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Media personality Gloria Neal, and the man behind the “honey hush� woman...4

Gloria Neal and Amani Ali Photo by Bernard Grant

Community publications gather at the crossroads.............................................8 Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation: Where have all the children gone?..17-21


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MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER

Volume 27 Number 1

April 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James COLUMNIST Earl Ofari Hutchinson

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Esteban L. Hernandez Chris Meehan Angelia McGowan Tabatha Deans Hugh Johnson Angelia McGowan ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix

PRODUCTION AND OFFICE ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHES A Star Photography Lens of Ansar Sweetz Photography

ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT Robin James DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

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

5 Facts About the Number 26

1. In 26 B.C., Cleopatra Selene got married, so Augustus Caesar made her the queen of Mauretania as a wedding present 2. In 1926, Route 66 was established. 3. Quincy Jones has won 26 Grammys. 4. Michigan is the 26th state to be admitted to the United States. 5. Denver Urban Spectrum celebrates 26 years of spreading the news about people of color.

Now that you know those little facts, let’s talk about what’s happening with the Spectrum this month. We are entering yet another year of “spreading the news about people of color.” In recognition of this ever-changing field of journalism, we look at three stories that talk about past, present and future life experiences in the media. So for starters, if you haven’t yet checked out 760 KKZN Progressive Talk and the Gloria Neal Show, you will after reading about her and “who” makes her tick. Chris Meehan visited the radio talk show maven and the executive producer of this award winning talk show. Secondly, how are community newspapers surviving and what are their plans for the future? Local publishers talked with Tabatha Deans on how they are riding the storm and despite challenging times, shared their plans for survival. Lastly, DUS production assistant and former Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation participant Cecile Perrin reached out to fellow USYF participants to see what they have been up to since the journalism programs held from 2000 to 2007. We are proud of them and I am sure you will be also! Other good reads include future plans of comedian Joe Torry, by Esteben Hernandez; a fundraising event where gifts from local artists will benefit South Sudan, by Charles Emmons; and a look at what Rep. Rhonda Fields and Colorado are doing to reduce gun violence, by Hugh Johnson. There is a lot to absorb this month. So, enjoyIAnd don’t forget to support our advertisers so that next year we can give you facts about the number 27. Oh, and big kudos to our friend Sid Wilson!

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Is This Not A Hate Crime?

legislation passed. The issue of second Amendment rights, free speech, becomes contradictory when those who make claim towards free speech seek to silence those who would speak for our communities and the betterment of our society. Threats and hate crime language hurled at our law makers and against a specific race of people provides validation as to why legislation needs to be in place to protect our citizens. History reminds us that some of our greatest leaders in this nation have been destroyed by acts of violence. These acts of violence have often been in retaliation for those who have had to courage to don the mantle of leadership guiding us in directions of peace.

(Public is invited to April 4 vigil)

Editor: The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance (GMDMA) is overwhelming concerned regarding the recent death threats on State Representative Rhonda Fields life. It comes as rude awakening to the fact that violence abounds at all levels of our society. The desire to maintain the statusquo regarding the availability of guns has created a sharp division among all levels of our society. We have had great debates and open dialogue between all points of view, which is “most American.” However, the line must be drawn at the point when a man would threaten the life on one of our lawmakers. One who would dare to courageously lead us in a constructive direction designed to place a ‘check and balance’ on gun control that will help to cure some of the violence and death in our communities. The fact that Representative Rhonda Fields has championed this cause and given great leadership to seeking positive legislation to save lives in our community has released a violent verbal attack on her character as a person, as a woman, and on her family. This attack is another significant declaration expressive of the need to have her proposed

Case in Point:

1. Abraham Lincoln while leading us out of Slavery – gunned down. 2. John F. Kennedy while supporting the Civil Right Movement in the 60’s – gunned down. 3. Robert Kennedy while attempting to extend the legacy of JFK – gunned down. 4. Martin Luther King Jr. while extending his civil rights efforts to garbage workers – gunned down. 5. Malcolm X after returning from Mecca with a new vision of light and understanding – gunned down.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

6. President Ronald Regan at the height of his leadership, after signing MLK Holiday Bill – shot and wounded. 7. Arizona Congress Gaby Giffords while Campaigning for a new term of office – shot and wounded. Countless other who lead and others who followed gave their lives through violent acts with the use of guns. In light of our history, and the present distress, we must lift a voice of light and love to dispel the darkness and hatred of those who would hold us hostage in a sea of disillusion; believing we can maintain the easy access to weapons designed for mass Continued on page 32 Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

DenverUrbanSpectrum@urbanspectrum.net

Publisher Publisher@urbanspectrum.net Editor Editor@urbanspectrum.net News & Information News@urbanspectrum.net

Advertising & Marketing Advertising@urbanspectrum.net Graphics & Design Graphics@urbanspectrum.net

Distribution & Circulation Distribution@urbanspectrum.net


The Glo Show,

and the couple that makes it, well...GLOW By Chris Meehan

When talking about

Gloria Neal and Amani Ali, it’s hard not use the phrase dynamic duo, even though one may want to call up images of the caped crusader and the boy wonder. But this husband and wife duo, former and current president of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists (CABJ), among a slew of other titles they hold concurrently, have teamed up on one of the state’s hottest and most unique radio talk shows, 760 KKZN Progressive Talk Gloria Neal Show, which won a Colorado Broadcasters Association’s Best News/Talk Show Host or Team award for 2012 despite being less than a year old. If you tune into the Glo Show from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. don’t expect to hear anything like the badgering, booming rasp of Rush Limbaugh, but be ready for an honest, open and intelligent debate on the topic du jour thanks to Neal’s warm, welcoming voice and ability to listen as well as talk, and the team behind her that keeps the program humming. Asides from working together on the award-winning program, Neal and Ali have exceedingly busy lives. Neal is a multimedia journalist doing daily onscreen reporting with CBS4, serves on the Red Cross board and is president of CABJ. On an average weekday, she’ll finish up at KKZN around 11, and then head over to CBS4 to prepare for the 6 o’clock newscast. And did I mention she is a comedian of which you can experience her comedic flair in all her diverse areas of work; intertwined with her signature “honey hush” lingo. Ali, who was the CABJ president for a decade (he now serves as its parliamentarian focuses on mentoring journalism students), is no slacker either. A former radio newsman himself, he now is an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Graduate School of Regis, teaching business strategy to graduate students. He’s the executive director of the Spirituals Project, which works to preserve and revitalize the wisdom and power derived from songs first sung by enslaved African women and men and their place in the social justice movement. He also serves on Leadership Denver, the Urban League Board, and is a member of a special Miller Coors board and occasionally gets some sleep when he’s not serving

Gloria Neal and Amani Ali Photos by Bernard Grant

as executive producer of The Gloria Neal Show. “Sometimes it seems like we work like Jamaicans,” she says, referencing a classic skit from “In Living Color.” “We live in the metro area and we are involved in the metro area. Not in Aurora, not in Denver, not in Five Points, everywhere. And I think it’s important to be plugged in and that has served us well,” Neal says, adding, “You waste no opportunity.” There are very few couples in broadcast journalism and fewer than that who work together, and to Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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the best of their knowledge there are no other black husband and wife teams in broadcast journalism. After all, it is often a tension-filled profession that can test even the most patient person’s nerves and can make enemies out of former coworkers. But they’ve got a solid, banter-filled relationship and understanding that makes it work. The couple, who hail from quite different backgrounds, came together in Colorado at a CABJ meeting. Neal grew up as an Army brat traveling with her family internationally more than nationally. She was stationed internationally in places like Germany – where she says she really felt like a minority – before her family moved to Colorado Springs. She attended CU Boulder, where she got her journalism degree. Ali grew up in Washington, DC, and got his first degree from DC’s Howard University. He also studied law and received his MBA in Strategic Management from Regis University. While he travelled across the US – he hadn’t travelled internationally like Neal. Since then the two have rounded out their traveling experiences with Ali going international and Neal doing more in the states, like her first journalism job in Houston. Since Neal moved back to Colorado the two have had a long history of working with and around each other, and through some significant events, like the Columbine shooting. “I was one of the first reporters on that scene,” Ali says of that fateful day. Gloria was trying to contact him via an ancient device known as a pager, but couldn’t get through and was herself called back to the newsroom. That’s one of those moments when their relationship shone through the adversity of the moment. “Glo and I we just became, we’re probably best friends–” “Probably?” Neal interjects, jestingly. “How are you going to probably be best friends? That’s like being a half-friend. Either I’m your best friend or I’m not your best friend.” “Some days she’s my best friend,” Ali replies. “You gonna put me down…” she says. They giggle – it’s that type of relationship. “There’s a lot of trust in this relationship both on air and off-air,” Ali explains. “A lot of times we laugh because we end up thinking the same thing at the same time and know it and we end up laughing at each other because we were right on the same highway at the time and just kind of go wow.” Continued on page 6


Sid Wilson Inducted in the Denver and Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame By Rich Grant

Sid and Claudia Wilson

Directors, Wilson is a trustee for the Denver Zoo, recent past commissioner for the Denver Public Library, founding member and past board chair of Beckwourth Outdoors (aka the James P. Beckwourth Mountain Club), the Black American West Museum, and the Plains Conservation Center. Wilson was inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame to honor his many contributions to industry and for the work he has done to introduce tourism as an occupation to young people. He is a senior instructor at the International Guide Academy and was both a board member and a chair of the National Academy Foundation/Academy of Hospitality

and Tourism set up with Denver Public Schools to encourage high school students to pursue careers in tourism. Wilson helped create scholarships, established mentoring programs, and set up paid internships that allowed Denver high school students to gain actual experience in the tourism field. Under Wilson’s leadership, the Denver Travel & Tourism Academy became a model for other national programs. For more than ten years he worked with the love of his life, Beckwourth Outdoors, preparing and exposing inner-city youth to their first skiing, hiking and mountain based recreation activities.

When asked what advice he would have for young people entering the travel industry, Sid Wilson said, “It’s the gateway to paradise. It’s the greatest industry of all time. The sky is the limit. And there are great jobs…on cruise ships, hotels, resorts, ski areas, top restaurants, and dude ranches. The potential for being self-employed is also great. They talk about “The Secret.’ This is The Secret: Hospitality. And the start up? All you got to do is smile, brother.” Sid Wilson has been leading tours and making people smile for 20 years, and for that he received the highest honor that Colorado’s travel industry can bestow.

S

id Wilson, president of A Private Guide, was inducted into the Denver and Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame on March 7, joining tourism luminaries such as John Denver, Mayor Robert Speer, Mayor Wellington Webb, Elbra Wedgeworth, Governor Bill Owens, Cleo Parker Robinson, Mayor Federico Pena and others. Wilson has operated A Private Guide for more than 20 years, over that time becoming one of the best known and most beloved tour operators, guides and entrepreneurs in Denver’s tourism industry. His company offers more than 150 different Denver and Colorado itineraries. “We categorize every tour based on time,” he says, “So we have tours of 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours that we can customize to a group’s time constraints. But we can also do extended stay tours of 3, 4 or 5 day itineraries for pre and post convention groups and students,” he says. Wilson has participated in and researched every tour he offers, where it involved snowboarding Aspen Mountain, rafting down the Colorado River, or leading historic tours to gold mines and ghost towns. “I get to write myself into the script,” he says, “so I’m researching new destinations constantly, 24-7, every day. I get to experience everything that the industry has to offer first hand before we offer it to our clients. When you’re out horseback riding, that’s just research. How do the suppliers engage the clients? What’s the equipment like? What’s the terrain? For me, I have to experience everything first hand, whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, camping or fly fishing…all of these elements are incorporated into my lifestyle and have served me well these past 20 years,” Wilson says. Besides serving for more than 10 years on the VISIT DENVER Board of

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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The Glow Show

Continued from page 4 Work vs. Play While they’ve been best friends for a good while, working together as the talent and the executive producer of the same show is new. Neal was approached by KKZN about taking over the morning talk show spot last year, but she didn’t want to leave her position with CBS4. To do that she told them she needed more than just a traditional producer. She says she told them, “I need way more than a board, I need someone who can technically produce, but I also need someone who can executive produce.” That means someone who can get her up to speed on a topic fast and prepare her for the show, “Because I wouldn’t have time to do that doing TV as well,” she asserts. Unbeknownst to her, the station already talked with Ali. “They said you know who you’re describing and I said yeah, a very good executive producer. And they said, you’re describing Amani,” Neal says. “I had to think about it. Because it’s one thing to be married to someone, it’s something else to work with them. So you have to table, ‘Honey, sweetie, baby, at work and say: ‘Amani, I need this. Where’s that?’ Because once that mic goes on I am no longer a wife. I am a talk show host and it’s got to be right.

But it’s been great. I think the previous years of working together have set us up for this realm, and it has been very, very, very good,” she contends. “When they came to me it was real simple,” Ali says. “They asked, ‘How do you feel about producing your wife?’…and I said go get her under contract first, and then we’ll have a conversation. I was ready.” He too had reservations. “I was concerned that what we have in our personal lives is we talk all the time. Again, she’s my best friend so we have all different kinds of conversations.” Turns out that was not an issue. “That has proven to be one the best caveats in this whole thing, because we get to discuss topics all day long.” Still, Neal doesn’t think Ali’s a pushover as an executive producer. “I think Amani in many ways makes me better because when he has his EP hat on, I have to sell it,” she says. He’ll also help by picking topics for the show. “Most of the time, when he has an idea, I like it. Me, I’m coming from my gut. I like this idea, but he’ll say no. I’ve got to make him buy the brand, which makes the show better.” Topics on the show can range from same-sex marriage and marijuana to gun violence or newly proposed legislation – hot-button issues that motivate heads to turn listen and speak up when they’ve got something to say.

“The good thing about a host is they should know a little about everything. She may not know about a bill, but I can pull it up and put it in front of her and it works out,” Ali says. “She should have the final word to say, ‘I’m running with this.’ There have been a couple of times when I say, ‘Don’t go down this road,’ and she’ll say I think I want to do this.’” This has happened within minutes of airtime. She calls an audible (an aside with the team) to discuss changing the topic. “Every time she’s called an audible, she’s been 100 percent right,” Ali contends. When tackling a topic, Neal knows she has to grab the audience; it’s the second part of the sale – after hooking Ali. “Being the provocateur is the hook,” she says with relish. “If I can hook you emotionally, well, ‘I got you said the spider to the fly. I want you to listen. I want you to – otherwise why am I there?” Both Ali and Neal are appreciative of their audience and its diversity. From the start their target audience was white males in their early 40s, but the show already draws a wider audience. “I think the ultimate compliment was: ‘I’m an old white dude from Highlands Ranch. I’m a Republican, but I love what comes out of your mouth, I may not agree with it, but...’,” Neal recalls. Oh and don’t forget about the zany callers. “Glo has the ability to talk to both sides of the aisle, all genders and she listens. If you’re giving her a reasonable discourse, that’s one thing. If you’re getting stupid then she’s going to deal with you,” Ali contends. And they definitely get some crazy callers – after all it is talk radio. He tries to filter out some of them, but apparently some are pretty crafty. “A couple times they get on, but a lot of times they don’t, because I know them. But you have people change their names, until I’ve learned your voice.” He’s also had callers put their wife on when they call in—because he does

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know who’s calling, and they sneak in that way. “That’s what you deal with every day,” he snickers. “Sometimes I call that portion of the show Play Misty For Me. Where you have crazy people calling you and like in the movie where Clint Eastwood was a DJ and you don’t know what you’re going to get with some of these people,” Neal says. (Or out of Eastwood these days.) Sometimes Ali will let some of the goofier callers through to Neal. “Some of these people are so out there you think: ‘This will be good.’ And I tell her that this one’s out there,” before putting them on, he says. The interplay between the serious and the sometimes odd or unexpected, the team and Neal’s ability to talk with and handle diverse topics, a diverse audience and panel of random callers are likely what led to the show winning the broadcaster’s award in 2012. And its masterminds say it’s just going to get better. “Now we have a weekly Glo Knows segment on the show,” Ali says. That was a segment Neal did both on television and when she wrote for The Denver Post. “We’ll hear more about it in the coming weeks.” They’ll also be introducing a new segment, “The Stupid Statement of the Day, because we hear some stupid things,” he says. At the end of the day however, they’re still a couple. “If I’m away or she’s away more than 48 hours then either, one is coming to the other or we’re coming home, because we’re that close,” Ali says. “That sounds mushy after 15 years of marriage,” Neal responds. But later, she too, gets a little mushy. While Ali might be thinking about the show next week over the weekend, Neal’s got to help get him out of that mindset. “Sometimes I need my husband. You can’t always be thinking about Monday.” Honey hush! 


