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Volume 25 Number 8

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

November 2011



FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Misti Aas G. Bram Shangra-La Sheila Smith Lisa Walton ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Gillian Conte,The Creative Spirit Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin

ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT Rodney Sturgeon Tommy Thomas CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Lens of Anser Cecile Perrin WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR ConnectMe/SpectrumTalk Tanya Ishikawa 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 2011 by Rolado, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. Office address is 2727 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

It’s been a journey…but it’s not over yet!

Almost 25 years ago, the Spectrum was born. And since 1987, people from all walks of life have touched my heart, broadened my mind and even at times – put a smile on my face. Most recently, I have smiled a lot from many of you who have complimented on the new look of the Spectrum and more importantly, the content. That could not happen without our small DUS team family of contributors. Our managing editor, Sheila Smith, has come on like gangbusters while assisting our longtime features editor Tanya Ishikawa. I’ve watched the journey of my young assistant, Cecile, who was only 12 in our youth foundation and is now a professional woman and mother at 23. So this month, it’s about journeys. Sheila Smith takes us on a 100 year walk as she talks about centurion George Gray, Jr. and how he is lovin’ life. Misti Aas takes us on another journey through the Northeast Denver community talking about what’s happening with the school systems and what lies ahead for some of Denver’s students. Sheila travels another journey, sharing how family members cope with loved ones living with chronic diseases. Read about the road traveled for supermodel Beverly Johnson and her niece Natasha who suffers from Down syndrome. Freedom Riders and HistoryMakers – Talk about journeys! An exhibit that you don’t want to miss is coming to Denver; and History Makers share their life journeys with high school students. See who some of Denver’s HistoryMakers are…hummmm. But, as we enter this holiday season of thanksgiving and prepare to end the year, most of us will connect with family, friends and loved ones. Many have gone on because their journey has ended which brings sadness and loneliness to many of us during this time. Always remember them and carry them in your heart. So, as you continue your journey, embrace it, love it and share it. It’s yours and yours alone; and how you travel it – is up to you. Peace and blessings... Rosalind J. Harris P.S. Happy birthday to Marie Greenwood - celebrating 99 years on Nov. 24! Publisher


Pathway To Teachers Of Color

mics/colleges/SchoolOfEducation/Disc over/Documents/EDition_2011.pdf I would love to talk to you about this more. Better yet, we would love to have you come visit our class, talk to our students – and feature our program in Urban Spectrum so your readers know that there are a few of us out there trying to answer the question....Where are the teachers that look like me?

Editor: I am an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver. Thank you for the excellent article regarding the diminishing number of teachers of color in general – and more specifically Black teachers (Where are all the teachers that look like me?, Vol 25, No 6, Sept. 2011). I read this article with great interest. For both personal and professional reasons, this is an area I am passionate about. I have created a program in Denver Public Schools that I think you will be very interested in learning about The program was designed to answer the very question on your cover...Where are the teachers that look like me? Due to the success of our program – which was piloted at Montbello High School last year, we currently have four sections of our course – now reaching 100 high school students of color exploring teaching as a career path. Students explore teaching as a way to disrupt many of the educational inequities students of color face. Please visit the website I created which gives you some background information – I am still in the process of updating it – but it should give you an idea of what we are doing. Also please see the fall issue of EDitions which did a lead story on our program

Margarita Bianco, Ed.D

School of Education and Human Development

Denver, CO

Black And White Message Misread By Reader

Editor: I recently picked up Urban Spectrum “Where are the teachers that look like me?” The picture showed a Black child in a classroom with a white teacher. It implied that a young student should judge his teachers on the color of their skin. For some reason, this caused me to write. While I understand the value of relating to people via their common cultural identities, I also see, and I hope you can as well, a division that is being perpetuated. When Blacks, or whites, or any person of any race, see themselves as separate Americans, it perpetuates an attitude we should be trying to eradicate. This article was about the Black culture being reflected in the Denver public schools and its teachers. I will state up front that I cannot relate to

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


that. I am white. My wife is a white teacher. And we live in Lakewood. We are Christians (Lutherans who read Martin Luther.) We are certainly not racist. I emphatically sympathize with anyone who suffers from racism, anywhere. Yet, your front page headline, picture and article made me a bit sad, a bit frustrated, and a bit disturbed. I do not claim to know and understand the depth of racism against Blacks. I would never want to be judged by the color of my skin. But I must challenge this front page image and headline. Are you perpetuating a negative attitude towards teachers because they are not Black? If there is racism within the school district, then identify and report it. If there is discrimination, then report it. But be careful not to encourage children to judge their teachers by the color of their skin. There are real problems with our education system and schools. Hopefully, it is the content of the teacher’s character – and the content of what they are teaching – not the color of their skin, that matters to Urban Spectrum readers. Again, I do not fully understand race problems from a Black perspective. As a veteran journalist, I have however often covered race issues. I believe, as Martin Luther King so eloquently spoke, that children

Continued on page 31

Turning 100: GEORGE GRAY JR. By Sheila Smith

Dorothy Jean. The first foster children were Tony, Nita, Karen, and Walter, who are all now deceased. Jim Bracken, 85, said he will never forget how the Grays took his brother into their home. “My brother Walter was 16 at the time when my mother died. Me and my wife took him in. But he didn’t want to listen. I was in the same Masonic lodge as George and told him that I was going to put my brother in foster care. George told me, ‘Don’t do that, we’ll take him.’” “Later on in life, my brother Walter came up to me and said how much he appreciated that I let him go stay with the Grays,” Bracken added. Bracken’s wife, Lillie, described George as always “one of the most honest and caring man.” Besides having a house full of children, Gray spent 35 years working at the United States Post Office before retiring and devoting his time to civic and charitable causes. Gray and his wife were active in the Cosmopolitan Club, East Denver YMCA ,and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) with the Denver Public Schools. Juanita became the first AfricanAmerican vice president of the Colorado PTA and first AfricanAmerican woman to run for the Denver Public School Board of Education. Gray served as his wife’s campaign manager. They often traveled together around the state as Juanita served as Colorado Centennial/Bi-Centennial Commissioner. His plate was also full being active with the Five Points Business Association, Wallace Simpson Post of the American Legion, and Prince Hall Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 1. Plus, he has been a faithful member at Scott United Methodist Church for the past 65 years. Gray’s passion for youth also pushed him to establish the Father and Son Communion Breakfast in 1959 at the Prince Hall Lodge. His idea of boys and men coming together for a southern-style breakfast with music, praise, and spiritual upliftment has turned into a popular annual event. Gray has been very instrumental in the American Legion sponsorship of boys going to Boys State competitions in Pueblo. He not only helped select boys from a list of applicants, but took care of all their arrangements and transportation needs.

