throughout Colorado receive the knowledge, tools and support they need to facilitate their child's school readiness. Allen has more than 30 years of leadership experience in early childhood. Since 2007, she has served in directorship roles with the Colorado Department of Human Services, most recently in the Division of Youth Corrections and from 2007-2012 as the Director of the Division of Child Care. In that role, she oversaw the State’s child care licensing program, the federal child care assistance program, the redesign of the State’s quality rating and improvement system, the implementation of the State’s professional development plan, and assisted in the

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


creation of Colorado’s early learning guidelines. Prior to her role with the State, Allen served for 10 years as the Director of Children’s Programs for Front Range Community College. And, since 1997, she has taught core classes in early childhood education at two and four year institutions throughout Colorado. She has served on many boards, including Jack and Jill of America, The Spirituals Project and the National Association for Regulatory Administration. Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies and Child Development from California State University, Long Beach, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is currently completing coursework toward her Doctorate in Equity in Education at the University of Colorado, Denver.

AARP Recognizes Jean Nofles With Its Most Prestigious Volunteer Award

Jean Nofles of Aurora has been selected by AARP to receive Colorado’s 2013 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award, which symbolizes an individual’s power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. AARP Colorado selected Nofles for her remarkable service and for the impact she’s had on the lives of others and throughout the state. Nofles is a member of AARP Colorado’s Executive Council, the volunteer leadership advisory group. She is also the former Chair of the Colorado state legislative committee, and a Congressional liaison for Representative Mike Coffman’s district. Nofles has parlayed her issue expertise gained from her pre-retirement position at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services into helping expand services to vulnerable populations across Colorado. Nationally, she was featured in a segment on her lobbying efforts as an AARP representative talking to Congressional and Senate leaders about the importance of maintaining older Americans earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare. The award was presented to Nofles on Oct. 15 at the Denver Art Museum.

The GOP’s Debt Ceiling War is Not about Debt but About Obama In September,

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Oct 5)

the National Review Online made public the blueprint of the House GOPs war plan to stonewall the debt ceiling raise. The plan of attack included many of the same demands the GOP has repeatedly made to stall, eliminate, or delay every program and initiative President Obama has put forth. The GOP’s price for approving the debt ceiling increase is for Obama to agree to cut, cut, and cut some more spending on virtually everything from Head Start to food nutrition programs that directly aid the poor and low income workers. The issue of whether America can pay its bills or not, or reneges on its financial obligations, which would be the catastrophe that results from failing to raise the ceiling, is secondary to the GOP’s cynical political ploy. Despite the GOP’s pious declarations that the debt ceiling battle is solely about fiscal responsibility and reining in America’s debt, it’s not. The debt ceiling debate can’t be separated from the GOP’s never-ending hunt for any issue that can taint, embarrass, and ultimately weaken the Obama presidency and at the same time re-impose its agenda on Congress and the nation. The GOP’s goal has altered only slightly since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s oft repeated, and failed, vow to make Obama a one term president. The GOP’s slight course correction is to still to crush Obamacare, gut tax increases on the rich, scrap or water down to the point of irrelevancy financial industry regulations, a revamp of the tax code to further boost the rich, and coerce Obama to put Medicare and Social Security even deeper on the chopping block. That’s only the start. The GOP’s take no prisoner’s stance on the debt ceiling is also aimed at firing up its

sometimes doubting, critical and lackluster conservative base, create dissension among Democrats, and make Obama appear to be an inept, bumbling and deceitful president. If the plan works, it would sour a significant number of independents on Obama and by extension the Democrats, whip GOP establishment leaders into towing the Tea Party line, solidify the image of the GOP as the guardian of the taxpayer’s purse against supposedly rapacious big government, and tighten its grip on the House, and maybe, just maybe, grab back the Senate in 2014. This would effectively politically neuter Obama for the remaining two years of his term, and make Hillary think twice about tossing her hat in the presidential rink in 2016. During George W. Bush’s White House tenure, the debt ceiling was an absolute non-issue. It was routinely raised in those years with barely a peep that the U.S. was in mortal danger of a fiscal crash and burn under the great weight of debt. This debt was incurred almost exclusively by Bush’s two wildly costly and wasteful wars, his two behemoth tax cut giveaways to the rich, a relentless savage of regulations that made banks and corporation’s tax liability fall to historic low levels, and then capped by a taxpayer giveaway to Wall Street banks and financial houses. But the GOP didn’t acquiesce in turning the debt into a non-issue solely to appease a GOP president. The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962 that includes 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under Bush, and three times under Obama. The ceiling was raised even in election years without any public fanfare. Yet when polls showed that a majority of Americans were concerned about mounting debt, and that a sizeable number of Americans wanted to rein in spending, the debt ceiling instantly became a fresh weapon for the GOP to barrage Obama. The GOP’s ploy in that regard played out to predictable perfection. The GOP has one more ace up its sleeve to embarrass Obama and subtly shift public anger over the shutdown and the looming debt ceiling battle away from blaming the GOP to blaming Obama. It put several piecemeal spending measures on the table as its plan for ending the budget stalemate knowing

full well that the administration would reject them all. But the feint would be enough to allow the GOP to scream that it was acting responsibly to resolve the crisis (one it manufactured) and the party was being stonewalled by an intransigent, politically vindictive White House House speaker John Boehner played this ploy further by not only blasting the White House for stalling a deal, but then assuring the public that the GOP will act prudently and not permit a government debt payment default. GOP leaders will eventually approve a deal on the budget and this will include raising the debt ceiling for the 75th time. But the GOP won’t cut the deal without another blitz attack on Obama and spinning out new cynical ploys in an attempt to taint and embarrass him. That’s because the GOP’s debt ceiling war is not about debt but about Obama.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:

