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Volume 31 Number 9

Nguzo Saba: Seven Principles to Live By..............4 2018 Countdown: DUS Recaps 2017.....................6

December 2017

Volume 31 Number 9

Nguzo Saba: Seven Principles to Live By..............4 2018 Countdown: DUS Recaps 2017.....................6

December 2017

Looking Back 2017 Year In Review


December 2017

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James MANAGING EDITOR Laurence Washington

CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer Ofari Hutchinson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelle Fouther Melovy Melvin Allan Tellis

New Beginnings…

Every story has a beginning and an ending. But what’s important are the words expressed in between. They may bring joy, they may generate sadness, and often times they may enlighten. Nonetheless, they should be told, and especially our stories. For the last 30 years, we have had the good fortune of telling stories – some good, some bad and of course some ugly. We have been recognized and have received many awards for our contributions to the journalism industry. For that, we thank our readers, contributors and advertisers with much gratitude. This month, Melovy Melvin recaps the stories that have graced the covers and pages of Denver Urban Spectrum over the last 12 months from reflecting on the legacy of America’s first African American POTUS and FLOTUS to talking about the power of Black women – and so many more stories in between. Our cover story is about Kwanzaa, a 50 year-old 7-day occurrence about family, community and culture celebrated by African Americans across the country. Denver has celebrated Kwanzaa for 20 years and organizers tell DUS contributor Allan Tellis about the upcoming plans. People look at the New Year as a new beginning, always reflecting on the past year with hopes that the new one will be more prosperous. But the end of the year is also very important. It is the time that many give thanks to their creator. In “Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum,” Granny shares her experiences of honoring the birth of Christ from winter festivals including the African Harvest, the Native American Winter Solstice, the Celtic Yule, Las Posadas in Mexico, Kwanzaa in the United States, the ancient Hebrew Festival of Lights, the Chinese New Year, and the Caribbean’s Junkanoo Day. These holidays, mostly all observed at the end of year, are offering celebratory thanks through song, dance and food; and looking forward to new beginnings in the coming year. This year will be ending again soon, and no matter your faith, belief, religion or spirituality, it is a time to give thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon you. You, our supporters, have been a blessing bestowed on Denver Urban Spectrum, and we thank you with sincere gratitude for making DUS what it is today. To new beginnings… Peace and Blessings


GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert Kolor Graphix

PUBLISHER/PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Melovy Melvin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James - Manager 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 2017 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

DUS Commitment To Community Appreciated By 100 Men Who Cook

Rosalind J. Harris Publisher


Editor: The words do not come easy because there are none adequate to express our appreciation for the support and encouragement the Denver Urban Spectrum has extended to the 100 Men Who Cook, Inc. (100 MWC) over the past 5 years. Your commitment to our effort translates to your commitment to the future of our community. You exhibit this monthly as you tell our stories. The goal of the 100 MWC is to do all we can to ensure the sustainability of grassroots organizations that take care of the children of our communities. Our Annual Black-Tie Fundraiser is designed to not only provide funding for these small organizations doing big work, but to also shine a light on the impact they are having on young people. The honor of being your November cover story serves as encouragement to hundreds of volunteers giving their time and talent to support those who will carry the baton. We want them to hear loud and clear that there is a force pulling them into a future of success. Thank you for being our trumpet.

I have just signed the “Need To Impeach” petition initiated by Tom Steyer of California. Over two million other Americans have also signed it. And that number keeps growing every hour. We – all of us – must not wait a minute longer to act. Trump has sent a fleet of our ships into the waters off North Korea in order to provoke the unhinged leader of that country to make the mistake of attacking us. This, plus Trump’s reckless taunts at Kim Jong-un, is being done for one reason: to start some sort of conflict so that America will rally behind him and forget about the impending criminal indictments he, his family and his cohorts now face. He has put us all in danger, and he may get a lot of people killed. The Founders of this country were worried that, from time to time, we would have a President who would behave in such a manner that would put our nation in jeopardy, or a President who would try to profit off being in office, or a Commander-inChief who might not be right in the head (King George III gave them a good example of that). They feared we could end up with a President who might be a traitor to our country. They even knew

The 100 Men Who Cook, Inc. Denver, CO

IMPEACH! Op-ed by Michael Moore

It is time to remove this dangerous man from office.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


that we might get stuck with someone who committed not just “high crimes” but also “misdemeanors.” They wanted to make it easy for us to fix a mistake we’ve made. My friends, we have the most colossal mistake in our history sitting right now in the Oval Office. And there is only one way to rectify it: TRUMP MUST BE IMPEACHED. We can NOT wait until November of 2020 for that to happen. We simply won’t make it til then. The country we know as the United States of America will not be the same after three more years of Trump. You know it and I know it. Turning the TV off and trying to avoid the daily insanity won’t make him go away. Donald J. Trump has proven himself to be completely unfit for office, a threat to our country and an imminent danger to this world. Continued on page 27 Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

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A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture


wanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the West African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Even though Kwanzaa has become a powerful tool for African-American pride and celebration, its roots can only be traced back to the late ‘60s. The celebration began as the vision of Dr. Maulana Ndabezith Karenga, an influential figure during the Black Liberation struggle and Black Power movements that dominated the late ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Dr. Karenga is an activist, author and creator of the pan-African and AfricanAmerican holiday known as Kwanzaa. As a well-educated man, having several doctorates and currently an AfricanAmerican professor of Africana studies at California State, Karenga realized there was no holiday to celebrate the African-American culture, motivating him to create Kwanzaa. Dr. Karenga founded Kwanzaa for a particular purpose, stating his goals for the holiday in 1966 as, “To give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday, and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” As the Kwanzaa celebration began to take hold throughout the nation in the 1980’s, Denver took an exceptionally strong liking to the holiday, and has boasted for the last 20 years, one of the most well executed Kwanzaa celebrations in the country. With community leaders such as Brother Jeff, Thedora Jackson and Isetta Crawford Rawls at the helm, the Denver Kwanzaa celebration continues to gain traction every year under their stewardship. Current Kwanzaa committee president

and committee member since its inception, Thedora Jackson, attributes their success to their perseverance and dedication. “We’ve been working at it for a long time,” Jackson said regarding how they have done so well in a city with Denver’s demographics. “(The late) Opalanga Pugh brought it publically so people could come from all over the state and celebrate with a lot of other like-minded people. It’s amazing we’ve been working on for it well over 20 years now.” Denver’s Kwanzaa celebration stays true to the original format and intent of Dr. Karenga’s design with a week-long celebration beginning the day after Christmas and highlighting a different principle that represents the best of Africans and the best of humanity. Each day of the week-long celebration, a ceremony at a different location in the Five Points area, consisting of social time to reconnect and enjoy the holiday spirit, as well as, more focused moments to embrace the principle of the day and discuss how it can be further implemented into the community.

Kwanzaa, the first pan-African holiday, is inspired by African “first fruit” traditions, and the name is derived from the name for the Swahili first fruit celebration, “matunda ya kwanza.” The rituals of the holiday promote African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the “seven principles of African Heritage” that Karenga described as “a communitarian African philosophy”

The Seven Essential Principles of Kwanzaa are:

Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. Denver Kwanzaa Celebration

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together. Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. These valuable principles are in Swahili, a language composed of several East-African languages to promote cohesion in the area. This particular language was chosen to further emphasize the feeling of a grand community of Black people across the planet, who will continue to thrive with the implementation of these fruitful principles. The Kwanzaa committee has aptly titled this year’s theme, “Kwanzaa in the 21st Century,” as they want to reinforce the notion that these timeless principles remain important as Kwanza crosses over the 50-year mark in its important history. Another benefit of Kwanzaa is to create stronger bonds between the multiple generations within the community, and this year, just like every year, more elders will be added into the Circle of Wisdom on the first night of Kwanzaa. This induction is an essential ritual to the purpose of Kwanzaa and holds a special place for Thedora Jackson.

“The Circle was established to bring forth the idea that elders in the community are totally important,” Jackson said. “They are the knowledgeable people in the village. Everything we know – we learned from them. Those are the shoulders we all stand on.” Not only will that first night include a beautiful induction ceremony, it will also include a parade, a meal and a social gathering to kick off the week of celebration. Participants in the parade, which includes drumming, Benderas, and a police escort, are asked to arrive at the Blair Caldwell library around 5 p.m. to gather until 6 p.m. The parade will travel to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio where the rest of the festivities of the night will take place. The public is invited to participate and support this historic occasion to celebrate the 51st year of Kwanzaa, and 20 plus years of the celebration in the Mile High City. . Editor’s note: To participate, volunteer, or for more information on the schedule of events and location, call Executive Director Kwanzaa Committee of Denver Thedora Jackson at 303-371-4793 or email

Denver Kwanzaa Celebrations

Kwanzaa Symbols

Kwanzaa has a number of key symbols that are used as artifacts to teach, remind and inspire us in the application of Kwanzaa principles. The basic symbols used to celebrate Kwanzaa are: Mazao (mah-zah’-o) are the Crops which represent African harvest and acknowledgement of productive labor. Mkeka (m-kay’-kah) is the Kwanzaa Mat which represents a foundation of our tradition and history. Kinara (kee-nah’-rah) is the Candle Holder which represents continental Africans as our roots. Muhindi (moo-heen’-dee) is the Corn which represents our children and our future. Mishumaa Saba (mee-shoo-mah’-ah sah’-bah) is the group of Seven Candles which represents the Kwanzaa seven principles (Nguzo Saba). Kikombe cha Umoja (kee-kom’-bay chah oo-mo’-jah) is the Unity Cup which represents the principle of unity as the basis of all Kwanzaa principles. Zawadi (zah-wah’-dee) are the Gifts which represent the commitments made and kept. Bendera (bayn-day’-rah) is the Flag which is a supplemental symbol that represents the people (black color), the struggle (red color) and the future and hope (green color). Nguzo Saba (en-goo’-zo sah’-bah) Poster is the printed display of The Seven Principles and is a supplemental symbol.

Celebrate the holidays with spectacular light displays, heartwarming holiday shows and festive New Year’s Eve fireworks. Make a night of it with great hotel deals.


Festival holiday lights shine at Denver Zoo Lights and Denver Botanic Garden’s Blossoms of Light.


Ring in the New Year with spectacular fireworks shows and entertainment at both 9 p.m. and midnight.


Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza Jan. 7 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.

*$99 hotel rates not available on New Year’s Eve

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017



Countdown to

By Melovy Melvin


New beginnings come with reflecting on memories. Two months after what many said was one of the strangest elections in our country’s history, DUS’s introductory issue to the New Year travelled down memory lane reflecting on the legacy of the first African-American and 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. Allan Tellis paid tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama with “Behind Every Great Woman, There’s A Great Woman.” Remembering legacy comes with celebrating legacy and Laurence Washington shared Vern Howard’s memories as he celebrated 20 years as the Martin Luther King Jr. Marade chair. Howard, who was invited by the White House communication staff to be the guest of President Obama at the signing of stimulus package that was held in Denver 2009, also attended the dedication of Dr. King’s monument in Washington DC in October 2010.


