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Volume 27 Number 3 June 2013


Louise Lee

Denver’s Soulful

First Lady...4 African-American Music Appreciation Month








June 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNIST Earl Ofari Hutchinson Theo Wilson

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelle Fouther Tanya Ishikawa Angelia McGowan Twalla Stevens Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix

PRODUCTION AND OFFICE ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHES A Star Photography Lens of Ansar Sweetz Photography


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

We’ve Got Rhythm…

African-American Music Appreciation Month is a celebration for African American Music every year in the month of June in the United States. It was originally started as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter, who on June 7, 1979, decreed that June would be the month of Black music. Since then, presidents have announced to Americans to celebrate Black Music Month. For each year of his term, President Barack Obama has announced the observance under a new title, African-American Music Appreciation Month. And music is abundant this month as we recognize it in many forms and fashions; starting with our cover story featuring singer extraordinaire and Denver’s First Lady. Angelle Fouther visited with Mary Louise Lee and talked about her life as a wife, mother, businesswoman, entertainer, community servant and her juggling act of how she does it all. We re-visited “Americana Soul” singer Porter Lori to see what he has been up to since our last visit a few years ago. And Yasuo Ishikawa pays tribute to his mentor, George Keith with the release of his new CD, “The G.K. Story.” Twalla Stephens who was an Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation participant years ago has returned to where it all began after pursuing a journalism career. Read her two musical tributes about, the Chapman’s, a Christian family of musicians and someone who loves to spin records – none other than DJ Foxy. Chris Meehan brings us a heartwarming story about a wish of a lifetime – that recently came true when 93-year old Jane Tedeschi, a former WASP, met Tuskegee Airman Lt. Elder James Brown…aahhhhhh…how sweet. In addition to the pages of this issue, music is all around us – festivals, concerts, gospel brunches, gospel plays, CD release parties, and also restaurants – all immersed within our advertisers. Support them and those participating in our new Denver Urban Spectrum Entertainment Guide! Until next month… appreciate African-American Music Appreciation Month and...Feel the rhythm.

Minority Businesses Are Being Shut Out, But We’ll Never Know Op Ed by Angela Williams

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - OPEDS businesses are systematically left out. Based on recent data, our state’s minority communities are stuck in vicious cycles of poverty, high unemployment, high dropout rates and crime. Partisans and ideologues on the right are quick to argue that all it takes is a simple “bootstrap” approach, as if the playing field is always leveled and people of color have never worked hard. But how can we expect diverse populations in Colorado to create wealth or build assets through business ownership when they are actively excluded from numerous opportunities? We know this is the case from the last extensive disparity study conducted by a Colorado government institution in 2009. The Colorado Department of Transportation study, one of our largest agencies, reviewed data between 2002 through 2007 and found that “M/W/DBE [minority and women-owned disadvantaged business enterprises] … were significantly underutilized as subcontractors.” M/W/DBE prime contractors were only receiving 5.1 percent of total construction contracts, 16.7 percent of total consulting contracts. African American firms, for example, were only receiving 40 percent of all construction subcontracting dollars during that period. The problem here is that between the older CDOT disparity survey and the more recent I-News Network study, there’s not a whole lot of empirical evidence suggesting things are getting better for Colorado minorities. And if the CDOT study showed outrageous rates of minority firm underutilization before the recession set in, we can only imagine how much

Our great state suffered a major setback last week when my colleagues on the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee decided to vote against 21st century Colorado in favor of 20th century business as usual. That’s unfortunate considering House Bill 1285, with House Committee bi-partisan support, would have made a major statement to state residents and the rest of the nation that Colorado is a good place to do business. Our legislation would have been a big step in the right direction: determining whether barriers to government contracting and procurement actually do exist, as we suspect, for underutilized businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities. Yet, because of our misguided friends in the Senate, we may never know. A very recent and eye-opening INews Network study – released before the eve of HB 1285’s introduction – shows us that many “minority gains made during the 1960s and 1970s have eroded with time.” This report dealt a blow to the conventional wisdom of some who believed Colorado had been moving forward. But, the reality of challenges faced by underserved populations in our state is exacerbated by barriers which keep minority businesses locked out of government procurement opportunities. Not knowing where Colorado stands with respect to its rapidly growing minority population will only maintain a status quo where most minority

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Rosalind “Bee” Harris Publisher

worse those rates were at a time of great economic distress. Yet, we have no way of really knowing for sure. The CDOT data is now outdated, as is federal Department of Commerce minority business data from 2002. Even a Republican-dominated U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2006 recommended in its examination of disparity studies that “states and localities must discard disparity studies conducted using data that is more than five years old. Researchers must use current data.” My colleagues in the Senate seem adverse to data collection or accurately quantifying major challenges in our state when it involves our underserved minority citizens. Not only is that wrong, but it’s not the Colorado we know and love. We can do much better than that. This is an opportunity to re-invigorate our core democratic values. A disparity study might force us to all face some very uncomfortable facts, but we can all agree that it will make Colorado a better place for everyone. Editor’s note: Angela Williams represents Colorado’s House District 7 and is Chairwoman of the House Business, Labor Economic and Workforce Development Committee. She can be reached via Twitter @CORepAWilliams.

Over The Top Disrespect For President Barack Obama

Editor: I can no longer restrain myself from commenting on how much disrespect and vitriol a large number of national Republican legislators constantly display toward President Continued on page 34

Mary Louise Lee:

Denver’s Soulful First Lady

By Angelle C. Fouther

Oliver, making her the first Black student at the school to get a leading role playing a white character. “Mr. Schanker believed in my talent and pushed me to go further,” Lee recalls. Before finishing high school, Lee also auditioned for a role in Beehive the 60’s Musical. Director Rick Seeber was seeking understudies for three of the play’s six leading ladies: Shiva Shinti, Sheryl Renee, and Katie Love Burnside. “One of my actresses said, ‘I know someone who would be perfect,’” Seeber recalls. “When Mary Louise sang at the audition, I thought to myself: if she had shown up two months ago, I would have hired her as lead.” Seeber hired Lee as an understudy.


t’s been two years since Michael Hancock became the 45th mayor of Denver, but it still sometimes takes a second or two for Mary Louise Lee to respond when addressed by the title “First Lady.” And it’s not because she’s uncomfortable in the spotlight. It’s just that while she moves on the political stage with plenty enough aplomb, she’s more at home on a different kind of stage – one that spotlights her soulful, intense voice with her band playing behind her. “I’ve always been musical,” says Lee, who has performed professionally, both locally and around the globe, for a quarter of a century.

A Love for Music Started Early

A native of Denver, Lee’s earliest memories include her parents singing in the choir at Union Baptist Church, where she also began singing at the age of three. At five years old, she had a hand in directing the choir. The youngest of four children and the only girl, she also took dance lessons at the Red Shield and played in the Columbine Elementary School Band. Lee continued her musical exploration at Cole Middle School, where she met her future husband and the future mayor of Denver.

Performing On Tour

After graduating in 1988, Lee was set to attend Langston University, but plans were altered when one of the actresses got ill that summer – she instead wound up on a 16-state tour with the production. When Lee came back from the tour that year, she was ready to go to Langston, but the theater beckoned her again. She attended Metro College during the day so she could maintain a six-show per week schedule. Lee would go on to tour with the show for the next eight years. In 1992, Lee also became a part of a gospel/acapella group called “Distinction.” Members included Ervia Davis, Robertta JohnsonMoore, and Roslyn Bishop Swinton. The group mostly performed in churches, but also performed with Department of Defense tour taking them throughout the continent of Asia. Lee managed to complete the tour while planning her wedding. “It’s never work to me,” she says about performing.

Life as a Performer and a Motivator of Youth Lee took a job in the late 1990’s with Denver Public Schools as a career counselor, internship coordinator, vocal instructor, and cheerleading coach at Columbine Elementary, Smiley Middle, and Manual High. It was there that she was able to work within another realm of her passions: youth. In the mid 2000’s, she began working with the Safe City Youth Division-Restorative Justice Program. In addition to the “day job,” she performed in theater including: Menopause the Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Smokey Joe’s Café, and 1940’s Radio Hour, garnering many awards along the way. One of Lee’s most memorable roles was in 2003. She played Billie Holiday in Shadow Theatre’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. When Lee told the late Jeffrey Nicholson that she wanted the part, he told her that to really understand Holiday she should read Farah Jasmine Griffin’s “If You Can’t be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday.” Lee says she actually felt the presence of Lady Day while getting into character and performing the role. Taking a break from theater she created the Mary Louise Lee Band in 2006 with members Thomas "TJ" Jefferson, Ben Mitchell, Freddy Rodriguez, Jr., Tim McCullough, Amber Hudnall, Cammie Clinton, and Lauren Black. The group plays R&B, Top 40, Rock and Roll and dance, and perform at an array of events and and venues. Her recent performance, “The First Ladies of Jazz,” with the Colorado Symphony, was one of Lee’s most humbling experiences. “To be honoring the ladies of jazz and telling their stories with the Symphony was just incredible,” she says. Continued on page 6

High School: A Pivotal Time

At Thomas Jefferson High, Lee was an allAmerican girl – volleyball, track, prom queen, and student council. She was even the school mascot until she had an unfortunate run-in with a bird with loose bowels. Of all her activities, Lee’s favorites were music and drama. “I spent most of my time in the choir room and the theater,” she says, and credits one teacher, in particular, with helping to change the course of her life during her junior year. Harry Schanker gave Lee the role of Nancy in the play

Denver’s First Family - Jordan, Mary (Louise Lee), Michael and Janaé Hancock

Courtesy photo

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Pastor Perry, Happy Haynes Co-Chairs for 2013 Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn

July 27 Family-Friendly, Multi-

June 15: $25 for adults; $25 for children 6-17 and seniors 50-plus; $25 per person for walk/run teams (must have four or more members); $10 for children 5 and under (with shirt); and free for children 5 & under (no shirt). Online registration is accessible at Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals interested in assisting with the 2013 Destination Health by calling 303-355-3423 E-mailing Proceeds from Destination Health benefit the Denver community that is served year-round by the Center for African American Health. Dedicated

to improving the health and wellbeing of the African-American community, the Center partners with a wide variety of health-education and health-delivery organizations to develop and provide culturally-appropriate disease prevention and disease management programs to thousands of African Americans each year. The Center offers programs on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer, as well as a wellness program for seniors, and health literacy training. For more information about the Center for African American Health visit 

Generational Event Benefits The

Center for African American Health Pastor Rodney Perry, Supply Pastor for Macedonia Baptist Church, is joining with Allegra “Happy” Haynes, vice president and at-large member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education and a former Denver City Councilwoman, to serve as co-chairs for the third annual Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn. Hosted by The Center for African American Health, this family-friendly, multigenerational event will take place Saturday, July 27, in Denver’s City Park, Colorado Boulevard and 23rd Street, adjacent to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Destination Health is always an enjoyable and educational experience for all ages. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the Run/Walk starting at 8:30 a.m. Runners and walkers can choose the 5K route or select the one-mile option before visiting the Health Education Expo area featuring more than 40 booths filled with important facts about vital health matters and active, healthy lifestyles. And, in addition to a special Children’s Health and Safety Zone providing fun activities and information for youngsters, there will be an awards ceremony and entertainment from the Mary Louise Lee Band. “This is a great opportunity to make a bold statement about your own personal health goals,” says Cochair Happy Haynes, “and at the same time take an important stand to raise awareness about health issues in our community and support the essential work of the Center for African American Health.” Pastor Perry adds, “Destination Health is moving us in the right direction to modify our choices for healthier living!” Sign up now for the 2013 Destination Health – and encourage your family, friends and coworkers to join you by forming a team. Early registration discounts are available until

At the Mental Health Center of Denver, we focus on recovery-oriented mental healthcare. Working with 100 active community partners, we help people overcome challenges related to mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and other personal crises. And it’s working. We’re the national model for success, with more than 75% of people receiving treatment going on to lead healthier, more productive lives. And each one of those individuals is part of a stronger, healthier community. Learn more about our efforts at MHCD.ORG.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Lee, continued from page 4

But her role of Glinda in The Wiz, which ended her five-year hiatus from theater and coincided with her husband’s mayoral race, may have been the most meaningful. Singing nightly, “If You Believe,” which had been her hallmark for many years, also served to inspire audiences as well as her husband, for which she sang for him at his victory party.

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Life as the First Family of Denver

Life changed for Lee and her family after her husband was elected mayor. She now balances her time between taking care of home and family, performing with the Mary Louise Lee Band, and tending to First Lady of Denver duties. Yet, while the Mayor’s calendar is always jam-packed with community engagements, Lee picks and chooses what she will attend, making sure to always carve out time to perform with her band. “At times life can be overwhelming,” she states. “People expect you to act a certain way, be a certain way.” She says she now has to consider her safety when out. “I am always careful and cautious of my surroundings, and at certain times I can’t go to certain places.” She recalls one night, while at a Wal-Mart, a woman approached her and yelled in her face, “Y’all think you’re the Obamas.” She has received much advice and wisdom on how to be a “toughskinned” spouse in the political arena from Denver’s former first ladies: Wilma Webb, Helen Thorpe, and Gabrielle Vidal. “They have encouraged me to remain my own woman while supporting my husband and family,” Lee says. Initially, the adjustment to family life of a political leader was also difficult for the couple’s two teenage children, Jordan and Janaé. “They wanted a normal life with no security people following them around,” Lee says. “A lot of Michael’s time is spent in the community, so they don’t have their dad all to themselves.” But the couple has managed to maintain a decent degree of normalcy for their children, due in large part to Lee’s efforts. “My goal has been to maintain stability for my family.” And she shares that “when Michael is home, he is home.” She says the Mayor cooks dinner for the family every Sunday night. Their efforts have paid off. Jordan, who graduated from East High School this spring, is following in his mom’s musical footsteps and will attend the Atlanta Institute of Music with aspirations of becoming a professional rap singer and also plans to study Audio Engineering. Janaé, who also attends East, has just recently made the cheerleading team for the second year.

“Our Free Checking Account is just one of the examples of how FirstBank is a customer service oriented bank. We strive to do right by our customers and provide the most sought-after and convenient products possible.” Danielle N. Vaughan Vice President FirstBank Holding Company Community Reinvestment and Fair Lending 303.626.6713 Member FDIC

Date Night

THURSDAY, JUNE 13 | 6 – 8 P.M. 21 & over only | $25 member | $30 non-member Pack a picnic and bottle of bubbly* to enjoy al fresco in the amphitheater, and spend an enchanted evening at Denver Botanic Gardens! We’ll provide decadent desserts, including a sparkling sorbet bar and make-your-own whoopie pies. Throughout the evening, the jazzy sounds of Swing Je T’aime will fill the Gardens & have you wearing out your dancing shoes under a canopy of starry lights. (Free swing dance lessons offered from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.) Slip away to take a twilight stroll or join a group for a tour.