George Gray Jr.


aving a three-day birthday party is allowed when you’re turning 100 years old. George Gray Jr. certainly did. The well-known Denverite officially joined the elite centenarian club, as family members and friends from Denver and out-of-state helped him celebrate. His 100th birthday was even more special since doctors told Gray’s family three years ago that he wouldn’t survive the two surgeries to replace a hip after falling in his home. He may now be a little slower getting around, relying on a walker and wheelchair, but his sheer will has kept him going. “Whatever kept him alive these 100 years is what got him through those times in the hospital,” said his daughter-in-law, Janice Gray, who remembers her father-in-law sprawled out on the living room floor of his house after lying there a few days before being found. “The doctors said he wouldn’t make it. So it’s remarkable to see him now so full of life,” she said with tears in her eyes. Since then, Gray hasn’t missed a beat. He began celebrating on his actual birthday, Wednesday, Oct. 5, by receiving the VIP treatment at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. His party continued on Friday, Oct. 7 with a feast at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant on Colfax. By Sunday, Oct. 9, the party moved to The Retired Enlisted Association Chapter 3 building, off Dayton Street and Colfax Avenue. Masonic lodge brothers, veterans, family, and friends

Photos by George “Skip” Gray III

surrounded Gray and sang happy birthday to him. “I love this thing called livin’. And I try to do a little bit of it every day,” Gray said with that unforgettable smile. “I just keep on keepin’ on.”

A Long Fruitful Life

Gray is his own testimony for how to live a long and full life. He was born in Hattiesburg, Miss. on Oct. 5, 1911. When he was a young boy, his family moved to Birmingham, Ala. He later attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and is considered one of the oldest living Morehouse alumni today. During Gray’s college years, he met his future bride, Juanita Yvonne Ross. They had a Christmas morning wedding at Warren Methodist Church in Atlanta in 1938. Gray and Juanita moved to Johnston, Pa., where he worked for a short period at a steel mill before joining the Armed Forces. After Gray’s military duty ended, he and his wife relocated to Denver in 1944. Later, their son George “Skipper” Gray III was born. Skipper has two sons: local artist Sean Michael and local actor Aaron Christopher who is married with a son and two daughters. Gray and his wife also became foster parents to 23 children over two decades. The couple focused on being mentors to young African-American males, showering them with Christian love and making sure they received a quality education. A few of those foster children still residing in Denver are Jay, Melvin, Kevin, Archibong, Janelle, and

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Gray made it part of his agenda to make sure Juneteenth was a successful event every year. He worked tirelessly in making sure everyone benefitted from the celebration. He and his American Legion members also carried the American flag during the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday annual marades. Gray was more than deserving as one of Colorado’s unsung heroes to receive the “9 Who Cares” award. Tragedy struck Gray hard when Juanita was killed in a car accident on July 7, 1987. She was thrown from her car when it was hit by another car which ran a red light at an intersection. Though a very rough time for the entire family, Gray knew he had to endure, explaining, “I had to recognize the fact that life goes on.” “It was when the seat belt law in Colorado came into effect that same day. She had a doctor’s note as to why she wasn’t wearing a seat belt because she just had surgery on her hand. That seat belt would have saved her life,” said niece Greta Master, who lived with her aunt and uncle as a teenager. Family members continue to honor Juanita Gray’s work in the community. The Juanita Gray Community Service Awards are given out every year to kick off Black History Month. Gray has never missed an award ceremony, and the 25th anniversary of the awards will be celebrated in February 2012.

100 Years Of Memories

There are certain memories scattered throughout the years that still resonate strongly for Gray. “When I was in the Army in Pennsylvania, I was considered the world’s slowest eater. There would be three or four of us fellows who would go to chow before going to the picture show. One of them would tell the waiter, ‘Just go get him something to eat now.’ That’s because when they got ready to leave, they wanted me to be ready,” Gray recalled and laughed. While in college, Gray vividly remembers sitting in classes at Morehouse with Martin Luther King Sr. Describing King’s son who would grow up to become the civil rights leader, Gray said, “He was a little guy and all the students loved him.” “Martin Luther King Jr. was always with his dad. And his dad would bring him to anything that we had Continued on page 6

President Barack Obama Promotes Jobs Bill In Denver

A recent NBC News and Wall Street poll showed most Americans support key features of the job bill. About 63 percent of those polled favored the bill and 32 percent were against it. Obama re-emphasized that middle class Americans shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. “It’s the quintessential American idea that those of us who’ve done well should pay our fair share and contribute to the upkeep of the nation that made our success possible,” the president said. 


By Sheila Smith

s of mid-October, bickering continued over President Barack Obama’s jobs bill that failed to pass the Senate, with two Democrats and a majority of Republicans blocking it. Obama came to Denver to share his message about getting Americans back to work with the nation, in front of a crowd of thousands at Lincoln High School. “It’s good to be back in Colorado,” the president shouted out to many from this state that helped get him elected back in 2008. “I came here to talk about the economy, creating good middle class jobs..... I want everyone to get a fair shake and fair shot in getting ahead,” Obama said to a cheering crowd. “Everyone can help send a message to Congress to pass this bill. Call, e-mail, tweet (your congressmen). The time for action is now.” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, speaking after Obama’s speech, said there was nothing more important than focusing on jobs. “We all know people out of work right now,” Hancock said. “The reality is we’ve got to get moving. Americans are hurting and it’s time to stop playing games. The message is clear to Congress to pass the bill and make the proper investment with this American Job Act.” U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette said the reason the bill hasn’t passed is because the Republican majority in the House won’t bring it up. “I was so glad that the president said those Congress people here today support the bill, because I am a staunch supporter of the bill. We need to get jobs for unemployed construction workers, teachers, summer jobs for kids and tax relief for small businesses,” she said. “People need to call the rest of the Congressional delegation and tell them ‘Don’t play politics with jobs.’” Obama emphasized that things can be accomplished if Congress cooperates and everyone works together on behalf of the people. He outlined his American Job Act in putting people back to work at a cost of $447 billion. The bill includes tax breaks for small businesses and hiring veterans; prevention of layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters; reinvestment in bridges, roads and airports around the country; and payroll tax cuts to put money back in employee pocketbooks. The president stated that none of this will affect the nation’s deficit.

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Denver Health Surprised? Insist on Denver Health Denver Health accepts most insurance plans. Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


George Gray celebrates birthday with Greta Master...

George Gray

Continued from page 4 beneficial for the students,” the centenarian said. Gray also hasn’t forgotten about when he first arrived in Denver and worked at a manufacturing plant making boxes. “My very first home in Denver was the Glenarm Branch YMCA. I left my wife in Pennsylvania, and we did a lot of talking back and forth on the phone. I had yet to send for her,” he said. “She told me, ‘If we keep this talking going on, I’m not going to be able to get to Denver.’” Gray can’t tell you exactly when he got the dancing bug, but he managed to dance up until he broke his hip in 2009. “I don’t have a solid reason for dancing, but it’s good exercise and builds relationships. In my neighborhood growing up, we had a lot of dance parties in the different homes.” He was known to dance at the Denver Art Museum and was a regular at many clubs around Denver. Master said her uncle never drank coffee or any alcoholic beverages. Every bartender in town knew what his favorite drink was – water with a cherry, slice of lemon or lime, and no ice, she said. Joe Holenbek, Gray’s friend who is a guitar player with Rudy Grant & the Buffalo Riders, remembered, “It was in the mid-1980s when I met Uncle George. He was just boogying away and right in tune with the music. He has all the energy in the world.” William Hardy, a Mason brother, said, “He just loved to dance. He made a joke about closing places down because he danced all night long.” “I asked him what kept him so young, and he would say, ‘If you can move, keep on movin’,’” remembered Hardy. Sean Gray said his grandfather’s drive to dance was one of the best things about him. “Everywhere we would go, he would dance. He’s like a