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Grimes is employed by the Colorado State University Denver Extension and is a successful playwright, who has taken his musicals to New York. Grimes enumerated the generational spectrum of Denver’s By Charles Emmons prominent Black dramatic arts, which began in the 1970s with the Denver ith the holiday season Black Arts Company, morphed into Eulipions, then the Shadow Theatre around the corner, parents will soon Company and now The Source with be crowding into small school venues Su Teatro. to see their child perform in traditionThe Eden Theatrical Workshop and its president Lucy Walker, now in her al holiday programs. Nothing makes 70s, has been an incubator for Black parents prouder than seeing their theater. Eden-influenced artists include Grimes, Hugo Jon Sayles and child in the spotlight. But what if the Shadow Theater Company’s director, child displays remarkable talent and a the late Jeffrey Nickelson. “A lot of us spark is lit spurring them to pursue a performing arts folks are a big extended family,” says Grimes. career in the arts, where do they go? CBAM has developed in two phasA new organization has been estabes. Despite the lished in wealth of art Colorado to talent in provide much Colorado, needed direcBlack arts in tion while Denver have building on been somethe fortitude of what languishDenver’s black ing. Grimes’ arts communistint on the ty, which SCFD board stands among revealed that world-class Black art and artist. cultural Renowned groups were performers missing somewho have Gully Stanford, Portia Prescott and Ken Grimes thing that caught the would take them to the next level, spark with roots of varying degrees in Denver include Pam Grier, Sinbad and making them more sustainable. Don Cheadle. Similarly, Colorado has “Phase two came out of crisis. Groups were having difficulty. Arts and produced fine artists Bob Ragland, entertainment is the fifth largest ecoJess DuBois and sculptor Ed Dwight. nomic sector,” says Grimes, who saw Denver has also nurtured members of less African American participation. Earth, Wind & Fire and jazz vocalist “You have groups that can’t qualify Dianne Reeves. Cleo Parker Robinson for public funding that was set up to just celebrated 43 years with her support them, so they are not able to world-renowned dance company. qualify for SCFD, CCI or for national The Colorado Black Arts grants.” Movement (CBAM) aims to leverage In 2007, the Colorado State this collective and put Denver on the Legislature created special tax districts arts map. In August, the founders (SCFD) to help fund scientific and culfacilitated the gathering of more than tural facilities with the intent of pro150 people at the home of Richard moting broader education, tourism Lewis, board chair of the Colorado and economic activity, all of which Black Chamber of Commerce, to goes to the betterment of our commulaunch CBAM. Its goal is to define Colorado as a leader in the performing nities. Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) is a division of the state Office of and cultural arts, while at the same Economic Development and time making Black arts sustainable. “Arts are always in flux. Even those International Trade, and was formed that seem like that they are succeeding in July 2010 through a merger of the former Council on the Arts, Office of are hanging on by a thread, “says Film, Television and Media, and Art Kenneth Grimes, a CBAM founder in Public Places program to capitalize and former Scientific and Cultural on the immense potential for the creFacilities District board member. ative sector to drive economic growth Other founders include Kadija in Colorado. Haynes, another former SCFD board According to CCI’s strategic plan, member, and Gully Stanford, director its goal is to be a Top 10 market for of partnerships for College in the creative industries and entrepreColorado.

Arts Movement

Aims High


Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


neurs. One of CCI‘s objectives is to ensure students are educated in the arts so that they are ready to enter the creative workforce, which is estimated at more than 186, 000 jobs. Recognizing that the arts play an important role in our communities, mechanisms and entities like SCFD and CCI act like quasi-patrons supporting and providing resources for creatives. CBAM wants to ensure Colorado’s Black artists are a part of the potential groundswell in the creative and entertainment economy. Stanford says, “The Colorado Black Arts Movement comes at an important time in Colorado’s cultural history, with expanding creative industries and the renewal of the SCFD on the horizon, this is the perfect time to convene, coordinate, celebrate and advocate for Colorado’s many, wonderful Black arts organizations and Artists...onwards!” It’s indicative of the direction the Colorado Black Arts Movement is poised to take. Eighteen months ago, community leaders, including Landri Taylor, president of the Denver Urban League of Metropolitan Denver and former councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, facilitated a two-day retreat to discuss the state and direction of Black arts in Colorado. With collaboration in mind, Grimes is enthusiastic about accessing the resources available to Black artists through entities like CCI, and believes the relationship can be reciprocal and inclusive. He notes that organizations look for grant panel members, but don’t know whom to contact in the African American community. Concerning the potential available to the community, Grimes often quotes John F. Kennedy, “A rising tide raises all boats.” For Black artists in Colorado to benefit, they have to be in the water, and in the vicinity. Initially, Grimes and Portia Prescott, CBAM acting executive director, will align CBAM’s goals to better access resources for the arts. “The four areas of focus on behalf of the community include: business acumen and resources; state and national reach; collaborations and partnerships; and youth arts pipelines,” says Grimes. All Black artists need to be in the pool. “It is not just the dramatic arts. It’s visual arts, fine arts, it is people involved behind the scenes, it’s lighting, set design, this diaspora of what we consider to be the arts community,” says Prescott. An Internet portal similar to LinkedIn is in development where artists can post their profiles, including experience, and interests and how they can contribute to the collective.

Grimes pointed out that Black artists don’t have agents. This portal will be a means to tap the talents in the community, and it will highlight these talents to the larger universe that will connect to it. “The reason we wanted to connect to the chamber is because we wanted to involve the entire community and the business community, because there is business acumen to the arts,” adds Prescott, CEO and president of Prescott Solutions. “There are a lot of organizations that are operating out there in little silos that you sort of heard about. So if we could command the respect of all the artists. That is

the goal, not to just put it out there, but to become that resource in demand.” Her passion for the arts runs deep in Denver, having grown up in the Eulipions youth troupe under the direction of Jo Bunton Keel. She also took ballet from Janice Guy-Sayles. She continues acting and credits Eulipions for the success she attained on and off the stage. “Out of something so small, in a studio on 29th and Colorado Boulevard, led to so much more,” says Prescott, who wants the same opportunities to be available to new generations. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Movie Reviews By Kam Williams ExcellentCCCCC. Very GoodCCCC.. GoodCCCCCC... FairCCCCCCC.. PoorCCCCCCC.

    No stars

12 Years a Slave 

Chiwetel Ejiofor Stars in Adaptation of AfricanAmerican Autobiography


Solomon Northup (Chiwetel

Ejiofor) was a black man born free in upstate New York in 1808. A skilled carpenter and fiddler, he and his wife (Kelsey Scott) settled in Saratoga Springs where they were raising their children (Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Zeigler) when their American Dream turned into a neverending nightmare. For, in 1841, he was approached by a couple of white strangers (Taran Killam and Scoot McNairy) who offered him a high-paying job playing music with the circus in Washington, DC. However, upon arriving in the 12 Years a Slave


