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Volume 26, Number 9 December 2012

President Barack Obama

Special Commemorative Pull Out...15-22

TheSeasonofGiving Rose Andom

A giver for many reasons...4

Photo by Bernard Grant


WE POWER YOUR PASSION. Powering Generosity. Maximizing Impact. We know you have a passion for making a difference in the community. And we want to make sure your heartfelt generosity has the greatest impact possible. When you partner with The Denver Foundation, your charitable giving is supported by our highly personalized service, your leadership is leveraged by our initiatives and community connections, and you become part of a broader philanthropic community. With an 87-year track record, we’ll help maximize all the good you can do. Find out about our donor-advised and legacy funds, giving circles, scholarships, and leadership opportunities, plus all the ways you can co-invest in the community with us. www.denverfoundation.org

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MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER Volume 26 Number 9

December 2012

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James COPY EDITOR J.C. Gillespie

MANAGING EDITOR Sheila Smith

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tabatha Deans Angelle C. Fouther Hugh Johnson Chris Meehan Sheila Smith Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Leroy Minsey, Jr. Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix

PRODUCTION AND OFFICE ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR Tanya Ishikawa DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2012 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. Office address is 2727 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at www.denverurbanspectrum.com.

Being Blessed and Being a Blessing

As we enter this sacred holiday season – a time for sharing with friends and family – it is also a time to appreciate your blessings, and no matter who you look to or credit your existence, it is also time to praise God from whom all blessings flow. This month we look at the season of giving and those who have been blessed to be a blessing to others. Tabatha Deans talks about the destiny of businesswoman Rose Andom, featured as our cover story, and how her giving will provide safer and better lives for some of Denver’s women and children. Chris Meehan shares the stories of two givers who are content on serving those less fortunate. Read how Cuttin’ up Beauty Academy owner, Karen Hall, has been providing a helping hand to those in transition; and how Rev. Ronald Wooding is driven to keep the legacy of Daddy Bruce alive. Angelle Fouther shares some insight on giving and philanthropy including: volunteering, gift giving, financial planning, giving circles and online giving. We also look at the blessings that have been bestowed on Colorado and our country with political leadership. Sheila Smith talked to the newly elected Colorado House of Representatives and found out what their elections mean to them and Colorado. Lastly, and most important, in this issue you will find a special commemorative (pull-out) section on the re-election of President Barack Obama. Hugh Johnson provides an overall view of the election results in addition to the four year pictorial view of President Obama’s accomplishments. And did you know that the meaning of the name Barack is Blessed? He may be blessed, and he may be exceptional, as described in Theo Wilson’s article, Post-Racial Racism: The New Obama Effect! So once again, the holidays are here and there are many reasons for the season. It is a time to reflect and plan for the New Year – hoping it will be better than years past. It is time to be grateful for what you have and not dwell and what you don’t have. It is time to forgive and forget, and reestablish life’s inequities. So, if you are reading this, you too are blessed because you woke up this morning - and I feel blessed once again to be able to spread the news about people of color, in print and online. What are you going to do during this season of giving? Read this issue and get inspired; and then do something and become a blessing to someone else. And believe it or not, you will be blessed even more!

Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

This issue is dedicated to my Mother Ruth Boyd, Chuck Jones and Edward Garner – all whom have been a blessing to their family, friends and associates.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

In Defense of Susan Rice

same critics – including the media – who are now beating the drum against Rice are the same ones who reported and promoted the unfounded intelligence in Iraqi. It can be easy to start pointing fingers after a tragedy. We in Colorado understand the changing landscape when violence hits in our backyard. The initial reports from the recent Aurora theater massacre and the Columbine High School shootings included incorrect information. Officials were relying on the most upto-date reports to inform the public and mistakes were made. As a community, we want to know the full picture but until the smoke cleared we gave our officials the benefit of the doubt. Congress also has the full right to investigate what happened and if mistakes were made people should be accountable. But to exploit that investigation on Rice is wrong. Her comments shortly after the Benghazi attack were based on CIA intelligence and talking points. If a few Republican critics are now attempting to “shoot the messenger,” it will take more than one bullet politically aimed at Rice. As a country, we just went through one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent history. We face a fiscal cliff that will affect all of us. The attacks on one woman should not only be denounced with loud voices but quickly dismissed as a cowardly act by a few.

Editor: As a former delegate to the United Nations, I have been especially dismayed by the personal attacks of some Republican critics against UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her comments shortly after the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack. I saw firsthand in 2009 how Rice and her staff work with information coming through Washington in the most thorough and thoughtful way. As President Obama has strongly defended, Rice’s comments were based on intelligence that she had received and what the administration knew at the time. Another tragedy on top of the lives lost in Benghazi is now the choreographed political maneuver on Ambassador Rice. The vitriolic attacks are a foul attempt to limit Rice’s options in the future and possibly block her confirmation as the next Secretary of State. It would be a shame if the narrowed political interests of a few limit one of America’s brightest intellectual diplomats. There was no intention to hide information about the attack and President Obama acknowledged the following day that it was terrorism. And let us not forget Rice’s Republican appointed predecessor who help mislead Americans by supporting faulty reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraqi. Some of the

Wellington E. Webb Denver, CO

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Editor’s Note: Wellington Webb was appointed as a United Nations delegate in 2009. He served as Denver’s mayor from 1991-2003. He is the president of Webb Group International, a consulting firm.

A Victory for Latinas and Families

Editor: Over the past year both President Obama and Mitt Romney have made frequent campaign stops in Colorado. A key challenge for the candidates was how to appeal to women and Latinos, whose votes were crucial in this election. President Obama’s win identifies the importance of social issues to our economic viability. Leading up to the election, both women and Latinos trended to support Obama focusing on the importance of health care, jobs and education, and how these issues affect our pocketbooks. Continued on page 32

OOPS! OUR BAD...

In last month’s issue, we misspelled Purnell Steen’s name. We also said he saw Ray Charles in concert in 1951 who inspired him to play the piano; it was actually George Shearing. And like Ray, George was a blind pianist but he was British and played jazz. And his mom didn’t just listen to piano music - she listened to classical piano music.


Rose Andom:

R

ose Andom was born destined for greatness. The only problem was she had no idea what greatness looked like. Born the youngest of four children in Oklahoma, and raised in Kansas City, Kansas by a hard-working single mom, Andom was taught a strong work ethic, but had no positive influences from people, especially women, who had pursued an education and left rural Kansas in search of greater things. “As a very young person, I told myself I was going to do better than my mother.” Andom said. Andom watched her mother clean other people’s houses to earn money to pay the rent and support her family. “I probably didn’t realize how poor we were. We had food to eat and a roof over our heads. But I saw the toll it took on her body, and I just knew I didn’t want to scrub toilets all my life.” Although Andom didn’t have a clear vision of exactly what she would do with her life, she knew getting an education was the key to succeeding. An anxious learner and avid reader, Andom excelled in the Catholic school she attended as a child, earning a place in the Honor Society and graduating from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City with top marks. Andom credits the efforts of a caring school counselor with helping her gain entrance to Kansas University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Personnel Administration and Business. “I had a good counselor in high school that encouraged me and helped me take advantage of the grant programs available at the time,” Andom said. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, Andom instinctively knew that she would need more than that to

A Giver of

Destiny

“When caring citizens

of our community, like

Rose, set out to make a difference, they

By Tabatha Deans

accomplish amazing

Photos by Bernard Grant

things.”

achieve the success she wanted in life. So she went back to school. Working full time during the day for Hallmark, she spent her nights studying for a Master’s degree from the University of Missouri. Even during times of tragedy, Andom never lost her drive to carve out a better life for herself. At the tender age of 26, a diagnosis of Cancer left no choice but for doctors to perform a complete hysterectomy, effectively ending any dreams she had of raising children of her own.

-Mayor Michael Hancock

to the charms of any man who had the potential for violence, and throughout the years has become a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence. She relocated to Los Angeles in 1981, where she began her first job at McDonald’s. She entered the accelerated management program, but had no idea that 30 years later she would be the owner/operator of three McDonald’s stores in Denver. “I had never dreamed that big before,” she said. “You don’t know the possibilities until you’re exposed to them.” Not easily frightened, Andom says she was challenged, but not afraid, the first day she was put in charge of a store in Santa Monica, California. “It was definitely one of the hardest jobs of my life. It was mentally and physically exhausting. I used to go home and fall asleep in my uniform,” she remembers. Andom steadily worked her way up through the ranks of McDonald’s Corporation, including managing several stores as a supervisor, training and teaching management classes, and

“It’s important for our children to be exposed to every possibility.” -Rose Andom

Determined to make the best of her situation, Andom continued working and learning, and accepted a position with Ford Motor Company as a district manager, selling cars wholesale to dealers in Kansas. While there were love interests along the way, Andom remained a hard-working and independent woman, remembering her mother’s words of advice. “Nobody can take care of you better than you can take care of yourself.” With vague memories of abuse between her parents before they divorced, Andom refused to fall prey

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working with franchisees to teach them how to properly and effectively run a store. Nearly 11 years into her career with McDonald’s, she began to think about one day owning a store of her own. “I was working as the Franchising Manager, so I got to interview people who were trying to get a franchise. That’s when the early seeds of maybe becoming a franchisee myself were planted.” The next several years took Andom through a marriage, a move to Chicago, and a divorce. At the age of 42, she decided it was time to try something different. “I’d always heard to ‘do what you know,’ I was tired of working for somebody else, and decided it was time to have my own franchise.” Her boss was reluctant about Andom‘s plans to become a franchisee—she had proven herself valuable to the Corporation, and her move would leave them without her expertise. “I had saved 10 percent of my income from day one, so I just perseContinued on page 6


The Spirit of T

more abundant and secure life” How is it that we have built a political but not an economic base. Our collective pursuit should include: • Supporting responsible businesses owners who are responsive to community needs; • Encouraging entrepreneurship; • Educating ourselves to become economically literate. Nia (Purpose) is the fifth principle and is represented by the second green candle). Purpose is our reason for being; we know who we are and where we need to go. Our purpose is our roots which provide us with clarity about our future. It is expressed through our doing: respect for our elders, family unit, each other and our-

By Deborah Fard

he acknowledgment and celebration of Kwanzaa supports the ideology that as a people we have inherited and hold true the values that help sustain our existence. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and Canada honoring African Canadian and African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year and culminates in a feast and gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. Kwanzaa means First Fruits and is a reminder of our ancestral rituals, past sacrifices, and delicate balance of life. The seven sacred principles are represented by seven candles. The central black Kwanzaa candle symbolizes the African American people and a sense of unity. It is lit first during observance. Three red candles placed left of the black unity candle each stand for the plight and struggles of the African American community. Three green candles on the right represent future dreams and promises. The first principle Umoja (Unity) means “I am because we are; we are because I am.” The second principle, represented by the first red candle, Kujichagulia (Self Determination), supports our individual mission. We define how we will benefit our families, community and self. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) is the third principle and is represented by the first green candle reminds us that our focus is nation building and maintaining that which reinforces our purpose for future generations. How proud we are to point to the Pyramids, our many inventions in science and math that have been a propelling force for many. What contribution will we leave for the many generations to come? The fourth principle, represented by the red candle is Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). And from the words of Mary McCloud Bethune “Today, we direct our economic and political strength toward winning a

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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selves. We are not pulled in different directions – we have focus. The sixth principle, represented by the last red candle is Kuumba (Creativity). We use our creativity to imagine and make our communities more beautiful. There is pride and attention given to projects we undertake, we give our best. Lastly, we have the seventh principle which is represented by the last green candle which is Imani (Faith). We have faith in our ability to achieve, grow and flourish as a people, nation and world. May your holiday season hold remembrance and action of each principle to carry you through the New Year. 


Rose Andom

Continued from page 4 vered and eventually they had a store for me to buy,” Andom said. That store, in a karmic twist of fate, happened to be in Kansas City, Kansas. “I went right back to where I came from.” Owning a store proved to be time consuming and stressful, often leaving Andom so tired that she would fall asleep behind the wheel of her car when she stopped at stop lights. “Next to being general manager in that first McDonald’s, this was much more difficult. As the owner if you fail you’ve lost everything.” But the thought of quitting never crossed Andom‘s mind, and after four years she had increased sales in the store and was making good money. While hard work couldn’t frighten her away, the opportunity to purchase a store in Sunnvale, California, and return to a warmer climate, enticed Andom to sell the store in Kansas City, and try her hand back on the West Coast. Andom bought a second store, and spent the next six or seven years managing the two, and enjoying the hard work and stability that came with a lifetime of striving to succeed.

So when she received a call from the National Black McDonald’s Operator’s Association in 2000, asking her to consider moving to Denver, her first thought was not just no, but rather it was “Hell no. I’m not moving again.” Her protests were short lived. The stores, located at Denver International Airport, offered growth opportunities, and the Association desperately wanted to keep them in the hands of an African American. Andom had been active in the NBMOA, one of the largest and most influential African American organizations in the United States, having served in various capacities, and currently serves as the Vice-Chair person for the organization. Fellow franchisee Geta Asfaw met Andom nearly 20 years ago, and isn’t surprised at the success she has achieved. “She’s a very educated, self-made person. But most important, she’s always giving, caring and sharing her success. She’s always been about giving back to the community,” Asfaw said. So, Andom packed up and moved to Denver in 2000, and settled in with her beloved pooch Bentley. She now calls Denver home, and about three years ago stopped working in the stores daily.

