Page 1


Volume 31 Number 2

May 2017

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


MANAGING EDITOR Laurence C. Washington COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa

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

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Allan ChristopherTellis ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix


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

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2017 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

Linked In Friendship, Connected In Service

There are many organizations around who proclaim what they do but one that really “walks the walk” and “talks the talk” is the Links. This month we proudly feature what they do and how they do it from the words of contributor Charles Emmons and their five facets of providing services to youth, national trends, international trends, health and human services and the arts, to meet community . We also look at a family run business that provides African cuisine to satisfy your palate from a variety of countries from the Motherland. Allan Tellis talks to restaurant owners (husband and wife) Theodora Adwoa and Sylvester Ose who shares their story of coming to America and their trials and tribulations of running the African Grill. He also shares words to l ive by from award winning filmmaker Aishah Simmons who spoke in Denver as the visiting professor in honor of the Rachel B. Noel Scholarship. And lastly and certainly not least, Denver Urban Spectrum is in full swing with 30th anniversary events, DUS Power 30…More Today Than Yesterday. In case you missed the kick-off reception last month, there is still time to join US for the upcoming events as outli ned in this issue. I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our anniversary sponsors, so far, who are helping to make our 30th anniversary celebration possible: Land Rover, Denver Water, Excel Energy, Denver Health, Janus, Sawaya Law Firm, ARC, Comedy Works, Banneker Watches and the Clocktower Cabaret. To help make this world a better place to live, we should all take a moment and learn to l ive by words from the Links, “Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service.” Happy reading and hope to see you soon! Rosalind J. Harris Publisher


Family Grateful For Tribute To Dad, Morris Price, Sr.

Editor: Thank you for your most generous and thoughtful full page tribute to Dad, and the dedication of your 30th edition. Words cannot express how moved Mom was and how honored we were to read your kind words about him. He thought so much of you. Without fail, he read your paper regularly and showed you the same love of this community. Dad’s not with us, but you did so much for his memory that our entire family will be forever thankful to you. Your kind expression of support and sympathy touched our hearts and offered us much peace during this time of loss. Yours in friendship, love and appreciation,

Morris Price Jr. (and family) Denver, CO

Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing

Distribution & Circulation Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


The Denver (Colo.) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated

Connecting the Chain of Friendship and Sisterhood for 65 Years By Charles Emmons


ince its inception in 1946, The Links, Incorporated (The Links) has been a beacon for African-American advancement in economics, education, and service. Two accomplished Black women, Margaret Hawkins, an artist and teacher, and Sarah Strickland Scott, a passionate guidance counselor, first brought together their friends to form an inter-city club in Philadelphia. They quickly realized that success was not sustainable unless others in the community who shared their passion were invited too. Together, they established an organization that would have a three-prong focus – civic, educational and cultural. Since its founding, The Links now has more than 15,000 professional women members, and its local chapters have developed enduring partnerships with national corporations, local foundations, and non-profits in advancing their goals in communities in four regions including 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Bahamas. The Denver (Colo.) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated (Denver Links) was founded in 1952 by Fairfax B. Holmes. A notable member from this first group of women included educator, politician and civil rights activist

Rachel B. Noel. Today, the Denver Links has 56 active members and 12 alumni members, which include Little Rock Nine’s Carlotta Walls Lanier and former first lady of Denver Wilma Webb. While best known for hosting community favorite Ebony Fashion Fair Luncheon for more than 45 years (ending 2007), the Denver Links has contributed more than $1 million to programs that advance the education, economics and culture of the Metro Denver African-American community and beyond, including a $10K donation to renovate a primary school in Durbin, South Africa and a $50K donation to support the establishment of the Blair Caldwell AfricanAmerican Research Library in 2002. The library’s community conference room is named in honor of the Denver

Links, and is an inspiration and tribute to the chapter’s continued philanthropy. The $50K donation was the culmination of fundraising for The Links, Incorporated Western Area Conference in 2001, hosted by the Denver chapter (also, then celebrating its 50th anniversary). To mark Denver Links’ 65 years, the Western Area Conference returns to Denver June 14, to and will host more than 800 representatives from 59 communities in the 10 states (Alaska, Arizona California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Texas) that make up the region headed by Western Area Director Roxann Chargois. “Our local, area, and national community investments – our time, talent,

Denver Links and Hallett Fundamental Academy students participate in healthy nutrition program.

treasure and testimony, from members, chapters, areas, community partners and corporations and foundations have positively impacted the African-American community through the years, allowing programs to be introduced, expanded and sustained as our community needs have continually changed.”- LaDawn Sullivan, President Denver (Colo.) Chapter, Links Incorporated. Since its founding, the purpose of The Links has not changed from its focus on education, economics and culture, but it has evolved. “A Mind for Business and a Heart for Service” is the theme that was adopted for the 2015-2017 biennium. Understanding that business and service in the community fit hand to glove, there are high expectations of chapters and members to focus on the national organization’s five facets and develop local programs to meet community needs. •Services to Youth •National Trends •International Trends •Health and Human Services •The Arts In Denver, there is currently an umbrella program at Hallett Fundamental Academy supported and led by the Denver Links that integrates the five facets with educational and culturally relevant activities. Working “to equip Black youth to use their intellect and spirit of achieveContinued on page 4

Volunteers of America receive donations collected at Denver Links’ chapter meetings.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Award Winning Filmmaker Aishah Simmons Speaks At Shorter AME Church

By Allan Tellis


n Sunday, March 26, awardwinning filmmaker Aishah Simmons spoke at Shorter Community AME Church about the affects of sexual violence. Simmons visited the Park Hill church to give a community talk in honor of the Rachel B. Noel scholarship. Every year Metro State University brings a visiting professor on a fellowship that helps illustrate the vision of the scholarship. At the conclusion of the program, several students that exemplified the mission of the organization, are awarded their checks and symbolically begin their pursuit of knowledge in higher education. Simmons was the 2017 Rachel B. Noel distinguished visiting professor. She is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer and international lecturer. She is fearless in her truth and unabashed in her ability to shed light on even taboo topics in order to reveal her truth. Her speech centered mainly on her work highlighting and combating the often overlooked effects of sexual violence – especially in communities of color. Her award-winning film “NO! The Rape Documentary,” is a powerful account of those who have been affected by this predatory behavior first hand. Simmons works to give a voice to women of color whose voices are so often silenced especially in the academic world. She refuses to settle for that outcome and has reclaimed her own narrative that will help empower and embolden those who may have formerly felt defenseless and unnoticed. Simply by refusing to be silent, Simmons propels the conversation forward and hopes to push the culture towards betterment and the eventual eradication of sexual violence. She expressed great respect and admiration for the trials that many communities of color faced but proceeded to abolish the use of that as a crutch. Simmons quoted many troubling statistics that reflect the rate of which sexual violence takes place in our communities, and highlighted how often it is overlooked as a major area of concern. She described it as the elephant in the room, as many know about the current situation, but no one is willing to talk about it. She noted that prison may not be the best solution to solve the current situation, as it

Aishah Simmons (right) with Dr. Rachel Harding and Alton Clark

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


often only hardens criminals and worsens their behavior. We should instead look to the root of the problems and try to rid ourselves of the type of thinking that makes sexual violence pervasive in our culture. Although the topic is at times uncomfortable and even painful to address, Simmons looks to continue doing the necessary work of forcing marginalized communities into the conversation and pushing for change. She is a firm believer that everyone should be protected and loved and there is no way we can reach that goal without acknowledging our shortcomings and preparing to be better. .

included a “hands-on” exploration of African American firsts and inventors with their families. “This is part of the long and growing legacy of the Denver Links,” says Denver Chapter President LaDawn Sullivan. The first project of the chapter in 1952 was providing shoes for local needy children. The members did this locally for years and it eventually evolved into providing shoes for children in Africa and Haiti. “Some children living in Haiti are required to wear black shoes in order to attend school,” said Sullivan, “So, we’ve collected shoes every year and sent them to the island.” Sullivan, who came into Denver Links a little over eight years ago, has also seen the expansion of the international focus as the Denver chapter supported a Ugandan female student with annual tuition through high school graduation and most recently the Western Area’s fresh water well project in Haiti. The African-American population in Denver and Colorado may be considered small in comparison to other parts of the country, but it has made significant investments and impact through its philanthropic efforts. The Denver Links has been considered a pioneer in this effort with a long history of giving back to secure a bright future for the community. For more than 25 years (ending 2005) Tribute to Black Youth, a scholarships program, recognized over 500 middle and high school students highlighting student achievement and community service. Former scholarship recipients include Denver’s own Mayor Michael Hancock. “We have been a pro-active community partner, but we have also been tapped to connect in areas that are important to Denver’s AfricanAmerican community,” said Sullivan. Denver Links has also partnered with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and more recently Curious Theatre, in an effort to lift the AfricanAmerican story through the arts. The Denver Links has supported numerous grassroots non-profit organizations including Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and The Spirituals Project as well as Historic Black Colleges and Universities. This year’s Hallett students will be able to attend the Cleo Parker Robinson Summer Dance Camp, thanks to the generosity of the Denver Links and Western Area chapters of The Links, Inc. Conference attendees will be invited to visit the dance camp as well as the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library. “We are going to provide an opportunity for our visitors to see the Denver community, meet our young people and hear about their experiences,” said Sullivan. Denver Links’

Santa and Denver Chapter elves visit Hallett students.

The Links

Continued from page 2 ment to become successful and productive citizens,” the program focuses on K-5 students in building and sustaining a strong foundation of basic fundamentals, culture awareness, and a healthy curiosity. Students at the academy are also becoming global citizens. In the

Change for Haiti program, students collect change and donate money to the Children of Haiti project. Local businesses, foundations, and Denver Links members have stepped up with matching funds. Through the Black History Showcase, 5th grade students developed presentations describing the influence of African-Americans in the civil rights movement which

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Denver Chapter Member Ida Daniel spends time on the green with Hallett First Tee participants.

member Terry Nelson, Senior Special Collection and Community Resource Manager will give tours of the library and share information about Denver’s rich African-American history. The collective investment of time and talent has been central to the Denver Links’ community impact. Logging an average of 4,500 local service hours per year (more than one million nationwide), Denver Links local

“Our local, area, and national community investments – our

time, talent, treasure and testi-

mony, from members, chapters, areas, community partners and corporations and foundations have positively impacted the

African American community through the years, allowing

programs to be introduced,

expanded and sustained as

our community needs have continually changed.