This year’s very popular and proud Black History Month issue acknowledged those who have made positive contributions and impact on the African American community. Tanya Ishikawa featured Perry “P.J.” Jones on the cover, described as a little man with a big heart and massive history.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Jones was a promoter in the music industry who worked with Prince and Earth, Wind, and Fire. History was made with Denver’s beloved hometown football team when the former University of Colorado Buff’s quarterback and graduate assistant what Vance Joseph became the new head coach for the Broncos; the first African American coach for the Denver Broncos organization and the 18th in the National Football League.


If women did not exist, neither would mankind! In celebration of Women’s History Month, DUS featured rising star SuCh, who shared with Khaleel Herbert her story of what she has done, her limitless possibilities and future plans. Dr. Rhonda Coleman and Dr. Tracey Jones with The Healing Garden shared their story with Allan Tellis on plans for THG and how it is a healing place for the mind, body and soul. Tellis also shared with readers how Linda Theus-Lee’s 3-in-1 woman

show, “Lena, Nina and Me” was not only a tribute to two great singers and their artistry but how all three women are living their truths. Tellis also voiced the concerns from citizens after attending the Denver Police Department community meeting about closing the gap between people and police. Theo E.J. Wilson’s “White Conservative Deserve Trump” article embodies a new perspective on the new man “in the house” and how the conservative politics are impacting people of color.


As with most anniversaries, there is a theme. And to mark DUS 30th anniversary of proudly spreading the news about people of color, “DUS Power 30 – More Today Than Yesterday,” was ideal after serving the City of Denver for the past three decades. Since inception in April 1987, DUS has been the voice for the community and Charles Emmons penned its journey and DUS publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris who has been the driving force in carrying and developing DUS to what it is today. Allan Tells met with and wrote about comedian/actor Tommy Davidson whose fearless attitude has propelled him to be one of the most prolific figures in comedy today. Charles Emmons also chatted with three students with Youth With a Future, a companion program to the private nonprofit organization Transformational Leadership Forum, as they take steps to ensure their future.


Our May cover story by Charles Emmons featured the Denver Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and their friendship and sisterhood for 65 years. The local chapter has been a beacon for AfricanAmerican advancement in economics, education and service. Restaurant

(MRBES), the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity 45th annual scholarship luncheon and a community-based basketball camp celebrating 10 years.

owners Theodora Adwoa and Sylvester Ose, told their story to Allan Tellis of coming from Ghana to America and their trials and tribulations of running their family owned business, the African Grill. Tellis also shared some words to live by from award winning filmmaker Aishah Simmons who spoke in Denver as the Rachel B Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Metropolitan State University of Denver.


Home is where the heart is and requires great care. DUS’s cover story by Khaleel Herbert covered Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s State of the City Address as he discussed initiatives and ways to help and care for our “home” called Denver. Melovy Melvin visited “Coach” Copeland who shared his transition from one home to another and how it is providing a guiding light for those who walk through his “front door.” Khaleel Herbert also talked with Porter Lori about how his social activism was affected by residents and their homes at the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. And Charles Emmons and Chandra Whitfield both shared stories of two


Originally initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter on June 7, 1979, today June is recognized as African American Music Appreciation Month. To celebrate Black music and those who are making a “note” in Denver and across the country, Charles Emmons looks into the life of music impresario Bobby Wells, who produced DUS’s 30th anniversary theme song, “More Today Than Yesterday.” Allan Tellis caught up with well- known Denver bassist Jeroan Adams who talked “music notes” and about the “real” roots of Black music. In the spirit of family and family reunions, Emmons also shared the roots of the Tyler family and the upcoming Tyler family reunion planned for Denver.


July’s cover story, “Summer Time in the Rockies” by Allan Tellis informed readers what to do and where to go for the best summer events. Charles Emmons attended a special reception for the Denver History Makers and wrote about the Chicago-based organization and how the community can help preserve the rich history of African Americans. And contributing writer, working as a summer intern, Khaleel Herbert earned a lot of credit after attending and covering the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


“homeboys” who are pursuing their dreams as authors, writers and publishers.


This month DUS examined those who are making noise in the community, from speaking out on civil and human rights to learning how Black history has impacted lives to just lending a good laugh. Portia Prescott shares the Colorado Black Women for Political Action plans to encourage African American Women to participate in a Call To Activism and talks about local and national Black females who are standing up and speaking out. Latasha Bells’ journey from humble beginning in Denver’s Five Points community to becoming an entrepreneur and successful owner of Ashae Soaps is told by Allan Tellis. Charles Emmons talks about six students who capped off Continued on page 8

DUS Countdown Continued from page 7 there summer trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C and how the trip provided them with the opportunity to delve further beyond the highlights of the scourge of slavery and civil rights. And Khaleel Herbert laughs with Colorado native, Stephen Agyei as he shared his story about his defeat and hilarious triumphs in pursuing a career in the comedic and entertainment industry.

“Denver Dreamers” and others who expressed their opinion on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) when news reached that the American immigration policy was in jeopardy under the administration of President Trump. Charles Emmons’s story “Yoga…It’s not just for White Girls,”


Other than love, there is nothing more vital than the freedom of speech. While proudly and successfully spreading and delivering news in Colorado, Denver Urban Spectrum launched two new online magazines for the Gulf Coast region and Maryland as one of its 30 year anniversary goals. Tanya Ishikawa shared more on the new launch of Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum and Baltimore Urban Spectrum. This month’s cover story looked at

follows entrepreneur Shelby Holly-Page who went from posting images of practicing yoga on Instagram to encouraging more yoga and physical exercise and posture for African Americans.


In November, we enter the season of giving and giving thanks. The 100 Men Who Cook turned the corner of five years and tells Laurence Washington their goal of supporting deserving nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to serving Denver’s youth. Washington also talked to wellknown attorney Mike Sawaya who shares his story and life mission and how he gives back to the community. He says every client is important to him. Denver Urban Spectrum wins eight awards at the annual Colorado Association of Black Journalist banquet and Khaleel Herbert tells who took home the bacon and how much. And Mayor Michael B. Hancock gives thanks to the Little Rock Nine who celebrated 60 years of fighting social and racial injustices when they entered and attended Little Rock’s Central High School in September 1957.


Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Ending out the year, our cover story by Allan Tellis takes a look at the history of Kwanzaa, its founder Dr. Maulana Karenga, and how organizers in Denver plan to celebrate this special occasion. Angelle Fouther attended the Power of Black Women Summit and talks about who, what, where, when and why it happened. And lastly, Melovy Melvin recaps what has occurred in Denver and across the country with a recap of the year – which has been a lot. See you in 2018!

Independent Feature Documentary Film God

of the Oppressed

Seeks Public Support

Emmy award-winning independ-

ent filmmaker Dante James and owner of Black Pearl Media Works, LLC (BPMW) announced the production of God of the Oppressed, an independent feature documentary, is underway. God of the Oppressed is a documentary film that will explore Black liberation and womanist theology through the stories of Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Traci Blackmon and others including Nat Turner. In 1898 Bishop Henry McNeil Turner said, God is a Negro; Reverend Jeremiah Wright questions Americas’ commitment to equality and justice for Black people, and Rev. Traci Blackmon connects the Black activist religious tradition to Black youth movements. In God of the Oppressed, stories, characters and gospel music will celebrate and frame a perspective of God within the context of an oppressed people. Dr. James Cone, author of the book “God of the Oppressed,” is featured in the trailer and is chief academic advisor for the film. In his book, Cone argues for a theology constructed from the experiences of Black people who understand God’s role in liberating those crying for the pain to end. He challenges theologians to abandon the White system defining the meaning of God.

Co-producer, Rev. Carl Kenny stated, “Dr. Cone challenges theologians and Black Christians to abandon the white system defining the meaning of God. Cone’s work and the film challenges Black men and women to listen to the voices of Black people to construct a Christianity framed from their experiences.” Films that explore Black American history and culture with internal interpretations of Black experiences need support from progressive people and organizations nationwide. “After six months, and with the incredible support from the Union Theological Seminary, Dr. James Cone and personal resources, the God of the Oppressed trailer has been described as powerful from ministers, laypeople and academics after viewing in private screenings,” James said. “We are now turning to the public for support by establishing an Indiegogo crowd funding site. We believe this approach will shield God of the Oppressed, which explores stories of the radical Black Christian experience from the ‘filters’ that often come with resources from entities outside of progressive communities. This story must be told through the lens of the Black experience unfiltered.”. Editor’s note: For more information, to view the trailer or to support this project with a fiinancial donation, visit Like God of the Oppressed on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at GodOTOFilm.

About Black Pearl Media Works

Black Pearl Media Works produces artistic, entertaining and profitable media that explores humanity through the lens of Black cultures worldwide. It’s current project, God of the Oppressed is co-produced by Emmy award-winning independent filmmaker and Black Pearl Media Works owner Dante James and Reverend Carl W. Kenney II, a Black liberation theology minister, author and journalist. For more information, visit Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Help with Health Insurance

Many are Leaving Money on the Table

By Kevin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer Connect for Health Colorado

Thousands of Coloradans could

receive monthly financial help with their health insurance but don’t know it. Even if you make as much as

$48,000 a year ($98,000 for a family of four) you can get financial help to lower your health insurance costs. It’s easy and quick to see if you qualify. But don’t wait. You need to enroll by December 15 to have insurance in place by January 1. You may have heard that costs for premiums will be going up for 2018. The good news is that financial help increases right alongside those premiums. This year, Colorado households are receiving an average $369 a month to lower the cost of health insurance. We know that will be going up next year. It is more important than ever to check to see if you qualify at The state Division of Insurance (DOI) has calculated that, on average, premiums will increase 33 percent in 2018. But because the level of assistance increases as premiums rise, the average net premium (what consumers pay after assistance) will go down 20 percent. Too many people assume they make too much to qualify for help with the cost of insurance. That is like leaving money on the table. It only takes a minute to check at And even consumers who do not qualify for the

help reduce the increase in their premiums by looking at comparable plans in their area. I am urging everyone to ‘stop, shop and enroll’ by Dec.15. This year’s Open Enrollment Period, the time when people buy their own health insurance, runs through Jan.12, 2018. After Jan.12, you will not be able to buy health insurance unless you experience a Qualifying Life Change Event such as losing coverage through your job, getting married or having a baby. Shopping for health insurance can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. We are ready to help you in-person and at no cost. Get connected to someone in your area by visiting While the future of the Affordable Care Act may continue to be debated in Washington, D.C., you may be asking yourself “Do I still need health insurance?” The answer is “YES!” What remains constant and true is that it is important to protect the health and financial future of you and your family. Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance mar-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


ketplace. It opened for business on Oct. 1, 2013, for individuals, families and small employers to compare and buy health insurance and is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified brokers, community-based health coverage guides or application counselors. . Editor’s note: For more information:


