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Volume 25, Number 5, August 2011

The Honorable Michael Hancock Denver Colorado’s 45th Mayor Photo by Bernard Grant


PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

August 2011



COLUMNISTS Regina Lynch-Hudson Earl Ofari Hutchinson Soul Watson

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Misti Aas Charis Garrett Sheila Smith Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Gillian Conte - The Creative Spirit PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin

ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT Rodney Sturgeon Tommy Thomas CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Cecile Perrin WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR ConnectMe/SpectrumTalk Tanya Ishikawa 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 2011 by Rolado, LLC. 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. Office address is 2727 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

Hello, Denver,

I am truly glad to be back home, where I began my reporting career, and have this opportunity to be part a great publication like the Denver Urban Spectrum. Since being gone for the past 10 years and working at daily newspapers in Kansas and Illinois, I had no idea of how much the DUS has become a growing and vital part of the Denver community. I am pleasantly surprised to see a more growing, united Black community in Denver, trying to do more things. I attended Juneteenth and the Black Arts Festival and was impressed to see so many people enjoying themselves. I also was glad to run into old friends and acquaintances, including Gerri Gomez Howard, Tracy Williams, Becky Taylor, Peggy Wortham, Angelia McGowan, Dr. Daddy-O, Brother Jeff, Tamara Banks, Norma Paige, Lenora Alexander, and others, not to mention DUS publisher “Bee” Harris, who immediately wanted me to come on board. But mainly, it was really great to see the city coming together to elect another Black mayor, Michael Hancock. I was around and am glad that I had that opportunity to work on different stories with former Mayor Wellington Webb, who I still have the highest respect for. Now that I am back in Denver, it’s time to gear up to serve my community once again. It’s funny how you never know what God has in store for you or the direction he steers your life. So there you have it. I hope you enjoy the many wonderful stories that this August issue brings, and are entertained, informed and inspired. Sheila Smith Managing Editor


Hypocrisy In Action

Sins Of Sodom Questioned

Editor: Susan, the white, suburbial housewife who dreams of coexistence, stated that Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress’ article, “Why homosexuality is wrong,” is “an example of hypocrisy in action.” If it wasn’t because this is only 50 percent true, I would agree with her. The problem is that nowadays religious thinking is hypocritical not only when it attacks homosexuality but also when it supports it. Dr. Childress, whose religious thinking attacks homosexuality, says that “Homosexuality is wrong but we must love the homosexual unconditionally.” Perhaps he also would accept the following thought structures: Terrorism is wrong, but we must love the terrorist; capitalism is wrong, but we must love the capitalist; communism is wrong, but we must love the communist; racism is wrong, but we must love the racist. Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, whose religious thinking supports homosexuality, wrote “our GLBTQ brothers and sisters” repeatedly in his “What would Jesus do?” Probably he also would accept that Latinos, Mexicans, farm-workers, undocumented, deported, and people in jail are “our brother and sisters.” Why is it that there is not much written evidence in our religious culture supporting these “evils”? If the love of God is actually supreme as moral standard, why is it that some “evils” seem to be culturally more scandalous than others? I dream of coexistence, too.

Editor: Is there a sign on the wall of the Urban Spectrum office reminding your staff to periodically attack the gay/lesbian community? Clenard Childress’s anti-gay article in your June issue is the latest example of your re-occurring homophobia. It is filled with inaccuracies and false assumptions. “Nature,” as used in the bible referred to character, not biology. Hence there are biblical references to the “nature” of the Jews and the “nature” of the gentiles, referring not to differences in their biology but in their personality characteristics. “Nature” (contrary to Rev. Childress’s groundless assumption that “homosexuality violates secular natural law”) seems to have no trouble at all with the occurrence and inclusion of both homosexual orientation and behavior existing within it. Both homosexual behavior and same-sex relationships exist in a wide variety of non-human species. Additionally, the more intelligent the species, the higher the probability of homosexuality existing within it. Over the ages there have been a wide variation of interpretations by biblical scholars as to what the “Sins” of Sodom were. Most biblical scholars currently identify “inhospitality” (refusing lodging or admission inside the city’s wall at night was often Tantamount to a death sentence) as the primary “sin” of Sodom. In fact in Ezekiel 6:48-49 (KJV) the “iniquity” of Sodom is explicitly iden-

Wilfredo Gutiérrez A sociologist who lives in Colorado Springs

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


tified as …”pride, idleness and ignoring the poor and needy…” Nary a mention of homosexuality, and, this from writers and a culture immensely closer to the historical story than we are. The secondary “sin” of Sodom may well have been attempted rape (apparently by heterosexual men: men who had “abandoned” their natural use of women – you can abandon something you don’t possess!) If you were currently to read a report of attempted heterosexual rape would you condemn rape or heterosexuality as being wrong? Have the moral integrity to apply the same standard to the story of Sodom and stop using it as a tool to attack homosexuality! And to those members of the African-American community intent on marginalizing and demonized gay/lesbian people I would sayContinued on page 33 Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing Graphics & Design

Distribution & Circulation

Photo by Bernard Grant

Michael Hancock


Inaugurated as 45th Mayor of the City and County of Denver

n July 18, Michael Hancock was inaugurated as the 45th Mayor of the City and County of Denver. More than 2,000 attendees joined Hancock and other elected officials for the Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony held at the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Following is Mayor Hancock’s Inauguration speech (as prepared). With a positive vision of our city, we have spent years working together for a better future. Today, I stand before you proud to serve as your next mayor. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am humbled by your support and inspired by your resolve to make our great city even greater. Of course, my deepest thanks must go to my biggest supporters, my family. To Mary, our wonderful children, to my mother, brothers and sisters and extended family members, your love and sacrifice throughout my life and throughout this campaign is why I’m standing here today. I also want to recognize two members of the Little Rock Nine who have joined us today – Ernie Green and Carlotta LaNier. You are a true inspiration. Thank you. Thank you and congratulations to all of the elected leaders who are serving in these difficult times, and to those who served before us, including former Mayors Pena, Webb and now Gov. Hickenlooper.

A special thank you to Mayor Vidal, who in the true spirit of the city, refused to sit idle. Thank you, Bill, for serving with strength and humility, and with courage and candor. To our regional partners, I look forward to building even stronger relationships over the years ahead. To the people who have made a real difference in the lives of Denver residents – our city employees, thank you. To my City Council colleagues, including Paula Sandoval and the late Carla Madison, the District Attorney, the City Auditor and the Clerk and Recorder, many of us began our public service together, and I am excited to continue our work. Because, Denver, we are not done yet. For 18 months during the campaign, I met with Denver residents in their kitchens, backyards and businesses. And the one resounding message I heard over and over again is that Denver is ready. •Ready to turn challenges into opportunities for a brighter future; •Ready to jumpstart our economy; •Ready for Denver to take its rightful place as one of the premier cities in the United States and around the globe. Today, I tell you Denver, it is time. Time that we deliver a great city for all of our citizens. Denver is brimming with possibility. Now is the time for all of us to come together to turn our dreams and aspirations into reality.

Now is the time, Denver. •Time for us to take our place on the global stage. •Time for every child to have access to a world-class education. •Time for us to have streets where all residents feel welcome and safe. •Time for Denver to provide a 21st Century government and services. Plato once said, about his beloved home, “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.” It captures the true spirit of Denver. Since our city was a simple mining town, Denver has always overcome adversity and persevered. With determination, innovation and unbridled optimism, we have always found a way to prosper. I’ve seen your passion for a positive path forward, even during difficult times like the past two recessions, and I’ve seen your dedication to building a better Denver. Together, we have made wise investments and bold moves: •We invested half-a-billion dollars in neighborhood improvement and city infrastructure projects. •We supported FasTracks. •And you embraced our positive campaign for mayor and our hopeful vision for our city. Denver, your story is my story. Your struggles are my struggles. No one expected a landlocked city in the middle of the country to become a global competitor. But today, despite hard times and much adversity, we are primed to become a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


new and unexpected national and international force. And no one ever thought that this skinny kid from northeast Denver would rise to achieve his dreams of becoming mayor. But thanks to my faith and my family, thanks to the support of neighbors, schools and people all across our great city, I have become the person I am today. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to lift myself up, and for the people who never gave up on me. And as your next mayor, I will not give up on Denver. I stand up here today joined by a group of people who not only care deeply about all of you and all of Denver, but leaders who are ready to lift up this city. And we stand on the shoulders of great leaders before us. Mayor Speer knew it was time for Denver to build and celebrate a culture of outdoor spaces and public amenities. Mayor Stapleton knew it was time for Denver to develop an infrastructure that has made us a national city. Mayor Pena knew it was time for Denver to open a world-class airport that is making us an international city. Mayor Webb knew it was time for Denver to open its arms to the world with events like the Summit of the Eight and Pope John Paul’s World Youth Day. And, Mayor Hickenlooper knew it was time to begin making Denver a Continued on page 6

In New York, Marrying Gay Rights And Religious Freedom By Charles C. Haynes First Amendment Center

Winners and losers in the battle

over gay marriage in New York can agree on at least one thing: Without robust protections for religious

groups, the law legalizing same-sex

marriages would not have passed. Eleventh-hour negotiations between Republican senators and supporters of the bill led to the insertion of strong language ensuring that churches and other religious organizations could not be sued or penalized for refusing to accommodate gay marriages. As a result, the Republican-controlled state Senate agreed to bring the marriage bill to the floor for a vote – and then four GOP senators provided the margin of victory. The religious exemptions in the New York law are the latest example of the common-ground strategy that has worked in other states to secure passage of same-sex marriage and civil-union legislation – from New Hampshire’s legalization of gay marriage to the new Rhode Island law recognizing civil unions. At the heart of this approach is language exempting religious organizations from any obligation to “provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage,� to quote the New York legislation. Such laws also exempt clergy from any obligation to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony. The religious protections in New York appear to go further than bills passed in other states, with language covering a broader range of religiously affiliated organizations. Moreover, the law ensures that a religious institution refusing to provide services for samesex ceremonies cannot later be penalized by local or state governments with loss of government benefits (e.g., state funding for social-service programs it administers). Much to the dismay of many advocates on both sides of the debate, gay marriage and religious freedom are now joined at the hip. What some gayrights supporters decry as “bigotry enshrined into law,� religious leaders opposed to gay marriage see as “the best we can get.�

However reluctantly arrived at, these attempts to balance gay rights and religious conscience are laudable examples of American democracy on its best days. When rights claims collide and the electorate is divided, elected officials are challenged to craft public policies that enable us to live with our deep differences. The New York Legislature, I would argue, has met that challenge by upholding two important constitutional principles: First, under the First Amendment, religious convictions about marriage should not be enshrined into law. However the state decides to define “marriage,� it must have clear and

convincing secular or civic grounds for the definition. Second, laws concerning marriage – or anything else – should not substantially burden or interfere with religious practice without a compelling state interest to do so. As growing numbers of Americans support gay marriage (53 percent according to a recent poll), the New York compromise is likely to be replayed in other states. As messy as it is – and as unsatisfying as it may be to people on both sides – reaching constitutional common ground is in the best interests of all Americans. After all, the religious-liberty provisions of the First Amendment are

themselves the result of a struggle to negotiate 18th century religious divisions that were often deep and abiding. Out of our differences, we chose religious freedom because, as James Madison put it, the “multiplicity of sects� in the new nation left us little alternative. Now we face new divisions – and difficult choices. But with New York as a model, we can acknowledge both gay equality and religious liberty as basic human rights.  Editor’s note: Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001. Web:


EFOWFSIFBMUIPSH * based on the Clinical Outcomes Report produced by University HealthSystem Consortium Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Continued from page 4 true regional partner with our neighboring cities. And, finally, I am ready for all of us to deliver a great city. It will take great collaboration and creativity to turn the dial from challenges to opportunities. •While some see a broken budget, I see opportunities to restructure city government into a model of twenty first century efficiency. •While some see a stagnant economy, I see a chance to make Denver the Start-up and Small Business Capital of the Country. •While some see a struggling school system, I see a chance to deliver high-quality schools to every neighborhood, every family and every young person. Some of this work is already underway - thanks to the foresight of Mayor Vidal, the City Council and many others: •The Budget Task Force is working on innovative recommendations, including reforms to keep the city’s pension plan healthy and sustainable. •The Safety Manager is beginning to restore the public’s trust in our Police Department. •And since the election, I have already met with more than 100 business leaders and owners to get our economy moving again. We have hit the ground running and we are ready to lead Denver to the next frontier. More than 700 volunteers and 300 committee members from across the region donated their time, energy and expertise to our Transition Team. Their work has been essential to a fair and transparent process to select the best and the brightest for our administration and to help us identify the major challenges and opportunities facing Denver. I have appointed Janice Sinden as my Chief of Staff. We have named former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy as our Chief Financial Officer. And we have found other outstanding additions to the team. Like Derek Okubo who will become our Director of Human Rights and Community Relations. Derek is a Japanese-American whose father was held at an internment camp. Like me, like many of us, Derek and his family know about overcoming adversity and he will be an outstanding member of our team. While we’ve been securing the best team for Denver, we’ve also been enacting key parts of the People’s Plan and my First 100 Days Plan, including the Denver Education Compact and Peak Performance. But delivering a great city and building a brighter future will not

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come overnight. This is a marathon Denver, not a sprint. This is a journey that began 153 years ago when Denver became a city. And the steps we take in the years ahead will help determine Denver, 153 years from now: •We are going to turn the area surrounding DIA into a bustling “aerotropolis” that will drive job growth and become a regional economic powerhouse. •We are going to turn the entire 22mile corridor between DIA and Downtown into a Corridor of Opportunity. •We are going to see through the successful redevelopment of Union Station and build out FasTracks, giving us a transportation network that will become the economic envy of every city in America. •We are going to ensure that no neighborhood gets left behind and that our local business districts thrive. •We are going to build even stronger partnerships with our metro neighbors and our state and federal delegations to ensure our forward progress is progress for all. •And yes — we are going to find a win-win-win solution to the challenges and opportunities facing the National Western Stock Show. Denver, I am excited. We are going to deliver a world-class, 21st century city that we can all be proud of. It will require tough, painful decisions, and we may not always agree, but I will always listen. You will always have a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation. Denver, today not only marks a new day for a new administration, but it marks the first day we come together to deliver a great city for all. I learned early on in life that when you face tough times, you work as a team and you never give up. I promise I will never give up as your mayor and I will never forget that this is our journey – together. Later today, I will move into Room 350 at the City and County Building and we will get right to work. Are You Ready? I sure am. But I cannot do this alone. I need each and every one of you to re-commit to the hard work ahead. We are all Denver and to ensure that no business, no neighborhood and no family is left behind, I need your energy, your creativity and your feedback. I need you to stand with me, because this journey is our journey together. Denver, you have made me who I am. You have made our city what it is today, and together we will deliver an even greater city for our children tomorrow. God bless you, and God bless the great City and County of Denver. Thank you. 