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


machine.” The best advice he got from his grandfather, he said, was “love what you do.” Gwen Lester from Detroit has many fond memories of her uncle. “One time I came to visit my sister Gretta who took me to

...and Mary Church - Just lovin’ life!

the train station to go back. Uncle George was with us and when the train started moving, Uncle George started walking, and as the train got faster, Uncle George started walking faster. The train could not leave him. It was amazing,” she said. “My uncle always did say he planned to keep on living. He never had a desire to die.” Skipper Gray admires how his father is always a positive person and has such strength of character. “I grew up in a home that was both matriarchal and patriarchal. I had a mother and father both grounded in southern values. They were community oriented and did things to better this community,” he said. Skipper also loved growing up with so many foster brothers and sisters, and his parents’ guidance and emphasis on sharing a strong value system. “Looking back,” he said, “one of the telling things as time went on was after my mom’s death, and my dad never changed anything in the house. Things were pretty much the same as when she was alive.” “My mom and dad had a partnership when it came to the community and making a difference. That to me is a huge legacy the two of them leave – the caliber of how they lived their lives and bridges they built in this community,” Skipper said. As the son of a Baptist minister and a faithful church member with spiritual roots still firmly grounded, Gray will tell you that he has yet another 100 years to finish living. “I’m hankering on being around for awhile,” he’s quick to say. 

Summer ended three months ago during the first week of August for

about 4,150 Denver Public Schools (DPS) students attending 10 new and turnaround schools in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch, known as the Far Northeast. The 10 schools are part of a reform plan, narrowly approved by DPS board members last year, amidst a great deal of community controversy. The Denver Summit Schools Network as the schools have been linked in the Northeast area are: Denver Center for International Studies at Ford K-5, Denver Center for International Studies Montbello 6-12, Collegiate Prep Academy, Montbello Phase Out, Ford Phase Out, Green Valley Ranch Elementary School, McGlone Elementary School, High Tech Early College, Noel Community Arts School, and Rachel B. Noel Middle School. The center of the turnaround plan is the dramatic reconfiguration of Montbello High School, a school labeled by many as being chronically low-performing. The traditional Montbello, now called Montbello Legacy, is being phased out with no freshman class this year, and 10th, 11th, and 12th grades dropping off in succeeding years. Denver Center for International Studies 6-12 and the Collegiate Prep Academy were also added this year to the Montbello campus. A third new school, High Tech Early College, was originally to be placed at Montbello, but instead got located at the former Challenges Choices and Images Charter School building. In past years, Montbello has graduated fewer than 60 percent of its students, and only six in 100 of those who entered as freshman five years ago went on to college without remedial courses – a statistic cited more than any other by advocates for the district’s bold plan. DPS has invested immense financial and political capital in its plan to turnaround these numbers at Montbello and its feeder schools, which has become a crucible in the local and national debate over education reform. “It is daunting,” said Allen Smith, executive director of the Denver Summit Schools Network, and the DPS administrator overseeing the proposed three-year turnaround process. ”You have to start by looking at the past, and where it has and has not been successful, and turn it around.” The mission of the DPS turnaround initiative is to ensure targeted and transparent decision-making regarding turnaround interventions in the district’s lowest-performing schools, to

Far Northeast School

T u r n a r o u n d By Misti Aas

support the efficient and effective planning and implementation of the selected strategies in turnaround schools, and to monitor the strategies’ effectiveness in improving student academic performance including significantly improving graduation rates.

Skalecke, a Montbello parent of an 11th grader. “That school was built to be a traditional neighborhood high school. I, along with other people, don’t believe that there should ever be 6th graders intermixed with high schoolers; it just does not work. They

Allen Smith, executive director of the Denver Summit Schools Network The scope of the turnaround initiative is such that DPS has contracted with an outside partner, a Massachusetts-based educational nonprofit called Blueprint Schools Network, to oversee its implementation. According to their website, Blueprint emphasizes five core areas of school improvement: excellence in leadership, increased instructional time, a no-excuse culture of high expectations, frequent assessments, and daily tutoring in the critical growth years of fourth, sixth, and ninth grades. One of the areas of controversy is the three-school split at the Montbello campus. According to Smith, the separation of the schools, as well as the comingling of students, is going well. “A couple things stand out for me that make this process more effective than the school split at Manual High School from a decade ago,” said Smith. “It’s a part of a network, so there’s a lot of network support. We have a deputy, an assessment data partner, a communication’s team, and an external partner with Blueprint, among others. We’re always getting feedback on the work, always meeting with principals, so there is a bigger think tank that they have for supporting the work that we’re implementing. We have biweekly meetings with the principals in the network so they get to learn from each other. There is just a whole lot of support.” Others have a different opinion. “I, and other parents, do not like what is in place right now,” expressed Jackie

say they have control of the three campuses, but they really don’t.” With the turnaround process and the addition of the other two schools, Montbello Legacy had to be cut down in size, both with students and teachers. Students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades were able to remain at Montbello. However, about 400 students entering 9th grade in the Montbello area were forced to choose a school outside of their neighborhood. In addition, teachers were required to go through interviews and a reapplication process. According to Smith, teachers whowere not kept on were impacted by what’s called reduction in building, where they were placed in other areas or they were given another position. “In this case, teachers are not cut, they are guaranteed another position within the dis-

trict,” he said. According to him, many teachers have stayed and are being offered training and support so that when the school does phase out, they will be marketable and absorbed by other schools. Donna Moore, a former teacher at Montbello, sees things differently. Moore believes that the district singled out older employees and teachers so they wouldn’t have to pay into retirement funds. She also observed there was a disproportionate number of teachers of color who were displaced. “I agree that the school needed to be turned around,” stated Moore, “but when you fire all of your veteran staff, and come back with teachers with no experience, that doesn’t make sense. The person who replaced me wasn’t even certified.” Donald Skalecke, a junior at Montbello Legacy, can’t escape the constant reminder that his school is being phased out. “We feel kind of left out,“ he said. “In some ways it feels like a left behind feeling. We don’t feel as important as the other schools that are here.” Despite his continued critics, Smith believes that the turnaround process to date is even more successful than anticipated. He’s observed a recurring theme that the process is going more smoothly than anyone anticipated. “We have been able to establish culture and consistency,” said Smith proudly. “Nobody expected these schools to be where they are at so quickly. We have a place on our website where you can schedule a tour, because we want to be transparent.” Smith explained that there is a great deal of personalized attention for the students. Montbello has implemented an “adopt a senior” program where every staff member works with three or four individual high school seniors to be sure they are on track in writing essays, taking the classes they need, contacting colleges, etc. In addition, tutors and mentors are a largepart of the educational environment. Continued on page 8

