Volume 29 Number 5 August 2015
Mayor Michael B. Hancock
Delivers Inaugural Address, Enters Second Term Leading the City and County of Denver...4
Photo by Bernad Grant
Stephanie O’Malley on Making Informed Decisions for City’s Safety…7 ‘be well’ Movement Creating Healthy Sustainable Urban Communities…10 Advancing a Community with the Montbello Organizing Committee…12 Denver’s Human Trafficking Summit to Tackle Modern Day Slavery...16-17
INORMOUS NEW T AINS DIA. Westminster. Wheat Ridge. Aurora. 2016 is gonna be huge.
Get the scoop on A B
G R at rtd-denver.com/2016
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Volume 29 Number 5
PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris
GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James MANAGING EDITOR Angelia D. McGowan
CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer K. Gerald Torrence Theo J. Wilson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Angelle Fouther Angelia D. McGowan Melovy Melvin ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Melovy Melvin
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant
ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT Robin James Byron T. Robinson 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 2015 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at www.denverurbanspectrum.com.
Tradition is a very powerful force. – John P. Kotter, Author and Educator
In keeping with tradition this month, the Denver Urban Spectrum chronicles dynamic moments in the city’s history. In this August issue, we have published the words that Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock delivered in his Inaugural Address at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on July 20, 2015. It provides a great opportunity for our readers to review the accomplishments of the city and prepare for an even brighter future. We also have stories surrounding the overall well-being of neighborhoods and the city at large. Charles Emmons has penned “Be Healthy and Be Epic with ‘be well’ Initiative” to address the important role that individuals have in encouraging healthy habits in their neighborhood. A profile piece on Stephanie O’Malley, executive director of the city’s Department of Safety, underscores her approach to making the most informed policy decisions impacting citizens of the Mile High City. Angelle C. Fouther explains the beginnings and aspirations for one of Denver’s culturally-rich neighborhoods, “Montbello, a Neighborhood Rising From the Roots Up.” Theo E.J. Wilson’s piece, “Betrayed by the Black Elite” will ignite powerful discussions on a topic that few have dared to touch publicly. We also provide information on an upcoming conference on human trafficking and its relevance in Colorado. We hope that you’ll find information in this issue to help you do what you do better or find something you would like to do personally to make a difference in the Mile High City, and possibly start your own traditions. Enjoy. Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Are you Setting Your Child Up For Success?
Did you know that only 30 percent of our health is determined by genetics and access to care? The other 70 percent is determined by environment and healthy behaviors! So the choices we make about food, activity and environment make a more significant difference than our DNA or how easy it is to see a doctor. Knowing this, the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being won’t just provide access to services, it will also provide a place for community members to connect with their neighbors, learn new skills and find supports they need to increase their health and well-being. Dahlia Campus will feature a hub of services and programs (e.g., cooking and nutrition classes, family education classes and support groups, farm and gardens, greenhouse, yoga classes for seniors, family therapy). The goal is to offer a welcoming place to children, families and adults where everyone can engage in activities that will help them feel good and live well. As parents, one of our main responsibilities is to advocate for our child. Regardless of our income, ethnicity, family circumstances or disability, our child is entitled to an education that will help them reach their full academic, social, and professional potential.
Editor: It’s that time of year—when we, as parents, think about how to set our children up for success in the upcoming school year. We might ask ourselves how we define success for our child, because children vary in so many ways; no one child is like another, they all have their own personalities and learning styles. We often decide to stick with our assigned neighborhood school without knowing that we have choices of other schools that might better meet our child’s specific needs. In Park Hill, we are fortunate to have a lot of choices when it comes to sending our children to school. One of those choices that might be a good fit for your child is the Dahlia Campus Preschool and Kindergarten, opening this August. The Mental Health Center of Denver, Sewall Child Development Center and Denver Public Schools are partnering to build a state-of-the-art inclusive preschool that delivers high academic and social gains for all students, including those with mental health and developmental challenges. When selecting a school for our child, we may want to consider: curriculum, our child’s learning style, their social skills, and available extracurricular activities. We should also consider environment. One benefit of the Dahlia Campus Preschool and Kindergarten is its location at the Dahlia Campus for Health and WellBeing, which offers access to outdoor learning landscapes, multi-generational play spaces, an urban farm, pediatric dentistry, and family supports.
Maya Wheeler, MHA Denver, CO
Editor’s note: For more information about the Dahlia Campus Preschool or to pick up an application, stop by the Pauline Robinson Library (5575 E 33rd Ave) or call an enrollment specialist at 303-399-1800. Enrollment is open. School begins Aug. 24.
Victory...What Victory? Editor:
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Last month we ran the obituary for the Honorable John W. Buckner. It stated that John Buckner began his career in the Cherry Creek School District in Elgin, Illinois. The Cherry Creek School District is in Colorado. Last week I received an email from the president of a prominent organization calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the state capitol building of South Carolina, a real act of defeating an enemy. However, I am confused because an act of defeating an enemy is the definition of the word “victory” but what enemy has been defeated here with the removal of the confederate flag from a single building’s roof top? This begs the question; is it appropriate to use the word “victory” in the context of getting the confederate flag Continued on page 25 Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum
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2015 Inaugural Address July 20, 2015
Editor’s note: Mayor Michael B. Hancock delivered his 2015 Inaugural Address to an audience of 1,000 people at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Proud of Denver’s progress and optimistic about the city’s future, the Mayor highlighted the hard work of the residents of Denver to create a vibrant city that is experiencing one of the most dynamic moments in its history.
Good morning, Denver. Thank
you for being here as we embark on a new chapter in our shared history. Judge Marcucci, members of City Council, Auditor O’Brien, Clerk and Recorder Johnson, distinguished guests and fellow residents: Like you, I love Denver. With good schools, parks, recreation centers and libraries, this city helped raise me. With solid jobs and good employers, I built my career here. With more opportunity for our future generations, Mary Louise and I chose to raise our children here. More people than ever before can say those words about our great city. I know I speak for most when I say we are proud of Denver. We are proud of where we started, of what we have become and of what we are creating, together, for the future. This city is all about overcoming obstacles and realizing possibilities. Always has been. Over the past four years, we reversed an economic downturn, filled a $100 million hole in our budget and restored services that had been slashed during the great recession.
Thanks to that hard work, we are now experiencing one of the most dynamic moments in our city’s history. Our job market is unparalleled, with 49,000 new jobs and 3,200 new businesses over the past four years plus an unemployment rate of just 4.1 percent today. Our children have access to the best preschool program in the nation, a public school system that is on the rise, and greater access to libraries, parks and recreation centers than ever before.
the assent of the Supreme Court, full marriage equality. These achievements have not been singular, nor do they belong to one person. These achievements have been hard-fought together, and harder-won together. We are transforming this city while holding dear the values of who we are. We have positioned ourselves at the vanguard of progress and the whole world is noticing because it is Denver. People want to be here, and stay here. We are proud to call this city home, and proud to live and work in vibrant neighborhoods. From Ruby Hill to Park Hill, Sun Valley to Bear Valley, Jefferson Park to University Park and everywhere in between, our neighborhoods are regenerating. Small businesses are booming.
Our city government has become one of the most innovative in the nation through Peak Performance, with service delivery that keeps getting better and faster and a workforce that continues to innovate. Denver, our city employees are on the ground every day doing great work. I cannot praise them enough for all they do to make our city a place we can all be proud of. And that is just the beginning. In four short years, we have delivered new parks for seven neighborhoods, while preserving another 650 acres of open space and 30 miles of trails. We have expanded our global reach to new markets in Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. We have become a mecca for innovation, attracting visionary companies such as Panasonic Enterprise Solutions and a new generation of startups like the digital health firm iTriage. With our courageous Clerk and Recorder Deb Johnson, we declared that love is love with civil unions and now, with
New restaurants are opening. Exciting shops and plazas are bringing people together, transforming ordinary spaces into unique places where we share this great city together. We have boldly moved to build Denver for the future, and today our city’s energy emanates from our neighborhoods. They are the building blocks of our next generation economy, where a main street mentality is leading to diverse communities that are investing in their own backyards. To maximize that momentum, over the past four years we have directed significant resources into neighborhoods by building libraries, playgrounds, and ball parks, attracting
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
new grocery and retail stores and investing in new transit stops. Today, those transit stops are better connecting our neighborhoods with our urban core thanks to the amazing new Denver Union Station, which is transforming lower downtown. With it has come new jobs, new housing and two new grocery stores as well as myriad other reasons to be downtown after work or on weekends. All because our pride in this great city helped us to recognize the value of our historic train depot and create a vision to remake this Denver treasure. I see possibilities, big and small, to drive this energy into all of downtown. We will do exactly that by reimagining the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Performing Arts Complex and downtown parks and outdoor spaces. It serves all of us to want to keep coming to our city core; to bring our friends and family to show off a more exciting mall; to visit the theater district during the day for shopping and dining and entertainment. The possibilities are endless. Let’s keep our downtown something we can all be proud of.
When I took office four years ago, I was determined to keep the National Western Stock Show in Denver. As an event that has helped define this city, I promised you that we would find a way to make it thrive for another 100 years. The Stock Show brings people to Denver from all over the world for two weeks in January, but what about the rest of the year?
This fall, voters get the chance to approve the new National Western Center; to say ‘yes’ to year-round entertainment, recreation, commerce and research; to support a partnership with Colorado State University that will create thousands of new jobs and further strengthen our economy; to open up new access to the South Platte River and 80 acres of open space; and to create greater access to public transportation. Like Union Station, the new National Western Center will connect the best of our past with the immense possibilities of our future. The National Western Center is one essential element of my vision for the Corridor of Opportunity, which stretches from downtown all the way to Denver International Airport. As our gateway to the world, DIA already brings more than 26 billion dollars a year to the state’s economy, and that, too, is just the beginning. After more than two years of work with Adams County and the cities surrounding the airport, we have come together with a proposal that will bring new types of commercial business and thousands of new jobs to the airport and neighboring communities, with all of us sharing the economic benefits. Not since the airport was built 20 years ago, not since voters approved FasTracks more than a decade ago, have we achieved such a degree of regional cooperation. I was extremely proud to stand with our regional neighbors just a month ago to present this plan to voters for their consideration this fall. We exemplified the best aspect of our region: reaching toward the future together. We are just scratching the surface of possibilities that development at the airport brings. I am pumped to get the new hotel open in November and begin train service from the airport to Denver Union Station in the spring. By leveraging these strengths, we brought the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Denver. By leveraging these strengths, we have established a global partnership with United Airlines. By leveraging these strengths, Panasonic is building a hub of innovation and smart living at 61st and Peña, the likes of which have never been seen before. And we are not stopping there. We are setting the stage for even more job creation by continuing to position Denver as a leader in innovation and tech, by creating an ecosystem for emerging sectors, and by growing a highly skilled labor force to meet tomorrow’s opportunities today. Just imagine, next generation businesses moving or growing in Denver and then choosing to locate at rail sta-
tions throughout the city that are primed for smart development and smarter living – and connected to the region and the world. I could not be more excited about our future. This is a critical moment in our history. We must have the courage and foresight to think about the future, to plan for the city our children will inherit. Change always comes so quickly. We will be smart, and we will listen, as we have always done in order to shape the future into one we can all enjoy. While it is critical that we keep our airport and transit system strong, the ability to travel in and around the city is also paramount to Denver’s continued progress. We have been expanding reliable, safe transportation options that move you through your daily commute, help you get the kids to school, and help you get to work, the store and home. We have made major enhancements to Broadway, Federal and 6th Avenue, and soon, we will begin improving Brighton Boulevard and Quebec Street. We are upgrading busy intersections, providing smarter parking options at popular destinations like South Broadway and fixing the timing of traffic signals on Colorado Boulevard. But cars are no longer the only ones using Denver’s roads. More people are walking, biking, busing, scootering, Ubering and tuk-tuking around town. We need more sustainable choices, and it is clear we will not receive meaningful federal aid as Congress continues its failure to pass legislation that will help cities fix their aging infrastructure.
