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Volume 30 Number 9

December 2016

Who, What , Where, When and Why?...1, 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 16, 21, 23

Looking Back - 2016 Countdown to Page...2



December 2016

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


MANAGING EDITOR Laurence C. Washington

PUBLISHER ASSISTANT Melovy Melvin COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer Earl Ofari Hutchinson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Melovy Melvin Allan ChristopherTellis ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2016 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

“Who, What, Where, When and Why?”

For almost 30 years, we’ve always said to include the answers to those words when submitting a press release to the Denver Urban Spectrum. This month’s issue is history making on several levels for DUS. Our cover is graced with our soon to be former first Black President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama; regrettably America’s first woman presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton; and President-elect Donald Trump. On Nov. 8, the world was stunned at the outcome of the presidential election. Although some were elated, most were in disbelief, shocked and angry that resulted in many anti-Trump protests around the country. Everyone has weighed in on the results of this historic, non-traditional, unconventional and unprecedented race, from former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb to Dr. Cornel West, from Denver’s “Elite Eight” to syndicated columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, but specifically Peace Voice (by all white men), whose program is devoted to changing U.S. national conversation about the possibilities of peace and justice and the inadvisability of war and injustice. Their observations and commentary on the “who, what, where, when and why” of this election are very diverse and thought-provoking analysis. They share DUS’s sentiments; please take a moment and read them. Also in this issue, DUS contributor Charles Emmons talks about the 20-year history of the Mile High Flight Program and, also, the induction of Charles Smith into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. DUS “Newby” contributor Allan Tellis was able to chat with a queen, Queen Latifah that is, at the recent “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself” fashion show hosted by The Global Down Syndrome Foundation. See why she is committed to raising money and awareness for Down syndrome, a genetic condition that affects millions of families in the U.S. and internationally. As we move into the holiday season, DUS also reflects on the who, what, where, when and why of 2016 as we move into 2017 when the Denver Urban Spectrum will celebrate 30 years of spreading the news about people color. We would like to give gratitude and special thanks to our readers, advertisers, family and friends – for your love and continued support and look forward to sharing 2017 and beyond with you. No one knows what is in store over the next four years with our newly elected president as he governs our country. All we can do is pray – and what better time to do so than now during the holidays, which is the most prayerful time of the year for many. Out of the “Five W’s,” the Why appears to be most important and perplexing especially when it comes to the loss of a loved one. On Nov. 3, in 2008 and the eve of the election of President Barack Obama, I lost my mother Ruth Boyd. The pain has lessened, the sorrow is unchanged but her memory will never be forgotten. This month we dedicate this issue to five families who may be asking the “Why” with hopes that DUS’s acknowledgement of their loved ones’ contributions and life will bring some form of comfort and peace. May they all rest in peace. To all of you - have a safe and peaceful, happy holiday season. Claude Evans

Big “Al” Richardson

Gwen Ifill

Phil Karsh


No Fly, Safe and Humanitarian Zones - In the U.S., Not Syria

fic controllers, ground personnel, baggage handlers and military personnel (if Trump is flying into an Air Force Base) might organize a sick out on days Trump is scheduled to fly to their cities. Just say No-Fly. Safe Zones: Trump’s racist, antiimmigrant, and anti-woman and Islamophobic rhetoric and policies demand the creation of safe zones and spaces for targeted populations. Safety pins on lapels are a great start as a statement of personal solidarity, but we can do more. Places of worship, schools, public parks, businesses and community centers can all be declared hatred-free zones and sanctuaries. Many cities have already declared themselves to be sanctuaries in terms of refusal by local governments and police agencies to cooperate with federal Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) deportations. With the renewed threat to undocumented human beings from a Trump regime, this needs to be expanded and strengthened. In Washington, D.C., there is already a letter in the works to Mayor Muriel Bowser demanding she reaffirm her stance for D.C. sanctuary, oppose the cancellation of federal funds to sanctuary cities, and that she meet with local organizations supporting atrisk individuals and communities. Humanitarian zones: Also already in the works, many communities around the country have decided they will stand against xenophobic para-

Op-ed By Kevin Martin

With its terrible consequences in that country, the region and worldwide, the slaughter in Syria demands urgent action to end the horrific human suffering. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned, concerned people advocate ratcheting up U.S. military engagement, which could lead to more death, destruction and suffering, not less. There are several reasoned refutations of supposed humanitarian intervention proposals such as a no-fly zone (promoted by some during the presidential election campaign) safe zones and humanitarian zones. In the wake of the election and President-elect Donald Trump’s appeals to xenophobia, racism, misogyny and fear, no-fly, safe and humanitarian zones do have applicability, but in the United States, not Syria. No-fly-zones: Cities that didn’t vote for Trump (which means most cities) should declare their airspaces to be no-fly zones for Air Force One with Trump or Vice-President-elect Mike Pence on board. Residents could roll out virtual or actual “Sorry, we don’t want racist, misogynist fear-mongers in our city” unwelcome mats. Air traf-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Ruth Boyd

Rosalind J. Harris DUS Publisher

noia and instead welcome refugees (often fleeing U.S.-exacerbated wars) to their neighborhoods and homes. If refugees still want to come to this country after the election, they should be welcomed with open arms, minds, hearts, doors and wallets. Many are feeling understandable despondency at the election results. Taking concrete action and responsibility for letting the country and the world know Trump’s fear-based reign of terror will not prevail is the best antidote to despair.  Editor’s Note: Kevin Martin, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is President of Peace Action, the country’s largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization with more than 200,000 supporters nationwide.

Kaepernick Deserves Praise

Editor: All praise to Colin Kaepernick, the Black God who plays quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. I’ve often wondered how long it would take for Black athletes to find a backbone (many of them have yet to find one). The American perception of Black athletes especially and perhaps athletes and actors in general is they should put their talents on display and not open their mouth to reveal any intelligence. When opinion challenges nationalism free speech is not so free. If you rattle the cage you risk having your fingers smashed. Continued on page 27

Reflections: Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017 By Melovy Melvin

The Denver Urban Spectrum kicked off the year celebrating the birthday and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose “dream” is intertwined in the framework of America. In his honor, we recognized three African-American men who are living their dream. DUS contributor Charles Emmons sat down with Chefs Daniel Young, Scott Durrah, and Donald James who shared their journey on the who, what, where, when and why of their careers and who helped along the way. DUS also shared the opening of a new dispensary opening in LoHi – also a business entity of Chef Scott. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance brought the 28th annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and Festival to Denver, as founder and artistic director Cleo Parker Robinson also bid farewell to her father, Jonathan “J.P.” Parker.

January 2016

In celebration of Black Heritage Month, our cover story featured Anthony Brownlee, who talked with Charles Emmons about the driving force behind his success as president, managing partner and general manager of Land Rover Denver. Denver Urban Spectrum welcomed back longtime friend, Jamal Mootoo who shared how his life has changed after serving as a minister under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam 20 years ago. Like in previous years and commemorating Black History, we recognized our “quiet movers and shakers,” who were selected by the community as the 2016 AfricanAmericans Who Make A Difference. Fourteen honorees shared with US what motivated them to become active in their community, suggestions to address the challenges that face the community, and how they would like to be remembered.

February 2016

In honor of Women’s History, DUS contributor Charles Emmons reached out to several African-American women who were hoping to help shape Denver’s political landscape in

March 2016

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter christened June as Black Music Month and President Obama proclaimed it the national observance as AfricanAmerican Music Appreciation month with the mission to recognize the rich and influential legacy of Black music. Jazz saxophonist, Harold Rapp II shared with DUS editor, Laurence Washington the obstacles he had to overcome in order to get to a point of his promising career as a musician. Local artist and music aficionado Juliette Hemingway, who’s art piece was featured on the cover, talked to Khaleel Herbert about bringing a unique perspective to her craft, and why blue is not always blue, and how “Music is the common thread that holds all of us together no matter who we are, where we live or how we live our lives.” Juneteenth organizer Norman Harris told DUS writer Melovy Melvin where the Juneteenth Musical Festival has been, where it is today and where he would like to see it go in the future as this holiday marked the oldest celebration to commemorate African-American emancipation from slavery in the U.S.

June 2016

Dove Underground in Denver. And Annette Walker talked about “Preserving, Documenting, and Writing History” from the BlairCaldwell African American Research Library in honor of the Arturo (arthur) Schomburg to the late Paul Stewart’s collection as it was transitioned into the Black America West Museum in Five Points. DUS also wished Greg Moore the best of wishes, as he resigned as editor of the Denver Post after 14 years of making a difference for journalists over the years.

several high profile positions. These were Colorado State Representatives Rhonda Fields and Angela Williams, Khadija Haynes, Elet Valentine, Michelle Wheeler, Leslie Herod, Janet Buckner, Dominique Jackson, and Naquetta Ricks. Misti Aas shared how and why local and well- known vocalist, Linda Styles stepped out on faith to start her own long-overdue entertainment band. And Melovy Melvin talked with health and wellness specialist, Angle Nixon, who brought her expertise and business, EuroSlim, to the Mile High City from the UK nine years ago.

The world mourned the loss of musical icon and legend Prince, whom DUS dedicated the month’s issue. And with that, health was at the forefront. Welcoming back long-time supporter and an award-winning journalist as managing editor, Laurence Washington talked about the challenge Black churches have taken to get at least 1,000 peopled tested for the HIV/AIDS virus. DUS shared other health related stories about an upcoming women’s symposium and healthy fats and why everyone should visit a dietician. Entertainment was also bountiful in this issue. Chante “songbird” Moore graced Denver with her presence and Denver drummer Steven Dunn, talks about Tears of Joy. Charles Emmons tells readers about the Colorado Flyers who celebrated its 50th reunion at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and their aim of helping young people get college scholarships.

May 2016

Spring time was in the air, and Denver not only welcomed the springblooming flowers, but also Hollywood actor, Morris Chestnut as the host of Derby 16. DUS contributor Charles Emmons shared two historic stories this month. Black Elks Speaks, a production at the Aurora Fox Center retold the story recounting the history of NativeAmericans from the arrival of Columbus through escalating incidents including the Sand Creek Massacre culminating in Wounded Knee. Multi-talented muti-instrumentalist Najee marked 30 years since Najee’s Theme debuted as a solo artist. He celebrated his anniversary with a multicity tour that started at the Soiled

April 2016

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


This month, flipping the script, DUS talked about “new” beginnings as our cover story. The Gathering Place, which was founded to help homeless women and children, launched Art Restart to help them with rebuilding their lives. Comedian Sam Adams talked with Managing Editor Laurence Washington about how and why he enjoys making people laugh, meeting Bill Cosby and his plans to move forward in the world of comedy. Contributor Ifalade TaShia Asante was invited to Washington D.C. to attend and participate in the United States of Women Summit. Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, she shared how the 5,000 attendees were educated, enlightened and inspired – and what they took away with them.

July 2016

This month we recognized those who give and why. Our cover story features EPIC – Elevating Continued on page 4

August 2016


May Favor Democrats -

Someday F

By James A. Haught

or years, researchers have predicted that changing U.S. demographics – the rising tide of Hispanics, blacks, Asians, Pacific islanders, city-dwellers, educated women and young people who don’t attend church – will create an unbeatable majority for the Democratic Party. Well, it didn’t quite happen in 2016. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote among all stripes of Americans – but whites, especially fundamentalists, tipped the electoral majority to Donald Trump. Exit polls said 81 percent of white evangelicals chose Trump. How long can the GOP keep winning as a mostly-white party? In the future, Census Bureau projections foresee a relentless “browning of America” – and most of the minorities tend to vote Democratic. By 2040, minorities will pass 50 percent, and traditional European whites will become a minority in America (although they will continue to control most wealth and power). Conservative columnist George Will says Republicans are wrong to depend on the “kamikaze arithmetic of white nationalism.” He wrote: “Arizona whites have gone from 74 percent to 54 percent of the population in 25 years; minorities will be a majority there by 2022. Texas minorities became a majority in 2004; whites are now 43 percent of the population. Nevada is 52 percent white and projected to be majority-minority in 2020. Georgia is 54 percent white, heading for majority-minority in 2026. In 2016, Republicans won a ruinous triumph that convinced them that they can forever prosper by capturing an everlarger portion of an ever-smaller portion of the electorate.” Researcher Steve Phillips wrote a book titled “Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.” Minority people – often treated as outsiders – generally have liberal, progressive, humane values and tend to support the Democratic Party. Their relentless increase helps Democrats. But they often don’t vote.