Although she’s still very involved with the operations of the stores, she has time now to pursue other passions, including providing support and help for victims of domestic violence. “I’m really passionate about women who are violated, and children, who feel there is no place to go,” she said. “I’ve worked very hard, but I haven’t done it by myself. In addition to God being in my corner, there are others. And I know God didn’t intend for me to keep my money to myself.” Andom generously donated one million dollars toward the creation of the Rose A. Andom Center, a facility that will provide victims of domestic violence with one central location where they can receive dozens of services, including legal counseling, medical care, counseling, and job and shelter referrals. Mayor Michael Hancock has been a champion for the Center model for many years, and became acquainted with Andom when he was a Councilman, working with DIA. The Center is a labor of love for both of them – the Mayor’s sister was brutally killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2002. “I lost my dear sister Karen to domestic violence in 2002. In her memory and in the memory of far too many others, I am so pleased about the creation of the Rose A. Andom

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Domestic Violence Center,” said Hancock. “We can and we must do a better job of supporting victims of domestic violence by providing efficient and comprehensive services – under one roof. “I am grateful to those who made this critical resource a reality, particularly generous benefactor Rose Andom. Her $1 million kick-off grant made this all possible.” Maggie Morrissey has worked closely with Andom to help the center become a reality, and, she says, “Meeting Rose Andom has been the best part of this important community project. “She inspires others through her leadership and desire to help people in need. Rose is kind and confident, with great personal charm. She will create a connection of hope for every woman who comes into the center that there can be triumph over the tragedy of domestic violence.” Andom believes everyone can use a hand every now and then, and credits a cousin with helping her in her time of need. “I was ready to go back to Kansas and give it all up, but he said ‘why?’” She recalls. “I ended up sticking with it, and I’ve done – praise God – very well. I’ve prospered and now I would like to be able to do the same for others.” 


Colorado is keeping pace with

the rest of the country in its changing diverse demographics based on those who were elected into office on Nov. 6. A momentous sweep for five African Americans elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives who are now savoring the sweet victory. State officials re-elected are Rhonda Fields for House District 42 and Angela Williams for House District 7. Newcomers elected to the House include John Buckner for District 40, Jovan Melton for District 41 and Tony Exum for District 17. This historic election shows the growth and interest by minorities who want to enter into politics and represent their perspective communities. The last time there were three Black elected officials in the House at the same time was with Terrance Carroll (2003-2010) and Rosemary Marshall (2001-2008) and Peter Groff (20012003); until Groff moved over to the State Senate (2003-2009) and became the first Black president of the Senate. They were preceded by Black predecessors Arie P. Taylor, Wellington Webb, Wilma Webb, Regis Groff, Gloria Tanner and Penfield Tate – who all helped pave the way. While no Blacks are currently in the State Senate, state Rep. Angela Williams is still delighted over the election outcome. She herself captured 83.1 percent of the vote from voters in her district. What the election means for Colorado, she stated, “Is the opportunity to embrace significant demographic changes in our state while keeping pace with similarly dramatic changes in the rest of the country. The fact that we have five Black elected officials in the state House is a testament to our community’s enhanced political maturity and Colorado’s growth on the national stage. That is a win-win for us as a community and state when that happens. “The challenge is there is more work to do and those changes must be tangible. The community must see the metamorphosis transformed into real empowerment for our families, children and neighbors. In addition it shouldn’t be a surprise when we elect politicians or leader of color and be accepted as the new reality. This is the new world we live in and it shapes our collective destiny as Coloradoans,” Williams said. She is ready and focused to start in

A Historical Win For Colorado:

Five African Americans In The House By Sheila Smith

January when the 2013 Colorado General Assembly begins to present bills directed at job creation, compensation for those wrongly convicted and educating those in her district about the oil and gas drilling in northeast Denver. For state Rep Rhonda Fields this substantial election is one for the history books as five Blacks will serve in the State House together and give more voice to the people. “We can fight for those issues not just in my district but the whole state of Colorado. And it puts me at the table. My mom always said if you’re not at the table then you’re on the menu, “Fields said. She further added how humbled and honored she is to be re-elected and serve the citizens of Aurora for two more years. “I received 73 percent of the vote and it gives me validation that the people believed I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. I see myself as a problem solver and can address or solve the problem through good public policy.” Fields is a staunch advocate for education, access to health care and public safety in order to implement stricter gun violence policy legislation, especially in light of the movie theater shooting tragedy that occurred in her district and the senseless death of her son. She is also passionate about getting more affordable housing in her district. Newly elected John Buckner, who wants to make a difference for the people, pulled ahead to win 56.3 percent of the vote over GOP opponent Cindy Acree’s 43.6 percent for State House District 40 (southeast Aurora). This is the former principle and school administrator’s first time running for public office with an impressive platform that swayed voters in his favor. Buckner said his win as a Black elected official for the state was not just a milestone, but “It was extremely important to show diversity in gov-

ernment. We need representation from all segments of the population around the state and must be able to work collaboratively in finding solutions that benefit everyone. So I look forward to it.” Having spent the majority of his career in education was another factor in pushing Buckner to run for the State House. “My election is gratifying along with having that sense of responsibility. When you work in public schools is like being in public service. So for me this will be a continuation of representing a need where people want government to work on their behalf,” Buckner said. Jovan Melton had a landslide victory over two opponents trying to represent State House District 41(southwest Aurora). He received 58.1 percent of the vote, 36.3 percent for GOP candidate Art Carlson and 5.5 percent for unaffiliated candidate JM Fay. Melton agrees that now having five Black elected officials in the State House has more than historical significance. “By having that many of us is a show of true representation in the state legislature of what our state looks like.” “We can bring some of those issues African Americans are facing to the forefront like home foreclosures, education, jobs and helping those minority-owned companies. And we can still be advocates for the Black community, Latinos and other communities,” he added. Melton ran on the idea of bringing a new voice to the state legislature, explaining, “I am a native and attended Denver and Cherry Creek public schools and that’s another reason why I want to help improve education in our state.” Melton, who is no novice to politics, served as campaign manager for state Rep. Angela Williams in 2010. He also worked for Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien’s’ office during Gov. Bill Ritter’s tenure. Winning as representative for State House District 17 in Colorado Springs

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seemed quite a feat for Tony Exum who ran against four individuals. But Exum received 54.2 percent of the vote, Mark Barker (GOP) 38.2 percent, Susan Quilleash (Libertarian) 4.8 percent and Barry Price (American Constitution Party) with 2.7 percent. “This election for me sends a message that the doors of opportunity are open for diverse representation and it means a lot to the Black community,” Exum said. “Colorado now has representation that covers the whole gamut of folks from Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and Asians to Native Americans.” Exum said he not only got support from those in Colorado Springs but from many in Denver, including state Reps Rhonda Fields and Angela Williams, Mayor Michael Hancock and former mayor Wellington Webb. “Being elected says a few things,” further elaborates the former firefighter. “It gives me the opportunity to continue serving the community and they trust me to be their representative. And the message is loud and clear that they appreciate my role as a public servant and taking that spirit of service to the state capitol. The election was not about me but about the people.” While basking in the triumphant election, Exum is still humbled in knowing so many people came out to vote for the first time because he was running. It warmed his heart when a 5-year old handed him a $5 bill to help his campaign and an 80-year old woman from East Germany called his campaign office to thank him and his staff for taking her to the polls to vote for the first time. “She said she supported me and President Obama and that meant a lot to me,” Exum stated. 

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\t’s the end of another year—that

time when the flurries of snow arouse a flurry of holiday gift-buying and giving. Yet, as the calendar page flips to December, and the chill of the Colorado air grows frostier, the season of giving can be a life-saver for so many who are in need of receiving—having weathered a year of challenge, tragedy, illness, or chronic poverty and hunger. When we think of those in a position to give, it’s tempting to envision that the needs of those less fortunate are covered by government aid or wealthy philanthropists. It’s hard to imagine that those in lower income and middle income brackets also have the means to provide—as both groups find it harder and harder to make ends meet for their own families. But for hundreds of years, those with both modest and abundant incomes within communities of color have provided aid, including human and capital resources, to others in need during the most difficult of economic times. Mutual aid societies, church food pantries, and even the Underground Railroad served as mechanisms for charitable giving. The word “philanthropy” just hasn’t been a part of the vernacular. “In recent years, the definition of ‘philanthropy’ has begun to broaden

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to include a larger swath of human generosity, with anysize contributions not just from the wealthy but from people of every income bracket, including nurses, plumbers, hairdressers and civil servants, and growing giving among the African American, Latino, Native American, Arab American and Asian American communities,“ says W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) CEO and President, Sterling Speirn. In a report released by WKKF, “Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color,” recent trends

show that communities of color are giving at increasing rates and levels. For instance, 63 percent of Latino households now make charitable donations, and African Americans give away 25 percent more of their income per year than whites. The spirit of giving is indeed alive and well, and very much needed. Some of our community experts share a few tips to keep in mind during the season of giving.

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Kristy Judd, Executive Director Metro Volunteers If you have time, you have an ability to give in a significant way. Metro Volunteers is a great resource within our community for individuals, families, groups, and businesses to find a volunteer opportunity, and Kristy Judd, the organization’s Executive Director of shares ways that they can help get you started. How can individuals find volunteer opportunities through Metro Volunteers? Our website, www.metrovolunteers.org, hosts both a project calendar as well as recurring positions (there are currently over 200 recurring positions available). From the homepage, volunteers can search based upon a key word or zip code. An advance search can yield results based upon interests, population served, availability and other criteria. Also on the website are two electronic tools – the Denver Post Volunteer Guide as well as our Family Volunteer Guide. Both are helpful to generate ideas for volunteering. It’s also helpful to check with local neighborhood and faith-based communities as they have needs as well. The holidays are a time of year when a lot of people are interested in volunteering, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a project right away. The

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Family Volunteer Guide has several ideas for projects that individuals or groups can do on their own. Remember, volunteers are needed throughout the year.

What advice do you have for people looking for the right fit in terms of a volunteer project? We encourage volunteers to do some self-reflection prior to finding an opportunity. The search questions on our website can help guide the process – people consider what skills they have that they’d like to share, availability, transportation, and training. Once they begin answering these questions, they can determine if any of our postings are of interest or if they’d like to dig a little deeper into a specific nonprofit’s mission and work. Most nonprofits will have websites and generally there is a Volunteer Director who will share their process of becoming a volunteer. Ask questions. Try a small project before committing to a longer-term or more involved project. For those volunteers who’ve been doing recurring volunteer projects, it may be fun to consider board service or project leadership service. Metro Volunteers has training courses for both. What is the estimated value of volunteer time? The current impact is an average of $22 per volunteer hour.

Can you talk about other impacts of volunteering? Volunteering is oftentimes described as a way to give back, to learn new skills, to feel better. It has been used by families and businesses for generations to model values and good citizenship, and for the faith-based community, and it offers a way to care for the poor. With the challenging economic environment we’re experiencing, the new trend we’re witnessing is collective impact. Nonprofit agencies, faith-based communities, schools, and government agencies are coming together to solve significant challenges in education, healthcare, environment, economic stability, homelessness and hunger. We’ve realized we simply cannot rely on our financial resources but must use those resources to leverage the encouragement, training, and deployment of volunteers. All voices must be at the table. All assets must be utilized. Volunteerism is the key strategy to building a healthy, vibrant community.

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Sarah Harrison, Deputy Vice President of the Philanthropic Services Group The Denver Foundation The fourth quarter of the year usually includes calculating and making your final charitable gifts as well as


buying and delivering your holiday gifts and greetings. This year, consider increasing your philanthropy as the way to bring these two together and mix business and pleasure. Here are just a few ways to consider combining charitable giving and honoring your friends: Use charitable gifts to honor friends and family in lieu of traditional holiday gifts. When you support a charity addressing an issue of interest to your honoree, you are paying tribute to her or him in a very important way. Benefiting organizations typically provide an attractive announcement of the “gift in honor” to announce your generosity. Offer children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, even siblings the chance to recommend charities to receive charitable gifts. You decide the amount that each person can give, and the individuals select the charity to receive the gift from you in their name. Gift recipients will take special care to thank the person who recommended the gift, so your family member will experience first-hand how good it feels to help others. Open a donor-advised fund for you and your next generation. Some find that a donor-advised fund helps their families to organize and administer their charitable giving. Donors can recommend grants to nonprofit organizations located anywhere in Colorado, and across the country, including churches and faith-based organizations. Including children in the process affords them the opportunity to stay connected and work together while supporting the community. The Denver Foundation’s fund minimum is $10,000. Take on a philanthropic project as a family. This takes more time but also yields bigger dividends in terms of interaction and education. To get started, talk among your family about the difference you’d like to make in the community, and select an organization addressing a cause important to all of you. Then work with the chosen charity, combine giving, volunteering, and advocacy to support the cause. There are lots of options for a philanthropic project. For example, you might choose to “adopt” the local library, and then provide a financial gift to support a specific library program. Next, conduct a neighborhood drive to collect books, periodicals, and music and film recordings for the collection. Follow that by volunteering for story hour, the library fundraiser, or even re-stacking the shelves.

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

Finally, tell others about your commitment to the library and reading, via your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your family website, or your holiday letter. If you’d like ideas of how to combine charitable giving and gift-giving to family and friends, the Philanthropic Services Group at The Denver Foundation can help you (303-300-1790). We will listen to your ideas and help you create a path that simplifies your year-end tasks and makes our community a better place for everyone.

Financial Adviser

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Myra Donovan, CFP, an Eagle Strategies financial adviser What are the tax implications of charitable giving? The bottom line is that Uncle Sam loves givers. The more that we can give to nonprofits, the less the government has to get involved with support. The more we give, the more we can write off. Under the current law, if you are able to itemize deductions of more than $5,950 or $11,900 (for joint filers) you are able to get a dollar-for-dollar deduction of tax liability. This works for cash donations, but you can also give stock or real estate assets as well. They involve a little more in the way of giving strategy, so consult an advisor for these types of gifts. Get receipts for goods given to charities like Goodwill, and keep in mind, the government doesn’t look at our gifts at full retail value. Go to IRS website and they can help you with valuation for gifts of goods. Can you share strategies for planned giving (or giving after one’s life)? Planned giving can be as simple as adding or changing a beneficiary, if you want to give to a specific charity. This can be changed on life insurance, IRAs, or anything else with a beneficiary designation. You can also include the charity in your will or trust. Most charities are happy to talk with you directly about this. But you can use the assistance of a community foundation, like The Denver Foundation, when you want more oversight and accountability. For many, managing investments and charitable giving seems daunting. Is it necessary to enlist a financial or investment advisor? If you feel that there is more you need to do, seek out some kind of advice. As financial advisors we spend every day, all day attending and looking at issues, so we can react Continued on page 10

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

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 Denver, CO 80209

303-871-7249 - www.myradonovan.com

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!"