Get your tickets now at

*or wine, or microbrews

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Bringing Back the Arts to Schools Bringing Back the Arts (BBTA) is a perfect interconnection of all of Lee’s passions; music, youth, and her role as the First Lady. BBTA’s purpose is to restore arts programs in Denver Public Schools and provide opportunities for kids to attend free cultural performances. Through BBTA, youth artists have showcased their talents and competed in a live concert held at the Bluebird. “This past year we had more than 170 submissions and only 10 finalists were given a shot to win $1000, $500, and $350 dollars. It was a success,” Lee states proudly. “Mary Louise naturally chose the arts as her platform because of long and extensive history both in music and theater, and because an involvement in the arts always helped her stay excited about school,” says Rachel Chaparro, Staff Assistant to the First Lady of Denver. “She has a long history of working with at-risk youth, and is excellent at managing every aspect the programs – always weaving in a message about self-esteem.” Chaparro adds that Lee always begins her time with the kids by singing “If You Believe,” from The Wiz.

Being True to Mary Louise Lee

Mary Louise Lee’s down-to-earth demeanor is a breath of fresh air. You might see Lee at a gala one night in full formal gear and in a t-shirt and sweats the next eating a snow cone at a community festival or concert. Despite being in the limelight, Mary Louise Lee is simply herself no matter the place or the people. “My mother taught me how to act in every situation, but never to put on airs,” she says about her mom, Barbara Jordan. “I am the person I am because of her. She truly is a phenomenal woman – a `Proverbs 31’ woman.” The First Lady is known to everyone in Denver by her maiden name, which her husband has always been fine with. The only exception, she says, is at her church, New Hope Baptist, where she is known as “Sister Hancock.” Lee has been inspired by the work of many artists but it is the refrain in one of Lee’s all-time favorite songs by Oleta Adams that she says describes her life best, “I’d be nothing if I couldn’t sing my song.”


n 2010, Porter Lori (singer, song-

writer, and musician) was interviewed

by the Denver Urban Spectrum.

Deciding to revisit, and in spite of his

busy schedule, he sat down to discuss

what he is doing these days. Denver Urban Spectrum: What are you working on right now? Porter Lori: Right now I’m recording and performing as much as possible. This summer I start taking meetings and looking for a deal. My manager, Dave Woeckner has been developing artists and publishing for a long time; after getting his last artist signed, he actually retired. We met through a mutual friend, and now my music and performances have brought him out of retirement and back into the crazy world of music. God bless his soul (Lori laughs out loud). He believes 100 percent in my vision and that’s really hard to find in Los Angeles. DUS: Do you see yourself making it “big” and how do you react to that possibility? PL: That’s the dream: having the world recognize you and your art as something special. I’d love for that to happen and I’ll do everything in my power to do so. However a lot of it has nothing to do with the artist, the music or the business. It’s timing, luck, a lot of X-factors that can’t be created; they just are or aren’t. My hope is, in this next year, my music becomes my full time job. I want to tour and reach as many folks as possible. We’re in the process of taking my music to music supervisors for television and film with the hopes we can gain more exposure. There’s a lot of work going into this right now. Everyone is excited and has big expectations. My sound is actually something new, which is rare, and like anything that breaks new ground there’ll be a lot of convincing to do but I’m up for the challenge. It’s going to be an interesting year. DUS: How long have you been in the music scene on a serious basis? PL: Depending on what you mean by “serious,” my musical expression has been serious since the beginning, age 17. Whether hip-hop or what I’m doing now, I’ve always been serious about whatever I choose to say through music. As a professional it’s really been just the past eight years. This year looks like a possible breakthrough for me. DUS: Having started with hip-hop, was changing a conscious decision or an evolution for you? PL: I was drawn to hip-hop (and still am) because of its aggression and sense of honesty about what’s happening right now, in the moment. Chuck

Circling Back With

Porter Lori

By Paul Higgins

D said it best “Hip-hop is the CNN of Music,” it always has been and I respect it completely. It also speaks to the struggle of navigating the American dream – coming from nothing, creating something for yourself, however you have to. Our forefathers did the same thing in creating this country. Hard decisions often had to be made for the sake of the bigger picture. My decision to stop creating hip-hop came from knowing I had to express different points of view I didn’t feel could be expressed through that genre. Also hip-hop as a profession is a young man’s game with a very short shelf life. I strive for lasting relevance in what I speak to and the sounds I use. I strive to be classic. Evolution is crucial in life, and in art.

DUS: You were born in Louisville, Kentucky, lived in Denver, Colorado, and now reside in Los Angeles. How does your music reflect the relationship to each city? PL: Kentucky and Colorado represent my connection to family, to this country outside the music business. I’d be lost without that connection. Los Angeles is a wonderful city but people come here to “be somebody,” not to live an average life. It’s what makes this city so amazing and brutally difficult at the same time. LA is a working town – not for everyone. Finding a consistent audience in a city having an infinite number of things to do any given night makes it hard to

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


compete. I don’t make dance music; people coming to my shows are ok with sitting, listening to an artist really express himself and share his talent. Afterward we can throw on the hits, grab drinks and dance our asses off but the night starts with a man on stage telling his story. DUS: Describing a specific genre is difficult for your music; it’s been referred to as “Americana Soul.” How did that come about? PL: I came up with “Americana Soul” in response to the ongoing questions, “What kind of music do you make? What is your genre?” I create music because it’s inside me; I release it into the world just wanting to positively contribute to the human musical legacy. Music has done so much for my life; it’s my religion. I’ve traveled quite a bit; of course, all that is involved with my perspective but for now, “Americana” reflects my music and sound as distinctly American. “Soul” comes from my vocals mainly. I have a unique sound naturally falling somewhere between soul, country, rock and blues. Soul is what I strive to provide at all times in my music. Motown doesn’t apply to what my sound is, although it’s influenced me my entire life. When I first started, it was really uncomfortable when people brought up the idea that I needed to be labeled or put into a genre. Now I understand it completely; I see it as something others worry about and need. I created my own label and genre to be able to give an answer quickly in conversation. It still leaves people confused, so really, the only answer is – is to listen! My genre is “good music.” That’s all I care about. DUS: What is your long-term goal? Do you feel you’re closer or farther away from reaching them? PL: The long term goal is to take my success from music and transition into acting and philanthropic work. A perfect world would be my life revolving around music, acting, and helping others however I can. Kind of like a Black Bono but adding acting to the mix (Porter laughs). Every day I focus on my craft; I’m closer to what I want in life. I’ve teamed up with some great business partners who understand me musically, artistically. They share my belief in creating something new for the industry and music fans around the world. We believe who I am. My sound and words are unique and the time is ripe for presentation to the world.  Editor’s note: For more information on Porter Lori, visit him on Facebook or his Web site at His first album “Hell or High Water” can be found on ITunes and also available at

In Memory of George Keith,

The SoBo Four: Justin Adams, Brian Mixon, Yasuo Ishikawa and Derek Woodbury

CD honors Denver Jazz Teacher By Tanya Ishikawa


hen Yasuo Ishikawa came to Colorado from Japan a few years after college, he planned to study English and experience American culture for a year. Before long, his plans grew much bigger. Listening to Boulder Mall regular Eugene “Lucky” Hudson playing jazz on his saxophone, Ishikawa found his new path - becoming a jazz saxophonist.

Keith grew up in Denver’s the Five Points neighborhood with a musical family, and started playing piano at the age of three. He jammed with jazz greats of the ‘30s and ‘40s, like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, who stayed at his home when performing locally, since the hotels had a noBlacks policy. Keith toured with big bands playing saxophone alongside jazz legends

Ishikawa had reached the level of fifth black belt in kendo, a Japanese martial art based on samurai swordsmanship, by the age of 25. So, he knew how to commit himself fully to his practice. He also knew he needed to find a master teacher, a music sensei, to mentor him. It took a couple of tries, but when he met George Keith, Ishikawa knew he had found the right person.

such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie during the summers between high school grades, and with popular big band leaders Nat Towles and Hoagie Harper after graduation. While serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Keith toured all over Europe in the army band, and ended up in London where he managed a jazz club after the war.

Returning to the U.S. in the late 1950s, jazz was declining in popularity so Keith gradually played less and less. He was a magazine photographer for many years. He also taught music theory and various instruments in colleges and privately, and tried various entrepreneurial endeavors throughout the rest of his life. While Keith was making plans to open a music shop in Longmont in the 1990s, Ishikawa was introduced to him as a prospective student. As Ishikawa writes in the cover notes of his debut CD, released this month and titled The G.K. Story, “Though I was an absolute beginner, I said to George, ‘I have an ambition to release my music CD someday. Can I be your apprentice?’ He must have thought I was a strange Japanese man, but he kindly accepted my request.” Nearly 10 years later, in 2005, the teacher and student were living in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood and making plans to record Keith’s original compositions together. But, after doctors diagnosed the teacher with pancreatic cancer late in the year, his health failed quickly. The two had just enough time to take one last trip to Japan, where they played a final performance in a nightclub outside of Sapporo during the Christmas holidays. Keith passed away on Jan. 5, 2006. Seven years later, Ishikawa has finally recorded and released his CD,

George Keith and Yasuo Ishikawa (1999)

George Keith (mid-90’s)

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance ncing

Thank You!

and Buffalo Wild Wings Staff 7607 E. 36th Ave. in Denver (Stapleton)

with the

Dancing with the Denver Stars Denver Stars

for supporting

Denver’s Youth

Save the Date!

and the Denver Urban Spectrum’s

Saturday, October 5, 2013 6:30pm-10:00pm

Renaissance Hotel

Unity Celebration 2013

3801 Quebec Street Denver, CO 80207

It’s Going to be a Thriller!

Editor’s Note: The SoBo Four will perform tunes from their recording, The G.K. Story, at a CD release party at Dazzle Jazz in Denver at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. For information and tickets, call 303-839-5100, or go online to, click on calendar or tickets on the Jazz tab, and click on the June 30 listing for The SoBo Four.

Cassie Foley

43rd 43r dA AnniversarySeason nniversarySeason Celebration! Celebration!


dedicating it to Keith. Three tunes are the teacher’s compositions, while the other five were composed by Ishikawa over the last few years. He plays alto saxophone on the CD, and is joined by bass player Derek Woodbury, drummer Brian Mixon and pianist Justin Adams as The SoBo Four. Adams is a nationally known jazz pianist, the musical director for Lannie Garrett, a private jazz piano instructor at Metropolitan State University, and a jazz ensemble conductor at the Broadway Music School, where the band members met (the band’s name is derived from its South Broadway location). Ishikawa said first and foremost he wants listeners to be moved by the music. But, he added, “I also want them to realize they can do anything if they put their mind to it. If you really enjoy doing something, you should follow your dream and you can accomplish it.” For more information about the CD and to order copies, go online to 

Individual Tickets: $150 VIP Patron Tickets: $250 Table Sponsorships Start at $2,500 To RSVP, Call 303-295-1759 -

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


A Celebration of Unity To Celebrate 26 years spreading

the news about people of color the

Denver Urban Spectrum recognized the 2013 African-American Who Make A Difference and reunited the Urban

Spectrum Youth Foundation partici-

pants. Tap dance, poetry and song was part of the festivities held on Sunday, May 19 where attendees ranging from 3 to 83 listened to stories of 16 AfricanAmericans and how they have made a difference in the lives of others. Their stories were read by past African Americans Who Make A Difference honorees Dr. Thomas Bouknight and Norma Paige, serving as master and mistress of ceremony for the event. 2013 AAWMAD honoree Teresa Page tearfully reflected on her mother’s memory and saying her mother is still such a integral part of her life

Franklin, and Cecile Perrin shared how the summer journalism program impacted their life when they were just teenagers. They range in age today from 19 to 27. Sharing their talents, entertainer extraordinaire Shane franklin did an astounding tap dance performance followed by “Dare To Believe,” a Christian ministry dance group that included Cecile Perrin who has been with the Urban Spectrum since she was 13. She is now 25.

today. She 2013 AAWMAD honoree shared the Teresa Page impact her mother had on her life, making her the woman and person she is today. She acknowledged close family members, including her daughter and best friend and husband of 28 years, and graciously thanked the Urban Spectrum for the recognition. Other honorees included Anthony Wilson Sr., Carol E. McCallister, Cherrelyn A. Napue, Floyd L. Jones Jr., George E. Hailey, Gwendolyn H. Scott, LaShawn Dixon, Lynn King-Jackson, Nathan L., O’Neal, PhD, MBA, Quincy Hines, Sherri R. Landrum, Tariq Shabazz, Theo E.J. Wilson, William C. Middleton, III and Yolanda Jones. Before recognizing the honorees, the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation participants did what they do best and took to the stage. Kia Milan, Danielle Fouther, Jionni Paige, Tyrik Swingler, Kourtney Green, Saniya Ma’at, Christa Mann, Shane

Federal Heights Councilwoman, Tanya Ishikawa read a proclamation from Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock in honor of the Unity Celebration 2013. Door prizes were given sporadically throughout the program as well as the entertainment by Denver’s own Diana Castro as guest enjoyed dinner provided by Buffalo Wild Wings. The celebration concluded with the exchange of flowers from event plan-

USYF participants Tyrik Swingler, Cecile Perrin, Christa Mann, Danielle Fouther, Kourtney Green, DUS Publisher Rosalind “Bee Harris, Jionni Paige, Kia Milan, Shane Franklin and Saniya Ma’at Photos by Lens of Ansasr

Spoken word artist and poet, 2013 AAWMD honoree Theo J. Wilson powerfully presented a most appropriate poem called “Impossible.” Past DUS editor and current

ner Teresa Hailey and Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris who in turn thanked everyone for coming and recognized supporters for their continued support. 

Introducing Breakfast After Midnight. Perhaps the greatest invention in the history of ever. ®

McDonald’s introduces Breakfast After Midnight. Yes, you read that right. And yes, this is the most incredible thing to ever happen, ever. So now, in addition to the regular menu you can get after midnight, you can get some of your favorite breakfast items as well. Breakfast After Midnight.

breakfast after midnight 12 A.M. TO 4:00 A.M. Many restaurants serving Breakfast After Midnight. Participation varies. Limited time offer. ©2013 McDonald’s

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Do you need help paying for

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

A Mile High Welcome In Every Sense

(L to R) Monica Lang, Special Assistant to the mayor; Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health; Dawn Bookhardt, Owner, Bookhardt and O’Toole, LLC; and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock Photo courtesy of Elbra Wedgeworth

It was a reception like no other

with comments expressed at the gathering to welcome newcomers to Denver ranging from “I’ve been to several cities and never have I had a reception like this before” to “I was wondering where you all where at?” garnering a room full of laughs. Held at Cableland, Mayor Michael B. Hancock, along with Elbra Wedgeworth and Dawn Bookhardt, hosted a reception to welcome and

introduce individuals in various areas of business to the Denver community. After jokingly welcoming the attendees to “his crib” Mayor Hancock acknowledged the special guests with gifts. Those recognized included Nicole Singleton, President, Colorado Black chamber of Commerce; Charlita Shelton, President, University of the Rockies; Patrick Gaston, President, Western union Foundation; Mark Goodman, President and CEO, Boyer’s Coffee; Roseland McLeod, Vice President and General Counsel, SCL Health systems; and Alfred “Al” Harvey Jr. Vice President, Client Relationship Manager, Merrill Lynch. Newcomers and attendees enjoyed an array a food while networking and getting acquainted at the celebrated Cableland. Bill Daniels donated Cableland to the city in 1998, two years before his death and serves as entertainment space. An estimated $12 million has been raised for organizations at the home, and where receptions, parties and meetings are held. And although Mayor Hancock has not lived in the residence, he and the First lady have done some entertaining. Hancock hosted an event for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Denver first lady Mary Louise Lee invited a group of girls for a slumber party at Cableland. 