Author Phillips says the Democratic Party could secure a strong, permanent, national edge if it focused more money and energy on recruiting minority voters through low-cost, door-to door personal contact. He outlined this strategy in a New York Times analysis titled “How to Build a Democratic Majority that Lasts.” Churchless Americans who say their religion is “none” have become the largest single bloc in the Democratic Party base. They’re growing steadily, and now are the nation’s biggest faith category. The Public Religion Research Institute says “nones” have reached 25 percent of

the adult population, outstripping Catholics (21 percent) and white evangelicals (16 percent). They’re destined to increase more, because 39 percent of adults under 30 have no church affiliation. Unfortunately, the churchless are poor voters. Evidently they shun politics as much as they shun religion. A quarter of them aren’t even registered to vote. In the 2012 election, when they comprised 20 percent of U.S. adults, they were only 12 percent of voters. In 2016, as one-fourth of the populace, they were 15 percent of voters, according to Pew Research. Will all these varied minorities

someday constitute a Democratic powerhouse? I hope so. But remember, groups aren’t monolithic. Some blacks, Hispanics, educated women, agnostics and the like voted for Trump (only God knows why). The tide of demographic change is unstoppable. Eventually, I hope, Democrats may become an inclusive “rainbow” party with better chances for success. It almost happened in 2016. As losers say in sports, “Wait til next time.” Editor’s note: James Haught, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is editor emeritus of West Virginia’s largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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


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


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


Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza Jan. 8 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.

*$99 hotel rates not available on New Year’s Eve Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


DUS Reflections

Continued from page 2 Philanthropy in Communities of Color and Black philanthropy and the “Four T’s” – The Time Givers, Talent Givers, Givers of Treasure, and the Testifiers. Laurence Washington met with Hassan Latif and shared how he gives through his Second Chance Center in Aurora, a non-profit re-entry program founded by Latif in February of 2012. Washington also talked with Skip Reeves as his A Funk Above the Rest radio program, which can be heard on public radio KGNU and digital radio KZKO, celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert at the Adams County Fair Grounds. And with the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Melovy Melvin tells readers how Rev. Quincy Shannon and others “sat-in” at a spiritual space to promote healing. Denver Urban Spectrum featured African-American women who were the breakout stars at this summer’s Olympics in Rio led by 19-year-old Simone Biles, who flipped and turned her way into Olympic history. Other Olympic medalist were track stars

September 2016

first round draft pick for the Denver Nuggets. Read about Malik Beasley and his supportive and actor parents and grandfather who he considers his personal “heroes and shero.” Contributor Charles Emmons talks about Youth with a Future, an urban leadership development program based in spiritual and Christian values. And Allan Tellis shares what he learned at the Colorado Black Round Table’s community discussion panel on the findings of Dr. Sharon Bailey’s report about the experience of AfricanAmerican educators and students within Denver Public Schools. Also, DPS dedicated the Regis Groff Campus in Northeast Denver in honor of longtime Denver educator (and politician) Regis Groff.

Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin; runners Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese; swimmer Simone Manual; boxer Clarissa Shields; shot put thrower Michelle Carter; and fencer Ibthihaj Muhammad who became the first Muslim-American woman to compete for the U.S. in a hijab. Contributor Donna Garrnet shared details as the Montbello Organizing Committee prepared for its 50th anniversary and invited the public to celebrate “50 Years of Diversity.” DUS contributor, Luciana attended and talked with Colorado Clinton Campaign Director, Emmy Ruiz at a business luncheon hosted by former Denver Mayor and First Lady, Wellington and Wilma Webb. The Colorado Association of Black Journalist honored its own at the annual CABJ Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet where DUS walked away with five honors. The journalist community also mourned the passing of veteran journalist George Curry.

With the campaign ads, political talk, and the media coverage, the race for a new president of the United States had been frustrating and exciting for the American people and all around the world. DUS contributor writer Charles Emmons hit the trails right behind those who supported Secretary Hillary Clinton and shared

November 2016

Our cover story features a humble young man who because of his work ethics, humbleness and faith, was a

October 2016

their thoughts and reasons why they supported her candidacy. Melovy Melvin gave her views as a first time voter as a millennial, while encouraging other millennials to get out and vote. And Tanya Ishikawa talked about the Denverbased watch enterprise Banneker Watches, and how they look forward to the launch of a new watch line, the Black Eagle, in honor of nationally recognized DJ Joe Madison. DUS publisher reflected, memorialized and dedicated the issue to the lives of friend Lawrence “Larry” Borom and cousin Harold Whitfield. As the year ends and the long anticipated election has elected a new President to the disappointment of many, this month we focus on the politics of politics with a variety of perspectives that will give you the who, what, where, when and why President-elect Trump will serve as the 45th President of the United States.

December 2016

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Mitchell General Manager

As we enter the winter season,

skiers anxiously await the opening of their favorite ski resort. And at 72, Charles Smith still skis and loves teaching others to ski. As one of the pioneering members of Denver’s Slippers-N-Sliders Ski Club and the Ski for Kids Program, which has introduced more than 1,500 urban youth to the sport, Smith has been an advocate for bringing more African-Americans to Colorado’s slopes. On Oct. 1, he was recognized by the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Ski Museum, and became the first African-American inducted in their Hall of Fame as a Sport Builder. Smith first got on skis more than 50 years ago. “The first time I was on skis was 1964-65,” he says. It was kind of a goof off day. I went with some friends that I worked with. We went to Loveland Basin. There must have been two carloads of us. We all put on a pair of blue jeans. Everybody told us we should stay dry and be warm. We sprayed waterproofing spray on our clothes. We didn’t have regular ski clothing. And headed out like we knew what we were doing. We jumped on the rope tow I think. We had our own equipment we had rented from Gart Bros.” Skiing was very different back then. There was no I-70 or EisenhowerJohnson tunnels. There were a handful of ski areas. Vail was in its infancy. Loveland Basin was the most accessible, and Smith recalls that the lift ticket was about $4. “We didn’t take lessons,” he says. “Two or three of the guys had been on skis before. They were the ones that kind of led us around. And they did a pretty good job of telling us what to expect. We ended up at the top of the mountain at the end of the day, and that is when the real fun started, getting down.” Yet the Lubbock, Texas native was hooked. The modern technology of quick release bindings didn’t exist, and on this first outing Smith twisted his knee. He visited Dr. Ted Hunt, a Denver orthopedic surgeon who told him he had a sprain and to stay off of it and he would be fine. Two week later he was back on the hill, a place where he found a home for the rest of his life. On that day, Smith didn’t see any other African-Americans skiing. His late brother Odell Smith became his #1 skiing partner. He skied for six years before he was introduced to the Slippers-N-Sliders Ski Club when he and his brother were in a restaurant on Colfax and Colorado Boulevard. Dr. William Bowers, a Denver podiatrist, approached them about the club.

Charles Smith Inducted into Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame By Charles Emmons

Smith was surprised to find that there were a good number of AfricanAmerican skiers, among them Val Tanaka, Floyd Cole, and Bryce Parks, who also had significant roles in growing the club and its reach. In his new home of Colorado, Smith married and started a family of skiers. He and his wife are still active in Slippers-N-Sliders, where he has served as the president for eight nonconsecutive years, and as served on the board of the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS) for five years as a regional vice president. Thousands of Black skiers from all over the country have made their way west to the mountains for the NBS Ski Summits, which will be in Keystone this year from Feb. 25 to March 4. Twenty-five summit events have been in Colorado in the 40plus-year history of the NBS. Locally, 1,500 youth have been introduced to the sport through the Ski For Kids Program, and Smith says it’s hard to determine how many have stayed with the sport. But it is because of his impact in bringing minorities to the sport on all different levels that Smith was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. “Without Charles’ efforts and passion for the sport, without his work along with the Slippers-N-Sliders Club and the National Brotherhood of Skiers, it’s hard to say how large a percentage of the annual skiers and snowboarders in Colorado would come from the minority community,”

said John Dakin, vice president communications for the museum. “It was in recognition of a lifelong dedication to the sport, dedication to African-American athletes, or to the ski and snowboard industry throughout the state of Colorado, bringing National Brotherhood Summits and many summits here – all of it really dovetails into a very deserving candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame.” Grady Towns, who nominated Smith, noted his accomplishments in his letter. In 2013 he attended an award ceremony at the Ski Museum in Vail where Smith accepted a ‘Top of the Hill Award’ on behalf of the Slippers-N-Sliders. “So it was there that I said, ‘Oh well, here is an avenue that maybe is a way I can get Charles selected to the Hall of Fame.’ And I proceeded from there.” Towns first nominated Smith in 2014, after which he was one of 14 finalists and could be put forward in 2015 and 2016. “I am just particularly pleased and thankful to the Hall of Fame and the museum for inducting Charles into the Hall of Fame. It is just heart-warming to see that. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of that honor,” Towns said. Smith is both honored and humbled for the selection, but is quick to give others credit who have

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


also buoyed Slippers-N-Sliders and the activities of Black skiers. “There are some people that don’t participate anymore that need to be recognized. They’ve done some initial things, but they quit early. I stayed. I think especially the ones that are still living. I think they need some credit – Val Tanaka, Rodney Williams. Some credit goes to the Black ski instructors; we have about 16 or 17. There’s been a lot done that nobody knows about. We’ve got people there that have been up 30 years or more. Fred Norman, he’s my age, and he has been up at Keystone 30 some years. Rodney Williams and Mac Holland have been there 30 years. And we are all certified. Four of us are fully certified Level III.” Smith’s level of commitment to introducing African-Americans to the sport is longstanding and brought new experiences and challenges to the community. “I wiped noses, helped kids get dressed, made sure the kids had shoes on the right foot and a little bit of everything,” Smith said. “We got snowed in one time and I remember spent the night in the parking lot in Dillon, and you won’t believe the reception we got. It was unbelievable the people that took care of us,” said Smith who has also been an advocate for Black ski racers at established programs like Burke Mountain Academy and Crested Butte Academy. This year the Ski for Kids Program, which Smith directed for 25 years will introduce another 40 urban youth to skiing. The same number of youth participants that are members of Slipper-N-Sliders will take to the slopes in Jan. 7. Curtis Whitman the club’s current president is looking for more participants, and says the cost of $550 per student is reasonable, for five weeks of ski trips and lessons. Whitman is grateful for Smith’s continuing contributions to Slippers-NSliders. “He has been instrumental in keeping the club alive. He and his wife both are active participants. He’s also a ski instructor at Loveland. He has done a lot for the club, and because he is an expert skier, will take different groups up to ski. He videotapes everybody and does a lot of things for the club and to help promote it.” Preparation informs our success which elevates our joy and enjoyment. Smith has reached a pinnacle of recognition, and now he’s ready to hit the slopes again and enjoy his lifelong passions. Congratulations Mr. Smith! Editor’s note: For more information about Slippers-N-Sliders Ski Club, NBS Ski Summit or the National Brotherhood of Skiers, visit; and

Not Backing Down: After the 2016 Election By Representative Jovan Melton and Representative-Elect Leslie Herod On behalf of the Members of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado

Editor’s note: On Nov. 8, history was made in Colorado as the “Elite Eight” were elected to the Senate and House of Representatives. All of these black legislators are Democrats. Following is their response to the recent elections.


rom Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, to Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and the unforeseen prevail of Donald Trump, we have witnessed an election unlike any other in American History. The weeks and months leading up to Election Day stirred up a variety of many different emotions as story after story broke about comments that shocked, insulted and threatened the very fabric of civility in America. And as it seemed it would all come to a final rest on Election Night, the results proved otherwise, leaving many in a state of confusion and dismay by the election of a candidate that played on the worst of voter’s human nature: fear, division and blame. The day after the election came to find families worried about being torn apart because of deportation; citizens worried about being persecuted because of their religious beliefs; women worried about their reproductive rights being infringed upon; members of the LGBTQ community worried about being discriminated against; those suffering from illnesses worried about losing their healthcare; African Americans worried about being thrown in jail by police stopand-frisk tactics; and a host of other concerns that would impact both foreign and domestic interests. President-Elect Trump vowed to “Make America Great Again,” and his meaning was found in emerging videos of kids in high school parading down hallways chanting “White Power,” while carrying Trump signs. It was found in the shouts of “Build that Wall,” at Latino students entering a school lunchroom. It was found in the very words tweeted by Donald