The Urban Tikkun Centre (The

Denver Institute of Urban Studies and the Centre for Urban Research and Environmental Technology – DIUS/CURE-T) and EPIC Project Management are hosting the first in the State of Colorado, the Urban Green Summit on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26 and 27, at Johnson and Wales University in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood. Purpose of the summit is to enlighten urban citizens through green education and empowerment. The Urban Green Summit will focus on sustainability, economic development, job creation and community awareness. Citizens concerned about the future of Denver’s urban environment and economy will come together for two days at to address issues that Denver’s urban communities face and to discuss solutions in reference to green energy and community involvement. As the CEO of DIUS/CURE-T and initiator of the Urban Green Summit, I see the Green Movement as a way to redefine Denver’s environmental future since the DIUS/CURE-T Green Jobs Program provides sustainable energy education and the creation of unconventional jobs in the sustainable energy niche. Topics highlighting the Summit will include Urban Gardening Projects, Youth Food Justice, Environmental Racism, Recycling Programs, Solar 101, Wind 101, Grant Writing, Health Issues Related to Pollution, Global Warming, Dieting, Green Professional and Personal Development, and Green Career Readiness. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with “green employers.” Confirmed and invited guest speakers are Van Jones, author of Green Collar Economy and former White House Green Advisor under the Obama Administration; Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green for All Inc., a national advocacy organization

Summit Focuses On Sustainability, Economic Development And Community Awareness By Dr. H. Malcolm Newton

of environmental job creation for people of color; and Dr. John Francis, III, the “Planet Walker,” author and environmentalist, who is featured in the new movie called, I AM. It is our job at DIUS/CURE-T to promote green awareness while building neighborhood relationships in order to create an inclusive green economy which is strong enough to lift people out of poverty and improve the lives of all Coloradoans through a clean energy economy. The urban poor deserve the opportunity to participate in and lead the movement to radically reduce the pollution that causes global warming and to improve the health of their families and neighborhoods. We believe that the creation of millions of quality green jobs and careers will pull the U.S. out of the current recession, strengthen the urban poor and middle class, and better protect us from future economic turmoil. Building a clean-energy economy is a chance to reinvigorate and redefine the “American Dream.” We are hoping to help build a movement that will not only make a statement to our nation’s leaders, government, businesses, leftbrain/right-wing engineers and corporations that we can develop capacity and can lead a nation that is on the verge of decay and economic downfall and turn it around. The nation’s leaders must be willing to give the urban poor the opportunity to improve their lives and neighborhoods. Our problems will only get worse if we don’t provide the opportunities for people who have made mistakes in life, whether they are ex-offenders,

homeless, school dropouts, women and minorities. The urban poor need jobs and homes to take care of themselves and their families. Thus, a movement has spread across the nation to develop green economy awareness and action to strengthen the popular movement, local, state and national levels to advocate for innovation in job creation, green economic development policies and sustainability for all people. The Urban Green Summit will be solution-based, interactive-oriented and event-designed to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green building, natural health, environmental and social responsibility, improving local economies and more. It will be an energetic, solutionbased approach to building and enhancing community and our connections to a vibrant, healthy future. The Urban Tikkun Centre (DIUS/CURE-T) is a solution-driven organization with the distinguishing goal to move urban people toward powerful and profound choices for green environmental improvement in an effort to stave off feelings of helplessness and complacency about the debilitating issues affecting our world. Our educational programs, community events and sustainability workshops offer creative challenges and deliver valuable, long-term benefits for a wide range of community interests that improve the relationship between the urban poor and the environment. These programs forge connections among ideas, principles and resources and harness communication to better

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understand and express essential relationships that combine a local sense of place with a global respect for sustainability. On Friday afternoon, August 26, at 4 p.m., the American Global Academy High School graduation ceremony will precede the Summit at Johnson and Wales University. The Summit will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, TJ Deora. On Saturday, Aug. 27, at 8:30 a.m., plenary speaker Phaedra Ellis Lamkins will discuss The Green for All Model of Oakland, California, and share the program’s successes in job creation for the urban poor. There will be 12 sustainability workshops presented throughout the day. During the award luncheon, Andre Pettigrew, former director of Denver’s Economic Development Office will speak on “Climate Prosperity Strategy for Green Economic Development.” Ashara Ekundayo of Denver/Oakland will moderate the Food Justice Panel along with DJ Caven, Green Hip-Hop Rapper. Tony Frank of CRES and Pete Dignan of CORE will moderate two panel discussions. Other workshop moderators will be Morey Wolfson, GEO; Michael Tipton, Urban Green Report; Helena HaynesCarter, President of the Denver Chapter AABE; Paul Hopkins, GeoEnergy Consulting; Michael Haynes of I AM SMART Technology; Donald Bullford and Erik Walker, Black Energy Inventors; Chris Stoneman of iCAST; Richard Adams, NREL; Joan Smith, Red Rocks Community College; Landri Taylor, Urban League; Emily Templin-Lesh, Department of Labor Green Jobs Coordinator; Gil Estes, Jerry Mann, Ed Sbarbaro and Dr. Melindajoy Mingo of CURE-T and Carl Eloi, Program Director for CURE-T. Denver Green Jobs participants and high school students are free. Limited scholarships are available. For information, call Joyce Arnold at 303-454-3300, Ext. 333 or to register online visit 

eight children often worked two jobs, putting in long hours that often left her children to fend for themselves while she was trying to support her family. “She would come home and say ‘If you’d go to college, I would have been home six hours ago,’” remembered Ross. “It really stuck for me and I realized I didn’t want to live that hard and wanted to figure out how to live differently. That’s how that first idea of college got in my head – I didn’t know how I was going to go, or how it was going to look, but I knew I wanted to try.” After graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Ross returned to Denver and worked with the Department of Corrections for a short time. This experience, however, did not fit with Ross’ philosophy of wanting to influence people in a way that could make a profound impact, and he began mentoring in public schools through the organization Denver Kids. Around this same time, Ross made the decision that he would like to work in higher education, and through his networking at CCD met Yvette Hunt, then director of the Educational Opportunity Center, who helped him pursue graduate school and enter a career at CCD. “She said that she was retiring in two and a half years so I had two years to get a degree,” said Ross with a laugh. The motivated young professional enrolled at Colorado State University in the Organizational Performance and Change Program, while working as a counselor in the CCD Educational Opportunity Center. By the time Ross received his master’s degree in 2005, he was the director of the CCD Educational Talent Search, and by the end of 2006, had achieved the position of director of the Educational Opportunity Center. In his recently acquired role as dean of student development and retention, Ross is responsible for all student services at the college: everything from academic advising to helping with the needs of students with disabilities or language barriers. He oversees seven departments, all with the similar mission of really wanting to serve students. His focus is on the first year experience of students, so as individuals begin their post-secondary journeys, they learn to understand the process, connect with others, and advocate for themselves. In 2009, Ross created the ASSET Center at CCD, a “one stop shop” where students can receive all the services they need to aid in their success. “I love CCD because the whole core mission of the school is about access and opportunity,” said Ross. “That is what my whole life has been about.”


Denver's Role Model For Promoting Inclusiveness By Misti Aas


ducation and diversity are two areas that have always held a special place in the heart and soul of Ryan Ross. The dean of students and retention at Community College of Denver (CCD) began his post-secondary educational journey at Nebraska Wesleyan, a small liberal arts school in Lincoln, earning a bachelor of arts in psychology with an emphasis in diversity and leadership. While at Wesleyan, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi and is now the president of the Denver Alumni Chapter. “Being one of the only students of color at Wesleyan afforded me opportunities to be on diversity panels,” explained Ross. “I’d like to say they chose me because I was smart, but sometimes when you’re one of the only African Americans, you get unique opportunities.” The 30-year-old mentor, author, and entrepreneur has had a life filled with unique opportunities. As a young teenager, the Denver native was slated to begin high school at Manual, but his path changed when he received an opportunity from the Byrne Urban Scholars Foundation to attend Mullen High School, a private Roman Catholic school in Denver. The experience tested his character and determination. “In order to get to Mullen by 8:05 a.m., I had to catch

several buses and my first bus came at 5:30,” he marveled. “I was up every morning about 4:45 a.m.” Mullen was a culture shock in the mid 1990s, and one of Ross’ first lessons in the importance of diversity and the struggle to overcome racism. Up until this time, Ross had never been outside his own neighborhood, where everyone looked like him, or at least shared similar characteristics. “I remember my first day at Mullen getting off the bus and walking across the street into the parking lot and seeing Mercedes Benzes, Vipers, and all these cars that lawyers and doctors should be driving,” said Ross. “It was the students who had these cars, and I felt uncertain and a little inadequate.” Ross learned to deal with racial slurs and people wearing Confederate belt buckles, but he said he wouldn’t trade the experience of the negatives, along with the positives at Mullen High School, as it prepared him for what real life can bring. “You really learn who you are as a person and how to deal with challenges the right way,” he said. Educational experiences were never taken lightly in Ross’ home environment, and he attributes his mother as his greatest inspiration. She always encouraged her children to do something more than what they were already doing. The single mom of

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Ross is also currently working towards his doctorate in educational leadership and innovation from the University of Colorado Denver, and has only his dissertation to complete. His research is in success strategies in African American and Latino males. “You hear all the bad things, all the poor graduation and performance rates,” said Ross. “So my question is: what about the guys who are successful? Have you heard from them? There is success out there, and we need to build on that.” In addition to his career at CCD and his own continuing educational advancement, Ross is president and founder of Stirred-Up Enterprises, a motivational speaking and educational services boutique that provides innovative educational consulting, coaching, and workshops on working with diverse populations, leadership, networking, and self-actualization. Also a soon-to-be-published author, Ross is working on a book entitled Who’s Sitting at Your Round Table: A Guide to Positive Networking. It will include 10 principles for everyone, but specifically designed for college students, on how to start increasing one’s social capital to make life work for them. “It’s been put on the back burner for a moment due to my dissertation,” added Ross. Ross has been married to Simone Daniel for four years. They knew each other since childhood, but really began spending time together while he was in college. “She is amazing and I love her to death,” said Ross. The two now have the apple of their eyes, one-and-a-half-year-old Gavin Ross. “My greatest accomplishment is my son,” said Ross with pride. “A lot of things I do are because of him. I want him to see that it is important to give back to the community, and ultimately I want for Gavin to have a nice environment, a great Denver to live in.” Echoing his mother’s philosophy, Ross believes that education is the greatest challenge for youth, and feels that everything is education based; the need is everywhere to have a degree to do almost anything. “I think education is the civil rights issue of right now,” emphasized Ross. His mantra that he lives by is twofold: Don’t settle on being good when you’re destined to be great; and you’ve got to make your life your leadership, and your leadership your life. “There are a lot of people who have touched my life and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank all the people who have made a difference,” said Ross. “It’s important that people know that they can’t get anywhere by themselves. Hold on to the mentors you have, and the people who impact your life.”

A Celebration Of Praise For 50 Years Of Music At Zion On July 17, Dr. Joyce Marie

By Charis Garrett

Davis celebrated more than 50 years of service to Zion Baptist Church, where she has been the minister of music, with a musical celebration attended by a host of friends, family and colleagues. Davis’ celebration featured a community choir, arrayed in red, black and white, with more than 50 voices. The choir and musicians, all who have been influenced or taught by Davis, were from all over the state. If the angelic voices are any indication of Davis’ work as an educator, then it is clear that she has been a brilliant one! Davis began her career in music at the tender age of 7, when she accepted Christ and began directing the rhythm band. At 9, she began serious study of piano and theory with Bernice

Hightower of School District. Galveston, Texas. She then moved At 12, she began to Denver, and her choral directbegan teaching ing career as at Greenlee director of the Elementary adult choir at School. After Nazareth Baptist teaching at Church in Greenlee, Davis Rosenberg, became the first Texas. AfricanDavis graduAmerican vocal ated as valedictomusic director rian from A.W. and instructor in Jackson High a Colorado high School of school, when Rosenberg at age she joined the 15. She continfaculty at ued her music Denver’s studies at Prairie Manual High View A&M School. During University. She her time at graduated at 19 Manual, she Dr. Joyce Marie Davis summa cum was asked to laude with a supervise stubachelor of arts dent teachers degree in music education, and went pursuing degrees in music education. on to complete a master of music edu- She also lectured at five Colorado colcation degree from the University of leges and universities, and has served Colorado at Boulder. Finally, she was as music instructor at Loretta Heights awarded the doctor of humane letters College. by Central America University A sought-after choral director, Ministries in Kansas City, Kansas. Davis has led choirs and musical Davis began her teaching career as groups all over the nation. She was the an educator in the Dallas Independent co-chairwoman of the music commit-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


tee for the 1997 Rocky Mountain Billy Graham Crusade. She also served as the director of music for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday activities. Davis has touched many lives with her exuberant, joyful spirit, as the singers and musicians at the July 17th celebration confirmed. “Dr. Davis is my heart, my soul, my everything. I love her and I know God loves her and will keep her day by day,” said Reginald Gaston. “Dr. Davis has been a part of my spiritual growth and the growth of my ministry. I love her and words cannot explain how important she’s been in my life,” said Rev. Brian Tarver. “I have known Dr. Davis to be the definition of strength, character and joy in the midst of adversity. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and I love her,” said Kylle Hodges. “Dr. Davis is influence, inspiration and everything that it means to be incredible. I would be nothing without her and she means the world to me,” said Minister Michael Williams. “Dr. Davis was my teacher in school and in church. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be in music. The training she has given me has been immeasurable. She’s a jewel. I just want to thank her for all she’s done and I thank God for her,” said Robertta Moore. 

Why President Obama Still Says No To Gay Marriage President

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson Obama thundered to the

throngs at the recent LGBT Leadership

Council fund raising bash

in New York,

“I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every couple in

the country.” This was not hyperbole that he had to shout to one of the

country’s most prominent, and influential gay rights groups to get gay

activists off his back about his opposi-

tion to gay marriage. Despite the with-

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ering heat he has taken for that oppo-

sition, Obama has been the best friend that gays have ever had in the White

House. He backed gay rights in speeches and legislation more than a dozen times as an Illinois state legislator and U.S. Senator. The record number of gay appointments, and the speed with which he’s made them, were just the extension of his personal and political conviction that discrimination against gays is every bit the civil rights issue that discrimination against women and minorities is. He issued executive orders mandating that hospitals treat gay and lesbian couples the same as heterosexual ones, and at the same time expand rights for gay couples who work in the federal government. He vigorously opposed Proposition 8, the California initiative that would have effectively banned gay marriage. He reversed his position on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and calls it abhorrent. But he won’t take the final step and flatly say: ‘I support gay marriage and will back every effort in every state to pass a gay marriage law’. This refusal mystifies, rankles and angers gay rights organizations and is the single biggest stumbling block to them giving Obama their full backing. Obama may in time back gay marriage, he’s said his position is “evolving” but it’s not going to happen just yet. This would require Obama to reverse not only his political thinking, but his fundamental and personal beliefs. He made that perfectly clear in a blog talk last October when he flatly said he wouldn’t sign on to same sex marriage because of his “understandings” of what traditional marriage should be. That’s the decades old unambiguous and universally consecrated notion that marriage is and should only be between a man and a woman. That’s not just antiquated, bigoted, and a rapidly discredited understanding that Obama refers too, it’s one he’s still stuck on. Obama is no different than many other fiercely liberal, tolerant and broad minded African-Americans on diversity issues. But he, like many others, still can draw the line on gay marriage and that’s fueled by deeply ingrained notions of family, church, and community, and the need to defend the terribly frayed and fragmented black family structure. This mix of fear, belief, and traditional family protectionism has long been a staple among many blacks and virtually every time the issue of legalizing gay marriage has been put to the ballot, or initiative, or a legal chal-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


lenge, or just simply the topic of public debate there has been no shortage of black ministers and public figures willing to rush to the defense of traditional marriage. The warning signs that many blacks were susceptible to religious and conservative pitches to oppose gay marriage lit up in 1997. Then the late Green Bay Packers perennial allpro defensive end Reggie White, an ordained fundamentalist minister, stirred a firestorm when he took a huge swipe at gay rights and gay marriage in a speech to the Wisconsin state legislature. White became the first celebrity black evangelical to say publicly what many black religious leaders said and believed privately about gay issues. Few blacks joined in the loud chorus that condemned his remarks. A year before White’s outburst, a Pew poll measured black attitudes toward gay marriage and found that blacks by an overwhelming margin opposed it. A CNN poll eight years later showed that anti-gay attitudes among blacks had softened at least publicly among many blacks. But the line continued to be just as firmly drawn on same sex marriage. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in polls in 2009 and 20010 found that blacks opposed same sex marriage by gaping margins over whites or Hispanics. The finding was even more striking in that Pew also found that for the first time in the decade and half that it had been polling Americans on attitudes toward gay rights, and that includes gay marriage, that less than half of Americans opposed same sex marriage. It’s wrongheaded and wildly inaccurate to think that President Obama opposes same sex marriage out of narrow religious belief, conservative family upbringing, or a racial herd mentality that is unyielding on the traditional defense of family values. But it‘s just as wrongheaded to say that none of these things have and do weigh in the president’s unwillingness to take the final step and say yes to gay marriage. Time will tell when he will finally change, but that time hasn’t come yet and there are reasons why. 

Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM Radio Los Angeles streamed on podcast on and internet TV broadcast on Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:

Spectrum Staff Wins Five CABJ Awards

CABJ Award Winners

Print Journalist of the Year: Anthony Cotton, sports writer with the Denver Post Broadcast Journalist of the Year: Don Champion, Channel 7 News reporter

The Denver Urban Spectrum led a

By Sheila Smith

Public Relations Professional of the Year: M. Celeste Jackson

sweep in awards at the 18th Annual Colorado Association of Black

Journalists Media Awards and

Scholarships Banquet, including the

TaRhonda Thomas and Blair Griffith

“Overall Excellence” award in the print category.

7 News CABJ award recipients with veteran news anchor Bertha Lynn Photos by Bernard Grant

9News Byron Reed and Nadia Gedeon

“It is always an honor to receive the Overall Excellence Award from our peers and CABJ. It is a true testament to our goal and purpose of spreading the news about people of color,” publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris said. The CABJ awards banquet took place at the Johnson & Wales University Event Center on Friday, July 22. The theme, “Telling Stories: Back to Basics”, hit home for many journalists who produced a plethora of stories about individuals of color within the community. The Denver Urban Spectrum staff was delighted to receive five awards for a collage of articles that brought awareness and attention to significant issues and people. Misty Aas said she wasn’t expecting to win two Scribes In Excellence Awards from CABJ. Her “CoLours TV” story won an award in the multimedia single feature category and her “Brother Jeff International HIV/AIDS Awareness” story won an award in the multimedia single news category. “I really wanted to be able to bring attention to HIV/AIDS,” Aas said about community activist Brother Jeff and his work. She also admitted to having done HIV/AIDS education and outreach back in the late 1990s. “After meeting Brother Jeff and learning about his journey and what

he was doing with HIV/AIDS awareness, it was like coming full circle,” she said. “This issue is dear to my heart.” Aas’s story “CoLours TV” was a profile on Tracy Jenkins Winchester, the founder and CEO of the multicultural, Denver-based cable network. “Both of them are amazing people. So I wasn’t expecting to win and was very humbled and honored. I feel like sharing these awards with Tracy and Brother Jeff because it’s their stories,” Aas said. When it came to telling stories, Opalanga Pugh was the best of all storytellers. When her life ended on this earth last year, several journalists had to tell the colorful storyteller’s story. Yet it was Cydnie Wilson, a budding young journalist, who was honored by CABJ with the print feature award for her story “Honoring Opalanga: in the Denver Urban Spectrum. “I grew up watching her tell stories. I went over to her house and helped her with projects. She was always involved in my life and influenced my love for storytelling,” Wilson said of Opalanga who also was a relative. The story was personal for Wilson who spent time taking care for Opalanga during her battle with bone cancer and her last days in hospice. After Opalanga passed, Wilson said writing the story seemed like the natural thing to do in paying homage to her mentor and idol. “She was the original storyteller of my life,” added Wilson, elated to have received the award. CABJ also honored DUS contributor Angelle Fouther with the print sports award for her feature story “Breaking Barriers Exhibit”. The story depicted the exhibit that came to Denver and featured Black tennis players over the years. Fouther has contributed many in-

depth articles to the Spectrum on difficult topics, including child abuse, medical marijuana, and various political issues. She was also nominated as a 2011 award finalist for two other stories, “Exit Interview with Terrance Carroll” and “Promise, Pipelines & Political Potential”. Other Spectrum staff nominated as finalists for 2011 Scribes In Excellence Awards were Tanya Ishikawa for “Asfaws Contribute to a Bright Future” and “Jess E. Dubois,” as well as Norma Paige for “Spectrum of Friendships”. Many honored by CABJ worked hard to tell compelling stories by going back to the basics. They know how to ask simple questions and gather information to help others. No one knows that better than Miss Colorado, Blair Griffith, whose homeless plight gained national attention because Channel 9 News reporter TaRhonda Thomas dared to ask a simple question. Griffith was the key speaker during the CABJ banquet. She shared her story of how hard economic times left her and her mother destitute and homeless. She

emphasized how the journalists’ stories make a difference in the lives of people in the community. At the banquet, CABJ also awarded its 2011 scholarship to a student from Montbello High School. Musu Sirleaf is a senior who is already making her mark as a top reporter for Montbello High School’s newspaper, The Black & Silver. She is described as a clear, concise and passionate writer. Sirleaf believes “journalists have the power to inspire nations, to place a focus on relevant topics and cause worldwide change. 

Entertainer Julius, DUS Publisher Rosalind Harris, 7News Bertha Lynn and Judge Larry Naves

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011




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Youth Crime Prevention Activities

Jail Is No Place To Be Somebody By Annette Walker

“The incarceration of AfricanAmerican youth in large numbers is part of the new civil rights frontier,” said Dr. Carolyn Phillips, the cofounder and advisor to the Denver NAACP Youth Council. In partnership with the Scott Family Resource Center (affiliated with Scott’s United Methodist Church) and other organizations, the Denver NAACP Youth Council recently organized a week’s focus upon youth crime prevention. The objectives were to inform parents as well as youth of the pitfalls of crime and incarceration and educate them about behavioral danger signs. The theme was “Jail Is No Place To Be Somebody: Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong People.” National and local crime statistics are disturbing. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a male born in 2001 faces the following odds of going to prison during his lifetime: 1 in 3 for African Americans; 1 in 6 for Latinos; 1 in 17 for Caucasians. The Colorado Department of Corrections reports that African Americans comprise 3.8 percent of the state’s population, but represent 19.4 percent of prison inmates. Latinos account for 17 percent of the state population, but 31 percent of the state prison population. The United States incarcerates more people for drug offenses than all European nations combined. A 2001 study by the National Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse found that Colorado has the lowest per capita spending on substance abuse prevention, treatment and research in the nation. For those released on mandatory parole, 65 percent will be returned to prison within three years. The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition reports that the prison population has increased fourfold in the past 20 years. The state’s incarceration rate of 506 per 100,000 is higher than the national average of 462 per 100,000. Call for Values and Ethics Dr. Elsie Scott, the president of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker at a dinner organized by the Scott Family Resource Center. She emphasized the need for children and youth as well as adults to develop a personal code of ethical behavior so they can avoid making bad choices.

Marcus Farmer, President of NAACP Denver Chapter; Dr. Elsie Scott President of The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Rev. Ronald Wooding, Project Coordinator

Scott gave examples of incarceration resulting from bad choices. Quentin Wilder was the 1996 (basketball) Player of the Year in the state of Washington. He was from a two-parent home and attended church regularly. He attended college in Boise, Idaho where he was arrested in 2006 for possession of $106,000 worth of cocaine and a half-pound of marijuana. He was found guilty of possession of controlled substances and drug trafficking. He may be eligible for parole in 2018. Otherwise, he cannot be released until December 2030 when he will be 52 years old. His coach at the University of Idaho described him as a “good guy who made wrong decisions.” Scott also related the story of Kimber Smith of Hampton University of Virginia who was arrested for trafficking crack cocaine. Although she had no previous criminal record, she was given a 24-year sentence with no possibility of parole. She gave birth to a child in prison. Open Hearts reception award recipients

Smith’s story is different because her parents were determined to get her out of prison. They quit their jobs and travelled around the country seeking help. They were successful and after six years of imprisonment, Pres. Bill Clinton granted her clemency at the end of his term in office. Scott pointed out that most people are not so lucky. “Making bad choices is proof that there is a need to focus upon values and ethics,” she said. “We have to spend far too much time attacking the actions of the criminal justice system.” She believes that there are some generational differences regarding the behavior of children and youth. “When I was growing up, stealing was wrong,” she said. “Now getting caught seems to be considered wrong, not stealing.” She pointed out that half of college students have admitted that they cheat on examinations and noted the increasing number of people who engage in shoplifting as well as unethical behavior in the workplace. “There are too many people entering the criminal justice system for behavior that in the past was not considered illegal,” she said. “For example, we are seeing mothers sent to jail because they gave false information to be able to get their children into better school in another district.” Scott concluded her talk with the following recommendations: 1) Advocate for laws that decriminalize certain kinds of behavior that should not be considered criminal; 2) Intervene when you see children engaging in unethical behavior; 3) Join groups and develop ways to oppose television programs that adversely influence children and youth; 4) Help children and youth learn ethical behavior; 5) Work to reduce racial disparities; 6) Develop your own code of ethics.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


NAACP Youth Council Activities

In April the Denver City Council presented a proclamation to the Denver NAACP Youth Council for 16 years of outstanding service to the community and six youth crime prevention conferences. Among the activities mentioned in the proclamation are: • sponsoring educational forums; serving on committees that address neighborhood concerns; • co-sponsoring peace rallies that focus upon violence in the community and hosting events in support of parents who have lost children to street violence; • organizing activities and providing supplies for children in homeless shelters; • presenting thematic theater performances; and attending national NAACP conferences. Some NAACP Youth Council members attended the July 2011 NAACP National Convention held in Los Angeles. The group also organized an allday crime prevention conference in April at East High School. Co-sponsoring groups were the East High School Black Student Alliance, Battleground Ministries, the local chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and the Scott United Methodist Family Resource Center. Scott made brief remarks to the 200 crime prevention conference participants, and State Rep. Rhonda Fields was the keynote speaker. As in past conferences, members of the Denver Police Department as well as the Arapahoe Sheriff’s Office participated. There was a special presentation by a group of women inmates from a state prison. “We are proud to say that there was more parent participation this year, and there was a parent workshop,” said school psychologist and conference organizer Dr. Carolyn Phillips. 

Program That Helps Break Ties With Gangs Holds Graduation Ceremony

The Department of Corrections

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and Reverend Leon Kelly, Executive Director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, recognized the eighth graduating class from the “Flippin’ the Script” program on June 28. The program focuses on assisting gang affiliated offenders in successfully re-entering society. The graduation ceremony keynote speaker was Jeaneene E. Miller, Director, Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections and Youthful Offender System, Colorado Department of Corrections. Immediately upon being released, gang-affiliated parolees and inmates face incredible obstacles. Flippin’ the Script assists in identifying those obstacles and creating positive solutions to overcome them. in collaboration with the Department of Corrections, the program creates specialized plans for individual participants which offer assistance in the areas of housing, employment, job readiness, transportation, mentoring, and family and support systems. The curriculum helps them identify obstacles to successful reintegration and goals are put in place to help them reach their potential. In addition, communicating effectively in both business and personally is addressed in a group setting as well as one-on-one meetings. Participants are taught how morals, principles and ethics affect their daily lives and how they can change their current life path to become a productive member of society. The program consists of weekly group sessions, follow-up phone calls,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


and one-on-one meetings to discuss their progress and aid in their success. In 1979, Leon Kelly was convicted of drug-related charges and received a 5 to 8 year prison sentence in the Colorado State Penitentiary. While in prison, Reverend Kelly took stock of his life and realized he never wanted

to return. He redirected his life and devoted himself to intervention and stopping organized street gang activity in the Denver Metropolitan area. Reverend Kelly has been a positive force in curtailing gang violence by being a mediator to rival gangs and also serving as a positive role model for men and women who are gang members. In January, 2011, Reverend Kelly was pardoned by Governor Bill Ritter. 

Lend a child your guiding hand

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MONTHLY INFORMATION MEETINGS Bilingual Families Encouraged to Attend

Workshops 1st Thursdays (Noon-1:30 pm) 3rd Thursdays (6:30-8 pm) Over 600 children are in the Adams County foster care system each month – infant to teens. When you adopt or foster, just being there makes all the difference.

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7401 N. BroadwayDenver, CO 80221


Fort Lauderdale By Regina Lynch-Hudson

City Smarts: As the largest of Broward County’s 30 municipalities, Fort Lauderdale is ideally located between Miami and Palm Beach. Broward County encompasses 1,197 square miles with 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach. Fort Lauderdale stretches more than 33 square miles – revealing an inviting stretch of beach playground! With a population of nearly 180,000, millions of visitors per year flock to what’s known as the “Venice of America” for sun and surf! The 600,000 sq. ft. waterfront Broward County Convention Center, offers state-of-the-art meeting and exhibition space ─ making Fort Lauderdale an ideal city for meetings and conventions. The Lauderdale Convention Collection – a consortium of six hotels, offer prime accommodations just 1-1/2 miles from the Broward Convention Center. The Convention Collection is comprised of: Embassy Suites, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel and Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. Jetsetter: When you’re burnt out on business seminars, team-training that’s sure to take the edge off is Soul Food School! The Sunshine State’s Chef Emanuel will teach you and your colleagues how to make shrimp and cheese grits, collard greens and other Southern ‘fixins. With the philosophy that “Food brings people together”, Chef Emanuel’s workshops yield an appetizing experience! For info: 866933-SOUL (7685), 4521 NE 12th Terrace, Getting Around: There’s not a more fun-filled or convenient way to explore the Intracoastal Waterways that surround Greater Fort Lauderdale than the Water Taxi. As you taxialong the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll eye the toys of the rich ‘n famous ─ mansions and multi-million dollar yachts, owned primarily by corporate moguls. For info: 954-467-6677, Survival Kit: Beat the heat with a hat, sun snood (hood) or beach wrap

by Lyn Frances of Los Angeles , or a beach bag or tote by Buckhead Betties Catching ZZZs: Kick off your shoes, lay down the ipad, and settle into a comfy room with a marina view at Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center. The Bahia Mar is the only Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel that boasts its very own 250-slip, mega-

Cultural Chow: Clients will love you for making reservations at SoLita Las Olas Restaurant and Lounge. Start with a glass of wine they stock selections from all over the world. Then, savor the most delectable Italian cuisine that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Mellow music, low-lit lounge areas, and a sexy bar guarantee that you’ll be staying way past dinner. For info: 954-357-2616, 1032 East Las Olas

yacht marina. In addition to the conveniences that a business traveler would expect, the hotel also offers boat charters. Want to wow your clients? Take that biz meeting offshore! For info: 954.764.2233, 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, The Power Lunch: Hubby and I can’t resist a lunch (or two) at favorite Ft. Lauderdale power-grub spot, Grille 66, an elegant seafood eatery, located on the Intracoastal Waterway. The view makes you feel like you’re dining on yacht ─ though you’re not. The grand finale: Macadamia Nut Crusted Seabass with sautéed Spinach, Slivered Shallots & Citrus-Mango Sauce. For info: 954-728-3500, 2301 SE 17th Street Causeway at Pier Sixty-Six,