LaDawn Sullivan, President Denver (CO) Chapter, Links Incorporated

programs and activities align with the national organization’s position that the five facets are holistic solutions to both little known and well-known issues surfacing in the community. Leaders within Links know that these initiatives continue to have positive impact. If families are supported with healthy living advocacy and habits, coupled with relevant cultural knowledge and experiences, supportive guidance and mentorship, then children can successfully complete their

educational journey and step confidently into the future. The Western Area Conference in June will include two tracks of the biennium theme, a Mind for Business, as well as a focus on running chapters effectively while embracing a Heart for Service that focuses on critical social issues where Links can continue investing resources for service in the global community. One of the Heart for Service sessions will focus on the 59 For the Future pilot program, in which young girls from each Western Area chapter are engaged in global community issues through strategic thinking, conversation, mentorship, research and writing. The program was created it “to develop thought

Hallett 5th graders participate in annual newspaper club.

leaders and change agents among youth, preparing them to examine and address complex global issues while increasing their competitiveness for college admission and the global marketplace.”

As the Denver (Colo.) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated kicks off its 65th year, they are recognized locally as one of the sustaining AfricanAmerican organizations that has supported and advanced our community and embraced humanity. Although many people see it as a service organization making significant impact it is more than that. “Denver Links is made up of almost 70 vibrant African American women from varied professions and connections in the Metro Denver community, but what binds us together is our love for community, and our love and support of each other. Because it is a sisterhood,” said Sullivan. “Looking back at 65 years, we have come full circle. We began our journey with a Tribute to Black Youth scholars and our work with Hallett students today include parents

Western Area Director Roxann Chargois enjoys a day on the slopes with Hallett students and Denver Chapter Members.


who were originally recognized as scholars decades earlier. We are a circle of sisters, 65 years young and strong – bound together in friendship and dedicated to serving our community.” . Editor’s note: For more information visit or

Denver Chapter Member Toi Massey spending time with Hallett kindergartners.

If you c are about where you live, yo u d o w h a t yo u c a n t o t a k e c a r e o f the place. You volunteer, you give b a c k , yo u h e l p o t h e r s , a n d yo u t r y t o m a ke t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d b e t t e r f o r ever ybody. That ’s how we feel about this communit y. And that ’s why we do what we do. That ’s our Colorado energy future. For details, visit

© 2017 Xc el Ener g y Inc . Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Denver Urban Spectrum Celebrates 30 Years of Spreading the News about People of Color W

By Alan Tellis

e all know Denver Urban Spectrum has been a powerful vehicle for creating a platform where untold stories can be told and celebrated. The founder of the Denver Urban Spectrum, Rosalind “Bee” Harris, for many years has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for those in Denver to be heard and for those willing to listen to be informed. What you may not know, however, is that all of this began exactly 30 years ago. After word got out that the Spectrum was celebrating its 30th anniversary, so many individuals from the community expressed a sentiment of gratitude and astonishment. Hence the theme, “DUS Power 30…More Today Than Yesterday.” It became clear that it would take more than one event to include everyone and everything in the festivities. As the outpouring of congratulations and admirations continued to grow, the number of events grew as well and for good reason. The public is invited and encouraged to come out and support events dating from the kickoff reception that took place on April 26, and the many events to follow over to help sustain and celebrate DUS’s historic 30th anniversary. In case you missed it, the kickoff reception was held at the Clocktower Cabaret in downtown Denver started the upcoming chain of events, featuring live music by vocalist Jah Goatfish and friends. Those superbly talented musicians included Freddy Rodriguez on keys, Orlando Rafael on electric guitar, Tarell Marin on drums and Jeroan Adams on bass. Highlights of the event included paying homage to the 2017 DUS African-Americans Who Make A Difference. These individuals, recognized in the February Denver Urban Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Spectrum, were Albert Cooper, Arthur C. Jones, Brande Micheau, Brenda Lyle, Christopher Herndon, Elysia R. Cook, Gary M. Jackson, Haroun K. Cowans, Linda Theus Lee, Regina L. Jackson, Reginald Carl Holmes, Ty McKay, and Vanessa Power Anderson. The 15 DUS Power 30 Couples were announced and the theme song video, More Today Than Yesterday, was presented. Proceeds from downloading the song from CD Baby ( will benefit the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation’s scholarship to be presented during the Family Reunion Festival in August. On May 13, the DUS will host the Power 30 Luncheon and will recognize 15 powerful couples that have been striving to profoundly and positively affect the community. Announced as the DUS 15 Power Couples during the kick off reception included Wellington and Wilma Webb, Johnny and June Johnson, Reggie and Faye Washington, Eula and Janet Adams, Geta and Janis Asfaw, Greg and Nina Moore, Timothy Tyler and Nita Mosby, Scott Durrah and Wanda James, Damon and Heather Barry, Gerald and Glynis Albright, Ryan and Simone Ross, Michael and Mary Hancock, Matthew and Priya Burkett, Chauncey and Piper Billups and Eric and Kathy Nesbitt.

A major highlight of the event will be a video presentation of the 30 year history of Denver Urban Spectrum. The luncheon will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Stapleton, 3801 Quebec St. The event will be emceed by former Denver City Councilwoman and president Allegra “Happy” Haynes and former State Representative and Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll. Luncheon attendees will be serenaded by Jah Goatfish and Linda Theus-Lee who will be belting out familiar duet ballads. There will be an opportunity to mingle with some of the most influential individuals in the Greater Denver community while striking great deals from the many companies who were excited to participate in the silent auction. General admission tickets are only $50 and seating is limited so make sure to get your spot soon. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite of visiting On June 28 from 7 to 9 p.m., the Spectrum will be hosting a Comedy Explosion that will feature Louis Johnson and special guest comedians Sam Adams, Stephen Agyei and Janae Burris. Prepare for a night of laughter

and good times with some of your favorites and a couple of up and com-

ers on the Denver comedy scene. This event will take place at Comedy Works at Landmark, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village. Tickets can be purchased online at or On Aug. 5, and 6, the Family Reunion Festival will take place at the Great Lawn Park in Lowry. This festival will provide a new and exciting opportunity for the whole family to enjoy themselves in a family friendly atmosphere. There will be a stage full of live entertainment for every member of the family, as well, as delicious food provided by a host of vendors from throughout the Denver area. Activities will include an athletic field, a car show and several family areas to provide a variety of options to enjoy your time at the park. The community is encouraged to bring the whole family out and participate in the institution of family reunions. Family cabanas with all the trimmings will be available to create a comfortable way to spend two beautiful summer days with your family and the community. A car show, showcasing some of the most awesome and creative car attractions in the state will be on display. Along with a children’s pavilion, there will be a host of opportunities for full-family engagement activities including a scavenger hunt, gaining valuable knowledge on Sankofa hill or observing some masterpieces at the art exhibit. Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation participants from 2001 to present will be reunited, a scholarship will be presented to a student pursuing a degree in journalism and 10 three-generational families who are making an impact in the community will be recognized. For more information on the festival and to reserve your family Cabana, visit or call 888-995-5556 or 720744-2300. Event sponsors include Land Rover, Xcel Energy, Denver Water, Denver Health, Janus, Sawaya Law Firm, ARC, Comedy Works, Clocktower Cabaret and Banneker Watches and Clocks. Denver Urban Spectrum thanks the community and supporters for making the first 30 years possible and invites everyone to come out and participate in these events with more to come, as we celebrate DUS Power 30…More Today Than Yesterday. . Editor’s note: Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are also available. For more information on the Denver Urban Spectrum’s 30th anniversary events, email, call 303292-6446 or visit

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The Denver (CO) Chapter of The Links Incorporated Celebrates 65 years of Community Impact, Investment, and Inspiration

We Welcome Western Area Conference Attendees June 14-17, 2017

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


O’Reilly Got the Boot For Being A Sexual Reprobate, But Not For Being Anti-Black

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The ousted

and disgraced Bill O’Reilly’s blatant anti-

black cracks,

digs, slurs and

putdowns didn’t start last

year, two years ago, or even a decade

ago. They started almost from the day that he took the helm of the “Factor”

the last century. O’Reilly kicked things

off with this zinger in early 1999, “Will

African-Americans break away from

the pack thinking and reject immorality–because that’s the reason the family’s breaking apart–alcohol, drugs,

infidelity. You have to reject that, and

it doesn’t seem–and I’m broadly

speaking here, but a lot of African-

Americans won’t reject it.” With this quip, he tapped all the vile, ancient set stereotypes about blacks, crime, drugs, immorality, and rotten families that supposedly explain why blacks are stuck in crumbling ghettoes and wallow in poverty. O’Reilly repeatedly came back to variations on this theme time and again in the years to come. On black athletes, “Look, you know as well as I do most of these kids come out and they can’t speak English.” On black high achievers, “Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they’re not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.”

On mocking black leaders, ‘Oh, I can’t get a job. Whitey won’t let me,’ or ‘I can’t get educated. The teachers are bad, so I’m going to go out and get high and sell drugs. That’s the only way we can make money here.’ You know what I mean? And it’s a vicious cycle” On Trump’s pledge to create more jobs for blacks, “Many of them are illeducated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it — but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?” On black girls and pregnancy, “Young girls are getting pregnant in the African-American community.” “Now it’s about 70 percent out of wedlock. She knows and doesn’t seem to care.” On black children, “Now, the race hustlers who apparently have not walked the streets of poor neighborhoods lately, immediately accused me of racism. And that is why the acute problem of cultural deprivation among under-classed children of all colors is never addressed.” On black crime, “There is a violent subculture in the African-American community that should be exposed and confronted.” On Freddy Grey’s slaying, “Freddie Gray’s lifestyle for many years, led him to this terrible thing which is not only impacted him and his family, but all the police officers and that lifestyle should be condemned.” On the black condition, “Don’t abandon your children,” “Don’t get pregnant at 14. Don’t allow your neighborhoods to deteriorate into freefire zones. That’s what the AfricanAmerican community should have on their T-shirts.”

On Africa, “I’ve been to Africa three times. All right? You can’t bring Western reasoning into the culture. The same way you can’t bring it into fundamental Islam.” O’Reilly made more, many more, observations and statements that passed as the fount of learning and wisdom about blacks. And with each racist putdown, O’Reilly’s ratings soared to the sky, major corporations flocked to the show in droves and plopped tens of millions into advertising, and policy makers of all stripes begged to be on his show. O’Reilly was Fox’s cash cow. The more O’Reilly insulted blacks, the more he was hailed as the one guy on the airwaves who was not afraid to defy the so-called ‘race hustlers” and apologists, i.e. civil rights leaders and liberal Democrats, and tell it like it supposedly is about blacks. As long as that was the case, O’Reilly was virtually sanctified and was TV’s equivalent of the “made man” who was untouchable. All the while, Fox boss, Rupert Murdoch, Fox management, and legions of women in and about Fox knew that O’Reilly was a sexist scumbag and sexual predator who cost the network millions in hush money to cover for his groping, predatory lust. But, it was not just the money shelled

out, corporations fleeing the scene, and the passage of time that would undue this sexual vulture. It was also the instant fury and force of women’s groups that rattled the Fox empire. This was not something that could be winked and nodded at, and laughed away. Blatant sexism and its manifestation in sexual philandering simply will not be tolerated. It will always bring an instant white hot reaction, as it should. But routine racist slurs before millions of viewers also should be instant cause for an O’Reilly to be jerked from the air. This wasn’t the case, and it reinforces the age-old line that a rich, white guy, can say whatever he wants about blacks in public space and at worst will get a hand slap reprimand, make a phony apology, and then skip away to racially slur another day. O’Reilly’s getting the boot for being a sexual reprobate isn’t likely to change that. . Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of the new eBook How the Democrats Can Win in The Trump Era (Amazon Kindle). He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly cohost of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

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ATHENA International Award Recipient Announced


he Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce honored the finalists and winner for the 20th annual ATHENA Leadership Award Luncheon and Conference.