Colorado Takes Steps To Reduce Gun Violence

Colorado has always been a state

By Hugh Johnson

with a rich western history. From that, stems an independent and auspicious culture with an appreciation for the recreational and protectoral use of firearms. However, after suffering two of the nation’s worst and most renowned mass shootings, Colorado has made changes.

State Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, speaks at a news conference about gun control measures, at the State Capitol.

Representative Rhonda Fields of District 42 sponsored two bills that she hopes will reduce gun violence in Colorado. The first, House Bill 131224, limits magazines to a 15-round maximum. It passed 34 to 31 in the House and by a narrower margin of 18-17 in the senate. The second bill, 131229 requires universal background checks on private guns sales. 13-1229 passed 36-29 in the House and 19-16 in the senate. On March, 20th Governor Hickenlooper signed these two bills, along with a third that charges gun customers for background checks, into law. With that signing, Colorado became the second state after New York to introduce statewide firearm legislation after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Fields’ victory serves as a reminder of what she and her community has lost. In 2005, her son, Javad MarshallFields and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe, both 22, were shot and killed at an Aurora intersection. Marshall-Fields

was set to testify against a gang member. Her district is also the same one in which 12 people lost their lives in the Aurora Theater shooting. The new laws won’t bring Fields’ loved ones back but hopefully they can save the lives of others. “Gun violence is a problem nationwide and sadly in the state of Colorado we been all too familiar with some of these tragedies,” said Fields. “We are here today because after Aurora and after Newtown there was a need to do something on the side of justice for the victims, the families and our community.” On her website, Fields says that these past few weeks have been some of the most trying of her legislative career. In the past, Fields focused on other public safety laws including bills improving victim’s rights and witness protection but after last year’s shooting at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, she decided it was time to address the issue of gun control. “I associated [the shooting] with my scars....I can relate to all the victims in the theater and the family members that had to be notified that their loved ones had been lost,” said Fields. Colorado Democrats’ fight for gun legislation in Colorado had the whole nation tuning in. The goal was simple: keep communities safe so that Colorado’s citizens can keep their loved ones. Fields said the laws do not infringe upon the rights or laws that the state already has in place concerning recreational firearms. Rather, her aim is to ensure that firearms made for higher threat levels stay in the realm of war. “These are weapons that should be used in a theater of war and not in our local theaters,” she said. Her mission didn’t go uncontested. Fields alongside numerous lawmakers received threats from agitated gun enthusiasts who see these bills as kneejerk reactions that inhibit the rights of law-abiding citizens. Franklin Sain, former Chief Operating Officer at SoftTec Solutions Inc. in Englewood, faces felony and misdemeanor charges after he threatened Fields. From Feb. 13 to 21, Sain sent Fields emails and phone messages filled with racist and inflammatory remarks about Fields, the president and the gun debate. In one email, Sain expresses his desire to see Fields end up like Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head in 2011. Authorities also believe Sain sent Fields an anonymous letter, threaten-

ing her life. “I keep my 30 Round Magazines There Will Be Blood! I’m Coming For You!” the letter said. The writer also targets Fields’ daughter saying, “Death to both.” While she wasn’t deterred by Sain’s threats, Fields’ confidence was shaken. She was shocked by the language and the threats made it difficult for her to continue speaking out against gun violence but she and other proponents didn’t stop. The Fields/Sain case was just one of the many instances of Colorado lawmakers being threatened. The Associated Press reports that Senator Jessie Ulibarri received a letter from someone who said they hope Senator Ulibarri’s daughter is raped. His daughter is two years old. From a less extreme standpoint, many city, county and state officials stand against Congress’ decision and refuse to comply with certain bills. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has openly said that he would not enforce some of the new laws, specifically the ones the department is liable for. Maketa accused Senate Democrats of extortion after he reportedly received an email from the County Sheriffs of Colorado urging him and other Colorado sheriffs to support gun legislation in order to garner more support for a salary bill that is to be debated in the future. Chris Olson, the one who allegedly sent Maketa the email, corroborated Maketa’s claim that Senate Democrats are upset with the County Sheriffs of Colorado’s opposition to gun legislation but said he didn’t feel that Democrats were threatening the sheriffs’ pay. In another story, Senator Greg Brophy R-Wray vowed to disobey the law limiting magazines to 15 rounds. “I am telling you right now: I will not obey this law. I will willfully and purposefully and civilly disobey this law.” The Denver Post published letters they received from readers after they heard Brophy’s comments. The letters paint a vivid picture of how divided people are on the issue.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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“The people of this state are not well-served by an elected official who actually proclaims that he has the right to determine which laws with which he shall comply,” said Lansin Carmean in a letter to the Denver Post. There are also some who support the Senator’s comment. “This country was founded by and created from a class of people who did exactly what Sen. Greg Brophy proposes. In fact, most, if not all, of the Founding Fathers foresaw a time when civil disobedience would once again be the avenue of protest necessary to maintain our republic,” said Gary Reed in a letter to the Denver Post. Dissent shouldn’t come as a surprise. Colorado is well-known for its wild west, gun friendly culture. Even the governor recognized the inconvenience of having to limit magazines to 15 rounds. However, he emphasized the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity to save lives. “In certain circumstances someone bent on destruction, even if they’re slowed just for a number of seconds, that allows others to escape,” said Governor Hickenlooper. The governor’s comments echoed the argument that in life and death situation each second is invaluable, that restricting magazines to 15 rounds will require more reloading and hopefully more time. One of the most common arguments against gun legislation is that criminals don’t follow the law. In response, Fields asks how the situation is any different for any other law. “That’s absolutely true, they [criminals] don’t follow the law,” said Fields. “Drinking and drinking is against the law but we still have that on the books...people can choose to comply or be in violation but there are consequences.” The city, the state, the nation and the world will never be rid of criminals but through effective law making perhaps they can be hindered. Time will be the final judge as to whether these laws accomplish that goal. 


I

t is estimated that the first newspaper dates as far back as 59 B.C., when Acta Diurna was published in Rome. The French published the Gazette in 1631, and the first paper in the United States, reportedly Publick Occurences, was published in 1690. Newspapers were created as a source to share information with communities, originally covering only what was known about the goings-on in a particular area. Newspapers and their publishers have tirelessly served their communities throughout the years, often drawing criticism for reporters, editors and publishers, as they revealed social injustices, misconduct by community leaders and abuse of power by some. Many a politician has been thwarted in their campaign for public office because of the tenacity of a news-sniffing reporter, and the courage of the editor to reveal the truth. The past several years have proven to be especially threatening to newspapers, as readers are gravitating to online news sources, preferring to receive their news instantly rather than waiting for a news cycle that involves printing and distributing of

Community Publications Stand The

Test of Time By Tabatha Deans

papers. An international study conducted by the market research firm Zogby says 70 percent of Americans agree journalism is an important factor in their quality of life. Of those polled, 67 percent feel the mainstream media are not addressing issues important to citizens in the communities they serve. The battle of the print media has claimed many casualties as daily and weekly newspapers have permanently stopped the presses, including the 10 year old Denver Daily News, which became a casualty in 2011. Not to mention Denver’s 150 year old daily the Rocky Mountain News who surprisingly stopped the presses in 2009. Amid the turmoil however, some publications are emerging victoriously,

even thriving, because of their dedication to their communities and their focus on “hyper-local” news, or bringing a “hyper-local” angle to national stories. Denver is home to dozens of publications that have endured the test of time, including our own Denver Urban Spectrum.

Denver Urban Spectrum Destined To Record History

April marks 26 years the paper has been spreading the news about people of color, and, according to publisher Rosalind J. Harris, there are many years to come of the Spectrum, which is distributed widely in metro Denver and also Colorado Springs. “I had no idea what I was getting into,” Harris recalls of her decision to start the Spectrum. “But I knew there was a need for a publication that addressed the concerns and issues of the communities of color,” as she referred to the Spectrum as a recorder of history. The first editions and early covers were graced by women and included stories of successful Black women, such as Cleo Parker Robinson, Opalanga Pugh, Florence HernandezRamos and other women of color. Men eventually earned places on the cover as well, and today hundreds of worthy individuals from the African American and other communities of color have been featured. “I started the paper with two partners, but they ended up leaving and I was left with the Spectrum on my own,” remembers Harris. “Publishing was bizarre then. It was before desktop publishing—we were using overlays for 4-color separations, key lining type and waxing flats. It sounds so ancient,” she laughs. According to Harris, the electronic evolution has been good and bad for

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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publishing. Desktop publishing has made creating the paper, and making changes, much easier. But it has also driven readers to electronic editions, thus complicating the task of selling ad space, impeding the vital flow of cash into the publication. But, she says, she is prepared to continue embracing changes in the publishing world, and plans to continue serving the community for a long time to come. “The first 26 years came so fast I didn’t even get a chance to think about it,” she says. “I think it was my destiny to do this, and I see my focus as serving the community, and more so, to provide an avenue for connecting people to people.”

Greater Far Northeast Reporter It’s all About the Children

After 35 years as an educator, John Smith couldn’t face the thought of retiring and walking away from a learning community that he had come to love. Having spent decades witnessing the wonder of children learning, growing and their outstanding achievements, Smith decided to create a platform to share the students’ works with the community. The Greater Far Northeast Reporter publication was born, and for 19 years has served the communities near DIA, spotlighting science fairs, spelling bees, and outstanding accomplishments of students and schools. “I realized there were not any positive stories about what children were doing in the press. Parents like, and I think communities need, to hear about good things children are doing. And children need to know that they’re important,” says Smith. The early years of the Reporter were a struggle, but Smith found creative strategies to keep the paper printing and growing. “I bartered ad space for a photographer. I got him into the schools taking photos of kids and activities. Eventually more parents became involved, and students were motivated to learn and do great things.” Smith originally delivered the paper himself, tossing copies onto driveways. He realized that wasn’t the most cost-effective method, since many homes didn’t have children and many didn’t speak or read English. He turned his efforts to the schools and businesses in his community, and began placing papers at those locations. Smith, along with his wife Elaine,


has used the influence of the publication to campaign for positive change, such as influencing the school board to name several schools after historical African American women from Colorado. He is a lifetime member of the Optimist Club, and serves, or has served on several boards within the community.

Body of Christ News

A Bad Economy Blessing For Local Publication

A need for better communication between local churches prompted Randy McGowan to create the Body of Christ News in 1989. Helping the African American community has kept McGowan publishing the paper monthly for more than 20 years. The paper delivers news, community events and a good dose of faith and inspiration with each edition, and, according to McGowan, a bad economy is proving to be a blessing for the paper. “During hard times people become more spiritual. I think we’re going to see an increase in business, as well as readership,” says McGowan. The Body of Christ News began simply enough. McGowan ran a boy’s home, and found that while many churches had various goods and/or services to offer, there was no central form of communication. For instance, one church may have furniture to give away, but few people were aware of that fact, and those in need may or may not have been among them. So he started the paper, and included news, entertainment, and recognition of community members. McGowan says financing the paper has been the biggest struggle from the paper’s inception, but faith and hard work have kept the paper coming off the presses for two decades. “Of course being a religious paper, I have been cut out from contributions from various places, including the government,” says McGowan. “But I just sell more ads.” Despite the fall of many print publications across the nation, McGowan is confident the Body of Christ News will continue and emerge victorious. “The government is placing the responsibility for social issues and support back to the churches and communities,” he says. The influence a community paper such as his provides is priceless in establishing cohesiveness within neighborhoods, among businesses, individuals and churches. A responsibility McGowan

says he’s prepared to continue for years to come. “We’ll have to work together because we’re all we’ve got.”

We came up with a ‘what if’ thinktank that has resulted in a pretty solid plan for the next 10 to 20 years,” says Fresquez, whose wife has joined the team as editor, and daughter as managing editor. “We have to be around for the sake of our society.”

El Semanario, The Weekly Issue Not just for Latinos

Five Points News

In 1989 Chris Fresquez was toiling away for a local newspaper when he realized something was missing in the news that was being delivered. There was no publication that addressed areas of concern to the Latino community, nor was there any mention in the mainstream media about issues of importance to the Latino community. With young children at home, Fresquez wanted them to enjoy the true freedom of the press—so he started his own paper. He has been publishing El Semanario every week since. “You really have to do this (publish) for the right reasons. When I started, I thought there were so many issues that weren’t being covered. I wanted my kids to have good, correct information, and the mainstream media just wasn’t cutting it,” says Fresquez. Publishing a magazine for “minorities” brought with it unique challenges, but Fresquez persevered, and the “Hispanic” paper now has a presence in six states, with tens of thousands of faithful readers of all nationalities. “One of the challenges has been to address and report on important issues that affect everyone, and keep the revenue coming in. We’ve lost some paying advertisers because we ran stories that were not very positive about their industry.” In the early days, Fresquez says the color of his skin was certainly a barrier to realizing his goal. Assuming he had newly immigrated, rather than being from a family that immigrated several generations before, many in the community and business world didn’t take Fresquez seriously. “The color of our skin doesn’t make us any different. Our priorities and values are the same, and my goal was, and is, to bring news and information to every reader, regardless of their race.” As for today’s challenges of publishing a monthly paper, Fresquez says the economy and technology are potential problems for any publisher. Fortunately, he believes he has a solid plan for the future of El Semanario. “We’ve had to step up and grow.

Brother Jeff, Man With a Mission

Five Points News, a monthly publication that embodies all things, people, and activities in the Five Points neighborhood, was born out of necessity nearly three years ago, and appears poised to win the digital war that has many print publications stopping their presses for good. “It really started as a way to keep in touch with everybody, and communicate what was going on at Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center,” says publisher Brother Jeff. “It was easier to write it down and distribute the information than to keep telling everything over and over again.” While it may have begun as a project of convenience, the focus quickly shifted to a labor of love. “There were not that many African American’s in Denver, and Five Points used to be a hub for the African American community. The paper became a resource for African Americans to connect with each other, as well as their community.” Brother Jeff values the integrity of the history of community newspapers, and is proud Five Points News has become an integral part of the neighborhood. The paper regularly features stories about local community members, and focuses on the African American community, culture and businesses. Nearly 6,000 hard copies of the paper are printed each month, with several thousand more circulated electronically. With an economy that claims new victims almost monthly in the form of failed businesses, Brother Jeff says it’s been difficult at times to keep the paper alive. “The challenge is to be crafty. We are not just a paper; we are really a partnership with our advertisers, as well as our community. We are all working toward a common goal, and the loyalty of our readers and advertisers has been vital in our success.” The challenge, Brother Jeff says, has been well worth it. “I have more rewards than I can ever imagine. The challenges will always be there, but getting positive feedback from readers and knowing

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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the power we have as a community paper are rewarding.” Brother Jeff has no concerns for the future of Five Points News, at least not concerns it will cease to print. “As a matter of fact, I think there may be more community papers surviving and prospering. We will always be around and we’ll always be relevant, because we’ll always be telling the stories that need to be told.