Boulevard, Networkin’: You’re destined to strike up a conversation with some intriguing traveler at the Via Luna bar in The RitzCarlton. It’s an ideal place to pop in for bar bites and to make valuable connections! For info: To De-Stress: Does stretching under the pier at Pompano Beach count as a work out? You bet’ cha! And, the city of Pompano Beach, located just north of Fort Lauderdale, boasts one of the country’s leading vacation home markets. Foot Loose & Fancy-Free: Some folks like to people watch. I like to scope out the names of yachts. Favorite yacht monikers spotted were:

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Foxy Lady, The Last Resort and Dream Girl. As the Yachting Capital of the World, Fort Lauderdale lures millions of dollars of revenue each year from the yachting industry. If you can’t afford your own yacht, take pleasure in an Intracoastal Waterway cruise, where you’ll get a taste of “the good life” without the price-tag. Your group can charter a narrated sightseeing cruise of Fort Lauderdale through Carrie B. Cruises. For info: 954-7689920, 440 North New River Drive East, Someone Helpful: Thanks to our friends at Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and other tourist venues for providing us with facts, figures and fun information for this article  Editor’s note: Doing Biz In features continuously updated coverage of a full spectrum of top cities where readers conduct business. Publicist and travel writer Regina Lynch-Hudson has penned destination catalogs and articles for companies such as Vacation Express, AirTran Airways and North American Airlines. Along with husband, photographer Courtland Bivens III, she organizes handles destination marketing for resorts, bed and breakfasts, and tourism boards. More information on The Write Publicist & Co. can be found at

Father Of The Year Awarded For Stepping Up To The Plate

The Father’s Show Resource Program (TFSRP) held its annual

Father of the Year Awards Ceremony on Father’s Day weekend at the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday June 18 in Denver’s Historic Five Points. The theme, “Stepping Up To The Plate,” was fitting to those fathers who were nominated and those who were

selected to receive this year’s esteemed awards. The first place award went to Andrew Gipson, a single man in his mid-20s, who adopted two of his nieces to keep them out of the foster care system. He was nominated by Nathan L. O’Neal, the pastor of Light Of The World Discipleship Church

who came to know Andrew through his own fatherhood program, Men Behaving Dadly. “Andrew’s story of love and dedication has inspired many to engage in greater levels of services to first, God, and then their families and communities,” said O’Neal. Ezekiel Rankin received the second place award and was nominated by his daughter Ashley. He is married

and have three children, ages 23, 20, and 18. Rankin is a sergeant with the Arapahoe County Sheriff office where he has worked for 29 years. He is also an active member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and holds the position of treasurer in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Region. He was nominated for his wisdom, kindness, and selflessness to provide an excellent quality of life for his wife and children. “He is dedicated to being all that a true father encompasses: my foundation, mentor, cheerleader and safe haven,” said Ashley. The third place award went to Roy Shankle. Nominated by his mother Betty Funderburke, Shankle is married and has two 10-year-old sons. Roy grew up without a father in his life and was determined to break the fatherless model. At the age of 32, Roy met his father through FaceBook. “Roy was determined to do whatever he had to do to be a father to his boys,” said Betty. “He missed out on a lot as a boy but he spends as much quality time as possible with his sons.” When not working his job in sales and in addition to his role as a father, Shankle enjoys music, writing poems

and screenplays, and speaking professionally to kids about overcoming their past. Each year, TFSRP recognizes fathers who have gone above and beyond their call of duty as fathers. Winners are selected from a nomination process whereby nomination forms are judged by a panel of judges within the community. TFSRP is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization established to provide resources to men to help them strengthen their personal relationship with their child(ren). The mission of TFSRP is to strengthen all men as fathers, whether married, divorced, single, or fathers-to-be, with resources that will empower them to be the best fathers they can be. Editor’s note: For more information about TFSRP, visit You can also follow TFSRF on FaceBook, Twitter, and Linkedln.

Join the 2011 Harvest of Hope for the 10th event: “

Giving Hope

Come celebrate the beauty and culture of Africa with a delicious Africa-inspired buffet, African art at the marketplace and silent auction, and African entertainment.

This year we will focus on a vital Church World Service program for child-headed households in eastern Africa called “Giving Hope.” Through it, more than 30,000 children and young adults have gained skills necessary to support their family and begin to achieve their dreams.

Individual Seats $100 and $250 Sponsor Tables $1,000 to $10,000

The 2011 Harvest of Hope Benefits:

It Takes A Village

Visit or call 303-979-0699 for sponsorship, reservations, or volunteer opportunities.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • 5:30 pm Temple Emanuel • 51 Grape Street • Denver Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Historic Landmark Turns 100 Years Old;

Centennial Celebration At Atlanta History Center

the ongoing restoration of the Herndon Home. The foundation has plans to complete the renovations thereby providing a larger facility in which to host social events at the home. The Herndon Foundation is the guardian of the Herndon Legacy. “It is our privilege and responsibility to perpetuate Mr. Herndon’s entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic legacy throughout the






honor of his parents. Born a slave, Alonzo Herndon went on to establish and operate more than one successful barber shop on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta after the civil war. One of these emporiums was elaborately decorated with marble flooring and a crystal chandelier as well as furnishings and fittings acquired during his excursions to Europe. Herndon became a developer and major property owner in Atlanta and later founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. He is widely considered to be Atlanta’s first Black millionaire. He was also an organizer of the Niagara Movement, the forerunner of the NAACP. After Herndon’s death in 1927, Norris Herndon assumed the presidency of Atlanta Life, with Jessie Herndon, Alonzo’s second wife, as Atlanta Life’s Vice President. During this period, the company experienced tremendous growth. The Centennial Celebration of the Herndon Home represents the kick-off of the first major capital campaign initiated by The Herndon Foundation to support the expansion of services and

Atlanta community and across these United States,” says William J. Stanley, III, chairman of the Herndon Foundation. “At this critical juncture when African Americans are seeking mentors and role models, Alonzo Herndon’s life work is exemplary. It is a beacon which continues to call us to service a century later. It compels Black men and women of every age to become inspired by Mr. Herndon’s accomplishments. It encourages us to emulate his business prowess and commitment to the community.” “If I thought that anything with which I was connected would always be small, I would not want to be in it,” said Alonzo F. Herndon, when commenting about his life’s accomplishments. The September celebration is open to the public; tickets are $200 each. For information about tickets to the celebration, E-mail Eventions at or call 404-5058188.  Editor’s note: The Herndon Home is located at 587 University Place, NW; Atlanta, GA 30314. Guided tours are conducted hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment. There is a fee for admission and special discounted rates are available for groups. For more information about the Herndon Home and to schedule a tour, call 404-581-9813. .


Landmark in 2000, The Herndon Home is the family mansion of Alonzo Franklin Herndon built in 1910. It is located on Diamond Hill at one of the highest elevations on the Westside of Atlanta, GA. The home celebrates its 101st anniversary this year. The Herndon Foundation will pay tribute to the legacy of the Herndon Home and to the Herndon family with a Centennial Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Atlanta History Center. Entertainment for the evening’s festive event will include excerpts from the opera “The Herndons” written, produced and performed by Sharon J. Willis. Honorary chairs for the occasion include Herman Russell, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Ingrid Saunders Jones. The Herndon Home is one of those historic properties in America that has gained exceptional value for its unique heritage as a great American home. The house was designed primarily by Adrienne Herndon, wife of Alonzo, and was built exclusively by Black craftsmen. The two-story 15-room house, Italiante Beaux Arts Classical in style, is an example of high society dwellings at the beginning of the last century. The Herndon Home will forever serve as a lasting tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and talent of one of Atlanta’s most extraordinary African American families. More than one million visitors have toured this mansion to experience firsthand the life style of the Herndon family and to gain a better understanding of Atlanta’s Black culture and history. The house contains the original furnishings as well as those acquired later in the century by Alonzo’s son Norris. He was the second Black graduate of the Harvard Business School, and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa where he collected antiquities and decorative arts for what he envisioned as a museum in

Herndon Home


Designated a National Historic






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Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


K-High Is Still Alive K

By Luciana

-High Smooth Jazz Radio is still a staple in the Mile High City, even though you may be unaware that it is still available. It’s not on AM or FM Radio. It’s on Internet Radio, one of the fastest-growing forms of media. K-High has evolved to take up its new home at

K-High began its tenure as Denver’s contemporary jazz outlet in the early 1990s at 94.7 FM. One of the personalities on that station was Steve Hamilton, now the CEO of MediAlchemy LLC, the new owner of K-High. Smooth Jazz radio has fallen on tough times, due to the high costs of operating commercial FM stations. After 1993, K-High was moved from 94.7 to 95.7 under new ownership. Then, the format reappeared at 104.3 as “CD 104.3� until it flipped to allsports in March 2008. On June 9, 2008, K-High returned to the Denver airwaves at 101.9 FM, under Bustos Media from Sacramento, CA. Steve Hamilton was the Program Director of K-High 101.9 for almost two years, after his 17year run at KOSI. The station was successful, despite a poor signal, uneasy ownership and no marketing budget. But, Smooth Jazz fans had their station back. Then, inevitably, in April 2010, the 101.9 frequency was sold by Bustos and the format was changed to


Christian rock. K-High’s staff was dismissed, and the station was in danger of extinction. That’s when Hamilton and a small group of others took a stand. He formed MediAlchemy, LLC and obtained the copyright and brand of “K-High�, and kept K-High alive via Internet Radio, “webcasting� from Denver studios. “We couldn’t let K-High pass from existence.� Hamilton says. “There are simply too many fans of this music to abandon the format.� Hamilton is personally attached to K-High and its music. He has been an advocate of contemporary jazz for over two decades and has financed the station by using his own cash. While K-High remains successful as an Internet Radio station, Hamilton still gets plenty of complaints from listeners about the challenges of adapting to Internet radio. “We get lots of questions about how to receive KHigh while driving.� Hamilton says. The station comes in loud and clear on any computer that has speakers and is connected to the Internet. However, it’s more challenging to get K-High while driving or walking around town, away from a computer. The biggest question from listeners is: “When are you coming back to FM?� “As technology advances,� Hamilton says, “We don’t really need FM any longer.� He adds K-High is available on any 3G enabled mobile device through free applications available from TuneIn Radio. “It’s pretty easy. You download the app for your phone, search for K-High, and boom. There we are. Some listeners even plug their phones into their car stereos to get us through their speaker system.� Hamilton adds that it’s just a matter of the audience adapting and becoming more comfortable with listening online. The station is building phone apps for iPhone and Android right now. “When the iPod first came out, there were people who couldn’t figure out what to do with it, or how it

worked. Same deal with Internet Radio. In many ways, listening to radio via the web is superior, but there are new things. We are trying to make it easier for listeners to keep K-High with them wherever they are,� says Hamilton. Technical challenges aside, K-High has thousands of online fans from all over the Denver area, and now around the world. Still playing music from The Rippingtons to Fourplay to Grover Washington, Jr., K-High’s format has also evolved to include a healthy dose of new artists such as Nate Harasim, Vincent Ingala, Todd Ashley and Cindy Bradley. “Being based in Colorado, we like to play many of the incredible jazz musicians who live here. Gerald Albright, Darren Rahn, Hazel Miller, Dotsero, Louis Colaiannia, Tony Exum, Jr., Vision Jazz, Joel Siemion, Bobby Wells and so many others are all Colorado residents. We support local music, and we have no rules about a song being high up on some national music chart before we will play it on K-High.� Hamilton says. “When large corporations started taking over radio a few years ago, their goal was to make as much money as possible by trimming back staff, and sacrificing creative programming in favor of a higher profit margin.� Hamilton says. “We don’t have that philosophy at K-High. In a way, I’m happy we aren’t under a national corporation. We can be a true Colorado station, playing music that many people love, and that no FM station will touch.� K-High still sponsors Denver area jazz performances, and is still an active part of the community. “Smooth Jazz� radio doesn’t bring in the kind of money that Rock, Adult Contemporary, Hip Hop or Country formats do.� Hamilton says. “One thing we do have though is a large and loyal audience. That’s the most important thing to us. We want to do our part to keep this music alive for the fans.�


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Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Denver, Colorado 80202

303.831.0755 (f)


Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams Excellent. Very Good.. Good... Fair.. Poor.

    No stars

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 

Worthy Finale Brings Down the Curtain on Harry Potter Franchise


ver the past decade, the Harry Potter screen adaptations have proven to be just as popular as the best-selling series of children’s books upon which they’re based. The first seven grossed over $6 billion at the box-office, making it the most lucrative film franchise of all time even before the release of this worthy finale. Unless author J.K. Rowling decides to extend the spellbinding saga, which isn’t entirely out of the question, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is slated to bring down the curtain on the magical adventures of the boy wizard and his Hogwarts School classmates. Directed by David Yates (HP 5, 6 & 7), this installment picks up right where the last one left off, namely, with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his pals Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) resuming their quest to find the rest of Dark Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes). “Horcruxes.” Diehard Potterheads undoubtedly already know why gaining possession of the wizard weaponry known as the “Deathly Hallows” (the Resurrection Stone, the Elder Wand and the Cloak of Invisibility) is so critical to the suc-

cess of the seek-and-destroy mission to vanquish the merciless Voldemort. Nonetheless, uninitiated “muggles” like yours truly need not be familiar with the inscrutable lexicon to appreciate the fact that what’s about to unfold is a classic showdown between the forces of good and evil over the very fate of the world. As for special effects, this is the first HP episode shot in 3-D, which turns out to be worth the investment given the profusion of captivating action sequences ranging from the heroes’ daring escape from a subterranean inferno on the back of a fire-breathing dragon to an epic, high body-count battle on the campus of their alma mater. Once the dust settles, however, what’s ultimately more memorable than the climactic clash of the wands is the update by way of postscript relating intimate details of developments in the protagonists’ personal lives. After all, they’re almost like family after maturing in front of our very eyes since they were adolescents, so it’s only natural that we’d like to know how they turned out as adults. A fitting capstone on a fabled film franchise for the ages! Rated: PG-13 for frightening images and intense violence Running Time: 130 Minutes Distributor: Warner Brothers To see a trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, visit:

Rejoice and Shout

The movie’s most spellbinding moment arrives right after the opening credits when an adorable, 12 yearold member of The Selvy Family delivers a soul-stirring, a cappella rendition of Amazing Grace while sitting in a church pew surrounded by smiling relatives. Whether detailing the contributions of the late Thomas A. Dorsey who composed over 40 Gospel standards or how Edwin Hawkins wrote countless hits after recording his debut “Oh Happy Day!” album for

$500, Rejoice and Shout offers an alternately informative and uplifting experience as likely to have you clapping your hands and stamping your feet as any sanctified Sunday morning service. Can I get an Amen?

Rated: PG for mature themes and some smoking Running Time: 115 Minutes Distributor: Magnolia Pictures To see a trailer for Rejoice and Shout, visit:


Rejoice and Shout 

200-Year History of Gospel Music Celebrated in Sanctified Documentary


alf concert flick, half historical documentary, Rejoice and Shout is an unabashed celebration of glorious Gospel music. The picture traces the genre’s roots all the way back to when slaves first began mixing Christianity with African culture and their desire for salvation from their plight. The film was directed by Don McGlynn (Dexter Gordon: More Than You Know), who unearthed a treasure trove of archival footage of legendary greats like Mahalia Jackson, The Clara Ward Singers, James Cleveland, The Dixie Hummingbirds and The Blind Boys of Alabama, touted here as the most successful Gospel group of all time. Plenty of their more contemporary counterparts such as Andrae Crouch, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar and Mavis Staples also appear whether to sing and/or discuss the derivation of some of their favorite spirituals.