Mayor Hancock Names Eulois Cleckley Next Executive Director of Public Works

Mayor Michael B. Hancock

appointed Eulois Cleckley as the next Executive Director of the Department of Public Works. At Public Works, Cleckley will oversee one of the city’s largest and most dynamic departments, managing the majority of services involving public infrastructure and facilities for residents and businesses. Cleckley will play a critical role in implementing the $937 million general obligation bond overwhelmingly passed by voters just last week, which will help to jump start Mayor Hancock’s Mobility Action Plan, among other major upgrades and improvements. Voters approved nearly half of the bonds to go towards transportation and mobility repairs and improvements. He will also lead the reorganization of the Department of Public Works and contribute significantly to the ongoing Denveright planning process. “Many of the services that Denver residents count on during their day are delivered by our Public Works team, and in Eulois we found a leader who will bring a renewed vision and energy to support our residents as they go about their daily lives,” Mayor Hancock said. “As we look to create a transportation system that provides residents with more choices to move

around the city, Eulois’ unparalleled expertise in the field will be an invaluable asset in our future work to improve transportation and mobility options for everyone who lives, works and plays in Denver.” The Mayor added, “I also want to thank our Public Works city employees and interim Executive Director George Delaney for their outstanding work during the search for a new Executive Director. They keep our city running smoothly, and their dedication is something all of us can be proud of.” As Executive Director, Cleckley will ensure the city is maintaining current infrastructure investments; planning, strategizing and executing significant infrastructure improvements; providing vital services to residents; and managing major operations. “I am excited to join the Department of Public Works and this dedicated group of city employees. Denver is growing city, and I am committed to ensure the Department delivers projects and services in an efficient manner that addresses the needs of communities across Denver,” Cleckley said. As mentioned, he will be responsible for implementing the reorganization of Public Works into two divisions within the department: a public works division and a mobility division. The reorganization will consoli-

date mobility policy and planning, parking, right of way and traffic engineering operations and maintenance under one roof, while the Public Works division will continue to manage solid waste, wastewater, water quality, fleet management and other essential services. The reorganization of the Department of Public Works will support Mayor Hancock’s Mobility Action Plan, which will accelerate projects, policies and programs to move more people, more efficiently and more safely by empowering Denver residents to make the choices they want to make. Cleckley comes to Denver by way of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC), where he currently serves as the Deputy Director of the. As Deputy Director, Cleckley oversees the Metropolitan Planning Organization – covering the eightcounty Houston-Galveston region – providing overall strategic direction and service delivery related to city and regional transportation planning, project development and implementation. Prior to his work with the HGAC, Cleckley served as Chief of Statewide and Regional Planning, and later acting Chief of the Field Operations Division, for Washington, D.C.’s District Department of Transportation

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


(DDOT). While with the DDOT, he led regional system planning efforts, created the District’s freight planning program, and oversaw development of the District’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan. Cleckley also developed policies and implemented programs that promoted proper land use, safety and reliability of Washington’s transportation system, including the creation and implementation of the District-wide multimodal policies and regulations in coordination with industry and the community. As a transportation and planning consultant and transportation specialist for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Cleckley has supported the planning and implementation of several major municipal and regional transportation efforts, including the Purple Line Light Rail Project for the Montgomery County, Maryland; the Gulf Coast Area Transportation Study for the Gulf Coast Regional Planning Commission: the Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan for the Atlanta Regional Commission; and freight system plans for the Regional Planning Commission in New Orleans , Louisiana and the Delaware Valley Planning Commission in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cleckley will assume his new role with Public Works on December 11..

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The Power of Black Women

By Angelle C. Fouther


s the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, Shirley Chisholm knew all too well the challenges and resistance that Black women faced when seeking to influence governmental and other large institutional systems. “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” was her mantra. Accepting the call to engage, almost 200 African American women pulled up a chair on Nov. 11 at the “The Power of Black Women Summit,” presented by the Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “One of the Delta’s five-point program thrusts is political awareness and involvement,” Senator Angela Williams stated in kicking off the day’s activities who is a member of the sorority. “In 2016, we were on the precipice of electing the first woman president. We did our part – 94 percent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton, but our voices were not heard. We need to change that. If not us who? If not now when?” The purpose of the inaugural Summit was to strengthen the voices of its participants through education about public policy issues that affect Black women and provide them with peer support and mentorship to step into community leadership roles. Kimberly Peeler-Allen of Higher Heights America Leadership Fund encouraged participants to celebrate the progress made by Black female political leaders and consider how the news, most often, does not reflect these successes. “Record numbers of Black women won in the 2016 election,” Adams shared. “But that was not the story told. White progressives lost, so that’s the story told.” Economic Equity The power of Black women, aka Black Girl Magic, extends to the economic realm in a significant way. Black women account for a $500 billion in US spending, according to a UCLA study. A recent U.S. Census survey shows that Black female entrepreneurs own more than 1.5 million businesses with more than $42 billion in sales, and currently have the highest rate of growth (67 percent) out of other groups. A panel including Tameka Montgomery of Core Strategy Partners, Carla Ladd of Denver Black

Denver Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2010Urban Spectrum — – December 2017



Pages, Lee Gash-Maxey of the Colorado Black Chamber, and Dawn Bookhardt of Butler Snow discussed the challenges and the tremendous opportunities for Black women in business. Montgomery highlighted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s observation on the progress of civil rights in 1966: “Low wages of Blacks and depressed ghetto living conditions were a structural part of the economy.” She added, “Little has changed since that time. Black women are critical to the economic system, as either significant contributors or primary breadwinners in households, yet they only make $.60 for every $1.00 that white men make. White women (while still in an inequitable position) make $.79 per dollar of white males.” How do we address the wage gap? Experts cited two main ways: Get every skill that you can to be at the top of your game, and support other Black women to get ahead. “I’ve had mentors at every job I’ve held – older Black women who helped me to navigate the office,” Carla Ladd shared. “We need networks of support, but it doesn’t work with a slave mentality. Black power is as real as white privilege. We are brilliant!” The State of Education In response to concerns from Denver schools and community, DPS commissioned Dr. Sharon Bailey to report on the experiences of AfricanAmerican educators and concerns about how African-American students are being cared for and educated. One of the key findings highlighted in the 82-page report was that many Black teachers feel isolated within the district and see stark contrasts in how Black children are handled in and out of the classroom compared to their white counterparts. Bailey was one of several panelists (other panelists include Makisha Boothe, Tameka Bringham, and Vanecia Kerr) who discussed the challenges of teachers as well as Black students. Panelist Nycole Bradshaw shared that she is the only Black teacher at her school. “Everyone sends their Black students to me for care,” she said. “White women teachers don’t know how to connect with Black boys. They are very easily offended.” She added, “Black teachers provide invisible labor. We do everything white teachers do but also everything else necessary to meet the needs of Black students. We need to train white teachers to do this.” This invisible labor comes at a cost. Federal data suggests that in 2012-13, nearly 22 percent of Black publicschool teachers moved schools or left the profession altogether, compared to

only about 15 percent of white, nonHispanic teachers.

Radical Self-Care Burn-out for Black teachers is a real threat, but is also a significant risk for all Black women who, too often, try to do for others without taking enough time out for rest and self-care. A panel of experts addressed the need for radical self-care. “A lot of what ails Black women cannot be healed by my scalpel,” said panelist Jandel AllenDavis, MD. Cathy Phelps, Executive Director of the Trauma and Resilience Center, shared that to ensure her staff takes care of themselves, she institutionalized self-care. “You get raises based on physical, spiritual, and intellectual self-care,” she said. Dr. Terri Richardson, Internist at Kaiser Permanent said, “I tried to invent the 36-hour day. I have two sons, and at one point realized I needed to say ‘no’ so I could be around to watch them grow up.” “Many Black women don’t feel they deserve more,” shared Karen McNeil Miller, Colorado Health Foundation CEO. “We need to be ok with saying to ourselves, ‘I’m a bad sistah. I deserve time to myself, to eat right, and sleep.’ Our role isn’t just to give to others.”

Photo by McBoat Photography

Social Justice The current administration has made way for an onslaught of racism and sexism which threatens so many of the social justice gains of the past 50 years. A panel of local experts, including Dr. Rosemarie Allen, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at MSU, shared thoughts about how to continue progress even in the midst of the current political and social climate. “Being a feminist is defined by white women, tied to equal pay and

reproductive rights, said Carol Watkins Ali, Author of Survival and Liberation: Pastoral Theology in African American Context. “There is an alternative definition of feminism that Black women use, ‘womanism.’ It’s incumbent upon us to define ourselves and amass our strength.” “Oftentimes we get a little success and forget our own communities. We must have unity. Forgive for past harms and forget the pettiness,” said Felicia Griffin, of FRESC. Rev. Dr. Regina Groff challenged

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Black women to consider their “enoughness,” in a rousing luncheon keynote address. “The world conspires to kill Black women, requiring us to do more. We’re slaves wondering ‘what more can we do?’” She offered, “Don’t seek more to do, but be recharged by what we’ve done. Be smart, effective, and intentional. We need power sources. We need to support sisters. Invest in each other instead of betting against them.” A call to action was sounded for Black women to keep building the momentum of engagement in service on boards and councils and in local governments. The Summit culminated with an inspiring assemblage of elected Black women past and present including Dominique Jackson, Angela Lawson, Janet Buckner, Rhonda Fields, Angela Williams, Leslie Herod, Happy Haynes, Dr. Sharon Bailey, Elbra Wedgeworth, Wilma Webb, and Gloria Tanner. The predominant sentiment was that being treated as if “invisible” was part of the terrain for a Black woman in public office. Representative Leslie Herod reminded participants, however, that there are now eight African American legislators in Colorado. “Utilize the power and voices we represent. We now determine victory or defeat.”.

The Denver Preschool Program Sixth Annual Preschool Showcase Return in January 2018

Event designed to help Denver parents of 4-year-olds better understand Denver’s early learning landscape during preschool enrollment season. The Denver Preschool Program will host its sixth annual Preschool Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dahlia Center for Health and Well-Being in order to help Denver families explore early learning options for their 4-year-olds. The Preschool Showcase is a free, one-stop event for parents to connect with representatives from numerous quality-rated programs and learn more about available resources including tuition support from the Denver Preschool Program. The event will feature free food, dental screenings, story times and family-friendly entertainment from community partners like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and photo ops with the Minions. Spanish translators also will be available. “We launched the Showcase six years ago to accelerate our mission of increasing access to quality preschool in our community,” Jennifer Landrum, president and CEO of the Denver Preschool Program, said. “With so many preschool programs in the same place at the same time, the Showcase is a great opportunity for parents to gather information that will help them make the best decision for their children.” Families who are unable to attend the 2018 Preschool Showcase are encouraged to use the Denver Preschool Program’s “Find a Preschool” tool on its website,, to search for nearby programs. Also available on the website is a “Tuition Credit Calculator” which allows parents to estimate their monthly tuition credit that can be used toward lowering the cost of preschool.