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Far Northeast School

Continued freom page 7 part of the educational environment. There are four options for a school turnaround process: the transition, the transformation, the close, or the take over. In this case the district chose transformation where larger schools are turned into smaller schools, and more school options are added. Montbello High School, along with its fellow and feeder schools in the Far Northeast, is on track in year one for a three-year turnaround process. “This year is focused on establishing the culture and the learning community,” stated Smith. “It involves solid instruction, high expectations, support for the kids, and knowing routines and rituals. The second year you go deeper in instruction and in rigor. By the third year, you tweak those things that need to be moved or changed or strengthened, and continue on the path of what’s really working.” The order of steps in the school turnaround process was to plan with the input and advice from parents and community members of the Far Northeast, then to implement a wellresearched plan, and finally to monitor for changes and improvement. However, many did not feel that the first step in the process was prop-

erly handled, or that their feedback was heard. “The feeling among parents and many in the Far Northeast community was that DPS had made the decision on their process already when they claimed they were soliciting ideas from the community,” said John McBride, chair of the Northeast Community Congress for Education. Elet Valentine, a parent of a Montbello senior, believes that parents who were involved in the planning of the change process were hand-picked and were not reflective of the community as a whole. “Many people have felt helpless and hopeless,” said Valentine. “People got up in arms because they did not feel heard and didn’t know what was happening in the process. There are still people who have no clue what is going on.” A lot of the preparation for the proposed turnaround process was started in the schools last year. Anthony Smith, current principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, was the principal at Montbello High School last year and began to pave the way for the transformation ahead. “Change is hard,” said the principal, “especially when the finality of change sets in. Second semester was more challenging last year because there was a greater sense of finality. It was vital that we remained a student-centered

organization, and kept the kids at the center of our decision-making process.” Though current Montbello Legacy Principal Larry Irvin was tied up with his schedule and unavailable for comment, Allen Smith acted as his spokesperson. “The excellent leadership has also made a huge difference,” explained Smith. “Irvin has set up each classroom consistently, and has really focused on ACT correlation standards so the kids are prepared for college.” Ongoing evaluation is a large part of the turnaround process, with an effort of consistent data each month from school walk-throughs, as well as from teachers, students, and a leadership focus group. All of the data is compiled and given to the school leaders so they can go deeper and implement the next steps. The data is also shared with the board and the community. The myriad of controversy also surrounds what some feel is a shift from education to big business, and a loss of traditional public neighborhood schools. “Foundations are putting millions of dollars into changing public schools into competition driven entities,” said Larry Borom, member and past chair of the Black Education Advisory Council.

“We have a district that cares more about its image than how to educate its kids,” said McBride.”This is not a reform process, this is an anti-reformation movement. We are no longer talking about community; we are talking about businesses and corporations. The district seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding on what they’re trying to accomplish. They have the focus on the corporate funding instead of teaching the basic fundamentals. The district has taken a step backwards, not the community.” “Some parents and people in the community are in denial, or feel that they are one little person who can’t make a difference,” said Valentine. “We need to continue to speak up and be heard.” As Denver Summit Schools Network executive director, Smith steadfastly continues in his conviction and belief in his mission, and his desire to provide a more effective environment for the students of the Far Northeast community. “Our attendance is up and our discipline issues are down. We have more parents involved. We have more students at these schools, and people are feeling more positive about educational options for the students. Those are all things that we need to hear at this stage of the turnaround process.” 


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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show

Stars Come Out At

Beverly Johnson’s Niece & Jamie Fox’s Sister Share Spotlight At Down Syndrome Fundraiser By Sheila Smith

Beverly Johnson and Natalie Fuller


Photo by Jamie Cotton

atalie Fuller strutted down the runway with all the dazzle of her famous supermodel aunt, Beverly Johnson. In a very formal, silver-grayish dress with a black lace trimmed hem that hung just past the knees, and long locks of curly hair coming down to her shoulders, Natalie walked the walk. She even blew kisses to the audience. It was exciting for 23-year-old Natalie, who has Down syndrome, to be in the spotlight. Johnson and her niece were part of the star-studded fashion show, Be Beautiful Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show, on Oct. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in downtown Denver. The event is an annual dinner fundraiser for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation benefiting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Other celebrities of the evening were music icon Quincy Jones, actor/singer Jamie Foxx, and actor John McGinley, along with a few professional athletes from the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rapids. Johnson is the first AfricanAmerican supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue magazine, back in 1974. Her fame expanded for three decades, as she went from supermodel to actress, author, activist, businesswoman, and icon in the fashion indus-

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“That is what is so fantastic about this program with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and finding out our struggles weren’t unique across the spectrum,” Johnson stated. “This kind of event helps shine the spotlight and helps get the attention of the government.” Down syndrome is currently the least funded of genetic diseases by the National Health Institute, according to the foundation. Natalie’s mother, Joanne Richardson, said the first thing that a parent is asked when their child is born with Down syndrome is, ‘Do you want to institutionalize your child?’ “It brought tears to my eyes when the doctor came to my room after Natalie was born and asked me if he should get the paperwork ready for her to be institutionalized. I said ‘No way,’” Richardson said. She added that she was told so many negative things about what her daughter wouldn’t be able to do. “When I gave birth to Natalie, I was devastated, and I am not going to say that I wasn’t. My mother and father sent me this card that said God gave me a very special gift, so make wise use of this gift. From that day forward, I went in the direction of making sure Natalie is all that she could possibly be.” Natalie spends a lot of time with her family and her boyfriend. She attends Hi-Hope Service Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., where she continues her education and learns social skills. Another superstar on the runway was DeOndra Dixon, 27, who has Down syndrome and happens to be Jamie Foxx’s little sister. There was no doubt DeOndra knew what to do in posing, fluffing out her hair ,and having that distinctive walk and big attitude like only models do. Her escort down the runway was Miss Colorado Diana Dreman. DeOndra loves shaking it. She was seen on stage dancing with her brother Jamie Foxx during the 2010 Grammy Awards, and was featured in his video to the song “Blame It (On the Alcohol).” Continued on page 10

try. She has a new television show coming out in 2012, and will be featured in Tyler Perry’s new movie Good Deeds coming out in February. She is also the mother of a now 30-year-old daughter, Anansa. Johnson donates her time to AIDS awareness and health issues affecting gay men. She was appointed the Ambassador of Goodwill in the Fashion Industry to help eliminate sweatshops and the national spokesperson for Ask4Tell4, which is a campaign to educate women about options in treating uterine fibroids, a painful condition that affected her for more than 10 years. Only a year ago, Johnson found herself wanting to get more involved with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. She called her niece, Natalie, to see if she would walk down the runway in this year’s fashion show. Johnson first understood what Down syndrome meant when growing up with a cousin with the condition. “She was the star of the family. She was the funny one,” Johnson said of her cousin. “So when my sister Joanne gave birth to Natalie, we gathered around to be as supportive as we could. Now Natalie is our superstar.” Johnson’s sister, Sheila Wright, added, “The one thing about our cousin, she was never treated any different. She was in regular school and didn’t even know that she was different. And we did the same thing with Natalie.” Wright who works in the educational system sought out special programs for her niece, Natalie, who lives in Georgia. “The life expectancy for all Down Syndrome is less than regular children but even more so for AfricanAmerican children. Parents don’t get the information to access the programs, medical care, and insurance. They don’t know their child can stay in school until age 21, get placed on a job and be trained. The programs are there,” said Wright about the need for more awareness about Down syndrome.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


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Jamie Foxx and and DeOndra Dixon