Capital, they instead sold him to a slave trader (Christopher Berry) who put Solomon in chains before shipping him to a cotton plantation the Deep South. What ensued was a 12-year ordeal during which he was whipped whenever he attempted to protest his plight. Despite being tortured by a sadistic master (Michael Fassbender) determined to break his spirit, Solomon managed to not only maintain his sanity but his dignity to boot. Furthermore, with the help of a kindly Canadian (Brad Pitt) passing through town, he was eventually able to inform abolitionists up North of his dire predicament, and was ultimately reunited with his very relieved family. Upon his emancipation in 1853, Solomon also penned and published a memoir chronicling the cruelty of his captivity in explicit detail. Entitled 12 Years a Slave, the book became a runaway best-seller before it slipped into obscurity after the Civil War. Directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger), the screen version proves to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the eye-opening autobiography. In a banner year for AfricanAmerican film fare, this heartbreaking historical drama just might be the best of the bunch. The film has already been generating a ton of early Oscar buzz, thanks to a People’s Choice Award coming courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival. Unapologetically graphic in its depiction of the institution of slavery’s evils, 12 Years a Slave contains nary a comic aside ala Quentin Tarantino’s similarly-themed Django Unchained. Therefore, brace yourself for a relentlessly-gruesome endurance test featuring ever-escalating violence. A sobering slave narrative recounting a recorded, real-life case of inhuman bondage. Rated: R for violence, torture, sexuality, nudity and ethnic slurs Running Time: 133 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight To see a trailer for 12 Years a Slave, visit: I’m in Love with a Church Girl 

Ja Rule Stars in Faith-Based Tale of Redemption

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apper Ja Rule was paroled from prison earlier this year after spending a couple of years behind bars for a weapons violation and tax evasion. In a case of art imitating life, he now stars in a faith-based tale of redemption revolving around a hip-hop pro-

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013



I’m in Love with a Church Girl

ducer endeavoring to go straight following his release from jail. I’m in Love with a Church Girl was actually inspired by a true story, but not Ja Rule’s. Rather, the autobiographical screenplay was penned by convicted coke dealer-turned-preacher Galley Molina while incarcerated in a California penitentiary. The movie is set in the San Jose native’s hometown where the ex-gangsta now serves as youth pastor at the Evergreen Valley Church. Narrated by Ja, the picture’s protagonist is a fictional character called Miles Montego. As the flashback flick unfolds, we find Miles returning to the ‘hood after a stint in the slammer. He immediately gets a good piece of advice from his Bible-thumping mom (Marjorie Mann), namely, to attend services on Sunday in order to meet a good God-fearing woman who might help keep his nose clean. Sure enough, he soon falls in love at first sight with Vanessa (Adrienne Bailon), a clerk at a store specializing in Christian-oriented products. The two hit it off, despite her concern about all the bling and his degenerate-looking posse. Eventually, Vanessa becomes convinced that he’s left the life of crime behind, but the same can’t be said about the DEA Agent (Stephen Baldwin) still tailing Miles him with hopes of arresting him again. Given the film’s spoiler of a title, there’s a sense of inevitably about I’m in Love with a Church Girl. This easy to predict morality play is certain to resonate with the Evangelical demographic, and it even has a chance of attracting a mainstream audience because of the presence of the charismatic Ja Rule in the lead role.

A faith-based modern parable with a positive message for both believers and wayward souls ripe for redemption.

Rated: PG-13 for PG for violence, suggestive content, mild epithets and mature themes Running Time: 118 minutes Studio: Reverence Gospel Media Films Distributor: Film District To see a trailer for I’m in Love with a Church Girl, visit:

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete 

Abandoned Kids Fend for Themselves in Gritty, NYC Saga

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete


age or ethnic differences. Meanwhile, despite being 3,000 miles away from California, aspiring actor Mister harbors a secret dream of auditioning at an upcoming casting call with the hopes of landing a role that will enable them to relocate to Hollywood. He prepares for his makeor-break moment by reenacting a scene from Fargo that he’s memorized verbatim. However, before that opportunity arrives, a host of frightening ordeals lay in wait in an unforgiving ghetto littered with the scum of the Earth. Will he survive, let alone escape to L.A.? If so, it’ll make for one heck of a “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay come September. A picture which proves it’s hard in the ’hood not only for pimps, but for kids, too. Rated: R for profanity, ethnic slurs, drug use and sexuality Running Time: 108 minutes Distributor: Lionsgate Films To see a trailer for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, visit:


t’s the last day of school for 8th grader Mister Winfield (Skylan Brooks), who comes home to the projects where he lives with his singlemom (Jennifer Hudson), Gloria, a hooker with a heroin habit. His best friend, 9 year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon), isn’t any better off, since his mother (Martha Millan) works out on the corner for the same abusive pimp (Anthony Mackie). When both their moms disappear, it looks like the Housing Cops will cart them away to Riverview, an institution with a horrible reputation in terms of foster care. So, the boys decide to hide in Mister’s apartment, occasionally venturing down to the tough streets where they must forage and fend for themselves over the course of a particularly, sweltering, New York City summer. This is the opening salvo of The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, a gritty, slice-of-life saga directed by George Tillman, Jr. (Notorious). The compelling coming- of-age drama plays out like an inner-city answer to The Kings of Summer, a similarly-themed story featuring a suburban setting. Here, although Pete is KoreanAmerican, Mister, who is black, refers to his BFF as “my nigga.” And as the two unsupervised adolescents negotiate their way around the ‘hood, no one seems to take much notice of their

Baggage Claim 

Stewardess Frantically Searches for Mr. Right in Peripatetic Romantic Comedy


Baggage Claim

orchestrate “chance” encounters with well-heeled old flames while her Mr. Right might very well be the nextdoor neighbor she keeps leaving behind in Baltimore. And although the audience is never in doubt about the eventual resolution, it takes Montana most of the movie, of course, to wise up and realize that she’s meant to marry the working-class hero who has long admired her from afar. Written and directed by David E. Talbert, Baggage Claim is a fairly-transparent soap opera which tends to telegraph its every punch. Thanks to the intermittent comic relief coming courtesy of the irreverent Greek chorus comprised of flamboyantly gay Sam

ontana Moore (Paula Patton) is in quite a quandary. The pretty stewardess is practically 30 years-old, the age by which her meddling mother (Jenifer Lewis) insists any young lady must marry to be considered respectable. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Sheree (Lauren London), who’s just a sophomore in college, is already engaged to a big man on a campus (Terrence Jenkins), a Heisman trophy hopeful with a bright future in professional football. The blissfully betrothed are set to tie the knot in a month, and Montana is determined to turn one of her former boyfriends into a fiancé prior to their wedding day. So, enlisting the assistance of a couple of colleagues, Gail (Jill Scott) and Sam (Adam Brody), she proceeds to hack into her airline company’s reservation schedule to determine the travel plans of her ex-beaus. Montana’s unsuspecting candidates include a hip-hop producer (Trey Songz), a Republican politician (Taye Diggs) and a filthy-rich businessman (Djimon Hounsou), but not the lifelong friend (Derek Luke) living right across the hall who had once proposed to her when they were in grade school. Consequently, the desperate spinster starts crisscrossing the country to

and boy crazy Gail, this exercise in the obvious is nevertheless a lot of fun to watch. It also helps immeasurably that the protagonist and her hunky suitors are so easy on the eyes. A pleasant, if predictable, romantic comedy trading in the same sort of moralizing and colorful characters of a typical Tyler Perry production. The only thing missing is a sassy, selfrighteous, pistol-packing granny in a dress.