Trump himself condemning the constitutional right of people to protest his election to office. It is hard to believe that eight years after the election of President Obama, a time filled with hope for the future and success through working together, that the country has descended to a place where hope has been replaced with fear and working together has been replaced with division. The frustration felt by so many different communities across this country is something we must now face and grapple with in the months ahead as the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration begins to take place. Yet, all is not lost. In Colorado, while we saw the national election take an unexpected turn, we also witnessed history. Not only did the number of AfricanAmericans elected to the State Legislature increase, but for the first time since Colorado’s founding, we have two members elected to serve together in the State Senate to: Rhonda Fields (Senate District 29 – Aurora), and Angela Williams (Senate District 33 – Denver), as well as six members elected to serve together in the State House of Representatives: James Coleman (House District 7 – Denver), Leslie Herod (House District 8 – Denver), Tony Exum (House District 17 – Colorado Springs), Janet Buckner (House District 40 – Aurora), Jovan Melton (House District 41 – Aurora), and Dominique Jackson (House District 42 – Aurora). With an unprecedented total of eight members standing ready to serve communities of color across the state, the first actions of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus will be to respond to any attacks by a Trump White House against our freedoms, civil rights and progress. An essential key to that is to be ready to work towards the advancement of constituents in our respective districts, as well as communities across Colorado. This is not a time for despair, but a time to for all of us to join together and carry forward the Audacity of

Hope that President Obama talked about years ago. Throughout this campaign year, community has been our center-point. We will listen and ensure the voices of our community are heard at the State Capitol. These campaign promises have not changed. Since the election of Donald Trump as President, we are more emboldened to make good on these promises. There will be no walls built in Colorado. Our state will not become less kind or less safe or less available to some. To the contrary, we must work to make sure that children are guaranteed a quality education regardless of their income or zip code. We must stand up and ensure that our schools are safe for all our kids. Bullying is not permissible and education is a guarantee for all students regardless of their race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. We must not allow our communities to become marginalized and will push back against the rhetoric that all African-Americans live in poverty. The best way to accomplish this is by advancing workforce and economic development in communities of color. It is essential to ensure that training is made available for those trying to enter or advance in the job market. We must support small business growth and will fight for additional resources to help create more opportunities for the unemployed and the underemployed. By addressing these concerns, we can better level the playing field for those that have not been given an equitable chance to succeed. We will work with our colleagues in the legislature to reform our criminal justice system with an eye toward keeping our communities safe and ensuring that certain communities are not disproportionately impacted by a punitive system. We need to ensure that relations between police and community are enhanced, remain respectful and in line with our constitution. We cannot as a community tolerate bad actors either in our police ranks or in our district attorney offices. It is in keeping in line with these principles that our community will be a safe

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


place for everyone. The fight for equality for all including our communities of color and LGBTQ families must continue. This means not only fending off legislation that makes discrimination against our communities easy, but also advancing proposals that strengthen equality. It is our Faith that guides and strengthens us. Our faith as a people has seen us through the most adverse of times and conditions. Like our leaders of the past, we too must draw from our convictions if we are to progress forward. In Colorado we remember trailblazers like Barney Ford, who was born into slavery, but taught himself to read and escaped from bondage at the age of 26. He eventually settled in the territory that would become Colorado. At a time when they wouldn’t allow Blacks to own mines, he instead built a number of businesses that serviced miners, and became one of the wealthiest men in the territory. As Colorado was looking to become a state, they turned to Ford and asked for his support, He would only help with one condition, that Colorado give Blacks the vote, and due to his courage and faith, Colorado entered the union as the first state to do so, even before the United States federal government followed suit. That is our legacy, overcoming hardships to bring about equality. In the test that lies before us, we must not forget that there is no challenge too great, no adversary too strong, no President too bold, that can overcome our faith and our strength as a community. Now is the time for us to join together and stand up stronger than ever before for the values we represent. Now is the time to set aside individual agendas in order to work as one. Now is the time for compassion, compromise, and courage. Colorado is a beautiful place to live and although the national election did not turn out the way we hoped, we remain committed to improving the lives of all Coloradans. Together we will move Colorado will forward, and we will not back down. 

Dr. Cornel West Weighs in on Empathetic Love and Healing O

By Allan Tellis

n Nov. 3, in the Tivoli Center at Metro State University of Denver, Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West took the stage to discuss issues of morality, race and politics pertaining to our current societal climate. Over the last 30 years, Dr. West has served for many years as one of the prominent voices concerning both race and class relations in the United States. He has published 20 books, and has been a tireless voice calling for righteous justice and placing the utmost importance on respecting human dignity no matter the consequences. He is an unabashed “revolutionary Christian” as he would call it, often reminding his audience that he has no choice but to love as Jesus had loved. Although West is often extremely critical of those in power, and has been a staunch opponent of the oligarchy he sees forming in this country, he never losses sight of what is at the core of his message - which is unabridged love. This particular occasion seemed to have a heightened sense of importance as he delivered this address in the waning days of the election, which has since highlighted a great divide and sense of tension between and within the American public. West has been very clear about his feelings regarding the now Presidentelect, Donald Trump, mincing no words and calling him a neo-fascist that is capable of destroying the fabric of the county. West repeatedly admonished Trump for allowing his rhetoric to create a climate of hostility that permeated not only through his constituency, but forced his opposition to act in an equally destructive manner. Throughout his entire career, West has been profoundly inspired by the plight of the poor and disenfranchised, whom are exactly the people he fears for under the Trump regime for the next four years. He did, however, show a level of sympathy for Trump’s supporters, noting that he understood their pent-up pain and frustration, even if their attempt to remedy that predicament was misguided. At the time of his speech, the election was still hanging in the balance with most pundits and polls leaning

the common good. West felt that there could be no possible way for him to stand behind such a woman with his conscious in tact. West also is a strong believer that every child born in every corner of the earth is equally precious, and did not feel that Clinton placed the same emphasis on the value on every child’s life. He pointed to her constant calls for militarization and the lack of drone supervision, which has become a “human calamity” with the amount of civilians unintentionally murdered in these strikes – strikes that disproportionately affect already marginalized groups, such as women and children. He pointed to the fact that a white child in America deserves the same right to be born into a peaceful world as a brown child in Syria. He also pointed to the devastation Clinton left through the Black community of several crime bills that dramatically increased the rate of mass incarceration. After West’s speech concluded, I

towards a relatively easy victory for Hillary Clinton – whom he also objected too due to his moral conscience. West revealed feelings of great disdain for what he described as a proverbial gun to his head, forcing him to choose between two candidates that he not only did not want to elect, but candidates he could not fathom being the potential leaders of the America he envisioned. On many occasions, including this particular address, West has declared that Clinton would be a neoliberal catastrophe and represents the epitome of what is wrong with modern American politics and economic stratospheres if elected to office. West made it clear he resents the hemorrhaging of power and wealth that creates unbearable circumstances for those of us that have to “carry the weight of the oligarch on our backs.” With Clinton being extremely wealthy herself, and often protecting the interests of big banks on Wall Street over

had a brief moment to dialogue with him. I asked, “If his message of unconditional love was feasible in action in such a hostile climate that it seems that collisions are inevitable?” He said he believed there was room for different types of spirits, which would bear different types of fruits, “all of which could help contribute to creating a climate of revolutionary love.” West harkened back to great Black Panther Party leaders such as Fred Hampton and Eldridge Cleaver, who were staunchly engrained in militaristic resistance if necessary, but always had a love for the people, which remained the core of their motivation. West believes that if we are able to keep that at the heart of our efforts then he can morally align himself with any movement even if he cannot participate. At the end of the day, West only desires for the world to reflect an empathetic love that can help heal some of the deepest wounds we have both here domestically, and in the international community. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Maintain Your Weight This Holiday Season T

By Kim Farmer

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

gain of 1-3 pounds each year and while it may not seem much, over a lifetime it can easily add up to 20 plus pounds. Eating during the holidays does not have to lead to an enlarged waistline; this can be avoided by focussing on a healthy balance of fun, activity, and food. Here are some simple tips for healthy eating during the holiday season. Do your best to stick to your healthy eating plans, but don’t start a

new one. During the holiday season, there is usually an abundance of good food and the temptation to eat is huge; but the best strategy is to serve yourself small portions of the calorie-laden potatoes, ham, rolls and pecan pie. If you tend to overindulge at an office party, you can still keep your commitment to a healthy diet by having a lighter meal the following day. Eat regularly - the moment you skip meals you will end up overeating holiday food. The best way to start the day is to eat a healthy breakfast so you are not tempted to overeat. Eat a few snacks rather than three large meals. People who eat small snacks

every few hours can help curb the hunger pangs and prevent over eating. If you feel like you can’t help yourself from binge eating of holiday food, fill half the plate with vegetables and fruits first and scale back a little on the turkey, beef and pork portions. During the holiday season, there are lots of high-calorie foods like chocolates, cakes and other desserts – best advice – take a bite and move on. One easy way to add calories is drinking both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If you do decide to drink, choose low-calorie drinks, such as fruit juices with water added to reduce sugar and caloric content, sparkling water with lime or club soda. Despite all of the tips given here, you may be in the category of the majority of people who will tend to overeat during the holiday season. However, by remaining active, you can burn the extra calories you ingested. Aim to exercise every day for 30 to 45 minutes and keep in mind you do not have to join the gym or perform any type of exercise with heavy equipment. Walking is the easiest form of exercise since it is free. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery and it is safe unless you text while walking and stumble into a pothole. Walk briskly for 30-45 minutes everyday and you will help prevent your waistline from growing these holidays. Happy holidays and thanks for reading.  Editor’s Note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. For more information, visit or email

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A Runway Fit for Two

Queens By Allan Tellis

Queen Latifah and Deondra Dixon


creen stage and recording star Queen Latifah was the special guest at the recent “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself” fashion show hosted by The Global Down Syndrome Foundation on November 12 at the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is committed to raising money and awareness for Down syndrome, a genetic condition that affects millions of families in the U.S. and internationally. The foundation’s primary goal is to help fund research conducted by the Linda Crnic Institute for Down syndrome, as they continue to achieve breakthroughs that will hopefully drastically improve the lives of those who have Down syndrome and their families. Because Down syndrome research is the least funded of the major genetic conditions, the work of The Global Down Syndrome

Foundation has become a necessary resource to sustain medical analysis and intensive research. Since its creation in 2009, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation has hosted the “Be Beautiful Be Yourself” fashion show, which is the largest single benefit fundraiser. The star studded event presents models that have Down syndrome accompanied by an all-star cast of celebrities. This year’s celebration was no exception. In addition to Queen Latifah, other celebrities included Denver Bronco Super Bowl Champion and legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, actors Hilary Swank and Matt Dillon, TV personality Mario Lopez, stage and screen star John C. McGinley, actress and model Amanda Booth and Jamie Foxx. The celebrities helped the young models celebrate and strut their stuff down the runway. The models were jubilant and showed the crowd their most creative dance

moves up and down the runway. Ranging in age from 7-year-old children to teenagers, the adults also were equally excited to participate. The fashion show coincided with a silent auction that is responsible for a hefty portion of the funds raised during the event. The bidders were able to receive prizes ranging from an exclusive trip to fashion week in New York City, to luxury seating and accommodations at Super Bowl 51. Before the event began, celebrity sponsors walked the red carpet to highlight why they believed the work of the foundation was so important. Mario Lopez said, “I support the awareness the event raises and look forward to building on much of the success we have seen in past years.” Queen Latifah also shared with the Denver Urban Spectrum how important inclusion is at a time during our current social climate. She asked, “What

would you want for your niece or nephew if they were affected by Down syndrome?” She also said people with Down syndrome “are people just like the rest of us with the same desires and emotions,” which is another reason she is so committed to celebrating them through the fashion show. Multi-talented entertainer Jamie Foxx, whose younger sister Deondra Dixon has Down syndrome, is an avid supporter for her and the condition and attends the event every year. With a winning personality and a great sense of humor, Dixon serves as a Global Down Syndrome Foundation ambassador advocating for the acceptance and continued research on behalf of those with Down syndrome. Through ticket sales and the silent auction, the foundation was able to raise an incredible amount of money to continue their efforts to improve the lives of those affected by Down syndrome. All of which was encapsulated in a keynote speech by Frank Stephens, who very eloquently stated his desire for people with Down Syndrome to be treated and respected with the basic human dignity that everyone deserves. Oftentimes children with Down syndrome are seen as a burden or disadvantage, instead of being seen as precious and full of potential as all children should. He proudly declared, “I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living!” Although there is still much work to be done to insure the safety and quality of life for people with Down syndrome, there are even more disastrous views that see people with this genetic condition as expendable. Stephens noted that by every measurable category “People who have people with Down syndrome close to them are much happier.”

