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Volume 31 Number 4

July 2017

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


MANAGING EDITOR Laurence C. Washington


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Khaleel Herbert Melovy Melvin Allan Tellis Laurence C. Washington ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris


It would have to be a very close friend to remind you of the beauty that is before you every day. The first thing she says when she lands in Denver is “Where are my beautiful mountains?” God forbid if there is an overcast preventing the wondrous view of the foothills or snowcapped peaks. She always sees the beauty in them – always saying they are breathtaking. But then again, she sees the beauty in everything – she is an artist. Unfortunately, many of us take them, among other things, for granted. This month we enter the latter half of 2017 with diverse reflections of the last six month over the economy, the government, health, education, employment and family. But this hot summer month of July, is full of beauty exuding music in many diffe rent genres. Many of us will head to the mountains for one or two of the many music festivals that Colorado is lucky to have. Whether headed to the mountains or downtown, our cover story, “Summertime in the Rockies” by Allan Tellis, tells you where to go and who you will see when you get there. Summer Intern Khaleel Herbert has earned a lot credits after attending and covering the MRBES Success Summit , the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity 45th annual scholarship luncheon and a basketball camp celebrating 10 years. Contributor Charles Emmons attended a special reception for the Denver History Makers and talks about what the Chicago-based organization does and how we can help to preserve our rich history. As we continue our 30th anniversary events and celebrations, Managing Editor Laurence Washingt on reveals our plans for expansion in other parts of the U.S., specifically Baltimore and the Gulf Coast region with two new online publications. And lastly, we invite you to join us for the first Family Reunion Festival in August – celebrating the institution of family. So as we celebrate “Summertime in the Rockies” with music, reunions, and festivals, see the beauty in all that you participate in with family and friends, because, EVERYTHING HAS BEAUTY. BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN SEE IT.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix Al Saadiq Johnson, Stunttime Production


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 2017 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

Khaleel Herbert Joins Denver Urban Spectrum As Summer Intern

DENVER URBAN SPECTRUM UPDATE Denver Urban Spectrum since 2016. He’s written profiles on artist Juliette Hemingway, singer SuCh and comedian Louis Johnson. Editor’s note: Readers are welcome to visit Herbert’s website @

Poet, writer and photographer Khaleel Herbert, has joined Denver Urban Spectrum this summer as an intern. Growing up in Denver and Aurora, Herbert enjoyed reading fairy tales and his writing emulates the style. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, which solidified his dream to write novels. While attending Aurora Central High School, Herbert was introduced to poetry and journalism. He was the section editor for the entertainment section for the Trojan Tribune and graduated in the class of 2013. Herbert enrolled at Metropolitan State University of Denver in the fall of 2013, studying journalism and English. In 2015 he started writing feature articles for The Metro PostTelegraph and The Metropolitan. He also began writing movie reviews and profile stories that appeared on and Denver Urban Spectrum. Herbert has been writing movie reviews and feature articles for the

DUS Seeks Family Nominations And Scholarship Applications

In celebration of 30 years of spreading the news about people of color, Denver Urban Spectrum will host a festival, dedicated to family and the institution of family reunions. The Power 30 Family Reunion Festival will be dedicated to the establishment of family and focus on “genuine” family time fun. In addition to the diverse family events, 10 three-generational families will be recognized and a $500 scholarship will be presented to a student pursuing a career in journalism. The Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation is inviting all participants from the past Summer Journalism Programs from 2001 to join in the festivities. The Family Reunion Festival will be held on August 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Great Lawn Park, 8550 Lowry Blvd., (Lowry Blvd and Willow Circle) in Denver. FRF 3 Generational Family Denver Urban Spectrum will recognize 10 families with three living generations, all who are active partici-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

pants in their community, striving to make a difference. Names are being requested for nominations by calling 303-292-6446 or email Journalism Scholarship Denver Urban Spectrum is accepting scholarship applications from a high school senior pursuing a career in journalism and will be attending a college or university in the fall. The deserving student will be presented with a $500 scholarship during the festival. For more information and to request an application, email or call Melovy at 303-292-6446. Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing Graphics & Design Distribution & Circulation

Jonesing for Food, Jazz and Festivals:


Summertime in the Rockies is the Ticket By Alan Tellis

smash hits like “Charlie, Last Name, Wilson” and creating new music for popular contemporary artists like Kanye West. The second day of the festival on Sunday July 16, looks to be as equally exciting with acts including Brian Culbertson, Pieces of a Dream, Dotsero and Selina Albright. The featured acts include two very talented jazz vocalists, Marsha Ambrosius and

eed something to do this sum-

mer? Well the good news is there is no shortage of summertime festivities

here in the Denver area. From concerts to festivals and food, the summer is lined up with events that cater to

every preference. Not only will there

continue to be amazing happenings

this summer, but some of the best

events have already taken place. Jazz on the Points took place on May 20, and reminded us of Five Points’ historic relationship with Jazz. Once nicknamed the “Harlem of the West,” the Denver neighborhood has a long history of musical significance. Shades of Colorado Springs showcased some of the finest Black musicians, artists and dancers in the state. There was also a beautiful fashion show which incorporated some traditional African garb along with some fresh takes of the iconic style. This 6th annual summer event happened June 2. Make sure to stop by next year to support this growing festival. Juneteenth has been a staple in the African-American community since the dawn of time, and represents the oldest celebration of the freedom of slaves in America. The event on June 18 fit the bill accordingly and provided an interesting day of family fun and entertainment culminating with an exciting performance by Slick Rick. Boasting a large number of vendors and being centrally located in the downtown Five Points area creates the perfect atmosphere for an energetic yet relaxing weekend activity. The upcoming Colorado Black Arts Festival is free, open to the public and will take place at City Park West, July 7-9. This festival serves to create an avenue to celebrate black art from across the entire diaspora. There will be beautiful art on display in a family friendly atmosphere, food and retail vendors and live entertainment on the Kuumba Stage. A very popular and inspiring event highlight will be Gospel Sunday, where a collection of the best choirs and praise teams in Denver will gather and grace the stage. A special guest performance by national recording artist, Melvin

Williams (The Williams Brothers) will be featured on the main stage. This is one of the oldest black festivals in Denver as its roots trace back to the humble beginnings of a rained out inaugural day in 1987. Every year since, however, the festival has grown tremendously and has become a staple for summertime fun in the Denver area. The Winter Park Jazz Festival is one of the most anticipated annual music events in Colorado and this year is set to match the hype. On Saturday, July 15, after an extremely talented all-day lineup including: R&R featuring Rick Braun & Richard Elliot, Nick Colionne, Jessy J, Pg. 6ix, and R&B legend Charlie Wilson will

Eric Benet. Ambrosius is a classically trained performer who transfers those skills seamlessly over into the world of soul and jazz. As one half of the duo Floetry, Ambrosius became known for her sultry singing ability and powerful songwriting. After leaving the group, she has continued on to have a successful career as a solo artist and currently records and writes songs for major contemporary stars like Beyoncé. Ambrosius has also put out several critically acclaimed EPs most notably, Friends & Lovers. She will be accompanied by her extremely talented partner, Eric Benet, a wellestablished vocalist that has been nominated for four Grammy’s in his illustrious career. With hits in his catalog like “Spend My Life With You,” he is sure to put on a great show alongside Ambrosius. Festivals are the not the only place to find great entertainment. You can enjoy Mary Louise Lee with an encore performance of Whitney Houston’s Songbook in July along with other performers in Downtown Denver at the Clocktower Cabaret.

take the stage as the featured acts. Wilson has been a prominent figure in the R&B scene since his successful tenure as the lead singer of the legendary Gap Band. Wilson’s early career was already solidified from giving us great funk songs such as “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” and “Early in the Morning.” However, Wilson didn’t stop there, launching a legendary solo career in the mid-90’s which has kept him successful and relevant to this day. “Uncle Charlie,” a nickname originally given to the crooner by Snoop Dogg, has given us

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


In honor of 30 years of spreading the news about people of color in the Denver area, the Urban Spectrum will host the inaugural Family Reunion Festival. This festival will celebrate the institution of family reunions and create a new opportunity for Denver residents to host a summertime family gathering in the city. Along with vendors and live entertainment on the main stage, families will have the opportunity to purchase cabanas to be able to sit comfortably throughout the all-day event. There will also be food vendors, a car show, and a long list of family friendly activities to keep the whole family engaged for the entire weekend. Entertainment will be vast and diverse. Shane Franklin and the SF1 band will perform. Jah Goatfish and Friends will provide an All Star Revue with some of Denver’s most talented vocalist and musicians. The Family Reunion Festival will take place Saturday, August 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Great Lawn Park in Lowry. On Aug.18 and 19 the Genuine Wine and Jazz Fest will take place at the Copper Mountain Resort. This event provides intimate jazz venues in the nation and will be filled with some of the finest wine samplings in the Rocky Mountains. This year’s featured

act will be Ronnie Laws, a talented musician who manages to blend the world of fine jazz with the powerful essence of soul music and the appeal of pop. Having been established since

the 70’s with his saxophone laden appearance on “Always There,” Laws is sure to play some old favorites along with his contemporary work for an extremely compelling concert. Paul Taylor is also listed on the bill, bringing one of the most talented contemporary saxophone players in the country to the stage. Not only is he capable of bringing the sounds of the 70’s back to life with his smooth tenor sax playing, but he is also a Denver native who always appreciates the opportunity to play near home. Having been an active professional musician since the 80’s, he has become comfortable honing his craft and as he says, “When it comes to writing and recording a new album, I always trust my instincts.” This is true on his latest album, “Burnin” which is his first record heavily infused with the tenor sax. Other artists on the bill will

the SOS Band, Lakeside, Howard Hewett, Soul School and the Deleon Brothers. It is sure to be one of the biggest parties in Aurora! On Aug. 29, Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey will bring ample star power to the stage at the Pepsi Center. Ritchie is currently on his “All the Hits” tour and had to reschedule some dates, including the Denver show, due to illness. He is, however, back in good health and back on his cross country tour with the extremely talented Mariah Carey. Ritchie’s career is long, prosperous and littered with chart-topping hits. He has been dominating the charts on both the soul and

pop fronts since his funk days with The Commodores in the 70’s. After

include Keiko Matsui, Alex Bugnon, Joey Sommerville and Jackiem Joyner. A Hot Summer’s Night will present an extraordinary opportunity on August 19 to hear some legendary funk music from the 70’s era. The oldschool focused concert will be held at the Arapahoe Park Racetrack, on 26000 East Quincy Ave. The classic

band Cameo will headline the show and are sure to provide an energetic and entertaining night. They can be attributed with trans-generational hits such as “Candy” and “Wordup.” The funk influenced soul band has been active since the 70’s and still tours forcefully and currently creates new content. The lineup is also jam-packed with other talented artists including