This year’s recipient is Jean Galloway, who accepted the award from Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Blessman and Women’s Leadership Foundation, and University of Colorado Denver Chancellor Dr. Dorothy Horrell who received the award last year. The other two finalists for the ATHENA Leadership Award were Nita Mosby Tyler, Ph.D., chief catalyst and founder, The Equity Project, LLC, and Shari Shink, founder and President Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman or man who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 7,000 exemplary leaders in more than 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award. Jean Galloway formed Galloway Group (now Prosono) in January 2000, focused on forging mutually beneficial partnerships between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Galloway’s previous work, as a public relations practitioner and her many years securing sponsorships and implementing award-winning community programs at 9News, give her an advantage in positioning Prosono’s clients in the areas of strategic philanthropy and cause marketing. Jean was integral in the formation of important community programs, including

9Health Fair, 9WHO CARE, 9CARES, and Buddy Check 9. Other nominees this year include: Betsy Wiersma, founder and president, Wiersma Experience Marketing/CampExperience; Carrie Scott, chief operating officer, Solace Home Healthcare; Gayle Crawford, physician and owner, Westside Women’s Care; Jessica Stutz, special markets lending director, Colorado Lending Source; Kathy Nesbitt, vice president, Employee and Information Services, University of Colorado; Laurel Walk, lending director, Colorado Lending Source, Sandi Mays, executive vice president and

chief information officer, Zayo Group, and Tammy Rivera Berberick, Chief Executive Officer, Crestcom Internation, Inc. The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce has been awarding the ATHENA to one outstanding woman for the past 20 years. Jodi Rolland, Colorado State and Denver market president, Bank of America and Sarah Herron, “Bachelor” contestant and founder and CEO of SheLift spoke at the luncheon. The corresponding conference focused on leveraging personal and professional influence and kicked-off with a panel of influential women leaders in Denver..

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017



Staying Active As You Age There is no

By Kim Farmer

longer any question that exercise is good for both mental and physical health. For some unknown reason, the numerous benefits of exercise are often neglected in older adults. Exercise is important for people of all ages and more so for older adults- its benefits are far more durable than any prescription medication or diet. There is ample evidence indicating that any type of exercise that older adults do is better for preventive health than pharmaceuticals. However, it is important to be thoughtful when recommending exercises for older adults. Some are frail, some have balance problems and many others have some type of comorbidity like high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, stroke or heart disease. Hence recommending intense physical activity is not realistic or

practical. However, without a doubt, for the majority of older adults, almost any exercise is better than no exercise.

What type of exercise? To gain the benefits from exercise, you do not have to join an expensive gym or run a marathon each weekend. Since many older adults have lower exercise endurance and decreased strength, the best exercise to start with is walking. Walking when done on a regular basis has many benefits, including weight loss, lowering of blood sugars and blood pressure and improved mental status. Plus, walking is free, allows you to enjoy nature and is safe. However, to gain benefits from walking, you need to do the exercise regularly or at least 4-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes every day. You should take advantage and exercise outdoors as it will give you the much needed sunshine that is necessary for bone growth.


Stretching is a very important benefit to everyone, but especially older adults. Stretching can be done prior to any formal exercise or it can be done as an exercise itself. Stretching increases flexibility of the joints, reduces muscle tightness, and lessens the risk of injury. There are many types of stretching activities that one can perform either indoors or outdoors. Two


We are conducting a clinical research study where we are testing a new investigational drug with and without added hormones vs. a placebo (an inactive substance) against symptoms caused by uterine fibroids. The primary purpose of the study is to examine the bleeding intensity in women using this new study drug over 24 weeks. The study is conducted at Downtown Women’s Health Care, 3773 Cherry Creek North Drive, Suite 685 Denver, CO 80209 and the responsible investigator is Dr. Arthur S. Waldbaum.

We are looking for women who are: • 18-50 years old • Generally healthy • Not pregnant or breast feeding • With Uterine Fibroids • With heavy menstrual bleeding • Would accept assignment to either study drug or placebo by chance Participants will receive: • Study related exams at no cost • Investigational study medication or placebo at no cost • Compensation for time and travel. If you fulfill the above criteria and you are interested to find out more about the study, please call: DOWNTOWN WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE

CALL 303.293.3733

great ways to incorporate regular stretch activities are to take yoga or tai chi classes. Both these exercise can stretch groups of muscles and also have mental benefits.

Movement Everyday

When it comes to exercise for older adults, it does not have to be a formal regimental program. It can be anything that involves some physical activity. This may include gardening, swimming, riding a stationary bicycle, walking the dog, spending time at the mall, or taking the stairs instead of the elevators. Do not use your car just to buy groceries from the corner store, but walk instead. To enjoy exercise even more, ask a friend to come with you so that both of you stay motivated. Once you have developed adequate stamina and endurance you can then perform any type of aerobic exercise that you want. This can include cycling or swimming. Strength exercises that older adults can do include use of exercise machines or callisthenic exercises like sit ups (using the floor or a chair), leg raises, squats and more. For older adults the goal is not to get you ready for the next Olympics, but to derive the health benefits. So if you feel tired, take a break. When should you start to exercise? It is never too late to start exercise and any exercise is better than no exercise. If you have never exercised, start slowly with walking. It is not necessary to join a gym since most gyms charge high fees and/or contracts. There are plenty of exercises that an older adult can do at home for free. If you do not know where to start, there are many local community programs for older adults like the YMCA where exercise programs are held regularly.

The Benefits

In order to derive the benefits of exercise, older adults should exercise regularly. The benefits of exercise are sustained and can significantly improve your health. Overall, older adults who

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


exercise tend to have fewer health problems and doctor visits or hospital visits. More importantly, older adults who exercise also tend to have a marked reduction in dementia. One of the biggest benefits of exercise in older adults is the improvement in mood. Countless studies show that older adults who exercise regularly have better concentration and long lasting memory. More important, exercise has been associated with marked reduction in stress and anxiety in addition to lower cholesterol levels and decreased risk for hypertension. It is best if you see your healthcare provider before you start exercise. In some cases, you may have to use an ambulatory device like a cane or a walker to maintain stability. Finally remember, even though exercise does have many health benefits, you also need to eat a healthy diet, discontinue smoking and limit the intake of alcohol. Staying active will help you remain independent, mobile, and have a much better quality of life. So do not wait start walking today!. Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit or email

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Schieffer’s Call For Even Better Journalism Rings True By Gene Policinski

Veteran CBS News journalist Bob

Schieffer closed out an extraordinary round of discussions Wednesday morning at the Newseum with a call for even better journalism – and a reminder of its place and importance to our democracy. The morning program, “The President and the Press: The First Amendment in the First 100 Days,” included White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, and journalists from news outlets such as Breitbart News, CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post and The New York Times. The goal of the symposium, Newseum CEO Jeff Herbst said in his opening remarks, was to look for areas of common agreement on how best to report on the Trump presidency. Schieffer took up that challenge as he ended the program.

Noting that the 2016 presidential campaign was the 14th that he covered as a journalist, Schieffer observed that – unlike other campaigns where the candidates’ slogans were memorable catchphrases – this campaign’s hallmark slogan will be “Have you ever...?” Schieffer wryly commented that every campaign he has seen has an “all the fault of the media” phase. He recommended not overreacting to even this year’s “really nasty” attacks on the press, saying “This is all part of the job. It is something we all know about and expect...that part is not to be taken seriously.” Schieffer said much of the criticism leveled at journalists during the campaign was contradictory. Some accused the press of “electing Trump

because we gave him too much exposure.” Other critics said the press “missed the story because we did not take him seriously.”And yet others said the news media “did not really make much difference because Trump used social media to go around us.” Not all of those could be true, he said. Serious lessons that can be taken from the election: “Too much information” opened the door for a flood of fake news. New media outlets and social media need to “take some responsibility for what the information is they are distributing.” “Too many so-called surrogates and strategists made their way onto television and were given far more credibility than they deserved” in a misguided effort to show balance, Schieffer said. “It didn’t take long to listen to them to understand they had no understanding, and really no contact with either campaign.” Schieffer also said the press paid too much attention to polling and the drama around what he called meaningless one-point leads by candidates. Journalists should “get back to knocking on doors and asking people how they feel,” he said. In his eloquent defense of a free press, Schieffer said “politicians are there to run the campaigns. Government officials are there to run

the government. They are there to deliver a message. Our job is simply to check out the message, determine if it’s true, and if so, what will be its impact on the governed.” Those who would undermine the function of a free press undermine the foundations of this country, Schieffer said. “We are not the opposition party, as some would have you believe...nor is it our place to sit down and shut up and let the world pass by, as some would have us do.” Inevitably, Schieffer’s even-handed call on Wednesday for better reporting roused spiteful comments from some of those tuning into the event through social media. One Twitter user wrote that “TRUTH is the enemy of...hacks like Bob Schieffer. We are making corporate propagandists like him extinct. He is bitter and fearful.” Far from going extinct, Schieffer’s defense of good journalism rings true — now and for future generations of journalists. It’s more likely that such critics — “bitter and fearful” by their very verbal venom — are the ones who will eventually fade from sight. . Editor’s note: Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @genefac.



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


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What is the Future of the Blair Caldwell Library?

Editor’s note: The following was reprinted by permission from the Denver Weekly News


ach year, more than 126,000 people visit the Blair-Caldwell African- American Research Caldwell Library (AARL). And over the past 14 years, the BCAARL building has built an outstanding reputation as the Number one ‘go-to’ and ‘must-see’ site for out-of-area visitors to the Mile High City seeking to learn by the rich African- American history of the West. The facility also is the most sought after for community lectures, art exhibitions and community events ranging from the grassroots to high-society. Former Mayor Wellington E. Webb hosted a call-to-action town hall meeting last month to explain why funding for Denver Public Library must be considered in the City of Denver’s 2017 General Obligation Bond funds

for expansion and renovations. And more specifically, Webb stated why the AARL must be a high priority on the list of libraries to be renovated. After a question and answer discussion on what changes would possibly take place during an AARL renovation, a City of Denver representative assured all in attendance that the second and third-floor archives and exhibits would remain. The city official also said the first floor would undergo design changes to make it more efficient. The preservation of the AARL is critical because it has approximately $2.9 million in deferred maintenance.