Text the word

HOPE and your

ZIP CODE to 43549 Example Text: HOPE 80246 Entry Deadline: Wednesday, August 3 at noon Texting 43KIX is free. Standard text message rates from your wireless provider may apply, check your plan. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Limit one entry per cell phone. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with screening details by Wedmesday, 8/3 at 5PM. Each mobile pass admits 2. The screening will be held on Thursday, 8/4 at 7:00PM at a local theatre. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. The film is rated PG-13. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theatre. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. DreamWorks Studios, Terry Hines & Associates, 43KIX, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS! © 2011 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC


Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011



Captain America: The First Avenger 

Latest Marvel Superhero Saves the Day during WWII


his superhero adventure continues the recent trend in comic book screen adaptations in which the protagonist comes to play a critical role in the outcome of a significant historical event. Here, we have Marvel’s Captain America (Chris Evans) called upon to save the day during World War II when a cosmic cube called the Tesseract, said to be a source of limitless power, falls into the hands of Hitler henchman Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). That nefarious Nazi also happens to have been left horribly-disfigured but with superhuman strength as a result of testing a top secret serum designed to create a master race of super soldiers on behalf of the Fuhrer. However, Schmidt goes rogue after gaining possession of the Tesseract, morphing into an eviler alter ego, the Red Skull. The monomaniacal madman proceeds to hatch a diabolical plan for world domination with the help of a horde of renegade German soldiers armed with futuristic death ray guns. We know they have shifted their allegiance from Adolf to the Red Skull because they now chant “Hail Hydra!” instead of “Heil Hitler!” Meanwhile, clear across the Atlantic Ocean, we find frail Steve Rogers (also Chris Evans), a proverbial 98-pound weakling, desperate to enlist in the military despite suffering from asthma and a host of other assorted ailments. When he’s rejected at a New York City recruitment center for the umpteenth time, the frustrated patriot’s self-pity party is overheard by Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a Nazi defector who had created the concoction that had mutated Schmidt. Now putting his talents to work for the forces of good, Dr. Erskine offers Steve a chance to train in the Strategic

Scientific Reserve, an experimental outfit being run by hard-boiled Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and a two-fisted British Officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Of course, the kid jumps at the opportunity to become the first to test the new and improved super soldier solution. The injection transforms Steve into quite a physical specimen with an even more muscular physique than his best friend, Sergeant Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). This development isn’t lost on pretty Peggy who can barely keep her hands off his rockhard abs. More importantly, Steve dons a form-fitting red, white and blue costume and an impenetrable shield made of vibranium, the rarest metal on Earth. And accompanied by a crack team of commandos comprised of his pal Bucky, plus Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough), Gabe Jones (Derek Luke), Jacques Dernier (Bruno Ricci), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi) and James Montgomery Falsworth (J.J. Field), he sets out on a search and destroy mission in quest of the Red Skull and his minions. Directed by Joe Johnston (Jumanji), Captain America proves to be a riveting roller coaster ride from beginning to end, basically because it relies on a winning recipe featuring all the fixins needed to hold an audience’s undivided attention, from a compelling plot which ratchets up the tension all the way to the final showdown, to eyepopping action and special effects, to a sweet romance between likable leads exhibiting screen chemistry, to lots of unexpected moments of levity (with much of the hilarious comic relief arriving courtesy of Tommy Lee Jones). Just don’t forget to sit through the closing credits for a sneak peek at the sequel, The Avengers, set to be released next year. The best superhero blockbuster of the summer! Rated: PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence Running Time: 124 minutes Distributor: Paramount Pictures To see a trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger, visit:

knit community located in the slums just outside Johannesburg. At a time when most 12 year-olds are simply focusing on schoolwork, she’s shouldering the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings, Soly (Thato Kgaladi) and Iris (Mapaseka Mathebe). Plus, she’s worried about whether her BFF Esther (Keaobaka Makanyane) will even play with her anymore. That unfortunate predicament has been Chanda’s lot in life since her selfish stepfather Jonah (Aubrey Poolo) accused her mother (Lerato Myelase) of having poisoned their baby by breastfeeding. For sickly Lillian has been suffering from an ailment that her alarmed neighbors suspect to be HIV. In fact, she’s already so weakened by her deteriorating condition that she’s become dependent on the charity of the church. And when her trifling hubby skips town, she has to ask Mrs. Tafa (Harriet Manamela) nextdoor to serve as a surrogate parent to her three daughters. Meanwhile, Lillian’s desperate enough to seek out healing from a wily witch doctor (Mary Twala) who resorts to unorthodox healing regimens like snakes to cast out her fading patient’s demons. This is the harrowing state of affairs established in Life, Above All, a bittersweet drama directed by Oliver Schmitz. Based on the award-winning novel “Chanda’s Secrets” by Allan Stratton, the movie marks the screen debut of Khomotso Manyaka, a talented actress with no formal training. Ms. Manyaka turns in a moving performance in an emotionally-demanding lead role as the picture’s courageous heroine. Her supporting cast proves equally effective in service of the heartrending tale. A convincing portrayal of the tragic plight of the HIV+ poor in South Africa

Rated: PG-13 for sexuality and mature themes In Sotho with subtitles Running Time: 100 Minutes Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics To see a trailer for Life, Above All, visit: Life, Above All

Life, Above All 

Stoic 12 Year-Old Overcomes Ostracism in Bittersweet South African Saga


t’s bad enough that her newborn sister has just died of an unspecified illness, now Chanda (Khomotso Manyaka) finds herself having to fend-off all the ugly rumors about her family circulating around their tight-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Transformers: Dark of the Moon 

LaBeouf Leads in Latest Showdown between Autobots and Decepticons


his summer, a number of sequels have reimagined the past by placing fictional characters at the center of critical historical events. For instance, X-Men 4 implied that mutants might have played a pivotal role in the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, while Pirates of the Caribbean 4 featured Captain Jack in a race with Ponce de Leon to locate the fabled Fountain of Youth. Dark of the Moon, the third installment of the Transformers franchise, is the latest movie to take such cinematic license. In this instance, revisionist history suggests that the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in the Sixties was inspired by the crash on the dark side of the moon of an alien aircraft from the planet Cybertron, the home of the Transformers. The Apollo 11 astronauts were the first to find the wreckage, and they retrieved some futuristic technology during an untelevised portion of the lunar landing. The Russians, theoretically, reached the marooned spaceship, too, and subsequently seized a share of its state-of-the-art know-how. This back story ostensibly explains how the two anthropomorphic races of robots, the Autobots and the Decepticons, came to be sworn adversaries. Following that fanciful prologue, the film fast-forwards to the present where we learn of several developments in the life of Sam Witnicky (Shia LaBeouf), the unassuming hero of the trilogy’s prior two installments. He’s recently graduated from college and moved to Washington, D.C. where he lives with his gorgeous, new girlfriend, Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). With the help of her billionaire boss, Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey), Sam soon takes an entry-level position in a division of his corporate conglomerate. What he doesn’t know is that the unctuous Dylan is secretly in league with the Decepticons who are hatching a plan to colonize Earth and to turn most of humanity into their slaves. Of course, once Sam does catch wind of the frightening scheme, it’s again up to him to summon up the courage to save the day with the help of a rag tag team comprised of patriots and Autobots. The only glaring flaw of this bombastic Michael Bay spectac-


REEL ACTION Transformers: Dark of the Moon

ular is that the special-effects driven showdown between the forces of good and evil drags on for about an hour longer than necessary. Consequently, the ending is less a dramatic conclusion than a welcome relief from incessant overstimulation. Despite the picture’s disintegration into an indiscriminate concatenation of pyrotechnics and noisy detonations, there are nonetheless a number of laudable performances to enjoy along the way, most notably, Shia LaBeouf as the intrepid protagonist, Patrick Dempsey as the despicable villain, Dr. Ken Jeong as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (replacing Megan Fox) as the vulnerable damsel-in-distress, John Malkovich as a sadistic henchman, and Tyrese as a trash-talking, gung ho mercenary. Mindless escapist fare designed with the attention-deficit millennials in mind.

Rated: PG-13 for profanity, mayhem, destruction, sexual innuendo and intense, sci-fi violence Running Time: 157 minutes Distributor: Paramount Pictures To see a trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, visit: Viva Riva! 

Kinshasa Serves as Setting for Congo Gangsta Flick Viva Riva!


rugs may be the contraband of choice in most modern, American crime capers, but this African adventure revolves around a present-day black market in petroleum. The picture’s protagonist is Riva (Patsha Bay), a petty thief who has commandeered a truckload of gasoline across the Angolan border into the Congo with plans to resell it in his hometown of Kinshasa where the populace is in the grips of an oil shortage. The trouble is that he isn’t quite ready to rise to his calling as a crook, for he soon becomes beguiled by Nora (Manie Malone), the red-headed, gun moll of a local mobster (Diplome Amekindra). And while he allows himself to be led around by the loins, he soon lands on the radar of her jealous boyfriend as well as a policewoman (Marlene Longange) and an angry Angolan crime boss (Hoji Fortuna) determined to recover his pilfered petrol. Winner of a half-dozen African Movie Academy Awards, Viva Riva! marks the promising scriptwriting, directorial and producing debut of Djo Munga. The movie is most reminiscent of all those cheap-looking blaxploitation flicks made by gangsta rappers searching for some crossover appeal back in the Nineties. Given the omnipresence of such genre trademarks as graphic nudity and gratuitous violence, Viva Riva! certainly manages to keep your attention riveted to the screen. And since it simultaneously serves up a compelling storyline and does a decent job of character development, it’s worth checking out just based on the rarity of a movie with an empathetic black protagonist even being made about the Congo. The un-Tarzan!

The Man of a 1,000 Voices presents

Standing on the Shoulders...

(Nat King Cole, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Sammy Davis, Jr., Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke, Barry White and Michael Jackson)


500 16th St., #320 (at Glenarm)

• Sunday, August 14 • Sunday, September 4 • Sunday, September 18

Tickets: $12 Advance, $15 Door, $20 VIP Doors Open at 4 PM. Show begins at 5 PM For tickets, call 720-849-4197

Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret

16th St. Mall (at Arapahoe St.) in downtown Denver

• Friday, August 26 • Friday, September 2 • Saturday, October 1

Showtime - 8 PM Tickets: 303-293-0075 or

Unrated In French and Lingala with subtitles Running Time: 96 Minutes Distributor: Music Box Films To see a trailer for Viva Riva, visit: 

For more information on The Julius Show, visit or call


Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


The Science of Progressive Relating


choices. Act always to increase choice. The more choices you have, the freer you are and the more influence you have over any given situation.


By Soul Watson

rchimedes the Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer once stated, “Give me a place to stand and with a lever/fulcrum I will move the whole world.” This month we are going to look at 10 statements that if understood and assimilated will completely and utterly give you the power to move your world. I want you to consider your relationship, real or desired/imagined the place in which you are going to stand and these 10 statements are the lever in which if used can and will move your world.

The Presuppositions of Progressive Love

These 10 presuppositions are the central principles central of Progressive Love; they are its guiding philosophy, its ‘beliefs’. These principles are not claimed to be true or universal. You do not have to believe they are true. They are called presuppositions because you pre-suppose them to be true and then act as if they were. You then discover what happens. If you like the results then continue to act as if they are true. They form a set of ethical principles for life.

1. People respond to their experience, not to reality itself. Have you ever got into a really heated conversation with your mate and then realized that what she/he was really upset about had little to nothing to do with you directly? She/he was re-experiencing a past

pain that resembled what you two were currently going through? Most of us do not know what reality is. Our senses, beliefs, and past experience give us a map of the world from which we operate. A map can never be exactly accurate; otherwise it would be the same as the ground it covers. We do not know the territory, so for us, the map is the territory. Some maps are better than others for finding your way around. We navigate life like a ship through a dangerous area of sea; as long as the map shows the main hazards, we will be fine. When maps are faulty and do not show the dangers, then we are in jeopardy of running aground. 2. Having a choice is better than not having a choice. Most of us have had no other training on how we should behave in relationship situations other than what we learned from our parents, which tends to be extremely limited. For many of us – this is really a recipe for separation (emotional or physical). Thus many of us conduct our relationship based on our learned and instinctual behavior. In order to be successful in relationships this must change – we must begin to give ourselves a wide array of choices of how we act and respond to our mates. Always try to have a map for yourself that gives you the widest and richest number of

3. People make the best choice they can at the time. This is a DOOOOOZIE! Many of us refuse to believe that some of the behavior that our mates put forward is the best that they have to offer. We are bent on holding them to a standard that exist in our own internal map but remember – the map is not the territory. This is where one of the 8 commandments of love really comes into play: SEEK TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE BEING UNDERSTOOD. A person always makes the best choice they can, given their map of the world. The choice may be self-defeating, bizarre or evil, but for them, it seems the best way forward. Give them a better choice in their map of the world and they will take it. Even better give them a superior map with more choices in it. 4. People work perfectly. This is another whopper especially for those who have come to view other humans in a cynical light. No one is wrong or broken. They are carrying out their strategy-programs perfectly, but their strategy-program may be poorly designed and ineffective and lets be honest most of our strategy-programs are nothing that we have purposely laid out for ourselves – like I said earlier you merely adopted it. Find out how you and others do what they do so their strategy-program can be changed to something more useful and desirable. This is where relationship coaching is so vital – it’s also why certain communities have a high separation rate because of their refusal to seek coaching in one of life’s most important areas – RELATIONSHIPS.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


5. Every behavior has a positive intention. Ok. Read this one again slowly. To understand this truly you would have to be in tune with what Christ meant when he said, “forgive them father for they know not what they do.” All our actions have at least one purpose – to achieve something that we value and benefit us. Progressive Relating separates the intention or purpose behind an action from the action itself. A person is not their behavior. When a person has a better choice of behavior that also achieves their positive intention, they will take it. In our relationships in those moments when your mate does something that leaves you scratching your head you must remind yourself that there is a positive intention behind that behavior. This progressive shift then leaves you empowered enough to communicate with your mate and explore how they can achieve the same result more effectively. Yes, to be a great mate is often synonymous with being a good coach.

6. Mind and body form a system. They are different expressions of the one person. Mind and body interact and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected. When we think differently, our bodies change. When we act differently we change our thoughts and feelings. Have you ever had a heated argument with your mate while holding hands or even hugging? It’s virtually impossible. Disagreement and discord have their own body language. In fact, over 80 percent of what we are seeking to communicate comes from our body and not our words. What would happen if you and your mate agreed to have all challenging discussions while holding hands or hugging? Try it for one week – I dare you!


7. We already have all the resources we need, or we can create them. There are no un-resourceful people, only un-resourceful states of mind. One of the most valuable tools that we can develop in our relationships is how to quickly move from one state of mind to another. Show me someone in a highly emotional state of mind and I’ll show you someone who has very limited choices. How long do you usually stay angry at your mate? What if you had the ability to shift from anger to understanding within a matter of seconds? Would you consider this a beneficial tool to have in your relationship? It can happen - this is another tool that a Relationship Coach can assist you in developing.

8. The meaning of the communication is not simply what you intend, but also the response you get. Can I get an Amen? This is the keystone of this list. If properly understood and assimilated into your everyday interactions you will be more powerful than you ever thought possible. You see, the responses from your mate may be different than the ones you wanted. However, there are no failures in communication, only responses and feedback. If you are not getting the response you want in a conversation, change what you are doing. So many of us seek the easy way out by blaming our mates for not understanding us or taking us the wrong way – these are cop-outs when the reality is that you are not either willing or able to access another way to communicate. Take full responsibility for the communication. 9. Modeling successful performance leads to excellence. If one person can do something it is possible to model it and teach it to others. In this way everyone can learn to get better results in their own way, you do not become a clone of the model – you learn from them. This is

the importance of always seeking to be around happy and successful couples.