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For all your real estate needs Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Mile High Flight Program Marks 20 Years of Giving Flying provides a sense of ulti-

mate freedom. Obstacles and challenges present themselves, but you rise above them undeterred by gender, economic circumstances and other perceived barriers. In October, the Mile High Flight Program marked 20 years of encouraging young people to diligently pursue their dreams of doing whatever is necessary to give them flight. Grounded in the principles of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Mile High Flight Program has exposed Colorado’s youth to opportunities in aviation, aerospace and related fields since 1996. Sponsored by the Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, the 20th year was kicked off at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum Theater packed with more than 100 attendees including students and families. This was the start of another Phase I, a series of seven field trips to aviation and aeronautical related facilities and organizations throughout the Front Range. Phase II for a select few incudes flight training, culminating in a solo flight in a Cessna. The program is facilitated by the “Mile High Flight Crew,” local professional pilots, who volunteer their time. When United Airlines Capt. Eric Mosley asked the gathering if they knew about the Tuskegee Airmen, few hands were raised. He talked about remembering the legacy of these brave decorated African-American men and embraced their principles, which made them successful, as these notable alumni have. Aim High: The young men who would become Tuskegee Airmen dreamed of flying. No one else believed they could. By aiming high we can achieve more. Believe in Yourself: Believing in their own abilities and working hard, the Black Airmen became heroes. Selfconfidence is always a key to success.

Jamar Harrison

Harrison fixated on planes at the age of 5, after his uncle gave him a Delta Airlines MD-11 model. When Western Pacific Airlines went bankrupt in Colorado Springs in 1997, many of his classmates’ parents lost their jobs. Harrison questioned this occurrence, and developed an interest in the aviation field in general. He found the Mile High Flight Program while in high school through his mother’s beautician client. During Phase I, he commuted from from

FLIGHT TO DREAMS By Charles Emmons

Left to right: United Airlines First Officer Andrea Menjura, Air Force 1st Lieutenant Mahad Fahieh, original Tuskegee Airman Col (Ret) James Randall, original Tuskegee Airman Randy Edwards, Shirley Edwards, (wife of Randy), and former Mile High Flight solo student Jamar Harrison.

October to May to attend the monthly field trips in Colorado Springs. “Phase I was like going to a mall and seeing so many different stores, “ Harrison says “like seeing all the different aspects of flight. A lot of times when people think aviation, they automatically think pilots. But the program really exposes you to all the different elements of flight outside of that.” Harrison’s father drove him up to the United Airlines Flight Training Center in a blizzard. “That was such a special time for me to think that one of my parents had so much support for me in going into this field, and researching more about the aviation industry,” he says. At the end of Phase I, Harrison took the glider flight at Owl Canyon wearing a cast after knee surgery. He was selected for Phase II, and soloed in a Cessna 172 in 2007. “Phase II taught me so much about not only being a pilot, but also trusting myself and my instincts,” Harrison said. “I had the pleasure and honor of having Capt. Mosley’s late father witness my flight solo who gave me advice. He talked about his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman, talked about trusting yourself – again just reaffirming those lessons I learned throughout Phase II. It’s a moment I will never forget, being able to talk to a real Tuskegee Airman who supported me on my flight solo.” Harrison works in acquisitions and procurement for the Department of Defense in Washington D.C. His goal is getting his MBA and entering the aviation field in management and

operations and to become the first African-American CEO of a major airline. “This program gave me the momentum I needed as a teenager to realize that there is a place for me, a young boy of color in the sky,” Harrison says. “This program not only gave me the opportunity to see a lot of minorities in the aviation industry, it gave me the support and confidence to know that one day I could make a difference in aviation as well.” Use Your Brain: Your brain is like a muscle. Stop using it and it gets weak. By using our brains we can realize our potential. Never Quit: Be persistent. Be patient. Never ever quit. Make a little progress every day. The Tuskegee Airmen earned a reputation for being the best. And it didn’t happen overnight.

Andrea Menjura

Standing at 5’1,” Andrea Menjura isn’t your typical pilot, but little has deterred her. “In the U.S., as long as you can touch the pedals, they will let you fly,” Menjura said. She now pilots Boeing 737s for United Airlines. Coming to the United States from Colombia when she was 16, her family settled in Montrose, Colorado. She came to the Denver metro-area and attended Overland High School, when her mother decided to go back to school. Menjura a flyer about the Mile High Flight Program at school and attended a meeting. She entered Phase I in October 2002 and returned to Montrose in December. Menjura commuted over 300 miles each way from

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Montrose every month for the remainder of Phase I, and she stayed in a camper with her father while she took flight lessons during Phase II. Menjura soloed in 2003 and was well on her way to fulfilling her dream of being a pilot. In Colombia, Menjura had waved to the airplanes as they flew in and out over her grandmother’s house and longed to be in the cockpit. But Menjura knew in Colombia, there was little chance for a woman being a pilot. On her trip to the U.S. there was a layover in Miami. “I remember seeing a female pilot, and I said, ‘Well if she can do it, I can do it too,’” she says. This chance observation ignited the spark. After graduating from Montrose High School, Menjura obtained her associates degree and her flight instructor certification at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Menjura has flown for Great Lakes, Frontier and now United Airlines. She is grateful to the program for her career. “They showed me the path to my dream,” she says. “I remember writing an essay for Phase II called ‘Putting Wings to My Dreams.’ Wings are the airplanes, and everything they told me; they always said work hard, have determination and aim high believe in yourself. It does pay off and it is thoroughly true. So I want to invite young women out there to try it, because anything they dream about is possible. “ Be Ready to Go: Every day is your chance to be a little smarter, a little stronger.

Mahad Fahieh

Like Menjura, Air Force 1st Lt. Mahad Fahieh’s interest in aviation was sparked by the airport. He remembers relatives from Ethiopia flying in and out of Denver. “At Stapleton, I would watch the planes fly, and it always fascinated me how something that big could get off the ground and go,” he says. In middle school he built fighter jet models. At Smoky Hill High School Fahieh found the Mile High Flight Program at the suggestion of a counselor. He participated for two years and soloed in 2008. Fahieh was a junior and had just gotten his driver’s license. A civil engineering major at the University of Colorado Boulder, Fahieh joined the ROTC and had the opportunity to coordinate flyovers. Fahieh went on active duty in the United States Air Force in 2014, and is stationed at Buckley AFB where he is assigned to space operations. As with Menjura and Harrison, the Mile High Flight Program opened him to new possibilities.

“There are a number of different things with regards to the aerospace community,” he says. “There’s engineering. There are so many different options out there for you. Don’t put yourself in one little niche. Go out there and explore. Go find out what your calling is and then go pursue it with everything that you’ve got. “ Expect to Win: If you don’t believe great things will happen, then they never will. When the Airmen returned from war to everyday life, they faced many challenges. However, they knew they could handle them. And they did.

Kamia Bradley

In recent years many of the flight soloists have been young women. Mile High Flight Program raised one of them to new heights she couldn’t imagine. Denver East High School graduate Kamia Bradley is attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. She soloed in 2015 and posted the experience on YouTube, Bradley’s path into the air was wrought with her own personal turbulence. Dealing with abandonment and homelessness, she was led to the Mile High Flight Program by a mentor with Colorado Uplift. Because Bradley lacked a computer, she often did her Phase II homework assignments on a cell phone and in the library. “And I tell people about that in my essay and I showed them how my passion to get to that goal of a bright future outweighed the other things that seemed to be holding me back,” she says, “like being homeless, or not having any money, or not having any ride to get me to events, having to go the extra mile so I could get someplace, that never stopped me.” Bradley, on her way to fulfilling her dream, will be a flight instructor by her senior year, and is on the path to becoming a commercial pilot. Her advice to anyone wanting to fly, “If they want to fly, they have to know that it is a lot of hard work. You have to go above and beyond, but the payoff is amazing. And if you really have a passion to do something, then there is absolutely nothing that can stop you.”

Flying solo is unforgettable and exhilarating. For soloers like Bradley, there is nothing like it. “The most exciting part was taking off – the view,” she says. “It was my first time taking off early in the morning. I arrived at the airport at 6 a.m. and I did my solo at 7 a.m. It was the first time I had seen the sun come up and by the time I was flying it was already up. I saw the highway, and I saw the cityscape, and it just reminded me why I really wanted to fly in the first place, because of the view that flying gives you – to be able to see the ground from the sky.” Changing our views is integral to success. And the Hubert L. “Hooks” Chapter president, Col. Mark Dickerson believes in the continued value of the program, because of the positive track record and the encouragement it provides to students – even those that don’t get into flight training. Over the 20 years, 1,000 students have been introduced to aviation and aerospace opportunities, and flown in the glider at Owl Canyon and in a Cessna at Centennial airport. Fifty have received flight-training scholarships and completed solo flights. The community can support this program through financial or in-kind contributions. “A lot of the things the students get an opportunity to do and see are field trips that are set up and hosted by aviation related or STEM related organizations. What would also be helpful, is that organizations that have that aviation, or space or scientific kind of role in the community, could open up their organizations for tours for these kids and make their people available to them and tell them some of the things that they are doing and some of the opportunities that are available in their fields,” Dickerson said. Tell those students what they need to be doing now in order to get to those places; show them the kinds of things they are doing and ignite a spark in those students. “We at the Hooks Jones Chapter hope what the program does is to provide a little bit of a view into the potential futures for these young folks. And to help them make decisions regarding what are some of their choices for their own futures, so its avitaion oriented, and it tends to have young people who have a potential interest in aviation related trainings or careers. But it is our purpose to encourage excellence no matter what they do. And we hope that is does that, and shows them what that pursuit of excellence can do for their future,” Dickerson said. Success never comes easy. There is always sacrifice and sometimes we just need to re-orient our compass. “Straighten up and Fly Right!”

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November 25 - January 1 The stirring tale of African-American life in South Carolina’s fictional Catfish Row comes to The Aurora Fox Arts Center this month. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience the story of the crippled Porgy as he sets out to rescue Bess from Crown, her violent and possessive lover. The classic songs Summertime, I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ and It Ain’t Necessarily So will transport you back to the 1930s in this timeless tale of love and life.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


The Denver Foundation Presents 2016 Community Leadership Awards

The Denver Foundation is hon-

ored to announce Rosalind “Bee” Harris, Ginnie Logan and Dr. Lydia Prado as winners of the 2016 Community Leadership Awards. The awards were presented during a reception on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at The Denver Foundation. Rosalind “Bee” Harris, publisher of Denver Urban Spectrum newspaper, received the ninth annual John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic Leadership Award. Founded in 1987, Denver Urban Spectrum has been “spreading the news about people of color” for nearly 30 years. Harris is a trailblazer for African-Americans- and womenowned businesses and has received countless awards and recognitions for her commitment, including the MLK Humanitarian Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. Harris was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the Denver Institute of Urban Studies, and named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2015. The award was presented by David Miller, former Denver Foundation President and CEO, who had strong ties to both John Parr and Sandy

Rosalind “Bee” Harris receives Parr-Widener Civic Leader Award; Ginnie Logan and Dr. Lydia Prado win Swanee Hunt Awards By Laura Bond

Widener, for whom the award is named. The couple died tragically in a car crash in 2007 while traveling with daughters Chase and Katy. Only Katy survived. “Bee was selected to receive the Parr-Widener Award because of the work she’s done to lift up stories and shine the light on communities of

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Dr. Lydia Prado, Rosalind “Bee” Harris and Ginnie Logan Photo by Flor Blake Photography

color, and to mentor and train youth in journalism-related fields through the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation,” Miller said. “We especially felt awarding Bee was in the spirit of Sandy Widener, who was a gifted journalist who helped found Westword. With this award, we salute two pioneering women journalists in Metro Denver.” Ginnie Logan, founder of the Denver-based nonprofit Big Hair, Bigger Dreams, received the Hunt Emerging Leaders Award. A graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, Logan taught high school in Memphis with Teach for America. She moved on to become a Training Resource Manager and curriculum consultant for the New Teacher Project. She ended her career in education co-leading a middle school as an assistant principal at a Denver charter school. “As an educator, Ginnie learned that significant learning experiences often happen outside of the school building,” said Lauren Casteel, executive director of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and former Vice President at The Denver Foundation. Casteel presented Logan’s award on behalf of Ambassador Swanee Hunt. “Ginnie sees the correlation between access to opportunity as a young person and achieving success as an adult.” Big Hair, Bigger Dreams is Logan’s effort to complement, enhance, and support the good work that is already happening in the fields of mentorship and education reform. The nonprofit specifically addresses the unique challenges facing girls who live on the racial and economic margins of society. Dr. Lydia Prado received the Swanee Hunt Individual Leadership