Enroll your child in

SEEK Denver

SEEK Denver iss a free, fr fun, hands-on summer er learning le p students in 3rd 3r – 5th grade develop elop program to help math and science e understanding un that will help p them th in school and d in a future futur career. Many jobs, including includin uding high paying g jobs, go unfilled because bec American work workers ers lack

SEEK is now no coming oming to Denver! Den Who: Open to all Denver children currently current ently in the 3rd–5th grade

the necessary skillss to fill them, th particularly skills skill kills in science, math and d technology. techn y. SEEK Denver Den welcomes welc elcomes all students to learn arn these th important skills through ugh SEEK summer camp, so o they th can become our future e engineers, en inventors, entors, design-builders design-b and scientists. ociety of Black Engineers The National Societ Society

Where: e: Maxwell Elementary 14390 390 E. Bolling Bollin Dr. Chambers) (North orth of I-70 I-7 and d West of Chambers Ch bers) When: Monday through Friday from om July J 15–August 2, 2013, from fr 8:15 am–3:30 pm

eloped the th Summer Engineering (NSBE) developed Experience for Kid Kids ids (SEEK) as one solution to address the under-r under-representation -representation of students of color in STEM TEM fields field (STEM is science, y, engineerin en eering, g, and an math). technology, engineering,

charged or Overview: Ov view: Students will not be char ch arged ged any fees f material (free). materi aterial costs. Breakfast and lunch ch provided pr Transportation portation to the th program is not ot provided. pr Approximately Register Now: No Space is limited. Appr pproximately 300 students will be accepted a in the program. ogram. Registration R will be accepted a on a first-come,, first-served first-s basis only if through ugh May M 31. The deadline e will be extended e spaces es are ar available. A waitlist st will be established esta once the e pr program ogram iis full.

The SEEK curriculum um has h been developed by y the th otive Society of Automoti Automotive olves Engineers and invol involves the construction struction of three thr different projects ojects to learn le science about math and scien cience s. Students work in teams and d with concepts and term terms. How w to Register: https:// https://www /www.nsbe g/seek.aspx complete Paper to com omplete an on-line registration stration form. f registration stration forms f are available through thro ough your school office.

mentors in large ge and an small group settings to create create ojects. On Friday F of each week they enga age in their projects. engage an demonstrate their projects. ojects. competitionss to test and

Required: Parents or guardianss of the Requir th elementary students must attend attend an orientation session s on Saturday, Saturd day, y, July J 13, 2013 (9:00 9:00 am to noon n at Maxwell Elementary School) Elementary School) in order for f your ur child to participate. partici articipate.

Ca Call all the SEEK Information ation Line Lin at 7 720.286.3687 20.286.3687 with an any y question questions. s. Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Second Annual Juneteenth Music Festival Underway

The Juneteenth Music Festival (JMF) and The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has joined forces this year as part of the Corporate Partner Program. This partnership brings an enormous amount of cultural visibility for the Museum and economic and city support for Juneteenth. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Juneteenth Music Festival. As a community, this event brings us together to reflect, connect and celebrate,” said Nancy Walsh, Director of Museum Programs. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865; the day that Texas slaves learned of their freedom. It is commemorated across the United States and is an official holiday in Texas. This year the celebration will be held on Saturday, June 15 in the heart of Five Points, located on Welton Street. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with the highly celebrated parade that will travel from Manual High School to Welton Street and will include the first annual float competition. For all the art lovers, the new three-block Juneteenth Art Walk will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and allow festivalgoers to enjoy different types of visual art from various different artists. This year, youth are a main focal point and have been incorporated into the overall message of the JMF through the Youth Engagement Zone (YEZ) which will provide information and opportunities for youth to be engaged in Juneteenth, as well as on-going engagement with the community and youth-focused organizations. The youth have been given their own stage this year to showcase their talents. 2013 marks the return of the Miss Juneteenth Music Festival Pageant. This year the pageant will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 14 so the newly crowned Miss Juneteenth can participate in all activities on Saturday as the brand ambassador of the festival. The first annual JMF Car Show will be in place at the corner of Park Avenue and Welton Street before the parade begins on Saturday morning. Drivers will be participating in a hop contest with cash prizes for winners. For more information on the Juneteenth Music Festival, visit

Visionary Keeps Wheels of Education Turning

By Angelia D. McGowan


he Phillips Graphics Learning

Center is the most recent vision for 77year-old Charles “Chuck” Phillips, a

philanthropic businessman with a pas-

sion for education and family. Slated to open by fall 2013, the affordable vocational graphics training center is probably something a 17year-old Phillips would have appreciated when he arrived at Colfax and York Street in 1953 on a Greyhound bus from Okmulgee, Oklahoma with only 30 cents in his pocket and a croker sack of clothes. “I could not wait to get out of Oklahoma and get me a good job,” says Phillips, a man of perseverance, determination and tenacity at a young age. The teen, who had less than a 12th grade education when he left home, would sleep in Denver City Park a few nights before catching up with relatives who lived in the city. No complaining, just working odd jobs as a dishwasher and janitor. He has come a long way with successful business ventures in general auto body repair, classic car restorations, salvage yards, real estate, construction and restaurants. His start in the auto body repair industry was a slow, but steady progression. He worked at Vic’s Auto Repair for one year with no compensation while holding a full-time job. After proving himself, he continued working for the shop for two years as a paid employee. Eventually, he decided to start his own body shop and pursued that career over the next 10 years, eventu-

ally owning several body shops and auto salvage yards. His successes were not without self-evaluation. He always thought if he’d had a formal education, he would have done better. “I thought the greatest thing in the world would be to help young people with education, so they don’t get caught up in traps,” says Phillips, whose accomplishments did not come without wrong turns. “My work with others, who had advanced education, led to ventures not worth investing in for the long run, but that was experience for me to embrace and carry throughout my life.” Phillips, who mortgaged his home for a down payment to jumpstart his vision, says, “People talk about themselves, but leave out a lot. You need to put it on the line so people know what you’ve come through. I was moving too fast and had people I thought I could trust.” In the mid-90s, he channeled his missed educational opportunity into an opportunity for others by helping disadvantaged people living in Denver’s Cole neighborhood to improve themselves through education and training. He chose the Cole and Whittier community because he was searching for a location and building that would accommodate an educational platform. Of his many community revitalization projects, he purchased and renovated historical buildings, now registered with the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Trolley Car building at 35th Ave. and Franklin St. became an education and training center,

facility, located just 10 minutes from called the Phillips Center. Tenants included the Community College of Denver International Airport, providDenver Tech-East, the Mayor’s Office ed auto body repair only. It was a cusof Workforce Development and tomer’s question about graphics and YouthBiz. The name of the building, car wraps that caught his attention. which Phillips no longer owns, has He researched it and determined it since changed to the Tramway was a direction he would like to purNonprofit Center. The Wyatt School sue. His job posting on Craig’s List facility at 36th Ave. and Franklin St. is brought him his right-hand man, Ty now Wyatt–Edison Charter School, Ashby, and a new direction. Phillips and has served more than 8,000 K-8 says, “When it looks like every time I students. think I can slow down, something He recognizes Diana Degette, now pops up.” U.S. Rep (CO-1); Sam Gary, founder Ashby, who worked in the industry and chairman of the Piton Foundation; for 15 years with furniture design and and David Younggren, now Senior vinyl applications prior to starting Vice President of the Gary-Williams with Phillips in 2011, could not believe Corporation for their assistance he was ready to retire. “Mr. Phillips paving the way for him to acquire the had first-grade machines and I facilities. thought he could not just let them sit He asks for no accolades for doing around. I came on board and began what needs to be done, but he and his building a client base.” family were recognized last year by According to Ashby, the Graphics the City and County of Denver. City Learning Center, which will include Councilman Albus Brooks presented training for vehicle wraps, graphics, him with a proclamation declaring auto body and paint, will help a lot of Nov. 28, 2012 Phillips Family Day for youth. “You can take the exact same “their dedication and long-standing skills and apply them to window tintservices to the Cole neighborhood.” ing, wall and floor graphics,” among Phillips and his wife of 57 years, others, he says. “There’s a learning Eloise, have two children, five grandcurve, but once you’ve learned, a children and 10 great grandchildren. broad range of applications can be His family has been instrumental "Wheninyou leave your job... achieved.” his successes throughout the years, Phillips’ advice to those with an don't leave your money behind!" with some members having co-owned entrepreneurial spirit: “You need businesses with him. You need to have your MyraPassion Donovan, determination. CLU, ChFC, CFP Graphics Center Continues own mind made up and use your own Financial Adviser for Education and Innovation judgment,” says the business veteran, The Phillips Graphic Learning Center whose next project includes a senior will be housed at the Tramway 3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 center. “I don’t let stuff get to me. I Nonprofit Center at 3532 Denver, FranklinCO 80209 don’t get side tracked.” Street. It will provide vocational train- - 303-871-7249 His message to help others with ing to youth 16-24 years old. “expectations in life’s journey is to Graphic designers have the ability to know that education is important, to earn $25,000 to $75,000 a year, accord"CallinToday for have a FREE believe yourself and capital,” ing to the U.S. Bureau of Labor he says.Consultation!" “Try to give back, to get Statistics. back.” The idea for the center grew out of According to his mom, before she The Phillips Foundation Auto and passed in 2008, “you ain’t done bad.”  Graphics Center, his 5,000-square foot Editor’s note: For more information or to automotive repair center specializing contact Charles Phillips, call 303-261-4450 in auto body, frame repair and paintor visit ing. When established in 2000, the

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

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

303-871-7249 -

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!"

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013



hristine Chapman and her three sons, Solomon, Simeon, and Samuel, are a nameless band because they have come together with one thought in mind – praising the Lord on High and being a glory to God Although not focused on making a name for themselves, they are sometimes referred to simply as The Chapmans at the United Church of Montbello where they sing once a month. Christine Chapman was raised in Mississippi and sang in a youth choir at her childhood church. Her earliest memory of creating music is in 1995, after receiving encouragement from a high school mentor. “I was always writing and singing. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I wrote poetry. I turned in some of my poetry and my mentor asked me what I was doing with my talent. I was doing nothing with it because I didn’t think that it was a talent. She encouraged me to do something. So, I started to write songs. Writing turned into singing, and now I am singing not for the world, but for the Lord.” She is a Minister of Music at Evangelist Temple C.O.G.I.C. and her

iÉ|vxá YÜÉÅ [xtäxÇ By Twalla Stevens

The Chapmans: Christine, Samuel, Simeon and Solomon Photo by Lawrence James

son, Solomon, is the youth pastor. She is very proud of him because he is also a Music Major at Metro State University. “Solomon started to play the keyboard and trumpet in 1999 because he wanted to give back to God. We, my husband, Arnold and I, started to pay for his lessons. Our

other sons joined in receiving music lessons in about 2000. That’s when everything really took off.” Simeon plays the drums and Samuel plays the guitar. “I believe that writing, singing, and performing is what keeps us together as a family. We don’t have troubles like other families; I can say that we are blessed beyond measure. Some families go mountain climbing, we sing and perform. ” Diana Warner, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, and Erin Lindsay are some of the band’s biggest influences. “The way they write and sing, you can just tell they are in tune with God. They really minister and encourage people to come to the Lord!” She states, “They are like us. We love to minister and encourage people to hold on and keep going. We love to give God the Glory and, we feel that they do too.” Christine’s opinion is that “The band’s music is so full of depth! What leaves the heart enters the heart. Since

we sing from the heart we want only those songs that God guides us to sing to come out of our mouths.” Outside of gospel music, Christine and family writes songs for weddings, funeral, and plays; such as What My Father Said!, a play they co-wrote with a friend and, composed all the music. The best advice that she can give to other artists, who are just starting out, is “Seek God to see if that’s what He wants you to do first because to tell you the truth it might not be what He wants you to do.” Christine’s main worry about Gospel today and, what the band wants to avoid is becoming too flashy. “Sometimes when I listen to certain artists’ music, I question, is this music to draw people to God or is this music just about making money. Some songs are just to make money and, not to connect the listener to God. Being a gospel singer is not about entertainment it’s about a lifestyle and spirituality.” Christine admits that she wasn’t saved all of her life because she wanted to be saved from sin and experience a joy and peace that there is a better life – not that she isn’t enjoying this one, but she likes knowing that there is an even better one coming. Gospel music is the way that the band shows their appreciation with this knowledge. When I asked if husband Arnold is in the band, she says, “No and he will tell you no. But he is our biggest supporter. We will be celebrating our 23 year old marriage later this month. He is a great help.” They are the owners of Mo’ Music Production Company, LLC. Upcoming projects include producing a Wedding Songs Collection and, another original composition for a play later this year. “We are blessed,” Christine says. “That’s all that we can ever ask for.”  Editor’s note: For booking information, Email Christine Chapman at or call 303-549-8359.

CD release party for The G.K. Story Dazzle Jazz - 930 Lincoln St., Denver

Sunday, June 30, 7 p.m.

Experience the Best New Jazz of 2013

Performed by The SoBo Four Composer and alto saxophone player Yasuo Ishikawa with Justin Adams on piano, Brian Mixon on drums, and Derek Woodbury on bass

Event info and tickets:

303-839-5100 and CD details & orders: 303-284-6762 and Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Oumar Dia’s Memory Lives On Through The African Heritage Celebration It was a chilly

November night in 1997 and while waiting for a bus to go home after work, African immigrant Oumar Dia was shot and killed by skinheads. He worked at the Hyatt Regency Denver as a housekeeper. Since his death and in his memory, the African Heritage Celebration (AHC) was established to bring solidarity between Colorado and Dia’s West African home country of Senegal. Denver-based AHC, a nonprofit established in 2005, engages in projects aimed at helping eradicate illiteracy in Senegal.

Last year, AHC provided supplies for more than 2000 students during its 2012 school supplies distribution campaign. Every year, AHC leads a group of volunteers to Senegal to help deliver the supplies. From Nov. 7 to Nov. 22, the volunteers visited 19 primary and secondary institutions and delivered supplies in the Northwestern region and in the Southern part of the country. Kindergarteners and elementary school children received notebooks, textbooks, and slates while middle school students received math, English and French textbooks. The group also travelled to the region of Matam and delivered school supplies from the Denver Senegal Humanitarian Foundation (DSHF) for students in the northern village of Diorbivol and the communities of Diaocounda and Kounkane. AHC has provided supplies for more than 8,000 students and has impacted more than 15,000 children, since 2007. The textbooks are passed onto forthcoming students the following years, thus, serving several academic cycles.