10. If you want to understand – Act The learning is in the doing. None of what I write in these columns will mean anything until you actually try them in your relationships. If you want to truly understand the power of these principles you must remove them off of this page and into your life. Wouldn’t now be a good time to do that? Editor’s note: Hasira Watson-Ashemu (HSoul) is a relationship coach and is a syndicated columnist in N. America, Europe and Africa. He is a radio host at 89.3 KUVO and the producer of Souliloquy, a two minute audio tape on topical issues of the week. He also has conducted relationship seminars and trainings for the past 15 years. You can follow him on his weekly BLOG at or contact him at

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New Montbello Family Health Center under construction

The new Montbello Family Health Center is slated to open this fall at its new home at 12600 Albrook Dr., ½ block east of the intersection of Peoria and Albrook Dr. The new clinic will double in size to 18,000 square feet. Montbello Family Health Center offers the full array of adult, women’s and pediatric clinics. Other services include a pharmacy, medical laboratory and WIC program. The existing clinic also offers children’s dental services, which will also move to a larger area. For information about Montbello’s dental service, call 720-956-2730.

Culinary Nonprofit Receives Pepsi Refresh Project Grant

through a voting process where people around the country vote on ideas they feel will make a positive impact in the community. The Spoon was one of 45 ideas that received funding from Pepsi. The organization, which teaches culinary arts skills through hands-on activities to both youth and adults, made it through the first round in the application process in April. In May, they began accumulating “votes” on their project idea from people around the nation, officially winning the grant this month. The Spoon will use the funding provided by Pepsi to teach culinary activities at local elementary schools for the upcoming school year, enhance a current school gardening project, plan field trips, and purchase equipment. For more information on The Spoon, visit

Donor Alliance Hosts Annual Donor Dash 5K Run/Walk

The Spoon, a new nonprofit organization in Colorado has been awarded a Pepsi Refresh Project Grant for $10,000. The grants are awarded On July 17, Donor Alliance hosted its signature event, the Donor Dash — a 5K run/walk to honor those who have given the gift of life, celebrate those who have received the gift of life and recognize those still waiting for a transplant. The Donor Dash was held at Washington Park in Denver. The Donor Dash began in 2000 and has since evolved into one of the largest organ, eye and tissue donation events in Colorado. More than 4000 people participated in this year’s event including over two hundred volunteers. The generous support of 13 financial sponsors and several additional companies and organizations who hosted booths in the race expo helped to offset the cost of this year’s event. There were activities for the whole family starting with a Kid’s Fun Run, a 5K Run/Walk and a Diaper Dash for toddlers under three. A special recognition ceremony was held after the race followed by a moment of silence and balloon release to honor donor families, recipients and transplant candidates. A Donate Life Garden honored donors and recipients with vibrant, personally decorated signs and flowers. More than 50 organ, eye and tissue donors were recognized by Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


name on the Wall of Honor, Celebration and Recognition. “More than 28,000 lives are saved each year in the United States through the gift of organ donation, giving hope to the nearly 112,000 people in the U.S. and over 2,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “Of those waiting in Colorado, 71 percent are in need of a kidney and roughly one in six current transplant candidates have been on the waiting list for five years or longer.” You can save a life by registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Register online at; at the Division of Motor Vehicles the next time you obtain or renew your driver’s license; at if renewing your driver’s license online; or by calling 1-888-256-4386 and requesting a Donor Registry form.

Scholarships Now Available For Women Of All Ages

As the fall season approaches, continues to give away a $10,000 monthly scholarship award to a female who is 18 years of age or older. The scholarship award is designed to help women and moms, who make up nearly two-thirds of all college students. It can be used to pay for tuition, books, housing, and more. To apply, students simply have to register online, view free information from sponsor colleges and universities, and then confirm their registration. Females of all ethnic groups and age brackets are eligible to apply. Applicants must, however, be permanent residents of the United States, and must be planning to attend or are already enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at any college, university, or trade school. At the end of each month, one random winner is selected from a drawing and the scholarship monies are paid in one lump sum directly to the winner upon verification. Typically, the drawing date is around the middle or the end of each month. The organization behind the web site that provides the scholarship funds is on a mission to help as many female students as possible by offsetting their disadvantaged situation. A recent USA Today article revealed that minority and female enrollment in college lags disproportionately because of the lack of resources and financial aid that are being made available. For more details, visit

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Pure Unadultered Racism

By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration

The President of the United

States cannot say what I’m going to say. I am going to say it loud so that it resounds all over this land. Racists, racists, racists! Racism is alive and SICK in America. Racial hatred is alive and SICK in America. Can I prove it? Yes, I can. I am 81 years old so I have lived through 13 administrations of presidencies: some weak and ineffective, some strong and yet neglectful; and yet a few, passionate, caring and humane. These Republicans and Libertarians today are still fighting the Civil War! There is Texas where the governor is Republican Rick Perry. This Southern state wants to engrave the Confederate flag on the license plates of all the citizens in the state. There are Southern boards of education including, but not limited to Tennessee, Texas and Virginia who want to rewrite the text books either to omit slavery or to revise and rearrange history to fit their biased views. These three states all have Republican governors. The Tea Party, a group of

extreme right-wing conservative theorists are among the proponents of this revisionist, altered version of American history. There are those semi-literate legislators, like Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, who say the Founding Fathers fought to eliminate slavery. There’s a Southern governor, Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, who knows nothing about slavery and racial tensions in the South. Ignorant! Yes, that’s a part of it; but, the main thing is their psyche. Taught at an early age to look down upon and to hate people of African descent, this hatred is buried deep, deep, within the throes of every fabric and fiber of their beings. Just as a light weight object put into a glass of water will float to the top, no matter how long racism has been festering in their bodies, confronted with a president of African descent, the covert racism rises to the top. All of the subliminal messages weighing them down for years since infancy, now surface; and unabashedly, they would rather see this Nation, this Democratic Republic crumble as long as they can blame this Black man and cause his Waterloo! This is not my position. This is not my inference. This is exactly what some of these racists legislators have said. There is concrete evidence that they said it. I don’t have to make it up or falsify what they said, it is there on video preserved for the lifetime of this Nation for the whole world to see that a group of racists legislators, like Republican Congressman Mitch McConnell, are so determined to make the presidency of President Barack Obama, a one-term presidency that they frankly, as Rhett Butler said, …don’t give a damn,,,” Collective bargaining came into existence in Wisconsin; but Republican Governor Scott Walker, a governor influenced by Libertarian billionaires, destroyed it with the stroke of a pen. Social Security signed into law by Democrat President

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the more effective, caring and humane presidents, is about to undergo the chopping block despite the fact that workers have paid into the system all of their working years. Medicare and Medicaid, humane programs signed into law by Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson, designed to aid the elderly, the infirm and women, infants and children are about to come under the blade of the guillotine! These programs benefit people most of whom have worked on minimum wage jobs all of their working years. Some of them are unmarried and/or divorced women, failed by the declining education system, find themselves unprepared to find work that will sustain themselves and their children. Combined with racism is also classism; and, viewed and pursued by some, they are one and the same. Classism divides Americans by social strata with three defined levels: upper class (those with wealth accumulated either by top earning occupations or by inheritance), middle class (those who are either professional, have managerial positions or government workers with wages above the minimum income level, sometimes referred to as white collar workers), and lower class (those who work in production whose manufacturing jobs for the most part have been shipped overseas, often referred to as blue collar workers). Then there’s the undefined and often ignored underbelly of society who are invisible because they make no demands on society. They are the ones who roam the streets at night or sleep over the grate or under bridges, in bus stations or wherever they can lay their heads as they use what little belongings they have as a pillow under their heads. They are the unemployed, the homeless and hopeless, many are former military personnel who served their country all the while being neglected by their country. Many Americans of African descent

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


have managed to escape the net and the web woven that would keep them out of the middle class, have benefited from these social programs after retirement years which has sustained them, along with their pensions, and have managed to remain middle class. As one legislator decried, “This is class war!” Yes, it is! Though some semi-literate, misinformed legislators called President Obama an elitist, it is they, many formerly poor boys, who through their positions living off the dole of the citizenry, now look down on the very people from whom they rose. There are some ill reared and ill bred who call the President of the United States, a liar! Because my mind is alert and fertile, I challenge any American to refute any of the facts that I am stating. Never in the history of this country has an American President been openly disrespected as has President Barack Obama. One “pretender to the throne,” Republican part-time governor, Sarah Palin, while in India spoke derisively about the President while on foreign shores, all the while saying that this is inappropriate. One thug of a legislator, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, of South Carolina, called out, to President Barack Obama, “You lie!” during the State of the Union Address. Just the other day in July, another barnyard pig of a legislator, Republican Congressman Joe Lucas, of the 8th District of Illinois, called the President of the United States a liar. Of course American ethics, morals and morality have gone to hell in a hand basket; but, when this same “pretender,” Sarah Palin, featured on the cover of a major magazine, Newsweek, dressed inappropriately in a tight sweater opened a bit too much, then the world can see for itself the depravity and degradation of American principles and the American people. As Republican President Abraham Lincoln stated eloquently, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand,” we have reached that fork in the road and America is on the path to destruction at the hands of a few, petty, pampered, pretty boys who in their efforts to appease their “masters” are driving this country off a cliff! Until we get a Secretary of Psychiatry to free racists of the hatred they are harboring, America will not prosper. America is already close to being displaced by China as the world’s greatest power; and, this is only because of the pure unadultered racism pervasive throughout this land. Editor’s note: Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration, lives in Olympia Fields, IL. She can be reached by E-mail at

Rico Munn Elected Denver Scholarship Foundation Board

Rico Munn, a partner with Baker & Hostetler LLP, was elected to the board of directors of the Denver Scholarship Foundation. Munn is the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a longtime advocate for Colorado students. Munn’s law practice focuses on public law, commercial litigation and regulatory matters. He holds a degree in Secondary Education and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Munn is a graduate of the Leadership Denver program and has served on the boards of numerous community and legal organizations. He is a founding board member and co-chair of the Denver Urban Debate League. For more information, visit or

7NEWS Named Associated Press Station of the Year

7News has been named Station of the Year by the Associated Press Television-Radio Association. Recently, 7News has exposed Pinnacol Assurance and its lavish spending in Pebble Beach, the mistreatment of patients at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo and the Denver Police Department beatings caught on camera. In the past year, 7News also produced and broadcast the award winning documentary; Iwo Jima: A Final Tour. This extraordinary documentary introduced a group of real American Heroes and their journey back to Iwo Jima which is expected to be the last trip for any World War II veterans. The men profiled in this documentary are in their 80s and 90s they are among the few surviving Marines who fought on Iwo Jima. APTRA honored KMGH at a ceremony in June.

Vanessa Thomas-Jones Named “Toastmaster of the Year”

Vanessa Thomas-Jones was honored with the “Toastmaster of the Year” award at the Absolutely Articulate Toastmasters Club #1272692. Recently elected as the new club president for


the 2011-2012 term, Thomas-Jones is a Denver native and just completed her 25th anniversary with United Airlines where she works as Manager of AQP Systems Support. Having recently won the honor of “Best Table Topics” Speaker at her home club, this exceptional, smart and caring toastmaster was selected as Toastmaster of the Year based on her outstanding speaking and leadership demonstrated in her club. As an effective multi-tasker, she also works as a seasonal Senior Tax Preparer at H&R Block and is a Licensed Colorado Realtor that specializes in foreclosure intervention and short sales.

Aurora Resident Wins United Health Foundation Scholarship To Pursue Health Care Career

Two Colorado students, including Terry Lee of Aurora, have each won a scholarship from United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in health care. Lee is attending the senior master in nursing program at Regis University. The other local scholarship winner is Colorado Spring’s Carolina Hendren, who is a junior studying health care administration at the University of Phoenix. United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative, through its partner organizations, is awarding a total of $1.2 million in scholarships for the upcoming academic year to more than 200 students from diverse, multicultural backgrounds. This is part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to build a more diverse health care workforce. The scholarships, averaging $5,000 per student, focus on African American, American Indian, Asian American and Latino and Hispanic students who plan to pursue careers in health care. Lee’s scholarship will be administered through the National Black Nurses Association.

Local Teen Wins Award for “Kids with Kids” TV Show

A youth-produced talk show created by teen dad TeRay Esquibel with support from Open Media Foundation (OMF) and Denver Child Support is being awarded the Empowerment: Hometown Video Award bestowed by The Alliance for Community Media (ACM). This video is one of a select few to win the award.

The 45 minute talk show was produced, written and hosted by 17-yearold TeRay Esquibel, as part of the Parent Up Denver program, which encourages young parents, through the use of new and traditional media, outreach and conversation, to support their children. All crew positions were filled by youth members of OMF’s “Open Media Generation” youth production group. “Kids with Kids,” features teen and twenty-something dads talking to Esquibel about their experience being young dads. The show also features Esquibel’s biological dad and their relationship growing up. An intriguing segment of the show features Jose Guererro who expresses “Father Love”, a poem he wrote about his son’s mother abandoning his child, his initial fears as a father, and the meaning of father love. Esquibel recently graduated from Lincoln High School and plans to attend Denver University on a Daniels Fund scholarship. He has a one-yearold son. He is a spokes-parent for Parent Up Denver. To view the studio show, visit roject/spotlight-studentssos/show/spotlight-students-kidswith-kids.To view Esquibel’s and other young parents’ shorter videos, visit or

Denver Metropolitan Affiliate Of Susan G. Komen For The Cure Recognized Volunteers

The Denver Metropolitan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at the Denver Athletic Club. The Affiliate recognized three volunteers and one outstanding organization for their dedication and commitment to ending breast cancer forever. The evening was filled with volunteers, board, staff members and supporters celebrating the enthusiasm and passion of all volunteers who work day in and day out to support Komen Denver Metropolitan Affiliate and its mission to end breast cancer forever. This year, Victoria Janet Vaughns was awarded as New Volunteer of the Year. This award is given to an individual who has volunteered with the Komen Denver Metropolitan Affiliate for less than three years but has made a tremendous impact on the Affiliate. Vaughns has impacted the Affiliate through her work with the African American Community Education Group.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Black American West Museum Preserving History: Third Annual Pride & Progress Gala By Sheila L. Smith

Faces from the past returned to remind of us our rich history


otel mogul Barney Ford’s wife Julia Ford, Elizabeth Ensley from the women’s’ suffrage movement, O.T Jackson who established Colorado’s first Black settlement of Dearfield, Winks Hamlet who built the popular, Black-owned Lincoln Hills lodge and retreat, and Frederick Douglass Jr., son of the famous abolitionist and statesman. Also, we can’t forget the Buffalo Soldiers. All these individuals who made history in settling the western frontier in Colorado made their presence at the Black American West Musuem’s Third Annual Pride & Progress Gala on Saturday, July 16. Of course, reenactors played these important history makers while greeting people at the door. The gala attracted a sizable crowd, raising around $1,400 through a combination of donations and a silent auction. These funds will help the Black American West Museum continue its efforts to keep history alive. The museum is leading ongoing efforts to restore the Dearfield settlement, southwest of Greeley. This summer, archeological digs continue with a lot more to be studied, said Dr. Anthony P. Young, the chairman of the museum board of directors. “It’s a continuous process,â€? he added, “and so many artifacts still to be found.â€? Young said the Dearfield restoration project is part of the museum’s partnership with the Deerfield Committee in Weld County and the University of Northern Colorado. While UNC has attempted to rehabilitate a few buildings on the site, Young said the museum is working with the university to do even more, from restoring an old cafĂŠ and gas station and making it a prime historic, tourist attraction, which should be completed within the next couple of years. O.T (Oliver Toussaint) Jackson first bought property near Greeley and turned it into the first Black settlement in Colorado in 1911. The Dearfield community sat on a 5,000-acre agricultural spread that eventually grew from 300 to 700 people by 1920.