Projects could include new carpet, lighting, speakers; upgrade interior finishes, and more. What can the community do to preserve the AARL for future generations? Following is a letter that concerned citizens can send to city officials and stakeholders to express support regarding the future of the BlairCaldwell African- American Research Caldwell Library: Mayor Michael B. Hancock Denver city council President, Albus Brooks General Obligation Bond Stakeholder Committee City and County of Denver 1437 N Bannock St. Rm 350 Denver, CO 80202

Dear Mayor Hancock and Stakeholder Committee, The friends of the Blair- Caldwell African American Research Library strongly support the Denver Public Library’s project requests for the 2017 General Obligation Bond. Without this critical funding, the library’s ability to connect the people of Denver with the information, ideas and experiences to enrich their lives and strengthen our community will be significantly hampered. The Denver Public Library (DPL) is seeking GO Bond funding to complete

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


crucial infrastructure improvements and renovations. These improvements are necessary to maintain and improve critical services for Denver’s youth, adult and senior population, as well as to increase services for at-risk citizens. Serving as a community anchor, DPL provides tools for the people of Denver to purse their interest and become engaged and informed community members, bringing extended value to the Denver community. While the 2007 Better Denver Bond allowed the library to renovate 10 locations and build three new facilities, there is still much work to be accomplished. Bond funding is necessary to complete deferred maintenance at 10 branch libraries, including the repair and upkeep of treasured architectural destinations such as the Smiley and Byres Brand Library’s, both which celebrate 100 years in 2018. In addition to deferred maintenance, bond funding will help expand public areas at several building that are currently at capacity. Renovating these facilities will mean that even more citizens can access information and material, attend library programs and use these facilities for community engagement. Without these upgrades and renovations, DPL’s ability to provide access to technology, collections, programs and services that are vital to connect, healthy neighborhoods will be seriously impaired. The Blair- Caldwell African American Research Library is an integral part of the Five Points Neighborhood in Central Denver. In fact, it is crucial resource of much larger significance as one of only two African – American research libraries in the United States. GO bond funding will preserve and protect this Five Points community center, transforming conference and community rooms into flexible, muti-function space for learning, making and collaborating and improve access to archives and historic documents for researchers while maintain secure collections. Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen

Mile High... African Cuisine Theodora and Sylvester with children Nana, Maame and Cheneba.


he restaurant industry is volatile, and one of the most difficult avenues for anyone to start and maintain. At the African Grill, located in Far Northeast Denver in the Montbello-Green Valley Ranch community, they have not only mastered the fine art of cuisine, but they have managed to survive the sharp learning curve of the restaurant business under unordinary circumstances. Restaurant owners (husband and wife) Theodora Adwoa and Sylvester Ose immigrated to the United States in 2000 with less than a $100 to their name. While this circumstance would have frightened and overwhelmed most couples they say they “felt confident about their future endeavors,” and their “strong belief in God gave them hope for future success.” The couple’s intuitions turned out to be correct as they are now the proud owners of one of the most vibrant African restaurants in the Denver area. They operate a welcoming restaurant that is both family friendly and family run with the help of their children, Nana (16), Maame (12) and youngest Cheneba (9). Theodora and Sylvester prepare healthy and delicious meals, as all of their meals are dairy-free and can be made without meat to create vegetarian friendly options. Their menu includes a diverse array of options from all areas of Africa; emphasizing that “it is not just a Ghanaian restaurant or West African restaurant. We have food from all areas of Africa. It is the Africa Grill.” Items on the menu range from jollof rice, pounded yams, egusi to peanut butter soup and ugaly.

By Alan Tellis

After pulling themselves out of strapping debt, Theodora and Sylvester were able to open a new restaurant without taking on any additional loans. With the benefit of having learned more sustainable business practices, Theodora and Sylvester were able to finance and fully operate their restaurant with the help of their family; and inspired by their faith in God. Their success, however, did not come with some drawbacks. Although Theodora and Sylvester say, Denver has been nothing but a blessing to them, they do have a fondness for their

They also have live entertainment on Saturday nights, which provides an enjoyable atmosphere for guests of all ages. Located just about 10 minutes from the airport, enables them to get a wide array of both local patrons and commuters interested in diving into some delicious African cuisine. Although it may be hard to tell from their current situation, the African Grill had a tumultuous beginning that resulted in the closing of the first restaurant which was located in Aurora. After realizing that the restaurant was not working Theodora

and Sylvester did not simply close up shop, they decided to press forward by moving into a food truck to continue operations until they could fully reopen fully. “We realized we were on to something good and could not just give up on the idea,” Sylvester says.

homeland of Ghana that cannot easily be remedied. Due to the large amount of work and the time commitment of running a successful restaurant, they are not able to take the time off to visit home as they

would like to. Theodora and Sylvester are committed to the success of the restaurant and are willing to sacrifice some of their wants in order to pursue their passion. Despite providing quality food and great service, the African Grill is sometimes subjected to fighting off misnomers about African food that persuade people to not partake.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Falsehoods like African food is extremely spicy, or that it might make you sick are stereotypes that they constantly work to breakdown. “Our food is not overly spicy, but we can make it spicy if that is how you like it,” Theodora says. The cou-

ple also has had the opportunity to educate American Black people on the roots of their diets. “It is not as if we are introducing something new, we are re-introducing you to information you forgot,” Sylvester says. Many of the foods they serve are surprisingly similar to traditional African American –especially for the older generations of African-Americans. Theodora and Sylvester often see Black people surprised at how comfortable and familiar much of the food may feel to them as they come expecting something much more exotic and foreign. Being next to the airport also attracts many international patrons who are excited to try unfamiliar dishes. The restaurant is coming of age at the perfect time as there is a major residential boom in the city and they hope to use this opportunity to expand in the future. Theodora and Sylvester are enthused by their current support and take their commitment to their patrons extremely seriously. They read every review and hope to continue to satisfy all current and future customers. So if you are hungry for African cuisine, look no further. The African Grill is available to satisfy your taste buds.. Editor’s note: The African Grill is located at 18601 Green Valley Ranch Blvd, in Denver. They are open Monday-Saturday from 11 to 10 p.m. Entries range from $14 to $20 and catering services are available. For more information, call 720-365-2493, email, or visit

Public Safety Director Speaks Out On Michael Marshall Death

By Stephanie Y. O’Malley, executive director of Public Safety

The Denver

Sheriff Department is committed to ensuring the safety and security of Denver’s jails, and when someone in their care dies tragically, the entire department grieves with the community and feels the weight of that loss. When an in-custody death occurs, a full review of the incident takes place. I write to you today to share that after reviewing the facts and circumstances of the in-custody death of Mr. Michael Marshall it has been determined that two deputies and a watch commander will be disciplined for violating department policies and procedures.

Multiple agencies participated in a thorough and impartial review of the incident, including an independent investigation by the Denver District Attorney’s Office, a Denver Sheriff Department Internal Affairs Bureau review, a review by the Conduct Review Office of the Denver Sheriff Department, an independent review by the Office of the Independent Monitor, and an independent review by the Executive Director of Safety’s Office. Below is a summary of the incident and the related reviews and findings. On Nov. 7, 2015, Mr. Marshall was booked in to the Downtown Detention Center and assigned to a special management housing unit. On Nov. 9, 2015, according to medical personnel, Mr. Marshall was behaving in a manic and erratic manner. On Nov. 11, 2015, Mr. Marshall continued to demonstrate erratic behavior. This behavior continued while he was permitted out of his cell for free time and aggressively approached another inmate. Deputy Arellano and Deputy Hernandez intervened, and Mr. Marshall was escorted to a nearby sally port area away from the other inmates. While Mr. Marshall was in the sally port, Deputy Arellano telephoned Nurse Allison to inform her of Mr. Marshall’s erratic behavior




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and to request that Mr. Marshall be evaluated. Deputy Arellano also requested a change in Mr. Marshall’s classification level that would have allowed Mr. Marshall to be moved to a housing assignment with a camera cell, so that deputies could better monitor his behavior. Nurse Allison then contacted the Psych Emergency Department to obtain authorization for the reclassification and to obtain a prescription for emergency medication for Mr. Marshall. While the nurse called to obtain authorization for the change, Deputy Garegnani entered the sally port area where Mr. Marshall was sitting on a bench and stood in front of the door. Deputy Hernandez was also in the sally port area to Mr. Marshall’s right, and Deputy Civic and Deputy Phuvapaisalkij were in the hallway outside of the open sally port door. Less than one minute after Deputy Garegnani entered the sally port area, Mr. Marshall got up from the bench and attempted to walk past the deputy and through the sally port door into the secure corridor. Deputy Garegnani stopped Mr. Marshall and directed him to sit back on the bench. Mr. Marshall continued his attempt to exit the sally port area and Deputy Garegnani placed his hand on Mr. Marshall’s chest and pushed him away to create distance and to stop Mr. Marshall from moving forward into the secure corridor. After Deputy Garegnani pushed Mr. Marshall away, Mr. Marshall’s back was against the wall and he began to slide sideways along the wall down to the ground. Deputy Garegnani grabbed Mr. Marshall’s upper arm to prevent him from falling to the ground and to place him back on the bench. As this was happening, Deputy Civic and Deputy Phuvapaisalkij entered the sally port from the hallway and Deputy Hernandez also moved to assist Deputy Garegnani. The deputies attempted to place Mr. Marshall back on the bench; however, his body leaned forward and he and the deputies went to the ground, where