Photo by Craig Walker

Be Beautiful Be Yourself Continued from page 9

“He’s giving, he’s nice, and he’s a great role model,” she said bragging about her famous celebrity brother. Her favorite movies starring her brother are Ray and Dream Girls. Born in Dallas, Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles with her brother. She attends a work program, learning to cook and other skills. “My favorite thing to do is eat food,” DeOndra said, and laughed about being a pizza lover. This year, DeOndra became the 2011 Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and won the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. One of her key roles as ambassador was getting to travel to Washington, D.C. and speaking before Congressman Patrick Kennedy, besides working with other children with Down syndrome. She tells them, “I like being a role model and you can do anything.” When it comes to Quincy Jones who is like a grandfather to her, DeOndra said, “I love his voice… he makes my day.” Known by many as “Q” in the music industry, Jones has been a dedi-

cated spokesperson for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome since 2008. “We’re not going to stop until we get it right,” Jones said at the fashion show, about continuing to raise money for children with Down syndrome. He said it is an important cause to him because of what he went through with his own daughter who was diagnosed with having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and dyslexia. Since 2006, the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation has raised millions of dollars for clinical research, medical care, education, and advocacy for those with Down syndrome. It all started with the Sies’ granddaughter being born with the condition. “We are going to by the year 2017 eradicate all medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome,” John Sie proudly proclaimed as his foundation’s goal. Johnson, who plans to continue her involvement and work toward more awareness and federal funding for Down syndrome research, said she has met some amazing, special children since being part of the Jet Set Fashion Show. One in particular was a young man with Down syndrome who can play seven different instruments. “This event and charitable events like this teach us normal people that we are not the special ones. It is these children who are the special ones and have these great gifts and can make a tremendous contribution to society,” she said. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Seven Women Honored At CBWPA Annual Luncheon


By Shangra-La

mpowering Black women in the age of Michelle Obama and The Help” was the topic of keynote speaker Dr. Claire Garcia’s speech during the 32nd Annual Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) Tribute to Black Women Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver on October 8. Dr. Claire Garcia

went on to say that “he was the product of great and strong Black women.” The award recipient that exemplified Dr. Easley’s words the best was Emma G. Jackson, who received the senior citizen award for her service to the underserved and her commitment to health education and community outreach. Jackson is a graduate of the University of Colorado Community Health Nursing Department and Parkland Hospital in Flower Mount, Texas. She also holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Tuskegee Institute (University), as well as a master of science degree in community health nursing, a master of arts in communication and the

Belinda Hooks

Emily Tarleton

Hazel Miller

Diana Whye

school nurse practitioner certificate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her public school administrative certificate and graduate work were earned at Denver University. After a illustrious career in clinical practice, teaching, nursing, writing, and public health, Jackson now uses her skills to serve the community by establishing such programs as the Zion Baptist Church Health Education and Service Ministry. It was said that

Rhonda Fields

Emma Jackson

Larissa Borne

her greatest joy is advocating and caring for those whose life challenges in health, social, and spiritual needs may be easily overlooked. As a wife, mother and grandmother, she exhibits the true sprit and essence of a strong, great and accomplished Black woman.

Editor’s note: Shangra-La can be reached at or visit her blog at:



&RPHDQGVHHZK\RQHRXWRIÀYHRI&RORUDGR·V undergraduate students choose Metro State. Open House Nov. 5, 2011 Photo by Bernard Grant

Encompassing the theme of the evening, “Relevant and Results Oriented,” Garcia’s speech was relevant because she discussed the challenges faced by today’s Black women and results oriented because her message made us seriously think about how far we’ve actually come as Black women. Her speech concluded with a standing ovation from a sellout crowd of more than 400 people. Jeannie Davis, the award committee chairperson, presented awards to seven amazing women to honor their accomplishments, leadership, and outstanding community involvement. This year’s honorees included Belinda Hooks (business), Emily Tarleton (community service), Hazel Miller (cultural arts), Diana Whye (education), State Representative Rhonda Fields (politics), Emma G. Jackson, RN (senior citizen), and Larissa Renea Borne (youth). Dr. Nate Easley, the president of the Denver Public Schools Board, toasted the honorees with a memorial phrase “behind every great Black woman are about 5 to 10 Black men that they dragged along with them.” His catch phrase serves as a reminder that Black women have often used their strength and determination as a catalyst not only to empower Black men, but to empower the world. He

Roy (1974) & Ian (2012) Alexander Roy is a community leader and former Colorado Housing and Finance Authority CEO. His son Ian is an electrical engineering technology major.

Like Father Like Son “Metro State sparked a light for me that lit up the rest of my life.” Now Roy is hoping Metro State will do the same for his son Ian.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


For decades, the lot between Dahlia and Elm streets and 33rd and

35th streets in east Denver had been a blighted and rundown section of the community. Previously, it had been a vibrant center of commerce and one of the largest Black-owned shopping centers in the country. Now, with the grand opening of the Dahlia Square Senior Apartments, an eight-acre section of the property includes 88 units of “green” affordable housing units for seniors 62 and older. Getting them there was no easy task. “If you only knew what it took to move on speck of dirt…” said Mayor Michael Hancock, who was among more than 100 people at the grand opening on Oct. 7. The apartments, a $12 million endeavor, are the result of project that began 20 years ago. For Hancock and others involved with the project, the grand opening was a celebration of much more than the creation of a new place for people to live. It was the completion of a project that seemed impossible. For residents of Northeast Park Hill, it’s the remediation of a lot that Hancock described as a “symbol of neglect and disenfranchisement of a community.” “This used to be the heart and soul of Park Hill. Today is a rebirthing…like ghosts we rise,” said the Mayor as he also reminisced about skating at the Dahlia Square skating rink, Scooters, in his youth, and begging his mom to take him shopping at the Square. Arthur McDermott, president of McDermott Properties LLC, which developed the community, addressed the crowd with a welcome speech that began to paint a picture of Dahlia Square’s story. “There was a brick foundry right where you are sitting,” said McDermott to residents, community leaders, management staff, and others involved with the project. “Where you are sitting was a dump…where you are sitting was a burned out shopping center with environmental problems…where you are sitting is a site that was totally remediated…it was a site that needed change.” In the late ‘50s, the Dahlia Square shopping center was built over a landfill of solid waste that Farrey Brick Co. left behind in excavation pits when the clay it had been mining for 20 years was exhausted. Over the years, the shopping center featured a grocery store, a barbershop, a bowling alley, a doughnut shop, clubs, a roller skating rink, and restaurants. But the shopping center began to struggle in the ‘70s and ‘80s as bigger shopping centers located on major

Photo by Wil Alston

Eighty-Eight Affordable Senior Apartments Open At Renovated Dahlia Square By Lisa Walton streets became more prevalent. By the ‘90s, the center was less than 15 percent occupied and a rundown eyesore for the community. The shopping center wasn’t demolished until 2005, and the groundbreaking for the apartments didn’t happen until last year, but efforts for redevelopment date back to former Mayor Wellington Webb’s term in office, and continued after he left in 2003. It was a task first assigned by Webb to Tracy Huggins, executive director of the Denver Urban Renewal Agency (DURA), the city’s redevelopment agency engaged in neighborhood and downtown revitalization, economic development, home ownership, and housing rehabilitation, in 1997. But problems with financing, remediation, and local residents repeatedly delayed the project. “The real turning point in the development,” said Huggins, “was deciding to take on pieces as they pre-

About the Denver Urban Renewal Authority

The Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) is a full service redevelopment agency that engages in neighborhoods and downtown revitalization, economic development, homeownership and housing rehabilitation throughout the City and County of Denver. Since 1958, DURA has helped Denver overcome challenging conditions by leveraging public funding to maximize private investment and is an agent for growth and financial opportunity for Denver, its residents and the greater community. For more information, visit