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

9


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Continued from page 9 more quickly within the financial markets. The average person might be able to do this if they are willing to put in time and effort, but most folks with extra time don’t want to do that. There are generally three categories of financial advisors: commission only – those paid based on the basis of returns; fees and commission – where the client pays fees out of pocket, and then commissions if a product solution works; and finally, fee only – where no products are offered – you seek products on your own. The third option will cost more. Those with the designation of Certified Financial Planner are held to higher standards, but whomever you choose, have a good gut feel—know that this person is listening and that the person is trying to help you with whatever your concerns may be.

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LaDawn Sullivan, Program Officer of The Denver Foundation, and Chair of The Community Investment Network (CIN) Why are giving circles increasing in popularity among African Americans? Why is this significant? Giving circles are an accessible form of everyday philanthropy because it places the 3 T’s – of time,

talent and treasure – on equal footing. Within the African American culture we have a tradition of pooling our resources (3Ts) to invest in the progress of our community. For example, during the civil rights movement, African Americans shared their resources to support the bus boycotts, voter registration efforts and equality campaigns by carpooling, providing food and lodging, lending their expertise and talents in organizing efforts and campaigns and collecting funds for needs within the movement. Furthermore, collective giving is a way for people to choose to give together, rather than give alone. By choosing to be a part of a giving circle, a person can build relationships with like-minded individuals who want to give back collectively because we are stronger together, and can give more when we do so together. Talk about some of the local giving circles and those who have come to learn about becoming circles? People of all races, all classes, and all ages are interested in giving circles. Members of CIN live in 14 states, and range from 19 to 80 years of age. We are at a point where there are multiple

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youth giving circles that are forming Can you provide info about the CIN too. CIN provides the national coordiConference? nation for giving circles that are The annual conference is the very focused on local issues and local combest offering of the Network. In the munities. All of the circles in the words of one participant, “There is a Network embody and advance five camaraderie and unity at our events. common values: philanthropic leaderAttendees feel positive, rejuvenated ship, learning-centered practices, and motivated.” inclusive philanthropy, social justice The CIN Conference was created as and equity, and collective influence. a way for giving circle members to We are people who already give back. learn and share best practices and Being in a giving circle is a way to be highlighting emergent community more visible, more deliberate, and issues from experts in the field of phimore active in giving. This is a way to lanthropy as well as from one another. re-define who is a philanthropist, since Wes Moore, Eugene Cho, and Emmett people of all classes and all races in Carson are just a small sample of this country have been giving for hun- nationally recognized speakers dreds of years. addressing the diverse issues of comSince May 2012, Denver African munities locally, nationally, and interAmerican Philanthropists (DAAP) nationally. Black Men Giving with a Purpose has The 2013 conference will be in brought the giving circle model to Denver from October 3-6, 2013. We reality. The group’s fund is held at invite individuals, organizations, The Denver Foundation, and while and institutions to participate in the less than a year old, these 20 weekends activities that will illuminate African American men have found community philanthropy at its best. their space in philanthropy – a space For a glimpse of the 2012 conferthey actually have held all along. See, ence, “The Philanthropic Renaissance: these 20 men have been giving back in Illuminating Creative Expressions of OUR community throughout their Giving, watch this video: lives; they just didn’t identify it as phi- http://bit.ly/RY96J0 lanthropy. Following the family and To read more testimonials of this year’s community examples they witnessed conference, visit the CIN blog at: "When your job... growing up, they coached, donated,you leave http://blog.thecommunityinvestment.org don't mentored, volunteered - all steeped in leave your money behind!" the value of sharing and giving to othOnline giving is a growing trend in ers. The giving circle nowMyra affords Donovan, philanthropy, CLU, ChFC, CFP offering ease and accesthem the opportunity to collectively Financial Adviser sibility to anyone with a credit or debit make a larger impact and leverage card. It is important to do a little their pooled giving to effect significant research before 3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700giving, to ensure that positive change. your gift will be used in congruence CO 80209 Since DAAP’s launch, Denver, other groups with your priorities as a donor. 303-871-7249 - www.myradonovan.com and organizations are exploring the There are many great sites for giving circle model as a tool to colleconline giving. In Colorado, tively move the needle. Ironically, GivingFirst.org is a leader in process"Call Today for a FREE most member organizations like fraing donations to hundreds of nonprofternities and sororities already have Consultation!" its locally. For 24 hours, beginning attributes of a giving circle. They have December 4 at midnight, Colorado a level forum where members share Gives Day will take place. Presented their time, talents, and financial supby Community First Foundation and port to address specific issues that FirstBank, the effort raised over $12 have been determined by the group to million last year. Visit the website to be important, seeking positive impact. make a contribution. 

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"When you leave your job... don't leave your money behind!"

January 26, 2013 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP

Denver Marriott City Center Denver Ballroom 1701 California Street Denver, CO

Financial Adviser

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 Denver, CO 80209

303-871-7249 - www.myradonovan.com

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!"

Register Today! Refreshments Provided. Handicapped Accessible. Call 1.800.682.7990 or visit cruelmystery.org Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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L

eymah Gbowee’s theme, Moving Forward in Tough Times, at the Peace Jam Awards Luncheon could have been drawn directly from the trajectory of her life. She was just 17 years old in 1989 when civil war erupted in Liberia, unleashing the destructive forces inherent in such conflicts and enduring 14 years. Although she enrolled in the University of Liberia, her academic aspirations as well as family life were disrupted and she was forced to embark upon an uncharted path. Gbowee was able to convert feelings of outrage and opposition to constructive efforts to end conflict and build peace. In the process she has become not only a counselor, trauma healer and social worker, but an inspirational leader. At age 39 she received the Nobel Peace Prize, published a memoir about her remarkable life and figured prominently in the documentary film Pray the Devil Back To Hell. Gbowee noted that her busy itinerary takes her from one end of the globe to the other. “Everywhere I go I become aware of people dealing with many problems, such as poverty, rape and other crimes and political oppression just to name a few,” she said during the event where more than 500 people were in attendance at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “And sometimes I feel overwhelmed and ask myself if anywhere in the world is free of serious problems. But I am encouraged when I learn that everywhere people organize themselves to resolve these issues,” she continued. “I am deeply impressed with the role of many young people in struggles for peace and justice. And all this has resulted in the reaffirmation of my commitment to peace and justice,” she declared. Gbowee presented Peace Jam Hero awards to youth as well as adults engaged in positive change activities locally, nationally and globally. In her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, she related that in 1996 when the war temporarily subsided, she had two children and was accepted into a UNICEF-supported program to counsel people traumatized by the war. A couple of years later she enrolled in the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Program (THRP) operated by a Lutheran church where her family had membership. That event marked her entry into a career centered on emotional healing and conflict resolution. Within a short time she transitioned from assisting individuals to assisting a nation. When she entered the THRP program in 1998, the West African Network for Peace Building

Liberian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Keynotes Denver Peace Jam Luncheon By Annette Walker (WANEP), the first of its kind in that region, was established in neighboring Ghana. She met some of the staff when they were in Liberia and relates how she began reading about peace-building in the works of Mennonite theologians as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi and some African thinkers. In 1999, Gbowee met some of the women involved in WANEP and in 2000 she was able to attend a women’s conference in Ghana. In her memoir she describes her excitement and how for the first time in her life she was able to talk about the painful parts of her life story including sleeping on the floor of a hospital corridor with a newborn baby for a week because she had no money to pay the bill and no one to help her. “No one else in Africa was doing this focusing only on women and only on building peace,” she wrote in her memoir. Within a year the women of WANEP launched the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET). Although established in Ghana, an affiliate was opened in Liberia with Gbowee as coordinator of the Liberian Women’s Initiative. At the Peace Jam luncheon she talked about the importance of allowing women to talk about themselves. “Women were never encouraged to talk to each other,” she said. Meantime the civil war had reignited and 20 Liberian women convened. “We talked not only about what we could do, but how just as war was considered a male thing, so too was peace building considered a male endeavor,” she said. “Women were never encouraged to be involved in public matters.” Gbowee frequently refers to the night in the spring of 2002 when she fell asleep in the WIPNET office and had a dream. She says that God told her, “Gather the women and pray for peace! ” Subsequently, she told her Lutheran

co-workers about her dream and they suggested that God was telling Gbowee herself that she should initiate that action. She followed their advice. A few months later with the help of Christian and Muslim women of all the ethnic groups in the country, she helped establish the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Thousands of women gathered in Monrovia, the capital city, for months and prayed for peace, held nonviolent demonstrations and sit-ins in defiance of orders from President Charles Taylor under whose leadership the civil occurred. In April 2003, Taylor relented and granted a meeting with the women. Two thousand women amassed outside his executive mansion and they designated Gbowee their spokesperson. Her comments to him are wellknown: “We are tired of war. We are tired of running. We are tired of begging for bulgur wheat. We are tired of our children being raped. We are now taking this stand, to secure the future of our children. Because we believe, as custodians of society, tomorrow our children will ask us, ‘Mama what was your role during the crisis?’” Taylor promised the women that

he would attend peace talks in Ghana to negotiate with the rebel groups. In June 2003, Gbowee led a delegation of Liberian women to Ghana to put pressure on the warring factions during the peace-talk process. As portrayed in the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell, in an attempt to be taken seriously, the women’s behavior was sometimes dramatic. The Liberian war ended officially weeks later, with the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement Act on August 18, 2003. “What we (women) did marked the beginning of the end,” remarked Gbowee. The women’s movement was a crucial factor in the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf not only as Liberia’s first woman president, but Africa’s first democratically-elected woman president. Charles Taylor went into exile and earlier this year was convicted and incarcerated in The Hague for crimes against humanity. Both Sirleaf and Gbowee (along with Tawakkul Karman of Yemen) received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. From 2003-2007 Gbowee studied and received an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in the United States. She has won a dozen international awards and continues to ‘multitask.’ Now 40 years old and the mother of six children, she is executive director of the Women, Peace and Security Network- Africa as well as founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation-Africa, based in Monrovia. The Peace Jam Foundation is headquartered in Arvada, Colorado. Its motto is Change Starts Here. Its mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody. 

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ARedwine Empowerment Veterans Day Celebration Inspired By A Challenge

I

Commander Stephen E. Sherman

t was almost a year ago on Jan. 7, Allyce Redwine, Founder of ARedwine Empowerment met a gentleman with a passion for helping homeless veterans. Founder of The Dorrie Miller Foundation, Commander Stephen E. Sherman, 91, has been fighting to get The Medal of Honor for Doris “Dorrie” Miller for more than 70 years. Redwine shared

her desire to start a foundation for Army Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter of Aurora in honor of her father serving 20 years in the United States Air Force. On August 6, 2011, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by an insurgent shot down a Chinook CH 47D in Afghanistan, making it one of the most devastating tragedies since 9/11 – and all the crew perished. David Carter, age 47 was one of two pilots operating the Chinook CH 47D on that fatal day. Carter, “a man of faith” was a full time Guardsman, Instructor Pilot and Proficient Aviator with more than 700 hours of combat flying time. Carter is survived by his wife Laura and their two children, Kyle and Kaitlen. On August 17, 2011, David Carter’s body returned to Aurora on Redwine father’s 79th birthday. ARedwine Empowerment’s 2nd Annual Veterans Day Celebration with family and friends was held at

Sgt. Hugh L. Allen, Jr., Commander Stephen E. Sherman, Allyce Redwine, Eljaun Allen and Lisa Jackson enjoying the Veteran’s Day Celebration at the DCPA. Photos by Lens of Ansar

the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Nov. 11. The group attended The Giver with Commander Stephen E. Sherman as the guest speaker. He shared, “Allyce Redwine is headed down a difficulty road full of challenges, she is a Black woman wanting to honor a white man” as he shared his story of Dorrie Miller. Doris “Dorrie” Miller was a Navy Cook on the battleship West Virginia at Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, he manned a 50-caliber aircraft machine gun, positively shot down four Japanese aircraft during the 1st 30-minutes of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Miller was not trained

in the use of the machine gun. Commander Stephen Sherman, a veteran of World War II, was honored by President Obama for Champion of Change as well as he was the oldest delegate to attend the DNC in Charlotte, NC. Sherman is on a mission to help ARedwine Empowerment fulfill her dream to “remember 9/11 and never forget 8/6/11” ARedwine has gladly accepted the challenge of expanding the Veterans Day Celebration beyond friends and family to commemorate David Carter. Editor’s note: For more information call 303-522-1685 or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ANightFitforaKing.

