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Volume 27 Number 9

December 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris



FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS James Ainsworth Charles Emmons Angelle Fouther Angelia D. McGowan ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris



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

Saying Goodbye and Saying Hello!

The African American community has made a reputable share of positive contributions to the city of Denver, state of Colorado and the nation, and the Denver Urban Spectrum has had the honor of recording many of these contributions. Our final issue of 2013 looks back at news surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, the Colorado Black Arts Festival, It Takes a Village, Tuskegee Airmen and individuals, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields, Trayvon Martin, Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee, Dr. Robbie Bean and Charles “Chuck” Phillips, to name a few. In addition, this issue spotlights the spirit of entrepreneurship found in Kwame and Mkale Warner, owners of Good Eatin’ as well as Ras Tree and Fulani Malik, owners of Aboriginal Bling Blam. We hope this issue propels you into 2014 with the tenacity necessary to make your own mark in history. Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor

As we say good-bye to yet another year, DUS looks forward to new beginnings. We want to first say hello to our new managing editor, Angelia D. McGowan, as we say good-bye to her position as “guest managing editor.” Over the last three months she has gone beyond the call of duty with her skills and expertise for perfecting the award-winning Denver Urban Spectrum. In addition to her taking this permanent realm of duties, she has also added to her plate her partnership with BAT PR, along with myself and Tanya Ishikawa. We hope you will embrace our new endeavor as we move forward in the New Year. Lastly, and certainly not least...thank you, thank you, thank you for your support for another year with our print, online and e-newsletter publications. We could not have done it without you. We look forward to seeing you in 2014. Happy holidays and blessings to you and your family this holiday season. Rosalind J. Harris Publisher


Oprah Winfrey Plays the Race Card Op-ed by Tricia Erickson

uses the discrimination card to their advantage. And the one who yells “racist” is the real racist by shifting the issue away from the facts. One might turn the tables and pose the question to Ms. Winfrey: Ms. Winfrey, do you think that you have become one of the most famous women in the world because you are of the black race? I would venture that Ms. Winfrey would bristle with anger at the implication that she would not have achieved the same level of success if she were white. I would also wager that Ms. Winfrey would be sorely angry that all of her hard work to become the success she is today could be negated by the charge that all was awarded to her because she is of the African American race. Perhaps if Ms. Winfrey had failed to be successful in her endeavors, would she have given herself a pass and applied the same strategy she used for Barack Obama, making a similar comment like: there’s a level of disrespect for my industry that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because I’m an African American Woman. There’s no question about that. And it’s the kind of thing no one ever says, but everybody’s thinking it. The strategy of playing the race card in order to avoid addressing the facts has to end. The fact is our country is facing so many crisis’s that there is little hope that it can be turned around. The grownups have to face actualities by standing up against the polarization of truth in order to take care of business. And the very busi-

In a recent interview with the BBC, Oprah Winfrey made a racist comment about Barack Obama. Her statement was “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American,” she said. “There‘s no question about that. And it’s the kind of thing no one ever says, but everybody’s thinking it.” Well Oprah, maybe you are the one who is thinking it yourself because in case you haven’t noticed, the world has moved on, but your own racist views remain. Pardon my candor but someone needs to say it! When Barack Obama is criticized on his performance, the subject is frequently shifted to racism in order distract from the issue at hand. And when one of the most famous women in the world, who happens to be black, purposely uses the race card in order to shift the blame of Barack Obama’s abysmal performance to racism, Obama avoids all accountability to the reality of his record. When a person of color’s (white, black, yellow or any color in between) poor performance is excused by way of calling anyone that exposes substandard, inept or poor performance a racist, the pitcher of the accusation

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


ness at hand has and continues to affect every American black, white, yellow (and every color in between) man, woman and child. And please forgive my bunny trail here, but Barack Obama is half Caucasian American and half African American. I guess Oprah gets to choose which race card to play according to her intended outcome.  Editor’s note: Tricia Erickson was the first Damage Control and Crisis Management Expert in the country, as stated by Barbara Walters on the show, “20/20.” She is also a political consultant and frequent on-air contributor who has opined on FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and most major TV networks plus hundreds of radio shows. She is also the author of the controversial book, Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the U.S. Visit Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing Graphics & Design

Distribution & Circulation

Denver Urban Spectrum Countdown to


By Angelia D. McGowan

12 - The cover story for the January 2013 issue features a cover story by DUS contributor Chris Meehan on his visit to Greeley to follow 1982 World Champion bull rider Charles Sampson. This issue also remembers the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech with the historical words, “I have a dream that one day… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” Commemorating a more recent mark in U.S. history is a poem by Cameo Smith in response to the Sandy Hook Massacre on Dec. 12, 2012 where so many innocent lives were lost. Contributor Chandra Thomas Whitfield highlights an organization called Black Girls Run, established to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. The first issue of the 2013 also features Kam Williams’ interview with Jamie Foxx about his role in Django Unchained, a 2012 American western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

11 - The February 2013 cover story by contributor Chris Meehan features a long overdue story on Colorado’s Tuskegee Airmen. The article goes beyond the lights, camera and action portrayed in HBO’s The Tuskegee Airman and George Lucas’ Red Tails. This month’s issue further celebrates Black history by paying homage to our military, troops and servicemen. Contributor Chandra Thomas Whitfield talks with several Colorado veterans about how they over the years have endured the lifelong effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Local business leaders Don Brown, Billy Scott, Sid Wilson and John Marsh share their poignant and thought-provoking lifealtering experiences. Tabatha Deans writes a story about Breakfast Bunch, a group where veterans can go and “socialize, tell lies about the good old days.” This issue also showcases the 2013 African Americans Who Make a Difference and why they were selected. Hugh Johnson writes about the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama and how U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King impacted this historic event as Obama was sworn in.


10 - First Lady Michelle Obama graced the March 2013 cover in honor of Women’s History Month. Written by Angelle C. Fouther, the article guides readers from her humble beginnings growing up in a middle class family in Chicago to the being the first African American woman First Lady of the United States. Thanks to writer Charles Emmons, this issue also looks at the strength, courage and wisdom of a distinct group of women: The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority celebrating their centennial; and the community birthday celebration of Dorothy King who turned 100 in 2013. Contributor Tabatha Deans shares the determination of U.S. Naval Vice Admiral Michelle Howard – from Aurora, Colorado — the first AfricanAmerican woman to achieve a three star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces. Readers also learn about America’s oldest Park Ranger, who happens to be an African American woman. Contributor Hugh Johnson provides insight on the women who were at the White House, who is still there and who may be there as members of President Barack Obama’s next administration.

8 - The May 2013 cover story, written by Charles Emmons, recognizes Cinco de Mayo by addressing how a unique art form has come to be part of the holiday celebrating culture and freedom for the Latino community. The story showcases Linda Richardson, a local high school teacher specializing in Flamenco dancing. On another historical note, readers learn about the History Colorado Center’s presentation of “FWD: 1963-2013” in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of 1963 milestones: The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing and the March on Washington. This issue features a story on the stellar program offered for student athletes at the diverse Montbello campus and a story on how Rev. Leon Kelly leads a conversation about racism with the Boys and Girls Club. This issue highlights speakers for the REAP National Conference on the Spirituals at University of Denver happening the following month. The conference was established to facilitate a dialogue between the professionals and the general public on preserving and revitalizing the culture and legacy of the spirituals.


Caldwell African-American Research Library located in Denver’s Historic Five Points District and nationally known for its resources and collections.

6 - The July 2013 cover story features the Colorado Black Arts Festival. In the article contributor Angelia D. McGowan shares the small-town experience that initially inspired Perry Ayers, the festival cofounder and artistic director, to create Denver’s number one family friendly arts festival and keep it going for 27 years. The DUS also provides coverage of the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit, which featured the WiLMA (Women in Leadership and Management Awards) Luncheon named in honor of former legislator and Denver’s first African American first lady, the Hon. Wilma J. Webb. Twalla Stevens covers the Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion, Inc. Dinner and Formal presentation that provides personal development experiences and special recognition for Colorado’s premier high school students. Hugh Johnson shares with readers how Edward Snowden turned the world on its head with the revelation of two programs the National Security Agency uses to monitor the American and global public. Also in this issue shows how a local branch of ClubZ!, an in-home tutoring company, can support students all year round, and particularly during the summer break – a crucial time for creative learning.

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9 - In the April 2013 issue, the cover story features award-winning multi-media journalist Gloria Neal and news media executive Amani Ali. Written by Chris Meehan, the story looks at the diverse roles of the husband and wife team in the journalism industry and the nonprofit community. In recognition of the everchanging field of journalism, contributor Tabatha Deans looks at how Denver’s longtime community newspapers are faring in challenging times. DUS production assistant and former Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation participant Cecile Perrin updates readers about fellow USYF participants to see what they have been up to since the journalism programs held from 2000 to 2007. Readers learn about Sid Wilson, president of a Private Guide and his induction into the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame. Contributor Charles Emmons highlights a fundraising event where gifts from local artists benefit South Sudan. Hugh Johnson updates readers on Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields stance on reducing gun violence in light of the most recent Colorado shooting at the Aurora Theater. This issue marks the 26th anniversary of the Denver Urban Spectrum.

7 - In honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, the cover of the June 2013 issue features singer extraordinaire and Denver’s First Lady Mary Louise Lee. Contributor Angelle C. Fouther puts into perspective the First Lady’s life as a wife, mother, businesswoman, entertainer, community servant and her juggling act doing it all. This issue also re-visits “Americana Soul” singer Porter Lori to see what he has been up to since the DUS’s last visit with him a few years ago. This issue also sees Yasuo Ishikawa paying tribute to his mentor, George Keith, with the release of his new CD, “The G.K. Story.” Contributor Chris Meehan brings readers a heartwarming story about a wish of a lifetime – that recently came true when 93-year-old Jane Tedeschi, a former WASP, met Tuskegee Airman Lt. Elder James Brown. Contributor Angelia D. McGowan profiles Charles “Chuck” Phillips, a philanthropic business man with a passion for education and family. Contributor Annette Walker highlights the 10-year-anniversary of the Blair-

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



5 - The August 2013 cover story focuses on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s “State of the City” address and the “not guilty” verdict in the murder of Trayvon Martin. The issue is dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin and the many voices who wanted to be heard and should be, locally and nationally, from President Barack Obama to Alex Fraser, who wrote a letter to accuser George Zimmerman, to Stevie Wonder and the entertainment community. This issue is dedicated to Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Morgan for their strength and fortitude for family. This issue is also dedicated to Jahvaris Fulton for his love of a brother. Contributor Chandra Thomas Whitfield writes about Mo’ Betta Green MarketPlace located in Five Points, and its offering of locally-grown juicy fruits,

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savory vegetables, fresh-made-to-order juices and more. Wil Alston also covers the return of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner with the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver.

4 - In the September 2013 issue, the cover story features a story by Angelia D. McGowan on Dr. Robbie Bean and the road this dynamic woman traveled before founding Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. It features a story on the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. Written by Charles Emmons, the article provides a deeper appreciation for how a realtist (not realtor) can help people plan to buy a home and stay in it. Chris Meehan writes about Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, an alternative school that attracts students from across the country seeking the best way to graduate high school and then pursue higher education. Hugh Johnson writes about the importance of understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Contributor Angelle C. Fouther writes about the upcoming opening of the Nancy P. Anschutz Center at 34th and Holly in Northeast Park Hill. This issue recognizes the continuing importance of the Colorado Black Women for Political Action. This issue also recognizes the Denver Urban Spectrum contributing writers who received awards at the Colorado Association of Black Journalists 26th Annual Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet.

3 - Featured on the cover of the October 2013 is It Takes a Village, an 11year-old nonprofit organization that serves as a safe haven for people of all races and genders living with HIV/AIDS. Just as important this annual health issue also provides perspective on the personal journey with breast cancer for two of Colorado’s prominent African Americans – Valeria Howard-Vason and Roland “Fatty” Taylor. Taylor’s story sheds light on a little-known fact that men can have breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States this year, with about 410 men dying from breast cancer. This issue also looks at a simple blood test that can reveal kidney disease in its early stages, hopefully long before irreparable damage begins. With the November municipal elections around the corner, this issue also profiles candidates running for school board in Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools as well


progress of Colorado’s African American and Latino communities over six decades. Another story of historical relevance is the 148th Anniversary of Zion Baptist Church, happening in November. It is a testament to how long a mission can live when you plan for those who will come after you. As part of the celebrations, the church honored 102 members who have been with the church for more than 50 years.

as candidates seeking city council seats in Aurora.

2 - The memorial service for Colorado former Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, who served 1999-2002, dominates the cover of the November 2013 issue. His death on Oct. 7 reminds us of the accomplishments one can make when expectations are great. The article covers the public services held for this “man of principle.” Readers also learn about the Colorado Black Roundtable’s summit addressing the “Losing Ground” report, developed by the I-News Network ─ the public-service journalism arm of Rocky Mountain PBS. The report provides a balance sheet for the


Art stories include a piece on the recently-created Colorado Black Arts Movement and Paul Hamilton’s African art collection which speaks to the rich history and contributions of the African community to the world.

1 - The entirety of the December 2013 issue provides a review of the Denver Urban Spectrum for the year 2013.

Best Wishes for a Happy,

Healthy and Prosperous 2014!