I am proud to say that we are creating those choices with you. We are working to make bus rapid transit a reality along East Colfax, more protected bikes lanes are coming to downtown, and new pedestrian bridges and sidewalks are popping up in neighborhoods. New realities demand new ways of thinking, so we will be increasing our focus on mobility. That takes vision, that takes leadership and that takes significant investment. Over the next year, I have tasked my team with creating actionable steps to safely and efficiently move you around this great city of ours. How we get to and from work, school and home is foundational to our lives. So is safe, attainable housing. That is why I have challenged the community to produce as many affordable housing units as possible. We need to help fix old units, create Continued on page 6
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Continued from page 5 new units or maintain existing units. We need to keep Denver affordable, together. Already, we have spurred the creation of almost 2,000 new affordable units, we have helped hundreds of families with down payment and mortgage assistance, and created a $10 million dollar revolving loan fund to keep the momentum going. But it is not nearly enough. I hear from families who fear they will be priced out of their homes, or forced to live far from where they work or go to school. We cannot afford to lose housing for our teachers, firefighters and nurses any more than we can afford to lose businesses because their workers cannot find decent housing. And we cannot afford for our state legislature to continue to play politics with construction defects reform.
I have directed my team to examine what actions we can take at the local level to solve what state lawmakers wonâ€™t. Denver needs more solutions, and we need them now. In my 2016 budget proposal, I will more than double this yearâ€™s commitment, allocating $8 million to preserve and build affordable homes. I will also make funding a sustainable priority by
working with the Denver City Council, housing providers, developers and all of you to dedicate specific resources to this growing need. In the months ahead, we will refine a plan to generate at least $15 million every year to produce nearly 6,000 units of affordable housing. In addition, we intend to move forward with other strategies to produce, protect and rehabilitate affordable housing in Denver â€“ everything from modifying the affordable housing preservation ordinance to providing tax and fee relief to developers of affordable and mixed income housing. We hear you, we stand with you, and we will create possibilities together.
sive support, stabilization and housing for those in crisis through two new projects. I truly believe the greatest measure of a city is how it helps its most vulnerable. It is time for us to buck the age-old stigma of mental illness. Through the creation of our Behavioral Health Strategies division, we embark on what we believe to be the countryâ€™s first city effort to coordinate streamlined services around our people with behavioral health needs. One of the reasons Denver has so often succeeded where others have not is that we do not turn away from challenges. Together, we find opportunity. When we came into office in 2011, we vowed there would be a new day for the Denver Police Department. That day has come. Body cameras signify increased accountability and transparency, and nearly all officers on patrol will be wearing them by 2016. New means of communication have expanded our ability to provide you with real-time information. Finally, by hiring more officers and boosting neighborhood patrols, we are fostering stronger relationships between officers and the communities they serve. As the reform of the Sheriff Department continues, together with the community and deputies we are addressing the challenges head on. With a new sheriff soon at the helm and a roadmap in hand, we will ensure this department realizes its potential.
Friends, over 10 years of work by Denverâ€™s Road Home, and an impressive network of providers and partners, we have kept an estimated 12,000 families from falling into homelessness and helped more than 9,000 individuals rebuild their lives. I am so proud of that work. In the coming months and years, new efforts will take an even smarter approach to serving our most vulnerable. The Lawrence Street Community Center and Courtyard Project will bring the homeless in off the street, providing them a dignified place to wait for services at the Denver Rescue Mission. We will also provide inten-
Although Denver has not been immune to the racially charged issues that have besieged the nation, we have taken the responsibility to bridge these divides. One of my proudest moments in the past four years was sitting and listening to students and community members open up about the racial issues they face every day. The courage of our people, young and old alike, to come together with honesty and integrity has helped us grow stronger in our resolve to treat each other with respect and find our way to a united tomorrow. Together, with engaged residents and a new, highly functioning school board, we have shown the country what a city united can do for its kids. We offer Denverâ€™s youngest a smart start in preschool through the reauthorized and expanded Denver Preschool Program. We offer a school system that is graduating more of Denverâ€™s youth. We offer more families access to recreation and out-of-school programs in their own neighborhoods. I am excited to announce that, with the help of DPS, every student will automatically be enrolled for the MY
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Denver Urban Spectrum â€” www.denverurbanspectrum.com â€“ August 2015
Denver Card when they register for school in the fall! The reality is the city has the greatest opportunity to impact our kids after school and during the summer. The MY Denver Card offers more than 100,000 children free access to recreation centers, pools, libraries and cultural centers. In June alone, more than fifty-thousand kids used our recreation centers. Denver, we have an obligation to do right by our kids by preparing them for the future. They should represent the very best we have to offer. For example, this summer more than 600 elementary school students in Southwest Denver and in Montbello got to be engineers. They built cars that ran on water, tested them and competed against each other to see whose design was best. It did not cost their parents a dime. Thank you to CH2M Hill and the National Society of Black Engineers for their partnership. But efforts like these summer camps will be for naught if our kids do not have the opportunity to access college. I am proud that a group of education, civic and business leaders has come together and will ask City Council to refer a measure to the ballot to help make college more affordable, attainable and accessible. Denver, you can bet that I fully intend to stand side-by-side with them to get it passed. Today and every day, I am proud of this city. I love Denver. We were raised on possibilities and born of sheer will. We donâ€™t give up. We lead the way in an age of innovation because we are not afraid to take bold steps. A conversation in the hallway, an unintentional collision, can spark a cascade of ideas. And where will they lead? To more jobs. To more affordable housing. To better mobility. To more opportunity. To the next big thing. Like our forebearers who built a railroad to keep the future from passing us by, the future is in our hands. I am proud of this city. I am proud and honored to continue to serve as your Mayor. I cannot wait to experience what the future has in store for this place we are all lucky enough to call home. The oaths we take today reaffirm the peopleâ€™s trust to protect what we all cherish for our children and our childrenâ€™s children. It is our solemn duty to continue the progress we have made, to build on greatness. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the City and County of Denver.
Stephanie O’Malley Committed to Making Informed Decisions
The highest authority position in
By Angelia D. McGowan
the Department of Safety for the City of Denver is held by an African American woman. More importantly, it is held by a person who brings a wealth of perspectives necessary to support the safety needs of a thriving urban city. Executive Director Stephanie O’Malley and her deputies provide oversight, leadership and guidance to the department’s individual chiefs and directors. They guide policy decisions, assist in longterm goal development, require accountability, and improve public safety service delivery throughout the department’s entire spectrum of services. Listening is key to the department’s continual improvement, according to O’Malley, who has served in advancing positions with the city prior to her current position, including as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Michael B. Hancock and as the first elected Denver county clerk and recorder. It is not as easy as it sounds to listen, particularly when waves of communities take passionate dinner conversations about their mistrust of law enforcement public at town hall meetings. In the aftermath of tragic events involving law enforcement and the announcement of monumental decisions that may not satisfy families and communities that feel they have been
wronged, it is easy for some top officials to retreat behind press statements, controlled press conferences or substitute representatives at community events. That is not O’Malley’s style. She has showed up time and time again to meetings to listen and to answer questions to clarify decisions and processes. The former district attorney who did trial work for four years in Jefferson County had “no discomfort” and “no reservations to go and be out there and listen to those voices.” Her presence at public events ultimately informs her on how to make better policy decisions more so than if she were simply sitting in her office waiting for the information to filter in. She hears the residents’ voices directly. It can, though, be disheartening to hear what some of the people share, including one mother who said that she was teaching her child not to trust the police. At the same time, it is a measurement of where things stand. “This is not a place we want the community to be. We want there to be trust,” said O’Malley, whose office is responsible for issuing fair and unbiased discipline decisions on behalf of the fire, police and sheriff departments. “When you have strain, things can go sour or enhance mistrust.” Those public meetings are opportunities for the public and city officials to comb through misunderstanding and determine what everyone can do together to make things better for everybody. And who would know better how to do this than someone who was raised going regularly to community and political events with her parents, former Denver mayor, Wellington Webb and former State Rep. Wilma J. Webb. There is a great chance that if you are raised in such an environment, it will impact you and how you approach the world. The way it impacted O’Malley is that early on she realized that she wanted to proactively make a difference in the world. She initially had thoughts of being an attorney in grade
school. She also “watched a lot of attorneys before me uplifting the community,” including Dan Muse, King Trimble, Norm Early and Raymond Dean Jones. “Critically absent were women with the same acumen and desire,” said the Denver native, who received her law degree from the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She went on to make a difference in her native city. As deputy chief of staff to Mayor Hancock, she served as an executive advisor to the mayor and on his behalf engaged in a host of matters of public concern including direct engagement with Denver’s police, fire, and sheriff’s departments, direct engagement with the Office of the Independent Monitor, collective bargaining, M/WBE considerations, arts and culture, homelessness, business operations and community engagement. As clerk and recorder, she was solely responsible for oversight of all fiscal, operational, and policy driven responsibilities concerning Denver County elections, recordings, foreclosures and city clerk functions. Also in this capacity, she managed a multimillion dollar budget, a host of full time and temporary city employees. She
created and successfully implemented “Denver Votes,” the city’s current successful election platform that eliminated long lines and voting challenges for voters. O’Malley has served the city of Denver as the director of the Department of Excise and Licenses as an appointee of former Mayor John Hicklenlooper. Through all of her experiences she learned to “stand tall” and state her case in front of friend and foe. She also knows how to make adjustments when she needs to take something into consideration. Her message to women is to be true to yourself and how you can contribute in a great way. She says that it is important to know that where you are today is preparing you for tomorrow, so “don’t take it [today] for granted.” O’Malley currently serves several boards, including the Denver Urban Redevelopment Authority Board, the Zion Baptist Church Trustee Board, the Steering Committee for Forest Street Compassionate Care Center, and the advisory committee for the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST). She has previously served as a founding board member of DSST, the Denver Public School Citizens Bond Committee, and the Colorado Election Reform Commission.
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Flippin’ the Script On Life By Melovy Melvin
veryone deserves the opportunity to be able to adapt, be able to modify, and to be able to move forward,“ said Rev. Leon Kelly, executive director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, as he addressed graduates and guests at the 24th Annual Flippin’ the Script graduation ceremony. The Department of Corrections Flippin’ the Script program is a 12week program that assists men and women who have not made the best choices in the past but want to better themselves for the future. The program was created as a solution specifically to help ex-convicts in assisting with life skill issues such as finding a job, housing, or simply obtaining an education. Kelly celebrated another successful graduation with 12 individuals this year, 10 men and two women. The graduation is viewed as a great exam-
ple of what the program has grown to be, a legit, solid, genuine caring program that opens the door to adults to start a whole new foundation for their life but with the better perspective of an open mind, and welcoming the endless opportunities offered. The graduation was filled with smiles of those who were there to support and humble faces of the accomplished students. Not only did the graduates get recognition, but the man dressed in white from head to toe himself, Rev. Kelly was honored with a certificate of recognition from The Way of Happiness Foundation International. He was acknowledged by Robert Kimbel, pastor of New Birth
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Church; Ron Sloan, director of Colorado Bureau of Investigation; and other board members with admiration and plenty of love. Many proud moments were expressed from the students to the board members and from the mentors to Rev. Kelly as each graduate went up to accept their certificate for completing the program. It was closing a door to the students as Rev. Kelly and board members wished them well on their way. But it was opening doors to never ending opportunities and chances that were waiting for the graduates in their journeys ahead.