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


the deputies struggled to gain control of Mr. Marshall. After multiple verbal commands and attempts to gain control were unsuccessful, Deputy Garegnani called for officer assistance. Deputies made additional attempts to gain control of Mr. Marshall by applying pressure and securing his appendages; however, Mr. Marshall continued to struggle with the deputies. Mr. Marshall was eventually handcuffed and leg iron restraints were applied to his ankles. Once the deputies gained sufficient control of Mr. Marshall they attempted to help him to his feet but he became limp and unresponsive. The deputies laid Mr. Marshall back down and turned him on his side, and Deputy Garegnani tried to revive Mr. Marshall by performing a sternum rub. When Mr. Marshall remained unresponsive, and deputies noticed he had vomited, immediate nurse assistance was requested for a medical emergency. As the nurses started to arrive, Mr. Marshall came to and began to struggle again. Deputies were still restraining Mr. Marshall by his appendages. When the nurses began to assess Mr. Marshall, they observed that he had vomited but had airflow and was breathing. Nurse Allison listened to Mr. Marshall’s lungs and detected bronchial spasms. She instructed the deputies to hold Mr. Marshall by his extremities and ensure that there was no pressure on his shoulders or back. Nurse Allison also told the deputies that Mr. Marshall needed to be placed in a seated position in order for her to assess his lungs better. While deputies were waiting for the restraint chair, the deputies continued to restrain Mr. Marshall. They also placed a spit hood over his head to prevent him from biting or expelling bodily fluid, including vomit, onto the deputies. When the restraint chair arrived, the deputies secured Mr. Marshall into the chair and moved it from the sally port into the corridor. During this time, Mr. Marshall’s head lolled and he slumped to the side. Deputy Civic performed a sternum rub, but Mr. Marshall was once more unresponsive. The nurses began to assess Mr. Marshall and determined that he was not breathing. The deputies removed the restraint straps and lifted Mr. Marshall to the ground. 911 was called and lifesaving measures began. A paramedic arrived and determined that Mr. Marshall had no electrical activity in his heart. An attempt was made to place an intubation tube in Mr. Marshall’s throat but the paramedic was unable to intubate Mr. Marshall due to excess vomit in his airway. The paramedics also gave Mr. Marshall a dose of Epinephrine. After lifesaving measures were attempted, including approximately

20 minutes of CPR, paramedics detected a pulse and Mr. Marshall was transported to Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC). Mr. Marshall was in a comatose state at DHMC for nine days before he passed away on Nov. 20, 2015. An autopsy was performed on Nov. 21, 2015 and the autopsy report was released on Jan. 8, 2016. The report indicated that Mr. Marshall died from positional asphyxia to include aspiration pneumonia with contributing factors of chronic heart disease and chronic lung disease. Following the incident, the Denver District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation to determine if the deputies’ actions warranted criminal charges. On Jan. 21, 2016, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey issued his decision letter, stating that no criminal charges would be filed against the deputies. Mr. Morrissey concluded that the physical force the deputies used was not intended to harm Mr. Marshall but was applied for the lawful purpose of maintaining order and providing safety and security in the jail. After the District Attorney’s Office issued its letter, the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) of the Denver Sheriff Department initiated a separate, internal investigation on January 26, 2016. On Feb. 25, 2016, IAB sent its investigation to the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM). On March 4, 2016, the OIM requested that IAB conduct further investigation and interviews, which included involvement from Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) staff. IAB completed the additional investigation requested by the OIM on April 4, 2016, except for the portions that involved DHMC staff. Responses to the additional questions that were sent to DHMC staff were sent to IAB on July 27, 2016. On August 4, 2016, IAB sent its investigation to the Conduct Review Office (CRO) of the Denver Sheriff Department for its review of potential rule and regulation violations. The CRO reviewed the entire case file and completed its analysis on Nov. 15, 2016. The CRO findings were presented to Sheriff Firman on Jan. 23, 2017. Seven subject officers received contemplation of discipline letters on March 7, 2017 that set out the policies that may or may not have been violated by their individual actions. Pre-disciplinary meetings for each subject deputy where held from March 21, 2017 – April 5, 2017 to afford the deputies an opportunity to respond to the contemplation of discipline letters. After considering the information presented at the contemplation of dis-

cipline meetings, the IAB investigation, and the CRO findings, Sheriff Firman and the OIM advanced recommendations to the Executive Director of Safety’s Office for its consideration. On April 17, 2017, the Executive Director of Safety’s Office completed its review of the entire case file and determined that disciplinary action against three employees was warranted. As a result, two deputies and the watch commander were each issued suspensions ranging from 10 to 16 days. The Denver Sheriff Department recognizes the need to continually assess how it approaches mental health considerations in its jails. For over a year now, the department has provided Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and Mental Health First Aid training to employees. Last year, the department also completed its new use of force policy, which emphasizes the need for deputies to de-escalate situations as an alternative to force whenever possible. The Sheriff Department also has a Transition Unit at the County Jail that provides intense wraparound services to inmates with mental health needs. Importantly, the department is working with other stakeholders to address mental health concerns from a broader perspective. The Justice Coordinating Committee (JCC) is working with the department to divert individuals with mental health issues from jail and into support services when appropriate. The JCC is comprised of city and state justice and corrections leadership who have a role in the criminal justice system. Denver’s Office of Behavioral Health Strategies is also working with the sheriff department to provide mental health clinical support in the Downtown Detention Center. These mental health responders will work with Denver Health psychology staff within the facility to provide proactive support to inmates who are struggling with mental health concerns. They will also support deputies in responding to incidents inside Denver’s jails..

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Impeaching Trump is Not an Option – Yet By Earl Ofari Hutchinson


ew subjects have been more hotly debated, scrutinized, and endlessly rehashed, then whether Number 45 Trump can or will be impeached. A deluge of petitions has been circulated online and tens of thousands of signatures have been gathered for his removal. The issue of a Trump impeachment roared back on the public and media plate at a recent anti-Trump tax disclosure rally in Washington D.C. where speaker after speaker called for his head by way of impeachment. The article in the Constitution, the so-called “impeachment clause”, on the surface seems clear enough. A president can be impeached for com-

mitting treason, bribery, or the vague, hazy and thoroughly ambiguous, “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House would initiate the action and then the Senate would have to convict him. That’s never happened. At this point, there’s little chance that can happen with Trump either. The biggest knock against him is that he has grotesquely violated the Foreign Emolument Clause by refusing to fully divest himself of his business holdings. This supposedly puts him squarely in conflict of interest and, even more damaging, leaves him wide open to the charge that he is selling political favors to enrich his businesses. Trump took that allegation off the table when he supposedly plopped his business interests in a hands-off trust administered by family members and a board. Trump as usual was being disingenuous. He can still draw income from the trust with the approval of the board. And what are the odds of the board, in this case, his family saying no to him? The problem, though in trying to nail Trump for mixing and mingling his business affairs with his

government office is proving that he fattened his account by selling favors. There must be proof that Trump got a gift, donation, bribe from, or turned a business deal with a foreign government and, in return, that government got a clearly defined, tangible benefit from the deal with Trump. There’s the huge cry that foreign leaders and governments are spending cash to stay at Trump hotels or rent space in his various other real estate holdings. But that doesn’t mean that Trump has promised them favors, let alone that they have received any political favors from their presence there and the money they spent there. It would take iron-clad evidence that Government X spent say $100,000 on a hotel suite at a Trump hotel or golf resort and then Trump facilitated an exclusive contract from say the Department of Energy to purchase oil, or gas supply equipment from Government X. There would have to be a paper trail to tie Trump to such a deal. Trump’s team is well-versed on the rules about what public officials can do when it comes to business and government here. They know that eyes are carefully watching him to catch him in any dirty dealing. So, him doing something that crudely illegal is almost unimaginable. Another possible charge bandied about is that with the lawsuits he’s been hit with, his tax disclosure dodges, and accusations of borderline shady deals, that a case can be made that he perjured himself in his disclosures or, more likely, nondisclosure of his financial dealings. Trump avoided that potential trap in one big lawsuit, the Trump University scam. He settled before the case moved to trial. Thus, he avoided subjecting himself to having to answer questions in lengthy and potentially damaging depositions. Trump has a phalanx of top gun attorneys around him who know all the ins and outs of depositions and interrogatories and carefully advise him on what is legally permissible to say and what to keep quiet on. The charge that has drawn the most scrutiny and poses a potential impeachment charge is Trump’s Russia connection. One focus of this is whether Trump colluded with the Russians in their open meddling in the U.S. presidential election to tip the vote to him in three key states. Another is whether his entangled business dealings with the Russians

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


rise to the level of blatant favoritism. Something of course, could turn up in a deep probe congressional investigation of his supposed tie with the Russians. The two problems with this are that the likelihood of a GOP congressional committee taking on such a probe is slim to none. The election tampering angle is near impossible to prove. It would take smoking gun proof that Trump directed Putin and his cronies to cook the election books for him. So, for now we’re back to square one with lots of talk, speculation and hope that #45 can be tripped up enough to bring a strong case for his removal. But to make that case it’s going to take solid evidence of wrongdoing that meets the high Constitutional bar to oust a president. That’s never happened in the nation’s history. But, there’s four years for something to happen to reach that bar with Trump. . Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of the eBook How the Democrats Can Win in The Trump Era (Amazon Kindle). He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

Denver Council Hires New Executive Director to Support the City’s Legislative Branch

Denver Council President Albus Brooks, announced that the Council has hired Leon Mason as its next executive director. President Brooks noted that the Council conducted a nationwide search and Mason quickly rose to the top due to his municipal experience and accomplishments. Mason currently serves as the director of building, housing & planning for Lorain, Ohio. He has a wealth of experience enforcing city housing and zoning codes and in federal programs impacting cities. In addition, he served on Ohio Congressman – now U.S. Senator – Sherrod Brown’s staff. Mason has a degree in international relations from Cleveland State University. He began his new position in Denver on April 10. The City Council executive director provides support to the 13-member Denver City Council to achieve their policy goals. Mason will direct a staff


of six legislative services staff that provide research, administrative, communications and technical support for council and committee meetings and other council-wide projects and working groups. The director also assists councilmembers in office budgeting and personnel functions for their personal staff – council aides who provide critical constituent services and staff district projects.

Local Muslim Aids Activists Receives Hero Award

The Center for Health and Hope recognized Imani Latif, executive direc-

tor of the non-profit, It Takes A Village, Aurora, Colorado, for her distinguished career on the forefront of HIV and AIDS. Latif’s professional AIDS work began in New York City during the height of the AIDS crisis. When she came to Colorado, she was employed with the Colorado AIDS Project for a number of years. In 2002, she founded It Takes A Village to address the lack of health and wellness services primarily for African Americans. It Takes A Village provides vital program-driven outreach services with a particular emphasis on those living with HIV and AIDS. As a Muslim woman, she has reached out to all faith communities to battle a disease that knows no religious boundaries. Latif oversees Program offerings which include HIV and STD Testing, homelessness prevention, substance abuse treatment, and transgendered community support. Latif received the Center’s Hero of the Year Award at its 10th Annual Spring Is a Time for H.O.P.E. Brunch, benefitting Kenyan AIDS orphan at the Fritz Knoebel Ballroom on the University of Denver campus on April 29. .

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


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SFYC Life Skills/Basketball Camp Enters 10 Years On The Court and Off


By Luciana

nown as a long-time civil rights activist and a fighter of human rights, you can also find a soft spot in the heart of Alvertis Simmons when it comes to Denver’s youth. Under the

leadership and direction of Simmons, The Simmons Foundation for Youth and Change will presents its 10th annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp on June 12 to 23. “The camp is the signature event that start the summer months off for many of Denver’s youth with a positive environment,” says Simmons who is the founder and president of the organization. “I saw a need for our youth to participate in a camp that would provide self-esteem through the love of basketball,” Simmons says as the main reason for the starting the camp.