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


going solo in the early 80’s, Ritchie has not slowed down, winning several Grammy’s as both a singer and songwriter. Carey has an equally spectacular career haven risen to fame quickly and dominating the 90s, becoming the best-selling artist of the millennium by the year 2000. So whether you enjoy heading to the mountains and soaking up the sunrays, the hustle and bustle of grabbing dinner in Downtown Denver for an intimate setting of entertainment, or rocking and rolling at a large concert venue in Denver, you can find it all and enjoy it all at summertime in the Rockies. .

Urban Spectrum Expands to the Mississippi Gulf and Baltimore D

enver Urban Spectrum founder and publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris’ dream of expanding the Urban Spectrum brand to different cities begins Aug. 1, thanks to the internet. Originally, Harris wanted to franchise the Urban Spectrum in the print format, but as the media world changed, she decided to reach out to online readers. “It’s funny,” Harris says. “When I look back on my business plan, it said, ‘Different franchises, in different cities.’ So, I had that idea a long time ago. And then when the internet came along, and newspapers started closing, I said, ‘Well, we have to take it to the next level.”

Sacrifice and Web Presence

The Denver Urban Spectrum has survived 30 years, while many publications, including major dailies, have fallen by the wayside. How so? “By sacrifice,” Harris says, “cutting back where needed on printing cost, increasing the Spectrum’s web presence, eliminating bloated overhead and unnecessary office space. “We didn’t need the office anymore,” Harris says, “not really, because everybody is literally virtual, working mostly out of their homes. “It’s part of our expansion and growth,” Harris explains. “And staying above the curve with the internet, and still trying to connect with people…this way it’s a great opportunity for people to see what’s going on in other parts of the country.” Harris hopes the Urban Spectrum’s

munity who want to know where change, transformation and innovation is happening in Baltimore’s streets, schools and social network – and how they can join the action.” Ginyard underlines the fact that the Baltimore Urban Spectrum will consist of four-to-five stories: Community Spotlight, State of the City (news briefs), Arts & Entertainment, Career & Education and Personal Empowerment/Commentary. Ginyard adds that she’ll be recruiting youth and young adults who are aspiring writers, and journalism students from Morgan and Coppin State Universities and Baltimore city high schools. “There is no publication like this,” she says.

franchises will also attract national advertisers, such as Macy’s ad executives who discontinued their print ads, siting they wanted to reach a national audience through digital platforms. “And what better way than to publish online,” Harris says. “If someone places an ad in the Urban Spectrum, it’s on the web automatically and goes to a national audience. It’s two-fold. We get the word out and generate income.”

Charm City

The Baltimore Urban Spectrum first edition will profile the city’s mayor, Catherine E. Pugh. Many articles appearing in the Baltimore edition will be focused on Millennials – the online generation; African-American youth and young adults, 16-40 – including Opportunity Youth, 16-24 and a little Generation Y. Former bureau chief of The AfroAmerican Newspapers, (the oldest running Black owned publication in the nation), Tiffany Ginyard will be at the helm of the Baltimore Urban Spectrum. Ginyard brings with her both print and broadcast experience punctuated by her tenure as an English teacher in the Baltimore public school system. “This publication will be targeted to the movers and shakers on the grassroots level in the Baltimore metro area,” Ginyard explains. “This publication is for ‘woke’ people in the com-

Gulf Coast Edition

Former Denver Weekly News journalist and DUS contributor Gordon Jackson of GMJ MEDIA, an independent Media Management and Media Services firm, is partnering with the Denver Urban Spectrum, to target the people of color market in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, which includes cities of Biloxi and Gulfport. “We are also looking very seriously of publishing a print publication as well,” Jackson says. Jackson explains the Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum will focus on the hardworking, proud and professional segment of South Mississippi, mostly

compacted in the three lower counties, Harrison, Hancock and Jackson – all of which are off the Gulf of Mexico. Jackson says there is a highly visible and dynamic African-American community (about 20 percent of the region’s population), a significant Asian community, mostly Vietnamese, and a small but fast growing Hispanic community gaining more representation by the day. “It is my plan to make the Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum the prime information center for the people of color community here,” Jackson says. “We plan on developing first a small but solid staff of writers, reporters, photographers, videographers and bloggers that will cover the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful of the Gulf Coast region. We will have some great stories coming out of here.” Harris says, “We want to connect cities with cities. Our online presence will provide a gateway that will direct viewers to the publication nearest to them and the opportunity to choose their publication as well.” The Denver Urban Spectrum website will have the addition of the other publications, so visitors can see what’s going on in Denver. Harris says the other cities will post four local stories, community notes and syndicated movie reviews running in the Denver Urban Spectrum because they are national. Harris adds she’s looking for journalists in other cities who want to start their own online and talk about what’s going on in their communities. “We’ll go south, we’ll go east, and maybe get something on the west coast.”.

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The History Makers Return To Denver

By Charles Emmons

Everyone has a story to tell and

everyone is significant. When families gather for reunions this summer, this must be at the forefront. If you have someone in your family that has done something particularly significant, get to know them, cherish your interactions, and preserve what they have done. This is maybe what Paul Stewart thought when he established the first Black American West Museum in the basement of Clayton College, and then later moved it into Dr. Justina Ford’s home in 1988. Stewart had the foresight to create a space for preserving our history. He was a History Maker who was ahead of his time. Stewart was also one the Colorado residents to be recognized by The History Makers, a Chicago based organization making great strides nationally in preserving the significant and seemingly insignificant accom-

Back L-R: Mark Goodman, The HistoryMakers Executive Director and Founder Julieanna Richardson, JoKatherine Page, Jerome Page, The Honorable Yvonne Atkinson Gates, Terry Nelson, Dianne Reeves, Carlotta Walls LaNier, C. Lamont Smith, Gayle Greer, The Honorable Gloria Travis Tanner; Dr. William King, Dr. Warren Washington, Mrs. Mary Washington, Dr. James Curry; The Honorable Penfield Tate III. Front L-R: Rosalind “Bee” Harris, Ed Dwight, Dr. Waverly Person Photographer: Justin Reed, All Digital Studios

plishments of African-Americans across the country. Stewart’s museum rooms illustrate life of Black homesteaders, farmers, ranchers and cowboys as well as Dr. Ford’s examination room. The History Makers recognized more than 30 Black Coloradoans for their accomplishments, and they returned to Denver for a reception hosted by Dr. Warren Washington, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and his wife, Mary, to promote the program

which has compiled more than 100, 000 records of African-American lives with the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The History Makers, based in the South Loop of Chicago, goals for the digital archive include: •A multi-dimensional nexus of stories of people and of history. •An instantly digestible, living web, with limitless potential to grow. •A Collection that represents the breadth of culture, and the inter-connectivity of shared experiences. The History Makers are doing this

through video oral histories and with ordinary and accomplished AfricanAmericans across the country. There are only a few states where they have not found at least one AfricanAmerican to interview and document. Wyoming and Montana are two of them; and ironically there have only been three participants in Mississippi. Colorado has had 34 and The History Makers’ goal is to get 50 plus. Their aim is to grow roots in the community through collaborations with K12 schools, colleges and universities,



community institutions and organizations, and the media. The History Makers have partnered with 24 major universities and public library systems that can subscribe to the service and the collection. Colorado currently has no schools in partnership, but many recognized Colorado History Makers have been associated with Colorado higher education, among them – Dr. Rachel Noel, Dr. William King, Cleo Parker Robinson and Ricardo Patton. Studies and experience in the classroom have shown the importance of students seeing themselves in the subject matter as they determine careers and life paths. The larger media can only accomplish so much. Gwen Ifill, brought The History Makers to PBS, but as Founder and Executive Director Julieanna Richardson told the intimate gathering at a reception, we are rapidly losing our History Makers, like Ifill, or they are no longer able to articulate their stories, as in the case of Lerone Bennett or Lani Guinier who both have Alzheimer’s. Colorado History Makers who are deceased include Stewart, Dr. Vincent Harding, Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, Dr. Rachel Noel, and Denver’s griot, Opalanga Pugh. The significance of these History Makers to the community is unquestioned and those who have been recognized reads like a who’s who of Black Denver. The importance of their accomplishments is in their example for future generations, but how will they learn about them? The History Makers database of interviews on their website is keyword searchable like Google, and researchers can follow along as it scrolls through the transcripts highlighting their keywords. Five Points was used as an example in the live demonstration at the event, which yielded 71 instances in interviews. Who is in this national database? In a world where we are enamored with sports-stars and celebrities, it is notable that these don’t even make the top 10. By the numbers, here is how the content shakes out. Education makers 609 Civic makers 468 Business makers 427 Media makers 388 Art makers 269 Political makers 243 Law makers 242 Music makers 216 Science makers 214 Medical makers 130 Dr. Warren Washington, the host of the event at the Cherry Creek Country Club, is one of the 214 Science makers. He facilitated the $2.3 million to The History Makers for interviewing more than 200 noteworthy scientists. He has been at NCAR since the 60s, and is one of the nation’s first researchers and experts in a growing problem, cli-