L ORETTA L YNCH :
devoid of personal conviction. President or not, Congress has never let Obama forget that above all else, he is still a Negro in a land built upon the bed rock principles of racism and white supremacy. The message to Lynch was similarly colored with subliminal and sometimes overt references to her “place” as a “little colored girl” in a land of rich and powerful white men who have controlled the seats of power and influence from this country’s inception. The Senate hearings simply provided a platform for the ruling class to shamelessly assert their superior positions of wealth, power and influence at the expense of the dignity and selfrespect of then nominee Loretta Lynch. This show of force is routinely demonstrated when the appointees are African American, notwithstanding the elected or appointed positions’ status of presumed power, held temporarily in trust by minority office holders. The Office of Attorney General is a powerful position, but only in the hands of a person who can wield the resources of the office unbowed and unafraid. Eric Holder did a good job of standing up to those powerful influences that tried to discredit and marginalize him because of his race. Although he ultimately was run out of office, he stood proud and would not be intimidated by the power brokers that run this country. He refused to be treated like a “nigger,” and for this he paid a heavy political price. Although the writers of American history will judge him harshly, Eric Holder deserves our respect and gratitude. Holder’s willingness to taking unpopular stands with white folk for the protection and interest of Black folk, will not likely be replicated by Lynch or anyone else subject to congressional approval. Consequently, Holder’s departure left some big shoes to fill. I question whether the newly appointed attorney general is up to the task for a number of reasons. First and foremost, after her appointment Lynch seemed timid and reticent in responding to the oppressive conditions that spawned the Baltimore riots. Despite clear evidence demonstrating a practice and policy of racial profiling and targeting by law enforcement, she chose to strike a conciliatory tone by becoming an apologist for the police department. Although a justice department investigation was initiated, to date there has been little in the way of departmental reform as a result. Instead, recent media reports have focused on law enforcement’s expanding efforts to bring the looters and arsonists to justice. I agree that those responsible for destroying the community should be held account-
The Wrong Choice at the Wrong Time
By K. Gerald Torrence
The long over-
due Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the first African American woman to serve as United States Attorney General was certainly a milestone worthy of praise and recognition. The unprecedented delay before confirmation while the Republicans in Congress played political football with Ms. Lynch’s appointment by President Barack Obama underscores the impotence of the current president when it comes to achieving his policy, goals and objectives. Although the appointment and final confirmation of Lynch is certainly a testament to her experience and qualifications in a distinguished legal career, I question whether she is the right choice at this most critical time in our nations’ history for African American civil and judicial rights. I’m sure there are those who will argue that any time is the right time for such an historic appointment, based on the opportunity presented to place a Black woman in such a high profile and impactful position. For President Obama especially, it provided the chance to buttress his legacy in the area of minority appointees by getting two for one, a Black and a female. This follows the national trend of election and appointments of Black women to state and national office, which gives a false sense of progress
in the area of racial equality and diversity. As Black women are increasingly tabbed for various positions and appointments, Black men are increasingly passed over in favor of the fairer sex. Although history will reflect that Obama appointed two African Americans as attorneys general, his overall record of African American appointments is disappointing at best. I suggest that Lynch’s appointment to fill the unexpired term of Eric Holder, who resigned under fire, is simply window dressing for the sake of appearances. All smoke and no fire. The long and drawn out Senate confirmation hearings for Lynch were insightful on a number of fronts. The Senate hearings provided the ultimate prime time opportunity for the lily white august body to send two messages. One to President Obama and one to Lynch. The message to Obama has been consistent since he took office. Although he may be the elected president, Congress and ultimately the Senate are the real power brokers that run this country. Consequently, Obama’s agenda and presidential objectives have been thwarted at every turn. Even now during the lame duck period of his presidency, there is no sign of let up. Obama will leave office the same way he came in; the most disrespected and reviled president in United States history. Obama’s extreme disfavor results not so much from his policies, which largely mirror those of the presidents before him, but because of his race. Unfortunately like most politicians, he marches in lock step behind the fickle and changing currents of public opinion, seemingly
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
able, but we must also deal with the systemic conditions that spawned the lawlessness. (See Baltimore and Beyond) Otherwise the powder kegs of Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities will continue to ignite. Dismantling the structural layers of racial inequality and disparity in law enforcement and municipal government is the responsibility of the Justice Department, and it will take strong decisive leadership to make an impact. With respect to the racially motivated church massacre in Charleston, S.C., I have yet to hear the attorney general condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Although Reuters news agency reported that the matter “is being investigated by the Justice Department as a possible case of domestic terrorism,” another investigation is not what’s needed. Eyewitness accounts and the killer’s own manifesto confirm the obvious. The church murders were motivated and perpetrated by home grown white supremacist ideologues who believe as Dylann Roof declared that Black people “are raping our women and taking over the country.” A terrorist is a terrorist whether he murders in the name of Al Qaeda or white supremacy. Surely Roof and his fellow demagogues fall under any reasonable interpretation or definition of the term. Consequently, the attorney general should have been the first to call the murderous acts and the hate groups who spawned them terrorists, with the full weight of the Justice Department behind the acknowledgement. I question whether Loretta Lynch has the stomach and gravitas, to stand up to the rich white and powerful special interests that pull Obama’s strings, and run this country. These critical times for African Americans demand leadership that is unafraid to act and speak truth to power. As the face and leader of the Justice Department, Lynch has a golden opportunity to act boldly and decisively in the interest of African Americans. As recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and Charleston continue to show us, Blacks are still oppressed by a justice system that still operates under two tiers of justice. In America there has always been one system of justice for Black people and another for white. In our unending quest for equality, there is clearly so much work yet to be done. My question is whether Loretta Lynch is up to the task. Editor’s note: Gerald Torrence is a lawyer, educator, writer, social and political activist, and motivational speaker living in Atlanta. Find insightful opinions from TheTruthTeller at the-truth-teller.com. Follow on Twitter @tttspokentruth.
W hy be well?
Being healthy is almost seen as a Colorado value, with the state’s population ranked as being one of the healthiest. But this is not true for all demographic groups. In parts of Denver, physical inactivity is a significant risk factor particularly among the African American population. The Denver Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BFRSS) revealed that 33.9 percent of African Americans residents were obese compared to 13.5 percent of white residents; 43.6 percent have high blood pressure and almost 25 percent admitted not having participated in physical activity in the last 30 days.
Ask yourself, “Am I doing enough to be well?” “Is my neighborhood and community healthy?” This is an imperative conversation for everyone, and the be well Health and Wellness Initiative has started the discussion. be well, an initiative of the Stapleton Foundation aligned with its purpose to create healthy sustainable urban communities, is an innovative move-
Be Healthy and Be Epic with “be well” Initiative By Charles Emmons
ment of neighbors coming together to take charge of their health and wellness in a be well Zone. The be well zones include six neighborhoods –Greater Park Hill, Northeast Park Hill, East Montclair, Montbello, Stapleton and Northwest Aurora. These are some of the metro area’s most diverse localities across all measures and demographics.
Health disparities exist in our communities, particularly among lowincome African Americans. This is a national problem the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized. CDC has partnered with be well through its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program to address these differences in Colorado. REACH is a 16-year-old CDC program focused on racial and ethnic communities experiencing health disparities. Recently, be well launched be well be EPIC, an Exchange of Power to Impact Community Change partnership to spark the conversation. be EPIC is a collaboration of individuals, organization and business leaders, and other community stakeholders working to increase access to physical activity opportunities among African Americans. The be EPIC project is cooperatively funded by the CDC, which has invested more than $35 million nationwide to address health disparities. Djuana Harvell, PhD, project manager for the be well be Epic project, says that the goal of the program is to increase access to physical activity opportunities. Harvell is leveraging the success of be well and be well cen-
ters to facilitate physical activity and address some of the policy issues related to greater physical activity. A variety of barriers impact health outcomes in the community including local policies and structures. Many of which have made it more difficult for residents with the fewest resources to become and remain physically active. In the be well Zone, our community members and partners have identified two primary objectives to increase access to physical activity: •To support the development of a standard partnership policy that could leverage city resources through collaborations with nonprofit organizations and local businesses to expand access to opportunities for physical activity and lay the groundwork to incorporate health and wellness into the Denver recreation center system. •To inform the transit service plans to make transit use more assessable in underserved communities for which riders are often pedestrians first. The focus of the CDC REACH grant is on changing policies and systems and creating access to opportunities. Stakeholder groups have been formed to bring together decisionmakers and community members to advance community input and inform decisions about recreational amenities and transportation services. be well be Epic needs more residents to join the conversation and get involved, says Harvell. “If you are looking for something positive to do in your community join our volunteer base of residents and stakeholders for the be well Health and Wellness Initiative. We provide volunteer training and have a be well block captain approach that offers different tiers of volunteer opportunities.”
At the heart of be well are the be well block captains, who are on the ground knocking on doors with the passionate intent of focusing their neighbors on living healthy lifestyles and creating healthy communities. They listen to residents as well as educate them on important health topics, inform them on opportunities and connect them to health resources. be well block captains encourage healthy living through innovative leadership, community organizing and education. A huge success of the be well block captains’ efforts has been support for the development of the be well cen-
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
ters. be well has partnered with the City and County of Denver, the City of Aurora and various other organizations to provide free healthy living services through the establishment of the be well centers. Located at the Hiawatha Davis and Central Park recreation centers in Denver and at Moorhead in Aurora, these facilities offer free fitness and cooking classes for residents in the be well Zone, as well as free heart health screenings that include height, weight, blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol testing. Also, a be well team member is onsite to help with enrollment for programs such as Medicaid, food assistance, Connect for Health Colorado Health Insurance and other services. Massage, dental screenings and other services are also offered periodically throughout the year. Patrice Wallace, a be well center participant, said, “I’m so grateful for the be well centers. They have motivated me to work-out and now I’m hooked!” What’s stopping you from being well? Motivation? Cost? Anyone 15 years or older living in the be well zones may register for free. No recreation ID is needed. Residents can visit www.bewellconnect.net to learn more and sign up for activities at the be well centers.
Youth are integral to be well. Studies have shown that not only proper nutrition but physical activity is tied to academic achievement. be well Youth has two major initiatives: the be well Youth Block Captain program and be well Schools Wellness Teams in Denver and Aurora Public Schools. To date, more than 1,700 people have been impacted by the be well Youth program.
Be a Part of the be well Movement
You can learn more about be well and its initiatives, and become better informed about the imperative for healthy living in our communities at a special event, a Tail Gate Party, planned for Saturday, September 19. In the meantime, throughout August, be well is having a series of Healthy Happy Hours, fun and informal, networking events where you can gather and become engaged in the conversation about these health issues and encourage people to engage in physical activity. You can contact be well about hosting one of these events for your organization. Everyone has a role in creating healthy communities where we can all achieve the health we desire. Visit the be well website at www.bewellconnect.net, to learn how you can play your part.
Every day Namaste: Yoga for the Mind, Body and Soul
By Kim Farmer
oga is one of the most beneficial practices you can adopt and integrate into your daily life. It is a workout that encapsulates an awareness of not only the body, but also the mind and soul. Yoga became a widespread hit in the Western world in the 1980s, especially among those who aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many schools and forms of yoga, which each focus on different elements of the practice—this allows you to find the right one to fit your preference. Keeping up with your yoga practice can oftentimes be difficult due to a demanding work sched-
ule and family obligations. Luckily, this is one workout that you can perform almost anywhere! Here is a list of ways you can practice yoga in your everyday life:
In Your Home
Rather than visiting a studio to achieve your yoga-bliss, create your own practice space at home. All that’s required is an un-cluttered area that will allow you to stretch out, and a few basic pieces of equipment. Find a small basket to keep your yoga equipment, and include a yoga mat, yoga blocks, a small towel, and a water bottle. To enhance the serenity of the room, incorporate music or incense when you practice. You can design your own yoga workout, or follow an instructor through a video. We have created our own yoga video; contact us if you are interested at www.milehighfitness.com.
Pool or Hot Tub
Working out in water does wonders for your body—it helps relieve pressure on joints, while still thoroughly working and building your muscles. Water yoga is a low-impact exercise that will allow your body to find an optimum stretch, without the limiting weight of gravity. It is ideal to do water yoga in warmer water, like a
hot tub, where the water temperature is between 83 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm water will allow your muscles to relax, so you can go deeper into your pose and hold it longer.
To get you through that mid-day slump, take a moment to practice yoga during your workday. There are some easy stretches and pose you can do at your desk in a chair to help you relieve tension, release stress, and stay alert. Try a basic arm stretch and chair twist, which you can discretely perform at your workspace. You can find some workspace yoga examples at DivineCaroline.com. Approach your supervisor or coworkers about doing an all-office yoga break, where everyone can take a moment to stretch and do some yoga poses. Sitting for hours at a desk can increase your risk for certain cancers, diabetes, and other disabling disabilities. Sharing yoga with the whole office will allow you to prevent health risks and promote a healthier environment.
Yoga, by definition, means “union” —practicing yoga outdoors can unite your body with nature. If you don’t have much space in your home, nor
the time or resources to make it into a yoga studio, utilize the natural space around you. Practicing yoga outside can enhance your spiritual experience and also increase the physical benefits. Uneven surfaces, like sand or grass, will challenge your balance and end up building up muscles on your feet, hips, spine, shoulders, and knees. Some may find the uneven ground a distraction, though it presents an excellent challenge for the mind to push past the distracting elements and have a centered and mindful yoga session. If you are new to yoga, consider searching on line for a short yoga session that you can try at home. You will find that it is good for the mind, body and soul. Although many people practice prayer and meditation as a part of their yoga practice, it is a personal choice and not required to gain the same physical benefits. You will find that you will experience greater flexibility and lower stress levels which is beneficial to your overall well-being. Thanks for reading! Editor’s note: Contributor Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. For more information, visit www.milehighfitness.com or email email@example.com.
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Every Thursday Every Thursday September Sept ember 24 24 to to October October 29 12:00 p p.m. .m. – 1:00 p p.m. .m.