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Legacies Of Giving In The Holiday Season A

By Chris Meehan

s the year winds down and the holiday season – with its ice crystals on dark windows through long nights and snow, enough to make another snowman or snow angels – winds up, we think of those who have struggled in the past year for whatever reason. We tend to be more giving of our time, food, money and love. Sometimes that’s just helping one or two people, other times it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, sometimes it’s creating a legacy of giving. While it’s fantastic that Peyton Manning provided 500 families with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver full Thanksgiving dinners through the Peyback Foundation and its partners, it’s even more amazing and inspiring when someone without such deep pockets gives as much or more. That’s what at least two Denver residents have done. Daddy Bruce started a holiday tradition of feeding the needy on Thanksgiving in the 1960‘s. Karen Hall and her Cuttin’ Up Beauty Academy and volunteers began delivering Thanksgiving meals to those in a period of transition in Denver in 2009. Both of these homegrown efforts have continued to grow with our city, and as its needs for help, kindness and love have grown. “Daddy” Bruce Randolph, a latelife restaurateur in Denver legendary for his compassion passed on in 1994. However, his tradition, Feed A Family, of helping people in need in Denver lives on. While alive, Daddy Bruce would give dinners to people in need on Thanksgiving out of Daddy Bruce’s Bar-B-Q, the restaurant the former janitor founded in 1963 at the tender age of 63. He also gave food and clothes away every Christmas, Easter and on his birthday. Today the nonprofit Epworth Foundation of the Epworth United Methodist Church hosts the Thanksgiving dinner giveaway in Daddy Bruce’s honor. This year with the help of Wal-Mart, Metro Taxi, and the 1,200 volunteers, it helped make sure that more than 7,100 families had a Thanksgiving basket with a turkey and all the trimmings. “Each basket will feed a family of eight. That’s 56,000 people if there are eight in the family,” says former Epworth

stickers on the boxed meals. A confluence sparked her interest in doing something about what is often a sad sight on Colfax, where many poor and needy hang out on the street at all hours. “Our business has been at this location for 16 years. I come down this street everyday coming to work. I just thought…What can

Karen Hall (far left) is pictured with “Thanksgiving Giveaway Dinner” volunteers.

Assistant Pastor Ronald in Wooding, who heads the event. Wooding “Thanksgiving Giveaway Dinner” volunteers. was recently ordained as an Associate Minister at “Daddy” Bruce Randolph Rising Star Baptist Church (DUS November, 2012, p. 29). He estimates that the basket giveaway feeds between 30,000 and 35,000 and to his knowledge it’s the largest such giveaway in the country. Similar to how Daddy Bruce first gave away hot meals, Hall and her I do in the community to make a little small group of friends and family difference?” That thought was amplicook Thanksgiving dinner for those in fied by her students who one day said need – 600 of them this year. “We they wanted to do something to make cook the meals ourselves,” she says. a difference. Hall had the answer. “I Her friend Ken Johnson, sister and said we can do it here. We can do it daughters – Tiffany Larkin and for the motels. It’s funny because Chanel Hall – all pitch in to cook. “Between the five of use, we were able some of the students who attended when we started it, have come back to cook 20 turkeys,” Hall says. It’s a and volunteered to help,” she says. tradition they’ve been carrying on It shows that the efforts of people since 2009. like Daddy Bruce and Karen Hall are Hall and her group of volunteers infectious the way a beatific smile is. are focused on serving the needy that So perhaps we have a “Mamma live in motels on Colfax while waiting Karen” in the making. After all, for more permanent housing. “We Wooding, who moved from Nashville, have a good maybe 75 volunteers. All Tenn., to Colorado to attend the Iliff the men go out to the motels here on School of Theology, had hardly heard Colfax, from Peoria to Colorado of Daddy Bruce and his enduring Blvd,” she explains. The volunteers kindness. “My initial involvement knock on doors and deliver meals to the residents. “Some are surprised and started in 2002 with the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving event. At the time I didothers expect it. We let the managers n’t really know about it,” he says. “I know ahead of time to let them was coming in early Saturday mornknow.” ing for service and saw these tents in Speaking the Friday following the middle of the street and I didn’t Thanksgiving, Hall says, “This mornrealize what they were for.…so I got ing people were calling from the in the church and asked and they said, motels and saying how grateful they ‘Oh it’s the Daddy Bruce were for us to bring them the meal. Thanksgiving.’” We’re glad when we hear that.” She Inspired by the event, perhaps even explains that they put the Academy’s Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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more so since he saw some of the church attendees were in line for a basket, Wooding’s ties to his adoptive community and, in an interesting way, Daddy Bruce, grew strong quickly. “I started going to meetings in the neighborhood trying to find out a little bit more about the area I was working in. I was having lunch with a realtor and was telling him I wanted to live in the area close to the church and it just so happened that he said, ‘We own the property right down from the church which is on Bruce Randolph and Gilpin and its vacant and we’d like to get someone in it.’…I moved in. It was the house owned by Bruce Randolph’s family right next to the restaurant,” he explains. He became involved in the event that year. In 2003, however, it almost didn’t happen. The church that had carried on the tradition wasn’t going to be able to carry it on. That’s when

Feed A Family 2012 honor of “Daddy” Bruce Randolph

Ronald Woodking

Wooding, Epworth and its Pastor King Harris took over. Wooding says it’s really about carrying on the legacy of a great man, one who had a street named in his honor. And while still alive, was honored by President Ronald Reagan, was visited by Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donahue and others. Both the Epworth Foundation and Cuttin’ up Beauty Academy are doing toy drives for Christmas and Wooding hopes to do more. “Daddy Bruce wasn’t just on Thanksgiving,” he quips. “The goal is we’d like to get to a point where you would not have 7,000 or 8000 people in need. But unfortunately with the economy and whatever, there are a lot more people in need now than when we started,” he says. To help with relief and recovery efforts, Wooding is working with Iliff and others. “I now teach a class on how you put projects together like this,” he explains. “Now we’re going to do it online so I can reach more people, we’re going to do it throughout the country.”  Editor’s note: If you’d like to donate toys to either of the toy drives, call Karen Hall at 303-388-5700 or Rev. Ronald Wooding at 720-435-5738.


I

magine you had a time machine,

and could go back 10 years ago to tell your past self that in 2012, America

will have a Black president. Your past self would tell you to stay off the

drugs, and then call the police! Well, Barrack Hussein Obama has managed get elected twice, now. It’s pretty undeniable that he’s a special dude. You can hate his policies, skin color, ears, family, and anything else that reminds you of his existence, but the facts speak for themselves. It’s no secret that my issues with Obama’s policies have prevented me from singing his praises as loudly as other people to say the least, but even I must acknowledge that the man is exceptional. And with his landslide victory came a landslide of rage. The very factor that would have made this presidency impossible to believe 10 years ago once again reared its head: Racial bigotry. After the election was called, Twitter blew up with racist vitriol and hateful diatribe from some disappointed Romney voters. Many lamented the thought of four more years with this “N*gger” in the White House. Some even openly hoped for the assassination of our 44th president. Suppressed majority anger had been unmuted as the power dynamic seemed to shift from the “good ol’ boys” to a new and emerging diverse demographic. Bill O’Reilly went on Fox News proclaiming the White establishment was now the “minority.” Pat Buchanan pronounced White America dead, murdered by the American ballot. Conversely, many Black and Brown people rejoiced at these people’s racial discomfort, as if the shoe were suddenly on the other foot for real this time. With the Lilly-White GOP in shambles, minorities across the board pointed and laughed at outdated Republican politics blowing up in their faces. It reminded them that if history be our guide, white people

Post-Racial Racism: The New Obama Effect! have never needed to be the majority to rule. Just because they don’t hold the numbers doesn’t mean they don’t hold the cards, just ask South Africa. What’s even more hazardous is celebrating a victory that doesn’t add up to a hill of beans to those people living at the bottom of the American socialeconomic structure, especially when those people look like you. What if this resurgence of racism in 2012-13 is evidence that racism itself has never been effectively defined in a way that can help us survive and thrive. Upon further examination, racism seems to come in not one but three key manifestations, which are as follows: Interpersonal - This is the most commonly recognized form of racial bigotry. This is the realm of racial slurs, biases, and personal prejudice. This is a deadly form in deed, for this is what led to the lynching and violence that defined the Jim Crow era as we know it. The Civil Rights movement forced this kind of racism into the realm of the taboo, making anyone of the majority population caught practicing this form of racism at risk of losing their very livelihood. Interpersonal racism had to change in public culture for Obama to even dream of getting elected, and it is this form of racism that we saw making a comeback post re-election. Integration and affirmative action policies proved effective against this manifestation of hatred, but unfortunately, this only scratched the surface because a more deadly form lurked beneath the surface. Institutional - This beast is especially deadly because it is invisible, but can be seen everywhere. It exists in the very machinery of the American system, and can be plausibly denied if you define racism only as the interper-

By Theo Wilson

sonal kind. This form of racism leaves no slogans, no slurs, and no bias to be found. This form can look like police concentration up to six times higher and in Black and Brown communities. This can look like banks denying loans to families of a darker hue because they’re considered a “risky investment.” This also looks like an alarmingly high number of children of color on psychoactive drugs prescribed by our school system for supposed “ADHD” and other conveniently new mental health issues. It can also be seen in the “Black Church, White Jesus,” phenomenon. But the largest manifestation is in the growing wealth gap. A 400 year inherited head start explains why no Black businesses happen to be publically traded on Wall Street or own a building more than five stories tall, but the wealth of Chase Bank can be directly traced to the slave trade. It is gentrification and economic warfare with no racial slurring in sight, but causing a highly visible population of new homeless people. Deeper still, it may be what’s behind the unwritten rule that only Brown nations need live in fear of American military might. But even more insidious, as long as this machine is intact, you don’t even have to be White to participate in your people’s destruction. You can do it unwittingly aided by the third and final form of racism. Internalized - This is when your oppressors hatred of you becomes your own. This is the fuel of “Black on Black” crime: the inner Nazi! The selfesteem of a people can be so thoroughly debased that the natural anger

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – December 2012

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at an oppressor’s abuse then turns against the self. Brothers violently projecting their powerlessness on those closest to themselves can be traced to this psychological scarring. Even now, Native American reservations are reporting higher suicide rates than any other population, though they can afford these losses the least numerically. This is the realm of the color complex and light-skinned fetishism; the “paper bag test,” if you will. As long as this form of racism is intact, the people at the bottom will participate and co-create their own misery to serve the people at the top. It indeed becomes habit, and we only need to turn on any modern rap-music video to validate this reality. Even in gender power dynamics, we can see sisters willing to subjugate themselves to the will of these chauvinistic performers to co-create an exploitative power relationship. Obama cannot rescue us from this, no matter how many terms in office he gets. And what is at the root of all this? Fear. Fear of not having enough, fear of losing identity, fear of losing one’s very existence is at the heart of racism. Metaphorically racism can be called a group sport, because it is literally competition for resources between groups of people divided along ethnic lines. But we’ve seen the fruits of this, and they ain’t pretty. The effects of this competition are both dehumanizing and permanent. But hope is in the changing tide. People are beginning to see the stupidity of competition in the face of collaboration. With this planet’s resources being taxed to the point that they are, the next generation is going to be forced into egalitarian function because in short, warfare is too expensive, both financially and morally. We simply have exhausted all other options. Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians and the like are seeing more similarity in their struggle as the economy slides toward depression. We may not be through this storm, but our fellow man may be the only silver lining in sight. 


REFLECTIONS

THE FIRST FOUR YEARS

President Barack Hussein Obama


November 4, 2008 Election: Barack Obama is elected as the 44th president of the United States with more than 66 million votes

January 2009 Inauguration: Barack Obama with the First Family is sworn in as America始s first Black president. January 2009 Equal Pay for Equal Work: President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, giving women who are paid less than men for the same work the right to sue their employers after they find out about the discrimination, even if that discrimination happened years ago.

January 2009 - Inauguration: Barack Obama with the First Family is sworn in as America始s first Black president. February 2009 - Economic Stimulus Bill: In Denver,

Colorado, President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

February 2009 Economic Stimulus Bill: In Denver, Colorado, President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twentythree straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs. February 2009 Expanded Health Coverage for Children: Signed 2009 Children始s Health Insurance Authorization Act, which allows the Children始s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover health care for 4 million more children, paid for by a tax increase on tobacco products.

March 2009 Increased Support for Veterans: Increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent.

President Barack Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., in honor of Veterans Day (Nov. 11, 2012).

First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and others watch as President Barack Obama signs the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW to Hire Heroes Act) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, (Nov. 21, 2011).

Guests salute during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., (Nov. 11, 2011).

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans. March 2009 Expanded Stem Cell Research: Eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research which shows promise in treating spinal injuries, among many other areas.

June 2009 U.S. Auto Industry Bailout: Injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration) into ailing GM and Chrysler in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring. Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades.

February 2010 - Letʼs Move: The first Lady launches the Letʼs Move Campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity by encouraging children to be more active, eat better and get healthy.

June 2009 Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco: Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (2009). Nine years in the making and long resisted by the tobacco industry, the law mandates that tobacco manufacturers disclose all ingredients, obtain FDA approval for new tobacco products, and expand the size and prominence of cigarette warning labels, and bans the sale of misleadingly labeled “light” cigarette brands and tobacco sponsorship of entertainment events. August 2009 Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court: Nominated and obtained confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman to serve, in 2009; and Elena Kagan, the fourth woman to serve, in 2010.

First Lady Michelle Obama does the "Interlude Dance" with students at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 9, 2012. More than 10,000 Iowa school children grades 6 - 9 joined Mrs. Obama for the interactive celebration of the "Letʼs Move!" anniversary, hosted by Iowaʼs Healthiest State Initiative. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge in New York, as the first Hispanic to sit on the Supreme Court Monday, calling her “an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great Justice,” (May 26, 2009).

President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on Monday, declaring the former Harvard Law School dean "one of the nation's foremost legal minds." She would be the court's youngest justice and give it three female members for the first time, (May 10, 2010).

President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., (September 10, 2009).