Paint theTown IN







Denver Zoo Through January 5

Denver Center for the Performing Arts November 29 - December 29

Denver Art Museum Through February 9

Denver Botanic Gardens November 29 - January 1

Paint the town for the holidays in The Mile High City and experience festive events and attractions for the whole family. Plus, find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at Denver’s premier shopping destinations including Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Cherry Creek North, Denver Pavilions, Larimer Square, Belmar and Park Meadows Retail Resort. Make plans and find great hotel deals at MILEHIGHHOLIDAYS.COM

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


MYTHBUSTERS: THE EXPLOSIVE EXHIBITION Denver Museum of Nature & Science Through January 5

On Nov. 7, students, parents and

community members gathered at HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp to admire student artists’ masterpieces at the annual art show. This year, the event featured over 250 pieces by HOPE students from 17 of HOPE’s 40+ Learning Centers. Students took the opportunity to display their hard work, marvel at the art of their peers and celebrate the HOPE community. HOPE provides students with activities and events to keep them engaged, boost their self-confidence and promote a sense of school affiliation among students from its many diverse Learning Centers. These extracurricular activities encourage a variety of experiences, which are crucial to supporting student success. Shauna McCullough-Hightower, a Student Admissions Specialist at HOPE and an art show committee member, believes that the art show is a perfect example of how HOPE achieves its goals by engaging students’ interests. “Students feel connected, not just with the school, but with their other classmates,” she said. “They have a sense of pride and accomplishment when their families and community

HOPE Celebrates Student Artists at Annual Event By Heather O’Mara

1.) Ramon, a student at HOPE's Maranatha Learning Center, gets advice from local artist Ira Fail, of Boxcar Gallery in Denver. 2).Over 250 students from 17 of HOPE's Learning Centers submitted a piece for this year's art show. 3.)A 3-D sculpture of Predator, by HOPE senior Justin, won the Fan Favorite award.

members come to see their displays of their art.” HOPE’s art show welcomed the participation of students of all skill levels. All HOPE students from kindergarten through 12th grade were invited to display one item; all mediums were accepted, including drawings, paintings, 3-D art, sculptures, jewelry and more. Based on votes from attendees, “Fan Favorite” ribbons were awarded

to 50 students. Art show visitors eagerly left comments by each art piece – a feature that was included to foster encouragement and support for students. The show also included an interactive crafting station for the younger attendees. In addition to the gallery viewing, students had the opportunity to get advice from a local artist, Ira Fail of Boxcar Gallery in Denver. Fail attended the event to show students some of

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


his work and offer his perspective to budding artists. Demonstrating his enthusiasm for the art show and emphasizing the important role that the arts play in keeping students engaged, Fail said, “It’s about expression. Kids who struggle with writing or aren’t as interested in school, still want to express themselves. It’s important that they have other outlets, like art.” A true testament to the positive energy fostered by the art show, Zachary, a HOPE senior who attended the event to support his friends, was inspired to get back into art. “Seeing my friends’ art, and talking to Ira Fail, made me want to get into drawing again,” he said. Justin, another HOPE senior won a “Fan Favorite” award for his 3-D sculpture of the creature from Predator, a piece inspired by his goal to work in the film industry, focusing on costume design and special effects. Affirming the art show’s success of bringing students together, Justin said, “This event helps students let out their creative energy. It allows us to get recognized and show off our talent. You don’t see a community like this at every school.” Editor’s note: For information on HOPE Online Learning Academy call 720-4023000 or email

Jack & Jill Beaus Justin Howard, Jordan Strickland, and Charles Bruce

In 1992, Richard Majors and Janet

Mancini Billson wrote the book “Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Black Manhood in America.” The book studied the posture assumed by young Black males in the “inner city.” This cool pose is identified by a distinctive swaggering gait, unflappability, elaborate handshakes, and flashy or provocative clothes, the purpose of which are to show the dominant culture that “we are strong and proud, despite our status in American society.” The pose is, however, often misread by teachers, principals, and police officers as an attitude of defiance and a lack of depth. These perceptions and resulting outcomes are further exacerbated by negative representations of Black males conveyed to the public through the news, film, music videos, reality television, and other programming and forms of media. While this was a groundbreaking cultural examination in 1992, the members of the Denver Chapter of Jack & Jill of America understood the phenomenon fully well in 1984 when then, led by June Johnson and Winnie Johnson (not related), held their first Beautillion. The event served to lift up the achievements of African American Black males during their senior year in high school, and thus counteract the negative stereotypes while embracing the uniqueness of these young men. Often referred to as a debutante ball for males, the Beautillion actually has its own flavor—highlighting the Beaus’ depth, intellect, and excellence, while embracing and showcasing the unique brand of “swagger.”

The 30th Annual Beautillion – A Brotherhood of Beaus

On Dec. 22, The Denver Chapter will celebrate its 30th annual Beautillion at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. This year, 29 African American male high school seniors from the Denver metro area will be honored for their distinction in academics, leadership, community service, and/or athletics. The Beaus, donning top hats and tails, are accompanied by equally talented young ladies, who escort them clad in white ball gowns and gloves. The Beautillion has grown over the past three decades and all members of Jack & Jill, including the children, moth-


Thirty Years of Embracing and Celebrating African American Young Men By Angelle C. Fouther

ers, fathers, and associates members (those whose youth have graduated high school) participate. The gala— which draws nearly 700 family members, teachers, mentors, dignitaries, and business leaders—is the culmination to several months of workshops, community service, and dance rehearsals that Beaus participate in. This year’s theme, A Brotherhood of Beaus, reflects the engagement of the 2013 Beaus with the informal fraternity of over 800 Beau Alum, who are leaders in business, law, entertainment, sports, politics, and education in all areas of the country. Many Denverarea Alums have connected with current honorees throughout the fall, sharing their stories, advice, and support. They include: Will Anderson, Terry Anderson, Kendall Brandon, Theo Chapman, Kendall Davis Robertson, Anthony Graves, Adrian Green, Kristopher Green, Brendon Henderson, Derrick Keeton, Happ Legg, Jovan Melton, Tony Pigford, Theo Wilson, and Dr. Ryan Ross, a Beau in 1997, who will co-emcee this year’s Beautillion along with Kyle Speller, announcer and chaplain for the Denver Nuggets. “In too many circles we (Black males) are counted out, marginalized, embraced with low expectations, and only highlighted in a negative manner,” says Ross, who is the Dean of Student Retention for Community College of Denver. “Programs like Jack and Jill’s Beautillion help dispel the stereotypes

Jack & Jill Beaus present to Vickers Boys & Girls Club youth

and shed much needed light on the many talented, academically focused, and community oriented young men in the Black community. Celebrating these young men, demanding rigor from them, and providing the appropriate platform to introduce them to society is also paramount to their success.” The theme of brotherhood has also been exemplified by the bonds created between the current class and their outreach to elementary school and middle school aged youth. Throughout the fall, teams of Beaus developed and presented workshops at Vickers Boys & Girls Club in Northeast Park Hill. Topics included the importance of education, balancing sports with school work, and counteracting bullying. The Denver Chapter will be sponsoring two tables for youth of the Vickers Boys & Girls Club to attend the Beautillion. Three of the 2013 Beaus are Denver Chapter’s own: Charles Bruce (Denver School of Science & Technology), Justin Howard, and Jordan Strickland (both attending Cherokee Trails High School). Beau Charles (Chas) Bruce says that he has watched the Beautillion for the last 10 years as a member of Jack & Jill through the close involvement and leadership of his mother, DeVita Bruce. “I've been one of the kids that hands out canes to the Beaus during their dance,” Chas states. “As a Beau, now I understand how much practice and how many hours of side-work go into this event to make it a success. As a whole, I'm looking forward to life after the Beautillion because it's opened my eyes to the world in new ways and given me connections and a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


2013 Beaus

Myles Adams, Denver Christian Schools Nathaniel Bradley III, Rangeview Charles Bruce, Denver School of Science & Technology Kameron Butler, Regis Jesuit Kyle Colley, Cherry Creek High School Sequoyah Copeland-Doyle, East Nathaniel Cox, Denver School of Science & Technology Dawit Gebresellassie, George Washington Deion Graham-Long, Mullen Trevon Hamlet, Kent Denver Corey Hickman, East Antonio Hill, Mullen Justin Howard, Cherokee Trail Jamal Johnson, Overland Dakari Lawrence, Martin Luther King Jr. Early College Kennedy Lindsay, East Phillip Mars, Cherokee Trail Ashton Matthews, Cherokee Trail Elijah Miller, Mullen Vaughn O'Hara, George Washington Nosakhare Osazuwa, Cherokee Trail Andrew Phillips, Smokey Hill Dwight H. Pullen III, Denver School of Science & Technology Josiah Sayles, Martin Luther King Jr. Early College Jordan Strickland, Cherokee Trail Staylen Taylor, George Washington Andrew Tillman, Overland Solomon J. Van Buren, Rangeview Jeremiah Wright-Graham, George Washington

support system to help me (and the rest of the Beaus) to be successful in the future.” DeVita says her family has considered the Beautillion an integral part of their holiday season for the past decade. “For me, Beautillion night will bring my experience full circle when my son and his guests can experience the magic anew, and when he is enclosed in a circle of men whose high ideals and commitment to excellence were celebrated and acknowledged by our community.” She adds that she believes her son's dream will transform from being the one celebrated to looking forward to coming back year after year to celebrate and encourage others. Robin Lawson, Denver Chapter President, shares: “Our former and present Beaus are young men that consistently defy stereotypes on a daily basis. Our Beautillion celebrates them for who they are today and who they will become in the future.” This year’s event is chaired by Dr. Janette Andrews, Angelle Fouther, and Victoria Scott-Haynes. Editor’s note: For tickets or more information about the Beautillion visit or email

Athletics and Academics Have Led to the Resurgence of a Once Proud Community and School A Message from Montbello Green Valley Ranch Community Members

Communities throughout the

United States are united by the high

schools that serve the children of their community. The Montbello Green

Valley Ranch community of Denver is

no different. (It is) a community that has embraced athletics in its youth sports as well as high school for the past 30 years. Montbello High School’s proud tradition of academics and athletics during the 1980s and 1990s began to change at the turn of the century. The racial make-up of the community and school began to take a drastic change. The community and high school entered a period of extremely poor academic achievement as racial tensions exploded. Gang-related assaults, shooting and stabbings quickly became prevalent. Montbello a once proud community and school were now viewed as a place for out of control kids, high crime and low academic performance. The parents and children who wanted to learn and have an opportunity to enter college after high school elected to attend other high schools – leaving a large number of children with no plan or desire to attend college roaming the halls of Montbello High School. The proud tradition of excellence in sports quickly eroded due to the lack of discipline of the athletes left in the school. Montbello athletic programs suffered in large part because the children left to participate struggled with their grades. They struggled with making good decisions in all aspects of their lives therefore the athletic programs quickly became a source of embarrassment for the community and school. The school struggled through a high turnover rate with principals, athletic directors and teachers in an effort to turn around the rapid decline. In 2009, the low point of representation of the community and school was seen when the high school football team did not manage to win a single game. The schools test scores and GPAs (grade point average) along with its graduation rate were equally as bad. The Montbello community and school needed a positive change to happen in order to turn things around.

Jante Gadson

Al Thompson

for all students who wanted to participate in sports. Cephers said that these kids need to raise their GPAs in order to qualify for athletic scholarship for college. That standard set by the NCAA is a 2.5 GPA. The majority of athletes playing at Montbello at the time had GPAs in the range of 1.3 and 1.8. During the spring of 2010, Cephers approached his track and field coach and asked him to consider being the head football coach as well. He said that what we do with the football program over the next four seasons will determine how the community and schools judge us. He said we need to build a program that is competing with the best programs in the state and have seniors graduating academically prepared to go to college. In the 2010 season the Montbello football team struggled but managed to win two games and competed in several other games that year. The school and athletic programs had a renewed energy and participation numbers increased as well. Unfortunately Denver Public Schools (DPS) decided to change directions with the education and schools in the Montbello Green Valley Ranch community. DPS announced that they would close Montbello High School

That change did not come with a new principal. That change did not come with any new teachers. That change came in the form of Tyrone Cephers hired as the new athletic director halfway through the 2009 fall season. He quickly assessed the condition of the school and athletic programs. As a young man he told all of the coaches at that time that the football program was the first fall sport each year. It was important for the football program to be competitive to ensure a since of pride and unity within the school. He then spoke to the high school track and field coach about (the) training needs of the athletes and they worked together to establish goal-setting methods to let the students know that if they wanted to find success after high school they would need to set goals that they could work toward. Cephers realized that the entire culture at Montbello High School needed to be changed. The athletes did not care if they won or lost as long as they were playing and wearing the uniforms. Cephers said that has to change. Under his leadership a training program was implemented and a change in academic standards was set

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


after the spring of 2014. They would install several charter schools in the area and stated this school would have a positive impact on test score year after year and GPAs. The community did not like the idea and as a result, in the fall of 2011, only nine players entering the 9th grade decided to stay in the community and play football. The entire football program suffered with a total of a 50 percent drop in player participation. Needless to say the team won only one game and the coaches had to start the process of asking community parents to trust the plans for schools in the community and keep their boys playing football at Montbello. In 2012 the season began with hopes of the first winning season for Montbello in nearly seven years. Cephers and his coaches struggled with getting players to practice because the charter school which had been installed all worked on individual bell schedules. So many players were not able to come to practice until 5pm. Unfortunately for Montbello, there was no plan from DPS to provide lights at the practice field so that Montbello could hold equal practice time when the sunset by 6:30pm. In addition, the Montbello football team was placed in a league of top teams in the state. In addition to four of the top teams in the state in their conference, they faced a non league schedule which included three other top 10 schools in the state. Seven of the 10 games would be played against top 10 programs. Cephers and his staff managed to win four games but competed in all 10 games. In addition to training and working hard for success on the athletic field, the coaches, led by Cephers, worked with the players to get their class assignments done. All the coaches preached the importance of home work and study time. In three years Cephers plan was working. The DPS athletics department reported that Montbello athletics across the board had dramatic improvements in GPAs. The football players increased their GPAs from a team average of 1.63 in 2009 to 2.83 in 2012. Year after year the study habits and coaching has helped the student athletes lead by example the rest of

The Final Stand

Join us for the 4th annual Colorado Gives Day. $37.2 million has been distributed to over 1,200 Colorado nonprofits since 2010. This year, December 10th is your chance to raise the mark and give where you live. Visit for more information.

