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SPECTRUM spreading the news about people of color

Volume 26, Number 10 January 2013

World Champion Bull Rider Charles Sampson Riding the American Dream4

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebrating A King13

Photo by Chris Meehan


Volume 26 Number 10

January 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

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

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelle C. Fouther Hugh Johnson Chris Meehan Chandra Thomas Whitfield ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

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


All children are a gift from God…

Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?” “These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied...New Living Translation (2007) As we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on his 1963 I Have a Dream speech, recall these words: “I have a dream that one day… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” Today, many white boys and white girls walk together as sisters and brothers but if Dr. King was alive today, I would hope he might have other dreams. A dream that one day, all children would live with quality healthcare and education. A dream that one day all children will be shielded from drugs, violence and abuse. A dream that one day all children will be safe and protected from senseless actions. But also a dream that one day all children will have hope in their heart. With the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Massacre, the country is saddened once again and traumatized over the death of so many little innocent lives. And it should be. Take a moment and read the poem on page 7 in response to the Sandy Hook Massacre by Cameo Smith. It reminds me of my dreams – ‘nuff said. In addition to reminiscing on Dr. King’s dream, we also look at other dreams fulfilled and how they became a reality. Chris Meehan went to Greeley and followed 1982 World Champion bull rider Charles Sampson around to hear his story featured as our cover story. And new contributor Chandra Thomas Whitfield took on the challenge to find out what dreams lies ahead for Black Girls Run – and why they really do run! So it’s a New Year with new dreams, new aspirations, and new resolutions. Our dream at the Denver Urban Spectrum is to continue recording history – be it good, bad and often times, even sad. But we are continually grateful for our advertisers who have supported us over the last quarter of a century; for our readers who continue to look for DUS each month in print and online; for our contributors (past and current) who have hung in there when there was nothing to hang on to; and our family and friends who have always had our back. We hope 2013 will be as gratifying for you as the last 25 years of spreading the news about people of color has been for us. Make this year, the year your dreams come true. And always remember the children because they are truly a gift from God. With deep gratitude,

WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR Tanya Ishikawa DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

This issue is dedicated to the memory of Marva Faye Coleman and Theobald Wilson. May they rest in peace.


AFFI Helps To Strengthen The Community

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2013 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. Office address is 2727 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

would like to thank our financial contributors for purchasing bicycles and supporting the program. We especially want to extend our gratitude to Ms. Rose Andom for enhancing the Aim High scholarship program by contributing laptop computers to each of our scholarship recipients, and Ms. Sherri Gonzales for contributing the safety helmets. A special message to our students: Continue to focus on your schoolwork. As you grow and set goals for your future, try to find mentors in your fields of interest. These folks can reveal important information on how to get involved in the things you are passionate about. We also encourage you to be open to new ideas and experiences. This will enable you to build great relationships with the people around you. Remember that it is okay to state your opinion and respectfully challenge or question your peers, advisers and professors. Once you achieve the success that you are each uniquely destined to achieve, please remember to come back to your community and give

Editor: Each year we are sincerely impressed by the number of talented youth we see during the “Arches of Hope” bicycle give-away and “Aim High” scholarship program. We have always believed the most important way to help children is to give them encouragement and access to education. It is a tool they will use to achieve success in their lives and impact their communities in a positive way. We established the Asfaw Family Foundation International to serve as our vehicle to promote these beliefs. Success is not only measured by how profitable your business is, but also by the strength of the community surrounding you. When you contribute to your community and city, you create a strong business. We commend the teachers, administrators and community members that have nominated the students we honored this year. We would also like to thank our volunteers for donating their time and talents. In addition, we

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


back in any way that you can. Most importantly, have fun! Happy New Year to all,

Geta & Janice Asfaw Founders Asfaw Family Foundation International

Editor’s note: For more information on the annual Bicycle Giveaway, read the article on page 14. For more information on the Asfaw Family Foundation International, visit Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing Graphics & Design

Distribution & Circulation

Realizing the Dream of the American West, Charlie Sampson and the African American Cowboy

By Chris Meehan

The muffled thunder of hooves throwing chunks of rough

dirt reverberate the tonnage of three beasts and two riders racing across the arena, a sound followed by the whoosh of a lasso twisting through the cold, December morning air before it strikes cobra-like and the steer’s head instantly twists upward – another successful lasso for Charlie Sampson. He’s among a small cadre of African American cowboys who have realized the dream of stardom in the rough and tumble rodeo sports emblematic of the great American West. Now 55 and retired from the professional rodeo circuit, Sampson remains a giant among peers who seek his advice – despite his 5 foot 4 inch frame. His boyish grin is infectious as is his laugh. It shows he’s still very much a part of the rodeo and cowboy lifestyle. At the event in Greeley, his fellow cowboys greet him warmly. Sampson was hoping to rope with one young buck, whom Sampson met when he was only 12. At 16, he’s among the best at the competition, “His cousin’s at the nationals right now,” Sampson adds. The kid comes over to say ‘hi’ and chides Sampson for not teaching him more about roping when he was younger. It’s the jocular, jovial attitude that epitomizes the rodeo. Sampson’s humble attitude belies his illustrious history. He is the first African American to win the world title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He won the World Champion Bull Rider title in 1982, over a 16-year professional career won at least 14 national rodeo titles and in 1996 was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame. But you’d never know it by talking with him. Sampson isn’t the lone African American cowboy. Blacks were an integral part of building the American West – after all, one in three cowboys in the old West were Black. “During post-Civil War America, a lot of slaves and war veterans began moving cattle from the South up North. It was one of the most integrated professions at the time. No one wanted to do it. It was dirty, nasty and dangerous,” explains Maurice “Moe Betta” Wade, himself a professional rodeo star and friend of Sampson. Back then, cowboy pay ranged from $25 to $40 a month, according to George Mason University. “That’s how they took care of their families. The old guys had to fight the elements, Indians and cold,” Wade says. Standing in the cold grey structure at The Barn at Montera's in Greeley, you get an inkling of the old days. Of course, you’re in dry, clean clothes, have a vehicle with a heater nearby and a warm bed to sleep in. A cowboy in the post-Civil War era faced, rain, sleet, snow, rockslides, avalanches, mud, wild raging rivers, marauders and frozen mornings that segued into blazing, sun-bleached afternoons – a harsh life by any definition. As the iron horse and barbed wire vivisected the wild west, taming it for cities and civilization, the need for cow-

boys waned, but city folk want entertainment and the roping, riding and wrangling skills cowboys practiced and competed in proved tantalizing to them, birthing wild west shows and heralding the modern rodeo. During this period African Americans remained an integral part of the cowboy story. Among them was Bill Pickett from Texas, who created the event now known as bulldogging – leaping from a horse to a bull and wrestling the beast down by its horns. The daring event remains a hallmark of rodeos today. While today’s rodeo is dominated by whites – reinforced perhaps by the lack of Black role models in the Western films of the 50s and 60s – it’s never been inherently discriminatory, according to Sampson. “There's an opportunity for a lot of African American cowboys if they'd like to be exposed to this sport. They'll be welcome with open arms, because this is an individual sport and as you see everybody out here is trying to do the best they can. After all, an animal don't care what color you are,” he says, laughing. Sampson’s rise as a rodeo star doesn’t start in the Mountain West. Born in 1957 in Los Angeles, Sampson grew up in Watts of Los Angeles – infamous for the six-day race riots of 1965 when locals rioted against white police brutality for six days. Sampson started working at the riding stables near Gardena, CA. There he’d take people on trail rides and where he got his first taste of the rodeo. “I went to the roping arena on Wednesdays with the guy I worked for. Then one day the kids working there were riding the steers. I was unsaddling a horse and the guy said, ‘Where's Pee-Wee at?’ The guy insisted that I ride one of the steers and that's how I got started,” he says. That was around the age of 11 or 12. “And 40 years ago Gene Smith took me to Oklahoma and put me on my first bull.” He was around 15. Bull riding, Sampson has said, was a way to "ride" out of the ghetto. Wade’s history as a cowboy begins a little later, around 1977. Wade, a Vietnam Vet, had dreamed of being a cowboy as a child. “But I never knew how to do it,” he says. “I had an assignment in Yellowstone National Park.” On the weekends he’d ride around on horseback, rekindling his childhood

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


dreams. “After I came back from my tour in Yellowstone I started working at Liberty Stables,” in Aurora, CO. Soon he was roping calves and participating in events. “I had just started the same year Charlie won the world championship,” he says. “Charlie and I became friends after that.” Wade won the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Rookie of the Year award in 1985. The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo remains the premier series of events for Black cowboys. “We’re more or less like a Triple-A league preparing for them for the major leagues,” says creator Lu Vason, a legendary promoter who introduced The Pointer Sisters, among other famous acts, to the world. “I went to the Cheyenne Frontier Days (in 1977) and didn’t see any Black cowboys and decided I wanted to eliminate the myth that there were no Black cowboys in the development of the West,” he explains. Vason met Sampson in 1983 and talked about developing a rodeo to correct the misconception. He held the first rodeo in 1984. Being a rodeo cowboy, however, has its risks – more so than other professional sports. Even the biggest, heaviest football players, who can weigh 500 pounds, are nothing compared to the writhing fury of a bull or bronco, which can easily weigh over a ton. But it’s an individual sport and there’s no health care plan or salary for rodeo athletes. To remain in the pro circuit you have to win on an almost daily basis. “If you don’t have major sponsors it’s really tough to get out on that road and stay out there,” Wade explains. “You have to win consistently and bring in enough money every week to keep going, keep your bills paid, and keep family fed. Charlie was able to do it. He rode very well for 17 years.” While winning awards for Sampson’s feats and ability, bull riding took a toll on his body, though you’d never know it by looking at him – even though his left ear’s a prosthetic and his face was shattered, among other injuries. He lost the ear in 1988 when a bull’s hoof caught on his hat. And before that every bone in face – except his nose – was shattered in 1983 in a riding accident at the Presidential Command Performance in front of Ronald Reagan. Maybe that’s why he was featured in a 1990’s Timex ad campaign with the tagline: ‘Takes a licking and keeps on ticking’. Still, he says, “I feel great. ‘Cause I work out a lot. I'm really in good physical shape. I had a knee replacement, screws taken out of my ankle – a lot of the injuries that I've had, I've been repairing them. Fortunately for me I haven't felt any backlash from my career.” Sampson’s also worked to popularize bull riding and was one of the founders of Bull Riders Only, a short-lived, breakaway sport from the larger rodeo. “We would host 12 bull ridings throughout the country, in Arizona, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington (Seattle), and Chicago. I did that for several years and put on bull riding schools and did lectures,” he says. However, an offshoot of that, the Professional Bull Riders ended up overtaking Bull Riders Only in popularity, forcing the former to close. He’s also been a member of the Bill Pickett Rodeo Association and participated in those events. What’s Sampson up to after bull-riding? “Well now, what is there to do after bull-riding? – gain weight!” he laughs. “These days, I still love and train horses and I team rope.” Team roping is that matter of four against one, two horses and two riders running down a steer, one cowboy lassoing its

head, the other its hind legs – the sound that opened this story. “It's two fools trying to get lucky at the same time,” he explains, again laughing. Today, Sampson lives in Thornton, CO, and works as a cowboy, in Thornton and Boulder when he’s not roping or doing other things. “I judge rodeos and I have a mentoring program where I go around to the Boys and Girls club and the Boy Scouts of America program; any youth programs just mentoring kids with horses and teaching them life skills,” he say s. Still, he’s wistful that there aren’t more Black cowboys competing at the national level. “its mind boggling how there's not many kids wanting to get into it because there are several cowboys that are on TV and there are several cowboys that are trying to show a good image that you can do this,” he says. “There are a lot of African American cowboys but most of them are in Texas. In Colorado I had an opportunity to work with a boy out of Aurora and I got him at an early age and he was able to go through high school rodeos and get a rodeo scholarship, now he's on the pro circuit. That's one out of the 15 to 20 kids of African American descent that I've been associated with and that's mind-boggling.” Vason shares his sentiment, “I’m somewhat still disappointed that I don’t see more African Americans in the larger finals,” he says. “There were only two Black cowboys [this year] and they were both in the tie down events. There are so many other events, and we just don’t see the participation. I know a lot of it is lack of funds,” he says. But, “Hopefully we’ve brought awareness to folks who want to reach that level.” Vason is pleased with the accomplishments of the rodeo and cowboys like Sampson and Wade. “In terms of exposing Black cowboys to the public and the history, I’m very, very happy. We’ve gone to 31 different cities throughout our time with the rodeo over 29 years.” The rodeo, he says, has inspired three or four other regional Black rodeo organizations, but, “We’re still the only national traveling [African American] rodeo.” He adds, “We’re gaining more reputation with people and being acknowledged more.” He also created the MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions. “The MLK is a separate rodeo. We did that with the purpose of joining with the National Western Stock show, which is one of the largest in the country. That has allowed us to expand the knowledge to not just the African American community but to the general public.” Perhaps cowboys never really retire from the show....that seems to be the story of Sampson and Wade. Though Sampson retired from bull-riding in 1994 he’s still roping cows today, as is Wade who’s now 63. Wade will compete in the MLK Rodeo’s roping competition in February 2013, for instance. Wade and Sampson are proud to be among the vanguard of the rebirth of the African American cowboys. “I’m honored, actually, and that’s why I continue doing it. Because I want to educate America,” Wade says. “It’s been a slow haul, but more are coming out. There used to be one or two when we started but now you’re seeing more.” He notes that younger cowboys have assumed the mantle, cowboys like the recently retired Fred Whitfield and Cory Solomon who qualified for the nationals twice. “More blacks are starting to hit the circuit.” These days Wade and Sampson offer up their experiences together, talking at schools and other events, Wade still seem awed by his friend. “Every time he delivers that message, people are totally floored by the things he’s done in his life and the things he’s had to face.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Early Childhood Education Takes A Major Step Forward With New Clayton Early Learning School in Far Northeast Denver Nationally Recognized Clayton Early Learning to Expand Reach in January 2013