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In 2015, the camp started with the goal to provide life skills and basketball techniques for youth ages 7 to 18. The youth learn respect, discipline and self-esteem as well as basketball methods and practices. In addition to the instructive portion of the program, participants are also rewarded. All campers receive a free tee-shirt and at the end of the camp, they also receive a variety of tickets to recreational and amusement events such as Elitch’s, Lakeside, Rockies games and movie tickers. Another highlight of the camp is giving $100 to the winner of the annual Free Throw Shooting Contest. The life skills component brings out a diverse pool of speakers that have included former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, businessman Grant Lebahn from Hensel Phelps Construction, members of Denver’s Sheriff and Police Departments, professor Richard Jackson from Metro State College, motivational speaker Joy Walker, and many other activists and politicians. The basketball component is conducted by nine-time state high school champion Coach Rudy Carey of East High School. Coach Rudy Carey

To register by Saturday, June 10, visit

10 th Annual Life Skills/Basketball Camp East High School - 1545 Detroit St. June 12-23, 2017 - From 10 AM to 3 PM

The Basketball Camp will be directed by Hall of Fame 2014 State Champion Coach Rudy Carey of East High School. Life Skills Workshop will be conducted by Civil Rights Activist Alvertis Simmons.

Free lunch served daily! $100 Free Throw Shooting Contest!

This is a FREE community event for youth (co-ed) ages 7 to 18. For more information, call:

303-521-7211 or 303-249-2196

Platinum Sponsors: Jackson National Life Insurance, GRID (Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver), Walmart Gold Sponsors: Webb Group International, Nike, Hensel Phelps Silver Sponsors: UFCW Local 7, Dave Logan Bronze: Colorado Convention Center, David Cole & Associates, King Soopers, Safeway, Coca Cola, Denver Urban Spectrum

Supporting Sponsors: Geta Asfaw/McDonalds, Black Denver Sheriffs, Black Police Officers, Fraternal Order of Police, Moses Brewer, Tish Maes, Maria Garcia Berry, Colorado Rockies, Kroenke Sports (Denver Nuggets), National Western Stockshow, East High School, North Aurora Chiropractic, Sam’s Club, VIP Productions, Maaco/East Colfax, Cheba Hut, All In 1 Hosting, Billy Scott, Prof. Richard Jackson (Metro State College), A Private Guide, Innercity Health Center, Coach Rudy Carey, Joy Walker/Sista Love Inc., Fundamental Fund, Inc., Shaka Franklin Foundation (Les and Marianne Franklin), and Simmons & Associates Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


The foundation takes pride in hosting the free 10 day camp which is supported only by donations and sponsors. With the goal to help as many youth as possible, regardless of sexual orientation or race, participants have grown from 25 in 2015 to more than 100 per day at the camp which is held at East High School. Currently, more boys register than girls, as well as, more African Americans, but the camp is open to any youth who has a desire to become a better student, be a positive influence in his or her community, and to learn more about basketball. . Editor’s note: For more information or to become a sponsor, visit or call 303-521-7211.


Ground Rules

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

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

going to get with the Fast and Furious films and this one doesn’t disappoint. From Cuba, a city well known for its car culture, there are stops in New York, Russia and Berlin. Gray, whose versatile filmography includes the biopic Straight Outta Compton, adds a little zest to this latest offering with the comedy and action, but still follows that old familiar deep-seated theme of family, which has been entrenched in every film. The filmmaker, who directed Vin Diesel in A Man Apart, Dwayne Johnson in Be Cool, Jason Statham and Charlize

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell lll1/2 By Khaleel Herbert

Scarlett Johansson is the first

Fate of the Furious


Fate of the Furious

lll By Samantha Ofole-Prince

here are plenty of reasons to love this eight installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. From the camaraderie of the cast, the banters, the comic delivery, the car carnage to Charlize Theron’s intense portrayal of ultimate bandito, The Fate of the Furious is certainly the best to date. Directed by F. Gary Gray, who combines the humor of his directional debut Friday, with the action of The Italian Job, the film kicks off in Cuba where Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are enjoying marital life. After winning a drag race to save his cousin’s car, Dom is approached by Cipher (Theron) who blackmails him into turning against his chums. The world’s most notorious cyber-terrorist has plans for world domination (don’t they always) and she plans to use Dom to achieve this goal by any means necessary. When Dom’s crew learns of his betrayal, their goal becomes to prevent global annihilation and save him from her evil clutches. From crazy car stunts to cool locales, you know exactly what you’re

Theron in The Italian Job, clearly has a connection with the cast and it shows. Franchise favorites Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Tyrese Gibson, who still serves as comic relief, return as well as previous cast members, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Dwayne Johnson, Elsa Pataky and Jason Statham, who made his notorious introduction in the Fast & Furious 6. New additions include British actress Dame Helen Mirren whose actions are key to resolving the plot and of course Theron. Some of the highlights of the film are the brilliant and highly amusing banter between arch enemies Deckard (Statham) and Hobbs (Johnson) who continuously rain insults at each other. There’s also a carefully choreographed and outrageous car race through the streets of Havana, an incredible car carnage in New York and an engaging jail break, but the mesmerizing cornrow-wearing, cold and calculating Theron as the ballsy badass super-villain is simply the icing on the cake. With a combustible combination of reggaeton and hip-hop, this turbocharged action movie is guilty pleasure the box office is certainly going to love.

cyborg human who kicks butt in the live-action version of Masamune Shirow’s anime Ghost in the Shell. Ghost in the Shell begins when a lifeless cyborg is rolled into the hospital room of Hanka Headquarters in Hong Kong. We see images of a brain attaching to the cyborg. The cyborg is dipped in paint and soon, Major (Johansson) is born. Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) explains that Major’s ghost, or personality, is the same. But her new body is a shell. Major is the first cyborg with a human brain. One year later, Major stands on a rooftop overseeing a futuristic metropolis with lights and holograms everywhere. With special communication programs, Major listens to her master, Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano). With her high-definition x-ray vision, Major sees an important meeting between a technology company and an African tribe. A geisha enters the room with tea, but goes rogue. Despite Aramaki’s commands to stay put, Major leaps off the building, disappears (like Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman) and bursts through the window. She kills the geisha, another cyborg. Major and her loyal partner, Batou (Pilou Asbæk) return to Section 9 of the Hanka Robotics Company. They see Dr. Dahlin (Anamaria Marinca) and ask who the geisha belongs to. Dr. Dahlin doesn’t know. Major immediately decides to do a deep dive into the geisha’s hard drive to search for information. Batou and Dahlin hook her up to the geisha through wires. When inside, Major sees a hooded figure and gets “hacked” by monsters that dogpile her. When Batou and Dahlin can-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


cel the dive, Major wakes up and experiences glitches. She sees an image of a house everywhere she goes. Since her memories are shot, she doesn’t know why the glitches keep occurring. Her quest for her memories and the mysterious hacker (Michael Pitt) begins. This film received a lot of backlash– choosing Johansson instead of an Asian woman for the lead –but Johansson is superb as Major. Johansson looked exactly like Major from the anime with the same hair and skin color. Major wants to understand where she came from and who she is (something all humans can relate to) and it’s powerful. Her lack of memories match Wolverine to a tee. Deep down, I wish Ghost in the Shell was rated R. The action scenes could have included dismemberment of limbs and blood. Maybe I’m still on cloud nine from recently watching the violence in The Godfather and Underworld sagas. Asbæk’s performance as Batou was good too. He’s a man who means business, but has a soft spot for Major and dogs. Ghost in the Shell is a joyride from start to finish. I wouldn’t mind seeing it in theaters again.


Saban’s Power Rangers llll By Khaleel Herbert

ower Rangers is an epic ride that brings Haim Saban and Shuki Levy’s classic franchise back to the silver screen. In the city of Angel Grove, California, Jason (Darce Montgomery), the prior football MVP, heads to detention while under house arrest for stealing another school’s mascot. He saves Billy (RJ Cyler), the nerdy kid, Continued on page 20


Continued from page 19 from a bully and they get close after Billy reprograms Jason’s house-arrest bracelet. Jason drives Billy to a mountain, where Billy does some mining for artifacts (his dad was a coalminer). Jason sees Kimberly (Naomi Scott) bathing in a river and they make small talk. Billy detonates part of the mountain. Jason and Kimberly run to see what happened. Two other teenagers (Ludi Lin, Becky G.) that happened to be in the area, check out the damage. When everyone arrives, they see five crystal stones stuck in the mountain. Each stone is a different color: red, black, blue, yellow and pink. With security sirens ringing, each teen grabs a stone and they depart together in a van. The next day, they all wake up in their own houses with extraordinary changes that didn’t come from puberty. They have superhuman strength and agility. They decide to return to the mountain, where they fall in a river and set foot on an underground fortress. Zordon (voice of Bryan Cranston) and Alpha 5 (voice of Bill Hader) welcome the teens, announcing that they are the new Power Rangers, a team of warriors that defend the universe. They learn that they must stop Rita (Elizabeth Banks) before she gets her power-crystal and destroys Angel Grove. This film adds more depth to the Power Rangers than the previous television shows or movies. These teenagers have their own personalities and struggles that they face every day. Kimberly is a mean girl that struggles to be good. Trini (Becky G.) is the new kid on the block that switched schools every year and has a hard time living to her “normal� families expectations. Zack (Ludi Lin) has to constantly take care of his ailing mother who could die tomorrow. These are real problems

Power Rangers

that real teenagers face and when these teens train together to become Power Rangers, they learn more about each other and form a tight bond. The visual effects and action scenes are impressive. The fight scenes between the Power Rangers and Rita’s rock monsters are more convincing than the television shows that showed sparks and steam each time the villain was hit by a Ranger. The Megazord is also impressive in action. This Power Rangers film gives the franchise justice and makes the old television shows and movies look like Sesame Street. The action is fresher, the chemistry between the team is authentic and each Ranger is relatable. I look forward to future Power Ranger films from Director Dean Israelite.