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Award, which recognizes those who have dedicated themselves to a lifetime of public service. Anna Jo Haynes, a former Denver Foundation Trustee and champion of education, presented the award on behalf of Ambassador Hunt. Born on Los Angeles’ East Side, Prado grew up feeling culturally enriched, speaking both English and Spanish, and thriving in a community where she was surrounded by many talented, creative and resilient people. When she left to attend college, she was surprised to learn that the mainstream and academic view of her community was filtered through a lens of deficits rather than strengths. She earned her doctorate at the University of Denver and later served on its faculty. As Vice President of Child and Family Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver, Dr. Prado weaves together evidence-based best practices with respect and understanding of diverse cultural strengths to develop more effective, holistic approaches to services. She directed the development of the new Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being which opened in February 2016. “We honor Dr. Prado for the extraordinary work and community engagement she put into the development of the MHCD Dahlia Campus,” said Haynes. “It’s a beautiful, community-oriented place with something for everyone. Most important, it provides much-needed behavioral health services in a setting that reduces the stigma of mental health treatment. Thanks to Dr. Prado, what was once perceived as a deficit is now a strength.” Since 1996, The Denver Foundation has presented the Swanee Hunt Leadership Awards to community members who make major contributions to improving life for people in Metro Denver. Hunt, for whom the award is named, is a world-renowned philanthropist, author, and the former U.S. Ambassador to Austria. She now lives in Massachusetts, but offers these awards as one of the ways she keeps ties with the Denver community, where her philanthropy began with The Hunt Alternatives Fund.  Editor’s note: The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2015, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $68 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

Did Trump Voters Know That They Were Voting for White Nationalism?

Amid the

By Robert J. Gould

head-scratching about how Trump got elected, there are a number of theories being presented. Obama thinks that Trump tapped into American fears of globalization, where it appears that the drain of jobs out of the U.S. continues unabated. Another theory suggests that there is deep anger towards both the business-asusual Democratic Party and the business-as-usual Republican Party – both distanced by Trump. Bernie Sanders was one alternative to both of these worries; Trump was the other alternative. Nobody knows how an election between the two anti-business-asusual candidates, Sanders and Trump, would have turned out. But, my guess is that Trump would have won that election too because he had no qualms about promoting the most vicious attack ads, and the most ugly personal attack tweets. And that strategy gained currency from those aligned with hate groups. This is where David Duke entered the election with his support of Trump, alongside the support of many other hate groups and websites. Post-election, we need to wake up to the reality that there are now four major political parties in the United States, not two: The two traditional Democratic and Republican Parties, and, with Bernie Sanders candidacy, a new party, the alternative Democratic Party. And with Donald Trump running for President, another new party was consolidated, the alternative Republican Party—which, for many, is a code word for the White Nationalist Party. However, generally speaking, Trump voters did not realize they were electing a President from the White Nationalist Party, as he was listed as the Republican Party candidate. As analysts claim, Trump voters were mostly Republicans voting the Republican ticket. However, Steve Bannon, an unapologetic white nation-

alist, is now Trump’s chief strategist, putting him in the “highest reaches of government,” as Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote in a recent statement. The reality is that Trump, as a cloaked white nationalist, paved his way to the presidency. Now, we, as a country, need to figure out how to undo what we did. First, we need to recognize that Trump voters did not elect a traditional Republican. Our first hint about this was the massive resistance to his candidacy from the Republican leadership, including both Bush Presidents. Another hint was Trump’s weak disavow of KKK- related David Duke’s endorsement.

So, what can we do to stop the torrent of policies headed our way, policies that will be racist, jingoist, antiimmigrant, anti-environment, antiNative American, anti-women’s rights and anti-LGBTQ? In my opinion, we must unite three of the more reasonable parties against the White Nationalist Party of Hate. How can this be done? I suggest that we must reach out to people in the three political parties that opposed Trump. We don’t need to spend much time preaching to our own choir. We need to talk with people we don’t necessarily agree with, in the traditional and

alternative Democratic and traditional Republican Parties, because we should all be able to agree that Trump represents an anti-American hate-machine, which must be stopped. We defeated Hitler’s policies, the last White Nationalist global threat. Now we must defeat every White Nationalist policy that comes out of Trump’s chest of horrors.  Editor’s note: Robert J. Gould, Ph.D., syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an ethicist, Founding President of the Oregon Peace Institute and Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University.



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016



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By Wellington E. Webb, Former Mayor of Denver

s we begin to digest the 2016 election results, let me begin with our successes. First, I want to congratulate Denver voters on our 80 percent turnout, which is outstanding. I also want to congratulate Emmy Ruiz for running a great campaign in Colorado for Hillary Clinton. She helped make Colorado blue and bring Hillary our vote. Emmy was calm throughout the campaign, met with everyone she needed to and kept focus. It’s unfortunate we didn’t have more people like her nationwide. I’m also glad Denver and metro voters endorsed continuing the tax on the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District along with the Denver Public Schools bond proposal. Additionally, it was gratifying voters statewide understood the need to protect our Constitution and endorsed Amendment 71. I am asthmatic and a non-smoker, but the proposed tobacco tax was a blank check to government and voters saw that and rightly rejected Amendment 72. I’m also thrilled Colorado voters saw the need to help working people and increased the minimum wage, although I think $15 an hour is where we need to be now to help working people pay daily expenses. While I did not endorse universal health care proposal for Colorado in Amendment 69, I do think we will be forced to revisit this sooner than later, because the national Affordable Care Act likely will be gutted by the new administration. The Democrat races in Denver went as expected, because the only races in Denver that are partisan are primaries. I was on the state Reapportionment Commission Committee, which took my lead on drawing Denver districts, and these should be good for 10 years. Congratulations to the RTD directors who I hope will soon help to resolve the issues with the light rail line to Denver International Airport. Other congratulations to our Congressional winners: Michael Bennet, Diana DeGette and Jared Polis. Yet, I am saddened there wasn’t more support for Morgan Carroll. Democrats need to grow our numbers to take Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson and Larimer counties. Boulder will be Boulder.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Now I turn to the more disappointing presidential election result. As one person said, “Hillary supporters were expecting to attend a wedding on election night and in the end it felt like a funeral.” However, I will support President-elect Trump out of respect for the office. But I also will continue to oppose any of his policies that I believe negatively impact our country as I have done throughout my life, whether it was the Vietnam War, Iraq War, the U.S. doing business when apartheid was in South Africa, or any discrimination against any group or individuals. I’m sure with the likes of Republicans Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions and Rudy Giuliani being Trump’s advisors we all will have plenty of issues to disagree with the new administration. Despite Hillary’s loss, we must fight to preserve the history and legacy of President Barack Obama as our nation’s first African-American president. Some of us will feel that responsibility more than others, but it must be done. The vote reflects an anti-Hillary and anti-Obama sentiment, and many segments of our country want their legacies wiped out and forgotten. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell set the tone after the 2008 election when he said, Republicans would fight Obama from Day One and they did. The Republicans also helped pass laws that suppressed the vote in many segments of our country. While Hillary got support from many white voters, there’s no denying that a majority of white voters – many uneducated men – elected Trump. We are seeing this “white backlash” worldwide with the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and Columbians denying a peace agreement with bandits, which has been needed for decades. The “white backlash” is threatened by black, Latino, LGBT members and college-educated women having a larger voice and holding political offices. But as the post-election results show, too many white women of all economic, religious and educational levels also failed to support Hillary without truly understanding the discrimination they face not only from Trump, but Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Many of these women are

for Trump, or a vote of protest and anger for them having lost their jobs and their hope in the federal government? Was it a vote for Trump or a vote of protest against the so-called Washington establishment and paralyzed, divided Congress? Post-election polls also show the impact of FBI Director Comey’s reopening the investigation into thenSecretary of State Hillary Clinton private emails just 11 days before the election. This issue, which cleared Hillary in July, renewed Trump’s false claims that any laws were broken. Despite Comey’s announcement two days before the election that once again clear Hillary of any wrongdoing, the damage was already done. Many voters already confused and inundated with trust issues said this issue swayed their vote to Trump. Bloomberg has the best analysis that I have read. It said Hillary counted on Obama’s coalition of suburban women, young adults, black and Latino voters and they would be eager to make history twice. She didn’t try to flip Trump voters because she thought they were part of the shrinking, dying Republican base. Her support from Beyonce, Jay Z, Lebron James and similar celebrities got flipped back on her when Trump said if she was with them, she couldn’t be with the common voters. One telling scene is that the night of a celebrity concert in Philadelphia with Hillary, miles away Trump packed a hockey arena without any celebrity endorsements. Finally, no one can ignore the fact that millions of voters sat out this election. We lost 6 million voters compared to the 2012 election. Whether that was out of apathy or disgust, it made a difference we all have to live with. I also would ask Bernie Sanders’ supporters who never got over the bitterness of the primaries and wrote in “Uncle Bernie” or didn’t vote, are you happy about the outcome? I know the primary loss was hard to take, but in 2008 Hillary Clinton supporters put all of their energy into electing President Obama. If we wouldn’t have, that may have been a different outcome as well. The game of politics is about who is voting. If we learn no other lesson from this election, we must find a way to get more people involved. There are no excuses. Hillary put it best when she said that if you believe in something good and the outcome isn’t want you hoped, the journey is still worth it. Our journey continues. We can never sit on the sidelines if we want real change to make life better for future generations of Americans.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens Adapted by Richard Hellesen Music by David de Berry


Illustration by Kyle Malone

Evangelicals, which as a group also overwhelmingly support Trump. She garnered the most female votes from the black and Latino communities. Until women support women there never will be a woman president. But let’s also face the fact that some Americans will never vote for a woman to be mayor or governor let alone president. They believe, whether through religious leaders or others, that top leaders should be men. Although, I know that someday Denver – which I’m happy to say is a progressive city – will have a female mayor. There will be soul searching among many white women voters, and other blocks of voters who either didn’t vote for her or who didn’t vote at all. There also needs to be some soul-searching among the national media. Journalists and the pollsters they often quote have had to admit they dropped the ball and helped create Trump the candidate. In the beginning, they covered Trump as entertainment news splashing his outrageous quotes and lies in 24-hour news cycles. It was a game with few thinking Trump would last through the primaries. It wasn’t until a few months before the election that they started doing their job as political reporters and finally looking into Trump’s ties to Russia, his lack of paying federal income taxes and his sexist treatment of women – which by the way was leaked to the media, a reporter didn’t dig up that dirt. By this time the “Reality Star” Trump had wormed his way into the psyche of voters who actually believed all of his promises and outrageous lies. In a time when pop culture sets the tone for Americans more voters related to Trump than an experienced politician who had paid her dues. He hit upon a nerve when he said established politicians didn’t understand the common folk, many who face economic and social problems. Hillary’s message to the working class was missing, which Bill Clinton emphasized. Trump’s data analysis was better than ours and this is something we need to address. And while black women supported Hillary, there was an absence of including black men from transition to key decisions and a specific plan. Feeling left out lost many black male votes. Every group needs to feel they matter and are part of the process or they’ll lose interest or become apathetic. No wonder the polls were wrong. People were embarrassed to say they were voting for Trump, but they still cast their ballots for him. Was it a vote





Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016



L. Roger & Meredith Hutson, Singleton Family Foundation

Denver Preschool Program Hosts Preschool Showcase

The Denver Preschool Program will host its fifth annual Preschool Showcase in January to help Denver families with a 4-year-old access and afford a quality-rated preschool program. The free event will include Spanish translators on-site and take place on the following two dates at three locations: •Saturday, Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, 3401 Eudora St., Denver, CO 80207 •Saturday, Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., J. Churchill Owen Boys & Girls Club, 3480 W. Kentucky Ave., Denver, CO 80219 •Thursday, Jan. 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Quigg Newton Community Center, 4440 Navajo St., Denver, CO 80211 The Preschool Showcase is an opportunity for families to learn more about the variety of preschool options and resources available in Denver, including meeting with representatives from the more than 250 participating preschools. Families can receive

information on how to sign up for tuition support available through the Denver Preschool Program. The event will also feature free food and refreshments, family-friendly activities and entertainment from partners like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, free dental screenings, story time readings with the Denver Public Library, demonstrations on how to use the Denver Preschool Program’s online “Find a Preschool” tool, and photo opportunities with PBS Characters like Clifford and Curious George. For families who are unable to attend this year’s showcase, the Denver Preschool Program’s online “Find a Preschool” tool will allow them to search for a program at any time by location and quality rating. Once enrolled through the chosen school, families who live in the City and County of Denver with a 4-yearold can sign up for tuition support through the Denver Preschool Program. Tuition credits are awarded on a sliding scale, which takes into account a family’s income, household size and the quality rating of the chosen program. Editor’s note: For more information about the Showcase, visit or call 303-595-4DPP (4377).