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Montbello, a Neighborhood Rising from the Roots Up By Angelle C. Fouther
Teams comprised of and led by Montbello residents were created to address each issue. The teams meet twice a month on Thursdays at United Church of Montbello. New members are invited to join.
Almost 50 years ago, Denver
City Council annexed thousands of acres of open space in the far northeast side of Denver to create what would become the city’s largest neighborhood, with more than 30,000 residents. The goal was to create a “suburban community within the city” offering affordable and accessible housing for young families, military veterans, and urban professionals who didn’t wish to live in the heart of the city. The spectacular views of Mount Evans, Long’s Peak and the Continental Divide inspired developers to name the new neighborhood “Montbello” after the picturesque mountain region in the Italian Alps (the Italian word “Montbello” means literally “beautiful mountain”). Signs were erected at the main entryways to the neighborhood, which is bound on the east and west sides by Chambers and Peoria, and I-70 and 56th Avenue on the north and south; three simple words were displayed on each sign: “Dignity, Pride, Diversity.” The signs still stand today, and are much like the neighborhood they introduce: weather-worn, yet solid, welcoming, and estimable. Nestled in the middle of three of Denver’s fastest growing communities—Green Valley Ranch, Stapleton/Northfield, and DIA City— Montbello, at times, feels like a community forgotten by all who live outside of it. Often labeled as crime-ridden, Montbello actually has far fewer offenses per square mile, according to denvergov.org crime statistics, ranking 50 out of 75 when compared to other Denver neighborhoods including upscale Cherry Creek, Congress Park, Capitol Hill, and Cheesman Park. Yet, despite its assets, Montbello remains “unfinished.” It falls short of realizing its original potential and
In the summer of 2013, The Denver Foundation and Livewell Colorado provided a small grant and contracted with Richard Male & Associates to investigate issues facing Montbello. The purpose was to determine if there was enough stakeholder interest to address community issues. Several residents began meeting to discuss how to improve Montbello. These included James and Angelle Fouther, Chris Martinez, Terry Liggins, LaToya Petty, Silke Hansen, Aprilla Willis, Esteban Rivero, and Dom Barerra. The group became tagged the Montbello
#1: Access to Quality Groceries One of the most pressing issues is Montbello’s federal designation as a food desert, meaning there are no fullservice grocery stores within a onemile radius of residents. In March, MOC invited Mayor Michael Hancock and Paul Washington, executive director of the Office of Economic Development, to Montbello to discuss the food desert status. More than 150 residents and leaders attended the meeting where a series of requirements were put before the mayor and his staff. First and foremost was the requirement that a sufficient number of full-service, high-quality grocery stores be available in the community. Mayor Hancock took up the challenge and assigned staff to work with MOC to attract full-service grocery stores to Montbello. Already meetings with several grocery stores are planned and short-term options for getting healthy food to residents will be implemented in the summer, such as fresh produce delivered to resident via Denver Food Rescue and a newly created farmer’s market.
Organizing Committee (MOC). Later, funding from The Denver Foundation and Mile High Connects made it possible for the group to learn practical approaches for community organizing and leadership development and to hire community organizer, Mayra Gonzalez, to support MOC’s work. Other active community members have joined as well. Through a series of community engagement events three issues were identified as priorities for 2015: retail/economic development, transportation and beautification. Task
#2: Pride through Beautification In June, more than 100 volunteers from throughout the Metro Denver area joined Montbello neighbors in an effort to spruce up the community. Community celebrations, which are strong indicators of a healthy community, are in the works and include the Official 50th Celebration of Montbello, which will take place in 2016. The Beautification Task Team also hosted a “candidate’s forum” prior to the District 11 run-off election between Stacie Gilmore and Sean Bradley.
lacks many of the requisites that any community should have so that its residents are afforded a high-quality of life—right where they live.
A Grassroots Approach for Community Change
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
#3: Accessible, Affordable Transportation is a Must The full effects of RTD’s FasTracks East-line build-out and projected cuts to key bus routes, coupled with recent RTD fare increases, have yet to be realized by the community. MOC’s Transportation Task Team is preparing to address what will likely be lifealtering changes for many residents and businesses. The team is conducting several hundred interviews over the summer to determine potential impacts. Armed with data and the facts, Task Team members have forged partnerships with other community organizations such as 9to5 and Stapleton Foundation. Efforts to reach out to Montbello’s RTD board representative Barbara Deadwyler are underway. Addressing community issues is not a short-term endeavor and effective leadership requires the ongoing activism of a corps of leaders. True community change comes through the combined energies of all community partners but must be driven by its residents—those who will be impacted most. If you live, work, or volunteer in Montbello and wish to get involved with the Montbello Organizing Committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Editor’s Note: Angelle Fouther is the Director of Communications for the Denver Foundation and has been a resident of Montbello for more than 12 years. She and her husband, Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., pastor of United Church of Montbello, volunteer in service to the Montbello Organizing Committee on behalf of the community.
Why America Needs a Strong Woman as President Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for the job
I’ve heard some
An op-ed by Wellington E. Webb
of my friends praise Hillary Clinton for her public service but then question if we are ready for such a strong female leader. I’m married to a strong woman, Wilma Webb, who served in the Colorado state legislature for 13 years and fought to get the Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday established long before other states came on board. With the Democrats in the minority, she also got laws passed to protect the poor, minorities, women and gays from discrimination. Strong women have been my role models since my youth and I think it’s about time we have a resilient, intelligent woman leading our country. Women like this – women like Hillary Clinton – know how to get things done. And I think voters agree with me. In just the last few years, we’ve seen a new respect for accomplished women in pop culture. We only have to look at TV shows like Being Mary Jane and actress Gabrielle Union who plays a respected TV journalist similar to real-life MSNBC anchor Melissa Harry-Perry. Both Union and Perry are role models for younger Black women, who I hope will embrace a woman running for president. Many African American families, including my own, had a very strong matriarch who pushed her grandsons
toward education and careers. And when we sassed her, we knew we’d be sleeping on a porch or ducking a frying pan aimed at our heads. She ruled with an iron fist and love because she wanted us to succeed. I credit my grandmother, Helen Williams Gamble, with keeping me on the straight and narrow through high school; on the path toward college; learning about political activism by her example; and eventually entering politics. Having served three terms in the state legislature myself, I was stunned when Wilma, first elected in 1980, brought home stacks of documents to study each night. My male counterparts often left the stacks where they first landed. Wilma felt she needed to be twice as prepared as her male counterparts so they could never say she wasn’t prepared. How many women can relate to that feeling – even in 2015? Why do some continue to question Hillary’s ability to lead, because she is a woman? It is no secret I backed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008 to the chagrin of some of my Democratic friends who were early backers of President Barack Obama. My thought then – as is now – is that Hillary’s expansive knowledge of domestic and foreign policy and commitment to social justice issues makes her more than qualified for the job. When Obama was selected as the Democratic nominee in 2008 in my hometown of Denver, I was full of pride that the country was ready for an African American president. I think in 2016 we’ll take the next step and nominate an accomplished woman leader. Editor’s note: Wellington Webb served as Denver’s first African American mayor from 1991-2003. He is the only mayor to be elected president to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Black Mayors and the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
The Many Faces Of Stapleton: Councilman Chris Herndon
Moâ€™ Betta Green Marketplace to Anchor Farmerâ€™s Market and Garden Swap in Stapletonâ€™s Conservatory Green
The Moâ€™ Betta Green (MBG) Marketplace is coming to Stapletonâ€™s Conservatory Green neighborhood this summer. A collaboration between Forest City Stapleton, the Stapleton Master Community Association (MCA), and â€œThe Exchange featuring Moâ€™ Betta Greenâ€? will be held Thursday evenings 5 to 8 p.m. from Aug. 6 to Sept. 10 at the Conservatory Green Park Plaza. Hailed as a unique, interactive and colorful community experience, the Moâ€™ Betta Green Marketplace will offer its distinctive mix of fresh, locally produced vegetables, along with a neighborhood veggie swap to allow gardeners to exchange excess produce with each other. Other activities will include live music and local disc jockeys, movement classes such as yoga and tai chi, cooking and juicing demonstrations, onsite gardening tips from Stapletonâ€™s Chief Gardening Officer, a childrenâ€™s play area, a petting zoo, community resource tables, giveaways, and participation from local schools, libraries and other community partners. The event is free and open to the public. Stapletonâ€™s weekly farmerâ€™s market at Founderâ€™s Green will continue to be held on weekends throughout the summer. â€œWe are excited to add this series to our roster of events this summer,â€? says Tasha Jones, marketing director for Forest City Stapleton. â€œIt is exactly the type of neighbor-to-neighbor event that appeals to the active and diverse lifestyles of our residents, extends Conservatory Greenâ€™s sustainable community concept, and connects us to our neighboring communities as well.â€? The Conservatory Green Park Plaza was recently awarded an ASLA Merit Award for its impressive public space, which includes a 2.5-acre outdoor public park, fire pit and community
gathering area, and is considered an ideal location for this event. â€œItâ€™s perfect for this type of programming,â€? says Diane Deeter, director of Stapleton MCA Community. â€œIt not only provides the space and freedom we need for the farmerâ€™s market, itâ€™s accessible and visible to everyone because of the Northfield Boulevard thoroughfare. Itâ€™s a welcoming and convenient location.â€? Beverly Grant, proprietor of the Moâ€™ Betta Green Marketplace, is well known in the Denver area for her traveling farmerâ€™s markets featuring 100 percent locally-grown organic produce, heirloom vegetables, and cooking demonstrations offered by local chefs and nutrition experts. As much a movement as an event, her markets are designed to offer an alternative to fast food mentalities, highlight and foster todayâ€™s garden-to-table concept, and encourage healthier lifestyles. â€œWeâ€™re dedicated to proving that convenience and healthy eating arenâ€™t mutually exclusive,â€? Grant says. Editorâ€™s note: The Conservatory Green Park Plaza is located at 49th Place and Valentia St. across from the Northfield Shopping Center.
The Stapleton community is among Denverâ€™s most dynamic and vibrantâ€” filled with passionate residents who believe in strong community involvement and improving the world around them. Among its 19,000 residents, Stapleton is home to an eclectic mix of growing families, young professionals, empty nesters and numerous stand-out community leaders who are making positive change throughout Denver, the region and the world. For this edition of â€œFaces of Stapletonâ€? we discuss Stapletonâ€™s own Councilman Chris Herndon. Councilman Chris Herndon has been a Stapleton resident since 2009, and was elected to represent District 11 on the Denver City Council in May of 2011 after being honorably discharged as captain from the U.S. Army. He currently serves as the city council president, and his district includes Park Hill, Stapleton, East Colfax, and a portion of Montbello (as of the July 20 redistricting). Councilman Herndonâ€™s decision to move to Stapleton started like most: he was in search of a new house with close proximity to downtown that offered modern amenities. But upon
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Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070 http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net Denver Urban Spectrum â€” www.denverurbanspectrum.com â€“ August 2015
moving, he soon realized there was so much more to the community than he thoughtâ€“and ended up finding not only a home, but also lifelong friends, and his true calling to public service. â€œStapleton has been everything I thought it would be and more. I have always been inspired by the vision of the Green Book (The Stapleton Development Plan) and love the fact that no matter your place in life â€“ there is a home for you at Stapleton,â€? said Herndon. â€œI just moved into my second home in Stapletonâ€“ this time in Conservatory Greenâ€“ and had my second child, who I look forward to raising here.â€?