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


President Barack O

By Hugh Johnson

Another Proud Cha

L ast month, America graced its president with an early Christmas gift: four more years of hope, change and progress. The president defeated Governor Romney by 126 electoral votes with a whopping 332 to the governorʼs 206. President Obama won 8 out the 9 battleground states including Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. “Tonight more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to deter-

The presidentʼs efforts to increase immigration reform and decrease unwarranted deportation undoubtedly helped him carry the Hispanic vote with 71 percent in his favor. That margin is the largest it has been since the start of the 21st century. Al Gore carried 67 percent of Hispanic votes in 2000, John Kerry edged out a mere 55 percent in 2004 and President Obama won 67 percent four years ago. Hispanics made up 10 percent of voters in this elec-

mine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” said President Obama during his victory speech. The presidentʼs words echo his plea to Americans back at the Democratic National Convention. He asked Americans to renew and rededicate themselves to the vision of an improved country where the spirit of the American dream is alive and well and where everyone plays a role in making that dream possible for all Americaʼs inhabitants. His vision saw a people united under a common cause. On Tuesday, President Obama and the nation took a large step toward that unity. Americans made a loud statement on Nov. 6: Every voice matters and every voice will be heard. In an election that focused on deficits, jobs, taxes and economic policies, the key to victory was the stories behind the numbers. The Republicansʼ defeat brings forth an inconvenient truth for the Grand Old Party, the American landscape is changing. Today, the people deciding presidential elections, the people with the majority of political pull are younger, more diverse and, for the time being, more progressive in thinking. This is first and foremost due to a significant shift in demographics. After the release of the 2010 census, analysts predicted that Democrats would have the advantage going into the 2012 election. The Hispanic population grew from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010. That is a 43 percent increase. Asian Americans increased by from 11.9 million to 17.3 million, a 45.6 percent increase while African Americans increased by 15.4 percent moving from 36.4 million to 42 million over the course of the decade. Secondly, more people of color are voting. Voter turnout among people of color increased to 28 percent, which is 2 percent up from 2008. The majority of minority voters supported the president as he won the votes of Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans by large margins.

tion. The president won the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote with 73 percent and the African American vote with 93 percent. The president also fared better with women voters garnering 67 percent of unmarried women and 46 percent of married women. Governor Romney won the Caucasian vote with 59 percent and also garnered the majority of votes from married males with 60 percent. With the fiscal cliff around the corner (the end of bush era tax cuts), there was an increased focus on income level in this election. As expected, there was a great amount of disparity between middle class and upper class voters. Accuracy.org reports that the presidentʼs voter percentages decreased as income levels increased. President Obama won 63 percent of voters making less than 30,000 a year, 57 percent of voters making between 30,000 and 50,000 and lost to Governor Romney with voters making more than 50,000. The numbers tell how the president won but not necessarily why he did. After all, he faced an uphill battle in his quest for re-election. No incumbent has been re-elected with unemployment above 7.2 percent. The president didnʼt beat the odds simply because he said he wanted to create more jobs. It was how he said they should be created that made a difference. At the core of the presidentʼs numerous speeches was a message of inclusivity. A message that says that while itʼs every Americanʼs right to engage in the spirit of the American dream and the values of hard work and discipline, itʼs also every Americanʼs obligation to make sure that dream stays alive. He used that message as a springboard into other topics, all built around the premise of a diverse, tolerant, progressive and stronger America. In the wake of the second greatest economic downturn this country has ever known and in the face of an opponent who specialized in business and job creation, the president was able to win by once again championing the be-


Obama’s Re-election

apter In U.S. History liefs of hope, change and eventual prosperity. His directive halting the deportation of alien minors ties directly into building stronger, competitive schools so an alien minor can become an American citizen while getting a quality education that will help him/her realizes his/her goals. That message of inclusivity spread because of local and grassroots efforts. It was aided by the publicʼs strong response to voter suppression laws. The

tion disproportionately affects working-class and minority voters. Given that minority and working-class votes played a crucial role in the presidentʼs reelection, -those who fought against these laws helped shape American history. The perpetual swing state of Ohio was the state that pushed President Obama over the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election. It was also

real hero of this election is not President Obama but those who refused to let his vision die, those who refused to let their voices be subdued, those who went to the polls and encouraged others to do the same are responsible for ushering in a new era of progress and prosperity for all people in the United States. For the past couple months, the Spectrum has celebrated the efforts of those making a difference in Denver and the state of Colorado. People like Sean Dale and Will Dickerson who promoted and defended voting rights for every American, and young Dominic Diaz, who as a sophomore in high school, started a “Forward” club which reached out to the students of Denver Public Schools and encouraged them to either vote or get their parents to. Although the election was called before Coloradoʼs results came out, these and similar movements across the country sealed a second term for the president and affirmed the validity of what reporters and analysts are calling the Obama Coalition. Americanprogress.org reports that this coalition is the embodiment of the emerging face of the United States. Once the dream of democrats in the late 60s and early 70s, the coalition is now fortified by the fact that this nationʼs electorate is more diverse now than ever before. That sense of diversity isnʼt limited to race but extends to class, gender and sexual orientation. Though this coalition of voters is demographically different they are ideologically united. The goal of this progressive movement is to promote individual freedom and opportunity by utilizing the private sector and a government that works for everyone and not just the wealthy. Sound familiar? The continued emergence of the progressive coalition was almost halted by voting laws aimed at suppressing voter fraud. Opponents of the laws argued that shutting down early voting and requiring government issued identifica-

home to one of the fiercest fights over voting rights in the country. Ohio is no stranger to voter controversy. In 2004, Ohioʼs voting process gained notoriety after some 3 percent of residents in Ohio were unable to vote to due excessively long lines. This year, Ohio Senator Nina Turner led the battle against the voter suppression laws, saying that they are reminiscent of the darker days in American history where people were denied the right to vote because of the color of their skin. “Why would you want to give people less access to the ballot in the 21st century?” Senator Turner asked. “If they cannot win the vote with a better candidate and a better strategy then they will try to suppress the vote...It shouldnʼt matter if youʼre Republican, Democrat, Black, white or Latino. This is about access to a ballot.” Turnerʼs efforts are part of the reason this country is moving forward in all aspects. In addition to the presidentʼs victory, a record 20 women were elected to the senate and another 80 to the House of Representatives. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin became the first openly gay politician and first Wisconsin woman elected to the senate. This monumental victory is not simply the culmination of one manʼs hard work and success but rather the triumph of diversity in America. Though the president will have something to smile about this holiday season, the real gift is the future he and this coalition are building for Americaʼs posterity. This election will be another proud chapter in the history of the United States; a welcome addition to the story of how Americans of every color and creed joined forces to break down barriers, eliminate stereotypes and defeat oppression. This victory stands as a promise to this and future generations that those who for so long have been marginalized are no longer taking a backseat but standing up for what they believe and taking an active role in reshaping the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.


May 2011 - Osama bin Laden's death:

October 2009 Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which expands existing hate crime protections to include crimes based on a victim始s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.

Obama and staff watch the deadly Osama bin Laden raid live on a SEALcam. Seated in this picture from left to right: Vice President Biden, President Barack Obama, Brigadier. General Marshall Bradley Webb, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

February 2010 Let始s Move: The first Lady launches the Let始s Move Campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity by encouraging children to be more active, eat better and get healthy.

March 2010 Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The legislation is expected to expand health coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. July 2010 Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession.

July 2010 Kicked Banks out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decadesold practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans. Starting July 2010 all students began getting their federal student loans directly from the federal government. Treasury will save $67 billion over 10 years; $36 billion will go to Pell Grants to lower-income students.

President Barack Obama concludes remarks on the American Jobs Act at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, N.C., Oct. 17, 2011. The event kicked off the President始s three-day American Jobs Act bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia to discuss jobs and the economy.

The President talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel as they walk from the Oval Office to the South Lawn drive of the White House following their meetings, (May 20, 2011).

President Barack Obama talks with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan before the United Nations General Assembly reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, N.Y., First Lady Michelle Obama is pictured in the background. (Sept. 24, 2012).

October 2010 Passed Fair Sentencing Act: Signed 2010 legislation that reduces sentencing disparity between crack versus powder cocaine possession from 100 to 1 to 18 to1.

President Barack Obama hugs Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on the floor of the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., before delivering the State of the Union address, (Jan. 24, 2012).

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


December 2010 Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers: Obama signed the Claims Resolution Act, a $4.6 billion legal settlement with Black and Native American farmers who the government cheated out of loans and natural resource royalties in years past.

December 2010 Improved School Nutrition: In coordination with Michelle Obama, signed Healthy HungerFree Kids Act in 2010 mandating $4.5 billion spending boost and higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. New rules based on the law, released in January, double the amount of fruits and vegetables and require only whole grains in food served to students. May 2011 Osama Bin Laden Eliminated: Hunted as the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Osama Bin Laden was killed under President Barack Obamaʼs first administration behind the worst terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2011 on U.S. soil. June 2011 Began drawdown of War in Afghanistan: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 69,000.

June 2011 Donʼt Ask, Donʼt Tell: Obama repealed the “Donʼt Ask, Donʼt Tell” policy which ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

June 2012 - Waldo Canyon: President Barack Obama views fire damage with firefighters and elected officials in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

July 2012 - Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting:

President Barack Obama visits victims and family members in Colorado following a random shooting spree that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

October 2011 Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talk with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., (Oct. 31, 2012).

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie look at storm damage along the coast of New Jersey on Marine One, (Oct. 31, 2012).

President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., (Oct. 31, 2012).

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


May 2012 Same Sex Marriage: President Obama declares his support for same-sex marriage.

June 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire: President Obama visited the wildfire-ravaged landscape in the foothills of Colorado Springs on June 29, calling it a "major disaster," and pledged to release federal funding to the counties affected. July 2012 Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting: President Barack Obama visits victims and family

members in Colorado following a random shooting spree that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

September 2012 Re-nomination: President Barack Obama officially accepts the Democratic nomination at the DNC in Charlotte, N.C. for a second term as President of the United States

October 2012 Presidential Debate: In Denver, the University of Denver hosts the first 2012 presidential de-

bate with President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

October 2012 Super Storm Sandy: President Obama surveyed the devastation wreaked by the Super Storm Sandy with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in what both men said was a non-political event. November 6, 2012 Election Day: President Barack Obama is elected for a second term as the 44th President of the United States.

November 6, 2012

Election Day: President Barack Obama is elected for a second term as the 44th President of the United States.

President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, watch on television as First Lady Michelle Obama takes the stage to deliver her speech at the Democratic National Convention, (Sept. 4, 2012).

President Barack Obama pets Bo, the Obama family dog, in the Oval Office, (June 21, 2012).

America始s First Family: First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia, President Barack Obama and Sasha in the Oval Office, (Dec. 11, 2011).

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


Reframing Portraits Of Philanthropy By Valaida Fullwood

L

Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root.’ — Angela Davis

et’s engage in the radical work of reclaiming the root meaning of philanthropy: love of humanity. Philanthropy, a curious word to many, evokes a range of images, beliefs and emotions. To contemplate its semantics and evolution and then to initiate anew our collective philanthropic practice could prove a seminal undertaking for black America. This moment hangs ripe. The “season of giving” is near and clears the way to a new year of possibilities. The re-election of President Barack H. Obama has substantiated, again, the might of black unity. And yet, between the hopes and history making and the thanks and gifts giving are uncharitable acts and vitriol that signal a shift back in time, not forward. Indignities, inequities and injustices do not simply dissipate; instead, we must come together in systematically uprooting them. With community needs great and the need for unity greater, the times beckon a new era of conscientious philanthropy rooted in a love for community and expectations of social change. Let this generation, both young and old embody a social transformation with bold recognition of our power and responsibility to give back. Philanthropy is a gateway to power. It is a chief means to acquiring, sustaining and strengthening our status – economically, politically, socially and spiritually. Our ancestors knew this. They originated and supported systems for giving and assisted members of the community, whether neighbor, stranger or kin. Remarkably, a fundamental source of our progress at times seems forgotten. Remembering our long and prolific history of philanthropy is crucial. Historical accounts of black largesse and examples of culturally significant vehicles of giving abound. Look up the Free African Society, an 18th century mutual aid organization established by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones. Study the social justice philanthropy of the legendary Madam CJ Walker. Before the Civil War, up through the Civil Rights struggle and after, our forebears charted paths and lay blueprints for progress. While the impulse to “give back” lives on in the community and opportunities exist to bring new twists to old traditions, this work must be encouraged and nurtured. In the starkest of ironies, black Americans give the highest percentage of discretionary income to charitable causes when compared to other racial groups in America; and yet our philanthropy is discounted and overlooked by

mainstream society. Indeed, within the black community, our traditions of giving are seldom acknowledged or celebrated, or even described as philanthropy. Absurd as it is, this cultural disconnect persists for many reasons and shortchanges us all. Ideas and images of present-day philanthropy frequently fail to resonate and, worse yet, serve to alienate black Americans. Particularly unsettling is the stunning absence of black people in representations of philanthropists – a few select luminaries notwithstanding. A point of view endures that renders black donors and benefactors, in effect, invisible. The familiar picture of philanthropy is narrowly framed and thus gives a false impression that the only giving that matters is beyond the average person’s means. On the demand side of philanthropy – as beneficiaries and “the needy” – is a common context for depictions of black children, families and communities. While but one facet of philanthropy, imagery around whites as the benefactors and blacks as those in need has devolved into a stubborn stereotype and produced a picture that distorts and is incomplete. A richer picture exists – widening the lens to include our customs and stories of giving yields a different view. Vibrant philanthropy is occurring in black communities, whether labeled as such or not. Even so, great promise rests in sharpening our focus to affect social change. Collectively, black America possesses the assets – heart, head, heritage and dollars – to eradicate a host of social ills. With our legacy of generosity, our shared stake in change and our capacity to leverage centuries-long gains in wealth, education and access, how could we not? Exercising this power first requires a shift in thinking and wider recognition of the power of black philanthropy. Strategic alliances among black donors, across black communities and with institutional partners also are vital. Significant in seizing the moment and sustaining the effort is love. Love of family. Love of culture. Love for thy neighbor as thyself. In its truest sense, philanthropy is rooted in love. Advancing social change with that spirit opens opportunities for everyone to participate and fixes the focus on liberating people not elevating oneself. Putting our money where our heart lies. That is the charge. Begin doing your part today by deepening your knowledge of philanthropy, by examining your motivations for giving and by joining with others to grasp at the root causes of our collective concerns – for love.  Editor’s Note: Described an “idea whisperer,” Valaida Fullwood (valaida.com) brings a mix of unbridled imagination and a gift for harnessing wild ideas to her work as a writer, creative consultant and project strategist. She is the author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists (www.blairpub.com/alltitles/givingback.html), an award-winning book of stories and photography about black giving. She serves on the national board of Community Investment Network (thecommunityinvestment.org), which promotes donor education and collective giving among people of color. On Twitter, follow @ValaidaF (twitter.com/ValaidaF)