About McDermtt Properties LLC

Known as one of Colorado’s leading affordable housing developers, McDermott Properties is recognized for imaginative new multifamily construction projects and for effective preservation and rehabilitation of existing apartment communities. McDermott Properties works with investors, government agencies, architects and builders to build, preserve and improve affordable housing in Colorado.

sented themselves.” And there were a lot of pieces. Site cleanup cost $7 million. Funded through a mix of DURA grants and loans, the project required remediation of leaking methane gas and significant amounts of asbestos. Ownership of the property changed repeatedly, developers came and went, and getting the funding was difficult and competitive. “Many people for so long stated that nothing could ever be done with this site,” said Cris White, executive director for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). CHFA selected the project from a group of 23 applicants to receive 9 percent tax credits. White explained that he was very humbled by the project because his organization played just one of many important roles in the redevelopment. In appreciation for the several organizations that helped bring the

About the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) finances the places where people live and work. CHFA strengthens Colorado’s communities by helping people by their own homes, grow their businesses, and create and preserve affordable rental housing. CHFA was established in 1973 by the Colorado General Assembly to address the shortage of affordable housing in the state. Since that time, CHFA has made loans to more than 72,500 low and moderate income homebuyers; Financed the construction and preservation of over 56,300 affordable rental housing units; and Awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits to support the development of nearly 40,000 affordable rental housing units. For more information please visit Contact CHFA’s Denver office at 1-800-877-chfa (2432), or Western Slope office at 1-800-877-8450.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


project to fruition, awards were presented to CHFA and DURA, in addition to architectural firm Lewis Himes Associates Inc., Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking, RBC Capital Markets who purchased the tax credits, and Shaw Construction. Aside from being a milestone in urban redevelopment and an important example of a private-public cooperation, Hancock said the apartments fill a need for age-restricted residences in the area. “Our seniors are the most precious resources we have outside of our children…our connection to the past,” he said, highlighting the importance of helping them maintain the quality of life that they deserve. “Ooh, I love it,” remarked Lois Murry about her new home. A resident of Denver since 1973, she moved to Dahlia Square on August 31 from a senior home in Stapleton, where she says she went five days without heat and hot water last winter and would spray for bed bugs once a month. “It’s just a different atmosphere over here. I’m just more happy because everything is new and it looks good…don’t have to worry about bedbugs.” She thinks the complex is much more welcoming and offers more amenities than her last residence. The one and two bedroom apartments are all furnished with Energy Star appliances. Amenities include a library, a living room, a billiards room, a physical fitness center, arts and crafts center, and a computer room. Management-organized programs will include health screenings, pool tournaments, potlucks, card games, parties, computer classes, and craft programs. A senior center is located less than half a mile away. The apartments also share the lot with the Park Hill Family Medical Clinic, which opened in 2009. While the apartments opened up in the last week of August, there is still one more leg of the journey. The senior apartments are only phase one of the redevelopment. McDermott Properties aims to provide an additional 40 units of income-restricted apartments in the adjacent field on the same lot. However, funding for phase two will not be available until the developers can document that phase one has been a success. The residences, half of which are occupied, are filling up quick. Residents interested in moving in within the next couple of months will benefit from special one-time only deals, said ComCap Asset Management’s Director of Marketing Pete Wilkins. For tours and applications, visit Dahlia Square Senior Apartments at 3421 Elm Street, or call 303-333-2126. 

A Legacy To Honor; A Dream To Achieve By Roslyn M. Brock

Editor’s note: This commentary was received prior to the Dr. King memorial dedication on the National Mall on Oct. 16


s our nation prepares to dedicate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall, we cannot help but reflect on the legacy he left behind, the faith he had in the next generation, and the dream that we must still strive to achieve.

Without question, few shaped our culture and our nation in the 20th century more than Dr. King. His legacy of social justice and activism has played an integral role in so much of what we take for granted today. Without his advocacy for voting rights, people of color might still be unable to cast a ballot unfettered. If not for his work defending the poor, economic disparity in America would be far worse than it is today. And without Dr. King’s call for non-violence, the civil rights movement might be remembered for the bloodshed and not for its message of justice and equality. At the NAACP, Dr. King’s legacy is prominent in our constant struggle to advance civil and human rights. With our Financial Freedom Campaign, we are building on Dr. King’s message that true freedom is inextricably tied to economic justice. With that in mind, we are providing underserved communities across the country with the tools they need to attain and maintain financial stability. In our health campaigns, we have embodied Dr. King’s

White House Announces Expediting DHA’s Revitalization Of South Lincoln Homes

The Obama Administration announced the selection of 14 infrastructure projects across the country to be expedited through the permitting and environmental review process. The list of projects includes the Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) revitalization of the South Lincoln Homes, a 60year old public housing development located at 10th and Osage St., covering 17.5 acres. “Denver is proud to be part of today’s White House announcement to expedite infrastructure projects from around the nation,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “These federal actions will directly activate our local economy, energize an emerging community, and ultimately create jobs in Denver. The White House is clearly doing what is needed to create jobs and get this country moving forward again.” The recent action taken by the White House will facilitate timely review and approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the construction schedule for the $91.7 million redevelopment. Through leveraging a $10 million ARRA Competitive Energy Modernization Grant, DHA began construction of the first phase of the redevelopment of the 1099 Osage Apartments and community facility, providing 100 units of affordable housing and community retail services. Total project cost for 1099 Osage will be $24.8 million scheduled for completion in January 2012. DHA was subsequently awarded a $22 million HOPE VI grant from HUD to transform 270 obsolete public housing units area into a sustainable, mixed-income,

mixed-use, transit-oriented community, with diverse housing types, outdoor amenities and environments that promotes healthy lifestyles. With the new name of “Mariposa,” the development will include: 457 new multifamily housing units Phased redevelopment plan that significantly minimizes disruption or displacement to current residents. High standard design for sustainable, energy efficient building infrastructure systems, including LEED certification. Community amenities including pedestrian friendly walkways, bikeable streets, urban gardens, public arts program, early childhood center and open space that promote active healthy lifestyles. Adult based education, job training/placement, youth employment opportunities and financial literacy. According to Ismael Guerrero, DHA Executive Director, “DHA is fortunate to have the support of HUD and the Obama administration; which has meant capital investment for Denver’s disadvantaged communities and jobs for families working their way out of this recession.” South Lincoln redevelopment is scheduled for completion in 2018. About DHA The Denver Housing Authority is a quasi-municipal corporation that provides affordable housing to more than 26,000 very low, low, and middle income individuals. DHA’s mission is to serve the residents of Denver by developing, owning, and operating safe, decent and affordable housing in a manner that promotes thriving communities.

remark that, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Working under that motto, we are organizing campaigns to bring additional attention and resources to the fight against HIV/AIDS and childhood obesity. When we fight for equality in education, we remember Dr. King’s belief that education functions “to teach one to think intensively and to think critically”, something that all students deserve. With all that Dr. King gave to the world, his most enduring gift may be the faith he had in others. Dr. King had an unwavering faith that future generations would continue his fight to ensure that the arc of the universe bends towards justice. He trusted that if he provided the vehicle and destination, we would be able to forge our own path towards equality. We must remember Dr. King’s faith as we fight twenty-first century attempts to roll back rights for people of color. Dr. King succeeded in securing full voting rights for people of all color, but this election season we see a coordinated by some push to implement laws that would disenfranchise poor and minority voters. He strove for equality between all races, but our nation is stuck in a “tough on crime” mentality that imprisons African