Rated: PG-13 for profanity and sexuality Running Time: 96 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight To see a trailer for Baggage Claim, visit:





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Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013



Krazy A boutKeke!


The “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story”Interview with Kam Williams


Born in Harvey, Illinois on August 26,



Tickets start a


$29 Jackie & Me

By Steven Dietz From the book by Dan Gutman

A Family Show

9ÆgMP”23BLL Space Theatre

Producing Partners:

1993, Lauren Keyana Palmer has been wowing audiences since the tender age of nine. Keke first received great acclaim when she starred as the title character in the sleeper hit Akeelah and the Bee, opposite actor Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. Keke followed that powerful performance with lead roles in The Longshots, Shrink and Joyful Noise. She’s also made memorable appearances in such films as Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Cleaner and Madea’s Family Reunion, as well as voiceover work in animated features like Ice Age: Continental Drift, Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom and Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare. Keke will next be starring in the horror thriller Animal, directed by Brett Simmons, which is set to release in the spring of 2014. On TV, Keke played the title character on the hit Nickelodeon series “True Jackson VP,” and received four NAACP Awards for “Best Actress in Children’s Television.” Her other television credits include “90210,” “Cold Case,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “ER,” to name a few. In 2012, she produced and starred in her first made for TV movie entitled “Rags,” which aired on Nickelodeon. Earlier this year, she handled another title role in the Lifetime made-for-TV movie, “The Carlina White Story.” Keke is currently starring in the DirectTV miniseries “Full Circle,” written by Neil LaBute. And musically,

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she is in the studio recording her second album with the award-winning producer Bangladesh. When she isn’t acting or singing, Keke believes in giving back. She is very involved with the Boys & Girls Club of America, Saving Our Daughters, the YWCA, the Embrace Girls Foundation, and she is an ambassador for Robi Reid’s AIDS awareness and prevention organization, the Reid for Hope Foundation. Here she talks about her latest outing as Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, a VH1 original movie. Kam Williams: Hi Keke, thanks for another interview. Keke Palmer: No problem, Kam. Glad to be here! KW: What interested you in Crazy Sexy Cool? Were you a fan of TLC as a kid? KP: Being a fan is exactly what made me want to do this film. I wanted to be a part of telling the story of a favorite group of mine. KW:How did you prepare for the role? Is it hard to play a real-life person than a fictional character? KP: I just watched a lot of old footage. I also spent a lot of time with Chilli and just observed her. KW: Was Chilli present on the set making suggestions? KP: Yes! She definitely let me do my thing, but she was always there for questions.

KW: How would you describe TLC’s legacy in one word? KP: I don’t think there’s a word to describe it, really. They really inspired a generation of women to be confident go-getters. KW:What message do you think people will take away from Crazy Sexy Cool? KP: You can do anything as long as you don’t stop believing. When it is meant to be, it will be. You just have to follow your heart. KW: Tell me a little about your new TV series, “Full Circle.” KP: It’s a mini-series written by Neil LaBute about a bunch of different people who connect in some way in the last episode. KW: What’s your character Chan’Dra like? KP: She’s a strong, young high school student who will stop at nothing to get what she feels is deserved for her brother. KW: You’ve been shooting a horror film set to be released next spring called Animal. The picture sounds great, but please don’t tell me you die first, like many a Black character in scary movies? KP: If I told you that answer, wrong or right, it would spoil the movie! I will say that we break some stereotypes. KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh? KP: Every day since I’ve been filming my new movie, one of my cast members always has me in stitches. KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? KP: Probably reality-TV. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? KP: Heaven is For Real. KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? KP: Pancakes! KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you? KP: Passionate people. KW: If you could have one wish

instantly granted, what would that be for? KP: For everyone in the world to love each other. KW: The Jamie Foxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time? KP: With my family. KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? KP: Cheetah. KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? KP: Teleportation. KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? KP: No real fear of limitations. KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be? KP: Hairstyling. KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? KP: Dr. Martin Luther King. KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in? KP: The Wiz! KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity? KP: Embrace Girls. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? KP: Follow your heart’s truth with no need for personal gain other than the feeling produced when doing what you truly love. KW: Thanks again for the time, Keke, and best of luck with all your endeavors. KP: Thank you, Kam. To see a trailer for Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, visit: lb3E2Q  Editor’s note: Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story will air Tuesday, November 05 at 4 PM ET/PT on VH1

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Civil Rights vs. Power: A Loser’s Game

Do you need help paying for

By Theo Wilson

Civil Rights

child care?

were never for Black people.

They were for White people: Blacks were

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already “Civil.” So civil that we could endure the lynching’s, bombings, chain-gangs, beatings, rapes, mutilations, castrations, bigotries, hypocrisies, attempted genocides, and still sing We shall Overcome at the end. Fannie Lou Hamer was civil. Medgar Evers was civil. The naked savagery of White society was exposed by the contrast our civility provided. The good guys and bad guys were made clear because that’s what nonviolent resistance exposes. Civil Rights got White society to be more “civil” when it came to our “rights.” I want to praise my ancestors for their strength and courage. White lynch mob culture was no joke, and they effectively changed its outward face to make my walk in this world a little easier. I can go through most places in this country now with legal recourse against hate crimes, making potential bigots think twice before assaulting me. I see people who look like me all over TV and in government. The “N” word has been banished to the darkest recesses of the English language. In short, the Civil Rights Movement gave us some “wiggle room.” I personally have amazing White friends and associates I simply could not have in a different time. Nowadays, if a Black person truly has the drive and determination, they can climb the capitalist ladder into places they never could before. Obama could not have been elected without it. Their sacrifice’s effect on my life is duly noted. Reality check: Civil Rights and Power are two completely different things. Power is the ability leverage resources at will. Power is the ability to control your destiny, and the destiny of others. If you can cut off somebody’s necessities, you’ve got power. Sadly, Civil Rights haven’t given us this ability. Food, water, shipping, legislation, money printing, propaganda,