Going in Style has an easy, but mediocre charm. Entirely predictable throughout, the film follows Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as lifelong buddies who risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their pension money. Picture Grumpy Old Men meets Ocean’s Eleven with a sprinkle of Hell or High Water, it’s played largely for laughs, but also strikes a note of genuine outrage over the machinations of big business. Joe (Caine), Willie (Freeman) and Al (Arkin), have felt the pinch of disappearing benefits and bait-andswitch home loans, and fallen into the breach between what they were promised and what they got.  After receiving staggering news that their pensions have been suspended—their futures, in effect, pulled out from under them they decide to knock off the Williamsburg Savings Bank. Pulling the perfect heist isn’t exactly an easy task, so the three old codgers try to find a criminal mastermind to lend a hand. A remake of the 1979 film, directed by Martin Brest, it’s a watchable comedy about old men gone rogue. With likeable performances from all three leads, it’s neither as emotionally engaging nor as laugh-out-loud funny as it thinks it is, and the script is entirely predictable. All the Oscar-winning leads deliver decent performances, even if none of them are particularly stretching themselves. Arkin as Al is the pessimist Going in Style

humor and the attitude to make you believe this is actually going to happen. Rounding out the main cast is the hot-blooded Annie, played by AnnMargret who plays Al’s love interest. Joey King stars as Joe’s beloved, whip-smart granddaughter, Brooklyn. Peter Serafinowicz is Brooklyn’s father, Murphy, whose unsavory pot clinic connections proves useful, and John Ortiz as Jesus, is the shady character who agrees to show the novice bank robbers the ropes. Matt Dillon stars as persistent FBI Agent Hamer, and Christopher Lloyd is the guys’ well-intentioned but somewhat scattered lodge buddy, Milton and a store manager Keith, played with comic understatement by Kenan Thompson. Directed by Zach Braff, there is a lot of silliness, mild misadventures and jokes about elderly aches, pains and complaints. Overall, the picture has a compelling story, but bellylaugh material it isn’t, still it certainly fits the remedy for a decent piece of entertainment. .


For a chance to receive FREE movie passes and information on other community events, join WAG (Weekly Advertising Guide) by sending your email address to (put WAG in the subject line) or subscribe to our mailing list on our Web site at at the bottom of the homepage or visit





Going in Style

ll1/2 By Samantha Ofole-Prince

A cast of relaxed old pros who

seem to be having a great deal of fun,

and curmudgeon of the group. Freeman, as Willie is his usual cheery self and brings warmth and likeability to the role and Caine as Joe, the instigator, lends just the right amount of humanity, along with a sly sense of

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017




Thunderbolt Magic Underway

Are you ready to mix, mingle and get caught up on who’s been doing what for the past 50 years or so? Join the classes of 1960-1964 for three days of friendship, fun and fellowship. Plans are underway for “Thunderbolt Magic” reunion for the classes of 1960-1964 on June 23 and 24 at the Embassy Suites, 4444 N. Havana St. in Denver. The planning committee hopes to use this time to reflect on the wonderful memories cherished about special time together during years at Manual High School. For more information or to participate, update your information at 303759-9322, send e-mail to Manual60to64 or join the Facebook page at Manual Classes/60-64.

Walk MS: Planned For May 6

Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in Walk MS events across the country raising critical funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. More than 8,000 people are expected to raise more than $1M at Walk MS: Denver & 5K Run on May 6. For the 5K Run, 6:30 a.m. is checkin with an 8 a.m. start time. Run


awards will be at 11:15 a.m. Walk Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with a program at 9:15 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m. To participate or volunteer, visit, call 855-372-1331 or email For more information about multiple sclerosis and the National MS Society, visit or call 800-344-4867.

Chinook Fund’s Giving Project Seeks Project Members

Are you passionate about social change and interested in building your skills in fundraising, grantmaking and community building? Chinook Fund is seeking 25 diverse members for their 2017 Fall Giving Project. Members work together to raise and grant money to organizations that build power for social change in Colorado. Over the course of six months, members will engage in racial justice and class analysis workshops together, fundraise, and grant money to grassroots, social justice organizations across the state. Two information sessions will be held on May 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Second Chance Center Inc. (9722 E 16th Ave., in Aurora) and on May 22 from 6

to 7:30 p.m. at the Posner Center (1031 33rd St. in Denver) for the next Giving Project. Attendees will meet the staff, hear from an alumni participant, and learn how to support definite, statewide impact for social justice. For more information or to RSVP, visit the, email Juliette Lee at or call 303-455-6905 x2.

Chinook Fund Celebrates 30 Years Of Social Change

Grassroots change often starts around the dinner table. Something about the combination of good food and good conversation serves as a catalyst for sparking transformational ideas. On Saturday, June 3, Chinook Fund will bring this “community table” concept to the greater Denver area, celebrating its 30th anniversary with one night of change making dinner parties. For the past 30 years, Chinook Fund has supported sustained social justice and improved the quality of life for all Coloradans. In celebration of this milestone, the organization is throwing a fundraising party. Friends of Chinook will host 30 dinner parties throughout Denver, bringing together activist citizens

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Festivities will include desserts, beverages and live entertainemt at ReddLine Art Gallery. Tickets are $75 until April 21. If you can’t make dinner, attend the afterparty for just $30. For more information, email Nora Bashir at or visit

Central Visitation Program Needs Volunteers

Central Visitation Program provides supervised parenting time for families who are court-ordered. Services are provided on a sliding scale based on the visiting parent’s income. Volunteers provide the visitation service, sitting in the room allowing a child to see their non-custodial parent. Volunteers are trained by staff and seasoned volunteers to become supervisors. Volunteering with Central Visitation Program requires a weekly commitment to do a visit for a family on a weekday evening or Saturday. For more information or to volunteer, contact Executive Director Brad Wood at 303-839-8701 or e-mail

Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museum Present Shade Exhibit review by Khadija Haynes

Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt reprinted by permission from the Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE).

In collaboration with the Clyfford

Still Museum, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) opened Shade featuring work by renowned contemporary artist Mark Bradford, who will be representing the United States at the Venice Biennale this year.

Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford features the works of Mark Bradford at the Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still’s work at the Clyfford Still Museum. Shade underscores the legacy of abstract expressionism and Bradford’s exploration of abstraction’s power to address social and political concerns. As an African-American

painter, Bradford has long been fascinated by Still’s extensive use of black as a signature component of his work. Shade explores both artists’ unique relationships to the color black in their paintings, whether it’s used to force viewers out of their comfort zones, evoke emotions, or confront conventional notions of race.

Mississippi Gottdam by Mark Bradford

Bradford, a world renowned African-American contemporary visual artist attributes Still’s work as inspiration for his own art. Both men have created very large scale works, so large that most require an entire gallery wall each. Both infuse artifacts and pieces from their 3D lives into their 2D paintings. Although, because these entwined bits lift off the canvass, they, too, are arguably 3D in some respects - they have a physical presence. Both artists explore the use of the shade Black as a primary feature in their paintings. Bradford is quoted as saying, “Black is like Voldemort. It has fears and possibilities. Black is the most difficult color to work with; it will cause you to fail.” He goes on to describe his process, “My paintings are made up of tearing. To me it represents a process that is more of a reality than laying down perfect lines of paint. It’s raw and violent but it still comes together.” Every piece is stunning, but two pieces stood out for me: “Mississippi Gottdam” and “Rebels on the Plantation.” “Mississippi Gottdam” is comprised of debris Bradford collected in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This piece represents his visual critique of recovery efforts in low-income neighborhoods. The work is implanted with paper and other materials he found there. The embedded pieces evoke memories of the flotsam and refuse covering the neighborhoods after the floods. Bradford borrowed the title of this work from Nina Simone’s 1964 song Mississippi Goddam, which was an anthem for urgent social change and racial equality.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Continuing with the theme of social justice, Bradford’s “Rebels on the Plantation” conjured deep emotions for me. Images of ancestors toiling in the dirt, dying where they stood, existing in a parched, dry, dark place filled my senses. A video of the artist talking about his life and work was shown across the room from a wall filled with newspaper clippings from the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Bradford puts all of himself (and a lot of our collective American and human) experiences into his artwork – literally. He has included leftover residue, trash, fine minerals, recyclables, and the very core of earth itself in the layers of his magnificent pieces. What makes these pieces so compelling is the fact that unless you know what you are looking at, you don’t see it – you don’t know that it is there. Once you become aware of the “secret ingredients” present in his works, the level of awe you have experienced by seeing these splendid pieces grows exponentially. Born in South LA, Bradford has a deep sense of community. Having witnessed how a lack of educational and social resources can affect a community, Bradford collaborated with neighborhood activist Allan Dicastro and philanthropist Eileen Harris Norton to establish Art+Practice (A+P) in the Leimert Park neighborhood of LA. With a commitment to work with a student muralist, Bradford’s exhibit and the Montbello neighborhood are working on a community art project with DCIS Charter School at the Montbello campus. This unique opportunity comes under the auspices of the school program at the DAM and Bradford’s desire to reach out to the area’s African-American community. A special meeting with the student muralist and other DCIS students is scheduled for late May. One of Denver’s African-American philanthropists, patron of the arts and supporter of the exhibit, Tina Walls said, “The arts help to interweave all of us together in the American mosaic.”. Editor’s note: Khadija Haynes, co-founder of the Colorado Black Arts Movement and a partner organization with the Montbello Organizing Committee’s FreshLo grant from the Kresge Foundation, can be reached at

Ringling Bros Circus: The End of an Era By Brad Deutser

Editor’s note: This article was originally featured in the


rom ring to ring, you have entertained. From generation to generation, you have brought families together. You have invited us in to witness and be a part of the Greatest Show on Earth. But, you have also become one of America’s great tragedies. After nearly a century and a half in business, doing what you do best, you will vacate your place in the entertainment space. There will be other circuses. But, there will never be another Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. You have never wavered from your roots – your history, your way of working and promoting, and your way of entertaining. Until, recently. Pressures to change practices. Pressures to change acts. Pressures to conform to current ways. Most people are unaware of the extent you cared for animals. Most are unaware of the brilliant business model to get people in the door to experience the circus and buy memorabilia and merchandise. Most are unaware that Ringling Bros. was the entry point for so many to begin their careers in show business. It was a gateway for many around the world to explore, to share culture, and to provide smiles. It was so much to so many. In many ways, it was part of the American way. I remember the excitement when the train stopped in a city. I remember the authentic joy the clowns brought as the elephants paraded down the streets to the arena. I remember the genuine love of the circus by its performers behind the scenes and in the rings. I remember the sweat on the brow before each show and the smiles that filled the stands.