Denver Hosts Human Trafficking National Summit
Chosen Advocates Association
(CAA) is hosting Project Restoration, a national human trafficking (HT) summit that will bring the most current information about modern day slavery in Colorado. “We would like to shed light on this very real and dark issue that women and children in the Colorado Front Range neighborhoods are bound to. It is called sex slavery, but to really put emphasis on its reality, from a press release by the FBI on June 23, 2014, 18 children were rescued from child sex slavery and 11 pimps arrested in Colorado during the annual “FBI Innocence Lost” sting operation” says Angela SandovalGraf, a healthcare professional and registered nurse. “In addition to this news, all of these children were identified as domestic, meaning they were not from foreign lands. These human trafficked children are America’s children, from Colorado back yards. After taking the blind fold off regarding this sickening truth, Sandoval-Graf asked herself “What can I do?” As the president and founder of Chosen Advocates Association, she initiated a call to action by organizing a national summit that will kick-off on Friday, Sept. 11 at Infinity Park Event Center in Denver. CAA is working to provide clinical treatment to women and children victims of sex trafficking in Colorado and
raising awareness nationally. CAA plans to build the first medical research human trafficking healing center specializing in the treatment of the multi-faceted medical conditions of HT patients and assisting them with the rehabilitation phase of healing. CAA will implement a research case study with a cohort group emphasizing on the medical aspect of therapeutic therapy. Sandoval-Graf says, “We believe this national summit will bring great success for this much needed campaign and gather people together to stand united and be a voice for these victims.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice (USA Today - 1/22/2012), human trafficking has become the second fastest growing criminal industry – just behind drug trafficking – with children accounting for roughly half of all victims. Many advocates believe it is now the #1 crime in America. This year on Jan. 1, CAA developed a nine month campaign to include a series of events leading up to Festival Weekend in September. A community awareness promotion will start on Thursday, Sept. 10 and will include simultaneous community presentations and evening prayer services in Denver’s high risk neighborhoods and the cap to a national prayer campaign against HT designed to engage faith based network partners for prayer warring. CAA’s goal is to partner with 500 faith-based entities locally and across the nation to establish local and national ambassadors to coordinate prayer warring engagement as well as educate the public on human trafficking issues at the grassroots level. The national summit conference will take place on Sept. 11 and will address HT issues in Colorado and the nation. Current research and resources on HT will be discussed in depth by dedicated advocates on the local and national scale. CAA’s primary goals of the conference is to create effective processes, strengthen networking partnerships, and add to research projects to develop sound evidenced based solutions for public safety – additionally and most importantly, to successfully restore the lives of human trafficked victims. The summit is open to the public. Individuals are encouraged to attend and participate; to get
Human Trafficking: A Global, Domestic, Local Community Issue
educated about this real issue; to be a voice to the voiceless; and to be a solution to the problem. As part of the Project Restoration Summit, an expo will allow vendors and exhibitors from across the state and nation to give attendees a vast array of resources and education. CAA has selected a wide range of key speakers that include Susan Norris, author of Rescuing Hope; Jerome Elam, an HT survivor and advocate; Dr. Laura Lederer, JD, president of Global Centurion, and former senior advisor on human trafficking with the U.S. Department of State; Heather Davis, founder of Mothers Against Human Trafficking; Dwyane and Terry Meeks, founders of Urban Colors Arts and Mentoring; Yvonne Williams, co-founder and president of Network for Cultural Change; Greg Bristol, former FBI agent and founder of Human Trafficking Training Institute; Sergeant Daniel Steel of the Denver Police Department and supervisor of the FBI Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force; and Colorado State Rep. Rhonda Fields, HD 42 - Aurora. For the grand finale, Chosen Advocates Association will present Project Restoration HopeFEST, a music festival that will round out Festival Weekend’s HT related events on Sunday, Sept. 13. The music festival will be the backdrop to the project’s prayer campaign and culminate in a national day of prayer against HT. It is a family and community-oriented music festival featuring four stages of national, regional, and local music groups and artists. Legendary artists Lenny Williams and Denice Williams will headline the event, performing and being a voice for the HT victims. There will also be cultural exhibits, youth areas, vendors and independent exhibitors, an amateur boxing invitational, and other activities.
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Human Trafficking is an international as well as a domestic issue and local community issue. It is a multi-billion dollar business. Traffickers are predators that prey on the weakDenv est and most vulnerable men, women and children. They kidnap them, they on Forced Human Tr coerce Campaign Fes them, they scam The Chosen Advocates Assoc and
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RMPA/La Familia Ministries, Fellowship Church, San Francisco work of 500 Church and Ministry national call to prayer against force the Project Restoration HopeFES Prayer will be celebrated at this even istries, and prayer partners Though this is a faith initiative, CAA prayer and help in this prayer camp ing and the destruction it brings to m community and prayer impacts and the lives of HT victims. The HT Aw "Festival Weekend" project. "Festiv of events being produced by the (CAA) the Rocky Mountain Prom Partnership according to a commu resources and healing to spec Colorado Front Range commun betray the 2015 CAA National Summi them, and they the RMPA Latin Jam Music force Festival, and the Chosen them into Project Restoration Hop an extreme
and destrucDetails on the proje tive form of modern day slavwww.caaprojectr ery for money and sex. Traffickers not only rob HT victims of their lives for profit and pleasure, but they do it by strategically breaking them
down and violating them in every way imaginable as they slowly destroy them mentally, physically, and spiritually for the money and the sex that they receive or provide. They live and profit off of the misery and destruction of men, women and children that are the victims of forced Human Trafficking. Denver, Colorado ranks among the top 10 cities in the United States of America for the Human Trafficking of women and chilver to dren. Many Coloradans and Denver community members are rafficking Awareness yet
ciation in association with the Love International Outreach o, and an estimated national nety Ambassadors have initiated a ed Human Trafficking leading up to ST on Sept. 13. A National Day of nt and nationally by churches, mins across the United States. A invite all people of faith to join in paign against forced human traffickmen, women, and children. A united d can change everything including wareness Campaign is part of the val Weekend" consists of a series e Chosen Advocates Association moters Association (RMPA) and unity vision and mission to bring cific issue areas in Denver and nities. The project also includes it Human Trafficking Summit, Legends for Denver Music n Advocates Association peFEST Music Festival.
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unaware of this issue even existing to any significant degree in their backyard. Denver's HT ranking is based on 2013 and 2014 statistics related children "rescues" that resulted from lengthily multilevel task force investigations and nationwide sting operations. The likely hood of these efforts being "comprehensive" to the extent of the problem is unlikely as is in the case of drug trafficking; often times these operations and efforts against trafficking only scratch the surface because of under the radar sophistication in trafficking methods and elusive practices. Colorado statistics from the Denver Police Department and a Multijurisdictional Human Trafficking Task Force are based on rescued children for 2013 and 2014. Denver, Colorado Statistic Base: In 2013, there were 61children rescued, the percentages of ethnicity are as followed: 44
percent African American, 38 percent Caucasian, 11 percent Latino, and 7 percent Asian. In 2014, there were 94 children rescued, the percentages of ethnicity are also as followed: 48 percent Caucasian, 23 percent African American, 23 percent Latino, 4 percent Biracial, 1 percent Asian and 1 percent Native American. Historically, many of the destructive issues, as in the case of gang violence and drug trafficking, that impact communities have had prominence in communities of color; with specific prominence in Latino and African American communities either compositely or on a standalone basis. However, it is now very significant to note that though human trafficking, gangs, and drug trafficking are definitively related; nationally, the prominence of HT is not specific to communities of color. The white community,
as a single factor in the HT national picture, is as or more, prominently victimized by HT traffickers than any other ethnic group. The statistics above show that in Denver, though compositely, Latinos and African Americans represent the majority demographic groups impacted by HT, traffickers have changed the pattern and are now an equal opportunity "destroyer" across the demographic board. Hence, there must be grass roots unity against HT starting at the community level with health professionals, educators, law enforcement, community leaders, and of critical importance, faith leaders, churches, and the number one weapon; parents and grandparents. Editor's Note: For more information about the summit and to register, visit www.caaprojectrestoration.org or contact Angela Sandoval-Graf at 720-325-3239.
Festival Weekend Schedule of Events A Project with a Purpose Thursday, September 10 - 6 PM
Community Forum and Church Service for Human Trafficking Awareness
This is a Chosen Advocates Association initiative to raise awareness at the community level about the Human Trafficking issue. These events will cap a six-month prayer campaign against the issue. Hosted by the CAA and La Familia Ministries
Locations and venues TBA (visit www.caaprojectrestoration.org for information)
Friday, September 11 - 8 AM to 4 PM
Chosen Advocates Association Human Trafficking National Summit
This is a Chosen Advocates Association initiative that will bring human trafficking (HT) professionals from points across the United States and abroad to participate in a HT summit and Denver area community level awareness building campaign on the issue. This coincides with the CAA mission to establish the first HT research and healing center in Denver for women and children victims of forced human trafficking and HT sexual exploitation. Location: Infinity Park Event Center, 4400 E. Kentucky Ave., Glendale, CO
Saturday, September 12 – Noon to 10 PM
RMPA “Latin Jam Music Legends for Denver" Music Festival Fundraiser
This is an RMPA Denver fundraising event in support the Community Giving Initiative (CGI). The CGI provides community project level grant funding and support to outreach ministries and non-faith based organizations that have proven effective in reaching and assisting at risk youth and members of Denver area communities. For more information, visit www.rmpadenver.com Location: Lakewood Heritage Center, at 800 Yarrow St., Lakewood, CO
Sunday, September 13 – Noon to 10 PM
CAA "Project Restoration HopeFEST" Music Festival Fundraiser
This is a Chosen Advocates Association fundraising event in support of their mission to build and establish the first human trafficking (HT) research and healing center. The center will specialize in treating the multifaceted medical and psychological conditions that HT patients suffer from to begin the rehabilitation phase of healing. For more information, visit www.caaprojectrestoration.org Location: Lakewood Heritage Center, at 800 Yarrow St., Lakewood, CO
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
scared to be Black in public around your white friends, they ain’t really your friends: they’re your overseers. You Negroes aren’t fooling anyone but yourselves. Camouflaging your Blackness with silence doesn’t work. They see you. Infiltration only succeeds when you look like your opponent, and being light-skinned doesn’t count. I used to think that the Black folks in the suburbs were just richer than my family. I found out they’re just broke on a higher level. Just a larger paycheck away from the poorhouse, falling from grace out of the third-story window instead of the first floor. Specifically, this is article is directed to the kind of African-American who, because of their riches, look with disdain on less financially solvent Blacks. Of course, no one will admit to this pathology, even if their guilt is evident. So, to be more specific, if you are Black and reading this, and your blood boiled a little at these words, take inventory: it’s probably for you. “Bougie Negroes” are a class of Blacks as old as America itself. Malcolm X referred to them as “house niggers,” but this is an oversimplification. The nuances to this behavior are far more subtle than it used to me. To be fair, I could be considered a part of this group. My story does not read like your average “poor boy from the ghetto.” Sure, my life did start on Martin Luther King Boulevard, but because of my parents’ increasing income, that all changed in late childhood. I know how to ski...well. I am a trained horseman, and no stranger to the symphony. I am a classically trained pianist, traveled internationally by the age of four, and know my way around a rock climbing wall. My bow and arrow game is better than the average brother, I prefer venison to pork any day, and our getaway house in Leadville was most cozy. By the age of 10, I was no stranger to ‘the finer things in life.” But there is more to “selling out” than being successful and having nice things. It has more to do with the definition of success one accepts more than the money itself. He who defines success defines the rules of the game. Fundamentally, my mother and father (yes, I had both) never allowed corporate values to supersede spiritual
Betrayed by the Black Elite By Theo E.J. Wilson
virtue in my upbringing. This was a good move, because when my father lost his job, many of these ‘trappings’ went away. My father, no longer the bread-winner, then ruled the house by the force of his wisdom, not his wallet. He modeled a powerful lesson to me: to enjoy the trappings of life, but don’t lose yourself in them. Maybe my dad couldn’t shake the lessons from the mean streets of Brooklyn. Maybe it’s because even though we “came up,” we never left metro Denver. Either way, the lesson was clear: if you lose yourself, the trappings become a trap. You’ve got to know who you are, and that knowledge was unfortunately lacking in many former slaves. The stratification into classes happened before we left the plantation. The well-to-do, fair-skinned Blacks stayed amongst themselves, and formed societies that mirrored and rewarded white values, white features, and white culture. From the debutants balls to the Greek letter organizations, we took our cues from what high society whites did for themselves. Diplomatically, I don’t blame our ancestors for doing so. Who wouldn’t want a way out of white supremacy? Certainly, I paint with broad strokes here, over-simplifying for the sake of clarity, but the point remains. We as a people don’t know who we are, and are easily misled because of this. Money is a hell of a misleader. This is why integration was so devastating. It changed the power base for the wealthy Black man. Dennis Kimbro in his book, “Think and Grow
Rich: A Black Choice” shows how the first Black millionaires were rich off of Black money. This made them accountable to their financial base, the Black community. They didn’t have a problem bankrolling activists and the equality struggle because no white man could fire them. During the “Cosby Era,” when I was born, a new high-salaried Negro grew to populate the landscape. These ‘high-salary Negroes’ were the product of the Pell Grant, and post-Civil Rights era education and employment policy. By the time I was born, they were forming the ski-clubs and hiking organizations…and I thank them. However, like Cosby himself, this way of life is crashing to the ground. The housing crisis between 2008 and 2011 robbed many of these Black folks of up to 46 percent of their wealth via plunging home prices, stocks, and retirement plans. Layoffs like the one my father recovered from 20 years earlier were now assailing this upper-class of Blacks left and right. This exposed the fact that many of these Negroes who looked rich from the outside were just posing to be so. Because unlike them, the White middle class has by and large recovered from the crisis. Why is that? Largely, it’s because of inherited asset wealth that whites can fall back on if they lose their middle class salary. Sadly, it was this salary that was sometimes hush money for us. When you’ve adopted a lifestyle so expensive you need that job, you’re effectively a slave. Then, you don’t own the trinkets, they own you! Now,
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
you cannot speak up if the boss is racist because the kids’ new skis are too expensive for you to get fired. I first became aware of the rift between “elite negroes” and the rest of us during the Million Man March in 1995. Farrakhan’s words seemed clear and true to me, but many in my own community feared him. I would sit at luncheons and banquets, hearing rich Black folk lambast his vision of unity, but their logic for doing so seemed incomplete. Was it more embarrassing to speak loudly about racism to white people, or harbor those same opinions only to fake-smile when whites came around? The latter gave me distaste in my mouth at 14, and I vowed not to fake the funk - because fundamentally, we are only tricking ourselves. All races have their traitors among them, but only in rich Blacks do you see this much racial escapism. Observe the rich of the Asian communities. They serve as a boon and benefactor to their community, investing in the institutions therein. They are proud to show up and employ the wayward youth of their community. The Jews don’t let anyone forget they are Jewish, no matter how well paid they are. They move into their own communities and buy up the businesses from competitors, not away from their people to be mere patrons elsewhere. They do it for bragging rights. Somehow, this unconscious embarrassment about our people has got to stop. This self-humiliation issue is why “Bougie Negroes” will often be liked by whites, but never respected by them. In general, people respect folks who are boldly who God made them to be, period. The truth is you’ll never catch up with “Whitey”…ever. You’re just now arriving at a game he’s been winning for 500 years. He can smell your envy of him a mile away, and he uses it as bait to separate your resources from your community. You might as well pool them and help the ‘hood like every other race of rich people. Not all rich brown folks of other races re-invest in community, just the smart ones. They seem to outnumber you Negroes, exponentially. As rich as these some of these brothers and sisters appear to be, none of them actually own transnational corporations! I’m talking about power players like Wal-Mart, Staples, and Starbucks. These juggernauts write the rules for international commerce, and without group wealth, we are done. For the rich Black man, his only long term hope for legacy is in raising up the Black (and African) community as a whole so we can preserve and grow what little we have. Other than that, you’re just the richest monkey in the room, and everybody knows it but you!