Archival Collection of CPRD/ Photographer Stan Obert

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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Preparing Students for Community

resolve to share their points of view, especially since extreme differences in opinion were presented. I appreciated the diversity not only in the topics but also among the student body; I saw the ‘face of America’ represented here. I encourage each HOPE student to find what they are passionate about By Heather O’Mara and Ruth and make it happen.” Márquez West Just as in the larger community, where leaders have to take a stand on he ability to communicate effecimportant issues, HOPE students tively enables persons with distinct demonstrated their commitment to the beliefs, values and points of view to topics they selected. express, explain, and support a particu“I was slightly nervous when I received the numerous essays I had to lar perspective. The ability to communireview,” acknowledged Metro State cate effectively enables individuals to University of Denver Field Experience inform, educate and issue important Coordinator Suzanne Klein, before calls to action. The ability to communiadding, “but I could not stop reading cate effectively enables leaders to build them. They were Julian delivso interesting. bridges to strengthen communities. ers his mesThen, to hear the sage at the students present HOPE them really gave Persuasive me a multiArgument Competition dimensional view of how well they understood their topics and how HOPE Learning Center Manager Shirely Bennett committed they celebrates with contestant Aiesha were to them.” Chris Vann, At HOPE Coordinator for Online Learning Prevention and Academy Co-Op Intervention of (HOPE), building Aurora Public strong communiSchools, was, in ties is a theme his own words, which influences “blown away” learning. After by the poise and HOPE’s recent Persuasive Argument Competition Judges Rosalind “Bee” professionalism Persuasive Harris and Paul Anderson compare evaluations. he saw HOPE Argument students display. Competition, several community As a veteran judge of scholastic essays, members, who served as judges for Mr. Vann had many favorable comthe event, weighed in on the imporments about the quality of HOPE stutance of encouraging students to comdents’ work, but he was just as municate well, especially when impressed with the sense of community diverse, and even opposing, opinions that pervaded the closing ceremonies. are held. “There was a definite closeness,” “This role to evaluate essays and Mr. Vann observed. “It seemed to me presentations was really about helping that every kid was cheering for the kids develop their voice and channel winners, understanding that they had their energy in a positive way, not all worked hard but that only a few only on paper, but through public could be selected. I also appreciated speaking, which was fabulous,” noted how each and every student was Secretary of Jefferson County School affirmed – in the end, it was all about Board Jill Fellman. “It was also wonthe students.” derful to work alongside other memHOPE Director of Student bers of my community to judge the Achievement Janet Filbin agrees that middle school participants; everyone the competition is all about the stuwas so positive and excited. I think it dents as well as their classmates, their was also a great experience for stufamilies and their neighbors. “This dents to be a part of and see the synercompetition definitely equips our stugy that comes from people with differdents to serve others with strong and ent skills coming together.” credible voices. It teaches them to “I was impressed with the variety think critically and to present their of topics the students chose,” added message to different audiences so that Rosalind “Bee” Harris, publisher of Denver Urban Spectrum. “It was won- they can advocate for themselves and their communities.”  derful to see that students had the

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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Susan Rice Is President Obama’s Call To Make For Secretary Of State

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By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

OP house members are following a horrid precedent in trying to torpedo the possible nomination of Susan Rice for Secretary of State. The precedent was laid down by their Senate counterparts. That’s dithering, delaying, and flat out obstructing Obama’s nominees. The most glaring example of this is their record shattering stonewalling of Obama’s judicial picks. They insured that Obama almost had the dubious record of having fewer of his judicial picks confirmed than any other president in recent times. The GOP’s blatant partisan stonewall of Obama’s nominees was too much even for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who publicly lambasted GOP Senators for their obstructionism. So given the GOP’s dogged pattern of nay saying too many of Obama’s picks, it’s no surprise that the GOP would go after Rice. Her alleged duplicity in handling the murderous terrorist Benghazi assault is the ostensible reason nearly 100 House members who have no say in Rice’s confirmation want her dumped before she’s even picked by Obama, if picked, for Secretary of State consideration. Rice has plenty of defenders. The Congressional Black Caucus, a bevy of other House Democrats, and women’s groups loudly brand the GOP attack on Rice as racist and sexist. And more than a few have noted that the GOP’s seem to take special delight in targeting high profile African-Americans for pillorying. The names are well known, Attorney General Eric Holder, Van Jones, Special Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and even Shirley Sherrod, an Agriculture Dept. official, and now Rice. Though race can never be discounted in the GOP’s calculations to hammer Obama and Democrats, it’s probably not the driving force to nail Rice. The motive is Obama. The GOP, reeling from its election defeat, simply pulled a page from the playbook it

used in 2008 to try and taint Obama. Then it went after Holder and dredged up every innuendo, hint, and piece of gossip of alleged wrongdoing by Holder as Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General to try and wreck his confirmation, even before he was formally nominated. It didn’t work. Obama nominated Holder and he was confirmed. Rice’s credentials for Secretary of State are impeccable. She is a seasoned diplomat, foreign affairs expert, and has gotten high marks for protecting US interests and fighting for global and humanitarian concerns at the UN. Her experience insures that the administration will have continuity in implementing its foreign policy initiatives. As UN ambassador, Rice has dealt first hand with the enormous challenges of the Middle East conflict, Syria’s civil war, and North Korea, and Iran’s nuclear threat. These are the same challenges that Obama’s secretary of state will face in the coming months. These are touchy, sensitive, issues that demand a firm helm at the helm of the state department. Obama ironically has an immediate precedent for appointing Rice to the job. That’s the Bush administration’s appointment of Condoleezza Rice. When Colin Powell announced that he would step down from the top diplomatic post after Bush’s reelection, Bush quickly picked Rice to replace him. Rice guaranteed continuity in handling Bush foreign policy matters. Bush ignored the protests from some quarters that Condoleezza Rice was deeply complicit in propagating Bush’s phony claim that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction and her part in selling the notion that the Iraq war had to be waged to eliminate them. The massive cloud over Rice prompted some Democrats to threaten to delay her confirmation on the Senate floor, but all but two Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to confirm. Though some Senate Democrats on the Senate floor did hotly debate Rice’s role in the Iraq war debacle, ultimately most of them voted to con-

firm her. They did not hold her hostage to the horribly failed, flawed foreign policy of the Bush administration. There is absolutely no comparison to Bush’s policy and the foreign policy of the Obama administration. There are legitimate questions and concerns that should be raised about the deaths of the four Americans at Benghazi. But to use that terrible event to discredit the legion of ground breaking, successful foreign policy accomplishments of the Obama administration is beyond unconscionable. The GOP’s never ending campaign to tar one of the administration’s most accomplished foreign affairs experts who has played a key role in implementing his successful initiatives is nothing but mean spirited, cynical politics.

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The GOP House members that took the unprecedented step of signing off on a warning letter to Obama to dump Rice before any decision is made on her, again sent the strong message that it will continue to grab at any straw no matter how ludicrous to war on the Obama administration. This is all the more reason why the decision to appoint Rice as secretary of State is the president’s call not the GOP’s to make. And it’s a call that the president should quickly make.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson


Movie Reviews

REEL ACTION Skyfall

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

    No stars Flight

Flight



Hero Pilot Participates in Cover-Up in Special F/XDriven Legal Thriller

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o-pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty) is at the helm of SouthJet Flight 227 from Orlando to Atlanta only because the plane’s captain, Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), has passed out after spending the night drinking booze and snorting coke while carousing with a stewardess (Nadine Velazquez). But when the commercial airliner encounters severe turbulence and starts losing altitude, the concerned rookie reflexively rouses his senior officer for immediate assistance. Despite a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, the veteran aviator assumes control and quickly ascertains that the plane’s plunge is due to a mechanical failure of the hydraulic system. He further surmises that the only hope of pulling out of the precipitous nosedive depends upon his executing a series of dangerous maneuvers which includes lowering the landing gear prematurely, dumping fuel, and flying the aircraft upside-down. Against all odds, he does so flawlessly, unless you count clipping the top off a church steeple moments before making an emergency landing

in an open field. 96 of the 102 souls aboard survive, and Whip’s astonishing feat is soon the subject of a national media circus, ala Sully Sullenberger’s real-life Miracle on the Hudson. However, in the course of conducting its routine investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) subsequently uncovers incriminating evidence that the pilot had a blood alcohol level of .24 at the time of the accident. And since a half-dozen people perished in the crash, Captain Whitaker could conceivably be held criminally liable for their deaths. Will the celebrated hero’s image ultimately be tarnished by scandal? Not if his defense attorney (Don Cheadle) and union rep (Bruce Greenwood) have anything to say about it. The two hatch a plan to suppress the toxicology report and to sober Whip up by the time of the NTSB hearing. Directed by Academy Award-winner Bob Zemeckis (for Forest Gump), Flight is a riveting thriller mark by spellbinding special effects and a nonpareil performance on the part of twotime Oscar-winner Denzel Washington (for Glory and Training Day). After the stomach-churning, opening scene crash, the picture shifts in town to a character-driven portrait of a self-destructive addict in denial and plagued by demons. The capable supporting cast features Kelly Reilly as Whip’s love interest, John Goodman as his drug dealer, Melissa Leo as a snoopy NTSB bureaucrat, as well as Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood. But make no mistake, this is as much a star vehicle as Zemeckis’ Cast Away, where Tom Hanks was the only actor on screen for over an hour. An instant screen classic destined to be deemed among the very best of Zemeckis, alongside Gump, Back to the Future and What Lies Beneath. Rated: R for drug and alcohol abuse, nudity, sexuality and an intense action sequence. Running Time: 139 minutes Distributor: Paramount Pictures To see a trailer for Flight, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYplvwBvGA4

Skyfall



007 Returns for Riveting Roller Coaster Ride

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ach new James Bond film is fated to be compared to all the prior installments of the enduring espionage franchise. Directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (for American Beauty), Skyfall earns high grades in that regard, as it pales in the eyes of this purist only

in relation to the standard-setting classics starring Sean Connery. Daniel Craig returns for a third goround of savoir faire and derring-do as the legendary, British secret agent with “a license to kill” in order to match wits with a maniacal madman played by Oscar-winner Javier Bardem (for No Country for Old Men). Besides the obligatory villain bent on world domination, this 007 adventure arrives complete with such series trademarks as witty repartee, a bevy of Bond girls (most notably Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe), exotic locales and a memorable title song (by Adele) oozing the requisite combination of danger and sensuality. The movie wastes little time launching into high gear, opening with a daredevil motorcycle chase across roofs high above Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, leading to an even more eye-popping stunt atop a careening freight train approaching the proverbial mountain tunnel. The incident ends with a breathtaking, lastsecond plunge into a river that ostensibly claims Bond’s life. Back at MI6 headquarters, responsibility for the tragedy is ultimately placed squarely on the shoulders of M (Dame Judi Dench) for failing to find the double-agent in the ranks. Still, she

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refuses to turn in her resignation when called on the carpet by her unamused boss (Ralph Fiennes). Of course, 007 isn’t really dead, and he soon resurfaces to embark with M’s blessing on a revenge-fueled, nameclearing, international manhunt with ports-of-call in Macau and Shanghai en route to a spectacular showdown on an ancestral family estate in Scotland. What makes the roller coaster ride so much fun is a plethora of surprising plot twists it would be a crime to spoil. Just brace yourself for the best Bond episode in ages, thanks to Daniel Craig’s coming of age to make the role his own. Rated: PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, smoking, violence and intense action sequences. Running Time: 143 minutes Studio: Columbia Pictures To see a trailer for Skyfall, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kw1UVovByw

Hoodwinked 

Black Stereotypes Debunked in Thought-Provoking Sequel

In 2007, I named What Black Men Think the Best Documentary of the year in my annual Blacktrospective film feature. Now, Janks Morton, Jr. is back with Hoodwinked, an equally thought-provoking sequel to his groundbreaking directorial debut. This go-round, Janks again handles emcee duties in a project ostensibly designed to debunk a host of harmful stereotypes about African-Americans. He’s helped in that endeavor by an impressive supporting cast comprised of esteemed luminaries like Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Ivory Toldson, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, Dr. Joseph Marshall, Maniko Barthelemy and Kai Jackson. The movie opens with a confrontational quote from Malcolm X, “Who taught you to hate yourself?” before Janks launches into a series of impromptu, man-in-the-street interviews where he asks brothers and sisters to name some positive stereotypes about black people. Most struggle to come up with even one, which prompts Dr. Hill to surmise that


blacks have internalized white supremacy. Next, Janks poses several questions to help highlight how some commonly-held, mistaken beliefs about blacks have left the bulk of the community brainwashed about itself. For example, he asks, “Are there more black men in jail or in college?” and the response he invariably gets is “in jail,” which is totally erroneous. He goes on to challenge more of the conventional wisdom about blacks on issues ranging from the high school dropout rate to the percentage of deadbeat dads to the ratio of females to males attending college. Sadly, many African-American appearing here are “skeptical about any statistics that don’t show blacks in a negative light” leading one of the experts to conclude that they must have “whitewashed minds.” Overall, Hoodwinked serves as a sobering wakeup call that it’s high time for blacks to unlearn self-hating propaganda and to “turn to each other” instead of “on each other,” as suggested by Dr. Hill. Here, here! The black community owes a debt of gratitude to Janks Morton for his continued commitment to raising African-American cultural consciousness. Unrated Running Time: 87 minutes Distributor: iYAGO Entertainment Group To see a trailer for Hoodwinked, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QpeEEbp3cA Or: http://whatblackmenthink.com/hoodwinked/ Lincoln 