So it begs the question: Why did Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey fail? Or did we fail it? I have struggled to explain how we allow our American icons to disappear. For what? Better, more wholesome family entertainment? Why did the business environment change so rapidly? Or did it? Was it lack of strategic foresight? Was it changing societal norms? Were there simply bet-

ter options? Or did we take it for granted that what was once here will always be here? This was an icon that navigated the generations. It circumvented challenges over nearly 15 decades. Somehow it remained relevant year after year, until now. But why? To some, Ringling Bros. gave up its core values and become something different when it removed elephants from its show. To others, no matter the advances or new innovations, it was still the circus that you only needed to see once. To others, it was a lumbering icon that couldn’t change quickly enough to keep up with the pace of technology and today’s entertainment. And, to others, it was simply taken for granted that it would always be there for us, like it had been for the previous 146 years. Perhaps, this is less Ringling Bros. giving up or giving in and more a statement of the America we live in today. We gravitate to sexy headlines. We are intrigued more by the glitz and less by the substance. We place stereotypes on things that we are reluctant to ever modify. We expose our youth more to what is ahead and much less to what is now. Reality works best when there is controversy or big names. But, that has never been the circus’ way. Theirs was a way of basic, good old-fashioned American values. This ending of an era sends a message to all of us. It reminds us that relevance is fleeting. It reminds us, as parents and grandparents, that we must find new forms of entertainment to bring our families together. It reminds us to hold on to what is important to each of us – whether it is

the circus or something else. At its core, this is about family values – and working fiercely to protect them – in whatever way is most appropriate to today’s family. The circus that convened families, generations and communities is soon to be no longer here. For many it has been replaced by the bright lights of the computer screen and video games as well as the solitude it brings. We may not be able to recreate the greatest show on earth, but we can recreate the environment and the magic that it was to families who came together to celebrate the goodness and wholesomeness it represented. There will be many questions. What really happened to end this era? What will become of the animals for which Ringling provided such genuine and remarkable care? What will happen to the children who no longer have the greatest show on earth? There will be answers. But, unfortunately, not the same answers our parents had for us. Ringling Bros., RIP. Editor’s note: Brad Deutser is president of Deutser LLC (, a consulting firm that advises leaders and organizations about achieving clarity, especially in times of transition, growth or crisis. He previously worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Peace Corps Announces 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Want to be part of a winning team! is looking for

“Freelance Writers” and

DUS 30th Anniversary Theme Song Available on CD Baby - Proceeds benefit the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation

“Advertising Sales Consultants” Email resume to

The Peace Corps announced its 2017 rankings of the top volunteerproducing Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hampton University, Central State University and Prairie View A&M University all appeared on the agency’s annual ranking for the first time. Hampton debuted at No. 4 with four alumni currently serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers. Central State and Prairie View both rank No. 5, earning a three-way tie with Morehouse College. For the second year in a row, Howard University, Spelman College and Florida A&M University hold the top three spots on the list. This is the sixth-consecutive year that Howard University produced the most Peace Corps volunteers among HBCUs, with 18 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas in 14 countries. Spelman College and Florida A&M University earned the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities cultivate a commitment to community-oriented education that inspires their graduates to pursue international service and make an impact abroad with the Peace Corps,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Each year, a growing number of HBCU alumni join the Peace Corps with important experiences and perspectives that give communities overseas a better understanding of the diversity of the United States.” Both Howard and Spelman also appeared on Peace Corps’ national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities this year, with Howard ranking No. 14 among medium-sized undergraduate schools and Spelman ranking No. 7 among small schools. Since 1961, 242 Howard alumni and 94 Spelman alumnae have served with the Peace Corps. Service in the Peace Corps is a lifedefining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience gain cross-cultural, language and community development skills that build upon their education and give them a competitive edge for career and advanced education opportunities.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


The Peace Corps has recruiters across the country that visit HBCUs and work closely with prospective volunteers. By hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversityfocused recruitment events, the agency aims to build an inclusive volunteer force and ensure that all Americans know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps’ 2017 top volunteerproducing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:

1. Howard University: 18 currently serving volunteers 2. Spelman College: 11 currently serving volunteers 3. Florida A&M University: 7 currently serving volunteers 4. Hampton University: 4 currently serving volunteers 5. Central State University: 3 currently serving volunteers 5. Morehouse College: 3 currently serving volunteers 5. Prairie View A&M University: 3 currently serving volunteers A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter. *Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS began issuing the new cards on May 1. These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use. The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.

The Redesigned Cards

The new Green Cards and EADs will: •Display the individual’s photos on both sides; •Show a unique graphic image and color palette: -Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette; -EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette; •Have embedded holographic images; and •No longer display the individual’s signature. Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

How To Tell If Your Card Is Valid

Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, may still display the existing design format as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both the existing and the new Green Cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

Certain EADs held by individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and other designated categories have been automatically extended beyond the validity date on the card. For additional information on which EADs are covered, visit the Temporary Protected Status and American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act web pages on Both versions are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, E-Verify, and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE). Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. These older Green Cards without an expiration date remain valid. Individuals who have Green Cards without an expiration date may want to consider applying for a replacement card bearing an expiration date. Obtaining the replacement card will reduce the likelihood of fraud or tampering if the card is ever lost or stolen.

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medicine! Gooch’s Transmission Specialist

Eligibility for Green Cards and EADs

For more information about the Green Card application process, visit To request an EAD, you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information about EADs, visit

Myron Gooch, Manager 760 Dayton Street Aurora, CO 80010 303-363-9783

Making transmissions Making transmissions well wellforsince 1983. 22 years .

The Urban Spectrum — April 2006


Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


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Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017


Remembering… Harriet Elizabeth Robinson Butcher October 29, 1923 - March 26, 2017

We do know that she is now eternally with Our Lord…Matthew 5:4

Harriet Elizabeth Robinson Butcher was born in Denver, Colorado on October 29, 1923, the daughter of James Robinson and Agnes Hogan Robinson. After her Mother’s passing when at the age of two, Harriet and her big brother, James Robinson Jr., went to live with various relatives in St. Paul, MN, Cheyenne, WY and Chicago, Illinois. Her father worked for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad during The Great Depression of 1929-1939 which shaped her childhood as a child of God who always loved the Lord. Returning to Denver after the death of her aunt, Harriet lived with an uncle and then with her grandmother, Janie Priscilla Mahalia Hancock Hogan, who she claimed was the greatest influence in her life. When she was 12, Harriet’s grandmother died at which time she was raised by her extended family. Harriet received her education largely through Denver Public Schools, attending Whittier Elementary School, Cole Junior High, Manual High School, and Emily Griffith Opportunity School. While working at the Ritz Cafe, she met and married the chef, Charles Wesley Butcher. She was the remarkable mother of their three children. For more than 60 years, she was a faithful member of the Peoples Presbyterian Church Choir and served on the Deacon Board. She was a well-respected member of the community and well known and recognized on Denver’s entertainment scene as the founder of the Park Hill Tappers, a group of eight women who performed in local schools and retirement homes for many years. Harriet was a PTA President at Columbine Elementary, a Cub Scout leader, an election official, a member of her church choir, and a founding member of the Spiritual Project Choir, which is dedicated to the preservation of the Negro spirituals. She was awarded the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture. Harriet Butcher’s contributions to the Denver community are many and multi-faceted. An avid jazz fan, she appeared in a Colorado Public Broadcasting documentary, Jazz on Five Points, highlighting Denver’s jazz history. And she contributed her unique teaching talents to the International Tap Association and Women in Tap. One of the proudest moments of her life was appearing with Sammy Davis, Jr., at the Roxy Theater. Last year, she teamed up with two centenarians in a No Credits Production, Inc. video presentation, sharing the history on the former site of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA raising awareness of new residents about Five Points. Harriet was a woman of mettle. She successfully overcame challenges in her life, such as being one of the first African-American sales clerks in downtown Denver and working as a safe deposit clerk at the American National Bank in Denver. She retired from the City & County of Denver where she had worked as an accounting clerk in the Department of Social Services. Her key to life was always to see the unseen, hear the unspoken, and write the unwritten. She was featured on the cover of the International Tap Association publication. She loved to write: “Don’t cheat yourself on the blessings of having the natural ability to turn awesomeness into sheer delight (slavery to rhythmic sounds) AND don’t let nobody tell you that Blues and Jazz are two different things – or syncopation or gospel or spiritual or anything soulful is not jazz – it is. Not History – it is not even international acclaim, something to adhere to!” –Harriet Butcher

Harriett was preceded in death by her brother, James Robinson, Jr. She leaves to cherish her memory three children: Charles Butcher, Jr. (Linda), Earl Butcher; and Angela Reid (Thomas); many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a host of other cousins, loving relatives, and friends.

Life’s Journey of a Master Barber Ura LeDell Smith, Sr.

May 25, 1970 – March 20, 2017 To plant a seed in one’s heart…. To root it in love … To nourish it with time spent together…. Yields a blossom that will flourish forever.

Ura Ledell Smith, Sr. was born on May 25, 1970, to his mother Terry L. Smith in Denver, Colorado. He was raised in home with strong and strict Christian women, who stressed the importance of having morals and values. “Ledell” as he was affectionately called by family and friends, accepted Christ at an early age and joined Macedonia Baptist Church, where he was member of the Youth Choir and the Jr. Usher Board. He was most recently a member of The Potters House of Denver.Ledell received his formal education in Denver where he attended East High School. He also attended Palmer High School in Colorado Springs and he was a 1988, graduate of Mitchell High School. He later focused his attention in the haircutting trade. He furthered his education by attending Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver and completed his Apprenticeship at Platinum Cuts Barber Shop and on July 8, 2004, he received his license as a Certified Barber. He started his barbering journey throughout the Denver metro area. He worked as a barber instructor at Cuttin’ Up Beauty Academy for more than nine years where he educated and mentored hundreds of “CUBA” students. Ledell taught the students the art of cutting hair, while offering words of wisdom. He also accomplished his dream of owning his own barbershop, Do You Right. Ledell loved life. He loved people and he was a powerful and positive role model in his son’s life who was named after his father, Ura Ledell Smith, Jr. Ledell took great pride and joy in the care and nurturing of his son. The love shared by the two of them was unconditional. He was most proud to see his son follow in his footsteps and launch his own career to become a barber. Ledell was an avid sport enthusiast. He loved basketball and football. Anyone who knew Ledell knew he was an Oakland Raider’s fan and loved his “Silver and Black.” His house was adorned with the colors and anytime entering his home, ESPN would be on his TV. His love of the team would continue right up to his passing. Those who best knew “Dell” would say “He was a loyal father, friend, and confidante that you could always count on. He was devoted to his family.” Peace Be Still!

Ura Ledell Smith, Sr. departed this life on March 20, 2017, in Aurora, Colorado. Those left to cherish his memory and mourn his loss include his son, Ura Ledell Smith, Jr. of Denver; his mother, Terry L. Smith Stewart of Fresno, CA; his devoted companion, Ayisha Houtman of Denver; six brothers, Jonnithan Janes of San Francisco, CA, Kendale T. Johnson, Chris Allen both of Denver, Richard Wray of Aurora, Marcus Estes of San Antonio, TX, and Kelvin Jackson of Texas; two grandchildren Ura L. Smith, III and U’laiya J.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – May 2017



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Denver Urban Spectrum May 2017  

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