Clayton Early Learning, one of

the first in the country designated by the federal Office of Head Start as a Center of Excellence, announced plans for a new school in Far Northeast Denver. This will be Clayton Early Learning’s second location and offers a major boost for Early Childhood Education in the Children’s Corridor with programs available for ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Clayton Early Learning School in Far Northeast Denver is scheduled to open its doors in late January at 4800 Telluride Street, on the Denver Public Schools E-12 Evie Garrett Dennis Campus. This new location will allow Clayton Early Learning to expand the reach of its exemplary early childhood education, serving approximately 86 children 6 weeks to 5 years, and another 25 in a less formal Play and Learn Group that will meet twice per week.

es, ideas, energy and determination will be linked together to provide the neighborhood with programs, resources and services that make families stronger, kids more prepared for success and the community more connected. The Children’s Corridor is a 14-mile stretch from Northeast Denver to Green Valley Ranch, where a ground-breaking effort is taking place to elevate the lives and futures of families and kids. According to Charlotte Brantley, president and CEO of Clayton Early Learning, "We are eager to build on Clayton's history of providing exemplary Early Childhood Education and hope our new school will offer the best start possible and instill a love of learning in the youngest residents of Denver’s Northeast communities." The school is scheduled to open in late January, 2013 for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. If you are interested in enrolling your child, visit or

According to Andy Meyers, chairman of the board of trustees for Clayton Early Learning, “This marks a major milestone for Clayton Early Learning. Our quality, outcome focused educational initiatives have long benefitted children across the state but we’re most excited to offer this schooling in a hands on environment, similar to our award winning school in the Park Hill community of Denver.” The new location offers Clayton Early Learning the opportunity to join with innovative DPS Charter educators including SOAR, STRIVE, and the Denver School of Science and Technology middle school and high school. Clayton Early Learning School in Far Northeast will also be one among several partners in “Z Place” on the Evie Garrett Dennis campus. Z Place will serve as an innovative hub of comprehensive services to support kids, families and communities within the Children’s Corridor where servic-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


call 303-355-4411 for more information. To make the school community as rich and diverse as possible, children and families from all backgrounds are welcome. Various means of tuition assistance is offered.

About Clayton Early Learning

Clayton Early Learning is Colorado’s leading catalyst in providing and improving early education during the critical prenatal-to-5 period. The non-profit organization, which includes two schools, harnesses the synergy of research, practice and training to close learning gaps for the children who need it most. Through its public and private partnerships, Clayton Early Learning drives system change throughout the state championing the fact that quality early education can and does change lives. For more information visit,

A Poem in Response to the Sandy Hook Massacre By Cameo Smith

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate. Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there. They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say. They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day. “Where are we?” Asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. “This is heaven,” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house.” When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near. He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. Then He opened His arms and He called them by name. And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring those children all flew into the arms of their King. And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face. And as if He could read all the questions she had he gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.” Then He looked down on earth, the world far below He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe. Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, “let My power and presence re-enter this land!” “May this country be delivered from the hands of fools” “I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!” Then He and the children stood up without a sound, “Come now my children, let me show you around.” Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran, all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can. And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, “In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


How To Choose The Best Preschool

A National Patient Education Series

By Eileen Piper

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January 26, 2013 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Denver Marriott City Center Denver Ballroom 1701 California Street Denver, CO


he best preschool is the pre-

school that is best for your child.

That’s always my advice to anxious

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families trying to figure out where to

send their child to preschool. How do

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you know? Start with what you know

about your child. My oldest son is active and outgoing. I knew he would flourish in an environment with plenty of opportunities to play and explore with peers. My younger son needs more one-onone attention from teachers. Perhaps it’s important that your culture or traditions are supported. Or, perhaps you have a child with special needs. Regardless, you know better than anyone where your child is most likely to thrive. With over 250 preschool partners, the Denver Preschool Program offers lots of choices close to home or work in the Denver metro area. All our preschool partners are licensed and undergo a rigorous quality rating process. And all Denver children enrolled in their last year of preschool before kindergarten are eligible for tuition support through the Denver Preschool Program. It is not too soon to begin looking now. Our online “Find a Preschool” tool at includes the location, description, hours of operation, contact information and quality rating of our preschool partners. If you are looking for childcare or preschool outside of the Denver metro area, a call to 1-877-338-2273 will connect you with your local referral agency. Once you’ve narrowed your list, schedule visits with your child. That is

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


the only way to see how your child feels in the preschool and how staff relates to your child. Your first impressions matter. When you walk in the preschool with your child, note whether the environment feels warm and inviting. Watch your child’s response and whether adults acknowledge your child or just focus on other adults. Of course, you should expect classrooms to be clean and safe with sufficient adult supervision. But fancy facilities are no substitute for caring adults. Observe how teachers interact with children. Are they at children’s eye level when they talk to them? Do they appear responsive to individual children by listening closely, asking questions and using positive language? Walk around the room and ask the teacher what the child is learning from different activity centers. How do activities promote social, emotional and intellectual growth and stimulate creativity? Look for a variety of learning resources, toys and equipment as well as space and materials to promote physical development from holding a pencil to running and jumping. Since no two children are at the same stage, how does the teacher support individual children in their learning? Do children have their own place to keep their special things? The teacher’s daily and monthly schedule should reveal whether the preschool offers activities of interest to your child and if there is time for your child to explore independently. Come prepared with a list of questions that matter to you. Start with inquiring about the school’s philosophy about how children learn and its approach to discipline. How does the school communicate with families and how often? Can you visit the classroom at any time? Ask for parents you can talk to about their experience with the school. Finding a preschool that is a good fit for your child is worth the effort. Decades of research show that children who attend a high quality preschool do better in school and life. If you are looking, you are already off to a good start. For more information on the Denver Preschool Program and what to look for when choosing a preschool, visit  Editor’s note: Eileen Piper is CEO of the Denver Preschool Program. In 2006, Denver voters approved a 12-cent sales tax on a $100 purchase to fund preschool tuition support, giving all Denver families access to high-quality preschool. Denver families with a child in the last year of preschool before kindergarten can choose from a wide variety of preschools, public and community-based.

Black Girls Do Run!

Denver Chapter of National Runners Group Seeks To Address Health Disparities

By Chandra Thomas Whitfield

Tonnett London didn’t quite get

an outpouring of support from her family members five years ago when she decided to start running for exercise. She was 24, overweight and in desperate need of shedding some extra pounds. “They were like, ‘why would you want to do that; that’s what white people do,’” recalls London, a University of Denver staffer who lives in Southeast Denver. “I felt that they were just so negative; not supportive at all.” London, now a wife and mother to an active toddler, didn’t let their pessimism get in her way. She laced up her Nikes, blazed the running trail and never looked back. Ten pounds and a marathon later she took her newfound hobby to new heights last April, when she joined the Denver area chapter of a national organization aimed at “encouraging African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.” London insists that she and fellow members are living proof that, as the group’s name boasts, Black Girls Run! (BGR!). London says joining BGR! Denver has reignited a new passion for her favorite pastime. “It’s more than just the exercise; it’s the camaraderie and seeing women who look like me getting out there running,” notes London, of the organization that coordinates weekly outdoor running groups across the city. Members also help each other train for races and marathons. “When I tell these women that I run six miles they don’t look at me like it’s a big deal. Their reaction is nothing like my family’s was. This group lets the world know that there are plenty of Black women running out there.” BGR!’s Denver Ambassador Yolanda Jones agrees. The local chapter, she says, now has more than 200 Facebook fans. About 15 to 30 women typically participate in the weekly Saturday morning running groups, particularly in the warmer months. Groups have taken place in Green Valley Ranch, Denver, Aurora, Broomfield, Centennial and Littleton. Jones says BGR! is open to both runners and walkers. Some members, she adds, don’t let mom duty get in the way; they load their children in jogging strollers and multi-task for miles. “A lot of people get intimidated when they hear the word ‘run’ but we welcome all levels,” she says. “This is a come-as-you-are group.” BGR! Denver plans to kick off its new season February 8 with eight to 10 week training sessions that culminate

Event: Green Valley Ranch Gobble Wobble 5k Raenell Thomas, Ronda Belen, Jaya Roberts, Yolanda Jones, Collina Washington, Tonnett Luedtke

Photo Credit: Ron Luedtke

Event: Denver Rock n Roll Marathon Series Kameelah Gilmore, Kashayla Unis, Michelle Black (Atlanta, GA), Yolanda Jones, Nikki Scott, Ronda Belen, Monica Miller, Brenda Ngozi Stallings (Little Rock, AR), Raenell Thomas Photo Credit: Domingo Belen

Event: Colfax Half Marathon - Finisher Medals Sonya Wright-Barnes, Yolanda Jones, Nikki Scott, Shontel Perkins, Raenell Thomas

Photo Credit: Xavier Harris

Event: Colfax Half Marathon - End of A Good Race Nikki Scott, Shontel Perkins, Yolanda Jones, Raenell Thomas

Photo Credit: Xavier Harris

• 51.6 percent of Black women ages 20-74 are considered obese compared to 31.5 percent of white women. • About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese. • Approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of American children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that 80 percent of African-American women are overweight. Since its modest beginnings as a health and fitness blog, BGR! has

into a race, says Jones. She is looking for more group leaders to spearhead runs throughout the metro area. Toni Carey of Virginia and Ashley Hicks of New York respectively have said that they created BGR! in 2009 in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community. The founders cite a bevy of staggering statistics as their motivation including: • 23.8 percent of Black girls ages 1219 are over weight, compared to 14.6 percent of white girls the same age.

Denver Urban Urban Spectrum Spectrum — — –– January January 2013 2013 Denver


reportedly mushroomed to a national network reaching some 44,000 Black women. Jones, 47, a human resources professional, says the group is helping to alleviate health disparities – one woman of color at a time – by providing encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. Jones signed up for BGR! in April 2010 and was named ambassador in 2011. Prior to joining she’d actually lost “a substantial amount of weight” through a diet change and exercise. She later decided that BGR! membership would have its privileges. “It was a constant battle with my weight; I’d lose some and gain it all back,” remembers Jones, a certified running coach who is currently pursuing personal trainer certification. “Being in the group has helped me to be more accountable and consistent.” Local member Ronda Belem could barely walk a block before she joined BGR! last February. Less than a year later she had completed two 5K’s, a 10K a 10-mile and a half marathon (13.1 miles). She attributes her success to the support of her fellow BGR! sisters. “I was not an active person, but being a part of the group has changed that,” says the Green Valley Ranch resident. “Having that support and the camaraderie; to have people come to the back of the race with you and literally cheer you on to finish. It is so inspiring.” The impact of Belem’s new active lifestyle has also trickled down to her family. Her husband and three children now love running too. “We were not the kind of people who would say, ‘let’s go ride bikes or hike up a mountain,’” quips Belem. “So this has been really transformative for our family. Sometimes you just have to do it.” London, who emphasizes that her family now supports her, echoes a similar sentiment. BGR! participation, she insists, is often liberating. It’s an opportunity, she says, for women to take control of their health and defy stereotypes at the same time. “I think a lot of time we, as Black women, are put in a box,” adds London. “Thanks to Black Girls Run, I don’t feel like I have to be put in that box anymore. A lot of people say running long distances is not what we as Black people do and they are so, so very wrong.” Editor’s note: To learn more about BGR! Denver or to join, visit click on “running groups” then scroll down to Colorado.