“The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited” Comes to Denver Exhibition Celebrates African American Giving; Part of National Black Philanthropy Month
The Denver Foundation and Blair-Caldwell African American
Research Library are honored to cohost “The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” a photographic and narrative exploration of African American giving, which runs August 1-31 at the library, 2401 Welton Street, in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood. Denver is one of only 10 cities to host “The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” which explores the triumphant movement of conscious giving for social change, shared through photos and words of African American philanthropists, with a special addition of Denver notables. Groundbreaking in focus and depth, the exhibition draws evocative images and incisive stories from the award-winning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. Both the exhibition and book explore the African American philan-
thropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice; the exhibit is among a series of events planned throughout August in celebration of National Black Philanthropy Month. In addition to penning Giving Back, Fullwood is the founder of Next Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP), a giving circle in Charlotte, NC. “The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited” visits Denver as part of The Denver Foundation’s focus on Elevating Philanthropy in Communities of Color (EPIC). Funded in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, EPIC is The Denver Foundation’s
ongoing investment in the existing, emerging, and oftentimes invisible acts of philanthropy in communities of color.
EPIC’s objectives are to:
•Recognize and grow philanthropy in communities of color •Connect philanthropists of color with tools, education, and resources •Bring together committed donors of color to build relationships and impact positive community change “This exhibit is a window into African American giving,” says LaDawn Sullivan, director of Community Leadership for The Denver Foundation. “While the photos may be black and white, the cul-
ture and history of philanthropy in the African American community is a vibrant collage of individual, collective, and strategic giving which impacts and elevates our community. It’s got heart all over it. This is certainly a ‘reframed image’ of what is stereotypically depicted of philanthropy in communities of color. This exhibit is sure to spur conversations, connections, and ideas which the Denver Foundation looks forward to potentially supporting.” Exhibit sponsors are The Denver Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, NGAAP Charlotte, Blair Caldwell Branch – Denver Public Library, Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP), Denver (CO) Chapter of The Links, Inc., and Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs (SPIN). Event host committee members are Eula and Janet Adams, Councilman Albus Brooks, Linda Campbell, Richela Das, Chrissy Deal, Myra Donovan, MaryAnn Franklin, Barbara Grogan, Eddie and Andria Koen, and Rich Lopez.
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Colionne Returns to Genuine Jazz & Wine
proud that I am able to be there for the kids. As a matter of fact my road manager, I started mentoring when he was eight-years-old. As a little kid he said he wanted grow and be with me on the road. I taught him guitar and he now has been working as my road manager and tech for the last six years since leaving college.
By Angelia D. McGowan
tars from smooth jazz, fusion and mainstream jazz are sure to sparkle in the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the 31st Annual Genuine Jazz & Wine event on August 28-30 at Copper Mountain Resort. The event features a diverse wine selection and internationally renowned talent including Peter White, Paul Taylor, Euge Groove, Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Marc Antoine, Brian Simpson and Dotsero. The Denver Urban Spectrum had the honor of connecting with Colionne, a guitarist and vocalist with rich baritone vocals, for an exclusive interview. BET Jazz has described Colionne as “one of the most exceptional performers to come along in a long time.” He has received a number of recognitions including the 2007 International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the Wave Jazz Awards and a nomination for Guitarist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year by the American Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010. He has received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award for his ongoing, yet quiet, commitment to mentoring children and his work in the community and nationally in support of breast cancer causes. He has developed a special music curriculum for the Florence B. Price Elementary School for the Performing Arts in Chicago.
The Chicago native is frequently referred to as “the best dressed man in jazz,” with endorsements from men’s designer lines to prove it. He learned to play guitar at nine from his stepfather, was a touring pro by 15 and as a teenager he honed his skills playing with R&B legends the Staples Singers, Curtis Mayfield, The Impressions, Natalie Cole and more. “Influencers,” his latest CD, is a musical journey of self-re-discovery, offering a palate of moods and flavors born of life experiences, challenges and the people, past and present who helped to shape and mold his sound. Colionne, who has played Genuine a few times, touched on a few topics for the interview.
A cause dear to his heart. Breast cancer is very serious to me. My mom had breast cancer and friends of mine also and I wanted to do something as I felt helpless. As another matter of fact my mother was diagnosed with it again last week this is the fourth time so I am very serious about this cause. Not just for her but for all women and men who have to go through this dreadful disease. Youth and talent. What surprises me most is how fast kids pick up things and remember them. I teach them things and I come back and they play something and I am like, ‘Wow. Where did you learn that?’ And they say ‘You taught me that’ and I say ‘I did? I didn’t even know I knew that.’ Music and education. I think music is very important to growth of kids. Music is a universal language and it gives them place to create and even if they don’t aspire to be pros it is some-
Touring as a teen. I mostly did touring in the summer and on weekends because my parents were not into me not going to school.
Commitment to children. Children, I love. I love being around kids and it makes me feel good to teach them things and see them soak it all up. Kids are honest to a fault and they love unconditionally. I never thought of doing this for promotion because I was doing it before most of the world had any idea of who I was. I am
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
thing they can use for their own enjoyment.
What he wished he knew at the beginning of his career. That I was not going to be a millionaire by 16. LOL. Really, I wish I had known and studied the business of music more. To be able negotiate my contracts and things like that.
In-between jobs? Yes, I worked as bank teller, worked on a loading dock and in a hardware store. All my jobs lasted about three months. I had a three month limit that I didn’t plan. Music always called me back whenever I started to do something else.
The creative process. I create pretty often. Not every day. No one can create every day. Some days ideas pop in my head and others when I need to be trying to create new music I am blocked. I am not one who can sit down and say today I am going to write a great song. I have to be inspired by something or someone. I find that I am most creative really late at night. Things come into my heart and mind around one or two in the morning then I am up all night working on it.
For more information on Genuine Jazz & Wine, visit www.genuinejazz.com.
Morris Day and The Time to Take the Stage at A Taste of Colorado
p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 7, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.ATasteofColorado.com, or call 303-295-6330.
Dental Care Available for DPS Students this Summer at Evie Dennis E12 Campus
Morris Day and The Time will perform on the Main Stage at the 32nd Annual “A Taste of Colorado” on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Jammin’ 101.5. The fourday, free admission, food, music, arts and crafts, and entertainment festival will take place in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4 - 7. With his dynamic dancing and smooth yet gutsy vocals, Morris Day played an essential role in the development of the Twin Cities dance and club sound of the 1980s. Day was a founding member of Prince’s band, The Time. In 1984, The Time released its album “Ice Cream Castle,” with hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” Day launched his solo debut in 1985 with “Color of Success,” which featured the single “The Oak Tree.” In 1988, Day rejoined The Time and in 1990, they scored a No. 1 R&B hit with “Jerk Out.” Day released two other solo albums including “Daydreaming” and “Guaranteed” and has toured regularly since the late ’90s. He returned to record store racks in 2004 with the album “It’s About Time.” Day has appeared in films such as Prince’s “Purple Rain” in 1984; the sequel, 1990’s “Graffiti Bridge”; and 2001’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” In addition to the Main Stage, five other entertainment stages located throughout the festival will serve up a continuous menu of music. More than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments will be selling a wide variety of small portions to full meals, ensuring that there will be something for every palate. Festivalgoers can shop in more than 275 Marketplace booths for original arts and crafts, home and gift items, furniture, jewelry, imports, and more. Festival hours are Friday, Sept. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 10 Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Denver Public Schools (DPS) students are encouraged to come back to school with healthy smiles by scheduling dental checkups at Denver Health Medical Center’s Evie Dennis schoolbased health center this summer. The health center is now offering a variety of preventive dental health services for all DPS students grades pre-school to 12. The services available include oral exams, cleanings, fluoride varnishes and oral health education. One dental hygienist is available to see students at the health center located at 4800 Telluride Street in Green Valley Ranch Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dental care is offered as an enhancement to the comprehensive care already provided at the health center including well-child checkups, sports physicals, immunizations and mental health counseling. All services are available to DPS students free of charge, with no co-pays. Beginning this fall, the dental hygienist will rotate every two months seeing students at the Evie Dennis, Place Bridge Academy and Manual High School school-based health centers. Denver Health is able to offer dental care at three of its 16 school-based health centers through funding it received from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s (DDCOF) Colorado Medical-Dental Integration (CO MDI) initiative. The first initiative of its kind in the U.S., CO MDI will integrate dental hygienists in 16 Colorado primary care clinics over five years in an effort to increase access to preventive dental health services. DDCOF has awarded $1.95 million in funding to the CO MDI clinics to hire hygienists, purchase equipment and deliver care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among U.S. children ages six to 11. CO MDI is designed to improve the dental health of Colorado’s youngest residents and reach families who have limited access to dental care due to geographic barriers, lack of insurance or transportation difficulties. To make an appointment at the Evie Dennis health center, call 720423-7610.