4 Jalon Martin

25 Gerardo Barraza, 6 Marquille Jones, 11 AJ Thompson, 1 Jante Gadson, and 24 Marquell Ruiz

“It has been amazing to see the progress of Colorado Gives Day since it began in 2010. It’s a testiment to the philanthropy of Colorado citizens as they continue to amaze us with their generosity year after year.” Danielle N. Vaughan Vice President FirstBank Holding Company Community Reinvestment and Fair Lending 303.626.6713

34 Jerell Nettles

the school. The only thing missing was on the field success. In 2013 the Montbello High School program was still viewed as one of the same bad programs in the state of Colorado. The team had to find a way to win games to solidify Cephers plan to turn the athletics and academics program around at Montbello. The 2013 football season began for the Warriors with three wins in the first three games setting up the Colorado High School football game of the week between undefeated Denver South and undefeated Montbello. The game hosted by Montbello at the Evie Dennis Campus in Green Valley was the biggest game with DPS teams in over a decade. The game also had two of the very best coaching staffs in the state competing against each other. The community turned out and watched a great high school football game. Montbello won a hard fought game and gained the respect of the state for being a very good football team once again. Tyrone Cephers’ plan had been a success on the athletic field and in the class room. Montbello went on to be ranked as high as number five in the state football polls and made it to the playoffs for the first time in since 2008. Yes indeed the culture at the school and in the community has once again returned to one with pride for every member of the Montbello Green Valley community. Member FDIC

The Montbello Warriors traveled across the state to play the number one team in the state in Montrose Colorado. The Montbello team had been predicted to be beaten by a large margin by Montrose. In what may be the game of the year, the Warriors played an inspired game. The game went back and forth until the final minute of the game before the Warriors came up short 31-25. Coaches and parents told the young men from Montbello that they represented themselves, their community and their school with dignity and pride. We all should be giving them a round of applause. Many years have passed since anyone outside of the Montbello Green Valley Ranch community has taken notice of the young people from Montbello High School. This let’s all of us have faith in our young people and the direction of sports and academics at Montbello High School. Thank you Mr. Tyrone Cephers and your coaches for all the work you have put in with very little appreciation from DPS and the community. Your efforts can and will impact the lives of our children and community for years to come. Editor’s Note: The Denver Urban Spectrum published the article, “Montbello Regional Sports Teams Succeed with Increased Attention to Rigorous Coursework” in the May 2013 issue.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



A Timeless Denver Holiday Favorite Celebrates the Spirit of the Season with Dance and Music From Around the World

Dance Ensemble Celebrates its 22nd Holiday Season of

Granny Dances To A Holiday Drum

Inheriting Generosity “I had two middle class parents. My mother had an annuity and my father had an insurance policy which paid out to all five of their kids when they passed away. I could have spent this modest inheritance on any number of things. But then I thought of the values my folks set for us and I chose to give to the Impact Investing Fund at The Denver Foundation. “I’ve made the best of the gift that has been given to me – my values and my charitable contribution ensure that part of my parents’ legacy will endure. I trust The Denver Foundation to make it happen.” Whether it’s an inheritance, a year-end bonus, business liquidity event, or transfer of stocks or unusual assets, The Denver Foundation can help you make tax-wise charitable decisions, connect you to causes and organizations that fit your passions, and power your giving for years to come! Call us at 303.300.1790 and ask about donor-advised funds, or visit

Jandel Allen-Davis, MD Vice President, Government and External Relations Kaiser Permanente

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


For more than 20 years, The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble has been blending dance, live music, spoken word, and holiday celebrations from around the world into a memorable holiday tradition like none other. A Denver original, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum is a family favorite that has been inspiring patrons of all ages for a generation; celebrating and honoring holiday traditions gathered from cultures around the globe. The story: 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 and performed 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, Kwanzaa in the United States, 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 from around the world, bringing them alive once again for her grandchildren through dance, live music, and storytelling. What’s new this year? The 22nd anniversary season of Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum brings an expanded opening processional, encompassing the “Granny” story through multiple generations and traditions. An audience favorite is the Celtic scene that reveals the ancient roots of many of our most beloved holiday symbols. This same scene then moves from the ancient to the more modern, showing how the traditional rhythms of Ireland and Africa converged into the unique American art form of tap dance. Audiences will also enjoy a Native American scene which, through the artistic support and guidance of Denver’s indigenous community, shows the spiritual and cultural commonality that exists between Native American and African traditions. This little-known historic relationship between escaped African American slaves and those indigenous nations which quietly helped them on their way reveals a legacy of struggle that oftentimes resulted in the merging of these groups into family units, ushering in the birth of new cultural traditions. As spry as ever, this year’s “Granny” promises to once again dance its way into Denver’s hearts, reigniting the magic that has made it one of the city’s most beloved family traditions; a festive celebration of the spirit of the season that inspires audiences both young and old. Continued on next page

Bring Good Eatin’ to Your Table F

By Charles Emmons

amilies are increasingly more conscious of what goes on their dinner table. Trans fats, fast foods, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and antibiotics are out. Healthier choices are in. This includes more fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as more healthy protein choices in minimally processed meats and fish. Weekly, families are inundated with newspaper ads and mail featuring advertising circulars for special bargains on every type of food outlet. But the owners and staff at Good Eatin’ in Aurora want families to make the choice to put fresh, healthy, affordable meat and fish on the table that the whole family will enjoy. Husband and wife business partners Kwame and Mkale Warner started the company in 2007 because they saw a lack of quality meats that were available in markets. After running a real estate investment enterprise for several years, which they were forced to close during the recession, was created in part out of necessity.

CPRD’s Granny Dances... Continued from previous page Cleo Parker Robinson (Shakti), the acclaimed artistic director, dancer and choreographer, has assembled a stellar cast and production team, showcasing some of Denver’s finest professional actors and musicians. The members of her internationally acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Cleo II (her second company) and students of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Youth Ensemble and School are also showcased. This 22nd anniversary production of Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum welcomes Margarita Taylor as “Granny” for her sixth season, with 22 year “Granny” veteran Vincent C. Robinson and Ensemble alumni Katie Swenson joining as the three “Angels of the Rainbow.”  Editor’s note: Performances will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-20 with evening and matinee shows at the Byron Theatre Newman Center for the Performing Arts, University of Denver at 2344 East Iliff (@ University Blvd). For more information or to purchase tickets by phone call 303-871-7720. To purchase tickets online, visit

Launched with $1,000, the company’s first exposure was door-to-door sales and farmers markets. The brick and mortar operation in northwest Aurora opened Memorial Day weekend in 2011. Good Eatin’ is a contemporary butcher specializing in meat packages that can be purchased for as low as $38 for the Senior Pac, which was developed by Mkale’s mother, Dee Anderson. Six other packages range from $59 for the Affordable and Delicious to $165 for the Great for a Family of Five. Packages are somewhat pre-determined, and can include steaks, chicken, pork chops, steak burgers, chicken nuggets, catfish and tilapia. But the Warners want customers to choose, so substitutions are allowed. Initially knowing little about the business, the Warners have worked diligently to educated themselves about the industry. They work with Colorado ranchers in sourcing grass fed, grass finished beef, and the fish is individually quick frozen at the source, which preserves freshness. Fish purchased in grocers and warehouse stores may have been refrigerated up to a week before you buy it because of multiple handling. Good Eatin’s chickens are all natural. The Warners are committed to the ‘from farm to table’ concept and they cook everything they sell. “We believe in the integrity of the product that we sell to our customers,” says Kwame Warner. The location for their shop is also important. The shop, currently next to a 7-Eleven at the intersection of Montview and Galena, was formerly Walt’s Fresh Meats, so there was some infrastructure in place. The neighborhood, situated between Stapleton and Fitzsimmons, is a mix of single-family homes and budget apartments. The Warners are committed to meeting everyone’s needs and have gotten creative with their offerings. They accept most cred-

it cards and the EBT Colorado Quest The word has spread and the comCard, but it doesn’t stop there. An munity has responded. Their sales incentive program allows customers to doubled the first year, and in the seccollect reward points (1 point for ond year, they grew another 75 perevery dollar spent). After 250 points cent, according to Mkale. “We someare earned through purchases, custimes have three generations of famitomers are rewarded with a $10 gift lies in the store at a time shopping card. Points accumulate and do not together,” she said. The strength of expire. They relate the story of a custheir business is in listening to the customer, usually using an EBT Colorado tomer. Quest card, who paid $5 for a $59 “We are not all about taking,” says package after accumulating enough Kwame. Their success has inspired points. them to give back to the community. Good Eatin’ is more than just a Expanding upon the incentive promeat dispensary. Their aim is to cregram, they developed the Harvest ate a culture of good food and family Program, benefitting churches and time around the stove, barbeque and non-profits. Congregants use the ID above all the dinner table. Healthier signed to their church when making choices build healthy families. Kwame purchases, and at the end of the and Mkale are month, Good willing to do Eatin’ cuts a check their part by back to the church providing based on 10 peraffordable, cent of the purhealthy meat chases using the and fish offerID. Kwame, a volings and the unteer with the education and recently held 100 instruction for Men Who Cook easy preparagala, have also tion despite the partnered with busy schedules of their customers. turkey giveaways to the community. Recently they partnered with Most admired entrepreneurs are Stapleton Foundation’s Be"When Well Health those have tremendous success you leavewho your job... Initiative. with their business and brand. But don't leave money behind!" The customer experience is at the Kwameyour and Mkale Warner see success forefront of Good Eatin’s business. in their process as well. “We are entreMyra Donovan, preneurs CLU, ChFC, Realizing that you have numerous for aCFP lifetime,” says Mkale. places to spend your grocery dollar, Financial Adviser “We have succeeded and failed. Some Kwame says they don’t really chase things we did right and we have made after the Wal-Mart, King Soopers or corrections. 3200 Cherry Creekcourse Drive South, #700 We want to see warehouse customer. “Rather than what the customer sees on the other Denver, CO 80209 competing, we are creating,” he says. side of the counter and build a level of 303-871-7249 - The Warners are confident they are on community and culture.” the right path by listening to and Come see what’s in Good Eatin’s counseling customers on meat purcounter and you may be surprised by "Call Today for a FREE chases. Everyone loves to come in what you’ll find to put on your table and talk with Tim Johnson, one of to growConsultation!" healthier families and comtheir associates, who works at Good munities.  Eatin’ with his wife Joanne. Kwame Editor’s note: For more information, stop jokingly referred to themselves as by Good Eatin’ at 10203 Montview Blvd., “meattenders” and said that 95 pervisit or call cent of their business is word of 303-360-7781. mouth.

"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 -

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!"

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



Taking Care of Business Recent events attended by

DUS Staff

Denver Urban Spectrum which included luncheons, reception and dinners and receptions were diverse and inspirational.

Tracy Martin, have recently been swamped with civil rights cases from across the nation. Parks talked about his start in law, the status of the stand your ground laws, and the emotions of the attorneys and Martin’s family with the “not guilty” verdict. He also stressed the need for people “who run to the battle.” Also on the agenda was Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields, who reminded the audience of the upcoming legislative session and the need for citizen support. During the luncheon,

Harvest of Hope attendees Rev. John McCullough, Church World Service President and CEO and Harvest of Hope Keynote, and his wife Joann McCullough with Adrian Miller, Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches, Kathryn Roy, Co-founder and 2013 Chair, and Tamara Banks, Mistress of Ceremonies. Photo by Blacktie

L E T I T G L O W, W , L E T I T G L O W, W


Blossoms OF LIGHT

Nov.. 29 – Jan. 1 Nov 5:30-9:30 p.m.

10TH & YORK STREET Winter inter blooms with a million glittering lights! Sparkling passages & brand new displays Twinkle, winkle, TTwinkle winkle Little Bar & strolling choirs (select evenings)

More than 300 people attended the 12th and final Harvest of Hope on Oct. 24 at the Seawell Grand Ballroom. Keynote speaker Mary Obiero, Church World Service East African program director, shared uplifting stories on CWS’ various global programs involving water, youth and nutrition. Other speakers included Rev. John McCullough, CWS president and CEO, Imani Latif, It Takes a Village executive director and the creators of Harvest of Hope – Kathryn Roy, Mary Ann McGeady and Pauline Miles. The evening also featured a silent auction, colorful African marketplace, and a performance by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. More than $13,000 was raised during the evening.

Trail of LIGHTS C-470 & WADSWORTH BLVD. In the trail, winter is glistening! Sleigh bells ring (on select evenings) Kettle corn corn & hot drinkss drinkss Toasty Toasty fire pit Historical homestead decorated for Christmas

For more infor information, mation, visit www ASSOCIATE ASSOCIA TE SPONSORS



Daryl Parks (center) with DUS Managing Editor Angelia McGowan and Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris

The NAACP-Denver Branch welcomed Daryl D. Parks, Esq., managing partner of Parks and Crump, to the Freedom Fund luncheon at Park Hill Golf Course on Nov. 3. Parks and Crump, who represent Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Rita Lewis, Esq., president of the Denver Branch, announced that the branch, along with several others in the nation, had been awarded a World AIDS 2014 Grant from the NAACP National Office to inform people about AIDS. On Nov. 7, the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Chamber Connect Leadership Program celebrated the 2013 graduates. Among the 34 graduates was Javon Brame, who was recognized with the Rising Star Award. The Denver native and Langston University (Oklahoma) graduate said when he returned to Denver he was no longer familiar with the environment. The program served as his “reintroduction to the professional community in Colorado. I was looking for trend setters and go getters.” The class of 2013 spent countless hours in the classroom, attending events/outings and giving back to the community. Other awardees include Brandis Meeks (Outstanding Initiative Award,) Derrick Haynes, Ph.D (Inspiration Award), Nneka McPhee (Outstanding Dedication Award), and Tanaka Shipp (Distinguished Graduate Award). Six individuals or organizations were recognized at the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Ascension Awards Gala on Nov. 9. The awards and honorees were Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Damaria Jackson, Emaune Design;

REFLECTIONS The 2013 Chamber Connect Leadership program graduation.

Top 2014 AfricanAmerican, Minority and Diversity Internship Programs

Photo by Lens of Ansar

The New Year is fast approaching and many companies and organizations are already announcing that they are accepting applications for their upcoming internship programs. Here’s a list of the top 2014 internship programs for African Americans:

Emerging Professional of the Year Award Winner: Ed Wingfield, Wingfield Management Group; Corporate Executive of the Year Award Winner: Moses Brewer, Miller Coors; Non-Profit of the Year Award Winner: Potter’s House of Denver; Small Business of the Year Award Winner: Wystone’s World Teas; and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: Rosalind J. Harris; publisher of the Denver Urban Spectrum. U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette served as the guest speaker at a reception for the African Leadership Group on Nov. 22 at the Johnson and Wales campus. She shared what she learned on her trip to Addis, Ababa Ethiopia, also her first trip to Africa. The August 2013 trip, “Africa’s Emergence: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States” was led by the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. The African Leadership Group (ALG) is led by PaPa Dia. On Nov. 23, a community of people stood in line in early morning, cold temperatures for the Epworth Foundation’s annual “Daddy Bruce” Randolph Feed a Family Thanksgiving program. Alongside the people was a parade of Metro Taxi Denver drivers, who volunteered to

assist the program by delivering more than 1,700 food baskets to Denver residents who were unable to leave their homes. The program is in honor of the spirit and generosity of “Daddy Bruce” Randolph, and is estimated to have assisted more than 7,100 families in 2013 through basket pickup at Epworth Methodist Church and Metro Taxi deliveries. Metro Taxi has participated in this program for more than 20 years, and more than 100 drivers volunteered their time, cabs and fuel to deliver the meals. Walmart donated a majority of the food.  Metro Taxi helping at the Epworth Foundation’s annual “Daddy Bruce” Randolph Feed a Family Thanksgiving program

#1 - The NBA Internship Program offers college students an exciting opportunity to use their skills and classroom learning within a national sports environment. Learn more at

#2 - The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program is a 10-week, full-time, paid summer work opportunity for deserving students with an interest in the NASCAR industry. Learn more at

#3 - Black Enterprise Internships are designed to provide real-life work experiences for college students interested in a career in the media industry. Learn more at #4 - The NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship offers an opportunity for a minority, female college student to be chosen for a unique two-year internship program. Learn more at

#5 - The Minority Access Internship Program offers spring, summer and fall internships for college sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduates and professionals. Learn more at

#6 - Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internships are available for college students pursuing undergraduate associates or bachelor’s degrees. Learn more at

Rev. Ronald Wooding and Rev. King Harris (far left) with volunteers at the Epworth Foundation’s annual “Daddy Bruce” Randolph Feed a Family Thanksgiving program Photo by Lens of Ansar

#7 - Explore Microsoft Internship Program is for current college undergraduate minority students pursuing a degree in computer science or software engineering. Learn more at

#8 - BET Networks Internships provides paid internships for both undergraduate and graduate college students at five different locations. Learn more at

#9 - The UNCF/NAACP Gateway to Leadership Internship Program is a 10-week paid summer internship for undergraduate students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Learn more at

#10 - The White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program offers an exciting experience for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in improving education outcomes for African Americans. Editor’s note: Learn more at To view more 2014 African American internships, visit: To search hundreds of other 2014 internships, visit:

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Do you need help paying for

child care? CCAP Can Help 720.944.KIDS (5437) The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families that are working, going to school or looking for a job afford child care. CCAP provides financial assistance for children up to age 13 and special needs youth up to age 19.