Power, Promise, and Potential

The 29th Annual Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Denver Chapter Beautillion

Power, Promise, and Potential was the theme for the 29th Annual Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Denver Chapter Beautillion. Held Dec. 16, 2012 at the

Downtown Sheraton Hotel, 24 outstanding African American young men – seniors at area high schools – were presented to the community by emcees Cedric Buchanon and Dominic Robinson and welcomed into the brotherhood of more than 900 fellow Beaus who have come before them. Close to 750 attended the event. The Jack and Jill Denver Chapter Beautillion experience begins long before the dancing – for three months prior to the Beautillion, each of the Beaus attends workshops to enhance their out-of-class learning skills. This year’s sessions included Sexual Health and Wellness, presented by Johnny E. Johnson, MD; “The New Jim Crow,” a book by Professor Michelle Alexander which highlights disparities in the penal system that disproportionately affect African American males, presented by Don Toussaint, Esquire and Stephen Williams; and Time Management and Leadership, presented by James Reeves. The young men are also required to participate in a community service project and write an essay. Financial awards were given by sponsor J.A. Walker Co. to the top essay winners. The first place winner was Langston Williams. And of course there was the dancing. The Beaus met weekly to rehearse intricate ballroom dance routines to be performed during the Beautillion with their escorts, as well as contemporary upbeat dances, which were all choreographed by Rhetta Shead. One of the highlights of the evening was the mother and son dance. The song “Mama,” by Boyz to Men, filled the room with sound and emotion as mothers swirled while admiring their own boys who have become men before their eyes. “Over the past 29 years, we have seen the beaus go on to be lawyers, entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, professional athletes, technologists, and Olympic champions,” said Dr. Janette Andrews, President of the Denver Chapter, whose own son William Cummings was a Beau this year. “This year’s group of Beaus is equally poised for greatness. We recognize their strong leadership capabilities and good character, and we are honored to present them all this year.” The 2012 Beautillion Chairs were DeVita Bruce, Vanessa Howard, and Deirdre Wilson. The recruitment process for Beautillion begins early each spring and information for referrals is shared with high school counselors. Editor’s note: For more information, visit

Top: Devita Bruce, Linda Williams, Vanessa Howard, Dei Wilson, and Faye Tate. Bottom: Councilman Albus Brooks, Mayor Micahel Hancock, Dr. Janette Andrews, School Board Member Happy Haynes, and Councilman Chris Herndon Photos by James Rowe Photos

2012 Beaus with Mayor Michael Hancock and Councilmen Chris Herndon and Albus Brooks

ack and Jill Denver Chapter Moms and Associates Teen Leaders Chris Hill and Lisa Napper

Photos by James Rowe Photos

President Janette Andrews and Beau Will Cummings and other moms and sons Photos by James Rowe Photos

Beau Clarence Allen and Mom Rosemarie

2012 Beaus and Escorts

Beau Chris Hill Jr.

Clarence Allen, II Lisa ...........................................................................................Victoria Napper Kerrian De’Love Chambers, II...............................................................Dailynn Dior Walten-Allen William Andrew Cummings................................................. .....................Alyxandra Rose Parker Mark Antonio Dean, Jr......................................................................Chandler Alexandria Keesee Damien Lawann Douglas, Jr.................................................................................Brianne Murray Omari Izim Green...............................................................................Kennede Cheyenne Reese Collin Edward Hargrow..............................................................................Briana Rachelle Labrie Ernest Christopher Hill..................................................................................Brea LaRae Cowans William Tre’ Lyons Hunter..................................................................Christina Michele Alexander Cody Joseph Jackson................................................................................Tenlie Taylor Mourning Brannon Maurice Jones...........................................................................Sydney Jeanette Brown Elijah Lloyd Martin.....................................................................................Destiny Gayla Wheeler Bradley DeMon Miller............................................................................Darolyn Maddison Barber Cameron Marquis Mosley...............................................................................Camri Nicole Smith Alexander Hayes Neal......................................................................................Sierra Skye Vaden Rodney Gaye Perry, Jr. ...........................................................................Brianna Raelene Gilbert Anthony Lebron Sanford................................................................................Micala Dawn Bruce Malcolm Lee Stephens...........................................................................Brianna La’Nae Vincent Nicholas Bartholomew Turner..................................................................Mariah JaNae Franklin Eduardo James White.............................................................................Salina Christine Trahan Dion James Williams................................................................................Destiny Brooke Barber Langston Alfonso Williams.....................................................Jahnee Juanita-Elizabeth Hughes Brandon Tucker Gordon Willis.............................................................Daryn Alexandria Fouther Solomon Terry Yon......................................................................................Kayla Chanel Gatling

Beau Brandon Willis and Escort Daryn Fouther Larry and Linda Williams embrace son Langston Williams and escort Jahnee Hughes

2012 Escorts

Anthony Sanford and Micala Bruce

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Full-Day Celebration To Mark Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s 100-Year Anniversary

The four Colorado Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, a public service organization, are teaming up for a day-long celebration commemorating the sorority’s 100 year anniversary. These include Denver and Colorado Springs alumnae chapters and Zeta Pi and Tau Lambda collegiate chapters. The celebration will take place Saturday, Feb. 2 and includes an exciting birthday celebration with a history-making, record-setting dance and a night to remember Centennial Gala. “Our Centennial Celebration is a great opportunity for the community to learn what Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is all about”, said Djuana Harvell, President of the Denver Alumnae Chapter. This milestone is a testament to the power, vision, and strong legacy of committed service that our Founders began. “We are so excited to be making history. Please join us for a celebration to remember” The day activities will begin with the lighting of a Centennial torch that will be carried to 22 cities in honor of Delta Sigma Theta sorority’s founders and in commemoration of a Delta Centennial Celebrations around the world. The torch’s journey will include Denver, Colorado on Feb. 2, and end in Washington, D.C., the birthplace of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Centennial Birthday Celebration. Sorority and community members plan to make history by setting the Guinness Book World Record for the largest recorded Cakewalk dance in history. The lineup will include 250 people performing an historic dance from the early 1900s at Graland Country Day School, located at 30 Birch St. in Denver. The entry fee is free with a canned food item to support the Denver Rescue Mission and Metro State University Food Bank. Early 1900s attire is encouraged but not required. 2013 Food Drive. The goal of the 2013 food drive is to help stop hunger in Colorado by gathering 2013 pounds

of food in 2013. The food drive began in November 2012 and will culminate as part of the Torch Celebration. This program will also serve as the kick off community service event for the 100 Days of Service Campaign. The Food Drive will benefit local organizations in all communities where we have chapters. The Colorado Springs Alumnae Chapter will support the Share and Care Food Bank for Southern Colorado. The Denver Alumnae Chapter will support the Metropolitan State University of Denver Student Food Bank (MSU) and the Denver Urban Ministries (DenUM). Centennial Torch Gala. This black-tie affair will celebrate five honorees from across the state who have made contributions that support Delta Sigma Theta’s mission. Noted actress, singer, and songwriter Dawnn Lewis (from “A Different World”) will also take the stage. The evening will include dinner and dancing, and will take place at the Inverness Hotel & Spa, located at 200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood, Colorado 80112. Tickets are $60, VIP Tickets are $100. For more information about local programming, visit or For more information about Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. visit


preschool showcase Presented by the Denver Preschool Program

Looking for preschool? Concerned about the cost? YOUR ONE-STOP LOOK AT MORE THAN 250 PRESCHOOLS STARTS HERE

Saturday, January 12, 2013 Tivoli Student Union (on the Auraria Campus, 900 Auraria Pkwy. Denver, CO 80204)

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Light refreshments and family-friendly entertainment Find out how the Denver Preschool Program* can make preschool more affordable with tuition support for your family


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities. Today Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has over 250,000 members and more than 900 chapters worldwide. The Sorority uses its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement to create its national programs.

Planning to attend? Let us know! Email or call 303.595.4DPP(4377) *Approved by Denver voters in 2006, the Denver Preschool Program is a tax- funded initiative that provides tuition support to all Denver families – regardless of income – with a child in their last year of preschool before kindergarten. This money can be applied at any one of a wide variety of more than 250 preschools all across the metro area.


Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


What If President Obama Simply Issued Executive Orders Toughening Gun Curbs By Earl Ofari Hutchinson


ozens of Democratic lawmakIn the meantime, Obama could heed the lawmaker’s pleas and follow ers implored President Obama to simthe precedent Bill Clinton and you leave yourofjob... ply issue executive orders"When toughening George H. W. Bush and issue execudon't leave your money behind!" gun curbs. They made their impastive orders o gun curbs. Bush in 1989 sioned plea three years before the hor- used the 1968 Gun Control Act to ban MyraSchool Donovan, the CLU, ChFC, CFP rifles. rific Sandy Hook Elementary import of assault Adviser A decade later Clinton went further massacre. They and othersFinancial will make and banned firearms and ammunition even more impassioned pleas to Bush and Clinton got 3200 Cherry Creekfrom DriveChina. South, #700 Obama to put his executive pen to around the squeal from the gun lobby Denver, CO 80209 paper and enact one or more measand anti-gun control congresspersons 303-871-7249 - ures that put some clamps on the that this was an abrogation of congressional fiat by invoking the provision in types of guns that can be bought and Gun Control Act that automatic sold and who can get them. He almost the "Call Today for a FREE weapons had to be “suitable for sportcertainly will back California Senator Consultation!" ing purposes” to be legally bought Diane Feinstein’s bill to reinstate the and sold. The stockpiles of AK-47s 1994 ban on assault weapons. But and AR-15s hardly fit that description. Obama could use the “sporting Feinstein won’t reintroduce the bill purposes” language to allow local and until sometime next year. And then federal law enforcement agencies to the fight to get passage will be long crack down on the proliferation of and drawn out.

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

these type weapons by mandating rigid inspections and confiscation of these weapons at the point of import. He could expand the requirement that gun shops in Border States and even nationally require instant reporting of anyone who purchases two or more home grown manufactured assault weapons. He could also mandate gun dealers to take even more stringent steps to secure firearms from theft, run screens on their employees and end the right of gun dealers that are closing up shop to sell off their guns absence any background checks on buyers. These seem to be minimal steps that are well within Obama’s executive reach. But one problem is still Congress. It has absolutely refused to even utter the words gun control for nearly a decade. Every bill that would have imposed gun curbs has been summarily buried in a house or senate committee. The gun lobby is a big reason for this. But the even bigger reason is a weak public will to press legislators on gun curbs. Another problem is the gun culture. It is deep, long standing and permissive. Millions have bought into the line that an assault weapons ban is just a short step to banning all guns. Yet another problem is the delusion that guns are a necessity to defend liberties supposedly under assault from liberal Democrats and Obama. This irrational fear has jumped gun sales in the days after Sandy Hook. The imposition of executive orders would also make Obama, not Congress, the face of the battle for tough gun control. The gun control lobby would go into high gear and use every ploy to inflame, polarize, and sow panic among millions of gun owners and anti-gun control opponents. It would take the spotlight and the heat off congress which has faithfully pandered to the gun lobby. But on the plus side it would force congress to seriously debate the need for gun control legislation. That debate

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

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

303-871-7249 -

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!" Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


would force the NRA and its congressional allies to tell why they adamantly oppose the ban of assault weapons, tougher back ground checks, and provisions to insure that guns are kept out of the hands of those with mental and emotional challenges. It would force gun control opponents to tell how these protective measures infringe on the right of law abiding citizens to own and use guns for protection and sporting purposes. The executive orders that Obama could sign would be a good first step toward putting White House muscle immediately behind gun control. But executive orders only peck at the edge of getting a handle on the gun massacre plague that confronts the nation. This can only come from an organized and concerted movement by citizens at all levels to get behind the efforts of groups that have repeatedly proposed common sense gun control measures that protect the rights of Americans to legally bear arms, but rid the streets and homes of arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. This happened in Britain following the Dunblane, Scotland school massacre in 1996, millions said no to guns, and got the government to eventually outlaw handgun sales. If Obama issues executive orders toughening gun curbs he would and should be applauded for it. But the ball is still in congress and the public’s court to do everything possible to prevent another Sandy Hook massacre.

Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:

Sunday, January, 20

Event: Highlands Ranch, Community 2011 Unity Walk and Reception - Time: 2 p.m. Location: Fox Creek Elementary School, 6585 Collegiate Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO Info: Tani Hansen 303-387-0556 Event: Aurora Community Embracing Non-Violence - Time: 2 p.m. Place: Aurora Municipal Center Council Chambers, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway Guest: Dr. Derek Barber King, Sr., (nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

2013 Celebration Events

Event: 28h Annual Ecumenical Service - Time: 6 p.m. - Place: TBD Guest: Dr. Derek Barber King, Sr., (nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) Info: Pastor Leon Emerson 303-883-7908 or Dr. Sandra Moore-Mann 303-961-7687

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Celebration “Remember! Celebrate! Act! - A Day On Not A Day Off” Theme: “Injustice is Still a Threat!” (All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.)