Civil War Docudrama Revisits Great Emancipator’s Team of Rivals

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t the beginning of his presidency, Abraham Lincoln invited three of his political opponents to join his Cabinet to form a so-called “Team of Rivals” with the hope of preserving the Union. But the challenges proved to be insurmountable as the Southern states seceded anyway, leading to the outbreak of The Civil War. By late 1864, much blood had been spilled and the sides seemed as bitterly divided as they had been at the start of the conflict. Even holding the contending factions inside the surviving coalition together came courtesy of compromise, which explains why the Emancipation Proclamation freed the Confederacy’s slaves but none in any of the Union’s four, remaining slave states. Based on Harvard historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 944-page opus “Team of Rivals,” Lincoln telescopes tightly on the last five months of the Great Emancipator’s life, a period dur-

Lincoln

REEL ACTION

ry buffs, it’s unfortunately likely to test the patience of kids without a 2½ hour attention span unless it involves action and special f/x. Is it still worth the investment? Yes, but not if you’re expecting anything more than a poignant portrait of Lincoln’s last days, time spent as a marked man making his appointed rounds en route to his rendezvous with destiny.

ing which he was desperately devoted to both abolishing slavery and reuniting the country by ending the Civil War. The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, and bears many of the legendary director’s trademark visual effects like blowing curtains and light flares. The production is first rate in terms of cast, from Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role to a stellar supporting ensemble which includes Joseph GordonLevitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, James Spader, David Strathairn, Gloria Reuben, S. Epatha Merkerson, Hal Holbrook, Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes, Jackie Earl Haley and Bruce McGill. Nor did Spielberg scrimp when it came to costuming or set design, which means the film feels authentic and never hits a false note plotwise. The picture basically revolves around Lincoln’s twisting elbows to get the two-thirds vote in Congress necessary to pass the 13th Amendment ending slavery. This means most of the movie focuses on his exercising his powers of persuasion, promising (sometimes with his fingers crossed) whatever it takes to induce reluctant fellow Republicans and adversaries from across the aisle to support his historic measure. The President is helped in this regard by his Secretary of State, William Seward (Strathairn) who, in turn, enlists the assistance of Congressmen Bilbo (Spader), Latham (Hawkes) and Schell (Nelson). And already counted on for their votes are longtime liberals like Thaddeus Stevens (Jones) and James Ashley (David Costabile). This flick doesn’t feature any epic battle scenes or even Lincoln’s assassination, but simply lots and lots of talk scenes. The conversation-driven docudrama winds what passes for tension around the fait accompli of whether or not the president’s bill will pass. While watching talking heads exchanging dialogue borrowed from “Team of Rivals” might delight histo-

Rated: PG-13 for gruesome images, brief profanity, ethnic slurs and an intense scene of war violence. Running Time: 149 minutes Distributor: DreamWorks Pictures To see a trailer for Lincoln, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiSAbAuLhqs

demeanor, of a saint. Over the course of a half-dozen, romantic rendezvous, the sensitive therapist gradually helps her patient conquer problems with performance anxiety and premature ejaculation. En route to consummation, the pair simultaneously forge a friendship in spite her fears that he might develop an attachment to her. After all, she is married. But Mark emerges from the experience, a changed man, as he develops the confidence to flirt with other women and he even ultimately finds a wife (Robin Weigert). The Sessions’ subject-matter might strike some as salacious, given the film’s frequent, full-frontal nudity.

The Sessions

The Sessions 

Compassionate Disability Drama Chronicles Indomitability of the Human Spirit

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ark O’Brien (John Hawkes) was left paralyzed from the neck down by the polio he’d contracted as a child. Consequently, he can only breathe with the assistance of an iron lung, although he can use a portable respirator for a few hours at a time. Nonetheless, the condition has never stopped him from fantasizing, especially about his attractive attendants like Amanda (Annika Marks) who quit when he expressed his desire for her. The sexually-frustrated, 38 year-old decides that the only way he’ll probably ever lose his virginity is by paying a woman to sleep with him. However, this proves easier said than done, between the physical challenges presented by quadriplegia and his having to wrestle with a major moral issue as a devout Catholic. Since his religion forbids fornication outside the sanctity of marriage, Mark consults his parish priest for special dispensation. Armed with the surprisingly-sympathetic Father Brendan’s (William H. Macy) blessing, Mark retains the services of Cheryl (Helen Hunt), a professional sex surrogate with the bedside demeanor, or should I say bedroom

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But the picture actually plays out more as a compassionate tale exploring a variety of themes, including faith, friendship, relationships and the indomitability of the human spirit. Written and directed by Ben Lewin, himself a polio victim, the movie is based on Mark O’Brien’s (1950-1999) life story as chronicled in his autobiography “How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence.” The late author was already the subject of Breathing Lessons, a biopic which won an Academy Award in 1997 in the Best Documentary category. Rather than resort to manipulative sentimentality, the production resists the temptation to follow a Hollywood formula in favor of a realistic plot that Mark undoubtedly would have appreciated. As a journalist and longtime civil rights advocate, he never looked for pity but lobbied for legislation and equality on behalf of the handicapped. Co-stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt generate an endearing chemistry, here, turning in a couple of virtuoso performances deserving of serious consideration come Oscar season. A poignant, character-driven drama depicting the disabled as complicated individuals with a full range of emotions. Rated: R for graphic sexuality, frontal nudity and frank dialogue Running Time: 95 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight To see a trailer for The Sessions, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI7Rs_Hv_IA


Major Improvements To City Contracting Process

NEWSVIEWS

In a presentation to Denver’s Independent Audit Committee, Manager of Public Works Jose Cornejo outlined steps the department is taking to reform prequalification procedures for construction contracts. The changes are designed to more reliably ensure that bidders who are awarded contracts for city projects are capable of completing those projects successfully; improve the quality of work on the projects; create a better understanding of the root cause of change orders; and bring the projects in on time and on budget. In awarding construction contracts, the city “prequalifies” contractors to bid on projects. In the past, city rules had placed some restrictions on what criteria could be considered in that prequalification process. The goal is to grant work to capable and highly qualified contractors to ensure successful project completion on time and on budget. The changes are intended to give more contractors the opportunity to qualify and compete for city construction jobs, providing the city and residents a greater sense of confidence that contractors selected will complete that work successfully with the highest levels of service possible at competitive prices. The new rules are to be adopted in December 2012 and will be effective in April 201

National Western Stock Show Commits To Stay In Denver

National Western Stock Show leaders, joined by Mayor Michael B. Hancock and other city officials, announced they are committed to keeping the iconic and century-old Stock Show in Denver. The National Western’s intention is to remain at its current location in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood and explore forging stronger partnerships and greater coordination with Art & Venues Denver and VISIT DENVER. Last winter, Mayor Hancock requested detailed information from the National Western, including business, financial and facilities plans, to better understand the National Western’s current and future needs. The Mayor also asked the Denver Urban Renewal Authority to provide an independent review of the data. DURA submitted to the Mayor an analysis of the National Western’s plans as well as additional comparative research of similar facilities and programs throughout the country. Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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The analysis found that with greater coordination and stronger connections to partners such as the City, VISIT DENVER and Downtown Denver Partnership, the National Western will be better positioned to overcome existing facility and programming challenges, tap new markets and thrive for generations to come. The first step will be to include the Denver Coliseum and the National Western Stock Show Complex in an upcoming feasibility study by VISIT DENVER and Arts & Venues Denver. This study will evaluate market demand and assess the facility and amenity characteristics needed to accommodate those markets.

LEAP Starts Connecting Thousands In Need To Heating Assistance

The Denver County Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) kicked off the season by hosting a Heating Fair at Denver Human Services. LEAP is a program committed to helping residents from Nov. 1 – April 30. LEAP determines eligibility based on the number of people living in a home and a household’s gross monthly income, which is set at 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For a family of four, monthly income before taxes must be at or less than $2,881 to be considered for the program. Additionally, applicants must be legal residents and pay heat costs to an energy company or as part of rent. To request an application, call 1866-HEAT-HELP (432-8432) or download it at www.denvergov.org/LEAP.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Holds Annual Western Region Leadership Academy

The Western Region of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, held its 4th Annual Leadership Conference in October hosted by the Rocky Mountain District (Colorado And Utah). The Western Region consists of five districts which include the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaiian Islands, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the country of South Korea. Since its founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African-Americans and people of color around the world. Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recog-


NEWSVIEWS

nized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood across the higher education landscape. For the past 106 year Alpha Phi Alpha has been committed to making impact through service within the communities and campuses they serve. Additionally, Alpha conducts philanthropic programming initiatives with March of Dimes, Head Start, Boy Scouts of America, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Miller-McCoy Leaders Withdraw Plans to Open School in Denver

The Miller-McCoy Denver Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Ryan Ross, decided to surrender the school’s charter, withdrawing plans to open an all-boys 6-12 school in Denver. The school was approved in June of 2011 by the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education and was slated to open in August 2013, serving boys in grades 6 through 12. Miller-McCoy in Denver would have been a replication of an all-boys school in New Orleans, Louisiana that has produced strong results, including a 100 percent acceptance rate into college for its recent graduating class. The founders of Miller-McCoy in New Orleans were to lead the expansion efforts into Denver. However, cofounder, Tiffany Hardrick, recently accepted an opportunity to become an assistant superintendent in Newark Public Schools, while co-founder, Keith Sanders, recently accepted a position with the Delaware Department of Education. Miller-McCoy had collected a number of letters of interest from families and students in both the far northeast and southeast regions of Denver. The DPS SchoolChoice process will support these families in identifying schools that meet their needs.

Dental Services Available January 1 For Low Income Seniors

The Colorado Legislature has provided $3 million to fund dental care for hundreds of low income seniors. To be eligible to receive dental services, individuals must be receiving Old Age Pension or the Medicare Savings Program. Thus single individuals must have less than $1256 per month in income and less than $8580 in resources. Couples must have less than $1702 per month in income and less than $13,620 in resources. The home, car, term life insurance policy and irrevocable burial plan do not count toward your resources. Individuals who are not receiving Old Age Pension or the Medicare Savings Program but who believe

they may be eligible for assistance through these programs can contact their local county Department of Human Services or the Colorado Gerontological Society and make an application. Eligible individuals will receive cleanings, fillings, extractions, partial dentures, and full dentures. Root canals, fixed bridges, implants, and crowns are not a benefit of this program. Application procedures, services, and co-payments may vary from agency to agency. For more information or where to apply, call The Society at 1-855-293-6911.

Denver Urban Spectrum is requesting nominations for the 2013 African Americans Who Make A Difference. The honorees will be featured in February’s 2013 Black History issue. Criteria include: •Demonstrating service to the community •Serving as a role model for youth •Upholding standards of excellence in professional and personal life •Maintaining high moral and spiritual integrity If you know of someone, or you are one, who exhibits these qualities, CALL: Denver Urban Spectrum at 303-292-6446 FAX: Denver Urban Spectrum at 303-292-6543 MAIL: African Americans Who Make A Difference, PO Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041 EMAIL: Editor@urbanspectrum.net DELIVER: 2727 Welton Street in Denver Five Points Community

Anheuser-Busch Donates ‘Great Kings And Queens Of Africa’ Art Collection To UNCF

DEADLINE: Monday, December 10, 2012 All call-in nominations MUST include a current phone for the person being nominated to be eligible ALL NOMINEES will receive a questionnaire that must be returned to the Denver Urban Spectrum by Monday, January 7, 2013.

A popular and influential collection of artwork featuring African leaders and rulers has returned for public viewing at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Valued at more than $1 million, “The Great Kings and Queens of Africa” collection of paintings was commissioned by Anheuser-Busch in 1975. Last month, the company announced it has donated the entire collection to UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the country’s largest and most effective minority education organization, which will distribute pieces from the collection to six UNCF member colleges and universities: Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Fisk University, Xavier University, Dillard University and Benedict College. Anheuser-Busch also donated 30 college scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, to student leaders from the six UNCF member HBCUs. The announcement was made as part of a leadership symposium hosted by Anheuser-Busch and UNCF. Since the collection was first created, “The Great Kings and Queens of Africa” has introduced and educated the public about African history. It has been exhibited in such prominent venues as the United Nations, Capitol Hill, the Martin Luther King Library and the Kennedy Center, and viewed by more than 43 million people. Now the collection will continue to educate generations to come as it hangs in university and college galleries across the country. First commissioned by AnheuserBusch in 1975, “The Great Kings and Queens of Africa” is a series of 30 works by 23 African American artists. To view the collection, visit www.anheuserbusch.com/index.php/our-responsibility/community-our-neighborhoods/education/legends-of-thecrown/.

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COMMUNITY NOTES

CPRD Celebrates The Spirit Of The Season With Dances From Around The World

A Denver original, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum is a family favorite that has been inspiring patrons of all ages for more than 20 years. Granny’s memories are her gifts to those she loves, but she has forgotten many of her stories and the magical dances she’s seen in her lifetime. In her youth, she danced in winter festivals honoring the birth of Christ, the African Harvest, the Native American Winter Solstice, the Celtic Yule Time, Las Posadas in Mexico, the ancient Hebrew Festival of Lights, the Chinese New Year, and Junkanoo in the Caribbean. Now Granny seeks to relive these colorful memories of the rich cultural traditions, bringing them alive once again with her grandchildren through dance, live music, and storytelling. Granny performs at the Byron Theatre Newman Center, University of Denver on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 7 to 23. For more information, visit www.cleoparkerdance.org or call 303295-1759. To purchase tickets, visit www.newmantix.com or by phone, call 303-871-7720.