Tuition Credit Eligibility

Thanks to a voter-approved sales tax, tuition credits are available to all families – regardless of income – who live within the City and County of Denver and have a 4-year-old registered in a participating program in the year before kindergarten. Tuition credits are distributed on a sliding scale that takes into account a family’s income, the program’s quality rating and the length of day their child is enrolled. . Editor’s note: For more information about the 2018 Preschool Showcase, visit or call 303595-4DPP (4377). About The Denver Preschool Program The Denver Preschool Program makes quality preschool possible for all Denver families with 4-year-old children through a dedicated sales tax first approved by voters in 2006 and renewed in 2014. DPP has provided $92 million in tuition support to help nearly 46,000 Denver children attend the preschool of their families’ choice, establishing each child’s foundation for lifelong learning and success. More information about the Denver Preschool Program and its participating preschools is available at

Denver Event Connections is here! We are happy to assist with:

Weddings, Private Parties, Milestone Birthdays, Family Reunions, Marketing, Promotions, Fundraising, Sponsorships, Special events, Company Picnics/ Holiday Parties Quarterly Business Networking Events

Please contact us via website for upcoming events. December November Birthday Parties welcome. No event is too small or large.

Minority women owned business firm with a strong focus on African Amererican events. Visit our website for monthly events or promotions: or email us at Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Birth to Eight Partnership Releases Plan for Supporting Families

DPS, City and Nonprofits Support Early Language and Literacy for Denver Children


n Thursday, Nov. 2, the Birth to Eight partnerships released a new implementation guide for how it will support families in developing early language and literacy for Denver’s youngest children – from birth to age eight. The partnership brings together Denver Public Schools (DPS), the Office of Children’s Affairs with the City and County of Denver, and multiple nonprofits and community organizations who work with families of young children. The newly released guide, “Phase II: Implementation Planning,” details how the partnership will work together to achieve the ambitious goals outlined in the “Birth to Eight Roadmap” document. The plan includes supporting families with tools and opportunities like early screenings, speech-language therapy, home visits and playgroups to support their children’s early language and literacy development – key factors in reading readiness. Research shows that students who are reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school. “Our work in the City of Denver is dedicated to supporting our city’s youngest learners – and we know it will take the entire community working together to support their future success,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We are all committed to helping our kids succeed and make Denver the most literate city in the nation.” The Birth to Eight Roadmap has five guiding principles that contribute to a child’s early development: engaged and supported families, effective professionals, citywide culture of language and literacy, shared leadership and continuous improvement. These tools are essential to the successful early language and literacy development all children need to be ready to succeed when they enter school. The Birth to Eight Partnership includes community partners, public agencies, parents and caregivers who are also committed to working toward the goal of supporting and empowering families living in neighborhoods of

concentrated poverty so that young children in these neighborhoods reach their developmental potential and succeed in school and in life. “We know learning starts at birth, and a child’s early experiences – before they enter kindergarten – are extremely important to their future success in school and in life,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “That’s why it is vital that our schools, city and community organizations work together to provide educational opportunities for kids and supports for parents to help them guide their children’s language and literacy development early on.”

Editor’s note: Birth to Eight is a community partnership designed to help families, caregivers and educators support a child’s development from the start to ensure they enter school ready to learn. Our city has many established organizations that benefit early learners, and the Birth to Eight partnerships brings them together, providing tools and resources to ensure kids are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Started in late 2015, the Birth to Eight partnerships is grounded in the collective educational vision of Denver Public Schools’ Denver Plan 2020, Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Five Goals for Youth and the Early Childhood Colorado Framework.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


DUS 30th Anniversary Theme Song Available on CD Baby

Maintain Your Weight This Holiday Season

By Kim Farmer


he holiday season is just round the corner and for many people it is time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when people over eat and gain weight. On average, this holiday binge eating leads to an extra gain of 1-3 pounds each year and

while it may not seem much, over a lifetime it can easily add up to 20+ pounds! Eating during the holidays does not have to lead to an enlarged waistline; this can be avoided by focussing on a healthy balance of fun, activity, and food. Here are some simple tips for healthy eating during the holiday season: •Do you best to stick to your healthy eating plans, but don’t start a new one. During the holiday season, there is usually an abundance of good food and the temptation to eat is huge; but the best strategy is to serve yourself small portions of the calorie-laden potatoes, ham, rolls and pecan pie. •If you tend to overindulge at an office party, you can still keep your commitment to a healthy diet by having a lighter meal the following day. •Eat regularly - the moment you skip meals you will end up overeating holiday food. The best way to start the day is to eat a healthy breakfast so you are not tempted to overeat. •Eat a few snacks rather than three large meals. People who eat small snacks every few hours can help curb the hunger pangs and prevent over eating. •If you feel like you can’t help yourself from binge eating of holiday food, fill half the plate with vegetables

and fruits FIRST and scale back a little on the turkey, beef and pork portions. •During the holiday season, there are LOTS of high calorie foods like chocolates, cakes and other desserts – best advice – take a bite and move on. •One easy way to add calories is drinking both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If you do decide to drink, choose low calorie drinks such as fruit juices with water added to reduce sugar and caloric content, sparkling water with lime or club soda. Despite all of the tips given here, you may be in the category of the majority of people who will tend to overeat during the holiday season. However, by remaining active, you can burn the extra calories you ingest-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


ed. Aim to exercise every day for 3045 minutes and keep in mind you do not have to join the gym or perform any type of exercise with heavy equipment. Walking is the easiest form of exercise since it is free, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and it is safe unless you text while walking and stumble into a pothole! Walk briskly for 30-45 minutes everyday and you will help prevent your waistline from growing these holidays. Happy holidays! Thanks for reading! Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. For more information, visit or email


or 26 years, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRD) has been blending dance, live music, spoken word, and seasonal celebrations and customs from around the world into a memorable holiday tradition like none other. A Denver original, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum is a family favorite that inspires audiences of all ages to discover, celebrate, and honor the holiday traditions of cultures from around the world. The story: Granny’s memories of the stories and dances she’s experienced in her lifetime are the gifts she shares with those she loves. She has danced in winter festivals honoring the birth of Christ, the African Harvest, the Native American Winter Solstice, the Celtic Yule, Las Posadas in Mexico, Kwanzaa in the United States, the ancient Hebrew Festival of Lights, the Chinese New Year, and the Caribbean’s Junkanoo Day. Now Granny seeks to relive these memories of rich cultural traditions, bringing them alive again for her grandchildren TiSean and Nakia through dance, live music, and storytelling.

“We want to share our joy with everyone by welcoming them to see this show where it was created, in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood,” said Artistic Director Cleo Parker-Robinson. “This is the perfect opportunity to explore our world’s rich diversity and yet recognize how much we all share in common. “Granny” is a Colorado holiday tradition that is our gift to the whole family.” The production features some of Denver’s most renowned artists, including Cleo Parker Robinson as Shakti: Granny’s Guardian Angel and Margarita Taylor in the title role of Granny. CPRD Ensemble member and rehearsal director, Chloe Abel, portrays Cantadora: The Dreamweaver, and veteran CPRD Ensemble member

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Presents

“Granny Dances to A Holiday Drum”

Cedric Dewayne Hall, who for 10 seasons performed the role of the Junkanoo King now portrays Griot: The Storyteller proudly following in the footsteps of renowned Denver actor Vincent C. Robinson who carried the role for 25 years. CPRD Ensemble members Alexis Amos and Tony DeBerry appear in the roles of Nakia the granddaughter and TiSean the grandson. Mark Caldwell returns for his 18th season performing with the production and his twelfth season as musical director, leading the Granny Band which is comprised of some Denver’s finest jazz musicians. “Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum” is a multicultural celebration that touches the hearts of people from all backgrounds, igniting the wonder and excitement shared world-wide during the holiday season. Each year, Granny shares wonderful stories from her rich life dancing around the world, making way for new twists and scenes in an artistically energetic production that is lively and fresh every time. It’s one of the city’s most beloved family traditions, inspiring audiences young and old through the universal language of dance and music. . Editor’s note: Performances will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 to 17 at the Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre, 119 Park Avenue West in Denver (Corner of 20th, Park Avenue, and Washington St). Tickets are $40 adult; $35 seniors; $30 children, youth and students; and groups of eight or more $35. For tickets, show times or more information, call 303-295-1759 x13 or visit Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


About CPRD: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) is now celebrating its 47th anniversary season, serving the artistic and educational needs of the community. CPRD was founded with the belief that the language of dance transcends the boundaries of culture, class, and age. This institution is committed to bringing dance into the lives of diverse people. CPRD is composed of a professional modern dance ensemble which tours both nationally and internationally, a Youth Ensemble, a yearround Academy of Dance, a newly-renovated two-hundred forty seat theatre, an inschool lecture demonstration and teaching residency series, an international summer dance institute, and outreach programming for youth. CPRD is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, multi-cultural performing arts organization based in Denver, Colorado. “Granny Dances t o a Holiday Drum” is made possible through the generosity of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, Wells Fargo, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, the Denver Ballet Guild, and the Denver Post Community.

2018 Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Announce Inductees A n astronaut, four nonprofit The 2018 Colorado Women’s deserve the best education – no matter the home she purchased in 2002, Hall of Fame Inductees:

leaders and activists, a university chancellor, a former Colorado Lt.

Governor, a journalist and suffragette,

an educator of the deaf, and a commu-

Contemporary Leslie Foster

Nonprofit Leader/Activist

nity builder and cattle owner comprise the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018. These 10 inductees

become the next group of extraordi-

nary contemporary and historical women with significant ties to

Colorado, who have made enduring

and exemplary contributions to their

fields, inspired and elevated the status of women and helped open new fron-

tiers for women and society. “Extraordinary is the operative word,” says Beth Barela, chair of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF). “These women are unsung heroes who have endured with superlative strength, beauty and love. They deserve to have their stories told and to be honored as shining examples of the potential of all women.” The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in 1985. Every two years, the organization inducts contemporary and historical women with significant ties to Colorado; who have made enduring and exemplary contributions to their fields, elevated the status of women, helped open new frontiers for women and society, and have been sources of inspiration for others by their example. Since its founding, the CWHF has inducted 152 women from many races, backgrounds, economic levels, career choices, political philosophies, and religious beliefs for their outstanding contributions to society. The lives of these extraordinary women are proof of what can be achieved with passion, commitment, spirit, grit and the grace to stand tall in the face of obstacles. They are trailblazers, visionaries, and women of courage, glass-ceiling breakers, innovators, and rule changers in all walks of life. Their contributions span Colorado’s colorful and storied history, reaching all four corners of our state, and have spread to touch our nation and our world.