Monday, January 21

Event: 14th Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Breakfast Celebration - Time: 9 to 11 a.m Location: Place Arapahoe Community College, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton Info: Jamie Crisp 303-797-5881 - Tickets $15 for Adults, $5 for children 12 and under

Monday, January 14

Event: Press Conference/Launching of Torch and MLK Colorado - Time: 11 a.m. Location: Aurora Town Center, 14200 E. Alameda Ave. Aurora Info: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, Dr. Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580, Terry Nelson 720-865-2404

Event: 28th Annual MLK Marade - Time: Gather at 9 a.m. program starts at 10 a.m. Place: The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream Monument, Denver City Park, Info: Shyretta Hudnall 720-317-3802, Jacqui Shumway 303-744-7676, Silke Hansen 303-308-1969 or Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329 &

Event: Aurora’s Mayor Steve Hogan – Proclamation - Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Ave. Info: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580

Event: 28th Annual “Dinner for Those Who Hunger Time: 3 to 6 p.m. Location: Volunteers of America, Sunset Park, 1865 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80202 Info: Jim White, Volunteers of America 303-297-0408 cell 720-299-0222

Tuesday, January 15

Event: Painting The Seed Growing the Seed - Time: 2 to 4:30 p.m. Location: Evie Dennis Campus Building 1 West Commons Info: Sylvia Bookhardt, 303-229-1997, Ani Reddy, 970-310-4526,

Event: 23rd Annual MLK, Jr. 2011 Humanitarian Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards & Colorado Symphony Orchestra - King Celebration Concert - Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Location: Boettcher Concert Hall Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis Streets Info: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, Terry Nelson 720-865-2404

Event: MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions - Time: 6 p.m. Location: National Western Stock Show Coliseum, 4655 Humboldt St. Denver 80216 Info: Lu Vason 303-373-1246 or Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329

Wednesday, January 16

A live telecast of “Civil Rights Stories” airs on Aurora Channel 8Stories-Live Telecast - Time: 7 p.m. Location: Aurora Channel 8 - Info: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580

Tuesday, January 22

Event: Honoring our Community Leader Tuskegee Airmen Col John Mosley - Time: 12 p.m. Location: Metro State Collage

Friday, January 18

Event: The 20th annual MLK Peace Awards & Breakfast - Time: 8 a.m. Location: Tivoli Turn Hall Auraria Campus (Guest Speaker: TBA) Info: Alton Clark - $7 for students, $14 for adults

Lend a child your guiding hand

Event: Aurora Community of Faith breakfast – Time: 8 a.m. Location: Aurora Municipal Center, City Café, 15151 E. Alameda pkwy Speaker: Dr. James Peters Info: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580 -Tickets $15, RSVP to 303-739-7580 Event: Aurora Community of Faith Breakfast - Time: 9 a.m. Location: City Café, 2nd 15151 E. Alameda Pkwy, Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Peters, colleague of Dr. King - Tickets $15, RSVP Info: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580 & T.A. Mayes 720-329-4553

Event: 28th Annual MLK Social Responsibility Awards Luncheon Time: 11:45 a.m. Location: Marriott City Center Downtown Denver Costs: Individual seating $75 - Info: Stephen Straight 720- 323-3333 or 980-468-1488


Event: Barber Shop Talks - A dialog – “Dream Versus Reality” - Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Location: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Library 9898 E. Colfax Aurora


Infants to Teens • Free Information Workshop Free Home Study* Free Training • Recruiter – Adoption/Foster Resource Support Team * Call for details, restrictions may apply

Event: Multicultural Awareness - Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Location: Central Library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway, Presented by the Aurora Police

Bilingual Families Encouraged to Attend

Workshops 1st Thursdays (Noon-1:30 pm) 3rd Thursdays (6:30-8 pm)

Saturday, January 19

Event: MLK Marshall Training for Marade - Time: 10 a.m. Location: Denver Waste Water Building 2000 West 3rd Ave., Denver, 1st floor Info: Silke Hansen 303-308-1969 (Lunch will be served)

Over 600 children are in the Adams County foster care system each month – infant to teens. When you adopt or foster, just being there makes all the difference.

Event: “The Dream” 5K Run/Walk - Time: 10 a.m. Location: Denver City Park - Info: Potts Jones 303-251-3868 - Entry Fee: $25

Call 303.412.KIDS

to register or request a FREE information packet on Adoption or Foster Care.

Adams County Children & Family Center

Event: Achieving Health Equity through Education and Empowerment Panel Discussion and Health Screenings - Time: 1 to 4 p.m. Location: MLK Jr. Library, Akron & Boston Rooms 9898 E. Colfax Avenue, Aurora, CO 80010 Info: Chanell Reed, 303-739-7553 Event: MLK Jr. Holiday Commission Scholarship Program and Dinner - Time: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Location: MLK, Jr. Library, Community Room, 9898 E. Colfax Ave. Info: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, Terry Nelson 720-865-2404 (By invitation only )

7401 N. BroadwayDenver, CO 80221

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Hope For The Holidays By Towanna Henderson and Norma Paige


here’s no sight more special than the smile on a child’s face when they’re praised for a job well done. With more than 1,000 in attendance, 300 fifth and sixth graders and 10 high school seniors were glowing. Manual High School’s Thunderdome was filled with excitement, anxiety, pride and energy, during the Asfaw Family Foundation International’s (AFFI) 7th Annual Arches of Hope Bicycle GiveA-Way. Each year, several schools and organizations serving youth are selected to nominate deserving students to receive bicycles at this annual event. The students are nominated based on five categories: Academic Achievement, Good Citizenship, Financial Need, Chronic Illness and Parents Serving in the Military. Including this year, the Arches of Hope Bicycle Giveaway will have presented more than 1,500 bikes, helmets and goodie bags to students. In addition to students receiving bicycles, 10 scholarships, laptops and an autographed copy of Cody Teet’s book, Golden Opportunity, were given to graduating male seniors through the Aim High scholarship program. “We had the honor of once again have Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock proclaim the day as Aim High Day and offer encouraging remarks to those in attendance. Keynote speaker, Terrance Carroll, Former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, “shared his compelling story with both candor and humor,” said Norma Paige, Program Director of AFFI. This year’scholarship recipients were: Louis Aldridge, Jaycee Floyd, Petros Masias (East High), Carl Matthews, Omari Green, D’Andre Thortvedt (Cherokee Trial), Mustapha Jajua, Marcus Paris, and James M. Bradley (Martin Luther King Early College). The students enjoyed lunch, outstanding entertainment by the Colorado Starlites, and inspirational remarks from Former Lt. Governor Joe Rogers; Denver Public Schools Board Member, Happy Hayne;, and Vice President and General Manager, McDonald’s Corp. Rocky Mountain Region, Cody Teets. Ronald McDonald was also on hand to help celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients. Colorado Access displayed information to bring awareness to their

service that improves access to needed healthcare to all underserved Coloradans. Mascot Safety Tiger joined in the festivities. “The Arches of Hope Bicycle GiveA-Way is our vehicle to both support students who are in need and reward students who are striving in school. We want students to know that they are special and to believe that they can achieve,” said Janice Asfaw, founder of Asfaw Family Foundation International. AFFI developed the Aim High Scholarship program to offer college scholarships to Colorado African American male students as a means to

encourage success and educational excellence. To date, 45 young men have been recipients. Geta Asfaw, founder of the Foundation said, “The young men receiving our Aim High college scholarships prove to be another example to the 5th and 6th graders of the rewards for hard work in school and community. The Arches of Hope strives to highlight the value of education by recognizing children for their achievements and good citizenship. Our volunteer force keeps growing and demonstrates to young people the value of giving your time in your

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


community. We appreciate the tremendous support we receive from other McDonald’s Owner/operators, the business community and individuals that want to help impact the futures of these deserving young people by letting them know we recognize the achievements they are making.”  Editor’s note: The Mission of The Asfaw Family Foundation International is to reach the village one person at a time. The Foundation supports families locally, nationally and globally by focusing on the education of children, encouraging their success and acknowledging excellence by rewarding their accomplishments in school and their communities. For more information, visit

Presents FWD: 1963–2013

Five evenings of film, theater and conversation looking at fifty years of civil rights in America

History Colorado invites you to join civil rights leaders for five evenings of film, theater and conversation examining seminal events of 1963. From the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream� speech, 1963 was a pivotal year in the Civil Rights Movement. W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.� Is that true today? How far have we come? What have we learned over the past fifty years, and what remains to be done? The program was developed by locally based actor and filmmaker, donnie l. betts.

January 28: Introductions to FWD: 1963–2013

With Dr. Vincent Harding African-American scholar, historian, and activist Dr. Vincent Harding is best known for his writings about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for whom he drafted speeches. Harding serves as chair of the Veterans of Hope Project: A Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic Renewal, based at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Following a clip showing the events of 1963 from the award-winning documentary Eyes on the Prize, Winston Grady-Willis, chair of African and African American Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver, joins Dr. Harding for a community conversation.

February 26: Conversations: The Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

With Carolyn McKinstry Reverend Carolyn McKinstry was there on September 15, 1963, when white terrorists bombed a Birmingham church, killing four of her friends. As a teenager, she joined mass meetings and rallies and was among thousands of students hosed by firemen during the 1963 marches. McKinstry has devoted her life to community service, works on many community boards, and serves as president of the board of the Sixteenth Street Foundation. Conversations includes a clip from the Spike Lee documentary, 4 Little Girls.

March 25: Lessons in Nonviolence

With Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member John Perdew As a Harvard student, John Perdew joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1963, he traveled to Americus, Georgia, with Donald Harris and Ralph Allen to help organize the Sumter County Movement; he and Harris were arrested after a demonstration and charged with “seditious conspiracy.� The men were held without bail for three months and released by a three-judge federal panel who found the charge unconstitutional. Perdew performs a selection from his autobiographical play, Education of a Harvard Guy. Brother Jeff, a Northeast Denver native and multimedia journalist, cultural and community organizer, and entrepreneur, joins the community conversation.

April 29: The Importance of Music and the Arts to a Movement

With Rutha Harris Rutha Harris is a founding member of the Freedom Singers, an a cappella ensemble that traveled 50,000 miles to forty-eight states in nine months, singing and telling stories of the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Albany, Georgia, in 1940, Harris began singing at age eight at that city’s Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. She got involved in the Albany Civil Rights Movement in 1961 and was among those incarcerated in the mass arrests that filled the Albany and surrounding counties’ jails in December of that year. The evening’s conversation includes excerpts from the film Soundtrack for a Revolution.

May 28: The Lasting Legacy of 1963: What Now?

With Dr. Vincent Harding Dr. Harding and other human rights leaders conclude our series with a behind-the-scenes look at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and clips from the film Eyes on the Prize. We close by looking at how the events of 1963 inspired not just the rest of the Civil Rights Movement, but other equal rights movements throughout the world. All programs will be held at 6 P.M. in the auditorium of the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway in Denver. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for History Colorado members. Doors open at 5:30 P.M. For more information, call 303-4478679 or visit



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


The Culture of Giving By Heather O’Mara and Ruth Márquez West

The holidays remind us that a cul-

ture of giving is a culture of hope.

Wherever giving is a way of life, routine reflection on others’ needs influ-

meaningful partnerships. We serve collaboratively and our shared desire to improve the lives of our students and their families unifies us. Together, we find creative ways to be partners in giving. These partnerships occur on many levels and in a variety of relationships. HOPE teachers guide students to reach out into their neighborhoods, HOPE employees align with HOPE Learning Center staff to make the holi-

of many others, as she described how moved she was as she listened to the humble “wish lists” she received from several HOPE parents – among them, a can opener, laundry detergent, shampoo, and paper products. Witnessing such appreciation for the smallest of gifts made her matching of HOPE employees and volunteers with needy families even more meaningful. Yet, HOPE students and their fami-

bank and are particularly excited to be givers to those who will visit this vital community resource. Meanwhile, a classroom of HOPE kindergarten students collected brightly decorated mugs for a nonprofit organization which serves disabled individuals. Others are learning special songs to spread holiday cheer to their families and neighbors. Holiday giving on any level is a testament to awareness among HOPE

ences daily interactions and decisions. When specific needs arise, generous sharing is the natural response. In a

culture of giving, everyone is viewed

as having need, if only the need to be valued. Likewise, in a culture of giv-

Left: HOPE Kindergarten students are proud to be partners in giving. Above: HOPE permeates a culture of giving. Right: Jemmy, Ms. Jefferson and Maya are part of the culture of giving at HOPE.

ing, everyone is affirmed for what

they have to contribute, if only the gift of gratitude. Participating in a culture

of giving is an essential element of

learning, deservedly in the spotlight

this time of year. HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op (HOPE) is fortunate to rise to the challenge and meet our students’ needs through giving. In fact, it is their needs that motivate us to establish

days special for underserved families and HOPE leadership connects with organizations willing to fortify our holiday resources – gifts and toys – for sharing. Each year, more and more HOPE associates give unselfishly, anxious to bring hope to others. The rewards are always worthwhile intangibles. One leadership member well represented the feelings

lies are not only recipients, they are also givers. Middle and high school students from one Learning Center were enthusiastic about gathering and donating food to a neighborhood food bank. Students in each grade level were challenged to give generously. Through their own hardship, they understand the importance of a food

leaders, teachers, mentors and students of good fortune despite challenges. It affirms a commitment to sharing based on an understanding that giving has the power to transform a community. Coming together with generous hearts ensures that a culture of giving is part of HOPE’s learning and organizational model and a legacy of hope for the holidays. 