African American Voice

A Never-ending Battle for Rights

James Tucker, publisher and owner of the Colorado Springs based African American Voice, started the monthly publication in 1991, with the intention of exposing racism, discrimination and injustices suffered by African Americans in Colorado. Having served in the Persian Gulf War, Tucker says he experienced firsthand the discrimination that came with being a Black soldier in the National Guard. “I saw a need to address these issues, especially in Colorado. The African American community needed a voice that could address community issues and concerns, as well as the racism that was rampant,” says Tucker. “The mainstream media was biased, and we desperately needed to make the community aware of these issues.” That was more than two decades ago, and, according to Tucker, the battle still rages on. Today he believes mainstream media is disconnected from any issues relevant to the African American community, and many Black leaders refuse to take a position on issues that will help the Black community. Tucker pulls no punches, and doesn’t have a taste for “fluff” or soft news, printing features such as the “Civil and Human Rights Violators,” including photos of the offenders. His passion for telling the truth has earned him some death threats, and luckily the person who actually took aim at him was not an accomplished marksman. While politics and laws have changed in the past 20 years, Tucker maintains that the battle for equality, as well as the battle against and unfair and biased media, will continue to rage. Now, however, it includes traitors within the ranks. Tucker’s plans for the future are to continue what he’s done for two decades, but with the inclusion of a few more players. Continued on page 10


Community Publications

Continued from page 9 “I will continue to expose racism, discrimination and injustice,” he says. “But I will also be taking on those African Americans who are selling us out. I will be exposing those Black leaders who refuse to take a stand to help their communities. Tucker knows full well the influence his publication carries, and is not afraid to use it. Articles he printed and issues he’s covered have resulted in righting some wrongs for Colorado residents, as well as influencing the decision for Colorado to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. “I have had no regrets,” says Tucker. “It’s all been worth it, and I’ll keep fighting this fight until the day I die.”

FIRST LADIES OF

Jazz PERFORMED BY

MARY LOUISE LEE

PRESENTED BY ARROW ELECTRONICS

SAT APRIL 20 7:30 PM SCOTT O’NEIL, RESIDENT CONDUCTOR MARY LOUISE LEE, VOCALS MARY LOUISE LEE JAZZ COMBO

Denver Weekly News

Four Decades and Counting

Join Denver’s First Lady Mary Louise Lee and the Colorado Symphony for a swinging, senuous tribute to the first ladies of jazz. From Ella and Billie to Etta, Sarah and Dinah, this evening will span the classic voices.

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symphony ANDREW LITTON, ARTISTIC ADVISOR Keep up with us online!

Lenora Alexander, publisher of the Denver Weekly News, was enticed into the publishing business by her husband, Freeman (Cosmo) Harris, more than 40 years ago. With a background in banking, Alexander initially supported her husband’s love of the weekly paper from behind the scenes. After his death in 2001, she knew she couldn’t abandon the paper. Publishing was in her blood, and she was determined to continue printing and distributing the paper that so many in the Denver area had come to rely on for news. “I knew we had to keep getting the news out there,” says Alexander, who is entering the 42nd year of publishing the weekly paper, which serves most of the Denver area. The Denver Weekly News also claims the respected status of Denver’s longest running African American owned paper. Alexander has survived many storms throughout her years in the business, and says initially getting her name and face known to the public was a challenge. “In the beginning one of the challenges was getting out there, getting my face known,” she says. “Both with advertisers and within the community.” Knowing how to roll with the punches is vital to the survival of any newspaper, and there were times during the recession that Alexander was forced to cut back on overhead, including printing smaller editions each week. The influx of social media has also been a challenge, and Alexander admits she has not been

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

10

quick to jump on the electronic publishing bandwagon. “I love anything that’s print and graphic that I can feel,” she says. “We haven’t really embraced social media, but we’re working on our website, and eventually will have an electronic edition.” Alexander says she has never regretted jumping into the publishing business, and her love of the printed word is spreading to her family. “My kids, and grandkids, have all tossed papers. We joke that that’s how they learned to count. Anyone considering getting into the business should follow their dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you no. Plenty will, but don’t listen to them.” While the future of print publications remains uncertain, publishers of weekly and monthly publications believe they will remain standing, perhaps long after the daily papers become nothing more than a historical reference on Wikipedia. With a 24hour-news cycle and fierce competition to deliver “breaking news,” or any news that hasn’t already been covered by literally hundreds of online sources, many stories online or in daily newspapers are lacking important details. With space to fill and a “if it bleeds it leads” mentality, the truth is often overlooked in favor of spectacular headline opportunities. Weekly or monthly publications, however, have the ability to fully investigate a story, delivering objective, well-rounded stories. They also provide “hyper-local” news, or news that is truly relevant to reader on a community level, as well as recognizing outstanding community members. Denver publishers plan to stay the course and continue focusing on serving their communities. While most will eventually create an online edition, for now, readers can still enjoy the feeling of holding a paper in their hands, folding it creatively to read on the train, and wiping the newsprint off their fingers when they’re finished.


Preservation, Revitalization of Spirituals’ Cultural Legacy Focus of June 13-15 Conference at University of Denver

Premiere to Feature Dr. Jacqueline Hairston’s New Choral Work Performed by The Spirituals Project Choir

Preserving and revitalizing the multi-layered cultural legacy of the spirituals will be the focal point of the first R E A P National Conference on the Spirituals June 13-15 at the University of Denver. Organized to facilitate dialogue between professionals and the general public from around the country, the event offers interactive workshops and presentations in diverse areas including music, education, health and healing, literature, history, religion, culture, and social justice. The conference is being presented by The Spirituals Project in collaboration with the University of Denver. R E A P stands for the four pillars of Research, Education, Activism and Performance, which are central to the mission and guiding vision of The Spirituals Project. R E A P Conference registration is open online at spiritualsproject.org/reap. Keynote speakers at the conference will be civil rights historian and activist Dr. Vincent Harding and distinguished poet Nikki Giovanni. Dr. Harding is a civil rights leader, teacher, scholar, engaged citizen and seeker who is especially noted for his decades of social justice work and his close association with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Singing and Singers in the Black-Led Movement for the Expansion of Democracy” will be the topic of his address. Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. Over the past 30 years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. Her presentation is entitled “Every Time I Feel the Spirit.” Plenary sessions will feature Dr. Reiland Rabaka (University of ColoradoBoulder), whose focus will be “Lift Every Voice and

Sing and Rap! From the Spirituals and the Abolitionist Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement;” and Dr. Stephanie Krusemark (Naropa University), who will discuss “Cultivating the Hidden Roots: Rescuing and Reclaiming the History of Madame Emma Azalia Hackley at the University of Denver.” Featured performers will include The Spirituals Project Choir, ASCAP award-winning composer Dr. Jacqueline Hairston, baritone Anthony Brown, soprano LaTanya Hutchins, mezzo-soprano Erica Papillion-Posey and poet in residence Dee Galloway. Dr. Hairston will premiere a new choral work created expressly for the conference. It will be performed by the 75-voice multi-ethnic and multi-generational community choir led by artistic director Bennie L. Williams. A full listing of workshops, local and national presenters and conference schedule is available online at spiritualsproject.org/reap/schedule/.

Are You Caring for a Loved One?

This is an opportunity you can’t miss!

About The Spirituals Project The Spirituals Project is an awardwinning secular, non-profit organization established in 1998, with administrative offices on the University of Denver campus. Its mission is the preservation and revitalization of the music and teachings of the songs commonly known as “spirituals,” created and first sung by enslaved African women and men in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Spirituals Project operates a number of community-based programs involving performance and education, including regular concerts by its renowned 75-member multi-ethnic, multi-generational choir. The organization also maintains a popular online educational resource, Sweet Chariot: The Story of the Spirituals, which provides information and guides for further study about the multifaceted history and cultural impact of the spirituals tradition. For more information on The Spirituals Project, visit spiritualsproject.org or call 303-871-7993.

Rocky Mountains

The 10th Annual African American Family Caregiver Conference Date:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Time:

9:30am - 1:30pm Registration is from 8:30-9:30

Keynote Speaker Dr. Peggy Mitchell Norwood “Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?” The Truth About Optimism and Perseverance

Location:

The Fresh Fish Co. 7800 E. Hampden Ave. Denver, CO

Cost:

FREE - Full breakfast provided

Register:

Call 303.217.5856. Pre-registration is required due to limited seating. Please register by May 15th.

Speakers:

Dr. Byron Conner- “African American Men & Women Caregivers: BE Happy, BE Healthy, BE Well” TA Taylor Hunt, Esq. - “Building & Preserving Your Legacy Past, Present & Future” Rev. Ronald Wooding - A Full Circle of Caregiving.

May is Older American’s Month For additional information contact Nichelle Stiggers, 303.217.5856 or nichelle.stiggers@lfsrm.org Respite care is available in your home with the provider of your choice, including a family member! Sponsored by Older Adult and Caregiver Services of Lutheran Family Services, DRCOG and Caldwell-Kirk Funeral and Cremation Services.

www.lfsrm.org

11

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013


studying criminal justice and plans to work for a federal investigative agency. hen you wake up tomorrow, Ayor Abiar, Daniel Majok Gai, and instead of thinking, “Oh…I have so another brother Bol Abiar have been much to do, how will I get through fortunate in that they have an opporthe day?” think how will I use my tunity to find their potential in their gifts today. Everyone has a gift, somegifts. Bol Abiar serves on the board of thing that you do better than anything By Charles Emmons PESS, and has suspended his studies else. The key is to use your gift for the at Community College of Denver so benefit of others. On April 13, a group Rinehart became a mother and mentor The culture has been associated with of artists will use their gift to benefit that his siblings could complete their to a number of former Lost Boys in dowries, where girls marry young, communities half a world away in studies. They all are passionate about Denver who have formed a nucleus of sometimes shortly after puberty, South Sudan at the 4th Art and ending archaic practices in their homefuture leaders and a partnership robbed of a fulfilled and meaningful Artifacts Benefit. Proceeds will beneland and bringing South Sudan into between Americans and Sudanese for life, and PESS seeks to change that. fit Project Education South Sudan and the 21st century. building schools and educational Ayor Abiar is the younger sister of the building of schools. “If you have opportunity to do infrastructure in their homeland. Daniel Majok Gai. Like many Lost Project Education South Sudan something please do it. It is not your A former secondBoys and Lost (PESS) was started in 2005 as the parent’s future or some body. It’s for ary teacher, FrancisGirls, her first result of a chance meeting between your own good and stay in school. Rinehart saw that education was in executive director, Carol FrancisStudy hard Rinehart and it’s not easy Isaac Behr, a when your former “Lost mind is someBoy” from where else!” Sudan. says Ayor FrancisAbiar. “I Rinehart first understood it met Behr in is 2001 when Dinka culture she fulfilled for girls to be the simple married request of Daniel Majok Gai, South Sudan Director with Ayak Tamara Banks with camera walking with Daniel young, but delivering a Anguei Girls School students surrounding him in his village of Tong Pagook life is too bicycle two former Lost Boys Kenya’s Kakuma "When you leave your job... short when months after he arrived here from the you miss the chance of your future. To and Lost Girls got refugee campdon't leave Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. She your money behind!" Michael Gadlin & Aliki McCain-ArtHaus their education and where she learned those parents who force their children Art Gallery Co-owners was struck by his story of loss and to marry an unknown man... please fostered the develunder the trees committed to help. In 2004 Behr had Myra Donovan, STOP! CLU, ChFC, We are CFP not in the war of maropment of leaders able to facilitate and lessons were drawn in the dirt. seen an online posting of a photoFinancial Adviser riage.” needed progress in the South Sudan. Ayor Abiar came to Colorado in 2007, graph of his deceased father from the As Daniel Majok Gai looks forward but did not find the culture shock of Washington Post. Francis-Rinehart got Daniel Majok Gai is the project direcin South Sudan, 3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700he sees the potential tor in South Sudan. Majok Gai comOverland High School insurmountthe photographer to send a copy of the of the nearly 3000 children enrolled in pleted a Psychology degree at the able. She graduated in 2011 and is Denver, CO 80209 photo to Behr and then traveled at numerous schools that have been University of Colorado Denver in enrolled at Metropolitan State great personal risk to Sudan with Behr 303-871-7249 - www.myradonovan.com developed and constructed with the 2011, and in the South Sudan oversees University of Denver – the first girl to re-unite with his mother. the development and construction of from her village to be in higher educa- aid of PESS. Project Education South South Sudan became an independSudan always had First new schools and the supporting infration. ent nation in 2011, but the problems "CallhasToday fora aplan. FREE drinking water wells are drilled in the structures to improve the quality of “I stayed with my family because I that Behr and Francis-Rinehart witConsultation!" community followed by the building life like wells for drinking water and did not track as Lost Girls and Lost nessed in meeting with elders in 2005 of commercial grinding mills or the pit latrines. Boys like others did. Yes, I am a first – poverty, poor drinking water and donation of sewing machines to create Project Education South Sudan woman to attend a higher education, sanitation and lack of schools for chila micro economy for the women. brings a message of hope to communiand I am stalwart not because I’m the dren – remain significant issues today. ties and villages. Illiteracy rates are Schools are often constructed with first female to graduate in high school Project Education South Sudan was declining but remain high and only 10 in my village, but I had the opportuni- local labor from bricks made in the started to address them and the organpercent of girls receive an education. community. With these infrastructurty to percolate,” says Abiar. She is ization is making progress. Francis-

W

Local Artists Gifts Benefit Education Half A World Away

"When you leave your job... don't leave your money behind!" Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

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People ask me why I give up a year of my life to help kids. I say, who says I’m giving up anything? #makebetterhappen

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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al, societal and cultural improvements, children have a better hope for their future. “The foundation for the new four classrooms at Pagook is now completed. The contractor and I are waiting for the Art & Artifact fundraising outcome. We are hoping for good results so we can finish building the four classes in Pagook. Completion of these classes at Pagook will encourage capacity space for learning,” says Majok Gai. “Most of the time they appreciate the work we are doing. Thanks and many thanks for bringing Americans to our land and the wonderful gift of building a school in my village of Pagook,” commented Bol Abiar, regarding the reception of PESS in his village. Yet, despite independence and progress in South Sudan, it remains in some ways a dangerous place. Tamara Banks, owner of TazMedia, Emmy Award winning journalist, documentary correspondent/producer and Studio 12 host has been to South Sudan six or seven times doing documentaries and has visited three of the schools built by PESS. She has used her gift of storytelling to continually shine light on the situation there as there is still bombing in the Nuba Mountains bordering the north and the south in a continuing war over resources and allegiances. “President Omar al Bashir started bombing the Nuba Mountains in 2011 to try to make them succumb to his demands. In effect, he’s slowly killing them. The same way he killed millions in Darfur. The people are living in caves in the mountains. Others are walking several days to refugee camps in South Sudan. I have interviewed and shot video of the Nuba Mountain people, some as they are dying,” says Banks. Banks will emcee the April 13 event at the ArtHaus and has been a friend of PESS since 2008. She has seen the progress that has been made and continues to offer her support. “South Sudan is the world’s newest country and while there is plenty to celebrate with that, alone this is also a difficult time for South Sudan. They have to get in to the 21st century after living with no education, infrastructure or development for generations. While they are “free,” a democracy will only work with two things: a free press and an educated populace. PESS is working with the South Sudanese to fulfill the latter,” says Banks. Money raised at the event will go to finish the completion of the Pagook Primary School. Artists are enthusiastic in their support of PESS. “This will be my first journey with Project Education South Sudan. I support Art and Artifacts because of the enormous dedication and involvement

of Tamara Banks,” says Darrell Anderson. “I have always recognized Tamara’s ability to live and illustrate her core convictions. Whatever she encounters is beyond reproach; PESS is close to her heart. I’m in!” Over 40 artists will have a unique opportunity to support this worthy, diligent and progressive organization. Those represented at the event include Anderson, Anthropologist/Artist Ella Maria Ray, Ron Hicks and ArtHaus owner Michael Gadlin. Gadlin has contributed to PESS at two previous fundraising events. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet those across the globe who are involved and dedicated to building schools!” “PESS is an outstanding organization that is one-of-a-kind. I believe in what they want to accomplish by educating the people directly,” says Gadlin. “This organization affects people in South Sudan on a daily basis. The work I contribute helps raise the funds to build schools, and is so gratifying, because of the leadership that evolves from the organization. The Art is a passageway into the hearts of those who are decidedly “dyed-in-the-wool” so to speak, to the cause. Fact: Art builds schools - is my way of thinking about the goals and to be able to produce a work of art for that becomes absolutely effortless and satisfying.” Viable schools that develop future leaders hold the key of hope for the future of South Sudan. Through schools, the stories of Ayor Abiar and her brothers will no longer me an anomaly. Children will learn of their place in the world, continue to expand their world, and realize their gifts and their potential beyond the red clay of South Sudan.  Editor’s note: Artists will offer their gifts in support of these children at the ArtHaus, 3343 Larimer St., on April 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. Purchase tickets online at www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp event code: pessart413. For more information about Project Education South Sudan, and other ways to support the organization visit www.projecteducationsouthsudan.org.

APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH SUPPORT COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

P roject E ducation S outh S udan

has constructed four primary schools and a secondary school in South Sudan.

PESS provides safe environments for girl’s education, including dormitories as well as feminine hygiene education and products, and financial literacy training in support of women in villages throughout South Sudan.

Bringing support, resources and advocacy to the community one family at a time!

Academic partners include: The Josef Korbel School of International StudiesUniversity of Denver, The University of Denver Women’s College, Kansas State University, and Oklahoma State University.

For more information visit our website

www.africanamerautism.com 303-335-5207

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Life Coach Helps Women Understand

Seasons of Power By Angelia D. McGowan

B

race yourself

for a reality check. In this age of balancing acts and multi-task-

ing, Dr. Felicia Clark doesn’t believe that

women can do it all

with their health and happiness in tact – at least not all at the

same time. If a woman wants to be happy, she needs to understand her seasons of power. Clark, an author, life coach and plus-size model, says the key to success and fulfillment lies in understanding the type of power being used in relation to what you are seeking at the time. She notes First Lady Michelle Obama for her ability to hold power throughout her career and marriage, saying that her roles have changed without diminishing her power. “Trying to have it all simultaneously creates undue stress resulting in 23 percent of women aged 40 – 59 being on anti-depressants, more than any other group, an increase in hypertension, failing relationships, exhaustion and other ills.” A multi-faceted woman, Clark holds a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado-Boulder, a master’s in math/science curriculum development from California State University and a doctorate from Pepperdine University in institutional management. Additionally, Clark has modeled since age 12, was represented by Ford Models, Inc., and has modeled for clients such as Just My Size and Jones New York. Clark, the nation’s leading scholar on body terrorism, dedicates part of her coaching practice to helping women learn to love their bodies and to use their natural gifts to lead. She develops curriculum, has written math books for school children and has facilitated more than 1,000 coach-

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

14

ing sessions with companies and individuals. In 2013, she will release her new book, “End Body Terrorism: One Size Never Fit All.” Through her coaching sessions, she helps women understand types of Photo by Victoria Janashvili power, including expert, referent, positional, reward or coercive. These powers represent social psychologists French and Raven’s five forms of power. Referent power, for example, is demonstrated when a woman garners power through supporting others. “This kind of power creates a position of need and support whereby there is interdependency between those whom she supports and her own power. It’s networking, building relationships and empowering others without taking power from herself,” she says. Timing, circumstances and goals are factors in which type of power is most effective at any given time. “We are now in a service-based economy whereby many businesses derive their revenue from providing service to others,” says the Denver-based Clark. “Therefore, using traditional power such as coercive and positional power, which was designed to get the most out of assembly line workers will create a stressful work life, and even result in failure.” Clark believes that moving up the corporate ladder isn’t always the best reward for successful businesswomen. “Some women like to be rewarded with time off or a penalty-free, reduced-hour work schedule instead of getting higher positional power. Sometimes success is derived from being still,” Clark has witnessed. 

Editor’s note: Learn more about Dr. Felicia Clark’s life coaching services at www.ebooklifecoach.com. Her next fiveweek class begins April 10.


Comedian Joe Torry in Denver The Good, The Bad and The Ugly By Esteban L. Hernandez

J oe Torry has friends in high

places. When the Missouri-born comic and actor took a four-day stop in the Mile High City, with six shows at the Denver Improv during the first week of March, he had no shortage of friends willing to be his personal tour guide and welcome him in Colorado. “I know a lot of people here,” he says on Sunday afternoon after stopping for church services in Denver. “A lot people trying to take me places.” Old friends and fraternity brothers made his stay a cozy one. His trademark energy was strong enough to overcome the snowstorm that blew through the Front Range and put a bit of a damper on his shows. He grew up around snow, but he admits he didn’t welcome the white stuff during his short stay. “I am not a fan if it keeps people from coming to my show,” he says laughing. A little snow won’t stop Torry. Not a man whose extensive filmography includes the John Singleton classic Poetic Justice, TV spots on “ER” and “NYPD Blue,” and a current hosting gig in “Uptown Comic” on Bounce TV. His outlook on life as he reaches nearly half a century of life remains positive. “I am now at this point of my career where I am producing a lot of

stuff,” he says. “It gives me a lot of chances to venture out. I am able to produce out there, and do business with people I didn’t think I would be doing business with.” It doesn’t matter if he appears on films that are straight to DVD material or involve a red carpet premiere. It’s all in a day’s work for Torry, and these days work is plenty. This year will be focused on spreading the Torry brand, through his production, stand-up performances and the release of a book. He has no problem with “pimping” himself out, he jokes. He will be filming a comedy special in Orlando soon, and the performances will serve as an opportunity to mold and perfect his stand-up routine. Another shot at work, another shot at expanding his brand. Motivation for all his work, all his projects and aspirations, is rather simple: it comes down to bringing home the bacon. He has three children and a wife, and while he said they don’t factor in extensively in his decision making process, his decision are made with the idea of financially supporting his family. A true self-made man, he also thinks about supporting himself. “I like to have fun,” Torry says. “The more fun I want to have, the more money I need to make. I am an entertainment type of guy. I want to be like a Costco’s, a mini version,” he says with a burst of laughter.

If being a miniature Costco is the goal, the joke isn’t entirely far off from reality. One of his biggest projects includes a feature film he created with Garrett Morris that was shot in Detroit. He says it will be released later this year, but that bootlegs are already available. While the film project represents new creative territory for Torry, there’s another arena he’s been a part of for more than a decade. He’s been a philanthropist with his own charity organization, Giving Back the Love Foundation. “I stared it because I like to give back,” he says. “I knew that being blessed and as much as I have been blessed, being from my hometown, making the events great, I wanted to give back to the community, and I did that by bringing Hollywood to St. Louis,” he says, speaking of his hometown in Missouri. The organization focuses on children, and provides meals and supplies to the needy. But it also offers hair cuts and school supplies for kids going back to school, educational seminars about eating healthy and even information on how to live in a more environmentallyfriendly manner. “I think that’s why you are blessed, to give back,” he says. “To do God’s work. I just happen to make it in a way that’s my plan.” At the moment, Torry’s plan also includes a book. It’s a culmination of

years in the entertainment business, of hundreds of stories he’s retold that deserve a larger audience. At least that’s what his friends have told him. If the title is any indicator of the subject at hand, the book will offer a glimpse of the business from a unique observer. “It’s going to be about life,” he says. “It’s a half autobiographical look at Hollywood.” “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” is the title, and it doesn’t have a release date at the moment. Torry says he’s still writing it, and that there’s even a chance he’ll split the book into two volumes. “I don’t want it to be an easy ready,” he says. He admits that writing is a challenge, and he’s working with a writing partner. He also says the book could be a multimedia effort; he says there will be video elements to the material. He doesn’t want the book to be a slimy tell-all – that’s not his style. But, there will be namedropping, for sure, the inevitable inclusions of big-names in captivating stories. It’s part of what will make things interesting and make the book worth buying. Torry has friends in high places, after all. He says Steve Harvey wants to read it before he releases it. Torry says some people in the industry “are worried about it.” He pauses. “Some should be,” he says with a chuckle. 

Mo’Nique

Rodney Perry

New Yearʼs Eve

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Jan 11-12, 2013

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Student Citizenship in Action By Heather O’Mara and Ruth Mårquez West

The day’s activities included access to the History Colorado Center, tours of the Capitol and invigorating speeches by legislators who greeted students after their march to the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building. Retired attorney Ramsey Stewart, who serves as a classroom mentor at HOPE’s k-12 Hillcrest

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Academy, commented, “Watching our leadership in action, seeing the governor in person and being part of such a large group of digital learners confirmed our students’ presence and significance in a larger community. It definitely enhanced their sense of belonging on several levels. It clicked for them that this is their state and that its history is part of their story.� Leadership, citizenship, positive self-image and a sense of belonging are all part of HOPE’s aim for the activities, field trips and athletic programs. These are development opportunities for neighborhood children in blended learning classrooms throughout Denver, along the Front Range and in outlying communities. “Every opportunity we offer our students is designed to help kids want to be in school. Academic achievement and citizenship can be a natural outcome of a student understanding his or her potential to achieve and lead,� says Melanie Stone, who leads activities for HOPE’s 3,000 students at 40 community-based Learning Centers. 

learn by actually doing it,� is a quote by Aristotle that best describes student participation in Digital Learning Day, held at the Colorado State Capitol building recently. Over 200 of the 700 participating students were from HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp (HOPE), all of whom learned about leadership and citizenship by engaging in it. “It was important for our students to visit the Capitol and be exposed to our state government. Not realizing Colorado has its own capitol building, our young students thought we had to travel to Washington, D.C. rather than just a few miles away,� shared Malia Ellis, who operates a k-8 HOPE Learning Center at 880 Fairfax Street. “They also learned that we could visit the Capitol without paying an entrance fee. Of course, being children, they were wondering how they could get to the gold dome on top!� Ellis’s students loved being part of the “parade� that marched to the Capitol for a rally after viewing the processes inside the legislative chambers. The student march was, for HOPE students of all ages, an inspiring affirmation of their own leadership and citizenship. “It was apparent to our students that the march was all about education and, therefore, all about them,� observed Ellis. HOPE students make a rally poster on Digital Learning Day

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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T

hey ranged from 11 to 18 and came from different walks of life, but the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation Journalism Program participants left fond memories for parent company, Urban Spectrum. During a seven week summer program, from 2000 to 2007, middle and high school students were afforded the opportunity of learning the field of print journalism with a goal to develop, design and produce a newspaper, The Junior Spectrum. Over the years, the publication won several Colorado Association of Black Journalists awards. During the seven weeks, the participants were mentored by professionals in writing and editing, photography, graphic design, desktop publishing, distribution and sales and marketing. They also participated in social issue classes taught by community leaders and took cultural and business-related field trips. As part of the Denver Urban Spectrum’s 26th anniversary, USYF past participants were contacted to see where they are today, and what they have been doing since the journalism programs. Their responses include age in program and how the program impacted their life. Sadly, one of the participants recently passed. We dedicate this issue to his memory.

Inyata Thomas Jordan

January 23, 1985 – August 10, 2012

Where Are All The Children?

“The USYF program helped me to become a better writer and critical thinker, by learning how to research topics and articulate them in written form. The individuals that I met through the program were a great benefit, as I loved the various speakers and mentors introduced to the participants. The advertising sales helped me to learn the value of earning money, and develop good oral communication skills. The leadership skills taught in the USYF program has helped me immensely in my role as captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team. The team has received 1st Team Academic All State, Metro League All Conference 1st Team, and Colorado All-State recognition”

Asmara “Mya” Gosha

Age: 18 (12) Education: Senior at George Washington High School Occupation: Student (Will attend Long Beach City College for Fashion Merchandising) Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“USYF helped me to honor and have greater respect for African American business leaders to a greater degree, as we had many community leaders come in and mentor us as a group. The program supported individual rights to be, act and look different from what main stream society thought was the norm. It also allowed me to research and write on topics that were important to me, and realize that it could/would be important to others as well. The moral is that there are many voices to be heard.”

Ashanti Gosha

Age: 19 (13) Education: Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biology at Colorado State University Occupation: Student Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“USYF has led me to be more open to meeting new people and it has helped me learn to be comfortable around people I do not know. It also helped me with learning to look up and learn about issues that are happening around me, and how to interpret that information into written form for people who may not know about the issue. I am currently a freshman at Colorado State University and I am majoring in biology and I plan on going to dental school after I receive my bachelor degree. At CSU I am involved in the Key Program which allows students to exemplify leadership and diversity through various classes and activities; this is something that USYF taught as well so it is a continuation at the collegiate level. I am also in Africans United which tries to inform others about the different cultures in Africa.”

Bria May

Age: 19 (13) Education: Attends the University of Colorado for Psychology with Pre-Medical focus Occupation: Student, also a member of the CU Buffs Cheerleading Squad Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“I am currently in a Leadership Residential Academic Program at CU Boulder, and I am working toward is a certificate in Leadership. I feel honored that some of the things I am currently learning about leadership I have already touched on through some of the guest speakers we had in the USYF summer internship. Overall, the program helped me gain a strong sense of self and leadership and I continue to become a stronger writer every day because of it. The experience of meeting various business owners while promoting advertising sales was also a priceless business experience.” Cameron Williams

Age: 24 (13) Occupation: Student/ Entertainer/ Bartender Marital Status: Single Lives in Fort Worth, TX

Aisha I. May

Age: 18 (12) Education: Senior at Bishop Machebeuf High School, Member of National Honors Society Occupation: Getting ready to start college as a History/Pre-Law major Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

to myself. The USYF also influenced my career choice of entertainer. I recently reenrolled in courses to major in mass communications specializing in radio and print. Words can’t express the appreciation I have for Bee Harris and Urban Spectrum for having such a great foundation for urban youth to explore the possibilities and capabilities they can have. In addition, moments like meeting Mayor Wellington Webb and seeing how newspapers and periodicals are set up, are staples in my life I will always cherish and use to fuel my motivation. Thank you very much for the opportunity Urban Spectrum!”

“The USYF helped make me a more critical thinker, a better team player, and a more diverse person while still being true Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Cecile Perrin

Age: 25 (13) Education: Art Institute of Colorado, Photography 2008 Occupation: Production assistant for DUS and owner of Sweetz Photography Marital Status: Single (1 child) Lives in Aurora, CO

“The USYF journalism program had a major impact in my life because it taught me skills that I now apply to my current career and lifestyle. I not only learned the ins and outs of creating a newspaper such as photography, writing articles, advertising sales and editing, but I also gained knowledge through the teen issue workshops to help with everyday life. As a participant in the USYF program, I also had the privilege of visiting the office of former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and go on field trips to places like Garden of the Gods and the printing press which were all unforgettable experiences. I’m grateful to have been a part of such an amazing program that helped me to grow professionally and prepared me for my journey to success.”

Continued on page 18


Continued from page 17 Chase “Maliq” Langston Sisk

Age: 23 (11) Education: College Philosophy Major Occupation: Entrepreneur Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“USYF gave me the drive and inspiration to pursue several entrepreneurial endeavors including opening an art gallery, starting a community activism organization, and founding my current company iAmListed. USYF was the foundation for my desire to give back to my community, and taught me the importance of having integrity through the rigors of journalistic excellence. Rosalind “Bee” Harris is probably one of the most influential mentors I have had the honor of learning from, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences at USYF for the world. All of my coparticipants were some of the most gifted, intelligent, and powerful youth leaders I have ever come across!”

people, obtain beneficial skills, and spend my time wisely during my summers. I would recommend this program to any youth looking to build skills, such as business, leadership, communication, teamwork, etc. It really was a great program that more kids need in this day in age.”