Red Tails Aircraft P-51C Set To Fly At Rocky Mountain Airshow
“After my first ride in a Mustang, I was in heaven,” says Bill Shepard with a sparkle in his eyes and glee in his voice. Commemorative Air Force, Red Tail Squadron pilot Bill Shepard will pilot the P-51C Mustang in an aerial demonstration of the plane at the Rocky Mountain Airshow, August 1416 at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport, 11755 Airport Way near Broomfield. His P-51C is identical to the aircraft flown by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II from their base at Ramitelli, Italy comes with the exhibit “Rise Above” also on display during the airshow. Shepard is one of only two men of color in the world certified to fly the C model P-51. The single engine aircraft cruises at 360 miles per hour with a maximum speed of 500 and can fly up to 41,600 feet. A long range escort fighter, it is 32-feet long
with a 37-foot wingspan and stands 12 feet at its highest point. The plane will be sporting the colors of the four fighter squadrons of the 332nd Tuskegee Airmen group. “My main inspiration for aviation was the leaders in the Royal Canadian air cadet squadrons (during his participation) and the members of television’s Black Sheep Squadron,” Bill mentions. Also, he had aerial pedigree as his father was a Marine captain and parachutist with the historic “Chuting Stars” jump team which performed with the Navy’s Blue Angels. Born in Kansas and relocated to Canada as a youth, at age 16 while in high school Shepard achieved his US pilot’s license and soon after, his Canadian license to fly. His flying ratings include night, multiengine, instrument flight rules, commercial,
and others. A member of the Urban Pilots Network, through their outreach programs Shepard and the group work to bridge the gap between the urban community and aviation. “I don’t subscribe to a ‘can’t’ attitude,” Shepard adds. “I was raised to improvise, adapt and overcome, and to spend my energy on how you can get it done and think beyond your nose.” The opportunity to work with members of the original Tuskegee Airmen has been an especially exciting time for him. “I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the many, many stories of how the Airmen have made a positive impact in so many lives,” he says. “Their influence and inspiration spans the eras – yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Shepard has dedicated himself to living by the six principles of the Tuskegee Airmen. “With the support of my family I have been able to aim high; I believe in myself; I use my brain to achieve my goals; I never quit and instead find a way; I am always ready to go and am prepared; and truly in my heart – not just my brain – I expect to win!”
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Roots of Change Hair-a-Thon: Promoting Diversity and Self-Acceptance One Haircut at a Time
2015 marks The Kempe Center’s first “back to school” themed Roots of Change and on Sunday, Aug. 23 will offer free services to 40 girls and boys from 10 a.m. 3 p.m. at the Mykal Grant Salon in Denver. Families are welcome to learn and observe new techniques during their child’s individual appointment. To kick off the August Roots of Change, Child
Children of Color have been overrepresented in the foster care system for decades. Usually these kids are placed outside of their neighborhoods and away from family, losing valuable access to skin and hair care resources appropriate to their heritage. When children of color are placed in homes outside of their communities, neighborhoods, or racial groups, they are at risk of losing vital cultural connections and resources that shape their development, self-perception and wellbeing for years to come. It is with this understanding that Donna L. Parrish, assistant professor and associate director for Diversity and Inclusion of The Kempe Center, began Roots of Change for African American children in foster care, motivated by the goal to provide access, resources, services and education to children and families in cross-cultural placements in order to maintain the cultural integrity of the children in care. You might be asking yourself, what can a haircut teach you about loving yourself and your cultural heritage? Colorado’s Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect has long since believed that adequate, understood, accessible, and culturally appropriate personal hygiene is critical for every child’s mental and physical health. When children and their caregivers lack the resources and “know how” to properly maintain the child’s appearance, having “good hair” can seem all but unattainable, thus contributing to a damaged sense of self-esteem and possible mental health issues such as depression. Since 2013, the Roots of Change event has been a free event for Colorado foster children ages 7-17 who are in Out-of-Home Placement, Foster or Kinship Care, or in an adoptive home.
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Advocates-Denver CASA and The Kempe Center partnered with the Denver School of Science and Technology-Green Valley Ranch middle school students to stuff backpacks with school supplies and culturally appropriate hair care products. These backpacks will be distributed to all children who attend Roots of Change. Editor’s note: For more information, visit www.thekempecenter.org.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Continued from page 3 removed from a former confederate state’s government building? I mean it is not like they just took it down without fanfare during a pomp and stance ceremony. No, they treated that flag like it was some time honored and cherished relic...like it was the shroud that covered Jesus when they placed him in his tomb. Wait, that’s exactly what it is to them and that is exactly why they treated it with such reverence as they took it down. It’s not as if they are going to now deny the KKK of its rally this coming weekend in protest of the flag being taken down. I am willing to bet good money that at a minimum at least one member of the KKK at the rally this weekend will have all the numbers of the 20 plus members of South Carolina’s legislative body who voted against taking down the flag on speed dial in his/her smartphone. If it is appropriate to call the removal of this flag an act of defeating an enemy, are we then not guilty of settling for mediocrity and accepting that the bar used to determine what victory (or in this case “a real victory”) looks like is set extremely low? Some are even calling the removal of this flag a victory that will provide the necessary substances for the growth, health, and good condition of those affected by the long lasting effects of slavery and Jim Crow. Really...Jim Crow? So removing one symbol of hate and intolerance from one location provides necessary substance for the growth, health, and good condition of
our grandparents and parents (those who were alive then and still are today) who grew up under Jim Crow? This is an approximate 75-year time period after the reconstruction era in which some of our parents and grandparents were not even allowed to shake the hands of a white person because doing so indicated they were socially equal to that white person. I do not know about you, but I know my ancestors would smack me right across my mouth if I said removing one symbol of hate, intolerance, and defiance against equality for them and us from one location in one state was something of a victory that provides necessary substance for growth, health, and good condition. As with the statement “a real victory,” I ask you is it equally appropriate to say that removing the confederate flag provides the substance of what is necessary for our growth, health, and good condition? It may be a feel-good story for the moment, but what long term benefits are provided by removing it? If saying the removal of this flag provides the substances necessary for the growth, health, and good condition of people is appropriate, then I would argue that we do not recognize the definition of the word “nourishment” when we see it spelled out in front of us, because that is exactly what necessary substances for growth, health, and good condition are called...nourishment. Do we need a victory? Most certainly we do. Are we in need of some
nourishment? Absolutely we are. But if you were stuck on a deserted island eating leaves and insects for years and someone came along and gave you a piece of cracker with a slice of cheese on it, I hope you would neither call that a victory nor would you consider yourself to be nourished. I know we are taught to exalt our children for going to school and bringing home top grades like As and Bs, but I disagree with such exaltation. Our children are supposed to bring home top grades. We are not sending them to school to flunk off and fall behind. When you perform at your job, you are expected to do your best whether you are patted on your back or receive a bonus or not. Don’t do your best and see how quickly you lose your employment or go without future business opportunities. So with that said South Carolina should not have put this stupid flag up in the first place, so we should not be happy or satisfied that it was taken down. They have not done us any favors. We need to understand that removing symbols and renaming streets cannot be the end of our efforts and activities because it is not enough. I think it can send a clear message that you are not welcomed if you are a bigoted racist and supporter of racism, but telling these people they are not welcomed is not enough either. They already know they are wrong and are not welcomed. This is why you won’t see a KKK rally up in
Harlem, Bed-Stuy, Flatbush, Crown Heights (my home), Brownsville, out in Compton, down in SWAT (South West Atlanta) over in South East DC (not the gentrified sections either), Oxin Hill, Marlow Heights, down the road in Bad News (aka Newport News), Norfolk, Portsmouth, and many other places. This is why the KKK is scheduled to hold a rally in South Carolina this coming weekend. They feel safe and at home there, and they do not want to go out without a fight. Get out of here! I am not going to claim victory because some arrogantly ignorant people removed one symbol of hate, intolerance, and defiance against racial equality from one building in one state that should not have been put up in the first place. I am not going to claim nourishment or say I am being nourished because after years of eating leaves and insects someone came along and gave me a piece of cracker with a slice of cheese on it. If it is coming from these people who refused to be inclusive in the first place, then the cracker is probably dry and too salty, and the cheese is probably green with mold anyway. This means there is a nefarious trick afoot and we had better save all the chess pounding back patting press conferences for the time when we achieve a real victory worthy of providing our people much needed nourishment.
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Must See............ It’s Worth A Look..... See At Your Own Risk. Don’t Bother.....................
Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is Blackflix.com’s Senior Critic-at-Large. Tia Terlage is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Laurence Washington is the creator of BlackFlix.com. Like Blackflix.com On Facebook, Follow Blackflix.com On Twitter Terminator Genisys
Terminator Genisys 1/2 By Laurence Washington
he one thing that tweaked my interest in Terminator Genisys was how believable 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger looks fighting 2015 Arnold Schwarzenegger? If you’ve seen the trailer, I don’t think I’m giving anything away. Well, CGI is getting better and better! You can’t tell that 1984 Schwarzenegger is CGI. I bought it hook, line and sinker. Full Marks! The plot? Well it’s convoluted. The characters time travel from 2029, to 1984 to 2017 with ease. Borrowing a page from Back to the Future II, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is sent back to 1984 once again by John Connor (Jason Clarke) to save his mother Sara Connor (Emilia Clarke) from The Terminator. The only hitch is Reese finds out things have changed from the first trip. Good Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator 2 (’91), is there fighting bad Terminator, 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sara Conner is a savvy warrior rather than a frighten restaurant waitress with a bull’s eye on her back. There are plenty of explosions to detract from the fact that there’s no explanation what so ever, how good guy Terminator 2 shows up in 1984. I guess they’ll explain that fact in the
sequel they hinted at in the after credit scene. Which is OK I guess, because it’s Arnold and he’s back. At least that’s what the box office is counting on. Although it’s in 3D IMAX, see it in 2D, because it cheaper and just as exciting. To spice up the action, the silver shape-shifting T-100 Terminator drops in for a little mayhem of his own. However, the real surprise, or plot twist, is digital Skynet has constructed a new Terminator. The new machine tries to recruit Sara and Kyle to join Skynet’s prime directive – kill every
Asif Kapadia’s film is about Winehouse’s life, and it’s an astonishing document, featuring a treasure trove of material he was given access to. He has crafted a very innovative biography here, creating his own montage of sound and visuals to capture the life and work of the jazz/pop singer. One will leave the cinema impressed at the film and its subject, while sad that her tragic end was inevitable. Fans seeking a straightforward account of her life and career — or much of the world that shaped it will find it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3lZcrzzcM
humanoid in sight, and when they refuse, the new Terminator tries to…well…terminate them. So at least they’re keeping the Terminators fresh and not recycled. If you’re a fan of the series, then you know that nothing is constant. The cast changes are so numerous you need a scorecard to keep up with whose playing Sara, Reese and John Conner this time. The only constant thing is Arnold. Again, that’s what the box office is counting on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62E4FJTwSuc
rtfully constructed, thoughtfully compiled Amy is ultimately a heartbreaking documentary. The film tells the story of six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse whose troubled relationships and addictions led her into a tragic cycle of self-destruction, resulting in her untimely death at age 27. Her story is undoubtedly a tragedy and director Asif Kapadia (Senna) paints it like it was with a stylish juxtaposition of archival footage and adventurous, raw filmmaking telling it through her lyrics which appear on screen throughout the film. Making full use of home movies, audio interviews, personal photos,
much of it never before released to the public, he shades in the stark sketch of the suburban Jewish kid from North London who poured her heart and soul into her music, expressing personal struggles and pain through her intimate lyrics. Snippets of recordings, notes and poetry she wrote and interviews excerpts dance across the screen adding up to a mesmerizing portrait of this young woman who captured the world’s attention with her unforgettable voice. Kapadia talks to numerous people who really knew Winehouse. These include some of her famous friends (Yasiin Bey, Tony Bennett), her not so famous friends Juliette Ashby and Lauren Gilbert, who were two of her oldest and closest friends, her bodyguard, Andrew Morris and her first manager Nick Shymansky who held a lot of the footage integral to making this film a possibility. All present completely different reflections and experiences of Winehouse and not all of them matched with each other. Charting her meteoric rise to fame, we first meet her childhood friends Lauren and Juliette who stood by her through both the good and bad times. We meet the absent father, Mitch Winehouse, who she adored and who also advised her against going into rehab although she clearly needed to and we also meet her husband Blake Fielder, who introduced her to cocaine and heroin. A majority of the film focuses on 2005, the year when a great deal happened in her life and when she was out of the publicity cycle and started dabbling in drugs. So there is a builtin sense of discomfort watching some of her most private moments unspool in this utterly captivating and wellconstructed film. There are also some lighthearted moments where she shows extraordinary sensitivity and occasional black humor during press interviews.