The Colorado History Makers

mate change. A Stanford graduate, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania for his Ph.D., under a scientist who was Einstein’s driver. How many children in school know this? How many would aspire to be scientists if they knew about him or Katherine Johnson renown after the film Hidden Figures, who is also in the collection of interviews? The History Makers enlisted numerous famous African-Americans to get their story out there. In the 10th anniversary video, Rev. Al Sharpton remarked, “Ordinary people that did extraordinary things. That is what History Makers is. If we don’t tell that story to our children, they will never know their value.” Black people have value. And it is critical that our stories are told. “When you think about the 19th century, all Black people around the world were in an enslaved state, indentured state, or under some colony. The 20th century is the Black man’s century. It is when we made tremendous strides, but if we don’t leave the evidence that we have created, then it will be as if we did not exist,” Richardson said. Oral history has been our tradition. History Makers like Opalanga Pugh are a testament to it. But this digital archive project, 12 years in development, has combined the best of this tradition with state of the art digital technology. “If we don’t preserve this it’s as if it didn’t exist. We are essentially trying to write our story. So our goal was to take oral histories and combine it with state of the art technology Library of congress is our first step that is preservation,” Richardson said. With the Library of Congress, and significant partnerships with institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, The History Makers continue to make history. They have come so far since the first 17 interviews in Chicago of Pullman Porters, Tuskegee Airmen and professional baseball players. The History Makers was first in Denver in 2001-2002 when Blair Caldwell was just an idea. Wellington and Wilma Webb recognized the importance of preserving his story as Denver’s first African-American mayor. But there are so many other stories out there, and The History Makers want to grow roots here. Help Richardson and her team fill in the gaps. Retain and preserve documents and photographs and help them answer these questions: What should we be doing? What histories should we be telling? And what have we missed? . Editor’s note: For more information or to get involved, visit

Cleo Parker Robinson, dance company founder Ed Dwight, sculptor Mayor Wellington Webb, Denver’s 1st African American mayor Hon. Wilma J. Webb, former state representative Rosalind “Bee” Harris, newspaper publisher Hon. Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Denver City official Hon. Gloria Travis Tanner, 1st Colorado African American State Senator Hon. Penfield Tate III, attorney, state government official Dr. Evie Garrett Dennis, school administrator and Olympic Chair Charles Burrell, classical and jazz bassist Gayle Greer, cable television executive Carlotta Walls LaNier, original Little Rock Nine C. Lamont Smith, sports agent Dianne Reeves, jazz vocalist Ricardo Patton, college basketball coach Waverly Person, geophysicist Paul Stewart, historian and museum founder (2015) David A. Smith, real estate entrepreneur Alonzo Petite, rodeo cowboy Dr. Warren Morton Washington, atmospheric scientist Dr. Eileen Cline, music conservatory president Charlene Jordan, salon owner Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Olympic Gold Medal Winner Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, Colorado’s 2nd African American Lt. Gov. (2013) Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth, Denver city official James Kaiser, corporate executive Dr. William King, university professor (black studies) Dr. Vincent Harding, historian and social activist (2014) Dr. James Curry, mathematician Opalanga D. Pugh, storyteller (2010) David Holliman, entrepreneur Rachel Noel, educator, civil rights activist, political leader (2008) Mary Louise Greenwood, educator Yvonne Atkinson Gates, County Commissioner

20 Areas of Focus

•Foodways •Film and Filmmakers •Black Arts Movement •Funeral Rites •Public Health and Medical Workers •Makings of Modern Music •Poetry •Entrepreneurs •Black Radical Tradition •Sports •LGBTQ stories •Shifts in beauty culture •Migration and Black Diaspora •Black Feminism •Theology and Religious life •Sciences •Black Towns and land ownership •African Survivals •Integration and Public Life

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017



Education makers


Civic makers


Media makers


Business makers Art makers

Political makers

Law makers

Music makers

Science makers

Medical makers

Religion makers

Entertainment makers

Military makers

Sports makers

Style makers









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Carla Ladd and Elbra Wedgeworth

MRBES Teaches the Values of Networking & Believing in Dreams

Keynote Speaker Rod Smith

By Khaleel Herbert

Carla Ladd and Tim King

Photos by Dwayne Glapion and Khaleel Herbert

Carla Ladd and Elbra Wedgeworth

The 12th Annual Mountain

Region Business Economic Summit (MRBES) kicked off at 8 a.m. June 2, at the Denver Marriott City Center. The Summit is where big and small business owners meet, network and attend workshops to improve their businesses in the Rocky Mountain area. A new attraction to the Summit included a Minority Business Town Hall session, where a panel of various minorities discussed their businesses and answered questions from audience members. Some of the key workshops in the Summit included: “Turn Your Side Hustle into Big Business,” “Doing Business with the City & County of Denver” and “RETIREMENT: Make Bold Financial Moves NOW to Retire in Style.” There was also a hiring fair. Networking Advice from the Minority Business Town Hall

A Q&A session took place during the Minority Business Town Hall, the first session of the Summit. The panel included Rosy Aburto McDonough, director of the Minority Business Office of Colorado; Amy Ford, director of communications for the Colorado Department of Transportation; Willie Franklin, manager of the CH2M Hill Construction Company; and Tanya Davis, manager of Denver Small Business Opportunity for the City and County of Denver. Small business owners in the front row also gave their insights during the Q&A. The first question asked was, how do small businesses get in front of opportunities and how do you build relationships to access those opportunities? “Often times at events like these, or different outreach events that any of the agencies may have, you’re gonna have that opportunity to go up and say, ‘Hello, my name is Tanya, and I do this as a small business,’” Davis answers. “You’ll have that opportunity to be able to speak to them at that point. Let them know what it is that

Urban Leadership Foundation Participants

you do, and then when they have a job that comes up, they may think of your organization and what you do.” Franklin says you should have a plan of who you want to speak to and what you want to say when networking. “I’ve gone to outreach events where individuals are running from person to person to person trying to meet everybody in that room. So they get a quick 30-second time with that individual and not really establishing that relationship,” Franklin says. “What I’ve seen that’s worked very well is be strategic in the individuals you want to speak with. Do some homework before you get there. Understand what your niche is and how you fit with that organization and start that discussion there.” The second question directed to Marsha Nelson, a participation specialist for Mortenson Construction, asked when you think of the small businesses that are successful, what is

it about them that had contributed to their success? “When you’re coming to outreach events and you’re meeting us for the first time, you may be a company that does drywall,” Nelson says. “If you do drywall, you have to understand that I have probably 50 other companies coming right behind you that do the same thing. So how can you stand out differently, so that I might remember who you are? Make yourself stand out. “The other thing is, you absolutely know your scope of work–what your business provides from A to Z,” Nelson adds. “You understand the market that you work in. Maybe you are a drywaller, but there is a difference from putting up drywall in a hotel versus a hospital.” Dreaming and Believing at the Legacy Awards Luncheon

The Summit’s Legacy Awards Luncheon followed the Closing the Gap: African-Americans in Energy

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


session and workshops. TaRhonda Thomas from 9 News and Senen “SLiM” Rodriguez from FLO 107.1 were the Mistress and Master of Ceremonies throughout the luncheon. Mayor Michael Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper gave remarks. Several Awards were presented during the luncheon. Lincoln Hills Cares received the Legacy Award for Service to the Community and the Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth received the Women in Leadership & Management Award. The Summit’s 2017 Visionary Award went to Tim King, CEO and Founder of Urban Prep Academies, the all-male high schools in Chicago. These high schools were made to help African-American men thrive and continue on to college. “Urban Prep is one of the only minority-founded and operated charter school organizations in the whole country. We were found by a Black man and we serve young Black men and Black boys,” King says while accepting his award. “Many people hear about Urban Prep and they think that we somehow just sprung to life and the success just happened, but it didn’t just happen.” King said only one in 40 Black boys, who went to public schools in Chicago, earn a college degree. He wanted to target this population. He went to the Chicago School Board to apply to open a school for young Black men with a 1000-page application. By the end of the three-month process of interviews and reviews, King was turned down. “I spent another year of researching, another year of writing, another year of perfecting this idea of what is possible for young Black boys. And I came back a year later,” King says. “I submitted another application that was even longer. They told us no again. These are the same folks who were leading a school district where 2.5 percent of the Black boys were making it through college. They were telling me and my friends and colleagues we couldn’t do this.”