TRENDS OF AFRICA AND ALTERATIONS 3119 South Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916

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Black History Month is right around the corner! Hurry in to get your African apparel at discounted prices!

Open Monday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm • Closed Sundays Find us on Facebook by searching: Trends of Africa and Alterations Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


“Denver Drops It Like It’s Hot”

Weight Loss Guru and Fitness Celebrity to the Stars Robert Ferguson Rolls Out a Red Carpet Opportunity

Open enrollment begins January 3. Deadline to register is January 31. Live launch on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Classics Event Center in Aurora, CO

Take The “Denver Fat Loss Challenge” •Get Premier Resources, Fat Loss Tools, Fat Burning Recipes and Support for a Lifetime! •This 8 Week Challenge and lifetime support is being offered to citizens of Denver, Colorado for a one-time fee of $49.97 •With a lifetime access to our Premier Member area you can lose all the weight you want… whenever you want!

The Denver Fat Loss Challenge is an eight week program offered in three phases: 1) 21 Day Induction Phase 2) 5 Weeks Continued Support and Education 3) Lifetime support, encouragement and an opportunity to participate in the challenge as often as desired.

HOW IT WORKS - Participants receive an online tour and the guidelines for establishing a baseline, set a realistic weight loss and/or body composition goal with a clear and specific date, education and skillset on how to eat foods he or she can relate to, but in a way that makes them fat burning and not fat storing, and how to maximize fat loss using fitness solutions tailored to their abilities, schedule, convenience and interest.

AWARDS - Participants who complete the eight-week challenge become eligible to win an all-expense paid trip to attend Robert Ferguson’s Fat Loss Retreat in Ventura, California! WHO IS ROBERT FERGUSON?

Robert Ferguson, MS, CN is a nationally recognized voice of wellness and weight loss, CEO of Diet Free Life, TV personality and talk show host, motivational speaker, bestselling author, certified nutritionist and fitness specialist who currently serves on the Presidential Task Force on Obesity for the National Medical Association. In addition to working with a myriad of Fortune 500 companies as a speaker and consultant, Ferguson has worked with celebrities to include LaToya Jackson, Ricki Lake, Toni Braxton, Bobby Bonilla, Fernando Vargas, Mariel Hemmingway, Chaka Chan and Lynn Whitfield to name a few. To register for the Denver Fat Loss Challenge go to and use the promo code: urban

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Hope Center’s Celebrates 51 Years Of Service To The Community

HOPE Center has entered its 51st year of service as a community agency based in the Heart of Denver. Since 1962, Hope Center has provided quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) for children two to five years of age who are primarily from low income families and who are considered atrisk for a variety of reasons. Nationally accredited since 1984 and an ECE program with a 4-Star Qualistar rating for more than 12 years, the agency’s programs have benefited from servicing around 50,000 combined families, community members, and individuals in its lifetime. Much effort is spent to encourage the right type of atmosphere to make the most out of the ECE programs. Without the right environment, Hope Center feels the child tends to lose focus and cannot efficiently ingest the basic meat of what is being taught to him and her; as these children need a head start to be ready for Kindergarten. Two programs are offered. The first ECE program serves approximately 200 children from underserved and low-socio economic backgrounds. The multicultural curriculum includes academics, social skills, pre-kindergarten skills and monthly parent meetings are hosted to cover behavior management to Kindergarten transition. Breakfast, lunch and a snack under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment food program is offered. The ultimate goal is for children to be well prepared for their tran-

sition into Kindergarten. The second program is the vocational program which serves adults with disabilities. This program provides supervision, employment, assessment, community activities, training and placement to adults ages 16 who have been diagnosed as developmentally disabled. Unlike some other programs, the vocational program does not strive for the end goal of simply finding lowwage jobs or time filling activities for disabled adults. Rather, the professional and personal commitment is to the development of the whole individual for a greater and longer-term return. HOPE Center has predominately operated from two sites, one for children and one for adults with disabilities and has maintained a reputation of being a leader that sets the pace. Over the course of the 51 year history, Hope Center has attained many success stories. Following are a few of them: Quinn Gordon-Free! is a former alumni from 2008-2010. He attended HOPE Center when he was 4 years old and exhibited advanced qualities which allowed him to be placed within HOPE Center’s gifted program. According to his mother Jacqueline Gordon-Free!, her son began reading at 18 months of age. Gordon-Free! liked the program exposed Quinn to the concept of “Exploratory Learning” in which there is no withholding of information, and this prepared him to do a number of oral presentations in which his speaking abilities developed and he overcame his shyness. Another concept was the “Experimental” where there is a differentiation for each child based on their individualized learning plan. Currently, Quinn is 7 years old, and a third grader who is currently attending the Denver Language School. Since his arrival in 2010, he has been emerged in Mandarin Chinese, China’s official language. He has learned a number of Chinese characters which include numbers, family units, school items and major


Next Deadlin


Zena Patel @zena_patel The only thing worse than kids giving up on school, is if we give up on them. #makebetterhappen


nouns/verbs. He is learning his entire core curriculum in Mandarin Chinese. Noah Jones is a former alumni from 2001-2002. Noah started at HOPE Center at the age of three. Through HOPE Center Academy Noah was identified as a Highly Gifted student. After attending HOPE Center’s gifted program, Noah went on to attend an all gifted school formerly known as Crofton Elementary (now known as the Polaris Program at Ebert). After the Polaris Program at Ebert, Noah excelled even further in his education and received a scholarship to attend a college preparatory school at Colorado Academy. His parents believe that the Early Childhood Education programs build a very strong foundation of learning for inner-city children. This, in turn helps them to excel and build their self-confidence so they may become great achievers and take pride in doing so. They feel that HOPE Center is a much needed place and a great asset within the community. The programs have enriched the lives of many inner-city students and provided them with an excellent quality of education. Claudia Ordonez is a former alumni from 1998-1999. She was a student intern assigned from Bruce Randolph School, who attended HOPE Center when she was three and four years old. She was in her senior year in 2011-2012 and finished in the top 25 of 98 total students graduating in the class of 2012. Her mother, Ms. Ordonez, credits her educational success to HOPE Center. It reflected in her studies as she went on to attend a gifted program at Barrett Elementary. She was ahead in math, reading, numbers and writing. Some of the High School courses she took were in AP Literature, Spanish, language arts and chemistry. Upon her graduation she planned on attending college and had previously toured several campuses in Colorado. She wants to pursue the possibility of studying to become an Early Childhood Education teacher or journalist. Ms. Ordunez believes that HOPE Center is a great preschool where a lot of children of color can receive opportunities. She said, “What you learn in preschool is important and especially the way subjects are presented...any 3 or 4 year old absorbs information at this age.“ As they move into the New Year, HOPE Center is planning its eighth annual fundraising event, Million Lights of HOPE...AII that Glitters “Bridging HOPE for our Families. The fundraising event’s goal is to raise $100,000. Funds will be used to: • Help 200 children from lower socio-economic backgrounds get

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Add A Little Glitz. Glamour & Game into Your Giving

Perhaps your community giving is looking dull these days with little excitement or involvement from the charity of your choice. We propose an EXCITING way for you to add a little Glitz, Glamour and Gaming to your community giving. Hope Center will present its 8th annual fundraising event Million Lights off Hope...All That Glitters on Saturday, March 9. Taking guests back to the 1920’s era, this event will be held with a glamorous Hollywood flair at the exquisite vintage building at the Sherman Event Center, 1770 Sherman St. in Denver from 7 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy an evening of Glitz, Glamour, and Gaming. Million Lights of HOPE ...All That Glitters features live entertainment, gourmet food catered by Michael’s of Denver, media’s limelight star Gloria Neal, casino gaming tables played with funny money, a live and silent auction and a night Hollywood would envy. HOPE Center’s goals are to build new networks of friends, share the mission and raise $100,000 in support of HOPE Center’s programs and services. This event is open to the public. To purchase tickets, visit the event page online at and let your investment start to roll a return.

ready to succeed in Kindergarten by providing a top quality Early Childhood Educational care program; • Increase the number of children served; • Support quality childcare program for working parents; and • Continue to teach job readiness and socialization skills to our special need adult clients enrolled at our Vocational program. Add HOPE Center to your list of community giving today. Editor’s note: For more information on the Center or the fundraising event, contact Gerie Grimes, Executive Director by Email at, or call 303388-4801. HOPE Center is located at 3400 Elizabeth St. in Denver CO 80205. To register online visit,

REAP National Conference Slated For June The Spirituals Project Community Choir to Perform World Premiere of Commissioned Choral Work

The world premiere of a choral work by Dr. Jacqueline Hairston, performed by The Spirituals Project Community Choir, will be one of the highlights of the inaugural REAP National Conference on the Spirituals, to be held June 13 to 15 on the University of Denver campus. Dr. Hairston is an ASCAP award-winning composer, arranger, pianist, vocal coach and music educator. Her new work, commissioned expressly for the REAP Conference, will premiere June 15. Co-sponsored by The Spirituals Project and the University of Denver, the REAP National Conference will focus on the varied dimensions of the spirituals as represented by the four pillars of Research, Education, Activism, and Performance (REAP). “The REAP Conference is designed to facilitate dialogue between professionals and laypersons from around the country who share our interest in preserving and revitalizing the multilayered cultural legacy of the spirituals,” says Dr. Arthur Jones, founder of The Spirituals Project. “The varied presentations and performances will address diverse interests including music, education, literature, history, religion, culture and social justice.” Civil rights historian and activist Dr. Vincent Harding and distinguished poet Nikki Giovanni will be among the event’s keynote speakers. Dr. Harding, a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and professor emeritus of religion and social transformation at Denver’s Iliff School of Theology, will discuss the freedom




will be

among the




songs of the civil rights movement. Giovanni, a Virginia Tech University professor of literature, will address the importance of spirituals as a treasured African American cultural tradition. The REAP Conference will also include presentations by Dr. Reiland Rabaka (University of ColoradoBoulder), Lift Every Voice and Sing and Rap! From the Spirituals and the Abolitionist Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement; Dr. Stephanie Krusemark (Naropa University), Reclaiming the History of African American Women at the University of Denver: The Life of Madame Emma Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922); and Dr. Gena Chandler (Virginia Tech University), who will speak about the influence of spirituals in American literature and share experiences of teaching this content in college courses. Workshop presenters and their topics will include Dr. Susheel Bibbs: Voices for Freedom - An Introduction to the Hyers Sisters’ Dream; Timothy Botts: Painting the Spirituals: Using Artistry, Words and Cross-Cultural Collaboration to Interpret the Spirituals Across History and Race; Tamara Roberts: Spirituals, Bomba and the Musical Legacy of Slavery in the Greater Caribbean; Bill Doggett: The Negro Spiritual: First Recordings: Highlights from the Bill Doggett

Sound Archive; Randye Jones: Use of Dialect in the Solo Performance of Negro Spirituals; Tiearea Robinson: Therapeutic Techniques: The Healing Element of the Spirituals; M. Liz Andrews: Song of the Commodity; Sam Edwards: Under-considered or Unrecognized West/Central Oral Traditions in Some Folk Spirituals; Marta Burton: “Prison Blues & the New Jim Crow; Dr. Stephanie Boddie: Spirituals and the Souls of Black Folks; Dr. Jacqueline Hairston: The Negro Spiritual: How We Already Knew What We Already Knew; Arvis Jones: The Healing Power of Music As It Relates to Spirituals; and Wendy Willbanks Wiesner: Harris Neck: The Struggle for Our Land and the Songs That Galvanize Our Community. Featured performers at the REAP Conference will include baritone Anthony Brown and mezzo-soprano Erica Papillion-Posey. The Spirituals Project is an awardwinning secular, non-profit organization established in 1998, with administrative offices on the University of Denver campus. Its mission is the preservation and revitalization of the music and teachings of the songs commonly known as “spirituals,” created and first sung by enslaved African women and men in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Spirituals

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Project operates a number of community-based programs involving performance and education, including regular concerts by its renowned 70-member multi-ethnic, multi-generational choir. The organization also maintains a popular online educational resource, Sweet Chariot: The Story of the Spirituals, which provides information and guides for further study about the multifaceted history and cultural impact of the spirituals tradition. Editor’s note: REAP Conference registration is open online at For more information on The Spirituals Project, visit or call 303-871-7993.