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Why Sooooo.. Many Blacks Backed Trump B

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

ack in July there was great laughter and knowing nods when some polls showed that then GOP presidential contender Donald Trump would get 0 percent of the Black vote. This seemed about right. Trump seemingly earned and deserved the goose egg with his horrendous record of slamming the door on Blacks in his apartment rentals, his relentless birther savaging of President Obama, his non-stop trash of the Central Park Five, wild enthusiasm for stop and frisk, and his thinly disguised race tinged cracks and digs at his rallies. But a funny thing happened between the near gag line 0 percent Trump supposedly would get if the election were held in July, and the actual election. That 0 percent of the Black vote magically transformed into some real numbers that actually had some significance for the election, and maybe beyond. The 8 percent of the Black vote he got which numberswise factors out to roughly a half million votes topped the total that GOP presidential contenders Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008 got. Another 4 percent of Black voters did not support Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. This factors out together to more than 1 million Black votes lost to Clinton. This does and should raise eyebrows. The drop off in the Black vote for Clinton from what Obama got is easy to explain. One she’s not Obama. He’s Black and his campaign became a virtual holy crusade by Blacks to make history and put one of their own in the White House. No white Democrat could hope to match that spine tingling exuberance. A lot more Blacks repeatedly ripped and nagged at Clinton for hubby Bill’s alleged racial sins as president, those being his shove through of the draconian omnibus crime bill that soared the numbers of Blacks in federal and by extension state pens, and a welfare reform bill that seemed more punitive than helpful, and Hillary’s own one time offensive branding of Black lawbreakers as ‘super predators.” This also hurt.

However, the brutal reality is that thousands of Blacks did vote for Trump. Their reasons are just as easy to explain. Trump touched a tiny nerve with his shout that poor, underserved Black neighborhoods are supposedly a mess with lousy public schools, high crime and violence, and chronic joblessness and poverty. And he dumped the blame for that squarely on the Democrats who run and have run most of these cities for decades. Trump doubled down on that slam with a handful of carefully choreographed appearances with high profile Black preachers, at name Black churches. This was just enough to take the hard and sharp edge for some Blacks off the almost-set-in-stone image of Trump as a guy with a white sheet under his suit. There was more. As far back as the 2004 presidential election, there was a sign that more than a few Blacks, most notably Black conservative evangelicals, were deeply susceptible to GOP conservative pitches on some issues. A considerable number of them voted for Bush that year and that was enough to give him the cushion he needed to bag Ohio and win the White House. The same polls that election that showed Black’s prime concern was with bread and butter issues — and that Bush’s rival Democrat rival John Kerry was viewed as the candidate who could deliver on those issues — also revealed that a sizable number of Blacks ranked abortion, gay marriage and school prayer as priority issues. Their concerns for these issues didn’t come anywhere close to that of white evangelicals, but it was still higher than that of the general voting public. In 2008 and 2012, Black GOP advocacy groups ran ads hammering the Democrats again for their alleged indifference to and outright aid and abet of Black suffering in the inner cities, and touting the GOP’s emphasis on small business, school choice, and family values as the best path to Black advancement. This pitch has always

had some appeal to many Blacks. And though it would never trigger any kind of stampede to the GOP by even most of these conservative leaning Blacks, it was enough to take some of the sting out of the GOP’s naked history of racial abuse. Trump understood enough of that history. He tailored the few pitches he did make to Blacks for their votes to reflect the stock GOP pro-business, free enterprise, and the healthy economy line as something that Blacks also could and should embrace. The 8 percent of Blacks who voted for Trump, combined with the numbers who didn’t vote at all, or didn’t vote for Clinton, did not help elect

Trump. He won with an Obama like crusade among less educated white male and female, blue collar and rural voters. However, enough Blacks did buy his pitch that a conservative, Republican businessman, with a horrific tainted racial history, was a better bet in the Oval Office than a Democrat. This makes Trump’s victory even more of a troubling political oddity.  Editor’s Note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.He is the author of How President Trump will Govern, associate editor of New America Media, a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He host the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016



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

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


Almost Christmas  By Khaleel Herbert

lmost Christmas is a feel-good comedy that will fill you with Christmas spirit. Written and directed by David E. Talbert (who also wrote Baggage Claim and First Sunday), the film begins with car mechanic Walter (Danny Glover) and his wife, Grace (Lyn Talbert) celebrating Christmas with their four children over the years. The children are either in the kitchen or running outside. Walter is out in the garage working on a car while Grace is in the kitchen cooking

Almost Christmas

Christmas dinner. Among her collection of recipes is one for her sweet potato pie that the family adores. Their four children grow up to lead their own lives, but always return home for Christmas. Walter and Grace gracefully age. In 2015, Walter sits on his bed in sadness, holding a program from Grace’s funeral. Ten months later, Walter breaks out the Christmas decorations and waits for his children. He goes in the kitchen and tries to make Grace’s sweet potato pie just right, but fails. He has no luck finding her hidden recipes. The first to arrive is Walter’s sisterin-law, May (Mo’Nique). May is a backup singer and has toured with the greats including Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder. Next comes Walter’s son, Christian (Romany Malco) his wife, Sonya (Nicole Ari Parker) and their children (Alkoya Brunson and Marley Taylor). Christian wants to



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enjoy Christmas, but gets easily distracted by campaigning for senator and his campaign manager, Brooks (John Michael Higgins). Lawyer-bound and independent single mother Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and her teenage daughter, Niya (Nadej Bailey) enter. Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and her smooth-talking unemployed husband, Lonnie (J.B. Smoove) come next. Cheryl and Rachel share a bitter sibling rivalry that escalates into wrestling and burning each other’s meals for the Christmas dinner. Evan (Jessie T. Usher), the youngest sibling and aspiring football player, is the last to arrive. He wears a mask of happiness because deep down, something is eating him alive. Almost Christmas has its funny scenes and one-liners. A memorable scene is when Rachel got locked out of the house by Evan while getting the daily paper. She’s only wearing her robe. She climbs through an open window, but gets stuck with her butt hanging out. Malachi (Omar Epps), Rachel’s high school crush, sees her and tries to push her in, making the situation look a little sexual in the process. A heartwarming scene is when the whole family dances in the kitchen after reminiscing over Grace. The children play a current rap song on their phone. Then Rachel plays, “Children’s Story� by Slick Rick. Then May plays, “Let it Whip� by the Dazz Band. That’s three generations of Black music. Mo’Nique gives a funny performance as May. However, she and a few other characters, overuse the sh** bomb. This makes the heartwarmingChristmas-feeling fade and look like an adult movie, instead of a family film. The film has transitions with a black background and words that read, “Four days to Christmas,� Three days, etc. which becomes annoying. The words should be smaller and on the bottom of the screen. Almost Christmas is a Christmas movie you need to put yourself in the holiday spirit.

Equality, Love’s Biggest Obstacle is Fought in Loving By Samantha Ofole-Prince


film that will leave romantics everywhere misty eyed, Loving provides a blend of sordid history with good old-fashioned romance. Well-done, well-acted and beautifully shot, it follows Mildred Loving, a black woman whose anger over being banished from Virginia for marrying a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016



white man led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling. Based on a true story, written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the film follows actors Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred, an interracial couple who was married in 1958, but was forced to flee the state for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act. “It is one of the greatest love stories in American history,� says Nichols, who was introduced to the story through Nancy Buirski’s award-winning HBO documentary The Loving Story, which featured the couple. “It has such relevance to the idea of equality, racial equality, marriage equality and I was immediately drawn to it,� he continues, “and the love between two people was what impacted me emotionally.� A melodrama that strikes just the right tone, Loving explores how race drove a wedge between two young lovers and compelled them to spend years battling bureaucrats. As the film opens, we meet Mildred and Richard in their Central Point, Virginia home. Expecting a child together and unable to wed in their segregated home state of Virginia, the couple drives to Washington, D.C. to seal their vows, but five weeks after their wedding, they are arrested. Under a plea bargain, their one-year prison sentences are suspended on the provision that they leave the state of Virginia for a period of twenty- five years — a crushing blow to the couple who have strong family ties in Virginia. Relocating to Washington, D.C., they move in with Mildred’s cousin, subsequently have three kids, and the film follows the couple as they attempt, unsuccessfully, to comply with the sentence. Inspired by the civil rights movement and its march on Washington, Mildred finally pens a letter to the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for help. She is referred to the American Civil Liberties Union who takes on her case leading to the landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning state miscegenation laws in 1967. “What I love about the film is that it’s gentle,� shares Edgerton. “It

invites you into the home of two people, and the empathetic experience of being invited into that home while fighting their oppressive situation struck a chord.” The film benefits greatly from the electrifying performances of its two young leads who sizzle with romantic chemistry. The individual scenes of Edgerton and Negga just acting and connecting are wonderful to watch. Nichols’ fluid feature steadily follows the shy and reserved couple as they weather the uncertainty of their union and focuses more on the Loving’s romance with rarely any physical scenes of the violent racial tension prominent during the era. “We are used to burning crosses and violence reactions to marches, but I showed everything that I could attach to a fact or truth,” Nichols shares. “I put in the harrowing moments I had access to. Instead of inventing something, I just tried to focus on the psychology behind it all, which is that knowledge that at any point someone could infringe on your liberty and your life.” With persuasive performances, most notably from British actress Ruth Negga, who was deeply affected by the documentary, the film also stars Alano Miller, Michael Shannon and Terri Abney, who plays her sister Garnet. “People are so enchanted by this couple and theirs is the most beautiful love story,” adds Negga. “I am glad people are feeling outrage as this exposes the narrow minded stupidity of those laws and I am glad people are shocked. We should all be collectively embarrassed.” Nichols has devised a tender love story between Edgerton and Negga that serves as the main focus of the film’s storyline, and it works beautifully. What Loving depicts better than most romances is the transformative power of love. It shows how love can inspire people to overcome great obstacles. “They weren’t martyrs, and didn’t want to be,” Nichols adds. “They weren’t symbols, and didn’t want to be. They were two people in love who wanted to be with each other and their family.”