Mayor Michael B. Hancock

King decided to give up until he talked with his friend, Dr. Mary Pattillo, professor of Sociology and African-American History at Northwestern University, over the phone. “So I was on the phone with one of my friends. She said, ‘So Tim, are you applying again?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not,’” King says. “She said, ‘Why not?’ I went on ranting and raving why I wasn’t going to do it. She let me vent. When I took a breath, she said, ‘Tim, what is the Urban Prep motto?’ And I said, ‘It’s We Believe.’ And she said, ‘Well, Tim. Either you do or you don’t.’” “As I leave you, I just ask that all of you, in whatever you do, don’t stop believing,” King adds. “Because this is what happens when we believe!” Former Denver Broncos wide receiver, entrepreneur and author Rod Smith took the stage as the keynote speaker of the luncheon. Smith took us back to his humble beginnings before he made it big for the Broncos and became the entrepreneur that he is today. “I was in college, my girlfriend at the time told me she was pregnant, I’m hurt. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready. She already had a son, now I’m his dad,” Smith says. “A few months later, I gotta go take a paternity test for another child that could be mine. I went from zero kids to three with no job.” Smith’s girlfriend worked as a waitress during the day while he babysat the kids. When she came back, Smith went to work at night. He was a custodian cleaning the service department of a car dealership. Some guys would come in every night and throw trash on the ground right after Smith was finished cleaning. “I would get so mad that I used to start talking to myself and tell myself, ‘I’mma have to get rich.’ I didn’t know what rich meant. It was just better than me cleaning this garage,” Smith says to the audience’s laughter. “One night, there was a limousine. I sat in the back of the limo and I was crying.

I’m dreaming in color. I got up and said, ‘You know what. You gotta go to work.’ It just hit me. “It was kind of like Mr. King said. You always come to that point where you want to quit. There’s always some stuff that comes into play that you want to give up. There’s that one little thing that says, ‘You better not,’” Smith adds. “One thing about quitting is there’s no coming back from that. And I thought about this. If I don’t learn how to go get my dreams, how are my kids going to learn?” Smith mentioned the inspiration for his book, The Rod Effect, which is his playbook for others.

“The scary part was writing it ‘cause I had to dig up some pain. I had to dig up when I was broke,” Smith says. “I started documenting these principles that I had to follow. When you got a great foundation, the rest of it is easy.” Smith took the word, dreaming, and made each letter into a chapter. There are eight chapters of dreaming plus an introduction and an epilogue. D is desire–willing to want more 24/7. R is responsibility–we’re responsible for what happens to us, good or bad. E is environment–you have to put yourself in environments and places where you can win. A is affir-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


mation–what are you saying to yourself? Do you really believe? M is mentorship–who are you following? Who do you have in your corner that’s attached to you? I is integrity–Do what you say and keep the promises you make. N is never–Never quit. Never give up. G is gratitude–Be grateful. Whatever you’re grateful for multiplies. “I got one more chapter I forgot to put in there. People,” Smith says. “You gotta learn how to work with people. As entrepreneurs, we’re solo. We’re up late at night by our self. You have to learn how to actually navigate through people.”.

Are Women Prepared for Life Alone as They Age?

The trends are clear – as women age the odds are they will be living alone, largely because of either divorce or widowhood. What may be less clear for many of them is whether they are prepared for that life alone – both emotionally and financially, says Susan L. Hickey, a financial professional at Your Own Retirement LLC. “Although both men and women could live three or four decades in retirement, it’s more likely for women because they have longer life expectancies,” Hickey says. “But they also often have less in savings, and smaller, or no pensions. So their longevity can work for them and against them.” Almost half (46 percent) of women who are 75 or older live alone, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. But women, many of whom are heads of households, don’t always do a good job of planning for their retirements because they spend so much of their time thinking about the needs of others – their children, their spouses, their aging parents, Hickey says. “They need to realize that their happiness and security in their later years can hinge on so many things, and not just their savings,” she says. “So many factors come into play.” Hickey says some mistakes women make in planning for retirement, and what they can do to correct those mistakes, include: •Failing to participate in planning. Many women traditionally have left the retirement planning to their husbands and that’s a mistake, Hickey says.

Women should be actively involved. They need to understand their financial situation, what would happen if their spouse dies and where all the important papers are kept. When a meeting happens with a financial professional, they should be part of that and help make the decisions. •Underestimating how long they will live. For some reason, many women have trouble imagining just how long retirement might last. Life expectancy for women in the United States is about 81, and that’s an average. Many women will live into their 90s and some will pass 100. When planning and saving, women need to consider that they might be living 30 or 40 years after they retire. •Failing to protect their health. Maintaining your general health and well-being is important because medical costs can eat into retirement money, Hickey says. The nest egg that someone thought would be more than sufficient can start disappearing quickly when there are significant medical issues. Women need to make sure they get exercise, eat healthy meals and keep up with those doctor visits. “So much of this is connected,” Hickey says. “When women feel that they have a good financial plan in place, they are more likely to feel secure and that’s good for both their physical health and their emotional health.”. Editor’s Note: Susan L. Hickey ( is a financial professional at Your Own Retirement, LLC. She helps guide clients, many of which are single women or female heads of households, on the many facets of planning for retirement. Because of her advocacy, Hickey combines numerous elements of retirement income planning through the use of insurance products, which includes strategies for claiming social security benefits, Medicare costs, long-term care concerns as well as traditional income needs. She holds her life and health insurance licenses, and has earned the distinguished Retirement Income Certified Professional designation.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


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2017 Simmons Foundation for Youth and Change’s 10th annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp campers with Photos by Khaleel Herbert Alvertis Simmons (seated in front).

10 Years of Life Skills & Basketball Q&A with Alvertis Simmons On His Summer Camp By Khaleel Herbert

June 12, marked the first day of the Simmons Foundation for Youth and Change’s 10th annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp in East High School’s gymnasium. Since 2007, the camp has allowed youth ages 7 to 18 to play basketball and learn about life. The camp was founded by civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons of the Simmons Foundation, who discussed the impact of his camp. Rudy Carey, East High School coach and nine-time state champion, Quinton Grogan, head coach for the men’s basketball team at Johnson & Wales University and Everette Moore, East High’s resource officer, also volunteer at the camp. Khaleel Herbert: What inspired you to start this camp? Alvertis Simmons: I was inspired to start the camp by a good friend of mine, Lynn Hawkins. She saw the way kids gravitated towards me and the love I had for our youth. She felt that I could be a great service to our community if I annually held a basketball camp that engaged our youth with attempt to keep them safe during the summer months. I incorporated the life skills part because I saw the importance of kids getting life lessons as well. KH: Have you always had this camp at East High School? If not, where else have you had it? AS: The camp has always been at East High School other than in 2015, when we held it at the Boys and Girls Club in Park Hill due to construction issues at East that year. KH: About how many participants do you have at this year’s camp? How

many participants do you usually have? AS: This year we have over 160 participants. We are over capacity for the first time ever. Usually we only have between 75-80 kids. KH: Are you a good basketball player? AS: I am a so-so basketball player. I can beat most men my age (I’m 60 years old). KH: What future goals do you have for Simmons Foundation and the camp? AS: I am going to take the Simmons Foundation to bigger and better heights. Therefore, I will be able to expand the camp to maybe an entire year and have it go in the fall and winter months. KH: Anything else you want to add that we haven’t talked about? AS: I would like to add that the camp is truly needed. These kids have nowhere to go during the summer months where they can go and get life skills, basketball training, a morning snack and a full lunch for free. I am extremely proud that the Simmons Foundation is the only camp in the state of Colorado that goes for two weeks and is free. Lastly, I could not do any of the things we do if not for my sponsors. Thank you and God bless! .

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Paving the Way for College and Beyond


Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Awards Scholarships to 23 Men of the Future

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Story & Photos By Khaleel Herbert

The Denver Kappa Alpha Psi

Fraternity praised 23 college-bound young men at the 45th Annual Scholarship Luncheon at the Denver Marriott City Center on May 27. The Denver Chapter of the fraternity was established in 1954 and always focused on helping those less fortunate in the community. The fraternity sponsors the Guide Right and Kappa League chapters, programs that provide mentorship for middle and high school boys on achieving excellence in academics, career development and interpersonal skills. The fraternity also fills and distributes food baskets to needy families in Denver every Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fraternity has provided more than 800 young African-American men with scholarships through the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Foundation. For over five years, the fraternity has also provided laptop computers to these young men for college. Matthew Perry was one of the scholarship honorees and was grateful to receive it. “It’s a great feeling–a feeling of accomplishment,� Perry says. “It reminds me of the magnitude I’ve achieved by completing high school and going on to further my education.� Chidera Agwu walked away with a scholarship from the Kappa’s and the Kappa Achievement Scholar Award for being well-rounded. “It felt amazing. I felt that I was continuing the Agwu legacy that my

family has laid out with Kappa,� Agwu says. “I feel that I am truly blessed to be recognized by this organization and I am truly thankful.� The fraternity runs through Agwu’s family because his older brothers also joined the fraternity. “My mom wanted me to follow the same path they did,� he says. While active in the Kappa Fraternity, Agwu managed to stay on the honor roll list at Regis Jesuit High School. He participated as secretary general for the Model United Nations Club, secretary treasurer for the National Honors Society, a runner for the varsity track team, and a volunteer at the Aurora Children’s Hospital. “I force myself to be dedicated to whatever I have to do. So I had to really focus on being in control of what I could do in a certain amount of time,� Agwu says. “It forced me to be efficient and I’m glad I put myself through all these activities. Plus my brothers and parents really motivated me to be at my best.� Perry has been a member of the Kappa League for two years. “I saw the community and leadership skills that came from being in the program. So I decided to join my Kappa League Brother, Josiah Peters.� While attending East High School, Perry joined the theater and dance companies, three choirs, the AV tech club and East’s Sports Broadcasting Club. “Although I was busy this past school year, I never felt overwhelmed as I did when I played football,� Perry says. “It was nice to have a multitude

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


of extracurricular opportunities in my final year, while still having the time to focus on my studies.� Perry is also a rapper who, in the last three years, has released three EPs, a mixtape and an album. “I grew up around the hip-hop culture and always admired the art form that came from it. I began to just write lyrics for fun since a lot of people around me were doing music and I ended up actually making a hobby out of rapping,� Perry says. “Releasing so many projects in just the past two to three years was an experience to say the least. It was a bit taxing at times,

Congratulations to... Armando Alvarez Chidera Agwu D’Aris James Emile Nkwagoh Emmanuel Sogunle Ermias Araia Ernest Daniels Frederick Coleman II Geordan Baker Hammed Sule Joshua Coleman Josiah Peters Kwaku Mensa Marcus Dozier Matthew Perry Matthew Yohanes Medhane Kiflom Michael Lisanu Morgan Fuller Nathan Henderson Onyi Ozoma Richard Boateng Sirak Hailemichael

Three very proud Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Awards Scholarship recipients, (LtoR) Ermias Araia, Medhane Kiflom and Matthew Yohanes.

but it pushed me as an artist and made me realize why I love my craft.” Perry also explains the meaning behind his rap name, Matt the Ripper. “I was actually watching an episode of The Twilight Zone around 2 a.m. one night after finally finishing one of my beats sophomore year,” Perry says. “The episode happened to be about Jack the Ripper, and I decided to take my own twist on the name while giving it new purpose. “Instead of having a murderous tone, I wanted it to be one of great change. I wanted people to know that I’m coming to ‘kill’ the recent hysteria and attitude of the music scene,” Perry continues. “Instead of making music about the money and fame, I’d rather be about the connection, passion and message.”