Danielle (Barksdale) Tinch

“The USYF played an important role in reinforcing my career aspirations. When my first published article appeared in the Junior Urban Spectrum, I gained a level of reassurance that undoubtedly led to continued media involvement through high school and beyond.” Danielle Fouther

Age: 19 (12) Education: Colorado State University Occupation: Student Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“The USYF was a great experience that enabled me the opportunity to meet great

Age: 25 (14) Occupation: Music Song Wwriter Marital Status: Single (2 children) Lives in Aurora, CO

“The impact USYF had on my lifestyle was teaching me to become more open to expressing myself through my writings. I am getting into the career as a music song/writer. I started out writing sections and poems in the Junior Urban Spectrum and that opened my eyes and desire to want to write. I have become a better writer as the years have passed and now I’m just working hard to follow my dream.”

Age: 24 (13) Education: Graduate of Rivertown School of Beauty Occupation: Co-Owner of Studio 10 Hair Salon Marital Status: Married (2 Children) Lives in Columbus, Georgia

“It prepared me to be courageous enough to build a name for myself. Karen Hall, owner of Cuttin’ up Beauty School, was also a person I looked up to. I learned the ropes of true business ownership and business savvy. Now I have a business of my own, two children, and I am married to the love of my life.”

Christa Mann

Age: 27 (15) Education: B.S. Journalism at Georgia State University, Universidad de Salamanca (Studied abroad in Spain), now attending Ohio University for Master of Sports Administration Occupation: Communications Coordinator at the United States Olympic Committee Marital Status: Single Lives in Colorado Springs, CO

Devin Grimes

Darrell Anderson

Age: 27 (15) Occupation: Respiratory Therapist in the U.S. Army Marital Status: Married (3 children) Lives in Killeen, TX

Jamelah R. (Tehuti) Alston

Age: 25 (14) Education: Alabama State University for Health Administration Occupation: Optometry Technician/ Hairstylist Marital Status: Married (1 child and expecting) Lives in Irvington, AL

“USYF had a major impact on my life style and current endeavors. It helped me to be able to work with others and to express my thoughts, creativity, and talents in various ways. I was able to take what I learned from the program at the age of 14, and still today be able to carry those lessons on and pass them to my children.”

“The Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation has left an everlasting impact on my character, career choice, and life. Besides sparking my interest in the field of communication and journalism, it has also helped plant the seed of “giving back” to my community by passing down knowledge, wisdom, connections and wealth to future generations. USYF speakers volunteered their time to speak with youth that might not at the time realize the value. However, later in life we used the valuable words and knowledge given as inspiration, advice, and fuel for ambition to achieve goals, like education. Not only was USYF a positive environment for youth to spend time in summer months but a place to develop long lasting friendships and connections. USYF was a great teaching tool for the real world and a steppingstone in my adult development. Thank you to Dr. Bee Harris, Larry and everyone that volunteered for all the love, patience and support.”

Jerrica Johnson

Age: 26 (14) Education: BA Mass Communications with a Public Relations concentration, Southern University A&M College Occupation: IT Project Manager, US Navy Marital Status: Single Lives in New Orleans, LA

“The program helped me confirm my early interest in mass media. This was especially true for me when deciding on a college major.”

Jionni Paige

“USYF taught me that my youth shouldn’t be misused. I know from my experiences with organizations like USYF that my children have the capacity to function in their community the same as I did. I would like to thank The Urban Spectrum for providing a positive outlet and a teaching foundation for those interested in journalism, creative writing, and contemporary print.”

Jarrett Hullum

Age: 25 (13) Education: University of Colorado for B.A. Communication Occupation: Marketing/Sales/Communication Media Marital Status: Single Lives in Greenwood Village, CO

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Age: 27 (15) Education: B.A. Kinesiology Occupation: Personal Trainer Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“The USYF helped me develop my own creativity as a well as leadership skills that I use on a regular basis.”


Metropolitan State University of Denver. Occupation: National Marketing Specialist & Manager/Publicist for SF1 Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

Korey Askew

Jourdan S. Gosha

Age: 20 (13) Education: Pursuing a B.S. in Social Work and with plans to obtain a Master’s Degree Occupation: Cashier at Wal-Mart and Student Marital Status: Single Lives in Fort Collins, CO

“USYF has helped in my communication efforts with peers and professors, as the leadership series given to us was very beneficial, real, while also fun. The articles that I worked on those two summers required research techniques that I incorporate in my college written assignments today. I really enjoyed getting to know the other participants and have remained friends with a few. The various community leaders that we met and visited were very impactful.”

Julius Vaughns

Age: 29 (18) Occupation: Public Relations Professional (occupation), Communication Specialist for Aurora Public Schools (current job) Marital Status: Single Lives in Aurora CO

“Participating in the USYF helped me to identify what my interests and career aspirations were at that time. I used many of the writing and editing skills I learned in the program while studying journalism in college. The program also helped me gain exposure in the journalism/mass media Denver market, something that has stuck with me throughout the years. I made contacts back then that I still utilize today. I truly appreciated the opportunity to help lead the summer program (as an editor) and learn some of the business aspects from Bee Harris. THANK YOU!!!” Kia Milan

Age: 27 (13) Education: Pursuing Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership at CSU. In 2009 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Broadcast Production and a minor in Technical Media from

“The Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation serves as one of my most treasured memories and accomplishments during my youth. The program was designed to engage young people and educate them on the journalism industry. Professionals were brought in as mentors to provide support, advice and training. I began the program at 13 and I was so curious and excited about journalism and in complete awe of Rosalind Harris, affectionately known in the community as “Bee”. Her love for the community and the youth within the community is something I still find commendable and admirable. Her loyalty and love for the youth in the Denver community shows her altruistic character and I believe the selflessness she displays was instilled in each one of the youth participants. The program gave me the opportunity to express myself and write about issues that were of importance for me and my peers. I went on to serve as the co-editor and editor-in-chief of the paper while in high school. I had the honor of winning Colorado Association of Black Journalist awards. The leadership skills and self-confidence I obtained while participating in the program has been invaluable. At 13 I was taught the importance of deadlines, time management skills, creating and being innovative. While serving as the editor I was taught how to set deadlines and agendas for others and conduct production meetings in a conference room. Now as an adult in my professional career I have no apprehension when walking into a board room to conduct a meeting. Lawrence James served as a mentor for advertisement sales. I remember to this day how passionate he was about instilling in each one of us the importance of hard work and dedication. We worked diligently with businesses in the community that were interested in advertising their businesses in our publication. The Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation impacted me in such a wonderful way and I feel so fortunate to have been able to participate in such a remarkable program. It is important for young people to grow and learn beyond the traditional academic setting and have the ability to identify what they are passionate about and explore that passion.”

Age: 24 (13) Occupation: Online Giving Senior Specialist at Mile High United Way/ Athlete Played for Kansas City Command (AFL) after a short term with the NFL Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“The Urban Spectrum showed me how to give back to my community and make a difference in today’s society through younger generations. It encouraged me to start a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, The Colorado Wild Youth Sports. My organization teaches young girls and boys how to conduct themselves while learning the different skills of becoming an athlete. It also builds relationships, character and tools to be more productive citizens after years in our organization.”

“The USYF inspired my passion for journalism and greatly impacted my career path. After participating in the program, I started writing for my school newspaper throughout middle school and high school. After high school graduation, I received an opportunity to write for various online and print publications. To date, I have regularly contributed to AOL Black Voices (now Huffington Post Black Voices), BET, HipHopDX, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and Jack and Jill Politics, to name a few. Additionally, my experience as a freelance journalist has opened opportunities for me in the nonprofit sector, where I have been working in the areas of civic engagement and health care since 2010. I am still very passionate about writing and journalism, and contribute my time to various blogs and publications.”

Malik Kimble

Age: 22 (16) Education: High School Diploma Occupation: Musician for The Contenderz and Contenderz303.com Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

Kourtney Green

Age: 20 (14) Education: College Junior at Colorado State University Occupation: Full-time student Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“Being a part of the USYF has taught me the importance of networking with others, meeting deadlines accordingly, and always putting my best effort into all that I do.”

Krysten (Hughes) Clark

Age: 26 (12) Education: B.S. in Public Management, Health Care Management from Colorado State University Occupation: Manager of Grants, Education and Mission Initiatives for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Marital Status: Married (1 child and expecting) Lives in Las Vegas, NV

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

19

“The USYF had a great impact on my life. The program definitely made me a lot more social and open minded to the world as a whole. Before I entered the program I was at a point in my life where guidance was needed with the knowledge already acquired in previous years. I am currently working a part time job at TJ Maxx and doing music full-time. If it weren’t for the USYF I highly doubt I would be in the place I am now, and I could not thank Sister Bee more for all the opportunities she has given, not only me, but the community as a whole.”

Mandisa Gunnells

Age: 25 (13) Education: Student, Metro State University for sports medicine Occupation: Customer Account Executive 2 for Comcast Cable Marital Status: Single (2 children) Lives in Denver, CO

Continued on page 20


Continued from page 19 “What impacted me the most about Urban Spectrum was the life lessons that Bee taught us, the amount of responsibility that was required for us to have at such a young age, and the respect and dignity that we carried with us throughout the program. It impacted me a lot and as I look back it was a life changing experience that I was blessed to have. Thanks Urban Spectrum.”

MarChelle McKizzie

Age: 30 (18) Education: University of Denver, The Women’s College; Communication Occupation: Retirement Specialist, Singer/Songwriter Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“By being involved in the USYF, I learned about what it takes to produce a publication. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and I felt like I was making a difference. Working at the Urban Spectrum in general, I gained an immense sense of knowledge of the journalism industry, and was afforded the opportunity to learn the business as a whole. I built lasting relationships and feel our community wouldn’t be the same without an outlet that connects us in the way that the Urban Spectrum does.”

Saniya Ma’at

Age: 20 (15) Occupation: Barber/ Hair Stylist Marital Status: Single Lives in Aurora, CO

“While a participant in the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation Summer Program, I obtained very valuable life skills in conjunction with skills used in the journalism industry. Although I chose a different career path, the marketing and promotion portion of the program helps me in my current position as a stylist. I am able to market myself in a professional and affective manner. I also learned a lot about photography and use those skills in photographing models for my portfolio. During that summer, I also learned to be a strong leader and more comfortable with public speaking. This is a program that provided young people with skills that were needed to become successful individuals in the journalism field but can also cross over into most any field that someone chooses to go into.”

poetry and performing artistically in any way possible. I was the youngest participant at the time and somewhat shy. However after the summer program I had gained a sense of confidence that was unrelenting. I am so grateful for the moments that I gained during the program. I would recommend it to any one!”

Tajorie Robinson-Dickson

Age: 24 (13) Education: East High School Graduate Occupation: Stay-at-home mom Marital Status: Married (3 Children) Lives in Denver, CO

“It impacted me by helping me to become a better person through the workshops and the different projects and field trips. Because of the skills I obtained in the program I am able to help my kids become better individuals.”

Shane Franklin

Rebekah Johnson

Age: 22 (11) Education: Accepted into University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching Master’s Degree Program Occupation: Los Angeles Laker Girl/ Dance Teacher Marital Status: Single Lives in Los Angeles, CA

“The impact that the USYF had on my life was introducing me to the world of marketing, business, and ad campaigning which debuted the development of my interest to be an entrepreneur with my desire to open and own my own professional dance studio.”

Age: 24 (13) Occupation: Entertainer (Musician, Actor, Dancer, Songwriter, and Composer) Marital Status: Single Lives in Aurora, CO

“I enjoyed working in an environment with like-minded individuals for a common goal of creating a final product. The finished product is the joy and time of reflection of all the hard work put fourth along with a team. Deadlines were something that I learned that has not only impacted my career now, but everyday life period.” Symone Holmes

Age: 18 (14) Education: Currently a senior at East High School Occupation: Nanny Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

Traci Morgan

Age: 19 (14) Education: Sophomore at Prairie View A&M University for Marketing and Communications Occupation: Work Study/ Part-Time Server at T.G.I Friday’s Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“USYF provided me an amazing opportunity to gain real life experience and leverage my passion in the field of communications. I was able to build great relationships during my time with USYF. My plan is to obtain my degree and give back to an organization that has given so much to our community.”

“USYF was a beautiful experience for me! It gave me the confidence to further my pursuits in the arts. I love writing

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Tyriq Swingler

Age: 20 (14 or 15) Occupation: Actor/ Computer Tutor/ After School Recreation Instructor Marital Status: Single Lives in Denver, CO

“Participating in the summer journalism program taught me that I could reach out to my community for support in endeavors involving business, art, and life in general. I now feel more comfortable in those areas even though many years have passed since I was enrolled in USYF.”

Save The Date!

You are invited to “A Unity Celebration” Join DUS and celebrate 26 years of “spreading the news about people of color” as we recognize the 2013 African Americans Who Make A Difference and reunite with the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation Summer Journalism Program participants.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 3 to 6 PM Classics Event Center 1042 S. Peoria St. Aurora, CO 80012

•Live Entertainment with Diana Castro •Food and Fun!

For more information, call

303-292-6446

This USYF section was researched, compiled, edited, designed and layed out by past USYF participant Cecile Perrin


Haters Insure Vick Won’t be Finally Free M

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

ichael Vick has done everything humanly possible to atone for his dog torturing past. He was tried, convicted and jailed. He accepted full responsibility for his actions. He’s virtually prostrated himself before every animal rights group around to apologize for his actions. He didn’t stop there. He’s spoken out every chance he’s gotten against people who commit acts that he did. He even fully cooperated with federal authorities in identifying dog fighting rings. He’s donated time, money, and his name to animal rights organizations. On and off the gridiron he’s been a model citizen. But that hasn’t been enough. Mention the name Vick on or off the playing field, and it still draws a predictable and seemingly orchestrated chorus of taunts, slurs, digs, and plain vile hate. Convicted murderers that have served their sentence, done penance, have gotten more love than Vick. In fact, the public pound on Vick before during and after his sentencing and release, and redemption, assured that Vick’s name would be spat out in the same breath as the names of the worst of the serial killers, pedophiles, and terrorists. But the verbal trash of Vick hasn’t satiated the professional Vick hate mongers. They got another chance to take a shot at him, this time maybe even literally, when he had the temerity that he would embark on a tour to tout his book, Finally Free, and publicly discourse on his epiphany and what lessons that holds. The tour was cancelled because of the reported death threats to Vick. Some wrote this off as over reaction, maybe the handiwork of a few kooks, are simply a cheap stunt to get even more publicity. All this is hogwash. Vick doesn’t need any more publicity, good and definitely bad, since his name is practically a household word, and plenty of people would stand in line and plop down the price of his book to get his signature, a photo, and exchange a few words with him.