Americans for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of their white counterparts. Dr. King brought his attention to poverty, but these days the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever before, and the war on poverty has been narrowed to a series of bromides and unrealized initiatives. It is up to this generation, and the generations that follow to live up to Dr. King’s faith and stand on the frontlines in this new battle for civil rights. I grew up in this organization as a member of the NAACP Youth and College Division. Inspired by the work of Dr. King and those who followed him, I joined the Association as a freshman at Virginia Union University and later served as a Youth Board Member. I am proud to say that in its 75th year, our Youth and College Division is 25,000 members strong, making it one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country. These youth are the future of the organization, and we must have faith in them as Dr. King had faith in us. After all, there is still so much to do before we achieve Dr. King’s dream of full equality. The future is calling, and with your help, the NAACP will answer.  Editor’s note: Roslyn M. Brock is the Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP.


Exploring Expl oring is issues sues of

CIVIC C IVIC RESPONSIBILITY Presented Pr esented by F Facing acing History History and Ourselves Ourselves and The Allstate Allstate Foundation Foundation in partner partnership ship with the Blair-Caldw Blair-Caldwell ell African African American American Resear Research ch Library Library and City YYear. ear.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011

13 www

Mother Love’s Humorous Approach To Health

By Sheila Smith


he will make you laugh and think twice about picking up that fried chicken leg and other things that you shouldn’t be eating. You see, Mother Love has diabetes and lost family members to the disease. The veteran radio talk show host of “The Mother Love Show” on and CNBC’s weekly program “dLifeTV” was in Denver speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Center For Women’s Health Research on Oct. 4. Mother Love is a multitalented woman – a humorist, columnist, author, and motivational speaker. The Center for Women’s Health Research was established in 2004, and is based at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Despite medical breakthroughs, critical disparities still exist when it comes to men and women’s health. Today, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. The number one cause of death for African-Americans is heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The Denver Urban Spectrum took time to talk with Mother Love about these health issues affecting the African-American community: DUS: Having diabetes didn’t stop you. How did you manage your health and turn your life around? Mother Love: I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990. Like a lot of people who were diagnosed, I thought this can’t be happening to me. I then said ‘I have to do something because I didn’t want to go on insulin or have any body parts cut off.’ The first thing I did was to change my attitude about food, how I prepare food and shop for food. I also learned to be an avid (food) label reader to see what the ingredients were. I came to the conclusion that if I can’t pronounce the stuff, I won’t be eating it. DUS: How hard was it for you to lose family members to diabetes? Mother Love: My youngest sister was only 10 when she was first diagnosed with diabetes. My sister never took ownership of having diabetes. My mother was then diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And my oldest sister was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when she got pregnant with my niece. My oldest sister, mother, father, and brother all died from heart disease and had diabetes. DUS: Why do you think African Americans tend to neglect their health and not take the necessary precautions? Mother Love: It is such a slow arduous disease, and we don’t see the immediate complications. Many of our people still have this whole Tuskegee

experiment in their heads and have become distrustful of doctors. We feel God will take care of us and should give it to the Lord.. Faith without works is dead. God said your body is a holy temple and if you don’t treat it like that, how dare you think he’ll come at the 11th hour to save you. DUS: What can we do in the African-American community to be more trustful of doctors, and what can those in the medical field do to make people more aware of these health issues and risks? Mother Love: They can get out as much information as they can. People need to know what is going on and how their body works. Especially women, we have to get off this idea of, ‘if I take care of myself then I am neglecting someone else.’ You will be lying in a casket at 29, 39 and 49 years old. And everyone will be saying, ‘Isn’t that a shame; she was so young when she died.’ So we have to take responsibility for our own actions. And it isn’t easy. Every day that I wake up, I know I have this crap. But everyday that I wake up, I have to be mindful of what I have to do, and doing it becomes habit. Now in the state of California, people can take their food stamp card and use it at fast food restaurants. It’s the worst thing ever because they aren’t looking at the nutritional value in their food or lack of nutritional value. This one place sells a salad that has more than 1,800 calories – how do you do that to lettuce?

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


DUS: How do you use your TV show and radio show as formats to talk about these health issues? Mother Love: The “dLife” is specifically designed for people with diabetes and that is the whole focus of the program. We share personal stories and share recipes. My radio program has taken on a life of its own. I wasn’t trying to be the poster child for diabetes. I was trying to keep being Mother Love the relationship guru. DUS: You are a powerful motivational speaker, so has there been any one person who has profoundly affected you? Mother Love: My mother was always a solid influence in my life. She taught me to stand up and speak up for myself, speak up for those who are mistreated, and don’t be afraid to get involved. I learned that at age 16 when a kid died in my lap. He got off on the wrong entrance ramp off the freeway in our neighborhood (in the projects of Cleveland, Ohio) and this is when there was a lot of racial unrest in the 1960s. Someone saw this white kid on a motorcycle and shot him in the back. No one would help him. All I could do is put his head in my lap, and try to get his helmet off. He bled to death in my lap. DUS: You put a lot of humor into your messages regarding health issues. Do you think this has made a difference in people rethinking about living a healthier life? Mother Love: Definitely. First of all, I am real silly. I have been a standup comic for 15 years. But sometimes I cry when I think about my sister and mother, and it does get painful. And I don’t want to talk about it. But I remember my mother tell me, ‘Just be your charming self.’ I also have to have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Every day he wakes me up, and when we piss off Satan together, it’s a good day. DUS: What’s next for Mother Love? Mother Love: I am doing a voiceover for a documentary about health. I will be doing an exercise video for seasoned women – where we won’t be jumping up and down, running around, ruining our rotator cup, and getting our hip tore up. I am also working on a cookbook and a new cooking television show called “Cooking with Mother Love.” You see these cooking shows now that are on, and they have every perfect piece of equipment and the perfect stove. Most of us are doing good if we have one sharp knife in the house. This way I can teach people to cook with what they got, and eat healthy with what you got. 

Veterans Celebrate Black Soldiers

Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Civil War

Washington, DC (—

The National Veterans Coalition

recently added a twist to the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War by honoring black participation in the iconic battle with a presentation on African American service and a screening of the blockbuster movie, “Glory.” The event, held at the University of the District of Columbia, is part of ongoing community outreach by the Coalition to publicize African American military involvement. The group’s key focus is obtaining an honorary posthumous promotion of Col. Charles Young to Brigadier General. He was denied the honor because of the color of his skin and, at the time of his death in 1922, was the highest ranking black man in the US military. “It’s vital to recognize the contributions of black soldiers in the defense of the nation; it’s a part of American history,” said Charles Blatcher, III, Chairman of the Veterans Coalition. He further stated: “Our goal in sponsoring this event is threefold. First, we are acknowledging the occasion of African American participation in the Civil War. Second, the occasion offered the opportunity to introduce or re-introduce the importance of learning the facts and preserving our history.” “It is our intention to provide additional forums for our scholars and experts to bring the conversations to the community firsthand, just as we did in Washington, DC. Third, this occasion was appropriate in providing us the opportunity to publicly embrace the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” he continues. “Little known outside of the Washington, DC area, it is an institution with vast potential. It presents the history of Black America to the nation and the world. Hopefully, it will interface with public education to make available to schools throughout the nation supplemental materials which are a part of American History. We invite the public to become involved in supporting the development of that institution. We are requesting the institution to broaden its outreach to join us in presenting programs similar to this event

across the nation, to cultivate community interest in this national project.” The presentations were led by highly esteemed historians from the District’s top universities and a representative of the Capitol’s sole museum dedicated to the Civil War’s soldiers of color. The panel included: Hari Jones, Curator, African American Civil War Museum; Dr. Jennifer C. James, George Washington University; Dr. Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University; and, Dr. Sandra JowersBarber, University of the District of Columbia. The Coalition, along with the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust and the University of the