The CBCC Ascension Awards Gala Celebrates the Black Business Community L to R: Mistress of ceremonies Meagan Fitzgerald, CBCC President and CEO Nicole Singleton, Small Business of the Year award winner Wy Livingstone and Corporate Executive of the Year award winner Moses Brewer


he Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) hosted its 2013 Ascension Awards Gala on Saturday, November 9. Several hundred were in attendance as the Chamber recognized and celebrated the accomplishments of numerous business professionals and organizations for their contributions to the business and AfricanAmerican community. Keynote speaker, Mark D. Goodman, chairman and CEO of Boyer Coffee, inspired attendees as he shared his business journey with words of wisdom and advice. Mistress of ceremony, Meagan Fitzgerald, of Channel 9News, kept the evening flowing as the 17 finalists and seven award winners were presented. Nicole Singleton, president and Chief Executive Officer of CBCC, presented the Ascension Awards during the Gala. The Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to 16-year old Damaria Jackson, owner of Emaune Design who makes custom-made clutches. The Emerging Professional of the Year Award was presented to Ed Wingfield of Wingfield Management Group, who is also the president of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Moses Brewer of Miller Coors, who talked about his retirement after 31 years of serving the community, deservingly received the Corporate Executive of the Year Award. In accepting his reward, he reminded the audience of encouraging words he

CBCC President and CEO Nicole Singleton presents special presentation to Miller Coors as the Premier Event Sponsor

received from his mother as he went though life. “Always say thank you, I love you and I’m sorry – if you know you’ve done something wrong; and remember that charity begins at home and spreads abroad.” Something we can attest to that Brewer does very well. The Non-Profit of the Year Award winner was The Potter’s House of Denver. Graciously accepting the award was Pastor Chris Hill and First Lady Joy Hill. The Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Wystone’s World Teas. Owner Wy Livingston was recognized for her business that consists of a 120 seat tea bar, café and retail establishment, a wholesale division, a production development and a franchise division. Saunders Construction took home the high honor of Corporation of the Year, which was accepted by Jeff Anker. Completing the awards ceremony was the unexpected and surprise Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Denver Urban Spectrum publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris. “Publishing the Denver Urban Spectrum has been a long journey

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Lifetime Achievement Award recepient Denver Urban Spectrum publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris

with many ups and downs. It is a great honor to be recognized by a younger generation from the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. With this new leadership, Denver’s black business community is in good hands,” she said while accepting her award and acknowledging Rich Lewis of RTL Networks as one of the Spectrum’s special angels. Additionally, there was a special presentation made to Miller Coors as the Premier Event Sponsor and to Xcel Energy as the organization’s Chairman Level Partner. The evening concluded with the sounds from DJ K-Tone as attendees mingled, took photos, danced and reveled from the evening’s occasion. Editor’s note: To learn more about the Ascension Awards program, view the videos of all finalists, visit To learn more about the Chamber, call 303- 8310720. The Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce exists to serve as the premier resource for African-American business owners and leaders throughout the state of Colorado. The organization provides numerous professional development and networking opportunities for its members, supporters, and other constituents.

December is “Write a Business Plan” Month: How to Include Your Marketing Strategy

December is National Write a Business

By Marsha Friedman

Plan Month - so designated to encourage unhappy employees to become their own satisfied bosses. Whether your goal is to own your own business, become a consultant, a speaker or an author, you’ll need to start with a business plan. Even if you launched your business years ago, it’s important to revisit and refresh your plan. In recent years, the economy, technology and consumer habits have changed rapidly and dramatically, affecting every aspect of your business. That makes it absolutely vital to re-evaluate your short- and long-term strategies. One of the most critical elements of any business plan is your marketing strategy. Too often, people don’t think through that all-important component with the same rigor they tackle aspects like projected cash flow and long-term goals. Or, they do put thought and effort into planning for market research, promotion and positioning - and then never follow through on their great ideas. One problem is that most entrepreneurs (or professionals or authors) don’t have marketing experience. They may be skilled tradesmen, savvy financial advisers or talented writers - the expertise they plan to build their business around - but they’re not marketers. Some don’t realize that executing a solid marketing strategy is essential to any venture’s success; others know it’s important but don’t know where to begin. Here’s why it’s so important: You may have the book that changes the way business is done, or the product that solves a problem for lots of consumers, but if no one knows about it, they can’t come looking for it. Marketing is the fundamental building block of any business; it’s what drives the business, so it can’t be an afterthought. The marketing component of your business plan should include a budget for time (if you’re going to tackle the job yourself) and/or money. You need a timetable and a professional website that attracts visitors and makes it easy for them to learn more about you, your product, book or service — and equally easy to purchase what you’re selling. Here are some other points to consider as you’re developing your marketing plan: • What is my message? Your message needs to be more than “My product is great.” What’s the problem it solves? If you’re a professional, what’s the value you and your service offer? How are you different from your competition? As an example: At EMSI, we create visibility and credibility for our clients using a pay-for-performance model that guarantees media exposure and sets us apart from our peers.

• Who is my audience? Unless you have a niche product, consider your potential audience in terms of ever-expanding ripples. For instance, a collapsible coffeepot may be just the thing for a college student’s tiny dorm room. That’s your initial target audience. But his parents and grandparents, who are helping outfit that dorm room, might also be audiences. If they’ve downsized their living quarters, they might just want one for themselves, too. In fact, it could be great for campers, boaters - anyone living in a small space. • Which are the appropriate media outlets for a PR campaign? Social media is great for niche products because online forums build communities around common interests. Daytime TV talk shows tend to have audiences

with lots of women. Most newspaper readers are now 55 or older. Once you have decided who your audience is, figure out what they’re watching, listening to, reading, and doing online, then customize your message for that medium and audience. • What’s my budget? When you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to determine how much marketing you can do yourself (if you’ll be doing any at all) and how much you’ll need help with. If you’re handling it yourself, budget for the time it will take to do things like keeping your website active with fresh blog posts once or twice a week; posting content on social media; developing pitches to get print, radio or TV interested. If you plan to pay a professional for marketing services, use

your marketing plan to explore the costs and timetable, and budget accordingly. Whether you’re launching a dream or strengthening your existing business, you need to lay a good foundation with a solid plan. If marketing isn’t an important component of that plan, your rocket to the moon will likely fizzle and fade. Editor’s note: Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations ( ), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to businesses, professional firms, entertainers and authors. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.


Anniversary JACK & JILL OF AMERICA, INC. DENVER CHAPTER 11983-2013 83-2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013 4 pm Ballroom Doors Open 5 pm Doors Close - Presentation Begins Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel 1550 Court Place Plaza Ballroom Denver, Colorado The Masters of Ceremony Dr. Ryan Ross & Mr. Kyle Speller Formal Attire For tickets: For more info: No tickets sold at the door Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Justice Still Demands a Civil Rights Prosecution of Zimmerman By Earl Ofari Hutchinson


.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a recent news conference that he will decide soon whether to prosecute George Zimmerman who was acquitted in the slaying of Trayvon Martin. Holder still has a compelling reason to prosecute Zimmerman and it’s not solely because of his arrest and jailing for an alleged assault on his girlfriend, with the added allegation that he pointed a gun at her. This is only part of the compelling reason for a federal prosecution.

The Justice Department had firm grounds after Zimmerman’s acquittal in state court to bring civil rights charges against him. The legal standard that federal prosecutors use in determining when civil rights charges should be filed is clear. A prosecution can be brought when the state prosecution was shoddy, inadequate, and inept. The prosecution’s appalling presentation of botched and contradictory evidence, grossly unprepared prosecution witnesses, and most important, the muddling of the charge, second degree murder was

glaringly apparent in the state trial. Federal prosecutors must consider whether the state in essence failed through incompetence or deliberate intent to dump its case. It mattered little in Zimmerman’s trial whether it was one or the other the end result was the same, an acquittal which defied all legal logic. A strong case can be made from this that there is a substantial federal interest in insuring that a prosecution of Zimmerman is fair, professional and unbiased. There is still great evidence from the deeply flawed state prosecution that the Justice Department can obtain a conviction. Federal prosecutors must also be convinced that the defendant’s action, in this case the gunning down of Martin, constitutes a federal offense. The federal offense was the violation of Martin’s civil rights. The defense and prosecution in the state agreed on one thing and that was that Martin did not commit a crime, was not even suspected of a crime, and was on a public thoroughfare when he was killed. The right to freedom of movement without the danger of undue harm is a fundamental right that’s enshrined in constitutional law and public policy. It’s inviolate. The courts have repeatedly upheld a citizen’s right to freedom of access and movement in public places. Zimmerman’s confronting and then initiating the deadly events that unfolded clearly violated Martin’s right to exercise his freedom of movement. This directly impacts on an individual’s right to life and liberty. Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil right the instant he presumed that he had committed or at the very least suspected of committing a crime by walking on public sidewalk. The safeguard of that right must be a fundamental concern of federal prosecutors. There was audio evidence that strongly hinted that it was Martin who was screaming for help and therefore

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


was under physical assault from Zimmerman. Therefore it was his life, not Zimmerman’s that was in mortal danger. This is sufficient cause for federal prosecutors to question whether the jury ignored the fact that Martin was likely the victim. This is one of the basic ingredients in determining whether the jury nullified a compelling prosecution fact. The Martin case raised deeply troubling questions about the power of the law to protect citizens from their unimpeded right to life and safety. Federal prosecutors play a major role in insuring that where there’s the suspicion that an individual’s rights might have been violated for any reason not solely because of their race and gender that the power of federal law is brought to bear to insure that their rights are protected. Holder told the news conference that he still thought that a substantial part of the issues that landed Zimmerman in the defendant’s docket were “resolved” in the state trial. The operative word was “substantial” but that’s not the same as saying that all the issues were resolved. The one that dangles and demands redress is the violation of Martin’s civil rights. This right is violated when an individual is denied the right to be free from undue harm because of their color, age, and being in a public area merely because someone perceives they shouldn’t be in and then acts on that perception with no cause other than that belief or perception. This is totally different than of a jury not finding enough evidence to warrant a guilty verdict on a second degree murder charge. A civil right is protected under federal law and is separate and apart from the ambiguity of the murder charge that Zimmerman was charged with in a state court. Holder is absolutely right when he says that there is a “high bar” in the federal standard for a second prosecution of a defendant acquitted in a state trial. But the moment that Zimmerman accosted Martin in a public space with no grounds for his action he plunged that legal bar. This is why justice still demands a civil rights prosecution of Zimmerman.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:

Queen Latifah: The People’s Talk Show Host On Nov. 11, Queen Latifah

held a media conference call to talk about “The Queen Latifah Show,” which premiered on September 16. The Denver Urban Spectrum along with news media from across the country posed questions on a number of subjects, including challenges faced since the start of the show, selection of guests and acceptance by mainstream America. Less than two month’s old, the show has already welcomed today’s hottest celebrity guests and featured the topical comedy, inspirational stories, heartwarming homecomings and exclusive musical performances that have helped make the show America’s number one new talk show. Guests have included LL Cool J, Kerry Washington, Johnny Knoxville, Vince Vaughn, Taye Diggs, Ray Romano, Ellen Pompeo, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg and musical guests James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw, Christina Perri, Jewel, Daughtry and more. Lenny Kravitz, the designer of the shows “Big Sexy” has also been a guest. It’s about more than celebrity guests. Heroes from the military, schools and communities have also stepped into the show’s spotlight. The show has pulled off some incredible surprises including emotional reunions for active military personnel, jaw-dropping makeovers and unbelievable home transformations. A snapshot of the Queen’s thoughts:

“Big Sexy” Set Design by Lenny Kravitz

“I think he‘s been able to bring a mutual sense of style and peace. We both love modern architecture and it‘s not the typical colors that you might see on other shows. It‘s really something much more modern and comfortable. We wanted something that felt sort of like my home. And my home is similar to the style that you see on the show.”

Challenges Since the Show Began

“I think a challenge for me was getting really comfortable being the person interviewing because I‘m much more used to being the one answering the question. So it’s been a bit of a learning curve for me – which I‘m adjusting to and becoming much more comfortable with. And just being real-

ly comfortable – a comfortable chair, a comfortable outfit – things that allow me to relax and not think about what I‘m wearing, what I‘m doing, and just really enjoying the person I‘m speaking to…”

Controversial Topics

“I didn‘t base this show on creating controversy or creating a spirit of negativity. If anything, it was opposite of that. There‘s plenty of that (on other shows) and I think we just need more entertainment and heart and fun. That‘s pretty much where we are. That‘s the space we want to live in. If people want to talk about controversial subjects, we‘re more than welcome to have that. They should be able to speak freely about whatever it is they want to talk about. And if there‘s questions that we need to ask – if people are curious about – I think we should be able to ask those questions. But everything doesn‘t have to be done in a salacious way that stirs up controversy intentionally. That‘s not the kind of show I really want to do on a regular basis.”

Modes of Transportation

“I have many means of transportation from a bicycle to a Vespa to motorcycles to the SUVs, sports cars, and you know a skateboard. I like to roll. Let‘s put it like that. I think the most fun ones for me are the motorcycles – the two wheelers – because it‘s just me and the road and peace of mind. There‘s nothing else in my head and my awareness and connection to God is very close because you have to be aware to be on two wheels.”


“I‘m really starting to get into a flow of it and getting into the rhythm of it. It is very, very challenging. There‘s a lot of work involved. And that‘s one of the main challenges, is just being able to handle the workload of what you‘re doing and really be present at the time. So it was definitely a big load to carry, but I think I will get there.