toric Winks Lodge and Lincoln Hills Country Club in Gilpin County, Colo. The Winks Lodge served as a famous safe haven for Black celebrities such as Lena Horne and Duke Ellington when they came to Colorado. Hamlet operated the lodge until his death in 1965. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Black American West Museum 2011 Honorees Volunteer of the Year: Rhonda Smith

Inaugural Marie Greenwood Award: Marie Greenwood, a Denver education pioneer and trailblazer

Cornerstone Award: Charleszine “Terry� Nelson for her ongoing contributions made to the museum Paul Stewart Award: Dr. George H. Junne Jr., a professor at the University of Northern Colorado

Right: Terrance D. Carroll, the former Speaker of the House in the Colorado; Below: Dr. Anthony Young, Carnita Groves and Ms. Gentry Photos by Bernard Grant

“The net value of the community was close to $1 million,� said John Thomas, a reenactor in a black suit and stylish derby at the gala, who played the character of Jackson – someone Thomas highly respects and called a very dapper guy. “What killed the community like other farmers was the end of World War I and the bottom dropping out of crops. The dust bowl hit,� he said. While the homestead land is still there and most of it has fallen into a decrepit state, Thomas said he is happy to see the museum and university’s undertaking to rejuvenate a piece of Black history from the Old West. Steve Shepard was also at the museum gala, decked out in his suit from the 1920s portraying another face from the past, Obrey Wendall “Winks� Hamlet. Hamlet, a prominent Black entrepreneur established the his-

“That is why the Black American West Museum is needed,� said Shepard who is with the Beckwourth Outdoors organization that now operates the Winks Lodge. The Denver-based nonprofit, which provides year-round outdoor activities for kids and adults and educates the public about the contributions made by people-of-color in the West, often collaborates on Black cultural restoration projects with the museum. “These types of organizations are important in keeping history. Our youth and school system don’t hear about us or know the things that we are trying to do. And the local community needs to continue supporting us,� Shepard said. About one fourth of cowboys in the western frontier were Black. Paul Stewart founded the Black American West Museum in 1971 to share this history, and its doors remain open due to various fundraising events during the year. The museum is not supported by any local, state or federal funding. “All of our money comes from admissions, donations and grants to help fund the museum,�said board chairman Young. “During the year, we have had volunteers give up their time to help keep our doors open. There are people throughout Colorado, metro Denver and from many ethnic groups who have decided to assist the museum and make us a priority.�

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Oliver T. Jackson Award: Weld County Commissioner William Garcia Dr. Justina Ford Award: Wallace Yvonne Tollette, an author and historian

Dr. Justina Ford Organizational Award: Anschutz Medical Campus Barney Ford of Excellence in

Business Award: Akente Express owner Ronald Springer and Wells Fargo Bank Barney Ford Nonprofit Business Award: Colorado Black Health Collaborative

Terrance D. Carroll, the former Speaker of the House in the Colorado General Assembly, served as master of ceremonies at the museum’s third annual gala and is an avid fan. He said it best, when he commented, “We (African Americans) were here from the beginning when the west was settled‌and it’s part of our history. The Black American West Museum breaks stereotypes in proving there was no one way to be Black.â€?

Lost Your Joy?

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Jazz enthusiasts prepare for the

concert experience of a lifetime at the 27th annual Genuine Jazz & Wine, featuring some of the industry’s best musicians and singers. The weekend lineup for August 26, 27 and 28 at Copper Mountain Resort includes bassist Julian Vaughn, saxophonist Jackiem Joyner, and musician and vocalist Marcus Anderson, among many others. Silky smooth bassist Julian Vaughn will entrance event attendees with his soulful yet youthful approach to jazz. The Kansas City native draws inspiration from his hometown’s historic surroundings where jazz greats Charlie Parker and Count Basie formed their unique jazz styles. Vaughn got his start in music playing the drums at the church where his grandfather and father were pastors. However, Vaughn found there were many young musicians vying to play the drums at his church and decided to pursue another instrument. He chose the bass guitar and it was an instant match. Vaughn is a self-taught musician with the gift of playing by ear. Once able to play songs completely, he began learning different techniques and developing his own unique style. Vaughn fell in love with smooth jazz after listening to his father’s Najee cassette Tokyo Blue. From then on he knew what genre of jazz he wanted to play. He continued to hone his solo skills along with composing, and performed his first composition at church at age 21. “My friends used to get on me because I would stop playing the bass line and start soloing,” said Vaughn. Echoing Vaughn’s smooth approach to jazz is saxophonist Jackiem Joyner. Joyner is a multidimensional artist who draws inspiration from his experiences off stage and love for movies. His music is cinematic with the ability to draw a mental picture for listeners. Born in Norfolk, Va. but raised in New York, Joyner has been a talented musician since his youth and got his start playing drums in church. He transitioned into the saxophone during his high school years. Even in his youth, his musical talents proved fruitful when he competed and won three NAACP youth achievement awards. Joyner has played in keyboardist Marcus Johnson’s band along with Bobby Lyle, Angela Bofill, Ronnie

Julian Vaughn, Jakiem Joyner and Marcus Anderson Perform Genuine Jazz at Copper Mountain By Charis Garrett

Julian Vaughn

Laws, and Jean Carne. Joyner has also more recently performed on stage with Keiko Matsui, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Joe Sample, and the late Wayman Tisdale. The Genuine Jazz performer is truly a multitalented artist who writes, records, produces and mixes most of his songs independently. In addition to playing his trademark alto and soprano sax sounds, Joyner adds the tenor saxophone to his self-titled third album release. As if these talents were not enough, he plays most of the other instruments heard on the album as well. Joining the lineup of multi-talented artists is singer-musician Marcus Anderson. Anderson is a saxophonist, flautist and singer from Durham, N.C. He has music flowing through his veins as he is from a large musical family. Both of his parents sang regularly in their home, but it was his father who introduced him to jazz. While Anderson got his start singing with his older brothers in church, he honed his talents at North Carolina Central University. While continuing his studies, he became a member of the university’s world renowned Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins. Anderson also sharpened his skills by studying with Branford Marsalis and Donald Hayes for several years. Anderson has performed with and opened for Kirk Whalum, George Duke, Everette Harp, Nenna Freelon, Bob Baldwin, Ledisi, and Layla

Jakiem Joyner

Hathaway, among many others. Some of the venues where Anderson has performed include Raleigh Symphony Orchestra State Teachers Convention,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


Jazz Under the Stars, Nassau Bahamas, Carolina Music Fest, Downtown Jazz Series in WinstonSalem, just to name a few. With an incredible resume, Anderson will definitely be a treat. “I put all of my heart and soul into my playing, and that’s where music should come from!” he said. Event attendees will certainly enjoy the musical stylings of Joyner, Anderson and Vaughn at the Genuine Jazz & Wine. The jazz enthusiast’s

Marcus Anderson

dream weekend concert also includes Gerald Alright, Stanley Jordan, Eric Darius, and the man with a 1,000 voices, Julius.  Editor’s note: For more information on the Genuine Jazz Festival, visit

New Reports Reveal Alarming Facts About The Educational Experiences Of Young Men Of Color

College Board Reports Offer Insights into the Educational Challenges Faced by Young Men of Color and Outlines a Series of Concrete Recommendations for Addressing These Issues


early half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. This jarring statistic is just one of many highlighted in two new reports that will be released today by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center at an event held in collaboration with the Harvard University’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research in Cambridge, Mass.. The reports, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress and Capturing the Student Voice, are especially relevant given the need for these young men to attain postsecondary degrees if the nation’s economy is to thrive and compete globally. The reports provide the most comprehensive data, research findings and recommendations to date to improve the educational experiences and pathways of young men of color. The qualitative research study, conducted in collaboration with the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), provides findings from 92 in-depth personal student interviews that are captured through video storytelling. This information is combined in a dynamic website. Together, these resources provide a compelling narrative that tracks the progress and pitfalls for young men of color from high school through college. In addition, there is a legal implications and policy brief that provides guidance for designing programs and policies to serve these students. Last year, the College Board

Advocacy & Policy Center released a report that explored The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color. This initiative builds off that work. The reports seek to give a balanced view of the educational issues that exist for young men of color across four minority groups – African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans – throughout the K–20 pipeline. According to the findings, just 26 percent of African Americans, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders have at least an associate degree. The reports also provide an analysis of the postsecondary pathways for young men of color and identify the barriers and catalysts to college. “At a time when our nation is committed to reclaiming its place as the world leader in higher education, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our young men of color,” said Gaston Caperton, College Board President. “As long as educational opportunities are limited for some, we all suffer. We rise as one nation and we fall as one nation. But if we keep working hard – if we keep listening to each other and to our students – we can soften our landings and reach historic new heights.” “These reports cast into stark view what all Americans, unfortunately, have known for a long time: that access to education in this country is a right that not all of our children enjoy in equal measure,” said Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of


the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. “But the devastating numbers and the sobering statistics are a call to action through the recommendations outlined in this innovative report. Only with genuine and profound educational reform can we create equal opportunities for young men of color and indeed for all Americans.” “As our country works to rise above the serious economic challenges we face, we must commit to reaching every young person in our schools,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “If we as a nation are to succeed – economically and as a leader in education and innovation – we need all of our students to succeed as well.” “In the current economic climate and era of global competitiveness, there is an urgent need to address the stark and undeniable barriers that prevent so many young men of color from earning college degrees and reaching their fullest potential,” said Business Innovation Factory founder and Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan. “By capturing the authentic voices of these students, we begin to bring the experiences of these young men to life in a way that makes their voices central to the national conversation about transforming the education system. BIF is proud to be part of this important initiative.” Key recommendations outlined in the studies include encouraging policymakers to make improving outcomes for young men of color a national priority, increasing community, business and school partnerships to provide mentoring and support for these young men, and improving teacher education programs and providing professional development training that includes cultural and gender-responsive training. The two reports, and the launch of a new national initiative to boost the economic success of young men of color, were announced at an event hosted in collaboration with the W. E.


• A L L I L L U S T R AT I O N •PORT R AITS •EDITORIALS •MURALS •LOGOS dropsh ado w802@aol .c om

• 7 2 0 - 6 2 1- 6 3 3 6 Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. A distinguished panel, moderated by National Public Radio’s Claudio Sanchez, included: •Representative Joaquin Castro, Texas •James Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, and Founder of Comer School Development Program •Hill Harper, Actor/Activist •Neil Horikoshi, Executive Director, Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund •Estela Mara Bensimon, CoDirector, Center for Urban Education and Professor, University of Southern California •LeManuel “Lee” Bitsoi, Minority Action Plan (MAP) Program Director, Harvard Medical School Also in attendance was: •Gaston Caperton, Former Governor of West Virginia and President, The College Board •Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University To learn more about College Board advocacy, visit or contact Carly Lindauer at The College Board, or 212-7138052. Editor’s note: The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. For more information, visit The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) creates real-world laboratories where organizations can design, prototype and test new models for delivering value. BIF’s mission is to enable business model and systemslevel innovation in areas of high social impact, including health care, education, energy and entrepreneurship. For more information Named after William Edward Burghardt Du Bois who, in 1895, was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research is the nation’s oldest research center dedicated to the study of the history, culture, and social institutions of Africans and African Americans. The Institute was established in 1975 to create fellowships that would facilitate the writing of doctoral dissertations in areas related to AfroAmerican Studies. For more information, visit

Shorter Hosts 125th AME Annual Conference

Shorter Community AME Church hosts the 125th Desert Mountain Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 with the theme, “A Prescription to Rebuild the Wall.” A worship service message from Rev. Dr. Benjamin Thomas will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31, followed with men and spirituality on Thursday with guest speaker, Rev. Chris Hill of The Potter’s House Denver. On Saturday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. is the formal ordination ceremony and communion will be held followed a full evening of fellowship and fun beginning at 4:30 p.m.. On Sunday, Sept. 4 there will be a 10 a.m. commissioning worship service. A two-day women’s pre-conference agenda is set for Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 29 and 30. A collaboration of choirs under the direction of Rev. Dr. Bernard Corbett, Shorter Church Minister of Music, will host this musical celebration with worship through song. For more information, call 303-3201712.

Boyz II Men ‘Spread The Love’ With A Concert Monday At A Taste Of Colorado

R&B group Boyz II Men will close out the 28th annual A Taste of Colorado on the Main Stage, Monday, Sept. 5, at 5:30 p.m. Since the early 1990s, Boyz II Men has achieved international success and sold more than 60 million records during their career. In 1991, the group’s debut album “Cooleyhighharmony” climbed to #3 on the Billboard 200 chart. Boyz II Men has had numerous hits, including “End of the Road,” which was the group’s first single to reach #1 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart, and “I’ll Make Love to You.” Both of these songs won Grammy Awards. The festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 through Sept. 5, in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. For more information, visit or call 303-295-6330.

Jordan AME Church Anniversary Rev. Dr. Percel E. Hector and the members of Jordan AME Church are welcoming the public for the 54th church anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 14. There will be a morning praise and worship service at 11 a.m. followed by a fellowship lunch. An afternoon worship service will be held at 3:30 p.m. with Pastor Terry McCray Hill of Payne Chapel AME Church (Colorado


Springs). The theme is “Building on a Solid Foundation.“ Jordan AME Church is located at 2900 Milwaukee St. in Denver.

Nomination Deadline Approaching For 2012 Colorado Women’s Hall Of Fame

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame announces that nominations will be accepted for the 2012 class of inductees through Friday, Aug. 26. Nomination forms are available on the organization’s website,, in downloadable PDF and word formats. Every even-numbered year, the Hall inducts a class of women of diverse backgrounds, from pioneers to politicians, educators to entrepreneurs, during a gala event held in their honor. Each inductee has made a significant and enduring contribution to the lives of others and helped to elevate the status of women in Colorado, the US and some, around the world. Anyone can, and is encouraged to, nominate an outstanding woman with significant Colorado ties. For nomination requirements and forms go to Nominations should be sent to Lindy Conter, 1030 Big Valley Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.

DaVita to Hold Kidney Rock 5K Run|Walk

DaVita Inc. a leading provider of kidney care services for those diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), announced it will host a 5K fun run/walk on August 6 in Denver’s City Park. The event, called the DaVita Kidney Rock, is free to all registered participants and will feature the Kidney Health Expo, games and prizes at the Kid Zone, refreshments, and a special performance by the DaVita Blues All Stars Band. Beginning at 8 a.m., kidney disease screening will be performed at no cost by The Kidney TRUST, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase awareness of kidney disease through public education. On Saturday night, DaVita will also host a block party on Glenarm Place to thank sponsors who made the Kidney Rock possible and recognize outstanding DaVita teammates (employees). Advance online registration for the DaVita Kidney Rock Walk is open to the public and free of charge. After registering online at, each participant of the DaVita Kidney Rock will receive a personal fundraising page, with incentives offered beginning at the $100 level.