Denver Preschool Program Presents First Annual Preschool Showcase

NOW is the time to start looking for preschool for next year. Join special guests Curious George and Clifford, the Big Red Dog from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 12 for the first-annual Preschool Showcase presented by the Denver Preschool Program. This fun and free event offers families a convenient way to explore more than 250 preschools from across the metro area all in one place – the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus (900 Auraria Pkwy). In addition, free haircuts, tuition support tips, and a number of educational health activities will be provided. Planning to attend? Email or call 303-595-4DPP(4377).

Enrolling Now! Editor’s note: Johnson, Harjo, & Shapland may sound like names of a law firm, but they are known as the “BirdBrains” bringing you (parents, grandparents, family, friends, caregivers) the latest research in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. The Nest Matters focuses on early child development from prenatal (the egg phase) through the stages of tweens when children prepare to leave the nest (the flight phase).

By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland


he holidays may be over, but how many times was Christmas almost canceled because a child’s name was on the Naughty List. Let us help change the Naughty back to Nice for a great start to the New Year.

Age 0-3: My Baby is Biting!

Learn. Achieve. Graduate.

(-YLL7\ISPJ:JOVVS7YV]LU [V/LSW:[\KLU[Z:\JJLLK /67,6USPUL3LHYUPUN(JHKLT`*V6W WYV]PKLZRZ[\KLU[Z^P[O! • Individualized Curricula that meets or exceeds state content standards • Instruction from highly-qualified teachers and face-toface Mentor support at authorized community based Learning Centers • Learning Centers located throughout Colorado

Call 720-402-3000 or visit

It can be frustrating when children bite. Don’t worry, it’s normal. There are many reasons why children bite. They are communicating their needs including teething, discomfort in social situations, feelings, instability in their environment, etc. Outside of needs, a child may be learning about the environment through cause and effect, sensory input, repeating what they see, or discovering acceptable behavior. No matter what the reason for biting is, the first thing you should do is calm down. It is easy to overreact in the moment. Second, interact with the child to see if the biting is because of a need. Look at the child’s mouth and body to see if there are changes that need attention. Pay attention to the child’s routine. Does the biting happen at specific times of the day? Tired? Hungry? Does this happen in crowds of other children? Reaction? If the behavior is due to being tired or hungry then try to adapt a schedule that can support the needs that aren’t being met. Try a teething toy, freezing it can help sooth a sensory need. If it happens in crowd of other children model how to interact with others gently. Give alternative activities to do and try more physical movement.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


This can help use extra energy. Remember: Whether your child has been bitten, or if your child is the biter, stay calm. This is a temporary behavior. With a little bit of observation and time with the child, behaviors change. To learn more about children who bite, visit the “birdbrains” at

Age 3-5: My Preschooler is Throwing Tantrums!

Believe it. Tantrums are a normal part of early childhood. Small kids have tantrums. Kid’s brains from 18 months to around 4yrs are simply hardwired to have naughty fall outs. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, located behind the eyebrows, regulates emotion and social behavior. This is the last area of the brain to develop and has only begun to mature by age 4. Kids this age tend to think magically rather than logically and can easily become confused or scared about things that are ordinary to adults. For example they don’t understand that the bathtub drain won’t swallow them. Tantrums start out angry and end sad. The secret is to get past the anger peaks (yelling and screaming,) and when what’s left is the sadness, children reach out for comfort. The quickest way past the anger stage is to ignore it. According to researchers an average tantrum last 3 minutes before the child is back to playing normally. Now that we recognize this naughty behavior as normal, how do we transform it into nice? The first step begins with adult REACTIONS: •Ignore the behavior - this method gets the tantrum past the anger peak •Avoid asking the child questions •Teasing, hitting, or yelling at the child prolongs the tantrum •Keep things simple using short commands e.g. ”sit down” or ”go to your room” •Comforting a child in the middle of a tantrum reinforces the behavior, instead show the child how to regulate his/her emotions

•When the tantrum is to avoid doing what you asked, ignoring him/her gives them what they want. Instead take them gently by the hand and walk them through the motions to complete the task. To learn more ways on how to cope with tantrums visit the “Bird Brains” blog at

Elementary Years Playground Bullies

Recess is outdoor play time that is typically supervised by volunteers or staff other than classroom teachers. The lack of structure can be hard for some children, and the goal of the adults is to keep children safe. It is often difficult for children to learn what they need to know to be successful at recess. Parents can take an active stand and encourage schools to teach proper play!

Many of our children do not have the tools to play well with others on an open playground or field. They may do fine at home with a reminder to “share with your brother!” or to “play nice with the baby!” but this doesn’t always translate to the playground. Being told that what they are doing is “not allowed” or “not appropriate” or “bullying” may remove the disruption, but it does nothing to provide the student who is doing it “wrong” with direction for doing it right! Focusing on consequences for children who are “behavior problems” is not the same as teaching students what they SHOULD do to be safe. What our children need is someone to go outside and teach; how to invite another child to play, how to take turns, what to do while waiting, how to accept an invitation to play, how to ask to join in, how to show interest, how to be encouraging to others, and even how to play independently. Learning all these skills does not “just happen” for many children. We need to stop waiting for the phone call home and promote playground learning in our schools.

To learn more about supporting children by teaching replacement behaviors, visit the “bird brains” at

Tweens - Answering Back (Back Talk)

It is simply amazing how many ways a 12 year old’s behavior is like a toddler’s! If you have an adolescent who is answering back, the same suggestions we’ve given above still apply! It can be frustrating, but it’s normal. They are communicating their

needs, discomfort in social situations, feelings, instability in their environment, etc. They may be learning about the environment through cause and effect, sensory input, repeating what they see, or discovering acceptable behavior. No matter what the reason for a smart answer, the first thing you should do is calm down. It is easy to overreact in the moment. Second, interact with the child. Pay attention to the child’s routine. Does the mouthing off happen at specific times of the day? Tired? Hungry? Does this

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Discourse with a Diamond! Lydia R. Diamond Broadway Playwright and Assistant Professor at Boston University Diamond is one of the country’s rising stars of the theatre who is unafraid to tackle “racial fault lines in America.” Her playwriting credits include Stick Fly, which was produced on Broadway in 2011 by musician Alicia Keys, filmmaker Reuben Cannon and legendary Broadway producer Nelle Nugent. Diamond’s presentation is part of Colorado Academy’s ongoing SPEAK lecture series, providing engaging and educational discussions on the issues of our time. Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served Venue: Su Teatro 721 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204 Street parking is available FREE community event, but online registration is required Visit and click on CA Today to register online For questions, please contact Dr. Carolyn Ash at

Event brought to you by Colorado Academy, a leader in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade independent school education in Denver | 303.914.2513

Lydia R. Diamond

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


happen in crowds of other children? Reaction? The first step begins with adult REACTIONS •Ignore the behavior - this method gets the child past the anger peak •Avoid asking the child questions, •Teasing, hitting, or yelling at the child prolongs the problem. •Keep things simple and remain calm! •Arguing with a child in the middle of a tantrum reinforces the behavior, try walking away •Taking a time-to-yourself is always a good solution and gets you out of the conflict. Being told that what they are doing is “not allowed” or “not appropriate” may remove the disruption, but it does nothing to provide the child with direction for doing it right! Focusing on consequences for your young teen is not the same as teaching what they SHOULD do. Modeling makes a difference and how you handle the situation is what they will learn has the “adult” way - the “best” way to be. Remember, this is a temporary behavior. With a little bit of time with the child, behaviors change.  To learn more about adolescent behaviors, visit the “birdbrains” at


Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams ExcellentBBBBB. Very GoodBBBB.. GoodBBBBBB... FairBBBBBBB.. PoorBBBBBBB.

    No stars

to exploit the hot button issues of color and class, and the media sensationalized the case’s lurid details, coining the term “wilding” to describe the alleged behavior of the defendants. Real estate magnate Donald Trump even took out full-page ads in every New York City daily newspaper, calling for the death penalty and saying that the boys “should be executed for their crimes.” In the face of the vigilante-like demand for vengeance, no


The Central Park Five


Delightful Docudrama Recounts Shooting of Horror Classic “Psycho”


The Central Park Five 

Heartbreaking Documentary Revisits Rush to Judgment in Infamous Jogger Case


round 9 p.m. on April 19, 1989, a 28 year-old, female jogger was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead in a wooded area of Central Park located off the beaten path. Because she was an investment banker with an Ivy League pedigree, the NYPD felt the pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime ASAP. Within hours, cops had extracted confessions from Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr., teenagers who had been denied their right to an attorney. Although none of the five had ever been arrested before, they were all convicted of rape and attempted murder on the strength of those incriminating admissions alone. Part of the explanation for the legal lynching was that the victim was a wealthy white woman while the accused were poor black kids from Harlem. The press was all too willing

one seemed concerned that the suspects’ DNA failed to match the only semen found at the scene. Sadly, they were only exonerated in 2002 after having completely served sentences ranging from six to 13 years when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist whose DNA was a match, confessed to the crime because of his guilty conscience. This gross miscarriage of justice is recounted in The Central Park Five, a riveting documentary co-directed by the father-daughter team of Ken and Sarah Burns. The film features reams of archival footage, including videotapes of the framed quintet’s coerced confessions. Mixed in are present-day reflections by them, their lawyers, and relatives, as well as by politicians, prosecutors and other pivotal players. A heartbreaking expose’ about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives.

Unrated Running Time: 119 minutes Distributor: Sundance Selects To see a trailer for The Central Park Five, visit:

t wasn’t long after the Hollywood premiere of North by Northwest in July of 1959 that Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) was already searching for his next project, since he was at his most content making movies. After passing on all the scripts being pitched by Paramount, the master of suspense became curious about a recently-published novel inspired by the gruesome exploits of a Wisconsin serial killer (Michael Wincott). Hitchcock found the book “Psycho” captivating, and acquired the rights to the pulpy page-turner over the objections of his agent (Michael Stuhlbarg), accountant (John Rothman), assistant (Toni Collette) and studio’s president (Richard Portnow). He even had a hard time convincing his skeptical wife, Alma (Helen Mirren), whose support was always critical as his longtime collaborator and sounding board. But once the couple decided to finance the picture themselves, they turned their attention to casting. They settled on relatively-unknown Anthony Perkins (James-D’Arcy) in the pivotal role of Norman Bates, while opting for Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) over a fading star (Jessica Biel) as their ill-fated leading lady. However, pressures continued to mount after the filming got underway, with concerns ranging from the director having to massage actresses’ egos to having to figure out how to get the graphic shower scene past the censors. Unfortunately, Albert’s flirtatious behavior on the set would take a toll on the relationship with a fed-up Alma disappearing with a friend (Danny Huston) to a beachfront pieda-terre he hid from his wife.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Will she cheat or choose to reconcile with her rotund hubby, despite his roving eye? That is the real tension at the heart of Hitchcock, since everybody knows that Psycho was completed and went on to be feted as a cinema classic. Directed by Sacha Gervasi, this delightful docudrama is based on “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello. What makes the movie so compelling is the badinage between Alma and Alfred as capably played by Oscar-winners Helen Mirren (for The Queen) and Anthony Hopkins (for The Silence of the Lambs). Who knows whether their alternately acerbic and admiring interaction is accurate or pure fabrication? It almost doesn’t matter when delivered oh so convincingly, ostensibly allowing the audience a rare “fly on the wall” opportunity to watch a genius and his better half weave movie magic together. A cinematic treat offering rare peeks behind the scenes and behind the closed doors of a legendary director and the love of his life. Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, violent images and mature themes Running Time: 98 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight To see a trailer for Hitchcock, visit: The Loving Story 

Civil Rights Documentary Recounts Landmark Supreme Court Decision on Interracial Marriage


oon after Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving tied the knot in Washington, DC on June 2, 1958, they decided to move back to their tiny hometown of Central Point, Virginia to settle down and start a family. The groom, a bricklayer by trade, even


anyone would even seek to separate let alone imprison them. A moving, must-see documentary about the Lovings’ belated vindication and the elimination of one of the last vestiges of segregation. Could it be more fitting that the litigants in the landmark case eradicating the crime of loving a person of a different color would be named Loving!