Ideal Longevity of the Show “I can see myself doing this for a very long time

Booking Talent for Show

“I‘m not hugely involved with the booking of the show – more involved with the approving of who gets booked on the show. But I‘ve definitely had a few of my friends on the show that I picked up the phone and called and said, `hey, why don‘t you come on the show?’”

because it‘s a place where I can allow a lot of my different gifts or talents to land in one place and be able to share a lot and bring a lot to the world that others may not be bringing – that sense of posi-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


By Denver Urban Spectrum Staff

tivity of those great stories about everyday people who are doing amazing things on the front lines. So as long as that continues to feed my soul, then I‘ll do it.”

The Show’s Acceptance in Mainstream America

“… I think maybe part of it is the fact that I‘m a Black woman, but I grew up in a family that was very multi-cultural. I had a Filipino aunt, I had a white aunt, you know? I mean I had a couple interracial couples in my family. I had gay people in my family. I had people who were on the right side of the law, people who were on the wrong side of the law. I had sober people, I had drug addicted people. I‘ve had so many different kinds of people in my own family – square people and cool people – and everything in between that I was exposed to at a young age. “I grew up in the city of Newark, but I also grew up in Maryland and Virginia in the country. I kind of had a diverse background. I‘m the daughter of an art teacher and a cop. So I‘ve been able to experience a lot of things through my parent‘s lenses first...”

People That Have Inspired Her

“Oh, there‘s been so many, so many through the years that have kind of shared their wisdom with me. I loved watching Pearl Bailey on TV. I loved watching one of the guests I just had the other day, Carol Burnett. Her ability to be an actress of such variety and comedy and singing and then become a serious actress just showed me that there are no barriers, you know, in that sense – and Pearl Bailey did the same thing… ultimately my mom is the biggest influence on me because if she‘s cool with things, then I‘m cool with it. And she always has some wisdom to share with me – even in my toughest moments.”

Interviewing Herself

“First of all I would allow her to wear jeans and sneakers so she can be comfortable and not show off her fly shoes to everyone. And she could do everything from rap to DJ to going to the gun range to talking about some serious topics that might be on the minds of Americans and citizens of the world and to taking a ride on her motorcycle.  Editor’s note: In Denver, viewers can see The Queen Latifah Show at 3 p.m. MST on KCNC Channel 4. For more information, visit


Art, Jewelry and the Human Al

By James A

Fulani Malik is a highly creative

artist with an extraordinary mission. Along with his partner Ras Tree, Fulani creates very impressive handmade jewelry out of virtually every mineral, gemstone, metal and crystal imaginable. Keeping most of their stones in a bulky, uncut or unrefined state, their creations resemble an African or indigenous native aesthetic, with bold, innovative shapes, textures and positioning. Their Avant garde designs – wrist, arm leg and ankle bracelets, necklaces, pendants, earrings, crowns, tiaras or any conceivable body adornment – are truly distinctive and eye-catching. Their company, Aboriginal Bling Blam – is aptly named; it seems as if these two entrepreneurs are singlehandedly redefining the nature of visual opulence and “bling.” The average Aboriginal Bling Blam creation might be three or four times the size of a typical Western style ring, pendant or bracelet; the stones are set in combinations of nickel, silver, copper and brass wire settings that appear tribal and primordial, yet also elegant, stylish and graceful. Malik describes the jewelry as “wearable art.” But the concept behind Aboriginal Bling Blam goes far beyond the abstract, Picasso-like innovations with brightly colored stones, unusual shapes and unconventional lines. Sitting underneath a row of Sanskrit prayer flags in the artsy, bohemian atmosphere of the Gypsy House in Capitol Hill, Malik – sporting shoulder-length dreadlocks, a beautiful African mud-cloth robe and a charming, graceful smile – tells me about how his improbable venture was born in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Malik and Ras Tree were both construction workers rebuilding New Orleans – Malik laid electrical and fiber optic cables, and Tree did roadwork in the sand and swampland. It was Tree who introduced Malik to Baba Ken Amin, an elder who made jewelry with natural elements. “Ras Tree knew all the different elements of the Earth from doing roadwork and I always had a lot of metal around,” Malik explained. “Ras Tree

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


said, ‘Man, you got all that copper – let me do something with it.” Through Baba Ken Amin’s guidance, Malik and Tree both started making jewelry – beginning with rings, necklaces and bracelets – while also learning about crystals, minerals and gemstones and the energies of the Earth as their work evolved. Before long, they began setting up booths outside of local events, and their sideline work became “another aspect of spreading good, positive, healing energy.” “We would share the energies with people. We would have the literature and our different stones out, and it really helped people with the recovery process,” Malik said. “That’s where it just got kickstarted and it was coming natural.” Malik opens a large canvas bag packed with his fascinating combinations of gemstones, minerals and crystals and their unique copper, nickel and silver wire settings; the pieces look almost like they could have been retrieved from an ancient archaeological burial site. He carefully spreads the jewelry out on a table, showing some matching necklace, bracelet and ring sets, as well as remarkable individual pieces. Malik – whose grandmother is from Ghana – says most of his creations come from “ancestral meditations and ancient techniques” stemming from his West African roots, while about one-third of his work is custom jewelry he makes for individual clients. Malik is eager to point out that Aboriginal Bling Blam’s jewelry taps into the alchemical power of minerals and crystals. He explains that minerals are the foundation of all life, and basic components of our body’s cellular structure and metabolic processes; Fulani Malik an hence the stones have a vibrational relationship with the DNA codes of human evolution. Furthermore, crys-


al Bling:

lchemy of Gems and Minerals

On “Soul Food” Meat Bundles for the Holidays!


tals are the only substances that have the same microscopic, molecular symmetrical structures as their outer, macroscopic form, and therefore are excellent conductors and magnifiers of the human body’s electromagnetic field.

Crystals also have a measureable impact of piezoelectric charges, and the energy sensations can operate like a biofeedback mechanism or a meditative process. “The energy of this work is universal because of the DNA – these gemstones, the DNA – we all come from the Earth. I just tap into that, I can just pull in from that,” Malik says, adding that specific stones can affect different aspects of a person’s physical, emotional and mental awareness. “Quartz in itself has a purifying affect; it’s a purifying and cleansing stone. Rose quartz specifically denotes love. So when I’m working with those two stones it’s a specific type of purification of love,” Malik explained, pointing out that he often works directly with his individual clients to meet their special needs. “I share the energies of the rose quartz. They tell me where they would like it placed, and then I can help. “I can do anything from treating eye infections to healing the bond of the mother and a child. I try to steer people toward quartz if it’s their first time working with stones.” Malik says the nickel, silver, brass and copper metals also channel the movement of subtle energies through the body. The metal designs are often formed nd Ras Tree into spirals and very fluid, waving, curving lines that look like little rivers or streams. Malik explained

Chitterlings, Hams, Pork Chops, Chicken, Beef!

that through the evolution of his jewelry making he learned that those designs were symbolic of Kundalini, an energy that yoga masters say awakens and rises through the spine with a person’s spiritual development. In Sanskrit, Kundalini means “coiling, like a snake.” Malik believes that his jewelry pieces – the combination of the metal energies and the minerals and crystals – help facilitate a spiritual awakening in his clients, even if they might not describe it with terms such as Kundalini. “I think the jewelry gives them an unconscious awareness of feeling the energy of ‘the river’ within them being unending, and not having the energy stop. I think it carries the natural flow of energy you possess – Kundalini is a non-stop energy,” Malik says. “The truth is, the ancestral vibe I’m drawing from, it’s not something I’m purposely trying to do – it’s something the ancestors want awakened.” Malik lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Ras Tree lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Malik says he and Tree work together “like Voltron” no matter where they are, although they are most effective when they travel together; the two partners do about six to eight art shows each year. Malik says that Aboriginal Bling Blam “easily” took first place at this year’s Taste of Colorado, among the fine arts booths. Between their art shows and custom design work, both Malik and Ras Tree work full time on Aboriginal Bling Blam, while Malik also creates fine art for several art galleries in New Mexico. “I moved to Albuquerque five years ago. I wanted to come out into the desert and open up my creativity,” says Malik. “To have the big space to meditate in is a wonderful feeling for me. I live in the outskirts, on the west side of the city where most of the petroglyphs are.”  Editor’s note: Aboriginal Bling Blam custom rings start at $35, and can range toward $300. Bracelets start at $50, necklaces start from $80, which includes a consultation. They can be found online at Editor’s note: James Ainsworth is a freelance writer in Denver, and he can be reached through his web site at or on his blog, at

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Are You Prepared To Leave The Business You Built? Experts Share Three Crucial Planning Steps

More and more small business owners are selling their companies, with sales hitting a four-year high earlier this year in the United States, and Canada predicting its largest small business turnover ever in the next five years. “Many of our CEOs are baby boomers approaching retirement age,”

says Kathleen Richardson-Mauro, coauthor with Jane M. Johnson of a practical new guide, “Cashing Out of Your Business,” “We’re about to see a tsunami of ownership transitions and Kathleen and I worry that too many of these small business owners are not taking steps early enough to plan for it,” adds Johnson. Richardson-Mauro, a Certified Financial Planner, and Johnson, a Certified Public Accountant, specialize in helping business owners successfully transition out of companies and achieve their goals. They recently launched an educational website,

Business Transition Academy, to help owners plan their exits on their own. “Most CEOs don’t realize they need to start planning years before they might, potentially, be ready to sell or hand off their business,” Johnson says. “And while a lot of that planning is to ensure they’ll have the money to meet their lifestyle goals, there are other equally important considerations.” Small business owners tend to pour their lives into their companies and it doesn’t take long before their identity is entirely defined by their job, the women say. In order to achieve a successful after-life, they need to start laying the groundwork early for their

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


emotional separation. Johnson and Richardson-Mauro suggest these steps for small business owners of any age to begin preparing mentally for their non-CEO future: • Start now. You never know when you might receive an unsolicited purchase offer or what life events might rock your world. Most owners do not start thinking about transitioning out until some event gives them a jolt: a significant birthday; children graduating from college or starting their own families; illness or injury. “Planning improves your chances for a successful outcome and gives you more control over the process,” Richardson-Mauro says. “We sometimes don’t realize just how much our lives revolve around our business – or we do realize it and don’t want to think about it because the future looks scary.” With planning, you can ensure you still have a social life, a sense of accomplishment, challenges, and the other intangibles that make us satisfied and gratified. • Identify what you want to get from your ownership transition. You’ll have both financial and nonfinancial goals and objectives. Financial may include receiving enough money to live on for the rest of your life and creating a foundation to further a cause important to you. Non-financial may include regaining balance in your life and following a passion you gave up when you started your business. Consider goals in every area of life, the authors say, from health, to family, to social connections. “This is about remembering your true passions, determining what’s most important to you, and deciding what you want to do when you can spend less or no time with your business,” Johnson says. “This will re-energize you and provide you with direction as you figure out the best way to transition the ownership of your business. It will also enable you to minimize any chance for regrets.” • Identify your fears, concerns and other barriers that prevent you from planning. Many owners fear what will come next and worry about losing their life’s purpose. Most wonder if they will have enough money to live the lifestyles they desire, and they’re concerned about their employees’ futures, Johnson says. “Take proactive action to address these concerns by having a family meeting; discussing the future with your spouse; and identifying your actual financial needs. That will allow you to find solutions and work

Continued on page 31

Five Unique Community Leaders Honored by THE DENVER FOUNDATION with Swanee Hunt and Parr-Widener Awards

“Community Leader” is not a designation that can be

self-ascribed. Leadership is recognized when a person’s actions inspire others. Each year, The Denver Foundation hosts the Community Leadership Awards Ceremony, honoring individuals of all, ages, races, backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels; the common denominator being that they are people who stand up and out for the communities they serve with passion and integrity. Five such individuals were recently honored at the 2013 Left toRight: Mayor Michael B. Hancock,Magalie Lerman, Francisco “Cisco” Gallardo, Johnnie Williams and Ryan Ross awards ceremony amidst laughter, some tears, and the warmth the mayor of Denver, I learned from to provide direct services to streetof their families and members of the John Parr,” the mayor stated. “You based young people and organize community. The awards are made start with those that are impacted the with people involved in the sex trade possible through special funds created most, and work together with everythrough Prax(us), where she is now by Denver Foundation donors. one in a collaborative manner to find Co-Director. Magalie is also a student Nominations are not accepted. solutions.” In describing why the at Metro State University, and serves The Foundation presented the sixth Mayor was chosen to receive the as a board member with the Colorado annual Parr-Widener Civic Leadership award, Miller cited many contribuCriminal Justice Reform Coalition. Award to Mayor Michael Hancock. tions during his two years in office, The Swanee Hunt Individual The award was presented by Denver including bringing a new patent office Leadership Award is usually presentFoundation President David Miller, to Denver and the passing of Measure ed to one individual, but this year was who has strong ties to both John Parr 2A, which has helped to set the city on given to three men of color – unsung and Sandy Widener for whom the a sound fiscal basis. heroes – who have served to help award is named. The mayor himself The Swanee Hunt Leadership youth veer away from a path of gangs was also connected with the couple; Awards honor women and men who and violence, and towards one of he was a student of John Parr’s and have made and who will continue to higher education and leadership. went on to work with him at the make major contributions to improvFrancisco “Cisco” Gallardo has National Civic League when John was ing life for people in Metro Denver. helped countless others over the past President, and was an intern in the Hunt, for whom the award is named, 20 years; through GRASP (Gang mayor’s office when Sandy Widener is a world-renowned philanthropist, Rescue and Support Project). He has worked there before co-founding author, and the former U.S. been the organization’s Program Westword Newspaper. The couple Ambassador to Austria. Although Director since 2006. He understands died tragically in a car crash in Hunt now lives in Massachusetts this their struggles because he himself was December of 2007, while traveling on award is one of the ways she keeps on a path of destructive behavior. vacation with daughters Chase and ties with the Denver community After time in a community corrections Katie. Only Katie survived. “This is a where her philanthropy began with program, he got involved with the bittersweet occasion,” Miller stated to the Hunt Alternatives Fund. Chicano Humanities & Arts Council a crowd of over 100 people, including The Swanee Hunt Emerging (CHAC) which helped him regain Katy Parr and several of her family Leadership Award was presented to control of his life and began his jourmember, who met at The Denver Magalie Lerman. Born in Los Angeles, ney of helping other gang members Foundation Community Room. “We she moved to Denver with her family gain control of their lives by redefinmiss Sandy and John, but we celebrate in 2000, graduating high school from ing the three words, `respect, power, the hundreds of leaders they have cul- Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy in and pride.’ tivated in this community.” 2004. She then spent the next six years Johnnie Williams, who works with Hancock accepted the award, of her life battling drug addiction and Cisco at GRASP, also received an which he held to his chest, while shar- chronic homelessness. During this award. Gallardo and Williams are coing heartfelt and humorous stories of time she witnessed oppression and founders of a newly formed Unity his time with both John and Sandy. exploitation first hand. Since entering Council, which brings multigenera“Everything I learned about how to be recovery, she has worked ceaselessly tional men from the African-American Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


and Latino communities together to find common ground. A native of Chicago, Johnnie relocated to Denver, attended Metropolitan State College and became certified in Crisis Response. He is both a Criminal Justice Specialist and an Addictions Counselor, and has worked with FACES (Family Advocacy Care Education and Support) and the Shaka Franklin Foundation. His current position as a Violence Counselor at the Gilliam Youth Center allows him to utilize his interpersonal and leadership skills in his role as the Gang Intervention Specialist. Ryan Ross, the third recipient, grew up in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Ross, who earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado Denver, and who currently serves as the Dean of Students and Retention at the Community College of Denver, has never forgotten that his path to success has been education. Therefore, he dedicates himself not only to his own learning, but also providing educational access to others. Beyond his work at CCD, he is a member of the J.K. Mullen High School Foundation board and the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Foundation, and also serves as a mentor to students in Denver, Aurora, and Cherry Creek public schools. He is one of the founders of Denver AfricanAmerican Philanthropists, Black Men Giving with a Purpose, a giving circle housed at The Denver Foundation. Editor’s note: The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2012, the Foundation and its donors awarded $64 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.denverfoundation. org.