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


defense, and cultural norms are still in the hands of the sons of the people who brought our ancestors here in chains. Power has a dark side. It is completely self-interested. Survival, maintenance, and expansion of self are the motive of all systems of power, period. Whether it’s the United States government, or a non-profit’s board of directors, power looks out for number one. Somehow, we as a people struggle with this lesson. In fact, the efforts of Civil Rights have always been to moralize this power, making it accountable to ethics and standards of decency that are completely opposed to its nature. Then, we wonder why we keep losing ground. Why do cops keep getting away with killing our youth? Why do housing authorities gentrify our neighborhoods? Why do school systems keep funneling our kids into prison? Why do mega-corporations exploit our labor? Why does the government get to lie to us, but if we lie back, they try to imprison us? The answer is simple: Because you don’t have the power to stop it. The deadliest thing you can do to yourself is hold an ideology out of sync with reality. You are no better than that ranting homeless person you mock as they yell obscenities at a dumpster! If you’re yelling “injustice” at an oncoming war machine with your children in its path, then who deserves the straight jacket, here? How many times can you be surprised that, “Wow, power is unjust, yet again?” This power knows no sense of moral justice, yet we hold these castrated and ineffective ideologies that blind us from this self-evident truth. We think the promises of the Constitution can be made real if only powerful people could simply open their hearts to high-minded principles. If only the elite could learn to share. If only congress could just see eye-toeye. If only a serpent could learn to love. If only a shark could grow compassion. Yet we keep betting our kid’s lives that somehow, this fantasy will be so? Then we deserve what we get. Here’s the good news: God gave you a brain. He gave you two eyes with. Not only that, but what if I told you this whole thing was designed to be beaten? But first, you got to know the rules. Why did the Civil Rights movement make progress? What mechanisms did it employ? Well, first off, Black and poor people moved as one. It’s harder to bite off a fist than a single finger. Dr. King said, “If you don’t have the money, you’ve got to have the numbers.” If the people are mov-

ing as one in a single act of non-cooperation, the machine breaks down, end of story. Secondly, they put their bodies in the way of the oppressor, and did it against the law. Here’s a clue. If you’re not eventually physically stopping an immoral thing from happening, it’s going to continue to happen. Next, mass embarrassment!! When the South was exposed for being bigoted and hateful, it was downright unAmerican. The world saw clearly who the aggressor was, and political will was leveraged on the side of our people. Non-violence is a military tactic, because when both sides are shooting, the big guns don’t know who to help. Once the President saw King’s people in danger, he had to send the National Guard to protect from the Ku Klux Klan. Too many eyes were watching for him not to. In other words, leverage. Without leverage to get them to lose something, you’ve got nothing. Finally, Black money was the bait. The power structure saw an economic benefit in inclusion, (self-interest). Moreover, they saw that we were willing to execute a consequence en masse for their bigotry…and that’s the only reason why it worked. Sadly, we currently lack the unity or savvy to duplicate this process. Integration has scared most of us out of being Black in public, and consumer culture now runs the ‘hood. At the “Losing Ground Summit” put on by John Bailey and the Colorado Black Round Table last September, it became clear what we have lost in my lifetime. There was a panel of my elders who are Civil Rights veterans. I listened in awe at their wisdom, and then was struck with a deep sense of sorrow. What if the Civil Rights they risked their lives for only added up to a failed attempt at assimilation. Who was White America to even be “equal to” in the first place? Were Civil Rights just reparations with half the calories? The words of another warrior, Louis Farrakhan, came into my awareness. Maybe we as African people can’t fully integrate into this society…because we’re not supposed to. Because God has a judgment coming to this society that he doesn’t want us to be a part of, because the children of the enslaved don’t deserve His sledge hammer: because our hands are the cleanest when it comes to the bloodshed of this nation, and He wants to keep it that way. Either way, one thing is for sure. The hard questions must be asked. The hard answers must be faced. Half of my generation is dead or imprisoned because we misunderstood what power is, and in the long term, those who have power protect their right to live. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Giving Ja A Holla! Born in Hollis, Queens on

February 29, 1976, Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins began rapping professionally while still in his teens, although he really a big in 1999 with Grabmade a part of Blacksplash history! Pick up a DVD with historic interviews of 25 of Denver’s most influential the release of “Venni Vetti Vecci.” African-American women! Available Denver Urbanplatinum Spectrum’s 25on Timeless That solo Now! album went the Legends plus The Making of the Timeless Legend Awards Denver Urban Spectrum’s 25 Timeless Legends features narrated profiles and interviews of the 25 Timeless Legends, strength of theand single Holla,” who were selected honored“Holla at the Denver Urban Spectrum's 25th Anniversary Gala in Denver, Colo. in April. Learn about the significant contributions and the insights of these influential and inspirational African-American women. Included thereby kick starting an enviable is The Making of the Timeless Legends awards featuring internationally acclaimed sculptor Ed Dwight's. musical career which has produced a 1 DVD for Only $25* - A Special Sales Price of $20 for Gala Attendees Plus Discountsmore for Multiple Copies: 2 orwhile 3 DVDs netfor $18 each ($7 off per copy); 4 or 5 DVDs for $15 each (save $10 half-dozen studio lps per copy); and 6 DVDs or more for $12 each (a savings of $13 each!) ting the popular hip-hop fourtaxes and shipping & handling fees * all artist prices include Grammy nominations and counting. To place an order, call Tanya at 303-284-6762 or e-mail He also collaborated onIshikawa hit songs Produced and edited by Tanya –; Directed by Dr. Rosalind “Bee” Harris –; Narrated by Gary AshtonReal”) –; Music by Julius, Man of 1,000 Voices and Marcus Adams with everybody from J-Lo (“I’m to Christina Milian (“Between Me and You”) to Ashanti (“Always on Time”) to R. Kelly (“Wonderful”). Meanwhile, he expanded his repertoire to include acting, appearing in such films as The Fast and the Furious, Scary Movie 3, Assault on Precinct 13 and Shall we

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The “I’m in

Love with a

Church Girl”

Interview with

Kam Williams

Dance, to name a few. No stranger to controversy, Ja also became embroiled in some famous feuds, most notably, with rival rapper 50 Cent. He was recently released from prison after spending a couple of years behind bars for tax evasion and gun possession. Here, Ja talks about his new film, I’m in Love with a Church Girl, a faithbased tale of redemption chronicling the real-life reformation of drug dealer-turned-pastor Galley Molina. Kam Williams: Hey Ja, thanks for the interview. Ja Rule: What’s happening, killer? KW: I appreciate the opportunity. JR: Me too, Kam. Thanks for having me. KW: I’m originally from your neck of the woods, St. Albans. JR: [Laughs] No doubt, no doubt! Queens in the building! KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, and they sent in a lot of questions. Reverend Florine Thompson, who is also from Queens, asks: What interested you in I’m in Love with a Church Girl? JR: First of all, I just enjoyed reading the script. Second, I also liked a lot of the parallels between me and the character Miles Montego. Those similarities convinced me that I would like to be a part of the project. KW: Florine would also like to know whether making this film has