Supplies are presented during ceremonies attended by parents, teachers and local dignitaries, where the importance of education is emphasized. With the help of AHC, schools sup-

ported have seen a significant increase in the student success rate. On Friday, June 28, AHC will hold its 7th annual dinner and gala. Hosted by the Hyatt Regency Denver, entertainment will include The Drum Master and there will be a silent auction. AHC funds are raised through the annual dinner and gala, matching challenge grants, and private and inkind contributions.  Editor’s note: For more information or tickets, call Mohamadou Cisse at 720-7324638, E-mail, or visit, www.africanheritagecelebration.blogsgpot. com

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The world premiere of “The Multi-

Layered Legacy of Madame E. Azalia Hackley,” a choral work by awardwinning composer Jacqueline Hairston, will be performed by The Spirituals Project Choir Saturday, June 15, at New Hope Baptist Church. The presentation is part of the first REAP National Conference on the Spirituals scheduled for June 13-15 at DU. The public is invited to attend the Saturday evening program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. and will include a keynote address, “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” by Dr. Nikki Giovanni, the world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. In addition to the new work composed by Hairston expressly for the conference, the Choir will perform other spirituals under the direction of artistic director Bennie Williams, associate choir director LaDamion Massey and assistant choir director Michael Reilly. Dr. Arthur Jones, founder and chair emeritus of The Spirituals Project and associate dean for inclusive excellence at Colorado Women’s College of the University of Denver, characterizes the upcoming premiere as “a perfect dream.” “Having our Choir be part of this conference here on the University

World Premiere of “The MultiLayered Legacy of Madame E. Azalia Hackley” Set for June 15 Public Invited to New Hope Baptist Church for Performance by The Spirituals Project Choir

Jacq ueline Hairston

Dr. Nikki Giovanni

campus and for them to be performing a composition that honors the story of DU’s first African-American graduate is very exciting,” he said. Dr. Jones, who describes Hairston as an amazing composer, says the Choir began practicing her new creation in April. “When Dr. Jones’ noble suggestion came to me to write something for the first National REAP Conference on Spirituals, I was sufficiently motivated

so that what started as a prompting turned into a commissioned piece to be performed as a world premiere, and sung by the time-honored Spirituals Project Choir,” says Ms. Hairston. “The piece sings the story of this first African-American graduate of the University of Denver with two components: first, through several diverse musical genres superimposed from spirituals to minstrel songs; and second, correlated, interspersed commentary specifying Madame Hackley’s notable music colleagues’ influences, thanks to researcher-historian Dr. Stephanie Krusemark’s scholarly assistance. Included within this musical storytelling framework will be a few delightful surprises!” Dr. Krusemark, the scholar whom Hairston references, will also be conducting a plenary session at the conference focused on the musical and cultural contributions of Madame Hackley. Madame Hackley completed her formal post-secondary education at DU in 1900 with a degree in music. A

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


prominent social activist in the Denver community, she also was one of the country’s most renowned classicallytrained operatic musicians. The wellknown singer, conductor, teacher and composer founded the Philadelphiabased People’s Chorus, whose singers included the legendary Marian Anderson, and the Chicago-based Vocal Normal Institute to bridge her classical vocal training with the African American Spirituals tradition. The REAP National Conference is being presented by The Spirituals Project in collaboration with the University of Denver. Organized to facilitate dialogue between professionals and the general public from around the country, the event offers interactive workshops and presentations in diverse areas including music, education, health and healing, literature, history, religion, culture, and social justice. REAP stands for the four pillars of research, education, activism and performance, which are central to the mission and guiding vision of The Spirituals Project. The Spirituals Project Choir, which was formed in 1999 and currently includes more than 70 singers, was the idea of Arlen Hershberger, one of the nonprofit’s inaugural board members and the first director of the choir. Hershberger believed, and fellow board members enthusiastically agreed, that a community choral group would serve as an exciting, publicly prominent ambassador for The Spirituals Project’s mission of preserving and revitalizing the music and teachings of the sacred songs called “spirituals,” which were created and first sung by enslaved Africans in America in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Editor’s note: Limited tickets for the June 15 evening program are available online through The Spirituals Project website at or by calling the office of The Spirituals Project at 303-871-7993. Conference registration is open online at reap.

That Foxy Lady By Twalla Stevens

DJ Foxy

Photo by Lens of Ansar

J Foxy arrived here from Louisiana in 1974 on a wing and a prayer. She was freshly divorced from her husband and, she was a young mother of three boys, Curtis, Steve, and Chad, who’s ages at that time ranged from 2 to 4 years old. “I felt like I had no direction when I arrived in Denver,” she states, “then I walked into the Dagger Lounge, and I saw a man who I soon learned was the owner. His name was Walter and he was spinning records. I walked over to him and told him that I wanted to learn everything that he was doing.” Then she laughs in a sultry voice and said, “I only had four LPs and, a little red and white recorder with a needle on it. Walter looked at me for a minute, and then he took me under his wings, and taught me everything he could.” Those four LPs soon turned into 800 and, that red and white recorder into two turntables. Her name went from Vernell Green to DJ Foxy. It was Walter who named her DJ Foxy, because he said she had eyes and ears like a fox, which is a good thing – because as a DJ she needed to have good ears for music and good eyes to see how to keep her crowd moving. DJ Foxy was soon to become one of the most popular DJs in Denver. She describes herself as dependable – in rain, sleet, or snow, she will be at


her booked events with her tables ready to spin music. In 1978, after only eight months at the Dagger Lounge, she started to work at PS Lounge where she stayed for 18 years. She laughs lightly about a time when it was a blizzard, and her face was covered with snow as she walked into the PS Lounge. She remembers nearly scaring everyone to death. She says she was a mess, but she showed up regardless. “You don’t last 36 years DJ’ing without being dependable.” For DJ Foxy, music runs in her blood as well as her family’s blood. Her father, Ralph Green, Sr. was a singer and as a young child, she loved to sit and listen to her daddy sing. When not living out her passion as a DJ, Foxy enjoys singing the Blues or R&B. Many people have helped her to mold her career and gives credit to DJ Suicide, Ron Ivory, Sheryl May, and Walter, her mentor. When she needs advice or inspiration, she calls on them still. With 95 percent of her fans being women, she learned exactly what music makes them want to party all night long. “Old School is number one – none of that New School. It is just too much cursing in it for them. She feels that people have really lost touch with just groovin.’ DJ Foxy only listens to Tupac and 50 Cent, and that has to be the “clean” versions only. “They are the only rappers I play because my fan-base enjoys what they say.” Her most humbling moments as a DJ comes when the crowd shows appreciation, like when a fan walked up to and, asked for her autograph. “I love my fans, they show love to me like that and they want me to keep on playing the Old School stuff because that’s what they want to hear.” When asked what advice she could give a young aspiring DJ, she says, “Just be you. Be nothing else but yourself. That is the best thing that a young DJ can do. People can see through fakeness; you won’t get jobs and you won’t last.”

When I asked if she had a choice to spin for three people, dead or alive, who would she choose to spin for? She didn’t choose any celebrities, nor the rich and famous, neither big producers, but she chose her biggest fans, Michelle Wheeler, Cathy Thomas, and her mother Thelma Green who passed in 2005, who only saw her spin once. “I love my fans! I have a great support system! I hope that you have become my fan as well, Twalla, I really do.”  Editor’s note: DJ Foxy regularly plays Friday through Monday at various locations. For more information or to book DJ Foxy, call 720-422-5638.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013



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Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library Celebrates a Decade Documenting the Past, Projecting into the Future By Annette Walker

‘Until the lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunters’ ~An African Proverb

John W. Franklin, Senior Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. and former First Lady of Denver Wilma J. Webb Photo by Lens of Ansar


e salute the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library,” said John W. Franklin, Senior Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of AfricanAmerican History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He was in Denver in April for Blair-Caldwell’s 10th anniversary recognition. “Blair-Caldwell has joined a very important group of resources in our nation, among them the Schomburg Research Library in New York City, the Moreland-Spingarn Library at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the Vivian Harsh Collection in Chicago as places that collect and preserve our history,” Franklin continued. “The history of this area is in safe hands under the wonderfully talented and compassionate staff at the Blair Caldwell. We at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture are pleased to be here because we recognize that around the nation each place has a specific history, but our histories link us together as one nation, whether we’re in Hawaii, Vermont, Florida or Chicago. The African American experience is unique, but we are linked together by this shared past. It is up to us to share this knowledge with our young people, because if we fail to teach them everything we know, we have failed at our job.” Franklin, who is the son of the renowned historian John Hope Franklin, noted the importance of the

library’s 3rd floor Legacy Exhibit. “It commences in 1500 because that is when we came and we went everywhere; we went to Florida as well as to Puerto Rico and eventually California. Our history in this country did not begin in 1619 in the British colonies. It is complicated and involves the French, the Spanish, the Dutch as well as the British,” he said. The Blair-Caldwell Library is one of five public libraries in the United States whose mission is the collection and preservation of African-American society. The first was the Schomburg Library in New York City which was established in 1926. The Black Resource Center of the Los Angeles public library system opened in 1978. The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History was inaugurated in 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. The AfricanAmerican Research Library and Cultural Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida opened in 2002. The BlairCaldwell Library, the fifth public library with this focus, opened in 2003. In addition, an increasing number of public and university libraries house special collections of AfricanAmerican memorabilia. In 1997 former Mayor Wellington Webb and his wife Wilma Webb developed an idea for an African-American research center with Charleszine ‘Terri’ Nelson, a senior librarian with the Denver Public Library (DPL). The Mayor then approached officials within DPL and an agreement was reached.

“The vision of the library was to provide a physical space for our history to be kept and maintained,” said Wilma Webb, also a former state legislator. “It would be a place that would be a community icon for our community to meet, to organize, to inspire, to be educated and to share the wisdom of elders,” she continued. For the next five years Nelson and Gwendolyn Crenshaw, a senior librarian in DPL’s Western History division engaged in the complex task of creating a new institution. On April 25, 2003 the Blair-Caldwell AfricanAmerican Research Library had a grand opening with Mayor Wellington Webb officiating. As a repository of written and visual documents, the Blair-Caldwell library is a trailblazing institution for Colorado and surrounding states. “Much of our collection has come from individuals and organizations,” said Terri Nelson, now Senior Special Collection and Community Resource Manager based at Blair-Caldwell. “Every week people come here seeking information about their families, neighborhoods, and even areas outside Denver,” said Danny Walker, senior librarian. “Among our early commitments was videotaping oral histories of senior citizens who had made important contributions as well as those individuals who were the first AfricanAmericans in their careers and other endeavors,” said Nelson. “We now have about 100 oral histories and dozens of collections, including those from churches, Wellington and Wilma Webb and other elected officials and community leaders,” she continued. The library has some publications not found in other Denver Public Library branches. Among them are the Black Scholar; CRISIS, the quarterly journal of the national NAACP; and the Journal of Negro History which began publishing in the early 20th century. Beyond gathering documents and photographs, the staff has developed ongoing activities, such as film and literary series, art exhibits, and special programs in February during Black History Month. The library has developed partnerships with major local and national institutions, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Library Association, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Colorado History. Some recent exhibitions have resulted from these partnerships. “Ten years later the Blair-Caldwell library is known nationally for its resources and collections, and is a place that the entire state should be proud of for it is our history,” said Wilma Webb. 

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


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WASP, Tuskegee Airman Meet For First Time Decades After WWII...

Thanks To A Wish By Chris Meehan


his is one of the grandest days of my life. I was going to say the grandest, except my wedding day…It’s just been wonderful,” Jane Tedeschi, a former WASP, exclaims. Likewise, another unlikely US pilot during World War II, Lt. Elder James Brown says, “I never thought I would meet anyone who did the services we needed.” Brown, who flew with the 302nd Pursuit Squadron, is one of the few living Tuskegee Airmen who saw actual combat during the war to end all wars.

Elder James Brown and Jane Tedeschi

Photos by Rosalyn Reese

It’s a Friday after at the Wings over the Rockies Museum in Denver and the two have met for the first time despite being stationed in Alabama only about 20 miles from each other – seven decades ago. In fact, it’s the first

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time Tedeschi, a member of the Women Air force Service Pilots, has ever met one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, and Brown, as a member of the 302nd division is just as happy to meet and thank Tedeschi for her service, which consisted of ferrying airplanes across the US and for testing planes. It’s a conversation that fittingly came out a Wish of a Lifetime dream come true. Tedeschi brought along some of her friends from Brookdale, among them former Sergeant Louis Weiske, who served as a gunner in WWII bombers. Both Tedeschi and Weiske are residents at Brookdale, a senior living facility. Tedeschi is 93 and had always wanted to meet a Tuskegee Airman, as did Weiske. “He was the first one to say, ‘You’re going to see the Tuskegee Airmen? I’m going to go along with you’,” she says. Brown espouses praise for the WASPs service during the war, “If it hadn’t been for her, we wouldn’t have had any planes to do it in. I’m just thankful that she was able to fly whatever they gave to the operating bases we were at and we took it from there.” “You had a whole base rooting for you guys,” she responds. “I’m glad you (all) did,” he responds. During the war, Brown served as a wingman flying in strafing campaigns and escorting bombers. “We covered the English 12, the B-24s, the B-25s, and the B17s. We brought them all back.” Brown’s squadron may even have escorted Weiske’s plane at some point. “I was always glad to see ya,” Weiske

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


says. While they might have tipped wings and caps in the air this is the first time he’s met one of his former colleagues in person. “All I got to say is thank you very, very much.” Noting that there were very few women pilots back then, Brown asks Tedeschi how she became a pilot. She explains that she wanted to become a pilot at the ripe old age of 10 and became a pilot prior to the war, learning from a friend who was a flight instructor. “I started flying just outside of Washington, DC. Then Pearl Harbor happened and they closed those communities. So I had my license when I went into the service. So I was somewhat prepared,” she says. “Well I wasn’t prepared. But I’m a quick learner. At 19 all they had to do was show me what they wanted. If you showed it to me I was going to do it, either better than him or I wasn’t going to do it all,” Brown responds. (Brown and other Tuskegee Airmen previously recounted their experiences in the February 2013 issue of Denver Urban Spectrum). Tedeschi says she knew the Tuskegee Airmen were nearby in Alabama and she contemplated taking some of the aircraft she flew to the training facility. “You were located at Selma? its 20 miles from Tuskegee – 20 miles on the other side of you is where we were training,” Brown says. “When I found that out I said, someday I’m going to meet them because, we went to Mobile for parts and things like that,” she responds. She’d often fly in the area partly to test planes for a flight school. “When they complained about a part not working right, we had to take the plane up and check it out. The women who were ferry pilots never could do what we could, as they said: “You had all the goodies. We had to go up and do acrobatics to strain the airplane to see if it would hold together.” “I’d have had a forced landing if I could have got away with it,” she says. After all she got to fly some of the aircraft well before the Tuskegee Airmen, who had a lot of second-hand aircraft.