City Council Announces Vacancy On Denver County Cultural Council

Application forms are available for citizens interested in filling a vacancy on the Denver County Cultural Council (DCCC), a board authorized by the State to distribute Scientific & Cultural Facilities District Tier III revenues to science and cultural organizations. In filling this vacancy, City Council is looking for an individual with active community involvement at the neighborhood level and professional, volunteer or advocatory experience in an art, cultural, scientific or historical organization. Applicants should have a citywide perspective and be willing to commit at least 15 to 20 hours per month to the Cultural Council. For more information and applications e-mail Jane Potts at, call 303860-0360 or visit the Denver County SCFD office at 899 Logan St., Suite 500 in Denver and at under News & Announcements. Completed applications are due by 5 p.m. on August 4 to Jan Brennan at the Arts & Venues Denver, 1245 Champa St in Denver.

Emily Griffith Technical College To Celebrate 95 Years Of Opportunity

On Friday, Sept. 9, Emily Griffith Technical College, formerly Emily Griffith Opportunity School, will celebrate the milestone with a Gala Anniversary event, Emily Then and Now, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Guests will be greeted by an Emily look-alike and enjoy a pictorial of the school’s history. They will also be treated to a gourmet dinner, entertainment and dancing with Denver’s popular Moses Jones band, and a silent auction to benefit the Emily Griffith Foundation. Custom jewelry, restaurant certificates and fabulous trips around the world will help raise $95,000 to provide for scholarships and instructional tools to continue offering a high-quality education for adult learners. Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg will serve as the Honorary Chairperson. For more information, e-mail

Denver Digs Trees Fall Shade Tree Applications Available Now

Applications are available now for the non-profit’s Denver Digs Trees shade tree distribution. The trees are low-cost and free for those who quali-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


fy, and applications are due by September 1. There will be seven varieties of trees that will conserve energy and save money by bringing shade to homes and businesses. Trees purchased through this fall tree distribution must be planted on private property, and are just $25, or free for residents of one of the 24 target neighborhoods. For more information and applications, visit or call 303-722-6262.

Shorter Community A.M.E. Church Children’s Church 5th Annual Backpack Drive

Currently, DPS has identified approximately 1700 students as homeless; 789 live in shelters, 544 are living with other family members, and 175 live in motels. These children need support in preparing for school and everyday life. This year Children’s church will collect gently used or new backpacks, school supplies, and items for hygiene and laundry Kits. These kits are given to families living in motels. The Backpack Drive is Sunday, Aug. 21. For more information, call Marsha Johnson or Leslii Lewis at 303320-1712

New Lone Tree Arts Center Grand Opening Gala

Tony Award recipient Brian Stokes Mitchell who recently starred in the new film Jumping The Broom will be the first star performer to step on stage at the new Lone Tree Arts Center. The occasion will be the Grand Opening Gala on Saturday, Aug. 27, benefiting the new Arts Center’s programs. The black tie, invitation only evening will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and Mr. Mitchell’s performance in the new 500 seat Main Stage Theater. The new $23,000,000 Lone Tree Arts Center is a professional, innovative and environmentally “green” venue designed by Westlake Reed Leskosky. Included in the Arts Center are a grand entry hall event and gallery space; a 500 seat main stage theater with orchestra and balcony seating, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, an orchestra pit, fly space and expertly designed acoustics; and an adaptable 150 to 225 seat event theater for intimate performances, events and meetings that opens through a glass wall to a 300-350 seat outdoor terrace theater. Season Ticket Packages are available now at or by phone at 720-509-1000.

Caregivers Check On Elderly In Brutal Heat

A deadly heat wave is melting most of the country but as it turns out, many senior citizens, most vulnerable to the heat, may be ignoring the warnings. A study out of Kent State University shows 90 percent of respondents over the age of 65 were

aware of heat warnings, but most seniors thought the messages were targeted toward “older Americans,� a group to which they did not think they belonged. That’s why Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home providers for seniors in the nation, has started a program called “Heat Helpers,� caregivers who come to the home to keep the elderly safe in this sweltering summer. “Nobody wants to admit they can’t deal with extreme heat like they used to. That’s why it’s so important to have someone check on your elderly loved one when you can’t be there,� says Peter Ross, CEO and founder of

Senior Helpers, one of our nation’s leading national “Heat Helpersâ€? Aids Local Seniors Who Ignore Heat Warnings, in-home senior care providers with a “Heat Helpersâ€? in your town. “Heat safety has changed‌from new FDA guidelines on sunscreen to health recommendations for water intake seniors need to stay hydrated. It often takes an extra set of eyes and ears to make sure seniors are doing everything they can to stay protected.â€?

How Senior Helpers’ “Heat Helpers� Works:

•Senior Helpers caregivers come to the senior’s home to help them with

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       Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


daily activities like cleaning, cooking and yard work, which may be too strenuous in these brutal temps. Caregivers also make sure seniors are taking proper precautions to beat the heat. •Stay well hydrated – Caregivers remind seniors to drink water throughout the course of the day, even if they’re not particularly thirsty. As adults continue to age, the amount of water retained by the body decreases substantially. •Maintaining a cool environment – Caregivers close blinds and curtains keeping the house cool, even in triple digit temperatures. Caregivers also have battery operated/hand-held fans readily available to keep their seniors comfortable. Most seniors are budgetconscious, so it’s important for caregivers to be sure the AC is set to a proper, cool level and it’s working. Caregivers can also be responsible to check filters once a month. •Stay in air conditioning in the afternoon – The hottest part of the day is from 3 to 5 p.m. Caregivers provide inside activities like playing cards, going to movies or the mall to keep seniors active inside to avoid spending time outside during the most dangerous hours of the day. •Eat plenty, but eat light – Caregivers prepare light food because heavy foods, like meat and cheese, tend to make the body work harder to digest, using more water and generating more body heat. •Follow new sunscreen guidelines – Caregivers are well versed on the FDA’s newly released guidelines about sun protection. Seniors are more prone to sunburn because their bodies have less water. Caregivers educate seniors about these new regulations such as there’s no such thing as “sweat proofâ€? or “water proofâ€? sunscreen. Or that you must re-apply sunscreen every two hours for it to work effectively (new guidelines listed at the bottom of the release). •Copies of health care information – In the event of an emergency, caregivers can have copies of senior’s prescriptions, health insurance card, and phone numbers of health care providers on-hand. “We want to do everything we can to make sure our seniors don’t make heat headlines,â€? says Ross. “Even if your elderly loved ones say they’re staying safe in the heat, it’s always a good idea to have someone check up on them.â€?  Sources: American Cancer Society, the Skin Cancer Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Journal of Public Health, American Medical Student Association

Did You Know?

•Every year since 1998, more people die from extreme heat in the U.S. than from floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, combined. •Heat waves are often called the “silent epidemic” or the “invisible natural disaster.” •Unlike natural disasters that have wreaked visible, violent havoc this summer, heat waves often strike victims within the confines of their homes. •To top it off, the American Medical Student Association finds that the general public perceives heat waves as uncomfortable and inconvenient instead of life threatening.

What We’ve Learned From the FDA’s New Sunscreen Guidelines: •There is no such thing as “sweatproof” and “waterproof” sunscreens. These words are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels. •Sunscreens can claim to be “water resistant” but the company has to put a label on their product stating the sunscreen only offers 40 or 80 minutes of protection while swimming or sweating. •You must re-apply sunscreen every two hours for continued sun protection. •Use sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection, also known as “broad spectrum” protection. •Only broad spectrum sunscreens with 15 SPF or higher provide any type of sun protection (15 – 30 SPF is recommended). Editor’s note: About Senior Helpers: Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has 300 franchises in 39 states and one in Canada offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. For more information, visit

Continued from page 3 “grow up folks”- Face the fact that you are not the only persecuted minority group. And, that indeed, when given the chance (as against the GLTB community) many AfricanAmericans are among the most bigoted and hateful perpetrators of discrimination (including Tracy Morgan the black comedian who recently announced to his wildly cheering audience that he would kill his son if the son were gay!) Own up to the devastating effect your bigotry and homophobia have on your own black gay and lesbian adolescents. Clean your own house before you start pontificating about the supposed “sins” of the GLTB community! There is one point in Mr. Childress’s article with which I fully agree: “Right is right even if everyone is against it and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.” Bigotry and homophobia are most definitely wrong no matter from what community they come.

Should We Check The “Other” Box?

D.L. Johnson Denver

Editor: Recently it was bought to my attention that a certain young lady was passed up for a position she had applied for. This accounting position asked for qualifications to hold a Bachelor’s degree. Not only did this young lady have her B.A. but also had acquired her Master’s degree. This young lady found out about the “passover” for this position by seeing it posted on the job-sight When she asked for an explanation, the hiring manager stated there were other requirements. Those requirements were not listed on the job posting. Situations like this make you wonder “Should we check the box that says OTHER”, when asking a person’s race when applying for a job. I’m sure this is not the first time, issues like this have occurred to many of our hard working brothas and sistas. This happened to hit home with me, because the young lady this happened to was my daughter. Something to think about people... Stay black. Stay strong

Dex Hopes Denver

NABJ Issues Letter To CNN On Lack Of Diversity In Their PrimeTime Lineup Editor: It has been 17 days since I sent network news executives an open letter


about the deplorable lack of diversity in their prime-time schedules. Now, I am floored that CNN missed another opportunity to fill a void created at 8 p.m. The NAACP took notice too and blasted the network for a lack of black talent on the desk after former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s departure this week. Former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett will join the prime-time lineup. This is no slight against Burnett, who has worked as a financial analyst and anchored financial news. But this is not the first time CNN has had an opportunity and failed to diversify its nighttime lineup. During the past two years alone, CNN has made several changes after the departures of Lou Dobbs, Larry King, and Campbell Brown. With each of those changes came an opportunity for diversity; yet in each instance, CNN went in another direction. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that CNN has several times passed over its own qualified African American journalists for prime-time posts in favor of whites who possess celebrity (Piers Morgan) or infamy (Spitzer). He resigned his post as New York governor in 2008 after an FBI sting revealed a liaison with a prostitute. In October 2010, NABJ met with CNN executives, including President Jim Walton, after the network announced that Morgan would replace Larry King upon his retirement. At the time, CNN said it was looking for the “right person” and not necessarily a mainstream journalist when the next prime-time opening occurred. NABJ spoke out again when the network hired Spitzer and Kathleen Parker to replace Campbell Brown. NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Bob Butler and I talked with Walton late Thursday, and he told us the network continues to seek and develop a candidate who has the image and substance to carry a prime-time show. I invited Walton to mount an innovative search during the NABJ national convention next month in Philadelphia. It will be packed with outstanding African American talent. Since our meeting last year, CNN has made progress in hiring diverse executives including managing editor and executive vice president Mark Whitaker, editor and former NABJ president Bryan Monroe, and Chief Marketing Officer Janet Rolle, who had a similar role at BET. In fact, NABJ sent Walton a letter thanking him for hiring Whitaker and for adding Suzanne Malveaux to the lineup of midday anchors. Walton said he is proud of the senior level hires, but until a person of color is

Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


added to prime time, CNN’s progress will be “hollow.” Viewers do not see who’s making decisions or writing scripts. NABJ sincerely hopes the next time there is an opening for a prime-time host, CNN will have found — and groomed - the “right person.” CNN must make efforts to ensure that its staff, both on-air and behind the scenes, is as diverse and inclusive as its audience.

Kathy Y. Times President National Association of Black Journalists

Miss Black Colorado Seeks Support

Editor: As Miss Black Colorado 2011, I am seeking sponsorship to compete as a state delegate in the national Miss Black USA pageant. My platform focuses on health in women. My ability to participate in the 2011 National Pageant is dependent upon community support and sponsorship. Miss Black USA is a scholarship organization that strives to help cultivate young women of color; mind, body, and spirit. The organization was founded in1986 by Karen Arrington and is currently a registered 501 (c) 3. Delegates from each state are developed to become women that hold poise, self confidence, articulation, leadership development, and public relation qualities. This once in a lifetime opportunity can change many things if crowned Miss Black USA. If crowned Miss Black USA I will be the recipient of a scholarship and given the honor of serving communities nationwide. To offer support, please make a check out to (Chloe Johnson) Miss Black Colorado USA 2011 and send to the address below. Thank you for your support and all of your efforts for helping me become Miss Black USA. Your kindness and gratitude are appreciated.

Chloe Rachel Johnson Miss Black Colorado USA 2011 P.O. Box 470594 Aurora, Colo. 80047

Support Needed For AFC Dinner Charity Challenge Grant

Editor: The African Heritage Celebration held its 5th annual charity and cultural engagement on July 9. The event, hosted by the Hyatt Regency in Denver, is held yearly to raise funds for educational projects in Senegal, where AHC distributes supplies to elementary school children. This year’s dinner and silent auction raised $3,741. Continued on page 34


Continued from page 33 In years past, students from Kindergarten to 6th grade received textbooks, slates, notebooks, pens and pencils at reception ceremonies, at which time the importance for children to thrive for a good education was emphasized as parents, teachers and local notorieties expressed gratitude for the much needed gifts. The educational materials add to the children’s motivation to make better lives for themselves. Knowledge can help students transform their lives and improve their living conditions. Education also helps form citizens who will contribute in advancing tolerance, friendship, understanding and peace between people and make the world a better place. The AHC raised most of the resources through its annual benefit dinner and silent auction in addition to a $5,000-challenge-grant from the Mizel Global fund which has been provided since 2008. We hope you will join us with our endeavors by sending your tax deductible contribution and help us meet the Mizel Global Fund challenge.

Mohamadou Cisse Executive Director Denver

Editor’s note: If you would like to send a donation to assist students in Senegal, West Africa, send your check to: AHC, Inc., P.O. box 221294, Denver, CO 80222. For more information, visit


Experience • Integrity • Knowledge

I paid taxes too. In 1965, I was denied admission access to the University of North Carolina (UNC), just because of the skin I’m in. Today, I pay for illegal immigrants college education at UNC and their medical treatment too, which I was also denied, and illegals (regardless of hue) are stealing jobs from Black folks nationally. Astonishingly, whites are hiring illegals just to lower overall wages and benefits. Soon I may have to lump Colorado into the Cotton Curtain group. I drive all over Colorado and the sight of African Americans working on government funded construction projects, is as rare as hens teeth. Seems that whites and Mexicans have all of those plum construction jobs sewed up for their clans. It wasn’t too long ago that all menial jobs were reserved exclusively for African Americans. Thanks to a corps of Black politicians (gutless wonders), this is no longer true.

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African Americans Still Behind “The Cotton Curtain”

Editor: 400 years of history, untouched by any measurable social and economic progress. I’ve always referred to our southeastern states, as The Cotton Curtain. These slavery states were just as vile and perverted as Russia’s (communism) Iron Curtain in Europe. From 1945 to 1989, Russians subjected their political subjects to some of the most ungodly acts ever known to mankind. Only Hitler matched their reckless zeal in oppression, murder, and denial of all basic humankind rights. To date, social and economic progress is still slow for African Americans, because our Black politicians are all hiding under their desks, humming and singing stanzas from “We Shall Overcome,“ while illegal immigrants and whites are getting rich. I can’t take anymore of this “modern day social progress.” I worked as a teenager in South Carolina and North Carolina. I picked cotton and beans, was a golf course caddy on whitesonly golf courses, did landscaping, etc.


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Tommy Thomas and you . . . jes’ keepin’ it real. Denver Urban Spectrum — – August 2011


August 26-27-28 2011 Copper Mountain Resort

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DUS August 2011  
DUS August 2011  

Denver Urban Spectrum August 2011 Issue