The Loving Story

purchased a plot of land where he promised to build his bride a house. However, Virginia was one of 24 states where interracial marriage was still illegal because of racist laws designed to rob minorities of their dignity and to keep them in a lower social and economic status. Since Richard was white and Mildred was a mix of black and Native-American, it was just a matter of time before the local sheriff would catch wind of their illicit liaison and crack down on the felons like a ton of bricks. And in the middle of the night, he and a posse broke down the door, dragging the newlyweds off to jail while threatening to rape Mildred. Given that this was Virginia during the disgraceful days of Jim Crow, the Lovings were, of course, ultimately found guilty and each given a oneyear sentence for the crime of marrying across the color line. As their appeal dragged on, Mildred wrote to then Attorney General Bobby Kennedy for help avoiding incarceration. He declined, but suggested she approach the American Civil Liberties Union, which did decide to take the case. “Just tell the Supreme Court I love my wife,” Richard directed the ACLU attorneys as they prepared to argue before Chief Justice Warren and his associates. In the historic Loving v. Virginia decision handed down on June 12, 1967, the Lovings’ convictions were overturned and their union finally garnered the blessing and government protection that had so eluded them for almost a decade. All of the above is recounted in heartbreaking fashion in The Loving Story, a combination biopic and courtroom drama directed by Nancy Buirski. What makes the film so touching are the reams of archival footage of the unfortunate couple at the center of the controversy. For the lovebirds are so young and so innocent, it’s hard to fathom why

This Is 40

Unrated Running Time: 77 minutes Distributor: Icarus Films To see a trailer for The Loving Story, visit: This Is 40  1/2

Rudd and Mann Revive “Knocked Up” Roles in Raunchy Spinoff


hen we first met Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) in Knocked Up (2007), the couple was in crisis, primarily on account of her controlling behavior. She unreasonably suspected her husband of cheating because of the odd hours he kept as a Rock and Roll talent scout. Their subplot simply provided an amusing diversion from a front story revolving around the farcical plight of a popular TV host who ended-up impregnated by a slacker after a onenight stand. With This Is 40, miserablymarried Pete and Debbie have graduated from peripheral characters to the protagonists of their own battle-of-thesexes comedy. At the point of departure, we find them both on the verge of turning 40 years-old. She’s in denial, still trying to pass for 38, and generally dreading the impending arrival of her birthday. Meanwhile, he’s regressed behaviorally, and routinely undermines any potential romantic mood by flaunting unappetizing bodily functions ranging from flossing to flatulence. So, it comes as no surprise that the spark has gone completely out of their relationship. This sad state of affairs is established during the picture’s opening tableaus when see how, between work and raising two high-maintenance daughters (Maude and Iris Apatow), Pete and Debbie are too drained by the end of the day to even think about lovemaking. In fact, the most passion either exhibits is for their jobs. He’s the CEO of a struggling, retro record company representing obscure has-beens like Gram Parker, and she owns a trendy boutique facing its own financial woes following embezzlement on the part of a trusted employee (Megan Fox or Charlyne Yi). On

top of the burning question “Can Pete and Debbie get their groove back?” this raunchy sitcom ratchets up the tension around the prospect of losing their multimillion-dollar McMansion. It’s important to note that This Is 40 was written and directed by Judd Apatow, master of the shocksploitation genre whose gross-out productions have basically glorified profanity, potty humor, graphic sexuality and gratuitous nudity. This offering won’t disappoint his diehard fans in that

regard, and even has the rudiments of a plot for folks whose IQs have reached room temperature. A midlife crisis comedy marking the milestone with a tribute to immaturity! Rated: R for sexuality, nudity, crude humor, drug use and pervasive profanity Running Time: 134 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures To see a trailer for This Is 40, visit:


Visit RSVP and enter the code USPW4R to download your complimentary pass! THE FILM IS RATED R Supplies are limited. Passes are on a first-come, first-serve basis. The screening will be held Thursday, 1/10 at 7:00PM at a local theater. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. Seating is on a firstcome, first-served basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Open Road Films, Allied-THA, Gofobo, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS


Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013



Jamie Unchained The “Django Unchained”

Academy Award-winning actor,

talented Grammy Award-winning musical artist and comedian Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood’s rare, elite multi-faceted performers. He was last seen in Horrible Bosses and also recently lent his vocal talents to the popular animated adventure RIO, as a canary named ‘Nico.’ Meanwhile, Jamie recently executive produced a sketch comedy series called “In the Flow with Affion Crockett” as well as “Thunder Soul,” a documentary chronicling the achievements of Houston’s Kashmere High School Stage Band. In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has enjoyed a thriving career in music. In December 2010, he released his fourth album, “Best Night of My Life,” featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists. In January 2010, Foxx and TPain’s record breaking #1 song “Blame It” off of his previous album, “Intuition,” won “Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals” at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. In 2010, Foxx delivered a hilarious cameo appearance in “Due Date,” and appeared in the hit romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.“ The year before, he starred opposite Gerard Butler in Overture Films’ dramatic thriller Law Abiding Citizen. Jamie demonstrated his affinity and respect for fictional portrayals with The Soloist in which he played Nathaniel Anthony Ayer, a real-life musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia and dropped out of Julliard, becoming a homeless musician who wonders the streets of Los Angeles. Prior to that, he played the leader of a counter-terrorist team in The Kingdom. In December 2006, Foxx was seen in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, Dreamgirls. That came on the heels of his Best Actor Academy Award-winning performance as the legendary Ray Charles in Ray. His big-screen break came back in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him as star quarterback Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday. The versatile thespian’s additional film credits include Ali, Miami Vice, Jarhead, Stealth, Bait, Booty Call, The Truth about Cats and Dogs, The Great White Hype, and an Oscar-nominated supporting role in Collateral.

Interview with Kam Williams

Jamie first rose to fame as a comedian, from which he initiated a potent career trajectory of ambitious projects. After spending time on the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series, “In Living Color,” creating some of the show’s funniest and most memorable moments. In 1996, he launched his own series, “The Jamie Foxx Show,“ on the WB Network. Here, he talks about playing the

title role of slave-turned-bounty hunter Django opposite Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Kam Williams: Hi Jamie thanks so much for the time. I’m honored to have another opportunity to interview you. Jamie Foxx: [Playfully clears his throat, before answering in a very refined tone] Why thank you. [Chuckles. Then, speaks in his normal

Denver Urban Urban Spectrum Spectrum — — –– January January 2013 2013 Denver


voice] What’s happening with it, Kam? KW: I suppose I should start by asking if you’d like to comment on the recent shootings in Connecticut? JF: I got two daughters, man, and all I want people to do is to mourn the loss of these precious kids and their teachers and to pray that their families heal. KW: What interested you in Django Unchained? JF: Quentin Tarantino… Leonardo DiCaprio… Samuel L. Jackson… Christoph Waltz… Kerry Washington… Oh, man! It was like an all-star team. What’s funny is that I didn’t know anything about Django, and I was hearing all this buzz and then I saw online how the biggest actor in the world, Will Smith, was going to work with Quentin Tarantino. And I was like, “Damn! There’s another project I didn’t know nothing about.” But luckily, I somehow got a chance to meet Quentin and read the script which I thought was brilliant. Next thing you know, I was in a room talking with him about trying to make it happen. KW: Did you have any reservations? JF: I didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction like some people did to the language and the violence. My stepfather was a history teacher at Lincoln High School in Dallas. So, I was already familiar with the N-word and the brutality of slavery. What I was drawn to was the love story between Django and Broomhilda and how he defends and gets the girl in the end. I thought it was just an amazing and courageous project. KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls says: In this film you turn the docile stupid black man myth on its head. You also portray the enduring love of a black man for his woman. JF: Most definitely! When you see the slave who’s been chained and whipped with no way out, and he finally catches up to this, some people call that revenge. But I say, “No, it’s righting a wrong at that time.” You’ve been wronged for so long, and here’s your karma personified, standing in this funny blue suit. And on the end of that suit is your maker. You’ve never seen that in a movie before, at least not when it comes to slavery. Ordinarily, when the slave gets a chance to hold the whip or the gun, they start singing a hymn or doing the speech about “If I

do this, I’ll be as bad as you.” We come out with a mix-tape, and that’s it. But with Quentin Tarantino, it’s just like a regular Western. The bad guy has to pay, and the good guy gets his woman. KW: Have you seen the film with a black audience? Were people talking back at the screen? JF: Yeah, they were yelling like crazy. KW: Irene also says: In both your stage name and your career choices you’ve paid homage to great black artists who have come before you. Is this film another acknowledgement of that legacy? JF: Absolutely! I know this might sound strange, but some of the people I actually studied for this film were a little more contemporary. Of course, I started with the original film Django and Clint Eastwood’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but I also watched Wesley Snipes in New Jack City, and Denzel Washington in Glory and A Soldier’s Story. Those performances moved me in a way that I cannot explain. So, you’re seeing me tip my hat to those guys in this film. KW: Film student Jamaal Green says: Jamie, you are such a talent in so many areas, it seems like there isn’t anything you can’t do. Is there any chance that directing will be something you may try next? JF: We’re doing a directing thing with Canon and Ron Howard, a special where we have people send in pictures. I would also like to direct some comedies with people like Chris Tucker, Kevin Hart and Mike Epps, and go to work with them on some fun stuff. KW: Nick Antoine was wondering whether you’re ever going to get around to doing Skank Robbers, that long-rumored film based on the characters Wanda and Sheneneh that you and Martin Lawrence played on In Living Color? JF: No, that’s not going to happen. KW: This question is from your

co-star Kerry Washington: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? JF: Wow! If I were an animal, I would be an eagle. KW: The Melissa Harris-Perry question: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person? JF: Guys don’t adapt as well as women do to getting their heart broken for the first time. It’s tragic. I really wanted to be in love, get married, have kids and buy a wood-paneled station wagon for the family. But it didn’t work out, and, boy, it wrecked it! KW: Would you mind coming up with a Jamie Foxx question I could ask other celebrities when I interview them? JF: Hmm… [Thinks] If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do? Would you do the bad stuff, you never got a chance to do, or would you do good stuff to make sure you make it into heaven? KW: Great question! Thanks! Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: You have so much fun singing. What would be your dream band, if you could select the members from any group? JF: My dream band? Jesus Christ! I would start with Prince, and then Questlove and Buddy Rich on the drums, Rick James on the bass, and Herbie Hancock on the piano. The horn section would be Miles Davis on lead trumpet, with Wynton and Branford Marsalis. I’d have Santana on lead guitar and Sheila E. doing percussion. My hype man would be Jerome [Benton] from The Time, and my singing group would be New Edition. There it is! KW: Great band! Thanks again for the time, Jamie, and best of luck with the film. JF: Thanks, Kam. To see a trailer for Django Unchained, visit: 6pKZbJHa17c

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013



Rep. Fields Named Chair Of House Local Government Committee

Speaker-designate Mark Ferrandino appointed Rep. Rhonda Fields (DAurora) as chairwoman of the House Local Government Committee. Rep. Jonathan Singer (DLongmont) will be Rep. Field’s vice chair on the committee, which monitors issues concerning local governments, special districts, housing, and land use planning. The committee has legislative oversight responsibility for the Department of Local Affairs. In January, Rep. Fields will begin her second term in the state legislature. She has sat on the Local Government Committee since being elected and last year, she served as ranking member of the minority. Rep. Fields has championed issues dealing with accountability in government.

Williams Named Chair Of House Business Committee

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Speaker-designate Mark Ferrandino appointed Rep. Angela Williams (DDenver) as chairwoman of the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee. Rep.-elect Tracy Kraft-Tharp (DArvada) will be Rep. Williams’ deputy on the committee, which oversees proposed changes to business regulations and labor law, and will be the committee of reference for major components of the House Democrats’ 2013 legislative package to boost the state’s economy and put more Coloradans back to work. Rep. Williams is beginning her second term in the state House of Representatives and remains an active businesswoman; aside from her legislative activities she owns the Angela Williams Agency, an insurance and consulting firm. She was recently awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


DPS Students Awarded $20,000 To “Green” Their School

A group of environmentally-conscious students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College was awarded $20,000 to “green” their school during a competition. The team was among three other Denver high school finalists in the Green Your School Makeover presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill. For three months, student teams from Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, Denver School of the Arts, Denver Center for International Studies and High Tech Early College prepared proposals about how they would use the winning funds to reduce their school’s carbon footprint and engage fellow students to get involved in helping to keep schools and communities clean and sustainable. All school teams presented their plans to “green” their schools at a competition and award ceremony last month. The finalist teams were selected based on entries submitted from students earlier in the fall. The winning group of MLK students presented a plan to construct a hydroponic greenhouse on school grounds, which will be used to grow vegetables and herbs. The MLK Jr. Early College senior class submitted this proposal and presentation for the greenhouse as a way to leave a legacy to their school. The greenhouse will be incorporated into the school’s science, art and social studies curricula. In a last minute surprise, Denver School for the Arts was awarded a “runner up” prize of $10,000 to implement their proposed project called “DSA Sustainable Waste v. 2.0: A Systems Approach to Reducing Food and Material Waste at Denver School for the Arts.” Their project will focus on increasing recycling, implementing large scale composting, greatly increasing the size of DSA’s garden to grow produce to sell to the school’s cafeteria in the District’s Garden-toCafeteria Program, and replacing plastic utensils with reusable or compostable materials.