You can listen and download Perry’s music for free on SoundCloud and Audiomack under “Matt the Ripper.” Agwu plans to study neuroscience at St. Louis University. He has always been interested in the work of Psychologist Angela Duckworth and her work on Grit, the passion and perseverance of people reaching their long-term goals. “I’ve been really interested in what motivates people and how the brain works,” Agwu says. “I’m glad that I get to go to St. Louis University. I like how their program focuses on the psychological and biological aspects of the brain.” Perry will attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee studying music business with an emphasis on audio engineering. “When I looked up schools to apply to, Belmont came in high on my list because of the programs it offered and the opportunities,” Perry says. “When we finally visited the campus, I knew it was a place that I could thrive and continue my road to a bright future in the music industry.” “I was originally going to major in audio engineering technology,” Perry adds. “But after visiting and speaking with a chair of the college, I decided to take my studies to music business where I could learn the ins and outs of

the industry, as well as expand on my audio engineering talents.” For Perry, his biggest motivation comes from his mom. “These past 18 years, she’s battled to make sure that I had the resources necessary to thrive and grow as a person, even when that meant moving from our hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” Perry says. “She fights for me when needed and against me when I’m not in the right. I couldn’t ask for a better mother and role model.” Agwu’s motivation comes from his drive to thrive. “My biggest motivation is that I want to succeed in whatever I do to the best of my ability. I know I have ambition and drive and I want to use it in order to make me the best at what I can do,” Agwu says. “Most of the inspiration and those values come from my brothers who have given me so much.” Perry describes his relationship with his Kappa brothers as strong and respectful. “We have a pretty good relationship, especially the seniors,” Perry says. “Although we don’t talk much outside of the Kappa League, every meeting or whenever we saw each other in public, it was always an exchange of sheer respect and brotherhood.”

Agwu is thankful for his Kappa brothers and always looked forward to meetings. “Every time we came together on Sundays, I was always excited. The seniors would get together and we would have so much fun,” Agwu says. “I was so glad to be welcomed at my sophomore year because I didn’t really know anybody and I’m thankful for that.” Daniel Brown, president of the Kappa Scholarship Foundation, and Polemarch Michael Dennis gave remarks, and introduced speakers during the luncheon. Denver Kappa Alumni Gregory J. Crichlow and Reuben A. Shelton III also gave words of encouragement. Councilman Albus Brooks was awarded the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award. A video of all 23 honorees was shown on the projection screens. Each honoree described their passions, where they were attending college and the major they chose. These men are going their separate ways, but rest assured. Their sense of brotherhood will never fade.. Editor’s Note: For more information about the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi, visit or like them on Facebook:

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finals brought the three-peat matchup we had been anticipating since the conclusion of last season. This familiar story, however, came with a plot twist this year. The already historically dominant, 73 win, 2016 Warriors retooled and returned with one of the best players in the NBA. The addition of Kevin Durant tipped the scales heavily in their favor and predictably carried them all the way through their NBA finals victory. Simultaneously, on the other coast in the Eastern conference, LeBron James and the Cavaliers laid waste to their opposition, making light work of each team in the proceeding rounds leading to the finals. In the end, Durant’s overwhelming skill set, in addition to the firepower provided by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and others, overmatched the valiant effort put forth by the Cavaliers. One Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


NBA history to a time when franchises like the Lakers and Celtics met in the finals three times in the decade and dominated their conferences respectively. Or the 90’s era Bulls time, where Michael Jordan dominated the league going to six out of eight consecutive championship games, and going a perfect 6-0 when he made it. While fans may debate about the seemingly lack of competitive balance, one thing is for sure, the quasi arms race for super-teams - that haunts NBA executive offices - has elevated the game to levels never seen before. Due to the rules and culture changes made to the NBA, the game we now observe is the most skill-oriented, freest flowing basketball of all time and the result is truly poetic. Hopefully, several more teams can put themselves in a position to compete with the star-studded line ups for both the Cavs and Warriors. But until then, prepare for these two franchises to be on a collision course for many years to come. .


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Van Jones Comes To Denver with WE RISE TOUR On July 31

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Van Jones & Roc Nation will bring the nationwide event tour: WE RISE TOUR powered by #LoveArmy to Denver at the Paramount Theatre on July 31. WE RISE will bring an array of artists, athletes, thought leaders and local leaders to cities across the country this summer. Van Jones, a renowned activist, CNN commentator and two-time New York Times bestselling author will headline the tour promoted by Live Nation. One hundred percent of net ticket proceeds will go to the Dream Corps initiatives and local charities. WE RISE focuses on our commonalities as opposed to our differences – exploring how to increase dialogue and engagement on both the local and national levels. Attendees have the opportunity to connect, ask questions and participate in various activations during the program. During the WE RISE tour, Van Jones and #LoveArmy will engage in each city, visiting local community centers, schools and organizations to spend time with our partners in social change on the ground. The most important work is happening on the front lines and Van is focused on enacting change in neighborhoods hardest hit, economically. WE RISE together! A Yale-educated attorney, Van is perhaps best known as a commentator on CNN, where he hosts “The Messy Truth, with Van Jones.” Van is also the founder and president of the Dream Corps, a nonprofit organization that works to solve America’s toughest problems. Its current initiatives — #cut50, #YesWeCode, and Green For All — create innovative solutions to “close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.” The Dream Corps also supports the #LoveArmy. Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Van was the 2017 commencement keynote speaker for Morehouse College and has garnered honors from the World Economic Forum, TIME’s “100 Most Influential” List and Fast Company. Van Jones won the 2017 Webby Special Achievement Award for his use of the Internet and social media during the 2016 election, including for his video series “The Messy Truth.” In October 2017, he will release his third book: Beyond The Messy Truth: How We Came Apart & How We Come Together. Van has already written two New York Times bestsellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives. In 2009, Van worked as the ‘green jobs’ advisor to the Obama White House, where he helped run the interagency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending. He is also a cofounder of numerous social justice organizations, including and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.. Editor’s note: For more information on Van Jones’ appearances and initiatives, visit: and

ABOUT DREAM CORPS INITIATIVES •#LoveArmy: The #LoveArmy is working for an America where everyone counts. We are a home for change makers who seek to build community and deepen solidarity. Through education, connection and action, the #LoveArmy builds “Love + Power.” •#cut50: #cut50 makes communities safer while reducing the number of people in our prisons and jails. Using evidence-based solutions and unlikely alliances, we can keep communities safe, families together, and the economy strong for all Americans. •#YesWeCode: #YesWeCode is building a diverse pipeline of ‘homegrown’ tech talent to meet demand for workers in the tech sector and boost local economies. Be a part of our movement to increase opportunities in the tech sector. •Green For All: Green For All fights pollution with solutions. We work to get solar panels, healthy food and good jobs into communities that have little money or power. We want to build an inclusive, green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Editor’s note: Tickets are $59.50, $49.50 and $39.50 RES (plus applicable service charges) and can be purchased on sale at,, Pepsi Center box office or by phone 866-461-6556.