For nearly 30 years, Foster has devoted her career and her outside activities to transforming the lives of women, children, and people who are transgender by providing positive relationships, resources and a community of support through her work as president of The Gathering Place, a Denver nonprofit organization. Additionally, Foster has supported and mentored countless women volunteers, service recipients and professionals who share her desire to improve the world, who values their own strengths, and then who use their strengths to make contributions to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

race or level of capability that society has labeled them. In addition, her leadership roles include being active in the Denver community serving presently and in the past on many boards and committees, including as the Center for African American Health, Denver Early Childhood Council, Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, National Black Child Development Institute Denver Affiliate, Equity in Early Childhood Coalition, Transforming the Early Childhood Education Workforce (National efforts), Denver Preschool Program Advisory Board, Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP), East5ide Unified Leadership Team, Mayor’s Head Start Policy Council, Mayor’s Early Childhood Education Commission, Metropolitan State University Board of Trustees and Alumni Board, Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Falcons Youth Organization and the Police Activities League. She presently serves as Board Treasurer for Colorado’s Association for the Education of Young Children.

Susan Helms Military/Astronaut

Gerie Grimes Early Childhood Education Activist/Nonprofit Leader

Gerie Grimes has dedicated and committed her life to the needs of others, building community and using her voice to be a strong advocate for the voiceless. She has dedicated 36 years of her life to Hope Center, originally called Hope Center for the Retarded. Grimes has dedicated her life to creating the opportunity for all children to have a better early childhood education experience. She has led Hope Center for the last 12 years. Her leadership, intelligence and expertise has made Denver’s Hope Center a model for how all children

The first U. S. military woman in space, Susan Helms is a retired Air Force lieutenant general (LTG) and astronaut who was a crewmember on four space shuttle missions, holds the world record for the longest space walk (8 hours and 56 minutes), and was the first woman to serve on the International Space Station (ISS). She was a member of the first class at the Air Force Academy to include women, flew on more than 30 American and Canadian aircraft as a flight engineer and weapons separation engineer (planes including the F-15 and F-16 fighters), and retired in 2014 as a three-star general after serving as the first female commander of Vandenberg Air Force Base. LTG Helms is a resident of Colorado Springs, where she lives in

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


intending to retire there. She is a 1980 graduate of the Air Force Academy. She returned to the academy from 1985 to 1987 to teach aeronautical engineering and was assigned to the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base from 2002 to 2004.

Dorothy Horrell Education Professional/Administrator

As a community college president, leader of the state system of community colleges, foundation executive, chair of a higher education governing board, and now university chancellor, Dorothy Horrell has a proven record of transformative leadership. Throughout her illustrious career, she has been a trailblazer, often serving as the first or only female in her position, and along the way has inspired countless others to realize their full potential. Raised on a farm and ranch homesteaded by her grandfather in northeastern Colorado, Dr. Horrell’s roots run deep in the “Centennial State.” She earned her first paycheck by working summers at the Cherub Home, a residential facility for developmentally disabled children in Holyoke. Her professional career began as an Adams County high school teacher, moving from there into state administration at the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. From there she rose through the ranks to become the first female Director of the Division of Occupational Education, president of Red Rocks Community College for 10 years. After almost 30 years as an educator, she entered the non-profit sector as president for the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. In 2016, Dr. Horrell became chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver, where she remains today.

Fay Matsukage Law/Asian Activist

Matsukage worked in a male-dominated field as a woman of Asian descent and faced the daily challenge of proving herself as a professional and as an equal. She was inspired by these challenges to start charitable foundations that provide annual scholarships and other charitable contributions to women and individuals of Asian descent.

Gail Schoettler Banking/Government/Women’s Activist Fay Matsukage is an accomplished attorney with a reputation for professionalism and integrity who has dedicated her life and career to furthering the interests of women and those of Asian Pacific descent. Her civic engagement, humility, courage under adversity, work ethic, and her contributions to the Colorado community exemplify the values of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. Today, she practices law at the Doida Law Group, LLC. Matsukage is one of the few female subject matter experts in securities law with her level of seniority and experience. She also has made considerable, long term contributions to the legal field and to the Asian Pacific Community. From the beginning of her career,

Gail Schoettler was the first woman to be both Colorado’s Lt. Governor (elected in 1994) and State Treasurer (from 1987 to 1994). She narrowly lost the election to be Colorado’s governor in 1998. Prior to working for the State, she had been involved in founding the Children’s Museum of Colorado. In 1976, she joined the organizational

group to file for a National Bank to serve the needs of small businesses. After raising the $2 million capitalization required, in 1978, she helped found the Women’s Bank N. A. in Denver. In 1984, Equitable Bankshares of Colorado was formed to own the Women’s Bank and Equitable Bank of Littleton, which she chaired. In 1979, Schoettler was elected to the Douglas County Board of Education and served for eight years; she became president in 1983. That same year, she was named executive director of the state’s Department of Personnel under Governor Dick Lamm. In 1986, Schoettler was elected State Treasurer, where she served two terms managing the state’s assets. In 1994, she was elected Lieutenant Governor with 55 percent of the vote on a ticket with then-incumbent Governor Roy Romer. Beyond politics, Schoettler served as US ambassador to negotiate a global telecommunications treaty in 2000— 189 countries, 2800 delegates, in Istanbul for five weeks of successful negotiations. She is one of founders and first president of the International Women’s Forum with forums in 45 countries and thousands of women leaders from all fields worldwide who are members.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Historical Mae Boettcher

Community Activist/Philanthropist Long-standing Colorado resident, Mae Boettcher influenced Colorado and its citizens as a culture-altering pioneer - a figure who led Colorado in its transition from cow-town days into an era of sophistication through her dedication to higher education, championing children’s and women’s healthcare, and her selfless philanthropy. Well-respected for decades of tenured leadership with the Children’s Hospital and the Boettcher Foundation, her legacy of devotion continues to touch and alter the lives of countless Colorado residents. She is also celebrated as one of Colorado’s first female pilots and a member of the historic Amelia Earhart’s 99s, founded in 1929 by Amelia Earhart. Continued on page 20


Continued from page 19

Ellis Meredith Journalist/Women’s Suffrage

We are proud to welcome optician

Robert Bullock of

Bullseye Optical

with his 30 years of experience to our team.

She immigrated to the United States in 1948 after graduating from London University, moved to Denver in 1951, and lived in Colorado for the remainder of her life. In 1970, she founded the non-profit The List Foundation in Denver which continues to support families and children who use her methods today.

Amache Prowers

Monday/Tuesday: 9 to 6 Wednesday: Closed • Thursday:10 to 7 Friday: 9 to 5 • Saturday: 9 to 1:30

Community Builder/Land and Cattle Owner

Ellis Meredith is often called the “Susan B Anthony of Colorado” as she was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement in Colorado who also worked nationally for the women’s vote after Colorado gained suffrage in 1893. She continued to work for American women’s right to vote until the 19th Amendment was finally ratified on August 18, 1920, 27 years after Colorado passed our bill. Meredith was a journalist who wrote for many Colorado newspapers as well as several national magazines. Although born in Montana in 1865, Meredith’s family moved to Colorado not long after when her father began working as an editor for the Rocky Mountain News. She was a Denver resident until 1917 when she moved to Washington D.C. As a journalist she worked for the Rocky Mountain News for many years and also published articles on women’s suffrage for several other Colorado newspapers.

Doreen Pollack Speech Pathologist/Audiologist/Educator for the Deaf


The impact of Doreen Pollack’s method for teaching children who are deaf to listen and talk has literally been “heard” around the world. She was a true pioneer in the field of speech pathology and audiology at a time when the medical community did not believe anything could be done for the profoundly deaf child. Her intellect, dedication and tenacity changed the way we look at, address and treat children with hearing loss both in Colorado and internationally.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Amache (Walking Woman) “Amy” Ochinee Prowers was a full-blooded member of the Southern Cheyenne tribe, born in 1846 in the eastern Plains of what is now Colorado. She and her husband John Wesley Prowers operated a successful cattle-ranching and mercantile business at Boggsville, one of the region’s earliest American settlements, to which Prowers contributed her own land, labor, and skills. At a time when Cheyenne society was under severe attack by Anglo incursions and undergoing dramatic changes, Prowers chose the path of an innovator and mediator – successfully negotiating the boundaries between her own Cheyenne culture and language and that of the Euro-Americans (Mexicans and Americans alike) who had intruded into her tribal lands.

About the CWHF

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was created to recognize, honor and preserve the contributions of trailblazing Colorado women. Both historical and contemporary women have shared foresight, vision and accomplishment, but lacked a forum for recognition. Since 1985, the Hall has inducted 152 extraordinary women who have been outstanding in their field, elevated the status of women, helped open new frontiers for women or inspired others by their example. Inductees include scientists, teachers, social activists, philanthropists, authors, business leaders, elected officials and more. . Editor’s note: To learn more about inductees, visit inductees/women-in-the-hall/. Follow on Facebook at, the LinkedIn group: Colorado; Twitter @ColoradoWHF. For more information, call 303-271-3599 or email


Women of Distinction honorees

Girl Scouts Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Women of Distinction in Denver

In October, Girl Scouts of Colorado celebrated 20 years of Amazing Women of Distinction during the 20th Anniversary Thin Mint Dinner at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. This year, all 426 Women of Distinction who have been recognized since the program began in 1997 were honored. A very special group of Women of Distinction were honored with a 2017 Award. The awardees were selected through voting and are shining examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership who serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow. The 2017 Awardees were: •Advocacy for Youth - Elaine Gantz Berman ’02, former member, State Board of Education; •Progressive Community Leader Juana Bordas ’03, president, Mestiza Leadership International; •Accomplished Philanthropist Arlene Hirschfeld ’97, community volunteer; •Dedication to Girl Scouts - Jean C. Jones ’07, former CEO, Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council; •Lifetime Achievement - LaRae Orullian ’97, retired national president, Girl Scouts of the USA; •Advocate for Women & Girls - Jill S. Tietjen, P.E. ’97, President and CEO, Technically Speaking, Inc.; and •Commitment to Public Service Hon. Elbra M. Wedgeworth ’04, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health Nearly 500 guests gathered for the celebration chaired by Women of Distinction Maria Garcia Berry ’97, Jean Galloway ’97, and Arlene Hirschfeld ‘97. The evening’s speakers included Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo, Gold Award Girl Scout Emma Albertoni, and event host Theresa Marchetta ’10. Since 1997, more than $2 million has been raised for Girl Scout programs by Women of Distinction. Editor’s note: For more information on the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction program, visit /woddenver.