CPA Student Selected To Attend Presidential Inaugural Conference

Denver, HeavenLeigh Howard, a freshman at Collegiate Prep Academy, has been selected to attend the Presidential Inaugural Conference in January. During the five day program, outstanding students from around the country will


participate in the conference. HeavenLeigh, who is also CPA’s student council president, is only one of two Colorado stu- dents, and the only student from the Denver area, selected to attend the conference. In addition to serving on student council, HeavenLeigh has been involved in several sports including basketball, soccer and softball. She is also a member of the semantics team and attends the Beacon’s afterschool program. After high school she plans to attend Harvard University and become a defense attorney. Collegiate Prep Academy is part of Denver Public Schools’ Denver Summit Schools Network (DSSN) and offers academically stimulating and rigorous coursework for students in grades 9 through twelve.

East High School Senior Jaycee Floyd Wins Aim High Scholarship

Jaycee Floyd, a member of Project Greer Street and senior at East High School, has been selected as one of the recipients of the Asfaw Family Foundation International’s (“AFFI”) Aim High Scholarship. AFFI created the Scholarship which recognizes scholastic achievement, academic potential, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. This past summer, Floyd earned a scholarship to attend the Summer Business Institute of the prestigious Leadership, Education, and Development (“LEAD”) program at Stanford University. The national competition included more than 1,000 applicants for the program. Project Greer Street, a groundbreaking educational enrichment program for African-American males, was launched by Yvette Sally and Ronald Sally. For more information regarding Project Greer Street, E-mail

Matthew S. Jones Initiated Into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, University of Colorado Boulder

On Dec. 2, 2012, Matthew S. Jones was among 71 students that were initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Matthew Jones will graduate with his Bachelor Degree in Psychology in May of 2013, from the University of Colorado Boulder; and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology. He is a graduate of Grandview High School, where he graduated with honors. His parents are S.L. and Frances E. Woolery-Jones of Centennial, CO The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society in the United States. It aims to promote and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and induct the most out-

S o m m o r e

standing students of arts and sciences at American colleges and universities. Founded at The College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776, as the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity, it is also the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. Since inception, 17 U.S. Presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and 136 Nobel Laureates have been Inducted members. The first known African-American was inducted in 1877. The University of Colorado Boulder Chapter was established in 1904. Matthew Jones also participates in the following programs at the University; The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, McNair Scholars Program, The Miramontes Arts & Science Program (MASP – formerly the Minority Arts & Sciences Program), The Golden Key Honor Society and lead student assistant for Dr. Alphonse Keasley – Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Climate & Community Engagement.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Colorado Awarded Nearly $30 Million In Race To The Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant

Colorado, together with Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin, is one of five states to receive a share of the 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge $133 million grant fund. The state has secured $29,907,916 to invest in improving quality and expanding access to early learning programs throughout Colorado. The Race to Top-Early Learning Challenge program was first launched in 2011 as a joint program run by the U.S. Department of Education and Health and Human Services. Through the competition, the Obama Administration called on states to create proposals to improve early learning by coordinating existing programs, evaluating and publishing program quality, and increasing access to high-quality programs, particularly for low-income children. Grants will be awarded over a 4year period in accordance with each states plan. Funding amounts were determined by a proposal’s scope of work and the number of children served by the grant. For more information on the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Fund or to read the 2012 applications, visit othetop-earlylearningchallenge/index.html.

DPS To Expand Early Childhood Education Offerings To Families In Far Northeast

Denver Public Schools (DPS) announced its second plan to expand preschool opportunities to Denver families through investments approved by voters in the November 2012 bond. Following the recently approved plans for the construction of a new preschool center in Southwest


Denver, DPS is also working to bring additional preschool and kindergarten openings and relieve overcrowding in Far Northeast Denver, one of the fastest-growing areas of the city. The project will expand building space at both McGlone Elementary and Escalante Biggs Academy – a school offering preschool and kindergarten. Currently, McGlone Elementary and several other elementary schools in the area are well above their capacity. The expansion will not only relieve classroom overcrowding, but it will add an additional 144 preschool seats to serve 4-year-old students in the region. The expansion construction projects will begin this spring and are scheduled to be ready for opening in August of 2013. To learn more about ECE offerings in DPS, visit For more information on the voter-approved 2012 bond and mill, visit

MSU Denver Continues To Produce Record Number Of Graduates

The Metropolitan State University of Denver community celebrated a record increase in graduates over fall 2011, representing the first class conferred with the new university name. The fall commencement ceremony took place on Sunday, Dec. 16. MSU Denver continued a five-year graduate growth trend with its largest-ever fall graduating class: 1,272 graduates, exceeding last fall’s record of 1,256. Fifteen graduates completed master’s degrees, nine in professional accountancy and six in teaching. Jessica Ghawi, the MSU Denver student who was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting, was awarded an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree posthumously. Ghawi was a junior majoring in speech communication with a concentration in broadcast jour-

nalism at the time of her death. Her mother, Sandy Phillips, received the degree in her honor. MSU Denver remains a leader in the diversity of its students with the highest number of enrolled students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. Of the fall 2012 graduating class, students of color represent 25 percent, or 318 students. The age range is bracketed by 20-year-old criminal justice major Ashley Apparito and 67-year-old psychology major Jackie Stalter. Women continue to represent 56 percent of the graduates, which is consistent with national higher education trends. Transfer students make up 68 percent of the graduates. For more information on the commencement ceremony, go to

Denver Preschool Program Marks Fifth Anniversary with Major Achievement Milestones

More graduates of the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) attending kindergarten in Denver Public Schools are reading at or above grade level than district kindergarteners overall, according to a recent independent study of the 2006 tax-funded initiative. Confirming previous evaluations, the research also concludes that the vast majority of Denver Preschool Program graduates are ready for school, both academically and socioemotionally. English language learners and other children at risk of falling behind in school due to poverty are showing evidence of making progress toward closing the achievement gap by the end of preschool, Klute notes. Reflecting national trends, children from lower-income families made larger gains than their higher-income counterparts in two of the three academic assessments administered in English.

Celebrating additional milestones during its fifth full year of operation, the Denver Preschool Program has: •Served more than 25,000 children; •Grown from enrolling fewer than 7 percent of Denver’s 4-year-olds to almost 70 percent – nearly 6,000 children annually; •Extended over $40 million in tuition support to help all Denver’s families access the high-quality preschool of their choice; •Enabled more than 250 preschools across the metro area to be independently rated for quality so that families can choose the best alternative for their child; and •Improved preschool quality by investing in coaching, materials and professional development for participating programs. The Denver Preschool Program has had a “large impact on professional development for preschool staff, the number of staff at each preschool, and the curriculum at a preschool, according to Denver analysts Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc. (APA). In other findings: •Teachers gave more than 95 percent of DPP children high marks for positive behaviors such as forming secure relationships with adults, taking initiative, and demonstrating selfcontrol. Teachers identified behavioral problems as an area of concern for only about 6 percent of children, far less than the 16 percent that would be expected. •An increasing number of parents report that preschool is allowing them to work or attend school, APA noted from family surveys. •Since the Denver Preschool Program came into existence, quality reputation has grown to become the number one factor parents are considering while making their preschool choice, outranking such factors as cost and location.

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Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070 Denver Urban Spectrum — – January 2013


Marva Fay Coleman

October 24, 1939 – December 6, 2012

Marva Fay Davidson was born in Kingston, Jamaica. When she was 16, Marva departed the enchanted island for Barnsbury Boarding school in London, England where she met career Air Force man Arthur E. Coleman and they married on August 2, 1958. Their first bundle of love was born in London, Marcia Maria Coleman. After Arthur was reassigned to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver Colorado, their second bundle of joy, Jacqueline Lee Coleman, was born. While Arthur served his country around the world, at home Marva took care of her family. Marva enjoyed professional success at popular department stores including the Denver Dry Goods and May D&F; where she developed her runway style of dress. In the early 70’s, Marva started her banking career (United/Norwest/Wells Fargo) having many roles and responsibilities including -ong 25 African American bankers in the city who formed the Mile High Bankers Consortium, Inc. As a chapter member, she was a tireless worker in the success of the

organization. She served as Chapter Representative, to the National Association of Urban Bankers for five years. Marva retired from the financial services industry after more than 32 years of service. Marva was then asked by a group of friends (who had been involved in the development in the Five Points area) to help with expanding the Five Points Business Association. She began employment working part-time but soon became the director after the current director retired. The Five Points Business Association provided resources, education and services that promote, support and stimulate the development and revitalization of the Five Points community. While under Marva’s leadership the organization grew exponentially. It was involved in the development of the first, two, mixed-used mixedincome properties in the neighborhood. Marva was involved with the organization as it developed the only major Juneteenth celebration in the city. Marva participated in many different organizations and groups as a board member or volunteer,

including the Five Points Maintenance Group, the Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Downtown Denver Alliance. She remained in the position of Executive Director of the FPBA until its dissolution in 2006. In 2009, when Max Radio bought the Hot 107.1/Jammin’ 101.5 frequencies to Denver, Marva Fay Coleman was part of the package after starting in 2007 working parttime near her home. She worked as the ambassador to the public and as the Director of First Impressions, anyone who walked through the

Celebrating the Life of

Theobald G. Wilson

January 10, 1923 — December 8, 2012

Theobald George Wilson was the only son and last of three children born to Elma Selwyn Wilson and Theobald George Wilson. His father died four months before his birth. He was baptized and confirmed in St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan. After high school, Theobald enlisted in the United States Army 99th Pursuit Squadron, which soon merged with the other black unit and became the Tuskegee Airmen. The rest is history. During this time he married Addamarie Dowell, who moved from Chicago to join the Wilson family in New York until his safe return. His son, Sidney was born while he was away and a few years after his return, daughter, Susan was born. From the projects on 63rd Street, to Belmont Avenue in Brooklyn, from Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights to his final home on Ross Street in Williamsburg, Theobald Wilson is remembered by so many friends – his fishing buddies, his

Belmont Avenue/Cypress Hills sons, his St. Mark’s Church family and his faithful Union, Local 119B. He is remembered by his Tuskegee Airmen, medal-toting Obama Inauguration attending brothers. The Photographer, Mr. Wilson, Tbald did it his way, and leaves most of you with photos and albums commemorating your lives. Celebrating his life today are: his children, his son, Sydney (Claudia) Wilson and grandchildren, Theo Wilson and Cydnie Wilson, and his daughter, Susan (Wes) Van Norton and grand- son, Roy Van Norton; his beloved big sister, Mavis Swire and nephews, Ronald and Gil (Bea) Swire and children, Peter and Rheannon; nephew, Thomas Knight and niece, Laurette Knight. So many godchildren, Ronald Curl and Pamela Taylor come to mind. He leaves his last treasure, Esther Burgess and joins his beloved Marie in God’s eternal rest. Denver Urban Urban Spectrum Spectrum — — –– January January 2013 2013 Denver

29 29

doors, was greeted by her amazing smile and incomparable personality. Marva was always a beacon of light and wisdom – and mother to many. She is survived by her mother Josephine Amanda Reid, daughters Marcia Maria Coleman-Scott (husband Robert), Jacqueline Coleman; grandsons Shea Coleman Scott, Chad Wesley, Levi Everett Scott; sister Pauline Diana Reid-Wilkerson (husband Michael); her loving cat Jeremy and a host of relatives and devoted friends in London, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama and the United States.

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In December, the White Rose Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Links, Inc. - Denver Chapter, started an endowed fund at The Denver Foundation in the amount of $50,000. The members of the region’s oldest African American women’s organization celebrated this long-term investment as a culmination to their 60th anniversary celebration. In 2003 they gave $50,000 to the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library to ensure the history/contributions of African Americans in the West would be chronicled and preserved.

Sarah Harrison, Philanthropic Services at The Denver Foundation, MaryAnn Franklin, President, White Rose Foundation, Jim Ryan, Chair of the Board, The Denver Link Members: Jane Pigford (Alumni), Foundation; Wanda Pate Jones, President, Denver Chapter – Wilma Webb, and Linda Williams Links, Inc., and LaDawn Sullivan, Program Officer at The Denver Foundation and Links Member.

Victoria Scott Haynes, Rosalyn Carpenter, Christie Calvin, Ida Daniel, Judge Wiley Daniel, Judge Dianne Briscoe, and Rev. Gilbert McKenzie Dale, Michael and Lawrence

JR and Von

Norma, Karen, Bee and Tiffany

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Candy and Misti

Byron, Bee and Ken Dr. B and Sheryl

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Ty, Bee, Dylan, Lawrence and Misty

Towanna and Stephanie

Annette and Tanya Linda

Tabatha and Angelia


Leroy and Chris

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DUS January 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum January 2013 Issue

DUS January 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum January 2013 Issue