As for letting a few supposed oddballs ruin things for him and the publisher, the massacres in Newtown and Aurora, not to mention a nation armed to the teeth, and more than a few willing to use them to defend whatever warped ideal they have of justice or just plain vengeance was more than cause for concern of the book promoters for Vick’s safety. Vick was not just a dog torturer in the sight of many. He emerged from his shame, disgrace and punishment as still a rich and famous AfricanAmerican celeb that went bad. This in itself was more than enough to stir a mob vendetta against him. The warning sign that he would continue to be in the hate crowd’s bulls eye came early when the Atlanta NAACP after his boot from the NFL issued a mild statement urging calm on Vick. It did not try to apologize or pretty up anything that he did but it did publicly plead that he not be permanently barred from the NFL. For this it was relentlessly lambasted and drew the inevitable squeal that it was playing the race card. But the NAACP branch understood that in the case of men such as Vick, even when they admit guilt and plead for forgiveness, the words mercy and compassion are alien terms. Vick could’ve spent millions and hired legions of pricey publicists, consultants and image makeover specialists and it wouldn’t have changed one whit the public’s hostility and negative perceptions of him. In fact, Vick has donated a small king’s ransom to charities and various causes, including humane societies, and it hasn’t meant a thing to the haters. The bad boy image of Vick is indelibly plastered on their foreheads. Public revulsion over Vick’s crimes and resentment at his fame, wealth and race only partly explain why he’s in a near hopeless spot when it comes to fully rehabilitating his image. He’s the latest and handiest target for a public sick to death of sports icons and mega celebrities getting kid glove treatment for their misdeeds or out-

right law breaking, even though he didn’t get that treatment. Vick will pay and continue to pay two steep prices for who he is and how many still see him. He’s done the jail time, coughed up a load of cash in fines and restitution and legal debts, and was ousted for a time from the NFL. This price was fair and warranted. The other price that he’ll never stop being asked to pay is that he’ll be the permanent poster boy for animal abuse and the bad behaving celebrity, a black celebrity that is. Vick was eloquent when he shouted to the world that he had put his shameful actions behind him and that he had moved on. He has, but many others haven’t and won’t. His cancelled book tour was just the latest proof of that. The haters will insure that he won’t be finally free. 

Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

Heat Saving Tip #1 Turning down your thermostat 1 degree will save you nearly 3% on your home heating bill!

LEAP Helps You Stay Warm in the Winter Financial assistance is available to help people that qualify with their home heating bill. It’s easy to apply! 1.866.HEAT.HELP (432-8435) www.DenverGov.org/LEAP

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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New Exhibit at DIA Features History of Colorado’s Tuskegee Airmen, Famed AfricanAmerican “Red Tails” from WWII

Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport

Register Now!

An education from Denver Institute of Urban Studies is a holistic education, academically , professionally and spiritually. Apply critical thinking skills to public policy, theology, sustainable community development, business and organizational leadership.

Adult Programs:

Associate Degree •General Education

•Urban Ministry

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•Urban Sustainability and Community Development •Global Environmental Management

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•Project Management (PMP) •Environmental Sustainability •Green Sales and Customer Service •Leadership and Management •Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship •Green Jobs Training •Social Ecology

Travelers at Denver International Airport (DIA) can now view pieces of Colorado’s military aviation history through a new cultural exhibition showcasing the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the “Red Tails” for the brightly painted tails of their fighter aircraft, were dedicated and determined young men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps to become America’s first African-American military pilots and support crew. From 1941 through 1946, about 1,000 pilots graduated from Tuskegee Army Air Field, receiving commissions and pilot’s wings. Other African-American navigators, bombardiers and gunnery crews were trained at military bases elsewhere in the United States. The exhibit is located on Level 5 of the Jeppesen Terminal, on the southeast side adjacent to baggage carousel No. 9, and features the biographies and historic artifacts of Colorado members of the Tuskegee Airmen. Items for the display, including historic uniforms and flight equipment, were provided by members of the Colorado Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. The Tuskegee Airmen of Colorado exhibition is curated through DIA’s

Green Jobs Curriculum and Placement!

Affordable- Accessible - Accredited Classes are forming now – Classes are one night a week!

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Art and Culture Program, which transforms the environment of the airport through one of the world’s most important collections of public art, delightful performances, and cultural exhibitions that partner with Denver’s creative community. The Tuskegee display is part of a series of rotating gallery exhibits, and is a fitting way to help conclude Black History Month. The gallery will be available to the public through May 31. For more information about Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., visit rado-redtails.com. 

About DIA’s Art and Culture Program

DIA’s Art and Culture Program administers the City and County of Denver’s “one percent for art” requirement for public facilities and features nearly 30 site-specific works including sculptures, murals and other installations. The pieces are displayed in outdoor landscapes, inside Jeppesen Terminal and on airport concourses, as well as in the train tunnels and on the train itself. In addition to its permanent art collection, DIA curates temporary exhibitions, collaborating with museums, cultural institutions and arts organizations to present the highest quality two- and three-dimensional work.


Black Economic Summit Moves, Expands

Economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux To Deliver Keynote At Luncheon

The Mountain Region Black

Economic Summit has announced the 8th Annual MRBES Success Summit & Expo to be held on May 31 and June 1 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The theme is “Inform, Inspire, Imagine!” The summit, which seeks to improve the economic standing of minority communities, is the only event of its kind in this region. Approximately 750-1,000 guests are expected to attend the two-day event.

MRBES Executive Director Carla Ladd is pictured with speaker George Fraiser and Denver Police Chief Robert White at the 2012 Success Summit.

“We’re excited about the changes and collaborations we’ve set in place for this year’s Success Summit,” said MRBES Executive Director Carla Ladd. “In particular, we’ve changed locations and added a second day. With the move from downtown to the Denver Tech Center, we’re able to offer free parking and a new energy. The second day allows us to offer more in-depth workshops to a broader spectrum of attendees from the business and nonprofit community.”

For the first time, the Success Summit has partnered with another organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated- Denver Chapter, to co-present its signature event, the WiLMA (Women in Leadership & Management Awards) Luncheon. Named in honor of former legislator and Denver’s first African American First Lady, the Hon. Wilma J. Webb, this premier networking luncheon is designed to inspire guests by honoring several local women for their service and accomplishments. The keynote speaker is Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and former president of Bennett College. For the sorority, this collaboration comes during a year when the national organization is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Djuana Harvell Ph.D., Denver Chapter President, said, “It’s a three-fold benefit for us to be able to help recognize exceptional African American women, support economic development and hear our sorority sister Dr. Julianne Malveaux speak on the topic of leadership.” The Success Summit also features a resource expo and fair, panel discussions, youth programming and informative workshops, including a session on ethnic media collaborations and a MoneyWise Empowerment Seminar. Editor’s note: For more information, call 720-840-9038, email cdladd@mrbes.com. or visit www.mrbes.com.

Decisions are Coming for I-70 East Come tell CDOT what you think

Corridor-wide Public Meetings: Wednesday, April 10 • 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Adams City High School, 7200 Quebec Pkwy., Commerce City

Thursday, April 11 • 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Swansea Recreation Center, 2650 E. 49th Ave., Denver

www.i-70east.com 303.757.9413

About MRBES

Established in 2005, the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit (MRBES), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, produces the annual economic summit and expo that brings together the various financial, business and human resources to stimulate learning and growth among Colorado’s minority communities.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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(720) 304-5138

5475 Peoria St. #4-103C Denver, CO 80239 Ford Thompson, Owner


APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH SUPPORT COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

Conference To Address Black Infant Mortality Rates In Colorado Black Infants are

By Barbarosiaf Richardson, Psy. D

Bringing support, resources and advocacy to the community one family at a time! For more information visit our website

www.africanamerautism.com 303-335-5207

In business since 1995

dying at an alarming rate in Colorado, experiencing three times the death rate of White infants. The gap between Black and White infant deaths rate is becoming wider in Colorado and nationally. The African American infant Mortality rate of 13.31 is two and half times the rate for whites (5.63) and double the overall U.S. infant mortality rate of (6.68). Black Colorado’s infant mortality rate is three times higher than the White infant mortality rate places Black Colorado infant mortality between the overall infant mortality rates of China and Colombia, according to a World Bank compilation of health data. Black Infant Mortality is a “National Health Crisis” that has risen to catastrophic levels. African American infant mortality is complex and experts nationally and locally have implemented interventions for years; however, the incidence of African American Infants continue to persist. Research shows that community awareness and involvement are the most effective interventions. We as a community need to develop the skills and resources to combat this problem. Black Bottom and Company, is hosting a one-day Black Infant Mortality Conference, “A National Health Crisis,” on May 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Denver, Colorado. The conference will address issues affecting Black infants, the most at-risk segment of our population. These issues addressed include the causes of the disparity, analysis of the problem, and how we can change this health crisis as a community. The keynote speaker for the conference is Johnny Johnson, M.D., a Denver, Colorado African-American Gynecologist, who is an expert in the field of Black Infant mortality. Dr. Johnson is well known both in the

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State of Colorado and nationally. During his tenure as the President of the Colorado Medical Society he presented at the American Medical Association Presidents’ Forum and National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. He has also testified before the United States Congress on Black Infant Mortality. The differences in U.S. infant mortality rates have been apparent since data began to be collected more than a 100 years ago and these differences have persisted and increased over time. African American women of all socioeconomic levels have the highest mortality for prematurity/ low birthweight infants of all racial and ethnic groups. A CDC report dated January 19, 2012 identifies preterm birth complications as the most frequent cause of death in the United States. Premature/Low Birthweight is the leading cause of infant deaths for African Americans infants and the second leading cause of infant death in the United States. Black Bottom and Company, a nonprofit organization was founded by Dr. Barbarosia Richardson and Dr. James Perkins to increase healthy birth outcomes and reduce African American/Black Infant Mortality. Dr. Richardson and Dr. Perkins are very passionate about addressing the issues that are affecting black infants. Dr. Richardson’s personal life experience explains her passion about addressing Black Infant Mortality. Dr. Richardson almost died from the life threatening illness of bacterial meningitis before her first birthday. Dr. Richardson and Dr. Perkins understand the necessity of appropriate infant care as a result of Dr. Richardson’s personal story, and also because of their interaction with many families that have experienced life threatening health conditions. Conference presenters are experts in infant mortality and health disparities. In addition to Dr. Johnson, the presenters include speakers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Black Health Collaborative, Denver Health and Hospitals, and Aurora Healthier Beginnings/Healthy Beginning. This conference will increase awareness and knowledge of infant mortality, including factors that contribute to Black Infant Mortality, and interventions and strategies that improve healthy birth outcomes. Editor’s note: For more information, visit www.blackbottomandcompany.org.


Buckshot and the Beast: The Mechanics of Power Op-ed by Theo Wilson

“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”

– Mao Zedong

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will”

– Frederick Douglass

“The one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one”

Let’s keep it real! Without fire-

– Jesus Christ, Luke 22:36

power, a government is just a fictional entity, little more than a group superstition. Like money, it is a mass-hallucination supported by buildings, literature or “laws,” and the faith of the people that ultimately, it’s kinda’ there for their good. It’s just a bunch of people. In ultimate truth, the president has no more right to take a life than an actor playing the president. The cops literally have no more right to kill you than your favorite character on “Law and Order: S.V.U.” This government however, in taking its roll too seriously, has violated the very faith its people have laid into its hands. Notice how the “law” is NOT on the civilian’s side. Right now, it is basically illegal to forcefully defend your pregnant wife against a violent criminal if that criminal wears a badge! The “fiction” no longer serves the people, and the recession is waking us up to it. This government just so happens to pretend to “govern” the most well-armed population on Earth – America. This is what goes unsaid in most “gun control” debates

If the wrath of the American people is unleashed, one can only pity the police force. They face a war on two fronts. On one hand, they may be asked by the elite to subdue the people, but on the other hand, they are those very people; a crisis of conscience in deed. Yet, when the time comes, they may be asked to confiscate our weapons door-to-door, endure the bitter curses of the masses, get into shootouts with the most stubborn of gun owners, and be further tribalized by their commanding officers against the same people they swore to protect, as if it weren’t the most thankless and dangerous job on the planet already. Isn’t it enough that they have to clean up all the bodies when irresponsible civilians can’t distinguish neighbors from targets? They have mortgages that get foreclosed on like the rest of us. Isn’t it enough that they are hated and feared by basically everyone under their jurisdiction? The police force has such pervasive PTSD, that the most dangerous gun they will face is the one in their holster. They are three times more likely to die by their own hand than in the line of duty! This means no matter how you slice it, they are the most dangerous element in any confrontation, to themselves and the citizens. Cops don’t get paid enough for that in the author’s humble opinion. Yet, we, the people also face tricky dilemma. Trust has been broken with both our authorities and with our fellow man. It’s either cops are shooting up kids or wackos shooting up theatres. Either burglars are stealing our belongings or the banks are stealing the homes they rest in. Yet, there is one more lurking shadow. Frightfully, if you read history, the greatest genocides and holocausts have actually been acts of state rather than acts against it. Whether it’s Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, Rwanda, or Hitler, the greatest horrors in history have been committed by those who enforce “the law.” This point is often lost on those who only see the crime and punishment aspect of gun control. Sadly, none of these aforementioned peoples ever suspected their own government could be so heinous, yet it happened anyway. Often, “increased safety” was used to sell mass-disarming. Hitler knew all too well that the way to enslave a people in a “free” society is to make them beg for their own shackles. Threaten their physical safety, and the child in them will run to the “parent” of the government. Little did they know, you ain’t seen a massshooting until the authorities pull one off. Enter the term, “Democide,” where a government slaughters its

own people. In all of the above cases, the state disarmed the people before it happened. There has never been a state as dominant or violent as the United States – still the only world power to nuke another nation, still the largest in military spending and operations, still over 1000 military bases the world over. Now, suddenly they will protect us if they are the only ones with guns? Sadly, this government’s track record with the defenseless is dismal! From the Ouray Indians to Oscar Grant, it seems that if they can get away with murder, they’ll try it. The only people who are safe are the nations with nuclear power, i.e., those who can enforce the only law of power they respect: Mutually Assured Destruction. This Cold War doctrine is actually a law of nature. No creature on God’s green Earth is absent from some ingenious weaponry or evasion technology to ensure the first law of life; self-preservation. Case in point, European nations tore each other from limb-to-limb for millennia, and only one thing could bring peace: the thermo-nuclear warhead! Only when total destruction was guaranteed for all sides was diplomacy an option! Think about that when you even talk of limiting the size of civilianowned firearms. We wish it were not this way, don’t we? Christ, Buddha, Muhammad, and Moses laid out such beautiful ideals for us to follow, and they work…when everybody plays along. It’s all actually so darn simple; just do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love thy neighbor as thyself is great, unless your neighbor hates himself. Unless your neighbor feels entitled to what you have, and has the cleverness, cunning and cutlery to get it, then it all changes. This is what is happening on a grand scale, and if we don’t match our morals to actual mechanics, we’re toast. Even Jesus who said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” made it clear that your sword is not state property, but yours and yours alone!

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People will site the great peace movements of Gandhi, Mandela and King as proof that non-violence is always the way to deal with oppression. The funny thing is that all of these movements were accompanied by a shadow movement that was armed and dangerous. All of them. King would not have his success without the threat of Malcolm X around every turn. Nelson Mandela was a staunch advocate for violence against the occupying powers before his arrest, and gun battles escalated after the Soweto incident in ‘76. History will tell you all about Mohandas Gandhi, but omit Bhagat Singh, the Indian parallel to Malcolm X who opened fire on British officers, making Gandhi the more attractive option to the power holders. Obviously, it would be stupid not to have some gun control legislation in light of how effortlessly deadly these weapons are. Common sense will tell you that a 4-year-old with an AR-15 rifle equals a rough day at daycare! Maybe what these shootings are telling us is when self-control is lacking, gun control is worthless. Far be it from us to start actually teaching our own kids again to, you know, value life and whatnot. What if all this violence is really telling us is that it’s time for the species to grow the heck up, and our firepower provides the steep learning curb we need? This government is composed of air-breathing humans who sometimes forget that these legal fictions they write are trumped by the natural law demanding their citizens to strike back when struck. How about the striking cease altogether? Look what we stand to lose if we can’t get it right. We can build the peaceful world we want to live in, but we’re not there yet. Never lose sight of what history has taught us about those who hold state power. If they really think the world would be safer by putting down the guns, then like Christ, they should lead by example.