DCPA Announces New Artistic Director forTheatre Company

Janice Sinden, President and CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), announced that Chris Coleman has been named the fourth Artistic Director of its DCPA Theatre Company following a national search. Coleman will join the company in May 2018. Coleman has served as Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage (PCS) for the past 17 years where he oversaw a robust season structured similarly to that of DCPA Theatre Company, featuring 12 classic, contemporary and new works on two stages as well as playwrights’ festival, education programs and community events. Similar to DCPA Theatre Company’s development of largescale musicals (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, White Christmas, Sense & Sensibility The Musical), Coleman has produced shows by Sondheim, Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kander & Ebb and Ahrens & Flaherty. At PCS, he led efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, which has created meaningful relationships with communities of color and diversified its productions, staff and audience. This experience will help DCPA Theatre Company as it looks forward to renovating its Stage and Ricketson theatres within the next four years. His commitment to community connections, artistic excellence, new play development, large scale musicals and classic theatre have placed the company among the top 20 regional theatres in the US with an annual attendance of 139,000. Now Coleman will bring his administrative experience, his passion for storytelling and his commitment to artistry to DCPA Theatre Company where he will write a new chapter in his career and a new narrative for the nearly 40-year-old company.

SPECIAL THANKS ACW Marketing Angel’s Cove Lawrence Childress Misti Aas Geta Asfaw Stan Bey Cleaning Beyond Carpet Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion Sheila Cooper Gwen Brown James Brumley, Jr. Denver Public Schools DeBorah’s Designs Made with Love Otis Flournoy Mr. & Mrs. Willy Fox Giftofgabz LLC Bernard Grant Paul Hamilton Mayor Michael B. Hancock Bee Harris





Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Gary Harris Derrick Holmes Debra Hoover Cheryl Jackson Rich Jennings Jio Grip™ Lynette Johnson Will Jordan Tayler Melons-Lane Mr. & Mrs. Paul Martin Randy McAnulty Chuck Moss Rhoda Design Group-the Art of Beauty Rosma Designs Landri Taylor John Toms Treasure House of Hope Sandra Watts STK Denver Walmart Wrap-N-Mat Sharon Barksdale Worth

Larry H. Miller Dealerships to Deliver More Than $60,000 to Local Charities During Annual “5 Weeks of Giving” Holiday Campaign

5 Tips to Avoiding Work Place Holiday Stress

By Nina Sonovia Brown, MS

1. Avoid Comparing Shopping Lists and Holiday Vacation Details with Co-Workers: Sidestep all conversations about the amount of money being spent on gifts, parties, or holiday vacations. Use a “do not ask” and “do not tell” policy regarding holiday spending details. This behavior could lead to judgments being formed that continue after the season ends. 2. Focus on the Meaning of the Season: Respect cultural differences that could be expressed during the holiday season. Do not put a value on how a co-worker decides to celebrate. Be mindful of body language and voice tones when talking about holiday traditions with co-workers. 3. Create Holiday Season and Work Balance: Plan for holiday activities and practice saying “no” to create a balance between the holiday season and work commitments. Block time for both work and celebrations. If during this time of the year you avoid parties, reach out to friends or family members to prevent being alone during off days at work. 4. Remember Self-Care: During the holidays, cultivate a mindfulness practice by slowing down and practicing self-care. A 15-minute Epsom salt bath could help replace the essential mineral Magnesium that stress can deplete from the body. A $5 bag of Epsom salt will work just as good as a boutique bag of Epsom salt. 5. Stay Positive: An attitude of gratitude is a great way to reduce stress. Other ways to lower stress levels is watching food intake. During the holidays, add the Three Cs: Cashews, Chamomile Tea, and Chocolate. Cashews contain zinc and are a good snack to eat when you are stressed, anxious, or depressed. Chamomile tea has been shown to decrease the symptoms of anxiety; it is recommended that you drink a cup just before bed. Chocolate, if eaten in moderation, can be quite helpful to decrease symptoms of depression. Editor’s note: Nina Sonovia Brown, MS works with corporate teams and individuals to improve performance through mindfulness and resilience training. For more information, visit, follow her on Twitter @ninasonovia and Instagram @ninasonovia.

Donations and toy drives will take place throughout Colorado during the holiday season

During the next five weeks, employees from Larry H. Miller Dealerships will spread cheer throughout Colorado communities in an effort to make the season a little brighter for those in need. Employees from Boulder, Denver Metro and Colorado Springs will share the spirit of giving by presenting more than $60,000 in donations to numerous charitable programs and conducting collection drives throughout the holidays to support children and families.

2900 S. Peoria St. Unit D1 - Aurora, CO 80014

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


“We aim to be good citizens and community partners year-round, but we look forward to the opportunity to impact even more charitable programs, individuals and families during the holiday season,” said Ray Reilly, senior vice president, Larry H. Miller Dealerships. Local charities and organizations to benefit from the campaign include: Bags of Fun – (Centennial) – This donation will help to fund the Bags of Fun program, which aims to bring joy,

Larry H. Miller Dealerships Donates $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver During “5 Weeks of Giving”

Six Ways to Keep Calm During the Holidays By Nina Sonovia Brown, MS

Representatives from Larry H. Miller Dealerships presented a check for $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver on Wednesday, Nov. 22 as part of the dealership group’s “5 Weeks of Giving.” The campaign is an effort to help enrich the lives of Coloradans throughout the holiday season. The $10,000 grant will help support the afterschool programs and operations of the newest Boys & Girls Club in Green Valley Ranch, which opened its doors in August 2017. The after-school programs focus on academics and career readiness; character and leadership development; and health and wellness. The expansion of the Boys & Girls Club provides a safe, accessible space in communities of need where kids can access increased opportunities to learn, grow and develop while having fun, as well as receive positive recognition and reinforcement.

laughter and relief to every child fighting a long-term or life-threatening disease or condition. The brightly-colored, cheery backpacks are filled with fun rehabilitative games and toys that are age-specific and custom built for each child. Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver (Denver) – Funding will support the programs and operations of the newest Boys and Girls Club in Green Valley Ranch. The new club will provide afterschool programs to approximately 150 youths per year. Firefly Autism (Denver) – Funding will allow the organization to provide scholarships to families in need, who have children enrolled or soon to be enrolled in the autism therapy and behavioral support program. Firefly Autism’s comprehensive services include clinical assessments and the development of individual treatment plans for students up to age 21, including school, home and community-based programs. The Denver Santa Claus Shop (Denver) – Both monetary and toy donations will support the nonprofit’s intention to give “a toy to every girl and boy,” many of whom might not otherwise have a toy to open at Christmas. The organization sets up a giant, temporary toy shop for four days in December; qualified families (referred by social service agencies) are invited to come and select gifts for their children. Larry H. Miller Dealerships in the Denver Metro area will be collecting new and “gently loved” toys at their locations through November, in an effort to help the organization reach its goal of supplying gifts to 13,000 Denver children. The Rise School of Denver (Denver) – This donation will support the school’s integrated therapy project to provide music, occupational, physical and speech therapy services to students, including those with developmental disabilities. SafeHouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (Boulder) – This donation will support Safehouse’s Emergency Shelter program, which provides immediate crisis intervention and safe shelter to survivors of inter-

When the holiday season starts to get closer, stress takes over in some people. Unnecessary questions can begin to float in people’s minds, taking the calm out of the holiday season. Unfortunately, stress can take over so much that they are unable to decide their next course of action. If you are suffering from holiday stress, then here are five ways that will help you overcome your holiday stress! 1. Eat Foods That Will Lower Your Stress Levels: Here are three foods you should make part of your routine: a) Asparagus: As weird as this may sound, asparagus is high in folate, which helps you stay calm. b) Blueberries: They have the highest levels of antioxidants and help you think better. c) Chocolate: This is the ultimate comfort food. I t has been proven to make everyone’s mood better and decreases depression, when consumed in moderation. 2. Practice Mindfulness: Under stress and pressure, it’s easy to forget how to remain aware of your thoughts and emotions and to control them. Remember to breathe and practice gratitude; this is where mindfulness comes into play. 3. Practice Gratitude for a Mood Change: Research has proven that being grateful towards anybody and everything in your surroundings will lead you to a happier life. Gratitude will make sure you are internally satisfied, and you will feel less stressed in any situation. 4. Staying Hydrated is Essential: When under stress, your adrenal glands pump out stress hormones. This means that if you are continuously under pressure, you can suffer adrenal insufficiency. With less adrenal, the production of aldosterone drops which triggers dehydration. Increasing your water intake will relax your stressors giving you time to “chill out.” Stress can dry up the fluids in your body, so you need to drink as much water as possible to keep yourself healthy! 5. Surround Yourself with Motivators: Happy and confident people are contagious. When you are with people that are always uplifti ng you, you could find yourself feeling better. Laughing and connecting with others is good for your health and triggers endorphins in your body that are on a mission to decrease your stress! 6. Your Health Is a Priority: Before any holiday approaches, make sure you are taking good care of yourself and are surrounding yourself with positive energy. Do not let the celebration become too much of a worry ! Editor’s note: Nina Sonovia Brown, MS works with corporate teams and individuals to improve performance through mindfulness and resilience training. For more information, visit, follow her on Twitter @ninasonovia and Instagram @ninasonovia.

personal violence and their children. Shelter residents may stay for up to six weeks, and they receive all basic needs, counseling and advocacy services, access to a therapeutic play area and computer stations, and other services to foster self-sufficiency. Kids Crossing (Colorado Springs) – Kids Crossing is a private, nonprofit child placement agency that provides foster care and group facility care, and has served more than 250 children throughout Colorado. A tree filled with ornaments will be displayed in Larry H. Miller Liberty Toyota, and customers and employees may select an ornament and purchase the items requested on that ornament for a foster child. Marian House (Colorado Springs) – Catholic Charities of Central Colorado provides help and creates hope for homeless and vulnerable individuals and families in Colorado Springs. Employees of Larry H. Miller Toyota Colorado Springs will “adopt” several families for the holidays and provide gifts and essential items. All financial donations are via Larry H. Miller Charities, the charitable arm of the dealership group. The nonprofit organization disperses donations through a grant program focused on organizations that serve women and children, with an emphasis on health and education. Funding is primarily made up of employee contributions. . Editor’s note: For more information on Larry H. Miller Dealerships, visit About Larry H. Miller Dealerships Larry H. Miller Dealerships operates 62 dealership locations under 20 different automotive brands in seven western states. The dealership group is the second largest in Colorado and employs more than 1,000 individuals at 13 locations. Larry H. Miller Dealerships has a strong legacy of giving back to communities where it does business. Through its charitable organization, Larry H. Miller Charities, more than $600,000 has been donated to qualified nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado since 1997.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Ground Rules

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

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

Justice League

ll1/2 By Laurence Washington


enemy of my enemy is my friend, so Steppenwolf’s actions bring the team together. Justice League feels too familiar down to the two after credit scenes, which are entertaining by the way, and sets up the next film. But then again, we’ve seen it all before, and the characters don’t jell as well the Marvel characters do. That’s not to say Justice League is not an enjoyable movie, you can see where they spent a lot of money on the special effects, and comic book fans will probably have a good time, but it doesn’t break any new ground. Sorry Super Friends, Marvel was there first.