Mile High United Way Names Eddie Koen as Chief Impact Officer

Last month, Mile High United Way named Eddie Koen as the organization’s new chief impact officer. Koen is currently Denver Public Schools’ chief of staff. Founded in Denver nearly 130 years ago, Mile High United Way – the first United Way in the country – fights for the education, health, and financial stability for everyone in Metro Denver. In his role as the chief impact officer, Eddie will lead the organization’s programming and investment strategies to maximize impact and drive innovative resultsbased initiatives in Metro Denver’s most under-resourced communities. “Mile High United Way is changing the odds for the children, families and individuals in our community, and we are so honored and excited to have Eddie join our team,” said Christine Benero, Mile High United Way president and CEO. “He brings a wealth of expertise and passion, and is a true advocate for the whole community.” Koen will leave his position at Denver Public Schools and begin his position at Mile High United Way this September. “Eddie has been an exceptional and deeply valued member of our leadership team at DPS,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “As much as we will miss him here, we will continue to work very closely with him in his new role and know his service at our partner Mile High United Way will be a win for the entire Denver community.” Koen brings more than 15 years of experience to Mile High United Way, serving the community through many nonprofit leadership roles and advocating for equity, education, and human rights. Just a few of his career highlights include serving as the founding regional executive director for College Track, a nonprofit organization focused on removing barriers for underrepresented students from earning a college degree; co-founder of Konbit Pou Edikayson, an international nongovernmental organization focused on education and youth gang prevention in Cité Soleil (Sun City), Haiti; executive director of Charity’s House Ministries in Denver; and

deputy director of the Birmingham Division of Youth Services in Alabama. “Most of my career has been focused on nonprofit work benefitting kids, particularly those who are underserved or underresourced,” Koen said. “I am very sad to leave DPS, but also very excited about the opportunity with Mile High United Way. DPS is one of Mile High United Way’s most important partners, and I will continue to champion the efforts of Tom Boasberg as he drives to improve equity for our most vulnerable students and pushes us to become the best urban school district in the nation. I am beyond honored to serve as the new chief impact officer for Mile High United Way, and I am committed to improving the lives of children and families across the Denver metro area.” Koen currently serves on the board of trustees for The Denver Foundation, where he chairs the Leadership and Equity Committee; the board of directors for Colorado Latino Leadership and Research Organization (CLLARO); the advisory board for National Pre-Law Diversity Initiatives, Inc.; and co-chair of the board for College Track Colorado. Prior service includes the board of directors for Denver Health Community Health Services Board, board of directors for NAACP Denver, the Colorado Forum, 100 Black Men of Denver and commissioner for the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. Recently, Koen was honored in Atlanta by the Community Investment Network for his commitment to philanthropy and giving in 2016. He also was given top honors by the Denver Business Journal, Denver Urban Spectrum, ColoradoBiz Magazine, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Urban League of Metro Denver. .

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The Urban Spectrum — April 2006


Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


July 4 t h Holiday Eating Tips

By Kim Farmer

The fourth of July is all about family, friends, and food. This is one holiday where people indulge themselves with lots of food, alcohol and, yes, even more food. And unfortunately in the majority of cases, after the celebration is over, many people regret how much food consumed in such a short period of time. In other words, this is one day of the year when everyone’s dietary plans go out the window. But the good news is that you can still have a lot of fun on July 4th, without sacrificing your healthy dietary habits or ruining your perfect beach body. Here are some tips on just how to do that: The basics: July 4th is all about the barbecue, burgers, sandwiches and potato chips. Mix these foods with the desserts, cola beverages and ice cream, and you have ample sugar that will rapidly increase your waistline. So start by avoiding white bread, stick to

whole wheat bread and limit the amount of oil and use unsaturated oils for cooking. Grilled meats: There is no question that grilled meats are loaded with oil and calories. The first thing to do is trim off all the skin and fat before you cook the meat. Choose the leanest cut of meat and avoid adding too much butter or oil during the grilling. Choose options lower in saturated fat like skinless chicken breast or fish. Use a smaller plate and plastic utensils. One great strategy to limit your intake of all the delicious foods is to practice portion control. Start with a small plate and use plastic forks and knives – this can be quite irritating when trying to cut slices of steak but it will help you eat smaller portions. Pile up on the veggies. Before you fill your plate with any meat, add the veggies and non-meat products. These foods not only give you fiber and other valuable nutrients, but are also low in calories. Then fill the plate with meat in the little space remaining. Don’t skip breakfast. Most people wait to feast on the delicious foods on July 4th and they do this by skipping breakfast. In order to avoid over eating, do not skip breakfast. The old saying that it is the most important meal of the day remains true.

Add physical activity. Since we place a high emphasis on food during this holiday, avoid increasing the waistline by making sure you add some type of physical activity before and after the meal. This can include swimming, any type of ball game, walking, bike riding or some type of relay activity. Include the kids in these activities! Eat slowly and enjoy the food instead of gulping it down. The more chatting you do, the less likely it is that you will overeat. If you have hunger pangs, skip the fast foods like potato chips, garlic bread, and colas; instead snack on the veggies. Unsweetened desserts. On July 4th, it is the desserts that add the extra calories. So stick to a small dessert and preferably something that is less sweet- like fruit or low-fat yogurt.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Limit the alcohol. Remember most alcohol adds unnecessary calories. A glass of beer or a margarita will quickly add 300 calories, so limit the amount of alcohol intake. Try drinking a glass of water for every drink you have. Remember. Just because it is July 4th doesn’t mean you should get a pass on your dietary plans or exercise. Remember, it is easy to add hundreds of unwanted calories in one meal during this holiday but it can take you a week or even a month to get rid of the excess calories. Thanks for reading! Editor’s note: Contributor Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers inhome personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit or email

Ground Rules

Must See............llll It’s Worth A Look.....lll See At Your Own Risk.ll Don’t Bother.....................l

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is’s Senior Critic-at-Large. Khaleel Herbert is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Laurence Washington is the creator of Like on All Eyez on Me


tion of Tupac, but that wasn’t enough to hold me through the film. The scenes with Jada Pinkett were meaningful, but I wondered if they actually happened. Pinkett recently told the media about the inaccurate scenes with him and her. She said Tupac never read her the poem he wrote about her. She read it when it was published in “The Rose that Grew from Concrete.” She never said goodbye to him before he left for California and they never had arguments back-

didn’t happen with Tupac. It would have been nice if Afeni would have said farewell to her son or his fans made shrines for the rapper. The only thing All Eyez on Me did right was playing most of Tupac’s songs from “I Get Around” to “Keep Ya Head Up” and “California Love.” All Eyez on Me had hype, but it didn’t deliver. Stick with Tupac: Resurrection and his other documentaries where he’s telling his story. Tupac’s legacy and your wallet will thank you.



All Eyez on Me

No Stars By Khaleel Herbert

apper Tupac Shakur’s life hits the silver screen in All Eyez on Me. Born in New York, Tupac (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) and his family lived in poverty. With his dad and stepdad out of the picture, Tupac steps up as man of the house with his mom, Afeni (Danai Guria) and sister, Set (Rayven Symone Ferrell). Tupac and his family eventually move to Baltimore, where Tupac attends the Baltimore School of Performing Arts where one of his best friends is Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham). Just as things finally work out for Tupac, he and his sister are sent to California to live with a family friend. Afeni joins them, but Tupac sees her buying crack from a local dealer. Fed up with his mom, he checks her into a rehab center. Later, Tupac picks up rapping from writing poetry and eventually, with the help of some powerful friends, joins the rap group Digital Underground. 2Pacalypse Now with the hit, “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” is Tupac’s first album, which lands him a spot on Interscope Records. From there, Tupac releases more music, experiences numerous brushes with the law and speaks of equally for AfricanAmericans, a trait he received directly from Afeni, who was a Black Panther. All Eyez on Me was a poor biopic. Shipp Jr. was a phenomenal reincarna-

stage after one of his shows. There were also scenes where Tupac fell in love with Quincy Jones’ daughter. The scenes seemed unbelievable. Tupac dissed Quincy Jones, Eddie Murphy and even Spike Lee for not helping out African-Americans. The scenes with him and the Notorious B.I.G. weren’t good as well. They brought Jamal Woolard to reprise his role as Biggie, but he didn’t have that same edge that he did in 2009’s Notorious. Plus the guys who played Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg made me question, “Are these the only guys you could find?” This biopic was too long and it didn’t have the same effect on me as Tupac: Resurrection and Notorious. In Tupac: Resurrection, Tupac’s story was explained in his own words. From starting with Digital Underground to thinking he was “set up” by Biggie when he was shot five times, Tupac described it all and it was incredible. Why would I want to hear someone’s story from someone else when I just heard it from the actual person? Notorious was a different breed of biopic. Even though Biggie himself wasn’t narrating, the story was still powerful. They described his relationship with Tupac as chill and funny before they became nemeses. Also, one of the best scenes was Biggie’s mother taking her son’s body home and she saw all of his fans in the streets cheering him and playing his music, showing how much of an impact Biggie made on them. This

Wonder Woman llll By Jon Rutledge

have been disappointed in how the DC Universe has been rolling out. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (’16) was more like the Yawn of Justice. Suicide Squad (’16) was better but not enough to build a movie franchise on. These misses do not instill confidence for the franchise, with the pending release of Justice League all eyes are on Wonder Woman to see if there are hopes for the future. I absolutely love this film and hope and pray it’s a turning point. This movie has brought hope that DC Entertainment has finally gotten their act together to tell a story that gives a new life to a franchise and make it entertaining. There are some minor changes to her original story, but with every new film we have to look past character choices that a new crew chooses and look at how it plays as a new interoperation. The director (Patty Jenkins) has relatively few projects under her belt. Her first film, Monster, was a hit and she has worked on a few television projects until Wonder Woman. She has proven again that films under her direction are some of the most engaging projects I have seen. The setting of the WWI is a great backdrop for this version. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) does a superb job of portraying the two different Diana characters we see in the film. One is older, with experiences from a very long life and more self-assured, and the other is seeing the outside world for the first time and beams with excitement of a new adventure while fulfilling her destiny. It’s the mark of a good performer to show us stark differences in the same character’s journey. She has the attitude and the strength to bring Wonder Woman to the screen. The only criticism I would have would be that a few of the outstanding fight scenes which were not as

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Wonder Woman

smooth from a computer-generated imagery (CGI) standpoint. They blended live action and CGI, and sometimes you could see the transition. But that is the only negative I have about the film. Everything else was completely spot-on. The balance of story, action and humor was great. The humor in it was well-timed and in place with the situation. The characters were believable and well-liked. They had a wonderful chemistry on screen that was engaging. This is the movie that should have started us off. It is exactly what we needed to launch a shared DC franchise. The studio needs to make this a new model for the films going forward. It’s nice to see touches of humor and some great color in a hero film. And this proves you can tackle dark subject matter and still provide a vibrant and entraining story. The success of this film makes me wonder where have they been hiding. I have always said that the DC animation studios have always outperformed the live action films in recent years. No more. Wonder Woman is here to show us there is still good in the DC Film universe.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales l1/2