“They gave us the crap of the lot,” Brown says. While Weiske says he had electric-heated flight suits, the Tuskegee Airmen had no such luxury. “If we knew we were going up 20,000 feet, we didn’t have nothing to keep us warm,” Brown says. That’s another reason why I liked the P47. With that big engine it would kick back heat and I’d stay warm.” Still, Tedeschi and Brown flew some of the same planes and both experienced the chilly frills of the Stearman plans they piloted. “You’d get cold, you didn’t want to get over 15,000 feet in one,” Brown says. Tedeschi however, enjoyed piloting the planes, because, she says she could do acrobatics in it. “But you had an open cockpit,” Brown marvels. “That’s right,” she says with a smile, adding that it had a good harness. While the WASPs were tasked ferrying and testing aircraft, they didn’t get the same treatment afforded regular pilots in the Air Corps, either. “We had to wear men’s uniforms. We were so cold all of the time,” Tedeschi says. Back then, “Women weren’t supposed to know how to fly,” she quips. Hence the Army didn’t make any suits for them. “That was the stupidity of our federal government; of our leaders,” Brown responds. Brown is still upset about how the Tuskegee Airmen were treated. “Because of the VA and how most of us were treated I tried to forget it,” Brown says. “I tried to forget it for 40 years.” He adds, “It’s hard to explain to people the prejudice that we were facing.” “I remember it,” Weiske says. “I lived it,” Brown retorts. There were few people who appreciated or understood the situation the Tuskegee Airmen were in and faced, he adds. Indeed, despite their contributions during the war, it took the US government some time to give both the WASPs and the Tuskegee Airmen credit. The Tuskegee Airmen, as a group, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 – the WASPs were awarded the same medal in 2010. Weiske’s experience again was different. “I flew as a gunner and I got plenty of credit for it,” he says. Still, Brown says he got a higher honor, “My greatest honor was I never got shot up.” “No? Good for you, come to think I didn’t either,” Tedeschi quips. “Nobody was trying to shoot at me right then.” “They were shooting at us,” he fires back with wide eyes. During the conversation the two

veterans trade gifts, with Brown giving Tedeschi a crimson blanket – perhaps emblematic of the most famous Tuskegee Airmen, the red tails, though Brown flew with the yellow tails – a letter thanking her for her service and a little periwinkle teddy bear. She gives Brown the WASP patch, explaining that it was originally presented to them – and designed by – Walt Disney, and a poster of WASPs, which Brown and his wife plan to hang in their home. In all, It was a touching event, with no tears, but plenty of smiles, laughs. Speaking after the meeting, Wish of Lifetime Wish coordinator Jeremy Garver says, “That initial hug felt like it lasted forever, it just felt great.” The foundation was able to put the event together just months after Brookdale’s Resident Program Director Todd Whitson nominated Tedeschi for a wish. Garver says the wish was unique. “It was such a cool thing to me,” Garver says. “That here’s this white lady who, her dream, of all the people she could meet – trust me we get plenty of George Clooney’s and Johnny Depp’s and all that – she had this much respect for what the Tuskegee Airmen did. And you could just really see it when you saw her, how much it meant to her. Garver didn’t know Weiske also served in the Air Corps, but sometimes such events have great unintended surprises. “When you plan these and they start to get big, a lot surprises come out of it,” Garver says. “We knew there were going to be veterans from the community that were going to be there, but I didn’t know the back story of the other people. That was something that surprised me when I heard it. It’s really cool.” The wish was coordinated by Garver and Lizzie Phillips, a wish fulfillment specialist with the organization. Initially the group wasn’t able to find any Tuskegee Airmen in Colorado, Garver says. However, he was speaking with Alzheimer’s Association at another event when he mentioned trying to coordinate this wish. They put him in contact with Rosalyn Reese the director of Multicultural Initiatives who reached out Daphne Rice-Allen, a helpline coordinator there, whose father is a Lonely Eagle, a Tuskegee Airman who’s taken that final flight and she was able to reach out to Brown. After that Garver was able to coordinate the event in a matter of weeks. “I think it really impacted both of them. In fact I know it did,” Garver says. “The other thing is, it oftentimes has just as much of an impact on the family who either financially can’t do these sorts of things, or logistically,” he says. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


The End Of

Money: When People Defeat Profits


By Theo Wilson ear


banking cartels: Kick rocks!

Sincerely, Life on Earth.�

Hooray for slavery! It’s made so many advances since them good ol’ cotton pickin’ days that now, people don’t even know they’re in it. At least back in the day, the enslaved knew there was something to run away from. Nowadays, the masters of this system use pleasure instead of pain to motivate. Therefore, you get none of the revolts, and all of the helplessness out of your subjects. Congrats, you wily dogs, you! So, what are the mechanisms of this entrapment? Well, you might have a few in your pocket right now if you haven’t blown it all at the gas pump. That’s right: that mean, mean green! “Cash rules everything around me,� to quote the Wu-Tang Clan. Big shocker, right? So, the question of ‘what’ has been answered, but the question ‘how’ is far more intriguing. You see, a dollar isn’t just a dollar. How it comes into existence means everything to your relationship with that dollar. It ain’t as neutral as we have been taught to believe. In a magical place called the Federal Reserve, a private banking cartel is producing pieces of ornately designed paper not backed my gold since the 1970’s. Your government has zero power

over this institution. No one you vote for can change this. The ‘Fed’ produces and lends however much or as little of this paper they deem necessary, and even your president must petition and request their permission to implement his goals and policies. Since 1913, a century ago, the Federal Reserve has illegally, unconstitutionally, and immorally been supplying this nation with the means in which to value itself and commerce. President Woodrow Wilson, (no relation) signed the “Federal Reserve Act� into law, removing the power to print money out of the hands of congress where it belongs, and into the hands of this private bank. On his death bed, President Wilson deeply regretted this decision stating, “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.� What forces did he surrender us to, that caused him such pangs of guilt? Enter the term “Artificial Scarcity.� If ‘the love of money is the root of all evil,’ then the fear of not having enough money is certainly the fertilizer from which it sprouts. Necessity brings out the animal in man. So, what happens when this little piece of paper is in the direct way of everything you need? What happens when you aren’t in control of its production? You probably know the short answer to that: The wild beast erupts out of us, and whoever controls these bills is the lion tamer, ringmaster, the hunter, and the lure-casting fisherman. If this weren’t bad enough, one word adds insult to this financial injury: Interest. The Bible, Quran, and Torah universally ban the practice of “usury,�

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the biblical term for interest on loans. Their logic is simple; if I loan you 10 marbles, I cannot ask you for 12 back, because those extra two were not mine to begin with. To do this would be robbery, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;though shalt not stealâ&#x20AC;Śperiod.â&#x20AC;? Every dollar produced by the Federal Reserve is produced with interest, meaning every time we use one, we are violating the will of the Almightyâ&#x20AC;Śyet this is how we build our churches, temples, and mosques. In order to cover the debt of this robbery, we must necessarily take other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marbles, or turn a â&#x20AC;&#x153;prophet,â&#x20AC;? sorry, â&#x20AC;&#x153;profitâ&#x20AC;? (pun intended.) No wonder the unchecked need for profit is destroying this beautiful world the Creator gave us. Theft is inherent in the system! Notice that God produces things in abundance. One apple seed can yield enough apple tree orchards to feed a nation with enough time and cultivation. We can never drink up all the rivers, even with 7 billion of us trying every day. Water falls from the sky as rain, and you never have to wonder where your next breath of air is going to come from. With this tool of money, a few crafty men have ratcheted the definition of wealth from the hands of God himself and now dictate your success by how much of what they make is in your possession. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that weird? If you collect enough of these pieces of paper, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re called a â&#x20AC;&#x153;success.â&#x20AC;? If you collected 10,000,000 Band-Aids, newspaper clippings, stamps, or photographs, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d call you a â&#x20AC;&#x153;whacko,â&#x20AC;? not a success story. Would you get high-powered machine guns and rob a bank full of confetti? Would you divorce your spouse over not having enough baseball trading cards? No. The funny thing is that these dollars are ultimately the figments of a bankerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imagination: a banker who breathes the same air and needs the same food that you do. Another human being is literally somewhere manipulating your life. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that an awesome power to have? What if you controlled an idea so powerful that if people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough of it, they killed people to get it, and sometimes even themselves if they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough? Are you getting the picture? An alternate way of value and exchange

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; June 2013


must be produced if we are to change the world for the better. No amount of positive energy, law of attraction, prayer or meditation is going to have a lasting effect if we do not change the structures of this word we live in. Literally every evil on Earth can somehow be traced back to money, and what humanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s will do to get it. Since it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist in nature, money is just a technology, and when technology fails the user, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for an upgrade. Enter the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;community currency.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right, folks. Money systems free from the international banking cartels and usury are not only possible, but are already happening as you read this. It works like this: the real power of money is the in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;force of human agreement.â&#x20AC;? If two or more people agree something is valuable, they can make an exchange, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that simple. After Greece experienced its financial collapse, instead of total carnage, the country saw an upwelling of cooperation. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Temâ&#x20AC;? evolved in Volos, Greece, and copycat currency systems popped up all over Greece after the Euro collapsed there. A computer network issues the currency to the residents in abundant quantities so that all have enough for the exchange of necessities. Guess what? Colorado already has an alternative currency. In Summit County near Breckenridge, Wayne Walton spearheaded the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mountain Hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; currency, which now has 100 businesses in the area bartering outside of the corrupt American dollar. With a minimum of 30 businesses, an alternative currency can thrive as long as they are exchanging the currency with one another and the citizens. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mile High Hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is in its start-up phase right now. (Visit for more information.) Just because the system collapses doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean the community has to. Instead of investing in gold, why not people? Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the value of any dollar, mineral, or resource without another human being to trade it with? With this system, social wealth can now put food on the table. Imagine, a safety net of human wealth over bank notes. What if your true and only wealth was your fellow man all along!

Malcolm X’s Triumphs Still Trump His Tragedies O

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

PINION — Eighty-eight years after the birth on May 19, 1925, and forty eight years after the assassination of black nationalist leader Malcolm X, the tragedy and triumph of his life and work still clouds and uplifts us. The years have seen Malcolm ignored, reviled, and praised. But the roller coaster effect that Malcolm X had on race and social struggles in America, and around the globe, did not end with Malcolm’s murder. It also tore into and tore apart his family. There were the squabbles among family members over his memorabilia, a well-publicized arrest of a daughter for credit card theft, fights between his widow Dr. Betty Shabazz and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan over whether Farrakhan was directly responsible for the murder of Malcolm and should apologize for it… And then there was the attempt by Farrakhan to reconcile with Ms. Shabazz and her terse message of thanks (sans forgiveness) of him which drew headline news. The tragic events that dogged Malcolm’s widow finally literally engulfed her when her troubled grandson, Malcolm Shabazz (then just 14 years old) was convicted of the home arson fire that resulted in Betty Shabazz’s death. Last week, just days before the 48th anniversary of his grandfather’s murder, Malcolm Shabazz himself was murdered in a bizarre altercation in a Mexico City bar. Malcolm X’s assassination, myths, all part of his legacy Then there was Malcolm’s assassination. Malcolm’s murder can’t be totally separated from the well-documented and savage war that the FBI waged against Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; against black organizations and black leaders during the 1960s. In an infamous memo from those years, FBI officials flatly warned of the necessity to prevent “the rise of a “black messiah.” The FBI was more than willing to do whatever it could to make sure that didn’t happen. Malcolm

undoubtedly was an unwitting casualty of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI’s obsession to decapitate black leadership. The inevitable deconstruction of a popular but controversial figure years after his death shrouded Malcolm in even more controversy. That happened when the late professor Manning Marable sparked a firestorm of indignation and rage at what some considered inconvenient truths in his exhaustive biography, which depicted Malcolm’s early and later life — chock full of myths and concoctions that threatened to blow up his sacrosanct image among black militants. Others lambasted Marable’s book as a blatant slander, character assassination and an attempt to besmirch Malcolm’s legacy. But lost in the headline-making family fights and raging debates over Malcolm’s life and assassination, is the truth that Malcolm’s legacy was never in danger. He was a human being with the all the foibles and frailties of every other man. His family members had the same frailties. To say that — to even write about them — in no way detracts from the power of Malcolm’s message and the sterling example and lessons of his life. Malcolm had become a major national and international figure who shortly before his death had worked out a constructive program for domestic social and economic change. Asian and African leaders increasingly viewed him as an able, respected, and visionary spokesman against apartheid, colonialism, the Vietnam War, and for world peace. Malcolm had evolved from the popular and much distorted media depiction of him as a race-baiting demagogue, to become one of America’s leading social critics. Malcolm repelled by the ‘garishness’ of fame This is only part of Malcolm’s legacy. He, like Dr. King, took selflessness to a level that few men or women ever reach. I don’t mean selflessness as an organizer and leader, but selflessness in their personal lives. Malcolm did not seek to enrich himself off the glamor, allure and fame that he attained. He was repelled by what he considered the garishness and opulent living of the higher-ups

in the Nation of Islam and minced no words in lambasting them for it. For Malcolm, the quest for justice and true equality, and the restoration of pride in the history and heritage of African-Americans was the ultimate reward for him. A man who could be so relentlessly single-minded and uncompromising in that quest was a gale of fresh air. This cemented the esteem and reverence that thousands had for him. It assured that no matter how low the roller coaster dipped in how Malcolm was seen and remembered — even vilified — over the years, that the esteem in which he was held would never end. Two generations later, Malcolm still holds a lofty place in the hearts and memories of many African-Americans young and old. Due to the avalanche of negative distortions of and about his life or the slavish mythologizing of that life, or even the turmoil that plagued some of his family members, or whether he was a sinner or saint. But because he embodied the spirit of struggle and sacrificed that, has been the enduring earmark of black life in America.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


With Malcolm, the triumphs in and of his life will always trump the tragedies.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new eBook is How the NRA Terrorizes Congress— The NRA’s Subversion of the Gun Control Debate (Amazon). He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly cohost of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow him on Twitter at @earlhutchinson. African Heritage Celebration

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the book and to be part of the fashion show. “I learned to be proud of myself and to treat others how I want to be treated,” she said. The 100 Dresses event, which provided the opportunity for girls from different neighborhoods and Learning Centers to work together, was just one of the groups’ engaging activities durHOPE students at 100 Dresses Fashion Show