MAYOR’S CORNER

Mayor Hancock Meets with Mongolian Dignitaries from Denver’s Sister City Ulaanbaatar

A year has passed... but their timeless stories have not.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock hosted a meeting with Mayor Endeniin BatUul and other dignitaries representing Denver’s sister city Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The meeting focused on updating and enhancing the Ulaanbaatar Denver Sister Cities Annual Plan to build upon past and current successes. In 1989, after two Mongolian students came to study at the Colorado School of Mines, the nonprofit Mongolia Project was formed to engineer a Sister City, or as Mongolians call it a Brother City, relationship between Ulaanbaatar and Denver. After several economic development and cultural exchanges by elected officials and business owners from the two cities, a resolution was passed by the Denver City Council in 2001 to officially create the Sister City relationship.

City and County of Denver Receives 2013 Xcel Award

The City and County of Denver’s General Services Department was awarded the Multiple Program Award at the Xcel 2013 Business Energy Efficiency Expo. The award recognizes the more than $5 million dollars in utility rebates the city received as a result of energy upgrades to city buildings. The 2013 Business Energy Efficiency Expo is sponsored by the Demand Side Management Marketing Department at Xcel Energy. In addition to an awards ceremony that honored the City and County of Denver and several businesses throughout the state for their efforts to conserve energy, the event featured breakout sessions and information on new energy saving products Xcel provides. The General Services Department is responsible for internal and external city purchasing, facilities management, and energy and suitability operations.

Mayor Hancock OpensCenters For Free Financial Counseling

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and mpowered opened the first of seven new Financial Empowerment Centers

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that will provide free, one-on-one professional financial counseling services to low-income Denver residents. Denver is one of five U.S. cities opening Financial Empowerment Centers thanks to a grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund. The $1.9 million grant is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. The Office of Strategic Partnerships and local nonprofit mpowered will manage the grant and support implementation of the Financial Empowerment Center model developed by New York City’s Financial Empowerment Center to assist clients in building healthy credit, opening safe banking accounts and creating budgets that facilitate savings. Approximately 21 percent of Denver’s 600,000 residents live below the federal poverty level. Financial counseling and financial literacy efforts are strong tools to move individuals and families out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency. For more information or center locations, visit www.mpoweredcolorado.org/Coach/ Financial-Empowerment-Centers.aspx. To learn more about the CFE Fund, visit www.cfefund.org.

Affordable, Quality Child Care Available for Denver Families

Denver CCAP helps families working, going to school and looking for a job thanks to the passage of Measure 2A, the Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) will be able to provide child care for more low-income working families in Denver, as well as help child care providers improve the quality of care they are able to provide to those families. Denver received $2.5 million in funding this year to help more families afford quality child care. The dollars make it possible for families with newborns to children age 13 and special needs youth up to age 18 to afford child care, while parents work, attend school or look for a job. One way Denver CCAP is increasing accessibility to the community is by boosting income eligibility guidelines to ensure more families from across the city can access the program. Essentially, a family of four that makes $51,800 or less a year may qualify for the program. Additionally, the program no longer has a waitlist to receive services. For more information or to apply for CCAP in Denver County, visit www.DenverCCAP.org or call 720944-KIDS (5437).


COMMUNITY NOTES

I Am Man. I Am Woman. We Are People Youth Conference

April 4 will mark the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., known as the conscience of America. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission’s purpose is to educate the community, especially youth, concerning the legacy and the principles of Dr. King. Three hundred high school students from Colorado’s public, private and charter schools will be invited to participate in an all-day educational conference. There is no cost to the students to attend the conference. Breakfast and lunch will be served. The event will take place on the Metropolitan State University campus in the North Classroom building. Check in will Friday, April 12 and the program is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register, visit drmartinlkingjrchc.org.

CWEE’s Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon

The Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) will celebrate and honor three outstanding alumnae at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 25 at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center. The 2013 award honorees include Yvette Crow, who works at CWEE as an Employment Services Specialist, a role that allows her to do for struggling single parents what the organization once did for her back in 1990 – lay a foundation to build a successful career; Blanca Sanchez who since graduating from CWEE in 2010 has risen through the ranks at Restaurant Depot, from cashier to receptionist to cashroom assistant and ultimately to cashroom manager; and Kerry Wilson who works as a Medical Lab Assistant at Unipath. Kerry graduated from CWEE in 2011. All luncheon proceeds benefit CWEE’s career readiness program. For more information, visit cwee.org, kminer@cwee.org or call 303-892-8444 ext. 308.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Visits Denver

The 65th Western Regional Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will be held April 10 to 14, at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The Delta Psi Lambda (Denver Alumni), Iota Omicron Lambda (Colorado Springs, CO), Pi XI Lambda (Salt Lake City, UT) and Omicron Tau (Denver) chapters and the Rocky Mountain District are the host chapters. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity uses conferences to further its mission of

developing leaders, promoting brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for the African-American community. The workshops at the convention will focus on training a new generation of leaders, building the technological capacity of members, and bringing consistency to the implementation of the Fraternity’s national programs. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will host its Public Program on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m., honoring local honorees. A step show competition will be on Friday, April 12 and a gala on Saturday, April 13. Concluding events will be a public prayer breakfast on Sunday, April 14. For more information, call Keith Rogers at 702-604-6881.

ABTP Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Alliance of Black Telecommunications Professionals (ABTP) is a resource group within CenturyLink. They have a long history of awarding scholarships to high school seniors and non-traditional students entering or continuing their education. They are now soliciting applications for 2013 awards. Scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, community involvement and extracurricular activities. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 12 and applicants will be notified by May 12. For more information, call Val Gill at 303-992-4959 or visit 930 15th St., 10th Floor in Denver.

DfS Denver Brings Fitness And Empowerment With Power Walk

Dress for Success Denver (DfS Denver) announces The Power Walk for Dress for Success Denver, which will take place in more than 30 international cities this year. Dress for Success Denver is hosting the walk on Saturday, April 27, at Central Park Stapleton. The 5k Power Walk for DfS Denver promotes the Health and Wellness initiative of the Professional Women’s Group, a program which provides successfully employed DfS Denver clients with support, practical information and inspiration to achieve selfdefined success in careers and in life. The Power Walk for DfS Denver is open to the public and participants are encouraged to create a team of friends, walk with family, or participate as a Virtual Walker online. All participation will support the programs and services of Dress for Success Denver. For more information, email denver@dressforsuccess.org or visit www.dfsdenverpowerwalk.org. Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Obama Is Right About Preschool T

By Albus Brooks

he Denver Preschool Program (DPP) offers some lessons on how President Obama might shape his sweeping preschool proposal, a worthy one bound to face stiff opposition in some Washington, D.C. circles. Funded with a 12-cent tax on a $100

purchase, the City initiative has invested in expanding access to quality preschools in all neighborhoods for all Denver families. Nearly 70 percent of the city’s 4year-olds are enrolled in DPP with about 60 percent of families earning

less than $30,000 a year. Mirroring citywide demographics for this age group, more than half of DPP students are Hispanic with an additional 13 percent identifying as AfricanAmerican. Tuition support is scaled to income and the quality of the school chosen by families. Last year, more than 90 percent of children were in top quality classrooms that benefit from grants and professional development. All preschools undergo independent quality ratings. Recognizing one size doesn’t fit all, architects of the Denver Preschool Program fostered an array of school

Simmons Foundation for Youth and Change

6 th Annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp East High School - 1545 Detroit St. June 11-13, 2013 (Tuesday-Thursday) 10 AM to 3 PM

The Basketball Camp will be directed by Hall of Fame Coach Rudy Carey of East High School with a special guest Howard White Sr. VP, Nike Brand. Life Skills Workshop will be conducted by Alvertis Simmons. Free lunch served daily.

This is a FREE community event. For more information, call:

303-521-7211 or 303-249-2196

Gold Sponsors: Nike, Walmart, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Silver Sponsors: Webb International, Safeway Stores, King Soopers, Bank of America, Denver Safe City Bronze: Hensel Phelps, Denver Sheriffs Dept (Fraternal Order of Police), Tom Martino Supporting Sponsors: Johnson and Wales University, Lu Vason Presents, Moses Brewer/Miller Coors, Tish Maes, Coca Cola, Geta Asfaw/McDonalds, Billy Scott/ReMax, Colorado Rockies, Kroenke Sports (Denver Nuggets), National Western Stockshow, East High School, North Aurora Chiropractic (25th & Peoria), Sawaya Law Firm, Mayfair Cleaners, Herman Malone/RMES, Maaco/East Colfax, O.C. Brown/Metropolitan Services, Coach Rudy Carey, Joy Walker/Sista Love Inc., Simmons & Associates Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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choices by building on existing assets – from family child care homes to schools to classes based in non-profit community centers. Collaboration with the public school system has strengthened its early childhood education offerings as well. After following their teacher’s instruction to “please put away your supplies in the cubbies,” 15 four- and five-year-olds at the Early Excellence Program in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood – just one of DPP’s more than 250 preschool partners all across the city – bounce to lively music with a song that tells them to “slide to your side, now jump three times.” Directed to freeze, they sing the chorus together followed by “I cover my cough… Aha aha, I brush my teeth. I eat my fruits and veggies.” Catchy tunes such as this give preschoolers a chance to exercise, expand vocabulary, learn how to follow directions and play together while instilling good habits such as healthy eating – lessons teachers count on lasting a lifetime. Instruction in English and Spanish stimulates brain development under the age of 5 when science tells us that children’s brains are “sponges” for learning two languages, explains director Jennifer Luke. And preschool provides a bridge to kindergarten for children and families alike. So much more than babysitting, quality preschools knit together learning activities – including play with a purpose – that create the foundation for success in kindergarten and beyond. We know from experience that children who start behind tend to stay behind. Independent studies of the Denver Preschool Program echo decades of research elsewhere: investment in quality early education pays dividends. The vast majority of DPP graduates are ready for kindergarten, academically, socially and emotionally. English language learners and other children at risk of falling behind in school due to poverty are showing evidence of making progress toward closing the achievement gap by the end of preschool. “A zip code should never predetermine the quality of any child’s educational opportunities,” President Obama said recently, promoting his preschool plan. Denver voters apparently agreed when they approved the Denver Preschool Program in 2006. For more information, visit www.dpp.org.  Editor’s note: Councilman Albus Brooks is the City Council District 8 Representative for the City and County of Denver. He is also on the governing board of the Denver Preschool Program.


Colorado Needs Another Point Of View and Another Form of Punishment

C

By Rep. Angela Williams

olorado is a state of many pleasant surprises. We’ve made great history despite the opinions of many who assume we are governed by outdated Rocky Mountain stereotypes. We’ve transformed ourselves from sleepy rural plains to bustling Gateway to the West, a blossoming tech corridor with a world class airport. Our largest city has already had not one, but two African American mayors, a Latino mayor and two women members of Congress. For the first time in our history, we elected five African American State Representatives to the Colorado State House. At one point, we boasted a Black Senate President and a Black Speaker of the House… at the same time. We are now an open arms openminded purple state rather than an intolerant uncompromising red state. But, when it comes to the death penalty, we have a long way to go. The death penalty in Colorado is an ugly stain on an otherwise great state. Modern Colorado should be bigger than that. Yet, we’re stuck in another era of antiquated “crime and punishment” models. In reality, Colorado’s citizens are being punished, guilty from our unnecessary association with an unnecessary act of governmentsanctioned violence. Repealing Colorado’s death penalty is both sound logic and clear moral judgment. When we witness its current application, we see 19th and 20th century Colorado intruding on forward-thinking, progressive Colorado: for example, all three men currently awaiting execution are all African American. Something is wrong with that picture. A joint University of Denver and Rowan law school study found that

prosecutors pursue the death penalty in only three percent of first degree murders it applies to. Interestingly enough, four percent of the state’s population is African American. For a law that is used only three percent of the time we’re able to use it, we waste $1 million of scarce taxpayer money to disproportionately impact our communities of color. Still, we’re not showing any real proof of its primary goal: deterring crime. There’s been only one execution since 1977. That’s $1 million a year that could be spent on increasing the state Bureau of Investigations cold case unit from one staff person to eight. Colorado is also a very spiritual state with a population that respects life as God made it. As we consider repealing state-sponsored executions, we have to ask ourselves if we, as fellow human beings, have the right to determine who lives and who dies. It was April 19, 1995 when I found myself gripped by fear at the news of the Oklahoma City bombing by mass murderer Timothy McVeigh. I grew up in Oklahoma and had many family members who lived and worked in what is affectionately known as “OKC.” A sister-in-law who worked in the Alfred P. Murrah federal building was badly injured. Days and weeks of horror passed by as I watched news reports and waited for updates from family. In the meantime, McVeigh sat quietly in a jail cell awaiting trial, conviction and an execution date scheduled six years later. Many families victimized by that bombing felt that McVeigh deserved a greater punishment. Execution was entirely too easy and too final. Ultimately, these views shaped and confirmed my beliefs on the uselessness of the death penalty. McVeigh, like so many death row inmates who committed horrific acts, never really suffered. He never felt the pain of those children in the Murrah building day care, their young lives snatched away from them. The sleep induced by the lethal injection was nowhere near as cruel or inhumane as the terror he inflicted on thousands of innocent people. Instead of spending life rotting away in a 5x5 cell for the rest of his life, McVeigh simply went to sleep. We can be smart about the death penalty by repealing it or we can continue to blindly believe a quick fix Band-Aid in the heat of an emotive moment can make the pain go away. In reality, it doesn’t. But, getting rid of it can give us the valuable space we need to heal.  Editor’s note: Rep. Angela Williams (DDenver-CO) represents Colorado’s 7th legislative district.

United Church of Montbello

Women's Day Celebrations

“Women Empowering Women”... Ruth 1:16-22

•Prayer Breakfast - Saturday, April 27 at 9 AM Speaker, Nannette Lock, Rising Star Baptist Church •Women’s Day Service - Sunday, April 28 at 9 AM Speaker, Rev. Felicia M. George, JD, DU Women’s College and Epworth UMC •Women’s Day Program - Sunday, April 28, 3 -- 5:30 PM Speaker, Andrea Mosby, Motivational Speaker

“Come out and listen to community business women share their stories and get empowered!”

Special Guest Presenters: Karen Hall (Beauty and Barber Academy Owner); Myra Donovan (Financial Planner); Mable Sutton (Real Estate); Tracy Holmes (Chiropractor); Dr. Janice Jarrett (Optometrist); Darryl Jay (Professional Caregiver); Danielle Vaughn (Banker); Cecile Perrin (Photographer); Janis Mosley (Cosmetologist/Beauty Consultant); Ayo Labode (Estate Planning Attorney) Evelyn Gordon (Nutritionist and Colon Hydro Therapist) Special Guest Singer: Linda Theus-Lee

Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr. Pastor

United Church of Montbello - 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 For directions or more information, visit: http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net or call - 303-373-0070

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams ExcellentIIIII. Very GoodIIII.. GoodIIIIII... FairIIIIIII.. PoorIIIIIII.