By Laurence Washington

his is the last one right? Pirates 5 is enjoyable in spots, but it really offers nothing new. So this is the last one… Right? Here’s why the series can probably be safely retired. The storyline is a retread of the past Pirates films with Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) slurring his way through the film with a bottle of rum. A convincing portrayal of a seafaring scoundrel, offered by Depp, during the first Pirates film, which earned him an Oscar nomination. But on the fifth outing, Capt. Continued on page 20


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Continued from page 19 Jack’s shtick has become a little tiresome, cringe-worthy and boring. Pirates 5 has a ton of energy, and as with most contemporary blockbusters, is loaded with CGI. However, it lacks the uniqueness and surprise of the first film. Pirates of the Caribbean (’03) was 25 minutes too long. But what 25 minutes would you remove? It was a terrific film with no false moves. I can easily tell you where to delete 25 minutes in Pirates 5 so the audience can get out early. Be that as it may, Capt. Jack and his archenemy Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) are in search of the Trident of Poseidon, a three-pronged spear that reverses sea curses. Capt. Jack is being pursued by Capt. Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem), a revengeful pirate and his undead crew. So as you might have guessed, a curse remover would come in mighty handy. In addition, newcomer to the series, Brenton Thwaites plays Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) who needs the curse lifted so his father will be freed from the curse of the Flying Dutchmen. In all fairness, the Pirates franchise has a presold audience, and fans of the first film who want to see the original characters Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom assembled yet again, will enjoy it for that fact. As for the rest of us, we’re ready to abandon ship and move on.


The Mummy llll

By Khaleel Herbert

om Cruise plays the cocky adventurous Nick Morton, who awakens a mummy from her dirt nap in The Mummy. While encountering a barrage of bullets in an Iraqi village, Nick and his partner in crime, Chris (Jake Johnson), are saved by an airstrike from Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) who commands the duo to search a sinkhole that appeared in the middle of

the village because of the Egyptian statue. How Egyptian artifacts ended up under Iraq, I’ll never know. Nick and Chris hope they find something valuable so they can sell it on the black market. The duo is accompanied by Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), an expert archeologist, who claims Nick stole a map from her after their one-night-stand. While Jenny and Chris scour the sinkhole-turned-cavern, they notice a pulley system that leads to a pool of mercury. Nick decides to shoot his pistol at a rope that activates the pulley. A sarcophagus is raised from the pool and some “poisonous” camel spiders scurry from the hollows.

Princess Beats Up Adventurer. The flashbacks and the powerful queen searching for her king is also a rehash of Queen of the Damned. Vampire Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) sought out Lestat (Stuart Townsend), who revealed all of the vampires’ secrets through rock-n-roll songs. She was fascinated with him and wanted him to rule by her side. I like Akasha and Ahmanet because, like male rulers, they’re fierce and ruthless. They’ll kill whoever’s in their way to get what they want and they’re played by incredible actors. The Mummy, is actually an actioncomedy. Cruise gets the funnybones shakin’ with his quick one-liners and

The sarcophagus contains the Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who was the most beautiful woman in Egypt long ago. When she discovered that her rightful place as ruler would be taken by her baby brother (damn siblings!), she turned to dark magic and killed her family. She was mummified and buried alive. Thanks to Nick, she was released. The Mummy has some similarities to its 1999 predecessor starring Brendan Fraser. Imhotep was awakened by greedy archeologists looking for gold. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them to never dig up mummies and priceless artifacts without asking permission? There’s also the coincidence of Ahmanet sucking the life out of mortals to regain her true form. The twist is that she kisses her victims and they become her minions. There are distinct differences with this Cruise-version. First, the mummy is a female. She wants Cruise to be her immortal lover since he woke her up. Basically, she’s a lovesick mummy who scours all of London to find her king, romantic and a bit creepy. The flashbacks are great because we see how beautiful Ahmanet was before the mummification. Plus, it’s funny to watch her pummel Cruise each time he tries to attack her. The movie should be called something like, The Egyptian Princess or simply, Egyptian

gestures including repeatedly shooting a man on a plane and getting under Jenny’s skin. Plus, when you think you have the ending all figured out, there’s a twist. This version has similarities to the 90s classic, but Cruise and Boutella’s stellar acting takes this Mummy to a different level and keeps you entranced to the end.

The Mummy


Baywatch l

By Khaleel Herbert

ho remembers David Hasselhoff diving in to save people or the iconic Pamela Anderson wearing a red swimsuit and running in slow motion? For all you youngsters, that

was Baywatch the TV show, a.k.a. what this movie-reboot tried to imitate. Baywatch begins with Mitch (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) running to save a man who fell from his parasail and struck his head on a rock in the ocean. Mitch carries the man in his arms back to shore. While others are preparing to try out for the Baywatch team, Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a pretty boy hotshot, rides with his bad-to-the-bone motorcycle onto the beach. He tells Mitch that he doesn’t need to train and is certified to join the team since he won two Olympic gold medals in swimming. Mitch tells Brody that he has to compete in the obstacle course, which includes lifting refrigerators and big tires. At the end of the day, Brody makes the team, but screws up twice in attempting to be the hero. When unexpected murders and flakka wash up on the shores, the Baywatch crew investigate and go undercover, a job Brody thinks the police should handle. Baywatch had some good times. The Rock does a decent job filling Hasselhoff’s shoes, but I wish he acted more like Bob Stone from Central Intelligence. He was a lovable oaf and way funnier. The names of the characters from the show stuck and they even pulled off the new CJ’s (Kelly Rohrbach) slow-mo running scene. But this movie is just a raunchy version of the show. The sex jokes and foul language are repetitive and annoying. The only memorable scene was Ronnie (Jon Bass), one of the new Baywatch recruits, falling on a wooden chair and getting his junk caught in it after seeing CJ. If Baywatch has taught us anything, it’s Hollywood needs to leave the classics alone and come up with fresher ideas. If you want to see this movie, wait until it comes out on DVD or airs on FX or MTV. But if you want to see the real Baywatch, watch the old TV show. You’re eyes and wallet will greatly appreciate it. . Baywatch

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017



Discover Local


Locally Grown. Locally Sourced.

DUS Seeks Family Nominations and Scholarship Applications

In celebration of 30 years of spreading the news about people of color, Denver Urban Spectrum will host a festival, dedicated to family and the institution of family reunions. The Power 30 Family Reunion Festival will be dedicated to the establishment of family and focus on “genuine” family time fun. In addition to the diverse family events, 10 three-generational families will be recognized and a $500 scholarship will be presented to a student pursuing a career in journalism. The Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation is inviting all participants from the past Summer Journalism Programs from 2001 to join in the festivities. The Family Reunion Festival will be held on August 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Great Lawn Park, 8550 Lowry Blvd., (Lowry Blvd and Willow Circle) in Denver. For more information, on the Festival visit, or call 720-744-2300 or 1-888-995-5556.



Family Festival 3 Generational Family

Denver Urban Spectrum will recognize 10 families with three living generations, all who are active participants in their community, striving to make a difference. Names are being requested for nominations by calling 303-292-6446 or email

DUS Power30 Journalism Scholarship

Denver Urban Spectrum is accepting scholarship applications from a high school senior pursuing a career in journalism and will be attending a college or university in the fall. The deserving student will be presented with a $500 scholarship during the festival. For more information and to request an application, email or call Melovy at 303-292-6446.

Family/Student Name:


Nomination/Application Form City:





Nominated by:


Mayor Hancock, Executive Director O’Malley and Faith Leaders Launch Safe Haven Community Healing Initiative

Mayor Michael B. Hancock, executive director of Public Safety Stephanie Y. O’Malley and faith leaders launched Safe Haven – a faith led initiative designed to support community members who are struggling with trauma, fear or frustration as a result of gang violence. “Safe Haven will aid community healing and support the well-being of residents exposed to violence in a safe, supportive, community-based environment,” Mayor Hancock said. “Under the leadership of our faith community, we’re going to bring a community response to these terrible acts when they occur to support those affected however we can.” Through a partnership with the Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver (GRID), over 20 churches across the city have signed up and received training to serve as safe locations where anyone in the community can go to receive support services following a critical, gang-related incident. “We heard the community. The City has heard the community. So, we are coming together and creating this space in not only our churches, but in our synagogues, in our mosques and our other worship centers,” Pastor Terrence Hughes said. “Those are the natural places for us to have the gathering because they have been the models for spiritual and safe havens throughout our history as people here in America.” Following an incident, the closest participating church is activated for three days, and church members from the Safe Haven network volunteer their time to support a community healing process. Safe Haven volun-


Fax this form to 303-292-6543, mail to PO Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041 or call 303-2926446 to nominate a family or student. Deadline to read nominations is Saturday, July 15, Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


teers have been trained in psychological first aid, disaster spiritual care, critical response training, and asset-based community development for churches. “We need to be there for one another when incidents occur that threaten our well-being and the well-being of our neighborhoods,” said Pastor Phil Abeyta. “Safe Haven will allow us to do just that.” Emotional and mental wellness specialists are also on-site to provide professional support and to connect residents with more in-depth services if desired. The type of care attendees receive will depend on what they need to support their unique healing process “If spiritual care is sought, church members can pray with community members, discuss their concerns, or simply listen,” said Executive Director O’Malley. “If social care for the emotional impact for the incident caused is needed, neighbors and community members can offer compassionate support and help residents talk through what they are feeling. And if community members want wellness care, Safe Haven staff can share information about identifying trauma, understanding how it can affect the body and mind, and coping strategies that support healing.” Interpreters will be on hand to assist community members who do not speak English, and food and childcare is available to those who visit activated safe havens.. Editor’s Note: For a list of participating Safe Haven locations, visit