HOPE's Ms. Gigi Hill points proudly to dress designs by Girl Groups participants

ing the school year. “Helping our ed a special fashion show designed to girls develop boost confidence and acceptance self-esteem among girls at and relate their Learning positively to Centers. The other girls is an 100 Dresses integral part of our event, named investment in their for the book future success,” that inspired it, said HOPE’s was attended Executive Vice by 80 elemenPresident of HOPE students and Girl Groups participants Josseline, tary, middle Academic Maya, Emily and Jemmy pose with Ms. Gigi Hill and high Achievement school girls from HOPE Learning Sherida Peterson. “These events have had significant positive impact, and Centers. In addition to modeling a they help us support our students’ favorite outfit, the girls contributed active roles in maintaining safe and their own paper dress designs, all healthy learning environments.” proudly displayed by the students at Emily, also from Roca Fuerte the show held at HOPE’s Renewal Learning Academy, said, “It was good Academy in Aurora. to work with other girls. We all have HOPE Student Services Coordinator Glynis “Gigi” Hill created things in common, and we can all work together to solve problems.” “Girl Groups” to help girls build Hill appreciated the transformation bridges of effective communication she saw in “Girl Groups” participants through artistic projects. “Our goal is at the fashion show. “For many of the to build positive communities at girls, walking across the stage in front school,” she says. “Judging by the of 80 other girls was a special victory,” atmosphere of collaboration and celeshe said. “Students came away with bration at this event, I believe we are an understanding that their combined achieving that.” voices, talents and ideas matter and Before the fashion show, participants read “The Hundred Dresses,” in that they make their school a better place when they find positive ways to pairs or in groups at their HOPE Learning Centers. The novel is about a share them.” In addition to the 100 Dresses fashyoung girl, Wanda, who is teased ion show, HOPE students involved in relentlessly for being different and “Girl Groups” had opportunities to do eventually moves away to escape activities in pairs, which encouraged ridicule. It was recommended by older girls to mentor their younger HOPE Reading Specialist Deb Morris counterparts. They also participated in because it clearly conveys how stua special college awareness activity in dents miss opportunities to grow relapartnership with the University of tionally when they fail to accept and Denver to help students develop a encourage their classmates. broader perspective of their individual Josseline, who attends HOPE’s potential and their educational options Roca Fuerte Learning Academy, was after graduating high school.  glad she had the opportunity to read

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Community Gathers For 2nd Annual Growing the Dream By Heather D. Johnson, communications specialist, Denver Public Schools

May 3

marked the second annual Growing the Dream dinner. Growing the Dream began in 2012 by Allen Smith, executive director of Denver Public Schools’ Denver Summit Schools Network, to highlight the achievements and contributions of residents in the Green Valley Ranch and Montbello communities. Smith’s vision included hosting a yearly event during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend to coincide with celebrations that were already occurring within the city, while also structuring the affair to be accessible to all community members. This year, however, the event was twice rescheduled due to President Obama’s inauguration in January and an unexpected snowstorm in February. “When the decision was made to reschedule the event there was some concern that we would lose interest or notice a drop in attendance, but I knew that our community truly understood the value in honoring our own and would support this event,” said Smith. After researching possible new dates, Smith and his team decided to schedule Growing the Dream to coincide with the Don Gatewood Invitational, a yearly event that includes a golf tournament and track meet which donates its proceeds to the Regional Athletics and Activities Program, culminating in a full weekend of festivities. “This was truly a weekend to be proud of the Far Northeast and celebrate the progress and successes we have made,” said Tyrone Cephers, athletic director for the Montbello regional sports teams. In addition to highlighting the work of community members, Don Gatewood was honored for his contributions to sports programs in the Far Northeast, while several athletes from the Montbello regional sports teams were also recognized for their contributions to the teams’ successes this school year.

“Acknowledging our students is an excellent opportunity to witness our community’s potential,” said Sylvia Bookhardt, special assistant to the executive director of DPS’ Denver Summit Schools Network. Smith credits Growing the Dream as being a multi-cultural, community event and remains adamant that the region’s ethic, racial and cultural diversity is reflected through the award recipients and entertainment. “We cannot truly celebrate our community if we do not embrace what makes the Far Northeast unique. Everyone that has attended this event is truly dedicated to Growing the Dream and that dream is inclusive of all of our respective differences,” he said. Mark and Ebony Watson, Mary Seawell, Joe Howell, Ken Greene, Jesse Ogas, Martha Villalva-Hernandez, Hap Legg, Shellie Brown and Michael Sapp were all presented as the 2013 Growing the Dream award recipients and guests were entertained by Montbello’s drumline and cross-generational, multi-cultural musical selections from Trio Encantada. After the awards presentation Smith announced that he and his family were leaving Colorado, but added that he is still committed to Growing the Dream. “Goodbyes are always hard for me and this was a very difficult decision, but the Far Northeast will always be home for my family. I am fully dedicated to providing a venue where we can continue to highlight our successes. It is evident that we excel when we make time to appreciate each other, acknowledge our accomplishments and encourage each other to continue working,” said Smith. Several students and DPS administrators said that Smith’s vision and passion to his community has been very influential to people throughout the Far Northeast and noted his service and dedication to the community in a video presentation shown during the event. Collegiate Prep Academy Assistant Principal Kenna Moreland was featured in the video and said she views Smith as a valued mentor. “It is an exciting time in the Far Northeast and Allen’s passion for our students propelled us to want to provide the best opportunities for them. Allen will definitely be missed, but he has laid the foundation and empowered us to continue working towards success,” she said. Organizers are currently planning the 2014 Growing the Dream dinner. It has been scheduled for Monday, January 20.  Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Congratulations to HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op’s Class of 2013 on setting high goals and attaining them.

Denver Urban League Announces Award Recipients For Upcoming 2013 Whitney M. Young Jr. Annual Dinner

The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver (ULMD) announceD the award recipients for its upcoming Whitney M. Young, Jr. Annual Dinner scheduled for Saturday, June 22. ULMD will present the “McKinley Harris Distinguish Warrior Award,” given out annually to organizations or individuals that exhibit strong commitment to youth, education, community, or The League in general. The four individuals being recognized this year include:

Christine Benero, President/CEO of Mile High United Way Benero has exhibited tremendous leadership on issues of community and youth. As President/CEO of Mile High United Way, she recognizes the need and relevance of having an Urban League in the Denver community. She has provided tremendous advice and financial resources to help the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver reestablish operations in Denver.

Nowling! l o r n E

HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op is a public, free, non-profit K-12 charter school dedicated to helping you succeed. HOPE has Learning Centers in neighborhoods across Colorado. Enrollment is open now. Join us!

Moses Brewer, Director of Multicultural Markets, Miller Coors Brewer has been a supporter of Urban Leagues throughout the United States and is responsible for the National Urban League’s Annual Luncheon Salute to members with 25 years of continuous membership. Brewer is being recognized by the ULMD for his mentorship and support in helping reestablish the Urban League’s presence in Denver. Valencia “Faye” Tate, Vice President & Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity, CH2MHill When the ULMD needed help in reestablishing its presence in the Denver community, Tate never hesitated and offered to provide whatever was needed to get operations back up and running. She has served on ULMD’s President’s Advisory Circle and provides

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


valuable mentorship and guidance on strategies around sustainability.

Jerome Davis, Regional Vice President of Xcel Energy Davis is being recognized by the ULMD for his resilient support of the ULMD. Davis has consistently supported the ULMD and that support didn’t stop when the ULMD had to cease operations in 2008. He and Xcel Energy were among the first Denver corporations that stood by The League as they rebuilt the organization and reestablished it into the entity we see today. This year’s event, with global financial services provider Barclay’s as its presenting sponsor, will be held at the downtown Marriott and has an event theme of “Redeem the Dream,” which is a call to action to friends and supporters to join the re-born organization as they rededicate themselves to creating and empowering African Americans and all others underserved in the metro Denver community.

About The Urban League

The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver was established in 1946 and since that time has worked tirelessly to create a level playing field for African Americans and others of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds who reside in the greater Denver metropolitan area. Its continuing mission is to assist those in need with securing a first class education, achieving economic opportunity, and obtaining equal respect of civil rights by providing exceptional programs and services in a highly diversified city. The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, there are more than 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide. For more information, visit 

Denver Preschool Program Names Landrum New CEO

Jennifer Landrum, the Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Preschool Program. She has worked for 15 years at both local and statewide non-profit organizations within the early childhood field. Prior to her most recent stint with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Landrum was Vice President of Advancement for Qualistar Colorado, where she oversaw development, marketing and communications, child care referral, and public policy. Landrum will start with the Denver Preschool Program on June 3.

AARP Names New President

AARP Colorado recently named Terri Potente of Fruita as its State President. AARP state presidents are volunteers, who may serve up to six years and lead the organization’s Colorado executive council, as well as its volunteer corps. Potente is the sixth president since the Colorado State Office’s inception in 1994. Prior to accepting her new post, Potente was a member of the AARP Colorado Executive Council for five years. In 1999, Potente married her husband, Ed Apanel, and moved to Fruita.

Blackburn Wins Scholarship To Air Academy Young Eagle Camp

Twelve year old Dayla Blackburn, an aspiring helicopter pilot, recently won an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Air Academy scholarship to attend the EAA Young Eagle Camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from June 22 to


June 26. The camp is designed to introduce youth to the world of aviation. Blackburn is a seventh grade, honor roll student at Venture Prep Middle School, and has won several awards in the Take Flight Leadership Bessie Coleman Fly Girls Chapter. She is also author of My Experience in Aviation. For more information on EAA’s Air Academy programs, E-mail

Nasir Little Selected For PreCollege Summer Program

Nasir Little, a member of Project Greer Street and sophomore at East High School, has been selected to attend the Junior State of America JSA pre-college summer enrichment program that will be hosted at Stanford University this summer. The JSA program is a three-week residential program with a focus on critical thinking, debate and team building skills, and enhanced academic performance.

Pryor Selected For TASS Program Ray Pryor, a sophomore member of Project Greer Street at East High School, has been selected for the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS) Program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for summer of 2013. Each year, TASS selects 18 students from a national pool of hundreds of applicants to participate in a six-week residential academic enrichment program that features an array of college-level seminars and professors coupled with a variety of cultural experiences.

Holmes/Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Award Reception

The Clarence F. Holmes/Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scholarship Foundation recognized and awarded eight graduating seniors in the Denver area withcertificates of excellence in scholastic achievement and scholarships totaling $12,500. The scholarship recipients were Jordan Davis (George Washington), Antonio Hill, Jr. (Overland), DVonte Johnson (George Washington), Jordan Jones-Potts (Montbello), Alexander Neal (Denver School of Technology), Mark Reese (Mullen), Deondre Thompson (Thomas Jefferson), and Bradley Miller (Cherokee Trails). This event, held on April 27, highlighted the achievements of qualified candidates as well as the contributions of Chi Phi Chapter and the Clarence F. Holmes/Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scholarship Foundation.

World Trade Center Denver Receive President’s “E” Award

World Trade Center Denver President Karen Gerwitz accepted the President’s “E” Award in Export Service last month. Gerwitz joined representatives from three WTC Denver member companies—Geotech, Frederick Exports, and Lightning Eliminators – who also were in

Washington, DC, to accept the President’s “E” Award in Exports. Gerwitz congratulated fellow winners at the 40th annual World Trade Day, the region’s premier international business networking event. In addition to hosting World Trade Day each year, the WTC Denver facilitates international trade by educating, serving, and connecting businesses in the Rocky Mountain region to the global network of 330 World Trade Centers in 100 countries.

Denverite Graduates From Howard University

Antoinette Janine “Nina” West, daughter of Vern L. and Annie M. Howard graduated (cum laude), with a Bachelors in Anthropology and International Relations on May 11 from the historic Howard University in Washington, D.C. West has been selected to participate in a research project in South Africa in conjunction with UCLA over the summer and will be traveling to China in the Fall to teach for a year, prior to entering the Peace Corp and completing graduate studies. She was a honors graduate from Eaglecrest High School in Aurora, and former Beta Rho Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho Debutante, and NCNW Denver-Section Youth Leadership Award Recipient.

100th Birthday

Born on June 29, 1913, in Milam, Texas, one hundred years later, Ms. Rose DeGroat is still beautiful and anticipating what life has in store for her. Little Ms. Rose is the last of fourteen children, nine boys and five girls. Rose is more than what we see. She is more than the stunning gray suit she wears on Sundays as a Deaconess and Charter Member of Jordan. She loved going dancing and states that her favorite dance is the Charleston. “My,” she said,” how I loved to dance”. Church was a major part of the lives of Rose and her family. She said with joy, “We studied the Sunday School Lesson every Saturday. Rose said the family ate every meal at the dinner table together. Mom cooked the meat, another sister baked and the other cooked the veggies. Life was good back then. Rose loved going crawdad fishing and having big family and friend cookouts. They had a puppy but Rose could not quite remember his name. Rose talked about probably the worst time of her life during those years was the time of the great depression. She talked about the lack of food, meat and other items that the family was so accustomed to having. When asked if she always liked fashion, she said always. In fact, when Rose became a teenager, her sister took her to the beauty shop with her. She had long thick hair. Her mom and sisters sewed like professionals. She was sharp. As a young woman, Rose worked for, get this, President Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Roosevelt. She worked in the home in child care. By the way, hanging in Rose’s home right now is a picture of her smiling with Vice President Biden. While in Fort Worth, her family changed churches to Allen Chapel AME. That was her introduction to the AME church system. After moving to Denver, Rose joined Campbell Chapel AME Church. Reverend Worley organized a church called Jordan Chapel AME. Mother Rose is a Charter Member of Jordan AME Church. Jordan AME is blessed to have such a beautiful woman. They will be honoring Mother Rose on her birthday. All letters and cards can be sent to Jordan AME Church at 2900 Milwaukee St. Denver, Colo. 80205, call 303-322-7427 or email Pastor: Rev. Dr. Percel E. Hector at Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


A Mystery No Longer: Colorado’s Parole Board Decision-Making Process

By Dr. Anthony P. Young, Chairman, Colorado State Board of Parole


f the many aspects of the Criminal Justice System (police, jails, courts, diversion, probation, prisons, parole supervision, and community corrections), the community has known the least about the Parole Board and its decision-making process. Hollywood movies and the media typically depict Parole Boards as panels of stone-faced individuals who impersonally dispense life-changing decisions based upon their gut level reactions to inmates who pensively sit in front of them Morgan Freeman’s appearance before the Parole Board in the movie Shawshank Redemption provides a classic example.