Olympus Has Fallen

    No stars

REEL ACTION

The Sapphires

Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman) assume power from a wellfortified bunker. Meanwhile, the maniacal leader (Rick Yune) of the bloodthirsty terrorists proceeds to torture his hostages, hoping to learn the codes controlling America’s nuclear arsenal. The unfolding crisis is not lost on Banning who observes the slaughter of his former colleagues from an office

The Sapphires 

Aussie Quartet Entertains the Troops in Vietnam War Dramedy

A

Olympus Has Fallen 

Disgraced Presidential Bodyguard Gets Shot at Redemption in High-Octane Action Thriller

W

hile serving as the President’s (Aaron Eckhart) personal bodyguard, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) grew very close to the First Family. During his tenure at the White House, the dedicated, detail-oriented Secret Service agent also familiarized himself with every aspect of the building’s layout. Nevertheless, Banning was reassigned to a desk job after failing to rescue the First Lady (Ashley Judd) before the presidential limo plunged off a bridge into an icy river en route to a Christmas party. Although the accident wasn’t his fault, he was left agonizing over a snap decision that might have been the difference between her living and dying. A year and a half later, we find Banning still riddled with guilt despite receiving assurances from the Secret Service Director (Angela Banning) that there was nothing he could have done. However, he soon gets that sorely needed shot at redemption when a swarm of ninjas from North Korea attack the White House, taking the President and his Cabinet hostage. With the President and Vice President (Phil Austin) abducted, the line of succession dictates that the

window across the street. The disgraced agent springs into action and surreptitiously enters the White House armed only with a handgun and a walkie-talkie. But he still enjoys the advantage over an army of heavilyarmed intruders by virtue of his knowledge of the premises’ every nook and cranny. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Olympus Has Fallen is a derivative action flick which might be best described as a cross of Die Hard (1988) and In the Line of Fire (1993), except that instead of Bruce Willis or Clint Eastwood, we have Gerard Butler playing the invincible, two-fisted protagonist. The fast-paced film is engaging and entertaining enough to come recommended provided you’re willing to put your brain on hold and not question any of the picture’s implausible plot developments. Featuring pyrotechnics worthy of a 4th of July fireworks display, Olympus Has Fallen is an eye-popping, patriotic, high-octane adventure that leaves no doubt about who’s the vindicated hero that kept the world safe for democracy. The Butler did it! Gerard Butler, that is.

Rated: R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity In English and Korean with subtitles Running Time: 120 minutes Distributor: Film District To see a trailer for Olympus Has Fallen, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74F_pts7Uhg

s young children, the McCrae sisters, Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy) and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), formed a promising singing group with their cousin (Shari Sebbens). But the ensemble barely got off the ground before Kay was seized by the authorities while recuperating in a hospital. You see, the girls were growing up in Australia at a time when the law allowed fair-skinned aborigines to be taken from their mothers and placed with Caucasian families so they could be raised in accordance with the “White Ways.” Consequently, halfcaste Kay had virtually no further contact with indigenous culture or any of her relatives over the next decade. By 1968, however, Gail, Julie and Cynthia were old enough to track their cousin down, whereupon they encouraged her to run away with them on the spot. And it wasn’t long thereafter that the reunited foursome entered a local amateur competition as a Country music act. Although they underwhelmed the audience that day, they did impress Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd) who recognized their potential, assuming they would be willing to change their repertoire to popular Motown tunes. In short order, he became the quartet’s piano player, conductor, choreographer and manager, whipping his diamond in a rough into Australia’s answer to The Supremes before signing them to perform for the troops over in Vietnam. Based on the stage play of the same name, The Sapphires recounts the band’s harrowing, real-life experiences upon arriving in Southeast Asia during the bloody Tet Offensive. The movie marks the impressive feature

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

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debut of aborigine Wayne Blair, a gifted actor-turned-director who does a remarkable job of subtly recreating the political climate of the turbulent Sixties. For instance, he effectively employs the iconic clip of Muhammad Ali refusing to serve in the army (“No Viet Cong ever called me a [Nword].”) to convey the mounting minority opposition to the conflict. Nevertheless, blinded by a combination of naiveté and the pay, our hapless heroines find themselves in the middle of a war zone with little preparation for the unspeakable horrors they are about to witness. With no choice but to make the best of a bad situation, they proceed to put on a number of very well-received shows, as the tour takes them closer and closer to the frontlines. Amidst the insanity, they somehow find time for reverie, reflection, and even a little romance. A well-deserved tribute to four Aussie lassies who risked their lives to entertain the boys. Rated: PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexuality, smoking and mature themes Running Time: 98 minutes Distributor: The Weinstein Company To see a trailer for The Sapphires, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2Ty4r6mvgg Dead Man Down 

Revenge-Minded Neighbors Enter Pact in Convoluted Thriller

G

rief-stricken Lazlo Kerick (Colin Farrell) never recovered from the gruesome murder of his wife (Beata Dalton). It came on orders from a vicious mob boss intent on preventing her from testifying in court. Amoral Alphonse Hoyt (Terrence Howard) also had the couple’s only child (Accalia Quintana) slain in her sleep, which left the disconsolate widower with nothing to live for except sweet revenge.


Dead Man Down

REEL ACTION

luted adventure’s compelling storyline, arresting special f/x, and satisfying, if farfetched resolution. The Girl with the Vigilante Agenda!

Rated: R for sexuality, violence and pervasive profanity In English, French, Albanian and Spanish with subtitles Running Time: 110 minutes Distributor: Film District To see a trailer for Dead Man Down, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a1J5Cs-e7U Rust and Bone

So, Lazlo changed his name to Victor, assumed a new identity, and infiltrated the ranks of the ruthless gangster’s crime syndicate. But rather than pouncing at the first opportunity, he opts to toy with his prey by playing a mind-bending game of cat and mouse. He starts by killing one of Hoyt’s favorite henchmen (Aaron Vexler), stuffing the corpse in the gangster’s freezer with a cryptic message (“719, now you realize”) clutched in its hand. The plot thickens when Victor’s felonious activities are observed by a neighbor (Noomi Rapace) whose highrise, Manhattan apartment sits directly across the courtyard from his. Instead of calling the cops, embittered Beatrice blackmails him into helping her even the score with the drunk driver responsible for her badly-disfigured face. The two terminally-haunted antiheroes proceed to forge an unholy alliance in the name of the God of retribution prior to dispensing a particularly grisly brand of vengeance all around a New York City that looks more like Philadelphia. I’ve lived in both cities, so it was a little weird to see Philly being passed off as The Big Apple. Because he’s from Sweden, director Niels Arden Oplev must have naively figured that nobody would notice the urban switcheroo. But misattributed locales aside, Dead Man Down is a decent payback flick featuring all of the staples of the gruesome, high body-count genre. Opley certainly knew what he was doing in tapping Noomi Rapace to play Beatrice, since he had already cast her as a similarly-tortured soul in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Though the wheels gradually come off the increasingly-preposterous production, all is forgiven on account of the convo-

Rust and Bone (De Rouille et D’os) 

Buff Bouncer Falls for Blemished Beauty in Body and Soul Saga

Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a homeless street hustler barely eking out a living in his native Belgium when he is suddenly handed custody of a 5 year-old son, Sam (Armand Verdure). Overwhelmed by the unanticipated extra responsibility, the single-dad moves to Antibes in the South of France to dump the boy he barely knows on his obliging sister, Anna (Corinne Masiero). Buff, imposing and blessed with formidable strength, Alain soon lands part-time work as a bouncer in a trendy nightclub. And he also starts leveraging his good looks into lustful liaisons of brief duration with attractive habitués of the haunt. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the seaside resort town, an attractive lass named Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) is gainfully employed at an aquarium as a trainer of Killer whales. She meets Alain one evening after he rescues her from a nasty brawl inside his cabaret. The very grateful damsel-in-distress takes his phone number, but before she has a chance to call, she loses both of her legs in an unfortunate accident when she he is crushed against the side of the pool by a runaway Orca. So, by the time the two finally do rendezvous, she is confined to a wheelchair, and terribly

depressed by her diminished life prospects. Will this roaming Romeo befriend the blemished beauty, or will his roving eye have him right back out on the dating circuit where he invariably has his pick of the litter? That is the crux of the question at the heart of the deceptively-endearing Rust and Bone, a romance drama written and directed by Jacques Audiard (Read My Lips). This piercingly-evocative love story ultimately proves far more poignant than one might expect of a picture that starts out with such a limited Neanderthal as a protagonist. Fortunately, his character definitely benefits from considerable development over the course of the engaging adventure. For, he gradually gets in touch with his sensitive side to the point where he’s ready not only to abandon his womanizing ways but to spend some quality time with his neglected young offspring. Besides unfolding against an array of visually-stimulating backdrops, Rust and Bone is blessed by a couple of tour de force performances coming courtesy of Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard as the unlikeliest of lovers. A “Salt of the Earth” saga plumbing the depths of the human soul. Rated: R for violence, profanity, graphic sexuality and frontal nudity In French and English with subtitles Running Time: 120 minutes Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics To see a trailer for Rust and Bone, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyAJDL3mTxI Saving Lincoln

Saving Lincoln 

Buddy Biopic Chronicles Lincoln’s Long-Term Relationship with Close Confidant and Bodyguard

A

bodyguard doesn’t have the luxury of making a single slip in the process of protecting the President, since a would-be assassin needs but one opportunity to succeed in his deadly mission. Ward Hill Lamon

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

31

(Lea Coco) learned that lesson the hard way when John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head on April 14, 1865. Ironically, that was the very same day on which Honest Abe created the U.S. Secret Service. For, up until then, Lincoln’s security detail essentially consisted of just one person, the selfappointed Lamon. In fact, the former law partner was the only pal Lincoln had brought with him from Illinois to Washington, D.C. As a banjo-playing, joke-telling confidant, he not only served as a sounding board but periodically provided the President with some well-needed comic and musical relief from the strains of the taxing job. After all, The Railsplitter had been in the White House but a month when the Civil War erupted. Thus, he was burdened his entire tenure in office by the stresses associated with the conflict. And while he was trying to preserve the Union, he narrowly survived numerous attempts on his life (including a bullet passing through his stovepipe hat), the first of which was thwarted before his inauguration early in 1861. Written and directed by Salvador Litvak, Saving Lincoln is an intimate buddy biopic chronicling the pair’s enduring friendship. The film unfolds from the perspective of narrator Lamon, who ominously concedes that, “I never could be at ease when absent from Lincoln’s side.” Among the many plots the evervigilant escort managed to foil was a Rebel kidnapping scheme to hold the President ransom for 200,000 Confederate POWs. Sadly, Lamon was conspicuously absent the fateful night of the cowardly ambush in the box at Ford theater during the Third Act of the performance of a farce called “Our American Cousin.” Having previously dispatched his trusted bodyguard to Richmond, Virginia, Lincoln ill-advisedly ignored the warning, “Do not go out, particularly to the theater.” A grieving Lamon later waxed philosophical about the tragedy, concluding, “I did not save Mr. Lincoln, because he did not wish to be saved. He completed his work and earned his rest.” A fresh take on The Great Emancipator from the point-of-view of a trusted companion who had been at the President’s side at Gettysburg and for many historical moments but not on the day he died. Unrated Running Time: 101 minutes Distributor: Quad Cinema To see a trailer for Saving Lincoln, visit: http://www.savinglincoln.com/trailer.html


Letters to the Editor

Continued from page 3 destruction and at the same time stop the violence. Weapons produced for mass destruction were used in shooting at: Columbine, The Century 21 Theater, and most recently in New Town. Unlike these incidents, there has been a twist from concerns regarding random shootings and the issue of gun control to specific racial intimidation and personal prejudice. As the African American community views the incarceration of a disproportionate number of males, in particular, it recognizes that there is an obvious disparity in terms of charges and

administration of bail. The GMDMA is appalled at the inconsistency of the charging system by those who are called to administer justice on behalf of the citizens of our community. If this is not a “hate crime” what should it be called? If the ranting and raging towards Representative Fields is not an unfulfilled hit list, what is it to be called? The language used towards Representative Fields is expressive of a mind filled with anger and a heart filled with hatred. In today’s climate, it is expressive of an incident waiting to happen. Law enforcement ought to move in a proactive manner. In emails and voice

messages addressed to Representative Fields there is an obvious prejudice towards her, people of color in general, and to our President specifically. On that basis, the GMDMA wonders why there has not been a call for a federal investigation. As men and women of faith, we, the GMDMA, declare we need better gun control. However, there is a greater need for better self-control. Recognizably, no legislation can fix what is wrong with our society. What is wrong lies not in legislative correction but is resident in the hearts of men and women. What we need is light, a new and brighter light, to dis-

pel the darkness of despair and re-kindle the hope of our forefathers that has made this the great nation we are. We are asking that we as a people join hands together and began to lift a “light of hope and courage” that will illuminate the minds and hearts of America; to collectively lift our voice and with purpose and focus declare, “God Bless America, Land That I Love!” On April 4, 2013 at 4 p.m. we invite you to join with us at a Candlelight Vigil on the west steps of the State Capitol Building as we salute those who have lost loved ones to acts of violence, from Columbine to the Century 21 theatre and all the families in between in an effort to “Stop the Violence” and allow love to bring a peace in all of our communities.

Bishop Acen, Vice-President of Political Affairs Pastor William Golson President GMDMA

Black History Correction

Editor: We are honored and humbled and thank you so much for taking the time to include us in your wonderful paper (February 2013). As always the paper looks great and is packed with information for Black History. However, out of respect for the organization, we wanted to clarify our positions with BST (Barbershop Talk, www.joinbst.com). Theo Wilson is cofounder along with Jide Gamu who is the National Head Facilitator in addition to the founder; whereas Quincy Hines is a Mid-West Director. You are and have been doing a wonderful thing for the community educating us for so many years. You are a force to be reckoned with Mrs. Harris! God bless you and thank you again.

Respectfully, Quincy Hines and Theo Wilson DUS 2013 African American Who Makes A Difference

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – April 2013

32


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Charles “GUS� Anderson, Jr. - Feb. 27, 1935 - March 10, 2013

D R E W MANNIE

Gus, born Charles Augustus Anderson, Jr. on February 27, 1935 in Denver, Colorado to parents Charles Anderson, Sr. and Odella Willis. Gus was the eldest of three sons and one daughter. Gus attended Denver public schools. While growing up Gus and his family resided at 115 Madison St. (Cherry Creek) and 4801 E. Kentucky (Cow Town). Many Denverites recall attending great parties at the East Kentucky location, where Gus, Sr. built a party house equipped with dance floor, and a juke box. At the age of 9, Gus started to work with his father in yard maintenance and landscaping. His dad formed a wrecking company employing Gus, his brothers and cousins. At the age of 12, Gus became a caddie at the Denver Country Club. Gus was blessed with a singing voice. While in High School, Gus won a music competition and received three years of professional voice lessons at Joliet Music School, he studied under Madam Blanch Dekasda. Gus toured with the late Mahalia Jackson. He sang with many music groups including a local male quartet called “The Creators.� A marvelous entertainer, Gus sang jazz, contemporary, country and gospel music. Gus was an excellent story teller, a member of local Spellbinders story telling organization. One of Gus’s greatest performances was of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. While in the Navy from 1957 thru 1960, Gus sang around the world, and was a member of the “USS Hornet� aircraft carrier wrestling team. Gus was All-Navy Heavy Weight Champ, in February, 1958. After his discharge from the Navy, Gus returned to Denver and worked for B & L Wrecking Company. He and his brother Russell formed Gus and Russell Wrecking Company. Gus was also the owner of Astro Wrecking. In the 1970’s, Gus was the owner of Gus Anderson Contracting, Inc. (formally Demolition Recyclers). In 1996, Gus was the recipient of the Small Business Administration’s “Prime Contractor of the Year� for Region VIII (Rocky Mountain Region). For over 50 years, Gus Anderson, Jr. performed wrecking, hazardous waste removal, underground storage tank removal, and antique buying and selling. Landmark structures that Gus razed included numerous downtown Denver buildings such as the old May Company, Woolworths, May Bonfil House, Union Pacific Round House, Elitch Garden Greenhouse, Saint Joseph Hospital and the Original Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. In Wyoming, the Gladstone Hotel, Carnegie Library, Cheyenne Frontier Days Grandstands, National Guard Armory, Douglas County courthouse & jail, and the Santa Rita Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Gus is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Odella Anderson, and sister Anna Laura Matthews. He departed this life to the embrace of the Lord on March 10, 2013, in Denver, Co.To those to celebrate his life include his devoted wife of 32 years, Denise (McCaskill) Anderson; two daughters, Sheila Anderson and Opal Anderson; one granddaughter, Paris Angel Anderson-Moon; two brothers, Robert W. Anderson, Sr., and Clarence R. Anderson, Sr. (Clarice), a host of family, friends and acquaintances.

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Denver Urban Spectrum April 2013 Issue