Project Greer Street Students Selected To Elite Programs

Jacob Haynes, a member of the sophomore class of Project Greer Street at East High School, has been selected to participate in Santa Clara University’s Summer Engineering Seminar (“SES”) program in Santa Clara, California. Haynes was one of the few students chosen for the program from a national pool of more than 350 high school sophomore and junior applicants. Haynes has earned a full-scholarship to attend SES. The SES program motivates high school students from across the country to explore science and engineering majors in college. The admitted students will live in University residential halls staffed by program counselors and all meals will be prepared in the University’s dining facilities. The students will attend special workshops, complete engineering projects, and participate in a variety of outside-theclassroom recreational activities in the afternoon and evening. Santa Clara University is located near Silicon Valley, the location of the corporate headquarters for tech companies that include Google and Apple. Musie Yonas, a sophomore member of Project Greer Street at East High School, has been selected for the acclaimed Youth Roots program in Colorado. Youth Roots is a teen philanthropy program for high school students with a passion to make a difference in their communities. The program provides a robust leadership curriculum with a real world experiential learning program for students to improve their non-cognitive skills and business acumen to assist them in understanding the value of personal and community empowerment. Youth Roots has granted more than $80,000 to 33 non-profit organizations in Colorado.

Myles Patterson, a sophomore member of Project Greer Street at East High School, has been selected for the Stanford Sports Business Academy at Stanford University. The Academy is the preeminent summer institute that provides the selected group of talented high school students with an overview of careers in the sports and entertainment industries with a focus on management, negotiation, marketing, and leadership. In a national competition, the Academy

attracted more than 1,000 applicants for the program this summer. This residential program on the campus of Stanford University will provide all students with insight into the sports and entertainment industries. The students will be introduced to a broad array of career opportunities and begin to develop an understanding of the business disciplines of management, advertising, sponsorship, technology, marketing, law, media, and other areas related to the sports and entertainment industries. Through classroom lectures from Stanford faculty along with executives

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


of leading sports, entertainment, and technology companies, the students will learn key business concepts for success. They will also become part of a selective database for prospective internships for companies supporting the Global Sports and Entertainment Business Academies. . Editor’s note: Project Greer Street, a ground-breaking educational enrichment program for African-American males, was launched by Yvette Sally and Ronald Sally. Sally is a graduate of Duke University and UCLA School of Law. For more information on Project Greer Street, email


Crowley Foundation Host Free boys2MEN Legal/ Judicial Workshop

The Crowley Foundation will host a 4-day boys2MEN Legal/Judicial Workshop at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio, 119 Park Ave. West in Denver on July 11to 14 from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Young men in middle to high school who are inquisitive about how the judicial system operates or need help successfully navigating current judicial involvement are invited. Learn about the traps and trauma after justice involvement begins. A safe and supportive space will be provided to express and process thoughts and experiences. There will be legal professionals and community leaders facilitating each day. This workshop provides an opportunity to engage in authentic conversation about protecting your rights and your future. Participants will receive a continental breakfast and catered lunch. Participants can register on Facebook at CrowleyFoundation or visit For more information, call Kenneth Crowley Sr. at 720-935-6465 or Mandy Koss at 720-849-9357.

CBAF Gospel Day Features National Recording Artist Melvin Williams

The 2017 Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF) committee is gearing up for a great weekend, July 7 to 9 at Denver City Park with two performing stages, plenty of food, arts/crafts and an array of vendors selling different African American artifacts. The Festival will on Friday. Families with children and retirees can stroll the lane, visit visual artists, talk with vendors, create art at the Children’s Pavilion and enjoy delicious food on this casual day. Saturday’s festivities kick-off at 10 a.m. with the Boogaloo Celebration

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Parade with local and national groups, schools and community organizations. The evening will end with an Urban/R&B setting of local recording artists and performers. Sunday will take you home with a Gospel program at 1:30 p.m. on the main stage with local artists and performers. Highlighting the Gospel show is the presentation of the Louise Duncan Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. This year’s recipient is Denver’s own Largressa Munnerly, one of Denver’s legendary singers, who has performed nationally. A special guest performance by national recording artist, Melvin Williams (The Williams Brothers) will be the featured on the Main Stage. Williams is a legendary Gospel icon, Hall of Famer, 7time Grammy Award nominee, 17-time Stellar Award winner, and U.S. Music Ambassador for the U.S Department of State Cultural Affairs. His new CD, “Where I Started From,” is a rendition of Mahalia Jackson’s “How I Got Over.” Williams will close the evening with a “VIP Meet and Greet.”

African Bar and Grill Serving: Jollof Rice, African Beer and, Specialty Dishes from Africa

18601 Green Valley Ranch Blvd. Denver, CO 80249

720-949-0784 or 303-375-7835

BlackDoctor.Org and Orasure Launch In-Home HIV Testing Awareness and Education Program

Did you know that you can test for HIV in the privacy of your home? The maker of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the first FDA-approved in-home HIV test, is working with, the leading destination for Black health information and news, to raise awareness of HIV home-testing and encourage testing among African-Americans. will produce a series of custom articles, videos and Facebook Live discussions for the campaign., now in its 12th year, reaches more than 40 million readers monthly and engages more than 1.5 million followers on Facebook with culturally-relevant content that gives African- Americans access to a trusted platform to find critical health information and empowers them to act on it. African-Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS compared to other races/ethnicities, states

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There are a number of challenges that contribute to the higher rates of HIV infection among African-Americans and chief among them is a lack of awareness of HIV status. African-Americans deal with a great deal of stigma, fear and misinformation when it comes to HIV and getting tested. Our intention with this campaign is to create a safe space for conversation, let our readers know they have options for testing and inspire more of us to learn our status,” shared Sandria Washington, Executive Editor. We’re excited to join forces with OraSure to make this happen.” The OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test is the same test used by healthcare professionals since 2004. In 20 minutes a consumer can know their status using a simple oral sample. For convenience, the test is available for purchase at most pharmacies nationwide, in-store and online. Since its FDA approval in 2012, the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test has enabled people across the country to test for HIV in the privacy of their homes.. Editor’s Note: For more information about OraQuick and where to buy, visit

Goatfish Tams

For Aspiring Music Artists, is the Kickstart Platform for Success

Every budding music artist needs a platform and an audience, but finding one in the competitive music landscape is probably more difficult today than ever. A dynamic platform exclusively devoted to aspiring artists has made the search easier. is where music artists can become featured as the Artist of the Day, find a fan following and possibly their next big break. is a launch pad for new music artists who make great music, but just do not get the popularity and fan-following their music deserves. The website also makes it easy for music professionals to discover their next popular voice and connect instantly with the artists. is a powerful tool, harnessing online technologies, social networking and video-upload channels to make those vital connections easy and always available. The online music artist portal carries every feature in demand today from young and mature music artists. They can create a free profile, promote their music and advertise their business along with announcing events, submitting press releases, getting reviewed and more. For music fans too, the platform is a minefield of new voices and music they long to hear. Any music artist can create a full featured profile on With three membership levels available, artists can upload videos from YouTube, submit SoundCloud recordings, display headshots, upload their upcoming gigs, advertise in the classifieds, create extensive bios and display their contact information. The site also features articles and reviews, making it an up-to-date source for music news.

If selected as a Featured Artist of the Day, the singer, band or musician will have their headshot, a link to their profile and their official video displayed on the homepage for a full 24 hours. The featured artist also receives promotion on the platform’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages. is where new music artists get what they always dreamed about, a way to rise above the crowd, get discovered and launch their music career without worrying about how to get an audience. With a Gold profile, every member gets to display their contact address, upload more posts and write member reviews. Platinum members get unlimited uploads from YouTube and SoundCloud, unlimited press releases, event posts and photo albums, as well as writing and replying to member reviews. is easily searchable, and is divided into neat categories such as an artists’ page, events, the marketplace, videos and reviews. Members can stay connected through its social presence, and even share their profiles and videos to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The site features an events calendar, and with a clear, prominent visual design, artists get their pictures and works to stand out from the rest. is about providing every aspiring and experienced music artist an opportunity to display “Your Music, Your Stage.� This vibrant website welcomes music artists of all genres to join its network and let their music speak to the world.. Editor’s Note: For more information on TheStage, visit

Fashionable and fun for men, women and children! •Day Time •Night Time •Cold Time •Rainy Time •Sleepy Time

Only $8 or 2 for $15

Various Colors and Sizes

To order, call:






DUS 30th Anniversary Theme Song Available on CD Baby



Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017





Up From Ashes (UFA) Transit LLC helps keep families connected during the difficult time of incarceration by providing safe, reliable, and personal shuttle transportation to various State and Federal prisons. By bridging the distance gap between families and their incarcerated loved ones, we are helping to keep recidivism at bay. Beyond that, we’re also keeping families connected and involved in one another’s lives because life is full of special moments, and they shouldn’t be missed, forgotten, or ignored due to incarceration.

Up From Ashes Transit 3700 Quebec St. Unit 100 PMB 383 Denver, CO 80207 (720) 595-7069

720-272-5844 Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2017


Denver Urban Spectrum July 2017  

As we continue our 30th-anniversary events and celebrations, Managing Editor Laurence Washington reveals our plans for expansion in other pa...

Denver Urban Spectrum July 2017  

As we continue our 30th-anniversary events and celebrations, Managing Editor Laurence Washington reveals our plans for expansion in other pa...