Avoiding the Holiday Blues Alphonso Gibbs, Jr., LCSW-C, LICSW, Men’s Health Network


he six weeks encompassing Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s—collectively called “the holidays”—are for most a magically unique time of year.

But for many, the holidays bring hurt. Caused by factors including the weather, separation, death, stress, unrealistic expectations, hyper sentimentality, guilt, or overspending, holiday depression—also called the “holiday blues”—can zap the merriment out of even the most wonderful time of the year. Holiday depression affects one million people every year. Men and women, young and old, all fall victim to feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, guilt, and fatigue during this emotionally charged season. Men’s Health Network offers the following 10 suggestions to help you identify and ward off – or at least better cope with – potential sources of holiday depression. 1. Acknowledge that you’re hurting – Others may expect certain attitudes and behaviors from you that you may not feel. The retail industry’s “holiday hype” presents an overly sentimental, nostalgic, and even imaginary notion of the holidays (usually to try to sell you something). Still, feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression don’t automatically vanish just because it’s the holidays. Acknowledge your pain, be open and honest with others, refuse to feel guilty, and get help if necessary. It’s ok to laugh! Don’t be afraid! You won’t be struck by a bolt of lightning for laughing!

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2. Have a plan to deal with your feelings – Try to surround yourself with people who care about and support you – Family, friends, or church members. Invest yourself in an exercise program (aerobic activities such as walking, running, cycling, etc., are recommended because of their mood-elevating ability). If necessary, see your doctor or therapist. And learn to say “no.” Others’ expectations are not a reason for your own mental health to suffer. 3. Set realistic expectations – Keep your expectations realistic rather than perfectionistic. Prioritize and reduce self-imposed holiday preparations. Delegate responsibilities. Realistically plan your budget, spending, and shopping. Do less and enjoy more. Obsessing over endless details is bound to change this long-awaited, once-a-year season from a time of exuberance to one of exhaustion. Make it a point to be honest with yourself, and if necessary and possible, limit the time and situations/people you want to be around. When you’ve had enough of either, make sure that you have a way to leave or step away. 4. Take time for yourself – Why is it called holiday depression? Because, for most people, these feelings don’t occur at other times of the year. Remind yourself of what you enjoyed during the previous months, and then continue them during the holidays. Make yourself a priority! Instead of a “Discount Double Check,” give yourself an “Emotional Double Check”. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. Just don’t stay there too long! Getting enough rest, eating and drinking in moderation, exercising, and continuing other favorite activities can maintain normalcy, routine, control, and predictability. 5. Consider that your depression may actually be caused by this time of year – Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD occurs because of reduced exposure to sunlight – which is just what happens during the holiday season when daylight hours are shorter. Check with your doctor to see if light therapy might be beneficial for you. 6. Help others – Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes, churches, and scores of other organizations can always use volunteers, especially at critical times of the year. Additionally, you’ll benefit from the company of other people around you rather than being alone. And, help others help you! Tell those who care about you what you do or don’t need from them. They often don’t know how to help, or what to say, but want to. 7. Bury the hatchet – Perfect families don’t magically appear during the holidays, but family conflicts can.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



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“Letting go” and forgiving can help heal past wounds. Additionally, family feuds can even be deliberately set aside until after the high-tension holidays in order to facilitate the peace and enjoyment of everyone at this special time. 8. Start your own traditions – Both families and traditions change with time. (Every tradition had to start somewhere!) Rather than reminiscing over the “good old days,” accept the fact that change may be necessary, grasp the season as it is now, look forward to the future, and create your own family traditions that can be enjoyed and even preserved for future generations. 9. Keep your alcohol intake low – Don’t pour gasoline on a fire. Remember, alcohol has a depressive effect on your nervous system, so if you’re experiencing the holiday blues, drinking too much alcohol will only worsen your depression. 10. Rededicate yourself to your spirituality – The “reason for the season” is often swallowed up by maddening materialism that can distract from the history, meaning, and significance of holiday celebrations. Step back, slow down, and refocus on transcendent, eternal matters. Rededicate yourself to spiritual pursuits, such as church attendance, church work, prayer life, and other disciplines. Regain the focus originally intended by this time of year.  Editor’s note: Men’s Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and

Troubling Rites Of Passage: Sports Culture Revisited

Currently it’s

By Hakim Hazim impossible to

have a conversation about social

ills and not bring up the issue of bullying.

Previously, this

conversation was limited to our

schools but in recent years, it has

expanded to include research on the

means and objectives of bullying and the environments in which it takes place. In short, bullying happens everywhere. The story of Miami

Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan

Martin is the latest revelation of the

troubling, acceptable rites of passage

that shape young people. Rites of passage are activities designed to test young men and prepare them for adult life. Historically, many cultures across this globe designed a series of steps that their young men had to undertake—and succeed at before they could be considered men. Failure leads to being shunned by everyone in the village or one would be driven out, assigned a place with other children, and never allowed to marry. You were considered less than a man and undeserving of any further responsibilities. As societies evolved, these rites of passages were no longer agreed upon or codified in a social context. Young men were left to figure this out for themselves. Military service, employment, athletics, sexual prowess, physical and material acquisitions and numerous other things were held out as examples of manhood. I chose athletics. On a personal level, I understand, let me say “overstand,” the culture of sports. Although no one in my family ever played professionally, five of us did secure NCAA Division One scholarships. The attention and recognition given to people who are stand-out athletes is in my opinion unwarranted and symptomatic of our obsession with sports in America. To be sure, I love athletics and I’m guilty of being too emotionally involved with the

Jonathan Martin

Richard Incognito

teams I root for. What’s really interesting is how I become verbally abusive at the television screen when players don’t perform to my standards. Words like “loser,” “buster, sit him down” effortlessly pour from my mouth, feeling justified in my wrath. As a former athlete, I heard all of these derogatory words slung directly at me and others by players, teammates, fans and coaches. I never thought anything of it and I learned how to deal with this. I questioned the physical toughness and mental fortitude of those who appeared to be weak or unqualified for high level competition. To this very day when I lose in competition, I feel inadequate. Unfortunately, it’s an acquired belief. The situations covered in the previous paragraphs brings us to a Stanford educated Black man who seemingly snapped under the pressure of trying to live up to the image of what is a tough athlete. Another level of incomprehension is the nature of the dysfunctional relationship between the mentor, Richard Incognito, and Martin, the mentee. Incognito’s blatant and unapologetic use of the “N” word toward Martin, demonstrates a lack of personal respect and boundaries on Martin’s part. I believe the rites of passage that brought Martin to this point are similar to gang initiations, cult indoctrination and other forms of mental abuse and boundary erosion techniques used to force someone to fit in. Once you belong, you must perpetuate the groupthink. Martin obviously had enough. Although some call his motives dubious, one thing is clear: he no longer wanted to participate. There are many troubling things and details emerging from this story, but perhaps the most disturbing fact: is how Miami Dolphins players are circling the wagons. The good old boy system is in full effect. If Martin ever returns to football, he will encounter an even more difficult time fitting in. In sum, I scratch my head to understand how the field of dreams has become a nightmare to so many athletes. As a black man, I reaped many benefits from excelling at sports. I also acquired some attitudes I later shed over the years. Penn State, Rutgers and the Miami Dolphins have taught us a great deal about the team: how to handle in-house mentality of high level sports culture. The lesson? It doesn’t work. 

Learn. Achieve. Graduate.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Morris Chestnut



“The Best Man Holiday”

The Best Chestnut! Interview with Kam Williams


Morris Chestnut was born on

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New Year’s Day 1969 in Cerritos, California where he was a studentathlete in high school, en route to majoring in finance and drama at California State University. He made his big screen debut opposite Ice Cube in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, and subsequently enjoyed his breakout role as the groom-to-be in Malcolm Lee’s The Best Man. The handsome heartthrob has been a much-in-demand leading man ever since, starring in hits like The Call, Think Like a Man, Identity Thief, The Brothers, Not Easily Broken, Kick Ass 2, Two Can Play That Game, Breakin’ All the Rules, The Perfect Holiday, Half Past Dead, Like Mike, Ladder 94 and The Game Plan. A dedicated family man away from work, Morris and his wife, Pam, live in suburban L.A. with their son, Grant, and daughter, Paige. Here, he talks about reprising the memorable role of Lance Sullivan in the eagerly-anticipated sequel, The Best Man Holiday. Kam Williams: Hey Morris, thanks for another interview. Morris Chestnut: No problem, no problem, Kam. Thank YOU, again. KW: I loved the film. It was like attending a reunion with a whole lot of folks I hadn’t seen in a longtime. MC: Oh, that’s great! KW: I’m going to mix my questions for you in with some sent in by fans.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


MC: Perfect! KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: What did it mean to you to reunite with the cast to shoot this sequel? MC: It was just wonderful coming together again after all these years, especially since we’d had such a great experience before. It gave me a good feeling inside to reunite, almost like family. We’d accomplished so much the first time, and it was pretty much the same with the sequel. KW: Chalyn Toon asks: Does Lance trust Harper around Mia knowing their past? Does Lance and Mia’s relationship suffer from his being haunted by the images of what happened between his wife and best friend? MC: That’s interesting. Lance definitely trusts Mia. And I’ve always been that type of person. You really don’t have to worry about your spouse, as long as you trust him or her. If you trust your spouse or whoever you’re in a relationship with, everybody else doesn’t matter. KW: How did you feel about the arc of your character this go-round? MC: I was really excited about how all the characters were layered and had depth to them. Malcolm [director Malcolm Lee] wrote a really great script. As for Lance’s arc, I think this is one of the best roles I’ve ever had in a movie. KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film? MC: There are so many messages, because the film has a number of sto-

rylines. One thing I love about making an ensemble film like this is that you can have ten people come away from it with ten different messages. KW: Director Rel Dowdell asks: Would you consider your role in The Best Man or in Boyz n the Hood to be your signature role, since both are iconic? MC: Wow! Thank you, Rel, I appreciate that. I‘d like to think they both are. Boyz n the Hood definitely put me on the map and really brought me into the game. Hopefully, this one does the same thing, twenty-something years later, because I feel very strongly about it. It’s a great, emotional role in a great movie overall. KW: Patricia says: You have been in the movie business for decades. What advice do you have for aspiring actors who want to achieve longevity? MC: I would say focus on your craft. Nowadays, a lot of people come to quote-unquote Hollywood thinking that all they just have to be different or do something outlandish or have a huge personality to become a star. But I think that if you just focus on the craft, you’ll have a better chance at longevity. KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? MC: I don’t really cook, but I like to eat sweets. When I go to a restaurant, I’ll read the dessert menu before I even look at the entrees. I love sweets, especially chocolate. Hot, hot, warm chocolate fudge... caramel… chocolate chip cookies… all those kinds of desserts. Now I’m getting hungry. KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? MC: It would definitely be the sweets. I try to keep in shape and I always have to check myself. Whenever I binge eat, sweets are the one temptation. KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer? MC: I love Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, John Varvatos and others along that line. KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision? MC: Signing on to do The Best Man Holiday. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? MC: Instantly? For this movie to have instant box office success and make over $100 million. KW: The Jamie Foxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time? MC: With my family. I like that question, too. KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

MC: I never made any promises like that to myself, because I didn’t pursue acting to become famous. I was actually just trying to make a living. KW: The Melissa Harris-Perry question: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person? MC: Wow, that’s great! To be honest, it taught me that it’s always about how you recover from that type of situation. It taught me that I could recover from anything and still be okay. KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? MC: Hmmm… that’s a good one. I’d say the ability to fly.

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? MC: Perseverance. They don’t give up. They just continue to strive for what they want. KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be? MC: Professional athlete - basketball. KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? MC: Dr. Martin Luther King. KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films

being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in? MC: Yes, Mahogany. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity? MC: Children’s Miracle Network. KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered? MC: Just as someone who has always done right by others. KW: Thanks again for the time, Morris, and best of luck with the film. MC: Thank you so much, Kam.

Where is your business?

To see The Best Man Holiday trailer, visit:

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



Movie Reviews

The Best Man Holiday

By Kam Williams ExcellentAAAAA. Very GoodAAAA.. GoodAAAAAA... FairAAAAAAA.. PoorAAAAAAA.

    No stars

The Best Man Holiday 

Seasonal Sequel Finds Reunited BFFs Romancing and Reminiscing

Rated: R for profanity, sexuality, ethnic slurs and brief nudity Running Time: 124 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures To see a trailer for The Best Man Holiday, visit:


hen released back in 1999, The Best Man was dismissed by some as merely an African-American variation on The Big Chill, and by others as the black male answer to the sassy sisters dishing the dirt in Waiting to Exhale. But the romantic romp revolving around a sophisticated set of college grads was actually entertaining enough to stand on its own, and was even well-enough received to land a trio of NAACP Image Awards, including Best Picture.

All of the above is cleverly commented upon by the clownish Quentin (Howard), a one-man Greek chorus again supplying intermittent comic relief. The multi-plotted storyline proves thoroughly absorbing for the duration, feverishly alternating between fond reflections and fresh crises. By viewing’s end, all the loose ends are satisfactorily resolved, allowing for a memorable, if bittersweet sendoff, as well as a transparent setup of the franchise’s next installment. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take Malcolm Lee 15 years to shoot another sequel!

Set 15 years later, The Best Man Holiday is an eagerly-anticipated sequel reuniting the principal ensemble for a mix of reminiscing, rivalry and sobering reality unfolding during a very eventful Christmas season. Written and directed by Malcolm Lee (Undercover Brother), the film features


EMAIL YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER TO DENVER@43KIX.COM USE FF6 FF URBAN SPECTRUM AS THE TH SU SUBJECT CT DEADLINE: 12/13/2013 THE FILM IS RATED PG-13 Winners will be drawn at random and notified with details on how to claim their prize. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. The film is rated R. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Allied-THA, 43KIX, Denver Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS!


Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Harold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Melissa De Sousa and Monica Calhoun reprising the roles they played in the first episode. At the point of departure, we find the gang gathering at the sprawling mansion of Lance Sullivan (Chestnut), an NFL running back on the brink of retirement after a recording-breaking career with the New York Giants. The God-fearing family man is relishing the prospect of spending more quality time with his wife, Mia (Calhoun), and their children. Author Harper Stewart (Diggs), the best man at their wedding, had stirred-up considerable controversy in the original by writing a thinly-veiled account of his buddies’ sexual exploits. This time around, he lands back in trouble when plans to publish a biography of host Lance come to light. Furthermore, despite the fact that his wife, Robin (Lathan), is 9-months pregnant, Harper feels pangs of passion at first sight of his gorgeous exgirlfriend, Jordan (Long). So, when her handsome beau (Eddie Cibrian) excuses himself to spend Christmas with his parents, it’s just a matter of time before flirting leaves Harper in the dog house with Robin, too. Meanwhile, nerdy Julian (Perrineau), who tied the knot with the stripper (Hall) he fell for way back at Lance’s bachelor party, is currently worried that an old Youtube video of his scantily-clad spouse might surface, now that he’s made an honest woman of her. Hard to ignore is Julian’s flamboyant ex-girlfriend, Shelby (De Sousa), a drama-loving reality-TV star.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club 

Matthew McConaughey Delivers Oscar-Quality Performance in Bittersweet Biopic


on Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) was informed that he had just 30 days to live when he was diagnosed as HIV+ in 1986. At that time, the Food and Drug Administration was dragging its feet in terms of finding a cure, perhaps because AIDS was still considered by many to be a gay disease. While pharmaceuticals elsewhere around the world were studiously testing hundreds of chemical compounds in hopes of developing an antidote, the only one approved for distribution in America was AZT, a medication so toxic to Ron’s system that it almost killed him. Rather than resign himself to a quick demise, the

tough as nails Texan resolved to fight for his life. First, he visited a clinic in Mexico promoting a promising cocktail of alternative therapies, purchasing a supply sufficient to test the experimental regimen on himself. When the trial proved effective, he snuck back across the border, posing as a priest, to smuggle a trunk full of pills out of the country. Soon thereafter, the enterprising electrician founded the Dallas Buyers Club as a viable way of skirting the law to distribute unapproved substances such as Interferon, Peptide T and Compound Q. A mere $400 per month would afford members access to a variety of state-of-the-art, AIDS remedies. Despite his homophobia, the gruff, good ol’ boy went into business with a partner with deep roots in the gay community. Flamboyant Rayon (Jared Leto), an HIV+ transsexual, played a pivotal role in attracting a loyal clientele of fellow AIDS patients, since Ron was a given to employing offensive slurs when referring to homosexuals. Together, the unlikely pair built the fledgling enterprise into an economic success which provided a priceless service for patients frustrated by the FDA’s delayed response to the epidemic. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Café de Flore), Dallas Buyers Club recounts Ron Woodroof’s desperate struggle to survive in the face of a governmental bureaucracy that appeared to not care. The movie was inspired by “Buying Time,” an article by Bill Minutaglio which appeared in the Dallas Morning News on August 9, 1992. Riddled with historical inaccuracies, the bittersweet biopic frequently plays fast and loose with the facts in favor of fashioning an entertaining tale as dictated by the Hollywood fantasy formula. Truth be told, the reallife Ron was apparently not as intolerant of homosexuality as depicted. Furthermore, he was initially given a two-year life expectancy by his doctor, not the mere month stipulated in the picture. Perhaps most importantly, some of the overpriced drugs he imported were banned for very good reason. Nevertheless, the fairytale related here is a terrific tour de force likely, at last, to land Matthew McConaughey that elusive Oscar nomination. For, not only does the lanky thespian convincingly convey the acute mental anguish of an AIDS-ravaged soul but he even shed about 50 pounds for the role. Sexual politics make strange bedfellows, too!


Rated: R for nudity, drug use, graphic sexuality, pervasive profanity, ethnic slurs and homophobic slurs Running Time: 117 minutes Distributor: Focus Features To see a trailer for Dallas Buyers Club, visit: _club_trailer?film=dallas_buyers_club Or: Go For Sisters

Go For Sisters 

Frantic Mom Enlists Help in Search for Son in South of the Border Whodunit


ernice Stokes (LisaGay Hamilton) is a parole officer in Los Angeles where her job routinely places her in close proximity with the dregs of society. She normally has no reason to associate with such miscreants after hours, being very straitlaced and coming from a solid, middle class background. However, everything changes the day the single-mom’s only child (McKinley Belcher, III) suddenly vanishes without a trace. Rodney, an Iraq War veteran hadn’t been the same since serving overseas. Bernice was aware that he’d been hanging out with some unsavory characters recently, including a suspected drug dealer who was just murdered. Desperate to find her son, she strikes an unspoken bargain with Fontayne Scott (Yolonda Ross), a new client who has just flunked a urine test. Rather than report Fontayne to her superior, Bernice enlists the streetwise addict’s assistance in the search. Complicating matters a bit is the fact that the two had been close friends back in high school. So, while unearthing clues pointing to Tijuana, the former BFFs are afforded an opportunity to deconstruct the events

leading to their falling out over a boy they both wanted. Besides Fontayne’s help, Bernice also retains the services of Freddy Suarez (Edward James Olmos), a disgraced, LAPD detective whose investigative experience and fluent Spanish are likely to come in handy south of the border. Packing a guitar and singing in the car, the unlikely trio heads for Mexico, posing as a musical group in order to not arouse suspicion. Written and directed by two-time, academy Award-nominee John Sayles (for Passion Fish and Lone Star), Go for Sisters is a deliberately-paced crime drama which benefits as much from absorbing character development as from the intrigue surrounding solving the underlying whodunit. Credit charismatic Edward James Olmos for keeping the movie compelling, although Yolonda Ross and LisaGay Hamilton manage to fold their own opposite the Oscar-nominated thespian (for Stand and Deliver). A dangerous border town as no country for old men or middle-aged sisters either.

Unrated Running Time: 122 minutes Distributor: Variance Films To see a trailer for Go for Sisters, visit:

Last Vegas  ½

BFFs Reunite for Bachelor Party in Nostalgic Buddy Comedy


illy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline), inseparable since growing up in Flatbush back in the Fifties, have managed to remain close over the years despite the demands of families and careers. That’s why, when never-married Billy finally decides to tie the knot, the others agree to throw him a bawdy bachelor party in Las Vegas,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


hoping to rekindle a little of the macho magic of their glory days. But even before arriving in Sin City, the long-in-the-tooth senior citizens are forced to face up to the fact that they’re no spring chickens. After all, Archie is still recovering from a mild stroke, and has to tell his son (Michael Ealy) he’s attending a church retreat to sneak out of the house. Meanwhile, Sam, who suffers from a futile case of erectile dysfunction, packs Viagra and condoms for the trip with his frustrated wife’s (Joanna Gleason) blessing. And recently-widowed Paddy has entirely lost his zest for life since the passing of his childhood sweetheart (Olivia Stuck). Even groom-to-be Billy seems to be having second thoughts about walking down the aisle with a woman half his age (Bre Blair), especially after his head is turned at first sight by the hotel’s sultry, lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen). Consequently, the reassembled Rat Pack’s highly-anticipated reunion turns out to be less a licentious last hurrah than a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. For the guys end up spending more of their time reminiscing and teasing each other than in pursuit of potential sexual conquests. Directed by Dan Turtletaub (National Treasure 1, 2 and 3), Last Last Vegas

Vegas is a laff-a-minute comedy, with most of the humor coming at the expense of members of this self-effacing quartet as they grudgingly make concessions to old age. They remain good sports, whether being the butt of jokes about hair transplants, hair color, medications, looking old or mistakenly flirting with transvestites. Not surprisingly, the principal cast (featuring four Academy Award-winners in Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) has no trouble generating a convincing sense of camaraderie onscreen. What is more remarkable is Continued on page 28

Continued from page 27 how another Oscar-winner, Mary Steenburgen, makes the most of her support role, upstaging he male co-stars by exhibiting an endearing vulnerability in a most memorable performance. The Hangover, geezer style!

REEL ACTION Sweet Dreams

Rated: PG-13 for profanity and sexuality Running Time: 105 minutes Distributor: CBS Films To see a trailer for Last Vegas, visit: Sweet Dreams 

Rwandan Reconciliation Documentary Chronicles Feats of Remarkable Female Drumming Troupe


he 1994 Civil War left the beleaguered African nation of Rwanda a bloody mess, both literally and figuratively. Not only had the warring tribes, the Hutus and the Tutsis, hacked each other to death with machetes to the tune of about a million bodies scattered across the countryside, but to this day many of the survivors of the ethnic cleansing remain totally traumatized by the slaughter they’d witnessed.

Consequently, much of the populace still walks around in a daze sporting blank, 1,000 yard stares some refer to as battle fatigue or shell shock which shrinks refer to clinically as post-traumatic stress syndrome. For, it is understandable that it might hard to get over a conflict which pitted neighbor against neighbor, and even relative against relative. One survivor, theater director Kiki Katese, determined to do something to alleviate the suffering, asked, “How do you rebuild a human being?” So, she founded Ingoma Nshya (meaning

“new drum, new kingdom”), an allfemale drumming troupe comprised of both Tutsis and Hutus, with admission being conditioned on checking ones tribal allegiance at the door. Besides affording the 60-strong membership an opportunity to pound rhythmically on congas, the gathering simultaneously served as a support group offering healing and reconciliation. In 2010, Kiki came up with another innovative idea, namely, opening Rwanda’s first ice cream parlor. This time, she enlisted the support of

Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen; proprietors of a place located half a world away in Brooklyn called Blue Marble Ice Cream. The game New Yorkers answered the call, traveling to Rwanda to help Kiki realize that dream. Together they created Sweet Dreams, a shop owned and operated cooperatively by a number of the women from Ingoma Nshya. All of the above is affectionately recounted in Sweet Dreams, an uplifting documentary co-directed by Lisa and Rob Fruchtman. Kiki and her companions cut a sharp contrast to the bulk of their fellow countrymen peppering the desolate background, lost souls who seem broken in spirit between mourning murdered kin and facing bleak prospects for a better tomorrow. A female empowerment flick featuring a blend of ice cream and drumming as a viable path to rehabilitation and reconciliation. Unrated In English and Kinyarwanda with subtitles Running Time: 84 minutes Distributor: International Film Circuit / Liro Films To see a trailer for Sweet Dreams, visit:


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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


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President Barack Obama delivers remarks and awards the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom to honorees during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2013. Honorees are: Ernie Banks, Ben Bradlee, former President Bill Clinton, Daniel Inouye (posthumous), Daniel Kahneman, Richard Lugar, Loretta Lynn, Mario Molina, Sally Ride (posthumous), Bayard Rustin (posthumous), Arturo Sandoval, Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, Patricia Wald, and Oprah Winfrey. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Honors 2013 Medal of Freedom Recipients

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy, is the nation’s highest civilian honor. The medal has been presented to more than 500 individuals who have made especially “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” In a ceremony at the White House, President Obama added 16 names to that distinguished list. Recipients of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom included sports champions and scientists, musicians and civil rights leaders, activists and journalists, media moguls and public servants. “These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us,” President Obama said.

Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative Encourages Fathers to Be Healthy Dads

As part of President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) will team up with community agencies and barbershops across the country as part of Fatherhood Buzz to provide fathers with key tips, information and strategies that focus on men’s health. Barbershops, which serve as unofficial outlets for peer education in many communities, were chosen as the trusted hub to share information about fatherhood and the essential role that fathers play in society. Events will include national and local resources for fathers, including handouts on health and wellness, parenting tips, networking, and positive conversations. On average, men live five years less than women – with heart disease as

the leading cause of death. Fatherhood Buzz events will encourage fathers to treat their health as part of their commitment to being a responsible father. Fathers who model a healthy lifestyle can have a powerful and positive impact on the development and health of their children. In fact, studies have found that children who have actively engaged fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior. For more information, call 1-8774DAD-411 or visit For the listing of the community partners and barbershops, visit

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LEAP Kicks Off Season to Help Eligible Coloradans with Home Heating Bills


Jollof Rice, African Beer and Specialty Dishes from Africa

Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), which provides financial assistance with home heating bills, began accepting applications Nov 1 and will continue to do so until April 30, 2014. LEAP is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and lowest incomes by family size. Applicant income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level, which equates to $2,944 per month for a family of four. To qualify for LEAP, applicants must be responsible for paying heating costs directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer, or as part of their rent; be a permanent legal resident of the United States and Colorado, or have household members that are U.S. citizens. For more information or to apply for LEAP, call toll free 1-866-HEATHELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


Healthy Holiday Eating By Janet H. Matope


t’s the holidays and we all know what that means - first Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and finally New Year’s. Fun with the family, office parties, or stores offering candy and other seasonal favorites - who can resist? Emotions are elevated, hopes are high, and the temptation of tasty treats adds yet another dimension to the season: concern over holiday weight gain. While eating lots of good food is both expected and encouraged during these special times, excessive indulgence can create problems later. The holidays don’t have to be synonymous with weight gain, especially if you approach them with a sound game plan. Here is a holiday eating game plan that you can follow.

Pre-Game Tips

Don’t skip meals - especially break-

fast, in anticipation of eating larger holiday meals later on. Research shows people who eat a healthy breakfast tend to consumer fewer calories during the day. Have a pre-meal - Don’t go to a holiday gathering on an empty stomach. Snack on fruits or vegetables before heading out the door. This will give you a slight feeling of being full, which will help prevent overeating later. Plan ahead. Have a plan for self-control, especially when it comes to your most tempting treats. Think ahead about the sights, sounds, aromas, and feelings that trigger your personal patterns of overeating, and then make plans to combat these beforehand so they don’t become overwhelming.