Daddy Bruce Documentary Punctuates His Legacy


By Laurence Washington

remiering at Denver’s Film Festival last month, director Elgin Cahill’s moving and thoughtful documentary, Keep a Light in Your Window, celebrates the life and times of


“Daddy Bruce” Randolph

Denver’s legendary restaurateur Bruce Randolph – better known to his friends, family, politicians and Denverites as “Daddy Bruce.” Hosted by Michael Cousins and narrated by Reed Saunders, Keep a Light in Your Window opens present day on the corner of 34th and Gilpin, where Randolph began his annual tradition of preparing and giving away Thanksgiving meals for families in need. The film then travels back 116 years to Pastoria, Arkansas where Randolph was born to a poor southern family, and ends with Randolph’s supporters and volunteers making sure that Denver-area families and homeless received a Thanksgiving basket every year – which included a turkey, potatoes, yams, cornbread and all the trimmings for a thanksgiving dinner of eight. The film follows Randolph’s trek from Arkansas to Texas, and finally settling down in the Mile-High City with his son Bruce Randolph Jr. Randolph had also been an entrepreneur, and had tried several business ventures, but he always wanted to cook. So in 1963 at the 63, he opened Daddy Bruce’s Bar-B-Q at 34th and Gilpin Street. A year later, Randolph, who was raised with strong Christian beliefs, wanted to give back to his community. So in November of 1964, he set out with truckload of ribs to Denver’s City Park, set up table and proceeded to feed people in need. A year later, Randolph did the same thing, only this time at his restaurant and a tradition was born. And the crowds grew from hundreds to thousands over the years. Produced by Ronald Wooding and Wendy Winterbourne, Keep a Light in Your Window is punctuated with interviews and news footage commentary from President Obama,

Chelsea Clinton, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Rep. Ronda Fields, Denver Bishop Acen Phillips and other luminaries – as well as Denverites and the cop on the beat. One of the film’s highlights comes years after Randolph’s death with a news report filed from longtime Denver news reporter Tamara Banks who reported that the free Thanksgiving meals event might be going away. Banks media coverage started a new wave of support and interest to Randolph’s mission, prompting Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, the Epworth Foundation and others to pick up the torch and carry on. Randolph died in 1994 almost penniless, according to the filmmakers, but left a living legacy including a Middle School and street named after him, and other restaurants following his example. “You can’t beat love,” Randolph one said. “Nothing beats love. You give one thing, you get three things back. That’s why I do it.” For more information email Rev. Ronald Wooding at For more information about the film, visit

The Birth of a Nation Deserves Our Support

Op-ed by Dante James, Emmy Award Winning Independent Filmmaker

I have never met Nate Parker. However, as an Emmy award winning independent filmmaker, a Black man, an artist and an activist, I would welcome the opportunity to do so. First of all, I congratulate him on this incredible accomplishment for the commitment required to get The Birth of a Nation, a film about a slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, financed and finished. Hollywood investors and the corporate controlled media have historically, and in a contemporary context, not supported films that address Black self-determination and explore Black experiences in the context of our full humanity and dignity. Investors, corporate media and unfortunately many African Americans readily embrace films that disrespect our history, culture, humanity and dignity for box office success. They embrace Black men playing comedic roles that are grounded in the degrading depic-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


tions Donald Bogle explores in his classic book, Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Film. Robert Townsend satires this image in his 1987 film, Hollywood Shuffle and Spike Lee explores them in his 2000 film Bamboozled. I’m troubled that box office receipts for Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation initial 31 day run totals were less than 16 million dollars. Yet, the recent Tyler Perry film, featuring Perry as Madea, a Black man in a dress has box office receipts of approximately 65 million dollars in 17 days. Historically the audience for Perry’s films is 80 to 90 percent Black. Why is it that we as Black people will support films featuring a Black man in a dress but are reluctant to support a film telling the story of a Black man fighting for and losing his life for the freedom of his people? I realize that some people, both Black and white, were troubled by the accusation of rape by Nate Parker 17 years ago. I am also aware that many women took offense to his response regarding the charge. However, Parker was found not guilty and he has a right to respond to the charges in a way he deems appropriate. Critics of Parker’s past actions should consider how, in his case, the continued punishment of a Black man aligns an unjust criminal justice system that has both direct and indirect connections to the enslavement, oppression and exploitation of Black people. As I sat in the theatre, Nate Parker’s past never crossed my mind, but that does not mean the issue is not relevant. However, what is also relevant is how the legacy of slavery and the oppression of Black people still has an impact on American society in general and race relations in particular. I saw Nate Parker on a talk show state that Turner’s story, the history and the legacy of slavery, is much bigger than an adjudicated case in which he was declared innocent. I agree with Parker’s assessment. Much respect to Nate Parker as a talented filmmaker who has the courage to explore the Black experience in the context of our self-determination, humanity and dignity while also challenging corporate controlled media’s shallow misrepresentations of Black experiences. Nate Parker, like Nat Turner is a freedom fighter. As Black people we should join him with our support and end support for filmmakers and actors who compromise our integrity and denigrate our culture for profit. 

ULFC Presents the Next Generation of Leaders By Melovy Melvin


“The dream is free, but the grind is sold separately,” said keynote speaker Krystal Brumfield to the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado Chamber Connect graduates. Nearly 300 attended the 9th annual graduation ceremony for the ULFC Chamber Connect program honoring 27 new fellows who grew the organizations alumni network to nearly 350. Held at the Falls Event Center in Littleton, Brumfield’s encouraging words inspired the Chamber Connect Class of 2016 to go forth and be effective community and professional leaders in their respective communities throughout Colorado. President and CEO of the Airport Minority Advisory Council in Washington, D.C., Brumfield stressed the importance of hard work and being your authentic self. The evening included dinner and an overview of the classes three Community Service Projects: The Y.E.S. Program, with a mission to provide real world applicable tools to high school students that ended with a three HBCU college tour; Connect with Purpose, a social event that raised $3,000 and 30,000 pounds of food to start a food program for Students at Contemporary Learning Academy; and the Fathers Matter Program, which focused on resources, support, and education for single

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


fathers in the Child Support system. Highlighting the evening was presenting the 2016 Presidents Award to Sheila Kelly of Excel Energy and the Distinguished Program Graduate Award to Betty Hart of Kaiser Permanente – the organizations highest honor. The ULFC Chamber Connect Program, led by chairman of the board former Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb and president and CEO Dr. Ryan Ross, is a program designed to inspire well rounded African-American leaders for C–Suite responsibility, service in the community’s interest and to prepare them to serve as Colorado’s next generation of exceptional professionals. The 2016 graduates are Elizabeth Adair, Joshua Adams, Dom Barrera, Kandi Brown, Carla Coburn, Terelya Coneal, Sade Cooper, Codi Cox, Ini Edet, Marlena Grant, Betty Hart, Terra Horton, Danielle Johnson, Marques Johnson, Michelyn Johnson, Sheila Kelly, Michelle Majors, Jessica Newton, Edith Okupa, Yarkenda Payne, Tiffany Pearson, Casell Randle Jr., Brenda Sears, Alicia Sewell, Corey Thurman, Tiffany Wedgeworth, and Triston Young. Editor’s note: For more information about the organization or to apply for the program please visit:

A Nation Up for Grabs

By Robert C. Koehler


nd so we are a nation up for grabs. Racist populism trounces . . . uh, trumps . . . platitudes about America’s greatness. Hillary Clinton, though ahead by more than a million in the popular vote, is defeated in the Electoral College. Like it or not, change is not deferred. It’s here, in our faces. Donald Trump is the president-elect. A year ago, his candidacy was relegated to the entertainment section. Now he’s the big winner, the ostensible leader of the nuclear-armed “free world,” the strutter-in-chief of the United States of America. Has being an American ever felt so embarrassing or so weird? And what will the Washington Consensus — the deep state, the unelected ruling establishment, the corporatocracy, the military-industrial complex — do, now that the guy who offended and mocked them, who ran a campaign slightly outside the lines they drew, has beaten the candidate of the status quo? Almost certainly it will form an alliance. Almost certainly it will put the brakes on any real change Trump may be mulling, just as it did with Barack Obama, the one-time candidate of hope and change. But most likely, Trump’s not mulling actual populist changes in the system anyway, because the alliance is already in place. As George Monbiot recently wrote, “When Trump claims that the little guy is being screwed by the system he’s right. The only problem is that he is the system. . . .


“Yes, he is a shallow, mendacious, boorish and extremely dangerous man. But those traits ensure that he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics. He is our system, stripped of its pretenses.” So maybe, in a terrifying way, the outcome of this election is a good thing, because it rips the mask off, or partially off, the reality of the American system. I say this with extreme reluctance, because the last thing I wanted was to wake up to a Trump presidency on Wednesday morning, and I feel beset by a sort of spiritual vertigo every time I imagine listening to him deliver a State of the Union address or speak as the voice of this country. I was ready to welcome Hillary with a shrug; I was not ready to hear the fire alarm of shrieking urgency to go off, announcing that the time for systemic change is NOW. But it is. So let’s get used to it — and plan accordingly. Trump’s victory was constructed out of a bizarre mélange of right-wing racism, sexism and generic fear of The Other (Muslims, Mexicans, terrorists, liberals); a smirking defiance of political correctness; and a large dollop of populist rhetoric, defending the wellbeing of working America over the interests of Wall Street and lambasting everything from NAFTA to the Iraq war. All this added up to change, offered up to a bitter and wounded Middle (mostly white) America. Fascinatingly, Trump’s razor-slash diatribes against his political opponents were never aimed at Bernie Sanders or his supporters, as far as I know, even though Sanders campaigned tirelessly against him on behalf of Clinton. My sense is that the alleged billionaire populist understood that he and Sanders were both reaching out to a disaffected constituency and he quietly invited Sanders supporters who could stand the stench of racism to vote for Trump as a substitute harbinger of change.

This election, in other words, was about the need for profound, systemic change. And, as Thomas Frank writes, Hillary Clinton “was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment.” If the Democratic Party and much of the mainstream media hadn’t been so intent on marginalizing Sanders, his remarkable campaign in the primaries might have ended in victory and Americans would have had a rare, genuine choice in this election: a progressive vision of compassionate change vs. an “alt-right” vision of American fascism and white triumphalism. Instead, the voters got half a choice, and the nation has wound up with Trump. As I struggle to come to grips with this fact, I find myself remembering Matthew Diffee’s cartoon in The New Yorker from a year ago. Two cowboys are talking. One says: “Quit saying ‘President Trump.’ You’re spookin’ the horses.” Well, the horses are now running wild into the night, or so it seems. The unthinkable has happened. And the nation is up for grabs. What happens next is that those who were denied a real choice in this election and those who fervently hoped the nation would have its first female president and those who cannot fathom living under the reckless

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dictates of a man endorsed by white nationalists and contemptuous of most of the human race must stand fiercely and passionately for a different America than the one Trump envisions. Real change happens beyond the realm of electoral politics. “A politician is not a given,” writes Rebecca Solnit. “Each one is in part what we make them, by pushing, blocking, pressuring, encouraging, fighting, reframing, emphasizing, organizing.” So at this moment I invite the floodgates of change to open and ask readers to tell me how you intend to respond to the election of Donald Trump as president. What needs to be protected? What needs to be demanded? How can Trump’s election be transformed into the beginning of real change?  Editor’s note: Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.


AARP Volunteer Named AARP Colorado State President

Jean Nofles of Aurora, a retired Medicaid and Medicare manager and a member of AARP Colorado’s advocacy team, as well as its executive council, recently became the state president for AARP Colorado, the highest position a volunteer can obtain at the state level. Nofles will work closely with state director Bob Murphy and lead the seven-member volunteer executive council, which helps set the direction for AARP Colorado in its advocacy and community outreach. Nofles is passionate about health care and voters’ rights. She has volunteered with AARP Colorado for nearly 10 years and is only the second woman and first African-American to hold the post in the last 16 years. She has worked in both the public and private sectors and in all levels of government, from the local level to the federal level, and most recently as a manager for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens commu-


nities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. To learn more, visit

Girl Scouts Honors 2016 Women of Distinction

Girl Scouts of Colorado honored the 2016 Women of Distinction during the Thin Mint Dinner at the Denver Marriott Tech Center in October. The 2016 Women of Distinction for the Denver metro-area include: Rose Andom, President and CEO Rosmik, Inc. and Chair, The Rose Andom Charitable Foundation; Nikki Cady, Founder, Heart and Hand Center for Youth and Families; Stephanie Donner, Chief Legal and People Officer, Galvanize; Kim Easton, CEO, Urban Peak; Jena Hausmann, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Gloria Higgins, President, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC); Brook Kramer, Vice President and Relationship Manager, First Western Trust; Christine MarquezHudson, President and CEO, the Denver Foundation; Mary Noonan, Board Trustee, Delta Dental of Colorado, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation and the Center for Women’s Health Research at CU

Anschutz Medical Campus; and Cheryl Ruiz-Lucero, Director, Capital Campaigns and Major Gifts, Denver Health Foundation. A group of nearly 500 gathered at the event, which was chaired by Women of Distinction Jandel AllenDavis, VP Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region, and Kristin Richardson, Philanthropist and Community Volunteer. The honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Gin Butler, Woman of Distinction ‘03. The evening’s keynote speaker was Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Sarah Greichen, Girl Scouts of the USA National Young Woman of Distinction and recipient of Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Since 1997 Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 426 Denver-area women with this honor. More than $2 million has been raised in 19 years by Women of Distinction for Girl Scout programs.