Su Teatro Holiday Tradition Returns The Miracle At Tepeyac

Rodney Perry

New Yearʼs Eve

G a r y O w e n

Jan 24-27, 2013

S o m m o r e

Jan 11-12, 2013

Deray Davis

Feb 7-10, 2013

8246 E. 49th Avenue # 1400 Northfield @ Stapleton • Denver, CO 80238 USA

For special New Yearʼs Eve show packages, call:

(303) 307-1777 or http://denver.improv.com

The Miracle at Tepeyac is a classic Su Teatro production and a family tradition for the holidays. It is presented in the traditional folk drama form. It tells the story of a historic event that would define a people, a land and a culture – the apparition of the Virgen de Guadalupe to the Indio Juan Diego. Su Teatro presents The Miracle at Tepeyac Dec. 6 to 23, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, in Denver. Tickets are $20 general, $17 student/senior, $12 groups of 12 or more. For tickets and more information call 303-296-0219 or visit www.suteatro.org.

Florence Crittenton Reaches Out To Help Fulfill Teen Families’ Holiday Wishes

Florence Crittenton Services’ (FCS) annual Holiday Helping Hands campaign is providing an opportunity to support teen mothers and their families during the holiday season. Florence Crittenton will provide ornaments labeled with the gift wishes of the clients, so that supporters know exactly what to purchase. Donors can then buy the gifts, securely attach the tags to the gifts and return them to FCS. Organizations/groups can set up a

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Giving Tree in a workplace, place of worship, school, store or other community location to participate. The goal is to distribute one gift for ALL of the teen mothers, and three gifts for each child. For more information and an online participation form, visit: http://flocritco.org/Holiday/givingtr eeinfo.html or call Mikayla Havens at 303-321-6363 ext. 208 or email mhavens@flocritco.org.

Nominate A Black Educator For Salute To Excellence Award

Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship & Awards Gala 2013 is accepting nominations from the public, individuals, schools, family members, colleagues, or organizations/companies. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominees must teach in any public, charter, religious, an educational organization or private school in Colorado. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. The gala will be held March 1, 2013 at the Renaissance Hotel on Quebec and Smith Road. For more information, E-mail theeductr@aol.com.

Denver Public Library Invites Families To Storytime For Children With Special Needs

Denver Public Library invites families to their Sensory Storytime designed for children with special needs and who have difficulty sitting still or focusing in groups. Children and parents will sing, read, dance, and socialize in a safe and welcoming environment. Sensory Storytime will be held on Dec. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Denver Public Library, Central Library, Children’s Pavilion, 10 W 14th Ave., Pkwy, in Denver. This program is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call 720-865-1306 or E-mail chlref@denverlibrary.org.

People’s Fair Seeks Local Musicians And Performance Groups

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc. (CHUN) is seeking a diverse and exciting mix of local entertainment for the two-day CHUN Capitol Hill People’s Fair, to be held June 1 and 2, 2013. Applications are available at www.chundenver.org or though the CHUN office (1290 Williams St. in Denver), and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Bands looking to expand their audience, introduce a new CD, or simply be part of a longstanding Denver tradition should apply for this opportunity. For more information, call 303-8301651 or visitwww.chundenver.org.


HATS OFF TO...

Dixon Sworn In As First African-American Lieutenant

Adams County Sheriff’s office swore in Louis A. Dixon III as the first AfricanAmerican Lieutenant on Sept. 6. Dixon grew up in unincorporated Adams County, where he graduated from Iver C. Ranum High School. After graduating high school, he moved to Santa Rosa, California to attend college. Upon returning to Colorado, he chose to pursue a career in law enforcement. His accomplishments include serving as an Explorer Advisor; member of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives; past board member of the Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.); a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command (Center for Public Safety); and Adams County Employee of the Year.

Customer Service Guru Receives Special DRMAC Award

The Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council recognized Ousmane Ndoye at their first award ceremony reception on Nov. 1. Nominated by DRMAC peers and consumers, Ndoye was saluted as an outstanding citizen, unselfish servant and caring friend based on his non-stop efforts to reach out to disabled Denver citizens who face mobility barriers. Ndoye, a local customer service professional, was born and raised in Senegal, Africa and became an American citizen in 2006. He was named “Best Taxi Driver in America” in 2009 by the Taxi Limousine ParaTransit Association, a non-profit trade association established in 1917 for the private passenger transportation industry that represents a far-reaching membership of over 1,100 taxicab companies across the globe.

Sights Unlimited Presents Annual TIPS Award Linda S. Mitchell-Sherman, Deborah Draper, Sights Unlimited Bowling Club Photo by Terrance Davis

In October, the Sights Unlimited Bowling Club presented the TIPS Award to Linda S. Mitchell-Sherman at their annual reception. Each year this

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Vicki Sterling Honored For Contributions To Denver Community

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District hosted the 15th annual Rex Morgan Awards which honors citizens who have enriched our communities with their extraordinary volunteerism, leadership, and advocacy. Vicki Sterling was honored for her many contributions. The Rex Morgan Award embodies the qualities of Rex Morgan, a visionary leader who helped make SCFD a reality. All recipients of the Rex Morgan award exemplify Morgan’s spirit and have helped art, science, and culture thrive in our metropolitan region.

Local Leader Receives Award For Helping Fathers Connect With Children

Denverite Dr. Nathan O’Neal was bestowed with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. The award is given to individuals who have provided 2,500 or more service hours to the community during their lifetime. O’Neal was honored for his admirable work in helping fathers connect with their children thanks to his work with the Men Behaving Dadly program housed at Denver Human Services (DHS). Men Behaving Dadly empowers fathers to become more involved in their children’s life by educating them about the court systems, child support, parenting techniques and additional support services.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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The Urban Spectrum — April 2006

1

Letters...Continued from page 3

Last night proved a victory for women and families. At the end of the day, voters across party lines rejected the hard line position that many GOP politicians, including Mitt Romney took on contraception and abortion. In fact, Obama’s win supports polls that indicate the vast majority of Americans support increasing women’s access to affordable birth control as a method of reducing unplanned pregnancies. Women who currently use contraception report that birth control helps them achieve economic autonomy and allows them to finish school, keep a job or financially support their family on their own. Quality reproductive health care is important to all women and their families regardless of immigration status. It is clear that reproductive rights and health are both an economic and social issue. The outcome of last night’s election shows that we have a positive yet challenging path ahead. With another term, we hope that President Obama will address issues that were neglected in his first term, such as the Dream Act and the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. Polls indicate Latinos considered issues such as immigration, health care, jobs and education to help them make their decision for whom to vote. These are issues that bridge all people regardless of ethnicity, gender or social class and they are key to the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Right’s (COLOR) constituency. We believe that those who are elected represent our best interests and we pledge our continued commitment to hold them accountable. We will also continue our work here on the ground in Colorado. We will continue to push for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and to ensure that the LGBT community reaches full equality in all areas including marriage and the workplace. We will also continue to advocate for more affordable federal loans for students, a faster and more efficient pathway to citizenship and access to contraception and abortion care services. As we congratulate President Obama on his win, we also call on him to listen to the voices of the people who make up America. Moving forward, we ask he consider those voices so that together we can work towards achieving reproductive justice.

En comunidad, Lorena Garcia Executive Director

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com — December 2012

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Editor’s note: The Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) is a sisterhood of Latinas. For more information, visit www.colorlatina.org.


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t is written that December 12, 1941 – October 24, 2012 Titus; to this union, Arronamus, when life begins it is like an open book Sharlene, Sheritha were born, with this union, with many blank pages; each day that we live our he became the father of Sherrina. The family shared many happy deeds are recorded page by page until we close our eyes in and precious moments together. death and await that great getting up morning. Charles accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at a very early age. He The pages of this book began for Charles Franklin Jones, Jr. when he loved spreading the good news of the gospel through preaching, singing, and drawas born on December 12, 1941, in Atlanta, Georgia to his parents, Charles matic musical performances. He was also active as a Community Advocate and Franklin Jones, Sr. and Odessa Luvenia Garlington Jones. He was the second Organizer. He was honored to be the first African American author of a coloring book child born in the family. He was raised surrounded by his brothers, Arthur, Curtis, called “The Soul Dance Circus.” He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to Eddie, James and his sister, Betty. have known this one of a kind guy who leaves a legacy of wisdom and knowledge and a Charles was affectionately called “Frank”, “Pinky”, or “Daddy” by family and friends family to cherish his memory. received his early education in Atlanta, GA. He relocated to Denver, Colorado and graduReverend Charles Franklin Jones, Jr. departed this life to the embrace of the Lord on ated from West High School on September 19, 1961. While in high school, he excelled in October 24, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. Track and Field. He furthered his education by earning his Associates Degree in Those left to mourn his loss include two sons, Charles F. Jones, III and Arronamus (Sheryl) Jones Business. He believed in the importance of education and was the type of man who was self-motivatall of Denver; five daughters, Stephanie Y. Jones, Winder, GA, Beverly A. (Michael) Graham, ed and continued to educate himself which allowed him to become quite knowledgeable in busiPhiladelphia, PA, Tashita L. Jones, Aurora, Sharlene N. Jones, Denver, Sheritha L. Jones and ness and communication. Charles enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. While serving his Sherrina A. Jones both, Philadelphia, PA; three brothers, Curtis (Tina) Jones, Eddie Dean country, he earned a National Defense Medal and a Rifle Expert Badge. He served with honor Kelly and James Kelly all Denver; his sister, Betty Jones, Denver; God Brother, Lee and distinction and was honorably discharged. In 1964, Charles united in holy matrimony to the former Lois Wade. To this Madison, Denver; 23 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren and a host of union, Charles, III, Stephanie, Beverlyand Tashira were born. ieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends.  In 1983, Charles united in wedlock to the former Sherry

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dward Jewell Garner was the youngest child of Lamar Garner Sr. and Bobbie Ella Garner. As a youngster, Ed was fascinated by the world that existed outside of his East Texas hometown of San Augustine. His childhood buddy and cousin Charles “Chuck” Garner still remembers how much time Ed spent “with his nose in the books” studying current events; and how passionate he felt about making a difference in the lives of the downtrodden. It is therefore natural for him to major in and receive his bachelor’s degree in political science from Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Along the way, Ed served as the president of the student body of the university and married his college sweetheart, Velvia Mae Taylor. One of Ed’s greatest joys was being the father of three children, Angela Nadine, Tonia Yevette and Edward James. His grandsons, Raymond Earl Washington Jr. and Edward James Jr. and great granddaughter, Tatum Elizabeth made their “Papa” so proud. The love Ed shared with his family was evident by how warmly he related to them and how they take care of each other. Anyone that knew Ed well knows that his nickname was Smooth; the name he acquired after meeting his wife while attending school together. One thing Smooth enjoyed for years was playing golf and another was making people laugh. His love for golf took him to several cities to play on popular courses domestically and internationally. His annual trip to the Winter Park Jazz Festival always started with a friendly golf game on the mountain with his golf buddies. This is an event that he looked forward to, and enjoyed for 30 years. Ed and his family have always been tireless community activists. He had a special affinity for organizations and programs that promote the positive characteristics of youths. He was a Little League football coach, worked with the Denver Jaycees, the United Negro College Fund, the Mayor’s Community Development Advisory Council and several groups within Denver Public Schools, including the PTSA Council, Human Relations Committee, Montbello Science and Math Enhancement Project, Black Education Advisory Council and several other youth related projects. He served on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Denver, the American-Israel Friendship League and the Public Education Coalition. Ed served on the Board of Directors for Partners, Kids Voting of Colorado, Stapleton Development Corporation, 100 Black Men of Colorado, National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Clayton Foundation. Ed was elected to the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in May, 1985, and served as its President for four of the six years he served. His tenure as President concluded In May of 1991. Ed’s civic activities included: a five-year term

as trustee of the Aurora Community College a gubernatorial appointment, a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Council (Community Development Agency); a member of the Community Housing Resource Board where he served as President; and past Vice-President of the Montbello Quality Life Development Corporation. Ed was a long-time member of the United Church of Montbello, an ecumenical congregation. Ed Garner had a 25 year career in Sales and Marketing for Proctor and Gamble. During the last six years of his tenure with them, he also served as a school board member for Denver Public Schools, serving as chairman the last four years of his board service. He formed The Garner Group soon afterwards, working to create partnerships between educational institutions and private businesses. In that role, he joined The Service Master Company in 1992 as a consultant. His business acumen and public education experience gave him invaluable insights into the needs of the K-12 schools market. Promoted at ServiceMaster soon afterward to Sr. Vice President of Sales, Ed was instrumental in helping to grow the company’s facilities business. When he was asked to become President of ServiceMaster’s Premier K-12 Education group, Ed assembled his team focusing on the largest K-12 school districts in the country, and nearly doubled the size of the business’ revenue in three years’ time before it became a part of ARAMARK. Ed cared deeply about people, education, and community. His legacy will include many programs that positively impacted educational leaders across the country. In addition, Ed was a huge supporter of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Superintendent of the Year program, and for several years at the Association’s National Conference on Education, helped to present the top superintendent selected by each state. Ed also spent six years as a Trustee on the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Foundation, established to support and raise funds for the Center for Public Education. He was a regular participant at annual conferences of NABSE (National Alliance of Black School Educators) and CUBE (Council on Urban Boards of Education). Most will remember Ed as someone who understood the value of publicprivate partnerships; he was able to forge easy alliances of business and education. Always a gentleman, he was easy going in nature, of quick wit, and excelled at bringing people and organizations together. His personality, as well as his business and education accomplishments, will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues around the country. 

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – December 2012

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Seeking Gospel Musician/Choir Leader (Part-time)

The United Church of Montbello is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, and missional congregation that welcomes all who wish to worship and grow with us. We embrace joyful worship that blends traditional and gospel music. We have an established adult Gospel Choir and seek a warm spirit-filled leader to teach and direct. The part-time Gospel Musician/ Choir Leader, who reports to the Pastor, will be someone with proficiency in piano/keyboard, voice, and directing a choir. Please submit your resume and cover letter for consideration to ucomontbello@qwestoffice.net. Call 303-373-0070 for more information.

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DUS December 2012