Justice League


hankfully, the long awaited Justice League has arrived, and it’s better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (’16). But it’s not as good as this year’s Wonder Woman, even though Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) has a starring role in the film. Following a familiar storyline that echoes Marvel’s The Age of Ultron (’15) and The Avengers (’12), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman scour the globe in search of other Super Friends to fight super-baddie Steppenwolf who commands an army of flying bug-like minions trying to take over the world. And like the Tesseract, the ancient Asgardian artifact in the Avengers movies, there are three cosmic cubes that Steppenwolf has to obtain, and merge together to gain absolute power to destroy the Earth and the rein of the Super Friends.  The action takes place in a world without Superman (Henry Cavill), who was killed in Batman v Superman nod, nod, wink, wink. So Batman and Wonder Woman go forth recruiting The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to form the Justice League. And like the Avengers, there is some assembly required, as there is infighting within the group. However, the

Thor: Ragnarok

lll By Laurence Washington


Thor: Ragnarok

here’s a new Thor movie in town, and thankfully it’s far better than the first two. In fact, this new installment Thor: Ragnarok, isn’t really your run-of-the-mill Marvel fare. Admittedly, it has more CGI special effects than the law allows, however, Ragarok offers a sense of humor, and doesn’t wait for another franchise to parody it. There’s plenty of self-deprecating humor, which makes it fun to watch for two and a half hours. From the beginning of the film, Thor, (Chris Hemsworth) is a wise-

cracking superhero. Not on the level as Deadpool or Tony Stark, but enjoyable nonetheless. Maybe that’s what is fresh about Ragnarok, plus the action takes place on a parallel world and not on Earth. So there is something new there. The film’s premise finds Thor banished to an intergalactic trash dump planet by his sister Hela (Kate Blanchett), the goddess of death, who destroys Thor’s hammer and wreaks havoc on Asgard. Actually, Hela, who was banished herself by Oden, has daddy issues and is looking for a little payback. Since Oden isn’t available, Thor will have to do. Thor is caught by a bounty hunter (Tessa Thompson) in the trash dump, and is forced to compete in gladiator battles against intergalactic beings by the planet’s emperor Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Also, it bares mentioning that Jeff Goldblum basically plays a quirky character modeled after himself. He’s wonderful, and he moves the film along. I’m not giving away any spoilers when I say that Thor’s first opponent is The Incredible Hulk. Every trailer produced about this film reveals that fact. The film would have been better if it were a surprise. Not sure how the Hulk arrived on the trash planet, I was probably reaching over for some popcorn and missed the explanation. The fact is, the Hulk is there, and he doesn’t remember Thor from the good ole days with the Avengers. Maybe Thor’s new haircut has something to do with it. Hard to say. That being said, Thor and the Hulk renew their battle from their first meeting in The Avengers (’12). The pair eventually team up to take on Hela, who’s sporting a gawd-awful antlerhat. Oden should have banished her for wearing that hat alone. Ragarok also has cameos by Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and clothes from Tony Stark’s wardrobe. Idris Elba returns as Heimdall, the all-hearing guardian sentry of Asgard. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, Thor’s

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


Last Flag Flying

mischievous adopted brother, who still cannot be trusted. And as expected, there are two after credit scenes; one of which sets up the next Avengers movie - why I say with every Marvel film review: “Remain seated until the houselights come on and you’re asked to exit the theatre.”


Last Flag Flying

lll1/2 By Samantha Ofole-Prince

ar is dirty and destructive. That’s the clear and concise message in Richard Linklater’s war drama Last Flag, which follows three Vietnam War vets who reunite after 30 years to bury a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Based on a novel by Darry Ponicsan and set in 2003, Last Flag begins with Steve Carell’s character Doc, an introverted ex-soldier who needs to collect his only son’s body for burial at the military cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Without much support (his wife recently died of cancer), Doc looks up two of his old buddies he hasn’t seen since they served in the Vietnam War three decades ago. Sal (Bryan Cranston) is now a cynical, alcoholic who owns a dive bar in Norfolk, Virgina and the other, Rev. Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne), is a happily married family man and a charismatic pastor of a small, predominantly African-American church. After convincing the reluctant duo to join him on a mission to collect the coffin at the Dover Air Force Base, they set off on a road trip, but things take a drastic turn when Doc discovers the real circumstances behind his son’s death and dismisses the military’s plans to bury his son, opting for a civilian burial in his hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This change of plans finds the trio, along with a young marine Washington (J. Quinton Johnson) who served with the dead soldier, hauling the casket up north on a train with stopovers in New York and Boston. Cicely Tyson (The Help) also has a small role as the


mother of a fallen comrade the trio visit in Boston. Last Flag Flying is not your typical Hollywood war movie. There are no bloody battle scenes or acts of heroism. The movie’s power comes from words: America sends our people into bad places and not always with good intentions or motives. A tad long, the beauty of this drama is watching the veteran actors at play. It’s a road trip theme, a fun buddy movie and an intimate friendship theme all rolled into one. All three characters have their individual quirks and it’s a joy watching the three commiserate, trade gibes, give insults and reminisce about their tour of duty in Vietnam and debate the existence of God. Watching Mueller’s (Fishburne) pastor persona slips away after a few hours in the company of his former comrades is what draws the most laughs. It’s a male bonding, road trip drama and although it deals with a devastating subject matter — the emotional and political impact of wars, director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) addresses the subject lightly, but directly, without gimmicks or gambits and it’s that juxtaposition of humor and tragedy that makes it a worthwhile film.

Mudbound: A Very Challenging Project for

Makeup Artist Angie Wells

Angie Wells and Mary J. Blige

By Samantha Ofole-Prince


ne of the most important elements of a good film, is good makeup. Just ask Angie Wells who ran the makeup department for Mudbound, a film adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel about racial disparity in 1940s Mississippi. With an ensemble cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund and Mary J. Blige, the film is set in the South and follows two farming families, one white, the other Black who are pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, but bound together

by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. To bring alive the palpable sheen of dirt and sweat that coats the faces of the cast, Wells, who has a passion for period makeup, did a lot of photographic research to learn about trends of the time period and figure out how to make the female characters appear natural. Battling the Southern heat and humidity was a challenge and she used a lot of cream based products for the actors “I knew the movie had to look raw and real, and I had to do things like mixing mascara to give definition around the eye. There were freckles for Carey’s character and liquid makeup for her foundation and as Florence’s look — which is zero glam — is not something Blige normally pulls off. It was interesting to get her onboard with all the zero-glam. She really got into it and owned it,” says Wells who also had to resort to using adhesive to keep Garrett Hedlund’s mustache firmly intact. “When it’s humid and there’s so much water involved, it’s tough to get adhesive to stay on — it required babysitting,” she says. “It wasn’t possible for Garrett to grow a natural mustache for the movie because we didn’t shoot in that order, and it wasn’t a long shoot, so we used lace hairpieces. We were constantly running after him on the set to make sure his mustache didn’t fall off in the rain and humidity,” adds the makeup connoisseur who has worked on more than 50 feature films and 25 television series from Soul Food, to The Artist, The Aviator to Thor, and runs the makeup department for the ABC hit show television show Black-ish. Wells first made a name for herself on John Singleton’s 2001 film Baby Boy where she worked with Taraji Henson and earned her first Emmy nomination for the television film Gifted Hands in 2011, following a year later with a second nomination as part of the makeup team for the hit show Mad Men. With work on big-budget blockbusters as well as low-budget dramas, she has one of the most wellrounded resumes in Hollywood. “There are things I get calls for that I turn down,” she admits. “If I have to be somewhere for 16 hours a day, I want to enjoy what I am doing and it has to speak to me and has to be something I feel is worthwhile. It could be something that makes me laugh like Black-ish or something that really makes me think like Mudbound. Directed by Dee Rees, Mudbound released in theaters and on Netflix November 17. .


Life and Legacy of Paul W. Stewart Celebrated

Founder of the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, Paul W. Stewart, will be celebrated on screen Saturday, Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 3091 California St., in Denver. This documentary, directed and produced by local filmmaker Devon Johnson, is a one on one conversation with the late Paul W. Stewart about the start and history of the Black American West Museum and the great migration west. As a child, Stewart said he always had to be an Indian when his group of friends played “Cowboys and Indians,” because everybody knew there’s no such thing as a Black cowboy. He thought that was the way things were out west and it wasn’t until he came to Denver as an adult and came face to face with a real-life Black cowboy. From black miners to railroad workers to the Buffalo Soldiers, their worth in the west is on display at the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver’s historic Five Points. Since the 1950s, Paul Stewart brought to life the old west and the contributions African Americans made to the migration west. The public is invited to view this documentary. Donations are welcome. For more information, call 720-2427428.

Jack and Jill To Honor 25 African American Beaus

The Denver Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, will celebrate its 34th annual Beautillion on Sunday, Dec. 17 at Denver Marriott City Center by honoring 25 African American high school seniors from the Denver metro area. The gala will be the culmination of several months of workshops, community service, and dance rehearsals, and will highlight the theme, “D.N.A -

Distinguished Noble Achievers.” In addition to the formal presentation, the celebration will also include the traditional, heartwarming ritual sealing the bond of brotherhood between former and current beaus. Denver native and comedian, Shed Garrett, will preside over the ceremonies. According to members, the Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Denver Chapter is honored to continue this legacy to present extraordinary young men to the community. As history has shown, the Beaus have become integral facets of the community, and their dedication and service continues to defy stereotype. Jack and Jill of America is a nationwide organization with over 220 chapters in 35 states, and the District of Columbia, representing over 30,000 family members. The Denver chapter was incorporated into the organization in 1955, and officially initiated into the national organization in 1956.

Ujamaa Holiday Market: A Cultural Celebration

The 17th annual Ujamaa Holiday Market, the largest cultural holiday celebration in Denver, is celebrated by supporting small community business and putting the law of circulation and economic balance into action during the holiday season in December. The market showcases some of Denver’s most unique and creative businesses with a cultural flair. Local talent, book talks, think tanks, cultural foods, live entertainment, and children’s activities will be a part of this year’s market. It’s more than a market place, it’s a Cultural experience. The Ujamaa Holiday Market will be held at New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to be a vendor, visit or call Deborah Fard, at the 720-234-4994.

Goatfish Tams Fashionable and fun for men, women and children!