In Colorado (like most states), the Parole Board has historically been shrouded in secrecy and its decisionmaking process a mystery to the general public and to many of the individuals most directly affected by those decisions. The purpose of this brief article is to concisely describe the mission, structure, factors in Colorado law, and science-based practices involved in the decision-making process of the Colorado State Board of Parole. Inasmuch that African Americans and Hispanics are substantially over-represented in the Department of Corrections (as compared to their representation in Colorado’s population), this information may be of particular interest to their families and others seeking to gain a better understanding of the Parole Board decision-making process. The Parole Board’s primary mission is to protect public safety while assisting in the success of reintegration of returning citizens (parolees) to the community through the use of science-based practices and best practices in Parole Board decision-making. The Parole Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor, interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and confirmed by the State Senate to serve a three year term (or less). Parole Board Members are salaried and typically work between

50 to 60 hours per week conducting hearings, preparing for hearings at home, and attending weekly Friday policy meetings and full board reviews for the consideration of discretionary release of inmates with violent histories and/or violent convictions. Members must have a minimum of 5 years of experience in their respective fields. The Parole Board consists of four citizens, two individuals with law enforcement backgrounds, and one individual with experience as a probation or parole officer. Colorado law requires members to receive annually a minimum of 20 hours of training relevant to their appointment. The Parole Board reports directly to the Governor and works collaboratively with the Department of Corrections, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, and other criminal justice agencies. In accordance with Colorado law, with few exceptions, annual parole release hearings are conducted with 97 percent of Colorado’s 20,087 inmates. Those serving sentences of life without parole will never meet the Parole Board. Some inmates may be considered for parole more than once during any given year. In fiscal year 2012, the Parole Board conducted 21,763 parole application hearings and 8,149 revocation hearings (for parolees who had violated one or more conditions of their parole agreement). These hearings were conducted face-to-face, through video conferencing, or by telephone at the 18 Colorado correctional facilities/centers, four private prisons, county jails, County Court buildings, and parole offices throughout Colorado. As of May 30, 2013, there were 11,516 individuals on parole. Hearings are conducted for each inmate individually. By law, Parole Board Members must consider a number of factors for each and every hearing which include: the impact of the crime upon the victim(s), Colorado

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Actuarial Risk Assessment Scale scores, disciplinary violations, history of escape (or attempts to escape) and absconding from parole, risk mediators (such as age, medical condition, being manageable in the community), Level of Supervision Inventory (a needs assessment) scores, level of family/community support, program and treatment participation, and their parole plan. In releasing inmates on their Mandatory Release Date (the date established by law on which an inmate must be released on a specified period of parole) or on discretionary parole (releasing an inmate prior to their MRD), the Parole Board members will order special conditions of parole based upon individual need and circumstances. For example, individuals that would otherwise be homeless are referred to community corrections programs or housing assistance. Those with significant behavioral health (mental health and/or substance abuse treatment) needs are ordered to undergo evaluation and treatment as a condition of parole. It is critical that individuals have adequate housing, employment, and behavioral health resources upon being paroled. Research on recidivism reveals that when these basic needs are inadequately met, the risks of reoffending and/or victimizing others are substantially increased. It serves the public interest best when the decisionmaking process of the Parole Board is transparent and members of the community understand its role and purpose in protecting public safety while assisting in the reintegration of our returning citizens.  Editor’s note: Dr. Young was appointed Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Parole July 2011 by Governor Hickenlooper. He is a founding member and current president of the Denver-Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists and a past president of the national Association of Black Psychologists.

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DUS Unity Celebration at Classicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Event Center Photos by Lens of Ansar and Sweetz Photo


Five Points Jazz Festival

African American Research Library Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Around Town

May 2013

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Dance Africa

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Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; June 2013


Entertainment Guide

Mature Sophisticated Entertainment

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Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Every Tuesday @ the PEC

Classics Event Center

•Expressions •Miles Apart •One On One •Motown Suite •Suite ti

8246 E 49th Ave., #1400 Denver

Diana Castro

CD release party for The G.K. Story Dazzle Jazz - 930 Lincoln St., Denver Sunday, June 30, 7 p.m.

The SoBo Four

3301 Tejon St Denver, CO 80211 (303) 4333060

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ith t the Dancing w with Denver Stars Denver Stars October 5, 2013 Save the Date! Saturday, October 5, 2013 6:30pm-10:00pm

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Individual Tickets: $150 VIP Patron Tickets: $250 Table Sponsorships Start at $2,500 To RSVP, Call 303-295-1759 -




Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013





Prostate Cancer Rally To Reach One Million Persons On Father’s Day The Largest Effort Ever to Focus on Black America

Nationwide ( – The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) is launching its “Fifth Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” with an ambitious goal of reaching one million persons. This will be the largest and most visible prostate cancer education and awareness effort ever undertaken with a focus on Black America. The Rally will be held on Sunday, June 16 in partnership with churches nationwide during their regular church services. Prostate cancer survivors within each congregation along with family members of those who have lost loved ones to the disease will be recognized and join hands in prayer for healing. In 2012, the Rally reached approximately 200,000 persons based on the total membership of the churches that participated. This year, PHEN will augment the Rally with prostate cancer educational symposiums in selected cities on the Saturday before Father’s Day (June 15th). The symposiums will be hosted by a church partner within each city serving as a magnet site. PHEN industry partners, members of its national survivor network, and local health providers will play integral roles in these educational activities. “PHEN’s Annual Father’s Day Rally has proven to be an effective education and awareness outreach initiative for African American families who are the ones most impacted by prostate cancer. Because of these urgent needs, it is imperative that we build on our success and increase outreach efforts this year,” said PHEN founder and President Thomas A. Farrington. Church partnerships which have been developed and nurtured across all denominations are the key to PHEN’s Father’s Day Rally success. “Congregations within the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church have actively participated in the Father’s Day Rally since its inception, and we look forward to participating in the Rally’s expansion in size and scope this year,” states Rev. Natalie Mitchem, Executive Director of the AME Connectional Health Commission. The AME Church has a membership of approximately 3 mil-

lion persons within the United States and around the world. Black men die at a rate 2.5 times higher than men of all other ethnic and racial groups in the United States. This disparity led the US Senate, in July 2012, to pass a resolution recognizing prostate cancer to be of epidemic proportions among African American men. However, there has been significant confusion among the public caused by the ongoing debate about PSA screening and over-treatment. Simultaneously, a number of new prostate cancer treatments have been approved and there is a flurry of clinical trial activity that will undoubt-

edly lead to more treatment breakthroughs along with new procedures for detecting and managing prostate cancer. “We recognize the enormous challenge in achieving our Rally’s goal this year, however, Black America must become knowledgeable about new developments and fully engaged in order to eliminate the current epidemic, and not be overlooked and risk a worsening condition. The Rally’s success is a significant opportunity for forward progress,” states Farrington. Prostate cancer survivors play a crucial role in the success of the Rally by mobilizing their churches and com-

munities around this effort. PHEN is appealing to all prostate cancer survivors, and their family members, to join in to support and help lead the Rally in meeting its one million person goal. All are invited to join the PHEN Survivor Network. All churches nationwide are invited to partner with PHEN by participating in the “Fifth Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer.”

Editor’s note: Church registration is now open. To register and for additional information visit: churchregister2013. For additional information, visit

Simmons Foundation

for Youth and Change

6 th Annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp East High School - 1545 Detroit St. June 11-13, 2013 (Tuesday-Thursday) 10 AM to 3 PM

The Basketball Camp will be directed by Hall of Fame Coach Rudy Carey of East High School. Life Skills Workshop will be conducted by Alvertis Simmons. Free lunch served daily.

This is a FREE community event. For more information, call:

303-521-7211 or 303-249-2196

Gold Sponsors: Nike, Walmart, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Silver Sponsors: Webb International, Safeway Stores, King Soopers, Denver Safe City Bronze: Hensel Phelps, Denver Sheriffs Dept (Fraternal Order of Police), Tom Martino Supporting Sponsors: Johnson and Wales University, Lu Vason Presents, Moses Brewer/Miller Coors, Tish Maes, Coca Cola, Geta Asfaw/McDonalds, Billy Scott/ReMax, Colorado Rockies, Kroenke Sports (Denver Nuggets), National Western Stockshow, East High School, North Aurora Chiropractic (25th & Peoria), Sawaya Law Firm, Mayfair Cleaners, Herman Malone/RMES, Maaco/East Colfax, O.C. Brown/Metropolitan Services, UFCW Local 7, Professor Richard Jackson, Metro State; Robin Gordon/VIP Productions, Coach Rudy Carey, Joy Walker/Sista Love Inc., Simmons & Associates Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


Movie Reviews

Venus & Serena 

By Kam Williams ExcellentGGGGG. Very GoodGGGG.. GoodGGGGGG... FairGGGGGGG.. PoorGGGGGGG.

    No stars


Revealing Biopic Examines Roots and Rise of WorldClass Williams Sisters


ichard Williams was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana where he was left traumatized by having a railroad spike driven through his leg for refusing to behave deferentially towards a gang of white racists.

Venus & Serena



There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Text HELP for info, STOP to opt-out. To view 43KIX’s Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, visit Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with screening details by Monday, 6/24 at 5:00 PM. The screening will be held the week of June 24 at a local theater. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensu ensure re 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. Columbia Pictures, Allied-THA, 43KIX, 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!



Understandably, that experience played a significant role in shaping the youngster into the highly-ambitious and fiercely-overprotective father he would later become. In fact, well before his daughters Venus and Serena were even born, he hand wrote a 78-page game plan for their lives. Its foundation was laid in childhood, where they would not only be homeschooled but forged into professional tennis players. Achieving that dream would be no small feat, given that the girls were to grow up poor in Compton, an L.A. ghetto far removed from the privileged background considered necessary to compete on the championship level. Sadly, upon turning pro, rather than being immediately embraced by California crowds, elder sister Venus was called the “N-word” by local fans who preferred to root for her European counterparts. Nevertheless, having been prepared by their dad for just such a reaction to the presence on center court, both young ladies miraculously managed to rise in stature on the circuit. All of the above is chronicled in captivating fashion in Venus and Serena, an intimate biopic co-directed by Michelle Major and Maiken Baird who were allowed to follow the pair around with a camera for over a year. Besides detailing the ups-anddowns of the turbulent, 2011 tennis season, this riveting and revealing documentary treats the audience to an intimate look at the close-knit sisters with the help of home movies from their adolescence. Featuring appearances by Chris Rock, Bill Clinton and Serena’s ex-boyfriend Common, this flick is at its best when Richard Williams is given the floor in archival footage to make audacious predictions about turning not one but two of his daughters into world-class tennis players.

Unrated Running Time: 99 minutes Distributor: Magnolia Pictures To see a trailer for Venus and Serena, visit: Iron Man 3 

Downey Back as Bon Vivant Billionaire/Smart Aleck Superhero


his film represents the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series kickstarted by Iron Man 1 in 2008, and since followed in succession by The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. The sensible question I suppose you’re probably interested in

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013



Iron Man 3

having answered is whether the franchise is showing any signs of running out of steam or if it’s worth investing in yet another episode. Great news! The movie more than lives up to its billing as the first blockbuster of this summer season. Yes, the plot remains true to the basic comic book adaptation formula in that it pits a superhero against a diabolical villain bent on world domination. However, Iron Man adds a little more to the trademark mix of derringdo and visually-captivating special f/x thanks to Robert Downey, Jr.’s bringing so much charm to the title character. Downey again delights, delivering a plethora of pithy comments, whether playing bon vivant billionaire Tony Stark or his intrepid alter ego. Also reprising their roles are People Magazine’s reigning Most Beautiful Woman in the World Gwyneth Paltrow as Iron Man’s love interest Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as his best friend Rhodey, and Jon Favreau (the director of episodes 1 and 2) as chauffeur-turned-obsessive chief of security Happy Hogan. And critical additions include Ty Simpkins as Harley, Iron Man’s prepubescent, new sidekick and Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, the maniacal spokesman for an international terrorist organization. The point of departure is Bern, Switzerland on New Year’s 2000 which is where we find Tony Stark declining an offer to go into business being made by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a disabled scientist who ostensibly covets an experimental drug being developed by Stark Industries botanist Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). The storyline immediately fast-forwards from Y2K to the present as a string of bombings are being ostensibly orchestrated by The Mandarin. Against his better judgment, Tony dares the madman to a fight, and no sooner is his oceanfront home leveled

by a barrage of incoming rockets. Fortunately, a number of Iron Man outfits were left unscathed and, with the help of precocious Harley and pal Rhodey (aka Iron Patriot), he proceeds to get to the bottom of who is really behind the attacks bombings. Far be it from me to spoil the surprising developments which ensue en route to the big showdown, suffice to say brace yourself for an array of visually-captivating stunt work interrupted intermittently by comical, tonguein-cheek comments courtesy of our smart aleck protagonist. Patient audience members willing to sit through the long (and I mean long) closing credits will be duly rewarded with a brief session of Iron Man decompressing on the shrink’s couch with Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). In sum, a worthy addition to the vaunted Marvel franchise. Rated: PG-13 for intense violence and brief sensuality Running Time: 130 minutes Distributor: Walt Disney Studios To see a trailer for Iron Man 3, visit:


future are very bright indeed, despite a checkered past marked by 18 different foster home placements, 9 felony and 11 misdemeanor arrests, and 4 convictions. After all, he’s now settling into a new school, Northside High, and living in a relatively-upscale suburban enclave located a safe distance from the bad influences rampant around the ‘hood. Furthermore, to keep Brendan on the straight and narrow, the Stubbs give him a curfew, find him a part-time job, and even encourage him to join The Seekers, a Christian community service group for teenagers. Everything goes well until the fateful day he rescues a classmate from a car wreck. Natalie (Kayla Compton), a girl most likely-type, happens to be president of the school’s student council. However, she ends up in trouble when the police find drugs in the car at the scene of the accident. But Brendan’s role as the hero lands him in the limelight, which has the unfortunate side effect of notifying his former partners in crime of his

King’s Faith

King’s Faith 

Reformed Gangsta Seeks Redemption in Modern Morality Play


rendan King (Crawford Wilson), a kid raised in the foster care system, was sent away at the age of 15 after being caught dealing drugs and running guns as a member of a notorious gang known as Avenue D. Upon parole a few years later, the juvenile offender was released to the custody of Vanessa (Lynn Whitfield) and Mike Stubbs (James McDaniel), a couple still struggling with the loss of their police officer son in a senseless act of violence while he was on duty. The emotionally-wounded foster parents see taking Brendan in as an opportunity to not only help rehabilitate an at-risk youth but to perhaps restore their faith in humanity, too. Because the boy became Born Again behind bars, the prospects for his

present whereabouts. Soon, they show up looking for the fruit of the valuable contraband he’d hidden before being sent up the river, and they threaten to put a hurtin’ on him if he doesn’t deliver or rejoin their ranks. Will Brendan revert to his old outlaw ways? Or will the convert put his trust in the Lord and avoid temptation this time around? Thus unfolds King’s Faith, a very relevant morality play written and directed by Nicholas DiBella. Carefully crafted with Evangelicals in mind, this modern parable will certainly resonate with the faith-based demographic as well as secular individuals interested in an entertaining, wholesome family flick with a sobering message. The cinematic equivalent of a thought-provoking Bible study likely to ignite further discussion about a variety of real-life challenges folks face today. Rated: PG-13 for violence, drug use and mature themes

Running Time: 107 minutes Distributor: Faith Street Film Partners To see a trailer for King’s Faith, visit:

ing that they will be tipped generously for providing stud service. Given the language, age and cultural differences, it is no surprise that complications still

Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe)

Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe) 

Single-Mom Develops Jungle Fever in Kenya in Initial Installment of Incendiary Trilogy