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


influenced your spiritual relationship with your Higher Power. JR: Absolutely! I’ve always been a spiritual person who believed in a Higher Power. So, I’ve always had my 1-on-1 with God, even if I wasn’t much of a religious person. But I would definitely have to say that this movie brought me even a little closer to God. KW: Lester Chisholm asks: Has the experience of working with Pastor Molina on this production enhanced your life? JR: Definitely! The movie is Galley’s life story. Galley Molina’s a great inspiration and role model for a lot of young kids out there. KW: Documentary director Kevin Williams asks: How did you prepare for the role? JR: One of the things I did was I went to church with Galley to study him, because I thought I’d be doing more preaching in the film. KW: Was it weird playing him with him right there on the set? JR: No, that’s part of the beauty of doing a true story, having the person that the picture’s about there. I felt fortunate to be able to get his advice about how to approach the character and his input about how this or that scene should play out. So, it was great to have Galley there. KW: What was it like working with this cast, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin, Vincent Pastore, etcetera? JR: Adrienne and I have known each other for a long time. Me and Stephen, too. And Vincent and I worked on two films together prior to this one. So, it was great just being around everybody again and spending time together on the set. KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film? JR: This is really an inspirational film which is all about connecting with people who aren’t that much into church, although it’s for church people, too. That’s the beauty of the film. KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: Do you think if gangsta rappers really fell in love with ‘Church Girls’ they might stop saying horrible and abusive things about females in their songs? JR: Maybe… maybe… She may be onto something. KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you thing that reggae is at the root of what is happening today in EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and trip-hop? JR: Trip-hop? I don’t know if I ever heard of trip-hop. I’m in a room of hip-hop heads, and nobody ever heard of it. But EDM, absolutely! KW: Marsha Evans says she’s a resident of Kew Gardens, and a friend of Reverend Run. She says congrats on your daughter’s starting at Hampton. JR: Aw, thank you! KW: She says she’s run into Alan Hevesi (former NYS Comptroller) a

KW: What’s up for you next, musically? JR: Actually, I just dropped two new records called “Fresh Out da Pen” and “Everything.” They’re available on iTunes. KW:The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you? JR: I’m an adrenaline guy. I like to do stuff that gets my blood pumping, like roller coasters or jumping out of planes. I’m into all that crazy stuff. KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision? JR: The best decision I ever made, period, was to get into the music business. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be? JR: It’d be a toss-up between world peace and ending poverty. KW: The Jamie Foxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time? JR: With my family. KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? JR: A lion. KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? JR: Invincibility. KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all

successful people share? JR: Selfishness. To be the best at what you do in any field, and to accomplish the goals you set for yourself, you have to be somewhat selfish. KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be? JR: I’d probably be an athlete, basketball, football or boxing. I was good at those sports. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity? JR: My own, the L.I.F.E. Foundation. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? JR: Walk carefully. Tread light. KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered? JR: As an artist who was really passionate about his work. And as an inspiration, I do what I do to inspire people. KW: Can you give me a Ja Rule question, I can ask other people I interview? JR: Yeah, here’s a good one: If you had to spend all of your money in a month, how would do it? KW: That’s a great one. Thanks, Ja, and best of luck with the film. JR:Sure, Kam thanks a lot. To see a trailer for I’m in Love with a Church Girl, visit: watch?v=QEmqu0zNkT8. 


few times at the local foreign film theater and that he smiled when she mentioned your name. She’d like to know whether you’ve applied any of the financial advice you received from him while in prison. JR: (Chuckles) Heavy D, that’s my boy. Alan Hevesi and I forged a great relationship while in prison. I’m glad he’s home now. He’s an older man, so he belongs home, not behind bars. But I definitely benefitted from his knowledge. I used to pick his brain a lot while we watched the New York Knicks on TV. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? JR: My reflection. (LOL) No, that’s a tough question. I see a man that’s in the process of growth, going from one end to another. KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? JR: Chocolate lava cake. KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? JR: I’m a breakfast type of guy. Don’t get me wrong. I can cook, I’m kinda nice on the burner, but I enjoy making breakfast. I do it all… Scrambled eggs… French toast… Pancakes… Breakfast is my thing. KW: Bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? JR: Hell bound on His Trail by Hampton Sides.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


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Denver Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Beautillion Slated For December

Tommy Davidson Oct. 31Nov. 3

Special Event

Roy Wood Jr. Nov. 21-24

Joe Torry

Nov. 29 - Dec. 1

The Denver Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated announce its 30th Annual Beautillion. Open to the public, this formal gala takes place Sunday, Dec. 22 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver. This year, 29 young men—African-American high school seniors—¬from the Denver Metro area will be celebrated for their outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, and community service. The event will capture the essence of the theme, “A Brotherhood of Beaus,” as Beau Alumni from the past 30 years have engaged and mentored this year’s honorees throughout the fall season. The event emcees are Dr. Ryan Ross, Dean of Student Development at Community College of Denver (Beau 1997); and Kyle Speller, Announcer for the Denver Nuggets. For information and tickets, visit

NCNW Harambee Brunch To Be Held December 7

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. - Denver Section presents the 22nd Annual Founder's Day Harambee Brunch & Awards Program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Doubletree Hotel 3203 Quebec St., Denver, CO. This annual event recognizes the achievements of women of color and the youth of our city who exemplify the legacy set forth by this organization founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. This year's keynote speaker is the Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth. The 2013 Harambee Honorees are as follows: Gerie Grimes (Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Award), Clara Harris (Salute to Black Women Award), Jaida Rollins (Dr. Dorothy I. Height Youth Leadership Award), and Tiara Wilson (Dr. Dorothy I. Height Youth Leadership Award). Tickets are $60 per person and $35 for children 12 and under. For information, call 303-296-4359 or email

Denver Veterans Day Celebration Set For Nov. 9

Celebrate and honor those who have served in the armed services at the Denver Veterans Day Celebration, “Run, Rejoice, Remember”, on Saturday, Nov. 9 in downtown Denver. The event will kick off with the Denver Veterans Day 5K race on Auraria Campus at 8 a.m., followed by a parade and honor roll reading, and conclude with a celebration on Auraria Campus that will feature a variety of family-friendly activities.

Denver 2013 DenverUrban UrbanSpectrum Spectrum———– November January 2010

26 1

Race registration is open to the public. The Denver Veterans Day Parade will be in Downtown Denver at 10 a.m. featuring military units, vintage cars, marching bands and floats. The Denver Honor Roll Reading will be at the Colorado Tribute Veterans Monument on Broadway & Lincoln and Colfax and 14th at 11:30 a.m. and will pay tribute to Colorado’s Fallen War Heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Denver Veterans Day Celebration will be at Auraria Campus from 12:30 to 6 p.m. with music, food trucks, a bouncy castle, a presentation of colors and fireworks display. For more information and to register, visit

David Clifton Ministries Seeks Volunteers And Support For 18th Annual Thanksgiving Outreach The David Clifton Ministries will serve the homeless and inner city poor with a Thanksgiving meal in front of Denver’s City Hall, at 1437 N. Bannock St. The Thanksgiving Outreach is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. Financial donations, food and volunteers are needed to help the thousands who will be seeking a hot meal, warm clothing and the necessities for surviving the coming winter. If you can support, as a volunteer, shifts run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Details for making other donations can be found at or by calling 303-893-8363.