Once You Are In The Game

Drink lots of water. Sipping on a glass of cold water or ice throughout the event helps keep you feeling full and staves off the dehydration that comes from eating too many highsugar, high-salt goodies. In fact, dehydration can actually mimic hunger, tempting you to eat more when you should really be drinking more water. Practice portion control. It’s nice to dig in to your favorite holiday treats. However, the extra effort required later to work off the calories, or, worse, the gaining of unwanted body fat from eating too much, should be

reminders for portion control. So, eat what you want, just keep your portions reasonable, chew food slowly, and keep return trips to a minimum. Size matters! The bigger the plate you are eating from, the more food you are likely to eat. Use smaller plates at the buffet line as they can help with portion control. There is something about seeing an empty plate that helps us feel satisfied whether the container is large or small. That’s why using smaller plates is so effective. Eat food because you’re hungry, not because it’s there. Make a deliberate decision to control so-called recreational eating. Eat with your appetite, not with your eyes. Examine what’s available, and then decide what you really want. Eat slowly. The stomach needs about 20 minutes to tell the brain that it’s feeling full. But when food is gulped down, by the time the stomach sends its fullness signal to the brain, you’ve probably already eaten too much food and too many calories. Fill up your plate, eat slowly, and then put the brakes on for a while so that your stomach can send its fullness signal to your brain. Veg out on veggies. Filling up on healthy, low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables instead of high fat, high-sugar, high-salt, and high-caffeine treats will make you feel full without the drawbacks of dehydration, nervousness, weight gain, and overeating. Share the holiday spirit and your food. Save calories by splitting treats with another person. Enjoy yourself They don’t call it “the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing! But rather than focusing on food, allow yourself to enjoy the personal relationships, meaning of the season, personal reflections, renewed spiritual dedication, holiday games, fun, and memories you’re blessed to have. Remember the key to winning is a good defense. Following this game plan for healthy eating will help you maintain good physical and mental health while celebrating with friends and family. Additionally, remember that healthy eating is only half the battle. You also need to stay physically active. Try these easy steps to burn more holiday calories: •Maintain or slightly increase your regular exercise program. This will help decrease your appetite, keep your metabolism high, and give you a little caloric leeway for those sweet treats. •When shopping for holiday gifts, park furthest away from the shopping entrance. •Always take the stairs instead of the elevator. •Take a walk after a heavy meal.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


As tempting as laying on the couch afterwards may be, taking a short walk instead will actually help your body digest your food. Happy Holidays!  Editor’s note: Men’s Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and

Are You Prepared To Leave?

Continued from page 20 through them,” says RichardsonMauro. The two women say they’ve met many business owners who one day just decided they were tired of the headaches and ready to relax. They sold their business or otherwise transitioned out, only to discover they were bored, lonely and unhappy. “After all of your years of work and sacrifice, you deserve a happy life after business,” says Johnson. “It’s completely doable,” adds Richardson-Mauro, “with planning.”

Editor’s note: Kathleen RichardsonMauro, CFP, CBEC, CM&AA, CBI, has owned and operated five small companies and has successfully assisted more than 150 business owners in achieving their transition goals. Jane Johnson, CPA, CBEC, CM&AA, started her career in public accounting and finance at General Electric, then established her own practice. Fourteen years later, she negotiated the sale of her firm, retaining all of her clients and team members. In 2010, Jane received the Excellence in Exit Planning Achievement Award from Pinnacle Equity Solutions.

Available for all Holiday Events, Special Occasions and... 303.355.4979 P.O. Box 39163 H Denver CO 80239

CBCC Is Accepting Applications for the 2014 Chamber Connect Leadership Program

The Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CBCC) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Chamber Connect Leadership Program. Chamber Connect Leadership Program is an intense 10 month leadership training program designed to help upcoming business, political and community leaders refine their leadership skills and take their leadership to the next level. This program equips, inspires and connects future leaders in the areas of business, political and community leadership. For more information and to apply, visit or call 720297-1910. Deadline to apply is Dec. 20.

14th Annual Festival Of Wreaths

The Aurora History Museum’s 14th Annual “Festival of Wreaths” started Nov. 12 and runs through Dec. 13. The exhibit features 50 decorated wreaths ranging from fun themes such as chili peppers, Broncos & Rams football, and the American flag to the more traditional decorations. The wreaths can be seen at the museum or online at Bids can be placed by e-mailing or in person at the Museum. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s new gallery expansion and education programs. The Aurora History Museum, located at 15051 E. Alameda Parkway, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 303-7396660 or visit

City of Aurora Poet Laureate Wanted

The city of Aurora has created the position of Poet Laureate. The position begins in January 2014 and runs through January 2016. All interested candidates must be: a resident of Aurora, at least 18 years of age, a published poet, willing to create and read poems for a variety of city events, and available to attend various city events as designated. Those interested in applying for the position must submit: a letter of interest that includes professional accomplishments, community outreach in regards to sharing a love of poetry, and professional resources. Also include a sample of work/professional portfolio (please limit to 10 poems). Submissions can be made online at or mailed


to: Aurora Public Library – Board of Trustees, ATTN: Poet Laureate Project, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway Aurora, CO 80012. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. For more information, call Frances Brown at 303-739-6580.

Sparkling Universe

Join Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA) for their annual holiday show and sale of original art by youth and guest artists. The exhibit opens with a reception from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 and will continue until Jan. 10. Proceeds from this exhibit support year round art programs for youth at DAVA. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. DAVA is located at 1405 Florence St. in Aurora. For more information, e-mail or call 303-3675886.

Annual Kathy Hill-Young Celebration to be Held Dec 7

The Lowry Family Center will host their 5th Annual Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award celebration Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Tivoli Student Union. The Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award celebrates intrinsically motivated community leaders who have dedicated their lives to community service and development - many who could easily be considered unsung heroes. The award is dedicated to the memory of Kathy Hill-Young, the first Executive Director of the Lowry Family Center until her death on Dec. 6, 2008. Kathy’s passion for helping families in the community resulted in a life’s work that had a positive effect on thousands of people. For more information and tickets, visit

Ujamaa Holiday Market: A Cultural Celebration

This year will mark 13 years of the Ujamaa Holiday Market, a cultural celebration in North East Denver. Ujamaa, the fourth principle of Kwanzaa means, “Cooperative Economics,” and is celebrated by supporting local community business and putting the law of circulation, attraction and prosperity into action during a celebratory season. The market showcases some of Denver’s unique and creative businesses with a cultural flair. The cultural celebration will include drumming, dance, film, jazz, a youth market and community connection. The market will take place at the Clayton Early Learning Campus, 3200

Martin Luther King Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. Friday, Dec. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call Deborah Fard at 720-234-4994.

The Night Fair Before Christmas

Urban Cipher and Kalina Ross Productions present “The Night Fair before Christmas: A Holiday Music, Art and Local Vendor Fair,” hosted by Ru. This event is open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation. Raffle tickets will be sold for $.50 each, giving guest the opportunity to win one of 20 awesome prizes! Each floor of the Parkside Mansion will feature interactive, fun-filled activities for the entire family. The event will be Dec. 20 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Parkside Mansion, 1859 York St. in Denver. For more information, call Phaedra High at or Kalina Ross at

Greater Park Hill Sertoma Requests Your Donations

On Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. the Greater Park Hill Sertoma Club is hosting Toys for Kids at the Blair Caldwell Research Library. Last year, more than 100 children were given books and toys and took pictures with Santa. Help with expenses and supplies, food donation for refreshment or new and used toys and books are needed by Dec. 15 to make this project successful. For more information, email Dr. Faye Rison at or call 303-773-6852.

CME Founder’s Day Celebration

The public is invited to the Colorado Zone Churches of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church in presenting its annual “CME Founder’s Day Celebration.” The general secretary of the Lay, Dr. Clifford Harris, will be the guest for the weekend celebration. The Lay Ministry Department of The Colorado Zone Churches will host a reception in Dr. Harris’ honor on Friday, Dec. 13 at 10:15 a.m. On Saturday, Dec.14, Join them for a lay workshop, facilitated by Dr. Harris from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be held. Dr. Harris will bring the message on Sunday, Dec. 15. All events will be held at Cleaves Memorial C.M.E. Church, 2222 Marion, St. in Denver. For more information, call Ozzie Carter, Colorado Zone Lay leader at 303-568-1907 or Pastor Mark Hill at 303 830-2124.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



$9 Soul Food Plate

Friends of Blair-Caldwell AARL Foundation Officers Announce Additional Board Members

Officers of the AARL Foundation announced the following people to the Friends of Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library board of directors. Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock were named as honorary chairs. Named to the foundation’s executive board were the Honorable Wellington E. Webb as co-chair; the Honorable Wilma J. Webb as co-chair; Sherry Jackson as vice chair; Letitis “Tish” Maes as secretary and the Honorable Landri Taylor as treasurer. Foundation board members include Wayne Cauthen, Mike Dino, Monique Dyer, Denice Edwards, Stephanie Foote, Nita Henry, Fabby Hillyard, Andrew Hudson, David Kenney, Melissa Kolwaite, Greg Kolomitz, Jim Martinez, John McBride, Honorable Jovan Melton, Tom Migaki, Shayla Moon, Dan Muse, Mike Musgrave, Shepherd Nevel, Honorable Stephanie O’Malley, Tracy Adams Peters, Rosemary Rodriguez, Ryan Ross, Kathy Selman, Charlotte Stephens, Allen Webb, Jr., Herman White, and Ed Wingfield. Peggy Wortham was named as the foundation administrator.

cer team, Ashi was honored after scoring both of his team’s goals in a 2-1 victory over conference rival Brown University. It was the first victory by Harvard over Brown in 4 years. An East High School graduate, Ashi is a member of the Project Greer Street Class of 2013. As a junior in high school, Ashi was an All-Colorado First Team selection for soccer and the leading scorer for his team which won the 5A State Championship. As a senior, he was honored as Colorado’s 2012 Gatorade Runner of the Year for his record-setting season in cross-country which included an individual 5A State Championship. For more information regarding Project Greer Street, email

Fields and Duran Honored With Colorado Lawmakers Award

MSU Ann Williams Named U.S. Professor of the Year

The Carnegie Foundation has named Ann Williams, Metropolitan State University of Denver professor of French, one of four “U.S. Professors of the Year” for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and commitment to undergraduate students. Williams, who joined the faculty at MSU Denver in 1990, was chosen as “Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor.” She received the award at a luncheon at the Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. University of Colorado Boulder physics Professor Steven Pollack also was named a U.S. Professor of the Year, in the “Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor” category.

Project Greer Street Alum Ashi Geberkidane Distinguishes Himself At Harvard

Ashi Geberkidane, a freshman at Harvard College, has been chosen as the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week in soccer. A forward on the men’s soc-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013


On Nov. 7, State Representative Rhonda Fields and State Representative Crisanta Duran were honored with the 2013 Outstanding Colorado Lawmakers Award by the Denver Women's Commission and the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce. Both were honored for their legislative actions on behalf of women in the State of Colorado. Representative Fields was elected to serve in the Colorado House of Representative in 2010. She is the first African American women elected to represent Aurora's House District 42. She chairs Local Government Committee and is committed to fighting for better schools, social justice and economic security. Representative Duran was elected to State House in 2010. She has diligently worked to encourage parent involvement in K-12 education and to create government efficiency in the areas of affordable housing, childcare regulations, and higher education. Rep. Duran serves as the Chair of the Joint Budget Committee in the Colorado Legislature.

Denver Celebrates 47 Child Adoptions in Honor of National Adoption Day

Hundreds of people gathered at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse to witness and celebrate 37 families adopt 47 children in honor of National Adoption Day, a day to celebrate adoptive families while raising awareness for kids still looking for permanent, loving homes. During the event, parents hugged their children as judges legalized adoptions. Witnessing the adoptions were family, friends, social workers and guardians ad litem who supported children in finding a forever home. Children and families celebrated by getting their faces painted, playing games, watching an artist create corsages and pets out of balloons, enjoying snacks and music. Children adopted in Judge Woods’ courtroom even adopted a toy rubber duck as part of the festivities. The Azura family, who adopted a two-year-old girl, commented, “This adoption completes our family.” Barbara Ann Pierce, a Denver Human Services case worker, said, “The Azuras are wonderful parents. This is the home their daughter was meant to be in.” “It’s a wonderful feeling seeing this many children walk out of court today with families that will care for them the rest of their lives,” Denver Human Services Manager Penny May said. “I’m thankful to all our families for opening up their hearts and homes to children. And, I am thankful to all our social workers for helping these children find a forever home.” “My colleagues and I look forward to Adoption Day every year; it’s the one day we know everybody will leave our courtrooms smiling,” said Denver Juvenile Court Judge D. Brett Woods. “Nearly 50 kids were adopted into loving families today, but we are always mindful that many more children are in need of permanent placement.” In Denver County, there are 28 children waiting to be adopted and hundreds more throughout the state waiting to find forever homes. To learn more about adoption, call 720-9444000 or visit The Denver Adoption Day celebration was coordinated by Denver Human Services and Denver Juvenile Court. The following groups provided

African-Americans Who Make A Difference The Denver Urban Spectrum is requesting nominations for the

Two little girls make a new friend at the Denver Adoption Day Celebration where the Denver Sherriff’s K-9 unit showed its support. Photo Credit: Schneider Photography

African-Americans Who Make A Difference. The honorees will be featured in February’s 2014 2011 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 someone, or you are someone, 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, Colorado 80041 EMAIL: DELIVER: 2727 Welton Street in Denver’s Five Points Community DEADLINE: Friday, December 13, 10, 2013 2010

Kids enjoyed a variety of activities at the Denver Adoption Day Celebration including face painting. This little boy is sure to be his adoptive sister’s super hero for years to Photo Credit: Schneider Photography

All call-in nominations MUST include a current phone number for the person being nominated to be eligible. ALL NOMINEES will receive a questionnaire that must be returned to the Denver Urban Spectrum by Friday, January 10, 7, 2011. 2014.

This little girl has her face painted as a tiger during the Denver Adoption Day Celebration; she’s wild about her new family.

Denver Juvenile Court Judge D. Brett Woods holds this little girls balloon, while she picks a toy rubber duck to adopt.

donations, volunteers and support for the event: Children’s Museum of Denver, Children’s Legal Advocacy Group, Coffee Etcetera, Crocs Inc., Denver Sheriff’s Department, GIVE Denver, Ed Greene with CBS 4 News, Handy Andy, International Footprint Organization (Denver Chapter #20), Jultak Florists, Kohl’s, LaMar’s Donuts, Phil James, Safeway, Schneider Photography, Su-Z-Q-Z, University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Walmart. 


Nomination Form

Street Address: City/State/ZIP: Phone:

Nominated by:

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2013



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Photos by Lens of Ansar and Angelia McGowan

Epworth Foundation’s Annual “Daddy Bruce” Randolph Feed a Family Thanksgiving Program Events

The CBCC Ascension Awards Gala

Around Town Denver November 2013


The 2013 Chamber Connect Leadership Program Graduation

Photo by Lens of Ansar

McDonalds’ 23rd Annual Senior Thanksgiving Dinner

Photo by Lens of Ansar

U.S. Senator Mark Udall Visits Park Hill for Stapleton Foundation’s Be Well Health & Wellness Initiative Photo by Roz Reece

Happy New Year!




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DUS December Issue 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum December Issue 2013

DUS December Issue 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum December Issue 2013