Center for African American Health Receive Program Grants

The Center for African American Health has been awarded over $840,000 in grants from The Colorado Health Foundation to support the organiza-

tion’s expansion of services for children, youth and families. Funding, which will be dispersed over a threeyear period, will be used in the areas of early childhood, youth leadership development, faith and health ministry, and the development of a data collection panel that reflects the views and health status of the African American community in Colorado. The grants will also allow The Center to add full-time Faith & Health Ministry staff to assist with ongoing collaborations in the faith communities. In 2017, The Center will be conducting a series of community meetings to inform the selection of new early childhood programming to support the healthy development and well-being of young African American children. The launch of a new health advocacy youth leadership program – Promoting Health Advocacy Together! will also take place in 2017. The Center partners with a wide variety of health-education and healthdelivery organizations to develop and provide culturally appropriate disease prevention and management programs and wellness programs to thousands of African Americans each year. For more inforrmsation, visit



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Patriarchy’s Last Stand T

By Rob Okun

he future is (still) female. The bumper sticker and T-shirt that have long energized women and girls, and many male allies, is still alive and well. Let’s not forget who won the popular vote in the US presidential election on November 8, even as Donald Trump won the presidency. (Trump is right about one of his refrains; his election can absolutely be attributed to a rigged system: the Electoral College.) What would have been an electrifying moment – US voters electing Hillary Clinton as the country’s first female president – became for more than half the country one long Edvard Munch-like scream as the reality sunk in that Trump had won. An army of angry, hurting white male voters had been conned. And many of us, like the Clinton campaign, had overlooked the signs of their suffering. For many of those white men, Donald Trump is seen as the great white hope, the last best chance to restore some of the luster to their badly tarnished brand of masculinity. Men in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, for example, projected onto the brash New York businessman the image of a rough and tumble “man’s man.” Mr. Trump, meanwhile, managed to project a caring Big Daddy image, appealing to vulnerable white men concerned not only about their own perilous economic position but also by women’s social and economic gains – by feminism’s success at accelerating women’s ascent to equality. He seduced them into believing they’d be able to return to the glory days when men were a family’s sole breadwinner, making good middle class money working in plants and factories. He suggested to them that they could once again be king of the castle. Mr. Trump fanned the dying embers of days gone by; he sang “Happy Days [Could be] Here Again” because he knew that “The Times They Are a-Changing” would have fallen on deaf ears. Truth is those happy days have been over for years. But men saw in Mr. Trump a chance to reverse history; he represented a fantasy of reempowered manhood they desperately wanted to believe in. They love Mr. Trump for feigning paying attention to them, for temporarily accomplishing the impossible: breathing life into an extinct creature.

In his heartfelt, politically astute movie, Michael Moore in Trumpland, the Academy Award-winner took to a classic old theater’s stage in October in (of all places) Clinton County, Ohio. At one point he offered the audience an imitation of the howling and screeching of white male supporters at Trump’s rallies. “Ah-awwghhhh! Ar-urrrrghhh! Ya-awrrrrghhh,” Moore bellowed. “You know what they sounded like?” he asked. “Dying dinosaurs,” he answered a sadly apt definition of many white men today. “We had a good run at being in charge guys – 10,000 years,” Moore remarked. It was, he said, women’s turn. But Moore was wrong – for now. For a range of activists – from Millennials who worked their hearts out for Bernie Sanders, to veterans of the sixties civil rights and antiwar movements – it’s a time of delayed gratification. We were poised to step into a new era, one where the United States would be led for the first time by a woman president. It was not to be. So now, in the aftermath of a dream deferred, what are white men who support gender equality going to do? How are we going to respond? The men who voted for Trump will come down from their high soon enough when they discover they won’t be returning to the coal mines or the auto assembly plants. What about the rest of us? Beginning several decades ago women learned to cross-train, to add law, science, medicine, computer programming, and engineering to their old standbys – teaching and nursing. Men have been reluctant to learn new skills. What are we waiting for? We’ve tried being angry, sullen, shut down, uncommunicative. We’ve perfected stubbornness and denial. Men have so much to gain from letting go of our old ways. Four decades ago a small – but growing – movement of men began working to redefine manhood. Our voices are still largely unknown, our support of gender equality still beneath the radar. The election of Donald Trump is an opportunity to recruit new men to the cause – and to reach out to our struggling brothers. Sometimes, before a species goes extinct, it has a last gasp, a final burst of energy. That’s how I am choosing to think about what happened in the U.S. on November 8. When history looks back at the election of Donald Trump it will, I believe, be recorded as patriarchy’s last stand.  Editor’s note: Rob Okun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is editor of Voice Male. A new edition of his book, Voice Male -The Untold Story of the Pro-feminist Men’s Movement will be published in 2017. Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016



Ryan Broughton Named as Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management

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Mayor Michael B. Hancock appointed Ryan Broughton as Denver’s new Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS). As a distinguished professional within the Homeland Security and Emergency Management fields, Broughton will lead Denver’s efforts to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. Broughton brings 28 years of experience in leadership, innovation and management within inter-agency emergency operations and emergency services. Currently the Director of the Office of Emergency Services in San Jose, California, Broughton was chosen for his expertise in risk management and his experience in creating comprehensive emergency management programs that support the whole community. Broughton led the City of San Jose through a comprehensive review of the its emergency management and homeland security programs and revitalized their Office of Emergency Services with an 8-fold increase in operational readiness of the Emergency Operations Center team in the past two years. Broughton’s previous work includes serving as the first emergency manager for the U.S. Navy’s global operations, where he notably developed the emergency management program that is still being used today. He also developed the emergency management program at the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Twentynine Palms, California, and served as the senior emergency manager for the Headquarters, Department of the Army, in the Pentagon. Broughton is a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers and a Certified Business Continuity Professional through DRI International, representing recognition for meeting high professional standards in the fields of emergency management and disaster recovery. A former Naval Officer (19942007), Broughton earned his commission after graduation from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Biology. He will begin in this new position on Dec. 12.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


Loucks Steps Down, Kilroy Named as New Executive Director of Excise and Licenses

Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced that Executive Director of Excise and Licenses Stacie Loucks stepped down on Nov. 4 and Ashley Kilroy, the current Executive Director of Marijuana Policy, will took the helm of the department on Nov. 7. The Office of Marijuana Policy will now be housed in Excise and Licenses as a division of the department. Excise and Licenses is the central business-licensing department for the City and County of Denver. The department manages licensing for a broad range of businesses, for example retail and wholesale food operations, emergency and non-emergency vehicles, pedal cabs and peddlers, liquor and cabaret, medical marijuana centers and retail marijuana stores. The department is also responsible for the public hearing process that accompanies most business licensing. As the Office of Marijuana Policy transitions into a division of Excise and Licenses, Kilroy will continue as the director for marijuana policy. She and the marijuana policy staff recommend administer and implement medical and retail marijuana policies and oversee and coordinate all marijuanarelated activities of various city agencies, employees, boards and commissions. Loucks stepped down to spend more time with her growing family. Since taking over the department in January 2014, Loucks has overseen the implementation of businesses licensing for the retail marijuana industry, as well as implementing the nation’s first online Short-Term Rental license, adding new licenses to the regulatory framework for the city and updating obsolete businesses practices – all while drastically reducing customer wait times.

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Ujamaa Holiday Market: A Cultural Celebration

Ujamaa, the fourth principle of Kwanzaa “Cooperative Economics,” is celebrated by supporting small community business and putting the law of circulation and economic balance into action during the holiday season of December. The market showcases some of Denver’s unique and creative businesses with a cultural flair. Local talent, book talks, think tanks, cultural foods, live entertainment, and children’s market will be a part of this year’s market. The Ujamaa Holiday Market will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd. in Denver. For more information or vendor opportunities, visit or call the Deborah Fard at 303-630-9517.

The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Opens at The Aurora Fox

Originally an opera that first premiered in 1935 featuring an all-Black, classically trained cast, Porgy and Bess follows the lives of the inhabitants of Catfish Row, an African-American


section of Charleston, S.C. The musical follows the crippled Porgy and his beloved Bess, who is under the dominance of the dangerous Crown and the sinewy drug dealer Sportin’ Life. Based in the 1930s, Porgy and Bess centers on the tragic love story of the crippled beggar Porgy and the beautiful Bess, who longs to turn away from her former life as a prostitute and drug addict. Classic songs like Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So, and Porgy’s celebration of love and life, I Got Plenty of Nuttin’, will stir the soul. Characters from the distant past will take audiences on a walk around a block that might exist today. A regional premiere, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is fully staged and is directed by acclaimed director and filmmaker donnie l. betts. The role of Bess is played by Los Angeles-based, award-winning actor Tracy Camp and local favorite Leonard Barrett plays Porgy. Porgy and Bess runs through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information and tickets, visit or by call 303-739-1970.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Presents Granny Dances To A Holiday Drum

For 25 years, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble has been blending dance, live music, spoken word, and seasonal celebrations and customs from around the world into a memorable holiday tradition like none other. A Denver original, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum is a family favorite that inspires audiences of all ages to celebrate and honor the holiday traditions of cultures from around the world. The production features some of Denver’s most renowned artists, including Cleo Parker Robinson as Shakti: Granny’s Guardian Angel, Margarita Taylor as Granny, Vincent C. Robinson as Griot: the Storyteller, and CPRD Ensemble member ChloeGrant Abel as Cantadora: The Dreamweaver. Granny performs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, Dec. 3-18 at the Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre, 119 Park Avenue West, in Denver. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or to purchase by phone, call 303-295-1759 x13.

The Denver 100 hosts, “Mobilizing the Village”

The 100 Black Men of Denver, Inc. will be hosting a community conversation on access to quality public education at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. This event is part of the 100 Black Men of America’s Project SOAR (Student Opportunities, Access and Readiness) national campaign to engage and inform the public on tuition-free or otherwise low cost options that serve to enrich the education of K-12 youth. Nationally renowned educator, speaker, author, social worker and advocate for academic excellence Dr. Steve Perry will be the special guest. The event is open to the public. Parents, students, educators, administrators, business professionals, mentors and their mentees are encouraged to attend. Registration is at 5 p.m. followed by the program from 6 to 7:45 p.m. For more information email Justin Brooks at

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – December 2016


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Letters to the Editor

Continued from page 1 Kapernick’s courage goes far beyond what it takes to play professional football. Most athletes are willing to put their body on the line, but not their life style. I believe the universe is bigger and more powerful than any owner so I don’t fear those who own money taking it away. Money is merely one of the means used to keep people in line; either by allowing them into the economic mainstream or as is the case with the vast majority of black people excluding them from it. We workers don’t own money – we are allowed to use it. We allow it to control us because we believe in it – not the power of the universe. What we believe – we give power. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys said all of his players would stand and show respect for the flag. They did! They could have defied him. They didn’t! Perhaps like he, they don’t have a problem with the plantation system in America. Perhaps they were thinking as individuals and not in terms of what is best for black people in general. Without his players, Jones would not have a team. The players gave away their power. Brandan Marshall was castigated when knelled, and called “stupid and a liar” by radio personality Peter Boyles when he began his protest and when he brought his symbolic protest to an end. What are people like Boyles so afraid of? Is a system of white supremacy the only type of social arrangement tolerable to them? Their antics border on the ridiculous and the psychopathic. No soldiers who ever died in any of America’s wars died for my freedom. How do I know this? I know I’m not free! Don’t tell us how we should protest and how we should feel or that we are not oppressed because a few Blacks are millionaires. He who has the freedom to choose the method of his protest also has the power to determine its effect.

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The Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) and the Denver community invite you to plan a Cool Black Party in honor of our first Black President - Barack Hussein Obama. The country is invited to participate in unison on January 20, 2017 to celebrate the historic journey of the country’s most loved and admired First Family. On Friday, January 20, 2017 President Obama will end his last day in office as the 44th President of the United States. Let’s make it Big for Barack!

Gather with family and friends at your favorite restaurant, nightclub, coffee shop, church, library, office or home to recognize, reflect and celebrate President Obama’s legacy. Get creative and have fun. Wear your cool black sunglasses and get your swag on at a Cool Black Party community celebration near you. Plan to take photos and post them and go live on FB. Celebrations will begin at 6 PM (MST). If you want to advertise your event or list your name, business or organization as a participant in the Denver Urban Spectrum’s January 2017 issue honoring Barack Obama’s accomplishments, call 303-292-6446 or email by Dec. 16.

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Denver Urban Spectrum December 2016  

Denver Urban Spectrum looks at the recent presidential election from a diverse pool of individuals, locally and nationally, who voiced their...

Denver Urban Spectrum December 2016  

Denver Urban Spectrum looks at the recent presidential election from a diverse pool of individuals, locally and nationally, who voiced their...