TRAC TRUE Youth Initiative

To Raise AChild Inc., (TRAC) will host the TRAC TRUE Youth Initiative. This event is for youth ages 16 to 21 wanting to take hold of their future by completing high school, securing stable employment, becoming a home owner, purchasing their first automobile, and acquiring the tools needed to be successful on their own. To qualify you have to answer yes to any of the following: Are you emancipated; Currently living on your own; Come from a single parent home; Currently in Out of Home Placement; Previously/currently in the Human Service System; Previously/currently in the Foster Care System; Reside in a group home; Between the ages of 16-21; Do not have a stable support system; And are a U.S. Citizen? The event will be Tuesday, Nov. 5 and 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mile High Youth Corps Office, 6740 East Colfax in Denver. For more information or to register, call 720-722-0759.

Carla Harris In Denver For Career Talk


Carla Harris, one of Wall Street’s most recognized individuals and a Vice Chairman with Morgan Stanley Investment Management, was in Denver on Sept. 10 to share her strategies for long-term success in any career. A few of what she calls her “Pearls of Wisdom” include the following: finding a mentor, advisor and a sponsor along the way to help you advance in your career; be the architect of your own agenda; and expect to win: show up with your best self every day.

AARP Presents Red Cross With $25k To Help With Flood Relief

AARP Colorado presented the American Red Cross with a check for $25,000 to assist with efforts to help Colorado rebuild and recover from historic flooding. AARP Colorado Director Morie Smile presented AARP’s contribution to Red Cross Regional Chief Executive Officer Gino Greco on Sept. 26 at the Red Cross Mile High Region Headquarters at 444 Sherman Street in Denver.

City Helps Shelter Those In Need This Winter

The City and County of Denver and Denver’s road home are working hand-in-hand with homeless shelter providers to launch its winter overflow operation, which will remain in effect through April 30. The following organizations will provide additional overnight shelter to homeless individuals. •The Denver Rescue Mission will have the capacity to serve 150 additional men at Martin Luther King Recreation Jr. Center for the next 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the winter shelter will move to another location. Individuals will be transported from the Denver Rescue Mission Lawrence Street shelter to the recreation center for the night. In the morning, individuals will be transported back to the Lawrence Street where they can eat breakfast. •Volunteers of America will continue to run a women’s overnight shelter that can accommodate between 55 to 60 females at 1370 Elati St. •The Delores Project has extended its overnight shelter to provide 10 additional beds for homeless females.

•Urban Peak has extended its overnight shelter to provide 10 additional beds for homeless youth. •When shelters fill to capacity, Denver Human Services, The Samaritan House or Denver Sheriff’s office may issue a motel voucher to women and families whom have lived in Denver County for at least 30 days. People needing shelter should call mile high united way at 2-1-1. Many shelters need new or gently used coats, gloves, hats, socks, blankets and toiletry donations. For more information, visit

Data Confirms Colorado’s Economy Isn’t Working

Three years after the recession ended, the economy still isn’t working for most people, around the nation or here at home in Colorado. The income of the top one percent grew by 31.4 percent over the last three years, while the incomes for 99 percent of American’s grew only by .4 percent. Congress must choose to make investments, instead of further slashing human needs programs and prioritizing corporate interests. Poverty is higher today than it was in 2008, the first full year of the recession, according to a new report by 9to5 Colorado and the Coalition on Human Needs. New Census Data confirms Colorado’s economy isn’t working, documents how poverty impacted people in Colorado and what policy choices could reduce poverty rates in future years. Produced by the Denver, CO-based group, the brief report also provides examples of how across-theboard sequestration cuts are already threatening individuals, families and the fragile economic recovery. Top Five Findings: Households in Poverty: 13.7 percent of people in Colorado are living in poverty – a big increase from 2008 when only 11.4 percent was poor. Nearly one-third of Colorado households live under twice the poverty income level (below $36,568 for a three-person family). Kids: 18.5 percent of all children in Colorado are living in poverty. Onethird of all black and Hispanic children are growing up in poverty. Jobs: Unemployment stands at 7.1 percent in Colorado. Nearly 1 out of 7 workers in Colorado are unemployed or underemployed – that includes those who can’t find enough hours of work and those who have given up looking. Hunger: In Colorado over the past three years, 1 in 7 were food insecure. Housing: Renters in Colorado are overburdened by rent costs. 41.5 percent of Colorado renters are paying more than 35 percent of their income.




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Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


HOPE Online Alumni Give Back to Local Learning Centers

When it comes to student achievement, a strong school commuBy Heather Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Mara

nity can make all the difference. At HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp, creating an environment where students feel supported and are motivated to engage in learning is a prioriVera Gaither, who graduated from HOPE in 2013, works as a receptionist for HOPE's Hillcrest Academy in Denver.


ty every day. In turn, some HOPE graduates are now contributing to the Learning Centers that helped them thrive. Filled with gratitude for their own experience while attending HOPE, these alumni strive to provide current students with the same guidance and encouragement.

Thriving in a Community Environment

2013 graduate Vera Gaither enrolled at HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hillcrest Academy in middle school, after struggling in a traditional school environment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t doing well at my previous school, and I needed a change of pace,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It ended up being a very good decision.â&#x20AC;? The guidance she received from HOPE staff, teachers and mentors helped her connect with her school and improve her academic performance. HOPE alumnus Taurean Rix plays in the 2012 Court of Dreams Tournament. Rix will help coach HOPE's basketball team this season.


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Taurean Rix, a 2012 graduate, enrolled at HOPE for similar reasons. Not performing well at his previous school, Rix decided to complete his final two years of high school at HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hillcrest Academy on the recommendation of a family friend. Two reasons fueled Rixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motivation to focus on academics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the constant encouragement from Hillcrestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supportive staff, and his participation in HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Basketball kept me out of trouble,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was looking forward to playing basketball every week, and I had to make sure that I got all of my work done to play.â&#x20AC;?