Paradise: Love is the initial offering in a trilogy of incendiary dramas from the Austria-born director Ulrich Seidl. Each of the three installments focuses on a different female from the same family. This episode revolves around Teresa (Magarete Tiesel), an unremarkable single-mom whom we find tired of her Vienna existence at the point of departure. The jaded 50 yearold divides her time between raising an adolescent (Melanie Lenz) and working with the mentally-handicapped. Needing a break from that humdrum routine Teresa leaves her daughter in the care of a sister (Maria Hofstaetter) before flying alone to Kenya for a vacation. However, she’s planning for a little more than fun in the sun, since her destination is a resort that caters to the carnal desires of European sex tourists. Specifically, it’s older white women looking to get their groove back, so to speak, with help of African men, the younger and better endowed the better. The goal, obviously, is less to find romance than to mate with any hunks who find them attractive. Upon arriving, Teresa checks into the hotel where she makes the acquaintance of several fellow Austrians with the same goal in mind. What soon unfolds is a series of lusty liaisons approached by the consenting parties with a compatible set of competing expectations. The women want to be wined and dined a bit prior to seduction, while the local lads are more than happy to oblige with the unspoken understand-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


ensue for first-timer Teresa as she awkwardly attempts to negotiate her way with fellows with hidden agendas. Will her cravings be satiated? Will she be respected in the morning? Will she be fleeced out of every last pfennig by the local Romeos? Those are the basic questions raised over the course of this intriguing character study, a female empowerment flick which harks back to Heading South (2005), a similarly-themed film set in Haiti starring Charlotte Rambling. Fair warning: the film does feature graphic nudity and indiscriminate coupling, as the ladies sensuously sample a veritable smorgasbord of native cuisine. When all is said and done, Teresa returns home revitalized enough to resume her unfulfilling life, but ostensibly having to keep her assorted sexual conquests a secret. After all, as the saying goes: What happens in Nairobi stays in Nairobi! Unrated: R for violence, profanity, graphic sexuality and frontal nudity In German, Swahili and English with subtitles Running Time: 120 minutes Distributor: Strand Releasing To see a trailer for Paradise: Love, visit: qwWa4 Star Trek into Darkness 

Kirk Matches Wits with Rogue Commander in Intergalactic Showdown


tar date: 2259. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) has just been called on the carpet following an expedition to a primitive planet where, in the course of saving Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) life, he violated the Starfleet’s strict sanction against interfering with alien civilizations. Consequently, he is demoted in rank and summarily stripped of the command of the USS Enterprise. Continued to page 32

REEL ACTION Star Trek into Darkness

Continued from page 31 He is replaced by his predecessor, Rear Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) who reminds his headstrong protégé about the importance of following the rules. Soon thereafter, however, Pike is slain by friendly fire in a gunship attack launched by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a fellow officer ostensibly gone rogue. The tragedy affords Kirk a second chance in the captain’s chair, as well as an opportunity to track down the intergalactic menace and to exact a measure of retribution for his late mentor. As it turns out, Harrison isn’t really a disgruntled colleague but, lo

and behold, the reincarnation of Khan, a recurring villain who has appeared before in both television and movie Star Trek episodes. Here, the slightly tweaked character is the recently-defrosted leader of a race of genetically-enhanced superbeings who’ve been cryogenically frozen for a few hundred years. The pseudo-scientific explanation of his dormancy and revival is of less import than the fact that he’s just fled to Kronos, home of the Klingons, another regular nemesis of Captain Kirk and his crew. Thus unfolds Star Trek into Darkness, the twelfth big screen adap-


tation inspired by the classic, Sixties TV show originally starring William Shatner. It’s also the second installment directed by J.J. Abrams, who oversaw the reboot of the sci-fi series in 2009. Truth be told, Abrams’ semiautobiographical thriller Super 8, which he shot between Star Treks 11 and 12, proved to be a far more scintillating summer blockbuster than either of those. At least he did reunite the principal cast, including the aforementioned Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, along with Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty John Cho and Sulu and Karl Urban as Bones. Are the special f/x dazzling? Yes. However, the film’s fairly formulaic plot is apt to capture the imagination only of young’uns totally unfamiliar with Khan and the Klingons. Still, Diehard Trekkies will probably appreciate all the inside jokes sporadically sprinkled into the dialogue for the benefit of loyal longtime fans. Overall, this safe sequel is certainly engaging and entertaining enough to recommend, though it fails to live up to the franchise’s daring, appointed mission “to explore strange new worlds” and “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Rated: PG-13 for intense violence Running Time: 132 minutes Distributor: Paramount Pictures To see a trailer for Star Trek into Darkness, visit: Aroused


TEXT TTHE TEXT HE WORDS WORDS UURBAN RBAN SPECTRUM SPECTRUM AAND ND YOUR YOUR ZZIP IP CODE CODE TTOO 443549. 3549. Example Text: URBAN SPECTRUM 80202 Entry Deadline: Tuesday, June 25 DESPICABLE ME 2 H HAS AS BEEN BEEN R RATED ATED PG (P (PARENTAL ARENTAL GUIDANCE GUIDANCE SU SUGGESTED GGESTED SOME SOME M MATERIAL ATERIAL MAY MAY NOT NOT B BE E SU SUITABLE ITABLE FOR CHILDREN) CHILDREN) FOR RUDE RUDE HU HUMOR MOR AND AND MILD ACTION. ACTION. There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Text HELP for info, STOP to opt-out. To view 43KIX’s Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, visit Check your plan. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Limit one entry per cell phone. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with screening details by Wednesday, 6/26 at 5:00 PM. Each mobile pass admits 2. The screening will be held on Thursday, 6/27 at 7:00 PM at a local theater. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first-come, 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. Universal Pictures, AlliedTHA, 43KIX, 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!


Popular Porn Stars Bare Their Bodies and Souls in Revealing Documentary


ave you ever been curious about how a woman became a porn star? Was it because of a drug habit? Or maybe out of desperation for money? How did she pick her stage name? Does she feel any shame about such a taboo line of work? Is she really a nymphomaniac, or just a bad actress? Does she enjoy having sex with total strangers in front of the camera? Is there a stigma attached to her profession, or is she able to

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


enjoy a normal romantic relationship in her private life? Is she worried about STDs? What does she think of her fans? Does she have an exit plan, or is she just winging it? These are among the topics discussed by 16 of the most successful porn stars in Aroused, an intimate biopic directed by Deborah Anderson. Don’t be surprised if none of their sultry sobriquets rings a bell, since one of the fascinating factoids shared here is that their careers are of terribly short duration. “The porn stars of 2005 are already gone,” one remarks. “They’re shot out,” which is how industry insiders refer to over the hill performers. But the bevy of curvaceous beauties interviewed in Aroused represents the current cream of the crop. That includes Misty Stone, Ash Hollywood, Asphyxia Noir, Belladonna, Kayden Kross, Lisa Ann, Katsuni, Lexi Belle, Brooklyn Lee, Allie Haze, April O’Neil, Jesse Jane, Alexis Texas, Francesca Le, Tanya Tate and Teagan Presley. The film is far from explicit, though it does feature each subject in a state of undress as she prepares for a still photo shoot for a relatively-tasteful coffee table book, clad in nothing but a pair of high heels by shoe designer Jimmy Choo. What proves far more compelling than seeing a little skin is hearing what makes each of them tick. Money seems to be the common motivation, although they admit that once you go XXX you can’t go back, because being in pornography leaves a scarlet letter on you socially. It’s also interesting that most of these females crave attention more than casual carnality, with an absentee father during childhood being credited as a contributor factor. They generally don’t date “civilians,” meaning people outside the porn industry, since ordinary people tend to be prudes about promiscuity, even when their mate explains that it’s just a job. By film’s end, you feel sorry for these females in denial, despite defensive-sounding statements like, “I get paid to have sex. Why doesn’t everybody do that?” Maybe because some of you admit to needing a steady flow of narcotics to mask the shame and the pain. An eye-opening expose about the surprisingly-conventional concerns of some of the most hyper-sexualized women in the world. Unrated In English and French with subtitles Running Time: 73 minutes Distributor: Ketchup Entertainment To see a trailer for Aroused, visit:


U.S. Bank Employee Volunteers In Denver Give Savings Lessons To Local Students

U.S. Bank in Denver celebrated the 17th annual Teach Children to Save Day, an education campaign promoting good money and savings habits, with local students recently. Twenty-four U.S. Bank employee volunteers met with 144 students from East High School, Martin Luther King Early College, Westminster Public Library and Third Way Center for lessons on how to save. Established by the American Bankers Association in 1997, Teach Children to Save lessons have reached more than 5.6 million young people across the United States through the commitment of nearly 122,000 banker volunteers. In 2012, 1,700 savings lessons were taught by U.S. Bank employee volunteers to more than 57,000 students for Teach Children to Save Day. For more information on U.S. Bank’s financial literacy efforts, visit

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Hudson and his 501(c) 3 non-profit organization have already won rave reviews and national attention from CNN, NBC, Good Morning America, USA Today, and People Magazine. He once received a grant from filmmaker Tyler Perry. But Hudson wants to help more than just a few thousands kids. He wants to take his show on the road and do a national tour to help 1 million kids. For that reason, he is appealing to the public to make small donations of just $5 or more to help him reach the much needed funding of $50,000. With the funding, Hudson will launch the 2013 African American Chess and Youth Leadership National Tour and travel to as many urban areas as possible to help young inner city kids develop the practical skills and techniques to overcome obstacles in life, illustrated through the best and most intellectual visual aid of all time: the chessboard. He will target young people age 12 to 18, and will train them to become better decision makers. Via the game of chess, Hudson will teach them 20 life lessons that they can take from the chess board to make themselves success at everything they do. He instills in them, the focus, discipline and patience required by the game. To donate online with a debit or credit card, visit and click on “Give Now.“ To donate by check or money order, send your donation to Be Someone, Inc., 949 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30087. For more information, visit or call 770-4656445, or send an E-mail to

New Support Group In Downtown Denver For Anyone Affected By The Hepatitis C Virus

Black Youth Organization Seeks $5 Donations To Raise $50,000 For 2013 National Tour

A powerful Black youth organization that has already helped more than 20,000 kids is pleading to the public in efforts to raise funding for a national tour. The organization, Be Someone Inc., was founded by master motivator Orrin C. Hudson in the year 2000. His approach was very unique: Use the game of chess to teach inner city kids how to “make the right moves” in life.

A new support group for anyone affected by the hepatitis C virus began meeting on March 19 at Whittier Community Center in downtown Denver. Hep C Connection, a national nonprofit organization located in Denver whose mission is to educate the general public about hepatitis C and to provide resources and support for those affected by the virus. The support group meetings which are free and confidential, is led by a professional counselor. The meeting time is 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at Whittier Community Center, 2900 Downing St. in Denver. For more information, call 720-5604016 or 303-860-0800.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013



2013 Tuskegee Airmen Annual Scholarship Award Luncheon Planned

The Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. will host the 2013 annual scholarship award luncheon on Sunday, June 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the University of Denver’s Ritchie Center, 2201 East Asbury Ave. in Denver. The program will include the introduction of documented original Tuskegee Airmen, keynote speaker Mayor Michael B. Hancock, local dignitaries, plated lunch and presentation of scholarship awards. Tickets are $35 per person with proceeds going to support the Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Scholarship Fund a 501(c)(3). This event is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased or donations made through Chapter members, online at or send check/money order to: HLHJ Chapter TAI; Attn: Awards Luncheon, P.O. Box 370431, Denver, CO 80237. For more information, visit

Colorado Beautillion Formal Dinner And Presentation Slated For June

The Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion, Inc. formal dinner and presentation will take place on Sunday, June 9 at 5 p.m. at the Marriott, DTC, located at 4900 S. Syracuse St. in Denver. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 720-217-8291 or visit

Women of Action Hosts Woman’s Workshop

D.I.V.A. Inc. announced R.E.V.A.M.P., a free workshop for women hosted by Women of Action at Restoration Christian Fellowship church in Aurora. The event will be Saturday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15640 E 6th Ave. in Aurora. For more information and vendor booths, call Johnisa Stewart at 720-309-3545.

Letters, continued from page 3

Obama and members of his cabinet. When I tuned in to C Span on Wednesday, May 15, to listen to the questioning of Attorney General Holder by the Judiciary Committee, it was extremely difficult for me to listen to and witness what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas might have once called a “high tech lynching.” Even the AG – rightfully – commented on the disrespect he was receiving. For anyone who is not yet convinced about the reason for the lack of legislative consensus on important matters facing the country – just tune


C.O.G.I.C. Celebrates Usher Ministry Weekend

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The Jurisdiction of Colorado Church of God In Christ will honor and recognize the ministry of the usher with prayer, testimony, an awards luncheon, and the annual usher day service. The luncheon will take place Saturday, June 22 at 11:30 am at the Holiday Inn Cherry Creek, 455 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver. Tickets are $30 for adults and $18 for children, 11 and under. The service will be held Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m. at Graham Memorial Church of God in Christ at 5001 Thrill Place in Denver. For more information or tickets, call 303-333-0638.

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African Cosmos Art Exhibit At AARL In June

The African Cosmos art exhibit will be on display June 1 to 29 at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library in the Cousins Gallery. A live interview and talk back with the artists will be Monday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and art work will be available for purchase. For more information, E-mail Art Blaque at or call 720-364-4492.

Culinary Chronicles Of Blackness Returns To AARL

The Culinary Chronicles of Blackness exhibit returns to the Cousins Gallery at the African American Research Library July 2 to 31. Culinary Chronicles of Blackness explores the history and culinary DNA of Black culture and The African Diaspora and is curated by Art Blaque and features various artists and mediums. Opening reception will be Saturday, July 20 at 1 p.m. For a complete schedule of events or to submit art work, cookbooks or other historical culinary related creations, call 720-364-4492 or email

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into any live political debate – especially committee hearings, and all doubt should be erased. Little effort is made to ascertain facts and problem solve; instead, many hours are spent sermonizing and on character assassination. I have not heard many recent comments about the country being post-racial, and I think the evidence is abundantly clear why that is not true. President Obama is a very civil and polite person, yet he has been disparaged by many conservative Republicans since he has been in office. WHY IS THAT?!

720-266-3611 - Daryl Jay 720-434-2210 - Sireta Jay

Leon Willis

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2013


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Saturday, S aturday atur day,, JJuly day uly 27, 27, 201 20 2013 13 – Denver’s Denver’s City City P Park Par ark ar k

Adjacent to the D Denver enver Museum Museum of N Natur Nature aturee and Science located at C atur Color Colorado olorado olor ado B Blvd. lvd. & Montview Montview B Blvd. lvd.

Walk – Str Walk Wal Stroll oll the 5K or take take the Mocha Mocha Mile detour! Run R un – PParticipate articipate in a timed race race to the finish! Learn Lea Le arn – VVisit isit the Health Education Expo! And don’t don’t ffor forget orgget to join us ffor or or the war w warm-up arm-up ar m-up at 8 8am! am! Entertainment provided by Mary Louise Lee Band Destination Health Co-Chairs: Allegra “Happy” Haynes and Rev. Rodney Perry


7:30am 7:30 am – on-site on-site registration registration 8:00am 8:00 am – warm-up warm-u m-upp 8:30am startt 8:30 am – 5K & one one mile star 9:00am 9:00 am – awards awards & entertainment aw entertainment

Registration F Registration Fees ees Teams moree - $25 per person T eams of four or mor Adults A dults and childr children en 18 and older – $30 Children Childr en 6 6-17 -17 years years old and A Adults dults 50+ – $25 Children Childr en 5 and under (no shir shirt) t) – Free Free Fr Children shirt) Childr en 5 and under (with shir t) – $10 – registration registration still rrequired requir equired equir ed for all children children

Note: On-site registration the day of the event is $35 per person.


LiveWell LiveWell Colorado

Metr o Denver Metro Ministerial Alliance Foundation

Register today as an individual or sign up for a team at www

DUS June 2013  

Denver Urban Spectrum June 2013 Issue