•Day Time •Night Time •Cold Time •Rainy Time •Sleepy Time

Only $8 or 2 for $15

Various Colors and Sizes

To order, call: 720-849-4197

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017






Denver Community pays tribute to

Shelton Bouknight

(Photos by Charles Doss)


Denise Burgess

ASK MICHAEL! ARCO Construction Co, Inc. is seeking MBE/WBE/Section 3 proposals for all scopes of work for the 116 unit, 5-Story Alameda View Apartment project. Call, mail or e-mail for interest to Steve L’Hommedieu at 314-835-3402 – – 900-North Rock Hill Road, Rock Hill MO 63119.

African Bar and Grill


Michael B. Hancock Wants To Hear

From You!

Mayor Michael Hancock believes in government that meets its people where they are – in your homes and neighborhoods. And what better way to engage than with Denver Urban Spectrum readers? Every month, right here in Urban Spectrum, Mayor Hancock will be answering questions that you, the people of Denver, are asking about challenges that are facing you, your families and friends. As 2018 approaches, we know that many peoples have New Year’s resolutions focused on saving more, spending less, getting that raise or maybe even finding a new job. The Mayor believes that the boom our city is seeing and the

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

18601 Green Valley Ranch Blvd. Denver, CO 80249

720-949-0784 or 303-375-7835

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


opportunities that are being created should reach every person, family and business in Denver. CALL TO ACTION: What are your questions about Denver’s educational, training, and employment opportunities? What do you need to grow your savings, start your savings or even get out of debt? Submit your questions and challenges, and hear first-hand what opportunities or tools are out there to help empower you to reach your New Year’s resolution. Please submit your questions to by December 10, 2017. Answers to these questions will be featured in our January edition.

Continued from page 3 He is also not well. He is a malignant narcissist and an active sociopath. Because he holds the codes to, on his own, launch nuclear weapons, he is a singular threat to humanity. He has no fidelity to this country, to the constitution or to his oath of office. He tried to coerce the director of the FBI into ending the investigation of him — and when the director wouldn’t, Trump fired him. It’s only a matter of time before he fires the Special Prosecutor. He has lied about his finances, his campaign’s dealings with Russia and

just about everything else that has come out of his mouth. It is stunning to see how many untruths he speaks in a single day (this site keeps track of all of them on a daily basis). But here’s something even more stunning than Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors: NOT ONE Democrat in the U.S. Senate has stood on that floor and called for his impeachment! Not one! Rep. Maxine Waters and other members in the House have not been afraid to do so. This morning, Rep. Steve Cohen was joined by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. John Yarmuth, and Rep.

Adriano Espaillat in introducing five Articles of Impeachment against Trump. But no Democrat in the Senate has yet to say this man must be impeached! This petition I’m asking you to sign isn’t just a challenge to the Republicans to clean house, it is a demand to the Democratic elected officials you and I voted for to DO THEIR JOB. Many of these Democrats have even said they are opposed to impeachment. They need to hear from us! Now! If recent history has proven anything, it’s that Democrats only act when we tell them to.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


When you were opposed to George W. Bush getting ready to start a massive war in Iraq (when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11), the majority of Democratic Senators voted to send us to war. Most didn’t change their votes until the citizenry went to the polls in the Democratic primaries in 2008 and rejected the Democratic candidate for President who had voted FOR the war. These Democratic candidates became anti-war because of YOU. For decades, when you believed our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be able to get married the establishment Democrats (including the Clintons and Obamas) said NO and used their religion as an excuse to say that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Only when the polls showed that a majority of Americans backed this basic civil right did Democratic leaders begin to “evolve.” Although the majority of Americans have favored a singlepayer universal health care system for some time – Medicare for All – it took until last month for 16 Democratic Senators to finally back such a bill. The cautious and often-frightened Democratic leaders will usually, eventually, finally come around and do the right thing. And they do so because they are good at (sooner or later) listening to the will of the people. That’s why they need to hear from you and me right now. Give them the backbone and support they’re looking for. Sign the Need to Impeach petition and let them see that the majority of us can’t wait any longer to remove this dangerous man from office. Here’s the link once again. Share it and this letter with your friends and everyone you know who loves this country. Let’s not wait until he gets us in a war to sign this petition. Let’s not wait until he turns another million acres of federal land over to the oil companies. Let’s not wait until he and Betsy DeVos dismantle what’s left of our once-admired-around-the-world public schools. Every day at his EPA, at his ICE headquarters, at his FDA and elsewhere, his cronies are literally taking apart our American way of life, piece by piece – and it will take years to rebuild after all the damage they are doing. Can you really take one more day of this? Please, I appeal to you, join with me and millions of your fellow Americans and sign this impeachment petition now: I did. You must. Thank you for helping to save this country and this planet..

( Visa has announced the addition of three athletes who make up the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team to Team Visa, currently training to become the first African representatives, men or women, to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games in the sport of Bobsled. Together, Bobsled pilot Seun Adigun, and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga, combine their elite track backgrounds to chase their bobsled dreams. Without access to proper training equipment or valuable ice time to perfect their skills, the members of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team started their journey on the snow-less grounds of Houston, Texas, in a wooden sled they nicknamed ‘The Maeflower.’ Once the team set their sights on the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, they established a crowdfunding website hoping to raise the much-needed funds to get to PyeongChang. Upon discovering the page, Visa was inspired by their story and determination to carve out a place in history and pledged to help solidify the team’s trip to the Olympic Winter Games. “When we first heard their story we recognized the collective spirit of these athletes as a perfect fit for Team Visa,” said Chris Curtin, chief brand

The First Nigerian Women Bobsled Team is Heading to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

and innovation marketing officer at Visa. “By joining Team Visa, we hope to provide this group of determined athletes with a global stage to tell their story and inspire athletes all over the world to follow their dreams and never give up.” The athleticism and determination of each member of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team is palpable, as they push to rewrite history in their sport: •Seun Adigun (Nigeria, Bobsled Driver): Adigun represented Nigeria in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wanting to get back on the Olympic stage, she began training for bobsled in 2014.

•Ngozi Onwumere (Nigeria, Bobsled Breakmen): Onwumere, a former competitive sprinter, clinched a Silver and Gold medal at the 2015 African Games in Republic of the Congo in the 200m and 4x100m relay, respectively. Onwumere started training after being recruited by Adigun in 2016. •Akuoma Omeoga (Nigeria, Bobsled Breakmen): Omeoga is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she was a sprinter for the university’s track and field team, competing in the 100m and 200m races. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be the first time she is representing Nigeria.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


“Already the support and encouragement we have felt as part of Team Visa has been a dream come true,” said Seun Adigun, driver of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team. “We are proud to be part of a team that shares our mission and has connected us with the resources we needed to reach our goal, and hopefully empower others to do the same.” Since the program began in 2000, Team Visa has supported over 400 Olympic and Paralympic Athletes and hopefuls by providing them with the tools, resources and support they need to reach their highest potential, regardless of origin or background. Team Visa features a diverse group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes who embody our core values – acceptance, partnership and innovation – and was cultivated with the global reach of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in mind. The women of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team joins Team Visa’s diverse roster of athletes, which includes: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Chloe Kim (USA), Gus Kenworthy (USA), Hilary Knight (USA), Oksana Masters (USA), Mark McMorris (Canada), Lee Sang-Hwa (South Korea), Kamil Stoch (Poland) and others. .

Celebrating the Life of

Norman Harris, Sr. October 21, 1918 – November 3, 2017


This is the story of Norman Harris Sr. – OG, Daddy, The Godfather of Five Points, and Master Sergeant. Harris was a pillar of his community, a wonderGooch’s fully loving man, a pioneer, and a man of great Transmission principals. His story begins on a quiet Specialist fall morning in Emporia, Virginia on October 21, 1918. Perched on the fall line of the coastal plain, the city of Gooch, Manager EmporiaMyron has historically 760 Dayton been a commercial Street Aurora, CO 80010 hub in Southside 303-363-9783 Virginia. Born to Sidney and Pearl Harris, Making transmissions well for 22 years. Harris’s parents migrated from North Carolina to Virginia in the early 1900s. At a young age, he became the man of the house and helped raise his siblings Moses, Mae Catherine, Annie Sue, Dorothy Mae, and George. Harris displayed leadership skills at a young age and went on to graduate from high school in 1937. After high school, Harris attended one year of the Naval Shoplifter’s Apprentice School at Norfolk State in Norfolk, Virginia. He then attended the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia in 1943. Harris went on to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps., the predecessor of the Air Force. He told the Denver Post in 2003, there were two different armies – a colored army and a white one. After the war, he moved on to Increasingly Technical Systems, working on aircraft guidance system before becoming a computer programmer for the IRS in 1966. Harris always had a love for technology and received certification as an FCC radio telephone operator and a computer programmer. While serving in the military, Harris received the Toastmasters International Best Speaker Award. As a proud mason, he was a past Master at the Centennial Lodge #4, and a Senior Warden at the Mountain and Plains Consistory. In 1948, Harris

Transmission? We have your medicine!

Sick Transmission? We have your

medicine! Gooch’s Transmission Specialist

Myron Gooch, Manager 760 Dayton Street Aurora, CO 80010 303-363-9783

Making transmissions Making transmissionswell well for 22 years . since 1983.

found himself out west in Denver Colorado. At a dance party, he met a charming feisty woman named Gladies Calhoun from Marianna, Arkansas. He impressed Gladies with this slick dance moves, and their love story began. On August 14, 1949, he and Gladies tied the knot. From their union came Wyona “Annie,” Norman Jr., Gary, Sophronia, Rickey, Marlene, and Pearl. Harris always had aspirations to be his own boss. That dream came true when he became a partner in Welton Liquors, and later a general partner and Wise Harris Arms, LTD. Known as the Godfather of Five Points, Harris would meticulously sweep the sidewalk in front of the apartment building he owned at 26th and Welton, cleaning every corner and crevice, always fearing that he would be ticketed if he didn’t keep his property in pristine condition. Harris started every day with a raw egg, rice milk and raisins. He took his health and workouts seriously – training twice a week well into his late 90’s. Harris would walk mornings, a 1.5 mile walk through Five Points, the neighborhood where he lived for the better part of a century. He went on to join many political organizations such as the Five Points Planning Team, the Concerned Citizen Congress, and the Downing Triangle Planning Team. He was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church and was a regular sight at veteran’s events where he was fond of wearing a crisp uniform, and white gloves. At the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Marade, he sometimes walked the full route without a cane. Norman Harris Sr. will be forever remembered by a host of friends, the community, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and his children: Gary L. Harris (Jennifer) of Washington, D.C., Norman Harris, Jr. (Jennifer), Rickey Harris (Karen), Sophronia A. Harris, Pearl Harris, and Marlean Dorsey (Ronald), all of Denver, Colorado.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2017


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Denver Urban Spectrum December 2017  

This month, Melovy Melvin recaps the stories that have graced the covers and pages of Denver Urban Spectrum over the last 12 months from ref...