Staying Connected

Having benefited greatly from the strong community that every HOPE Learning Center cultivates, it is not

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; November 2013


surprising that both Gaither and Rix have chosen to stay connected with the community that embraced them during their high school education and helped them reach graduation. After graduating this past May, Gaither accepted a position as receptionist at Hillcrest. While she eventually plans to entertain her â&#x20AC;&#x153;knack for story tellingâ&#x20AC;? by attending college and majoring in creative writing, for now, she enjoys interacting with students and helping create a positive environment for them at the Learning Center. She feels especially equipped to handle the job because â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m able to put myself back in their shoes,â&#x20AC;? she said. Gaitherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s willingness to help create a better space for younger students is a true testament to the influence that comes from the sense of community that HOPE provides. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Working with Vera has given me the opportunity to continue our schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationship with a young lady who is a true supporter of HOPE,â&#x20AC;? said Amener Williams, Director for Hillcrest Academy. Recognizing the program that helped him stay focused, Rix, who Williams points out â&#x20AC;&#x153;has lots of wonderful skills to share with younger basketball players,â&#x20AC;? plans on giving back by helping coach HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high school basketball team this year. In doing so, he hopes to not only teach players how to improve their skills on the court but also keep them engaged so they can succeed in school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sports help students stay on track,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is essential for Learning Center employees to understand the population they serve in order to have realistic expectations,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many of HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s students have unique living situations and school experiences. We must be cognizant of that in order to provide compensatory education and tools to help each child become successful.â&#x20AC;?  Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: For more information on HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op, call 720-402-3000 or email HOPE alumna Vera Gaither poses with Hillcrest Academy Director Amener Williams.


Tooth Tips

I was asked recently by one of

By Dr. Collis Johnson

my patients what type of tooth brush to use. In oral health care, a toothbrush is the most important item in preventive care. With so many toothbrush brands, how do you know which is the one for you? After the selection has been made, how do we care for it and keep it clean? What is important in choosing a toothbrush? Make sure to choose a toothbrush with a long handle, firm grip, soft nylon bristles, and a small head to clean all areas of the mouth – soft and hard tongue tissue, palatal, and teeth. What about an electric toothbrush? Electric toothbrushes are recommended for people with braces and those who have difficulty with a manual toothbrush because of age and/or disability. You may use manual or electric, some patients choose to use both. With the use of either electric or manual, use light pressure at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Children 10 and under should be supervised while brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to wash your hands before and after using your toothbrush to prevent bacterial contamination. Soak your toothbrush in alcohol free mouth rinse to remove bacteria. Store your toothbrush upright so it can dry, bacteria grow faster in a moist environment. Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container because it needs air. Remember not to store your toothbrush in a container with someone else’s toothbrush. Keep your toothbrush in a safe distance from the toilet to prevent contamination for airborne bacteria released from flushing. Remember the two minutes two times a day rule, brush for two minutes twice daily. The brand of the toothbrush is not as important as the technique of brushing. Consult your dentist if you have any questions. Editor’s note: Dr. Collis Johnson has private practice in Denver and is a graduate of Meharry Medical College school of Dentistry.


Join us for one of our “See Our Fayola Men In Action” Events

“Join us to discover what makes Sims-Fayola one of the high growth high schools in the District after being open for only year! The “See Our Fayola Men In Action” events provide the community with an opportunity to tour our school, listen to a presentation from our Fayola Student Ambassadors, and chat with school leaders about what goes into making our amazing learning environment.”

Dedrick J. Sims Founder & Executive Director

To RSVP for a "See Our Fayola Men In Action" event, call 720-515-7342.

All events are held at the Sims Fayola International Academy-Denver Campus, 6850 N. Argonne St., Denver, CO 80249. For more information, visit

November 8, 2013 • December 13, 2013 January 10, 2014 All events are held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. AGENDA

8 to 8:30 a.m. - Observation of World Summit (Student and Staff Community Meeting and Celebration) 8:30 to 9 a.m. - Fayola Ambassador Presentation 9 to 9:30 a.m. - Classroom Observations & School Tour 9:30 to 10 a.m. - Q&A with Fayola Ambassadors and School Administration (Arrive by 7:45 to be seated.)

"We Are Now Enrolling Grades 6th-11th for the 2014 School Year"

Additionally, school tours and student shadow dates are every Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

This advertisement is sponsored by RTL Networks ( Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013


Denver Colorado AIDS Project: Serving Community through Care and Prevention and Advocacy By Robert George, DCAP Regional Director

Denver Colorado AIDS Project (DCAP) is part of the statewide Colorado AIDS Project that includes Northern Colorado AIDS Project, Southern Colorado AIDS Project, and Western Colorado AIDS Project. This year marks the 30th anniversary of DCAP providing services and support to those living with HIV in the five county Denver Metropolitan Area. Currently, there are nearly 12,000 individuals living with HIV in the State of Colorado. In 2012, there were 384 individuals newly infected with HIV. People of color were disproportionately affected by HIV with 50 percent of those new infections. In 2012, 64 percent of new infections were men who have sex with men and 38 percent were individuals under the age of 30. DCAP realizes that these statistics need attention and focuses on care and prevention services to meet the culturally specific needs of our diverse community. In the past year alone, DCAP served 2300 individuals living with HIV in the Denver Metro Area through case management, counseling, housing, financial assistance, insurance assistance, food bank and transportation services. These services are critical in assisting individuals to engage in healthcare so that they may have a healthier quality of life and removes barriers to care so they can focus on adherence to their medication regimens. To access services, call 303837-1501 and ask for an Admissions Case Manager.

DCAP also provides HIV, STI, and Hepatitis C testing to the community. Assisting people with knowing their status and supporting them with that knowledge is so important to reducing HIV transmission. DCAP provides testing at the main office at 2490 W. 26th Ave Suite 300 A on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. DCAP also provides testing at HeyDenver located at 1720 Pearl St. with a focus on gay and bisexual men. For more information on DCAP’s testing opportunities, go to or In addition to HIV testing, DCAP also provides syringe access services through Access Point for those who inject substances. The Access Point program is open Monday to Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the DCAP office. This program offers an opportunity for safe syringe disposal as well as a space where folks can talk about their substance use and get new, clean injection supplies and equipment.  Editor’s note: For more information, visit

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Men’s Choir Concert At Shorter

Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church's Menistry Male Choir invite everyone to their 24th Annual Concert “I Am Persuaded (Romans 8:38-39)” on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. Concert will be held at Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court (SW corner of Colorado Blvd. and MLK Blvd) in Denver. For more information or directions to the church please call 303320-1712.

CCAP Can Help 720.944.KIDS (5437) The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families that are working, going to school or looking for a job afford child care. CCAP provides financial assistance for children up to age 13 and special needs youth up to age 19.

Denver Urban Spectrum — — November 2013



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DUS November 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2013 Issue

DUS November 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2013 Issue