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Magic Mike XXL
1/2 By Samantha Ofole-Prince
hat man in his right mind would leave a startup business on the verge of success to return to a seedy life of stripping he initially wanted out of? Not too many we would assume, but that’s exactly what Mike Lane does in this sequel which sees the oiled up strippers back to strut their stuff. Three years after he quit the stripper spotlight for a different kind of life, Mike (Channing Tatum) has come to realize he traded one grind for another. Although the furniture business is booming or at least doing well, he only has one employee, whose health insurance he can’t afford to pay for. Adding, the girl he thought was the one…wasn’t. When he receives a call that his former stripper boss (Matthew McConaughey’s character) has died, he goes to the wake, only to realize it was a ruse put on by his former buddies. After a beer with the old cronies, he realizes he misses the stripper’s life and decides to join the boys on a trip to the stripper convention — an event that is every bit as outrageous as it sounds. What follows is a road trip to Myrtle Beach that’s filled with few stops along the way as additional characters are introduced. There’s a brief visit to a gay strip club (where they meet real-life drag performer Vicky Vox), an all-night beach party, another party with a bunch of middle-aged ladies hosted by Andie MacDowell (Footloose) and a stop at a joint run by Mike’s old flame Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith). Smith is the big boss lady who runs a strip club filled with a mostly black male crew of strippers (Michael Strahan, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss) that caters to a predominantly black female clientele. Joe Manganiello, reprises his role as Big Dick Richie (BDR), alongside Matt
REEL ACTION Magic Mike XXL
Bomer as the picture-perfect Ken, Adam Rodriguez as Latin sensation Tito, Kevin Nash as wild-man Tarzan, and Gabriel Iglesias as their freewheeling MC, Tobias. There are a couple of thrilling individual routines on multiple platforms, leading up to a spectacular number everyone has been waiting for: Channing Tatum and tWitch, matching their combustible energies in a dance duet. There’s also Tatum’s opening number, a freestyle solo in the garage where he makes furniture, triggered by Ginuwine’s “Pony” on the radio but beyond that, this one lacks any hint of the creativity or style he brought to the original. In the first film, stripping was something from which Mike needed to escape. In the sequel, it’s inescapable. Those looking to watch barely naked men gyrate on stage will enjoy the visuals, but those seeking substance and dialogue should hunt elsewhere for there’s simply no story or magic in this lackluster sequel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLoyU3xYwbs
ness to the tribe. He anoints himself to be a leader and set out of Antarctica to find a new villain to rule under. With the help of fellow Minions Stuart and Bob (all voiced by Pierre Coffin), the trio set out on the quest, which lands them in New York City in the year 1968. They hitch hike with a very vibrant family of thieves to Orlando for the Villain-Con convention to hopefully meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) - the world’s first female Super Villain and her inventor husband, Herb (Jon Hamm). Overkill has a competition for a predecessor to work side by side with her which, after a ruthless battle, the Minions win! She moves them to her fancy English castle, but quickly proves how vicious she really is. Scarlet threatens the little yellow guys into stealing the Queen’s crown so she can rule all of England! The excitement continues throughout London and, yes you guessed it, ends despicably. There are plenty of laughs as the audience tries to understand Minionese, the jibberish, multi-
By Tia Terlaje
The cute Minions are back!
After centuries of searching for a new boss to serve, the Minions tribe (who served the villainous Gru in two Despicable Me movies) falls into great sadness when their evil bosses experience demise after demise. Minion Kevin has a great idea to bring happi-
blended language of the Minions. Funny and cute, enjoy the film with popcorn, candy and perhaps a banana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVDk7PXNXB8
udd Apatow’s latest attempt to mine humor from all-too-familiar sce-
narios is simply hilarious. In his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow once again shows his continuing knack for hits as he introduces us to Amy (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) who has been raised by her philandering father to believe that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a barhopping, potsmoking magazine writer, she lives by that doctrine, and is enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited sex life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), she starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.
Trainwreck benefits enormously from the likeability of its leads. Aaron is a nerdy overachiever in the world of sports medicine. He wants to help people and works with Doctors Without Borders, which is an organization that he feels strongly about, while the straight-talking Amy is no model of moral integrity. She’s a sexual girl who does what she wants, even if it means ending up doing the walk of shame among early morning commuters with whom she takes the Staten Island ferry. The juxtaposition of the two characters proves fertile ground for fantastic banter for they are believable and extremely likeable as the thrust together couple. With sparkling performances from characters that include Brie Larson as Amy’s straight laced sister to stand-up comedian Colin Quinn, who plays their sardonic father, what makes this film work is its ability to squeeze big laughs out of real-world situations. The film succeeds because the actors play their characters well. With a carousel of entertaining characters, the supporting cast includes Tilda Swinton, who plays Amy’s boss, the
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
brazen British editor of S’Nuff magazine and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James as Aaron’s best friend. James is a penny-pincher who loves the TV show Downton Abbey and always insists they split the check despite his financial success. “Look at what happened to MC Hammer,” he says in one scene. New York Knicks’ (and current Dallas Mavericks’) star player Amar’e Stoudemire also makes an appearance and rapper Method Man plays a nursing assistant. Resisting any urge to look for just one laugh-out-loud moment per scene, Apatow shoots for incessant humor loading up every other minute with witticisms and filling smaller roles with other talented comedians (Dave Attell, Tim Meadows, Nikki Glaser
Trainwreck and Leslie Jones). There are several funny sexual scenes including one when Amy insists her blatantly closeted OCD CrossFit instructor (played by wrestler John Cena) talk to her during sex and another scene where she almost ends up screwing the magazine’s teenage intern. Apatow continues his exploration into the world of relationships with this well-established ensemble which delivers not only killer laughs but also a palpable sense of affection. He lets the story take hold and the characters develop throughout with a mix of laughs and romance. Trainwreck will resonate with a lot of folks and appeal to both sexes. If Apatow (director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin) was seeking to make another funny film that is also romantic and realistic about relationships, he’s certainly succeeded once again. Finally, a breath of fresh air arrives in this stale summer of superheroes films. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_KP9x80Z9Q
HATS OFF TO...
MHAC Honors Mayor Michael Hancock’s Leadership on Mental Health, Substance Abuse
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On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, mental health leaders from Colorado and Washington, D.C. honored Denver Mayor Michael Hancock for his leadership on mental health and substance use disorder issues at the local level. Andrew Romanoff, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Colorado (MHAC), joined by Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America national, presented Mayor Hancock and his administration a special award for their efforts to improve Denver’s mental health. Last fall, Mayor Hancock appointed Don Mares, former president and CEO of MHAC, to become the first director of Behavioral Health Strategies for the City and County of Denver. Hancock stated his intention to set ambitious strategies for prevention, better coordination of local resources, and delivery of mental health and substance abuse services when and where they can help residents of Denver the most. MHAC, as the state affiliate of Mental Health America – the nation’s oldest and leading mental health advocacy organization – recognizes the historic importance of Mayor Hancock’s decision to make mental health a top priority of a major American city. Mares has since been appointed executive director of Denver Human Services, but the mayor’s initiative will continue under the leadership of Regina Huerter, former head of the Denver Crime Prevention & Control Commission and current member of the Colorado Behavioral Health Transformation Council. “Mayor Hancock has pursued a proactive, rather than a reactive strategy,” said Romanoff. “We need leaders who are committed to looking upstream for smarter solutions that will save and improve lives.” “As a nation,” added Gionfriddo, “we have to stop waiting until a stage four crisis before we take action for our mental health. Denver is setting an example for cities all across this country.” The event honoring Mayor Hancock took place at Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall in Denver.
Denver City Council Re-elects President,Elects New Pro-Tem, Announces Council Committees The Denver City Council announced that Christopher J. Herndon has been re-elected to the position of president, and Paul D. López has been elected as president
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
pro-tem. Councilmember Herndon has served as the council president for the past year. Councilman Herndon was elected to the Denver City Council in 2011 from far northeast Denver. He is a West Point graduate and Army veteran who also worked in managerial roles in the private sector. Herndon earned a master’s degree in management from Webster University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver, and was awarded a fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Commenting on his re-election, Councilmember Herndon said, “I am honored to continue serving as president of the Denver City Council. I look forward to the work ahead in serving my colleagues and the people of Denver.” Born and raised in West Denver, District 3 Councilman Paul D. López was first elected in 2007 to the Denver City Council at the age of 28. He became the youngest councilmember ever to take the oath of office and is now the senior-ranking member of the Denver City Council. A community and labor organizer by training, López holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, and completed an executive government program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. “I am truly honored that my colleagues would vote me to serve as president pro-tem, and proud to work alongside Council President Chris Herndon, as he serves his second term. Together, we will continue the momentum and good work that was started by the previous council, while allowing new ideas and energy to blossom,” said Councilman López. Herndon has announced the committee structure and his committee appointments for the 2015-16 council year, effective July 21, 2015. The six standing committees are: Finance & Services, chaired by Councilmember Stacie Gilmore; Governance & Charter Review, chaired by Councilmember Paul López; Infrastructure & Culture, chaired by Councilmember Jolon Clark; Business Development, chaired by Councilmember Albus Brooks; Safety & Well-being, chaired by Councilmember Wayne New; and Neighborhoods & Planning, chaired by Councilmember Mary Beth Susman. Councilmember Herndon is not assigned to any of the six committees. As president, he is a voting member of all the committees.
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Continuum Partners is seeking Architectural Design Services for a portion of its redevelopment project at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Award will be granted based on responses submitted to the Request of Qualifications due August 7th, 2015. The project has a 23% Small Business Enterprise (SBE) requirement and will evaluate SBE firms as prime applicants. Visit the project website for complete details and timeline. http://9thandcolorado.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Request-for-QualificationsBlocks-12458-_Final-7.10.15.pdf
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Join CDOT and the High Performance Tranportation Enterprise (HPTE) to learn about the I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) status, public-private partnerships and the next steps in the process -- the Request for Proposals (RFP).
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NACA NAC A is th thee n nation’s ation’ n s lar largest gest non non-profit -profit fit HUD certified cer tified tif ied m mortgage ortgage ccounseling ounseling ag agency ency th that at h helps elps become homeowners iindividuals ndividuals be come ho meowners tthrough hrough our ccommon ommon ssense ense aapproach pproach tto o lending lending aand nd our aant ntiantip redatory lending lending assistance. assistance. Our Our ffr ree co unseling predatory free counseling p rogram is av ailable ffor or tthose hose wh on eed as sistance program available who need assistance with m ortgage lo an rrestructuring estr tru ucturing an d ffor or in dividuals mortgage loan and individuals llooking ooking tto o pur chase a ho me. N ACA lloans oans in clude: purchase home. NACA include:
closing ccosts osts x No closing x No maximum maximum iinc ncome income
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These meetings will provide an opportunity to learn more and give input on: the proposed project's mitigations, aesthetics through the project, what the Phase 1 project includes, public-private partnerships, and the RFP process. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is also providing the public the opportunity to review and comment on how the project will affect and mitigate the South Platte River Trail.
x N o down down payment payment No
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x N o credit credit sscore core requirement, requirement, (l ow sscores cores w elcomed ed)) No (low welcomed) x
N O CA C ATCH!!! NO CATCH!!!
Workshops.” R ead th Workshops.” Read thee on on-sscreen creen in structions an d instructions and follow the the p rompts. A follow prompts. Ass an added convenience, convenience, you may may added a lso rregister egister fo also forr a NACA Workshop b y ccalling alling 4 14Workshop by 4144 42-6222. 442-6222.
Wednesday, Aug. 19 Aurora Strong Resilience Center 1298 Peoria St. Aurora, CO 80011
x 100% loan loan ffinancing inancing a and nd w we e of o offer ffer tthe he lowest lowest iinterest nterest ra te rate
www.naca.com b www.naca.com y cclicking licking by
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Formal presentation and Q&A start at 6:15 p.m.
email@example.com 303.757.9413 www.i-70east.com
NACA HAS NACA HAS T THE HE KE KEYS YS FOR YOU T TO O KEEP K EEP OR B BUY UY Y YOUR OUR H HOME! OME!
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
Thursday, Aug. 20 Swansea Recreation Center 2650 E. 49th Ave. Denver, CO 80216 The same information will be presented at each meeting.
Spanish translation, childcare and refreshments will be available at both meetings. For disability assistance, please call 303-547-2050 prior to the meeting. Telephone Town Hall Interested in learning more about a public-private partnership for I-70 East? Call into the Telephone Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 7 - 8 p.m. Simply call 1-877-229-8493 and enter PIN 112034.
AROUND TOWN - WWW.DENVERURBANSPECTRUM.COM - AROUND TOWN - WWW.DENVERURBANSPECTRUM.COM - AROUND TOWN
Organo Gold Summer Barista Bash
Photos by Lens of Ansar
H. Rappe III Bell Biv Devoe
Mayor Michael B. Hancock Inaugural Address and Celebrations Photos by Bernard Grant and Lens of Ansar
Mural Dedication at the Elbra M. Wedgeworth Municipal Building
Swearing in ceremony for State Representative Janet P. Buckner...Photos by Bernard Grant
Photos by Lens of Ansar
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2015
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Published on Jul 28, 2015
Denver Urban Spectrum has been spreading the news about people of color since 1987. It is an award winning publication and the most sought a...