District of Columbia, sponsored the event. “One of the best-kept secrets in American history is the story of how Americans of African descent helped save the Union and freed themselves in the Civil War,” Mr. Jones said. He continues, “It is important that we know and understand this history in order for us to truly know and understand who we are as a people.” Dr. Jennifer James furthered this point of view: “People of African descent have served in almost every conflict in North America from the 1600’s forward. All Americans should be aware of that long history of sacrifice.”

These patriots were eager to prove their valor, according to Georgetown’s Dr. Jackson. He retold the story, “...the cry had been long: ‘Give us the opportunity; show us a chance to climb to distinction, and we will show the world by our bravery what the Negro can do.’” Dr. Jowers-Barber addressed the black soldiers’ courage. “They fought in every conflict prior to the Civil War and yet were still not considered worthy to be citizens. But when it came time to fight for their own freedom and save the Union they were ready and again distinguished themselves in the Civil War. Do not be misled; African American history is indeed American history.” 


FIND INSPIRATION INSIDE AND OUT During Denver Arts Week, the Mile High City overflows with ways to indulge your creative side. Explore visual arts, theater, music, film, museums, dance, opera, comedy, history and heritage. And don’t miss the opening of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum on November 18th. Find events, deals and a little inspiration of your own at DENVERARTSWEEK.COM



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


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TTheater, h e a te r, D Dance, a n c e, FFilm, ilm, M Music, u s ic, D i s c o u nt s , Deals D e a l s and a n d FFree re e EEvents ve n t s Discounts,

Cain’s Black Voter Fantasy



By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Presidential Herman Cain again solemnly told a pack of pesky reporters in New Hampshire recently that he was absolutely confident that in a head to head match-up against President Obama that he could snatch a third of the black vote. The notion that he can get a big chunk of the black vote for the GOP is intriguing. It’s intriguing because it has a ring to it that appeals to GOP leaders who have long imagined that if they could get the right black candidate and package their message just right they could draw an appreciable number of black voters. It’s a good talking point with GOP hawker Cain out there leading the pack of GOP presidential contenders in some early but meaningless straw polls. Cain, though, is hardly the first to step into fantasy land with

the notion that the GOP can grab lots of black votes. In 2010, a record number of black Republicans ran for Congress. They had the GOP salivating at the prospect of not only putting a slew of black Republicans in Congress but doing it with substantial black votes snatched from the Democrats. Then former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell excitedly gloated that “This will be the


The Man of a 1,000 Voices presents

Photo by Bernard Grant

Standing On Tthe Shoulders...

(Nat King Cole, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Sammy Davis, Jr., Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke, Barry White and Michael Jackson)

In concert with The Julius Orchestra

(Frankie Beverly, The O’Jays, Gerald Levart, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Wilson, Billy Ocean, Jeffrey Osborne, Terrence Trent Darby, Santana, The Gap Band, Alexander O’Neal and Julius!)


500 16th St., #320 (at Glenarm)

Sundays, November 13 and Sunday, December 4 Tickets $15 Advance, $20 At the Door Doors Open at 5 PM. Show begins at 5:30 PM

For tickets: For more information on The Julius Show:

Visit - E-mail - Call - 720-849-4197

most successful election cycle for African-American Republicans in at least 20 years.” It wasn’t. The two black GOP candidates that won, Tim Scott in South Carolina and Allen West in Florida registered barely a blip on the chart of black voters and won with white votes in near lock down GOP leaning districts. Since Cain has declared his candidacy he has not secured the endorsement of one major black business, civic, or political organization. He has not secured the endorsement of a single nationally known black political leader. That includes well-known, and well-connected, African-American Republicans, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. In fact, he hasn’t even gotten the endorsement of Scott or West. His support has been almost exclusively from the noisy, extreme, and disjoined Tea Party acolytes. Blacks in the past have groused at and bashed the Democrats. But they still overwhelmingly vote for them. The off the chart vote blacks gave President Obama is repeatedly cited even by black Republican hopefuls as an aberration in that blacks turned the election into a holy crusade to get one of their own in the White House. It’s wrong on two counts. Obama was more than just the fulfillment of a civil rights dream. He had a solid program for change that frontally challenged and promise of reversing the social and economic damage, race baiting, and neglect that characterized three decades of Republican rule in the White House and the sledgehammer attacks on or malign neglect of civil rights leaders and concerns when Republicans were out of the White House. The rock solid loyalty of blacks to the Democrats is also based on simple pragmatism. The Congressional Black

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Caucus is Democrats, with the sole exception of West, and so are the leaders of the mainstream civil rights organizations. Despite the shots they take at the Democrats for taking them and their vote for granted, black Democrats and civil rights leaders are still highly respected. Most blacks still look to them to fight the tough battles for health care, greater funding for education and jobs, voting rights protections, affirmative action, and against racial discrimination. Civil rights organizations were the only groups that consistently fought back against Reagan, Bush Sr., and W. Bush’s draconian cuts in job, education, social service, funding and programs, their retrograde nominees to the Supreme Court appointments that would roll back the civil rights clock, and their peck away at affirmative action, civil rights and civil liberties protections. The Tea Party has done absolutely nothing to dispel that suspicion. Tea Party leaders loudly protest that blacks should not lambaste them as racists based on the quackery of a few bigots and race baiters among their ranks. The fact that those bigots and race baiters are there in the first place and with few exception Tea Party leaders have kept their mouths shut about them, let alone not drummed them out of the movement, is damning proof for blacks that their finger wag at big government, taxes and their tout of the Constitution and personal freedoms is just a cover for latent and no so latent bigotry toward one black man, President Obama. The best assurance that black voters will not move even a fraction of an inch toward the GOP is Cain himself. His shoot-from the lip gaffes, jibes, and insults of blacks as “brainwashed,” his shrug off of racism as irrelevant, his tout of an economic program that would blatantly increase the already gaping economic disparity between rich and poor, and his outrageous shock jock type quips and demeanor make even the most disinterested, skeptical, and hostile AfricanAmericans toward the Democrats stay firmly planted in the Democratic column. Cain’s quip that blacks will back him is the ultimate guarantee that they’ll stay there.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM Radio Los Angeles streamed on podcast on and internet TV broadcast on

Killing The Lies

There are

By Soul Watson

very few subjects that are written about in women’s journals, magazines, etc. as much as “why Men lie” except of course “why men cheat” which is a form of lying. I was listening to my Sirius Radio this week and heard a rant by Steve Harvey, you know, the “relationship expert“. He was saying that the reason why men lie is because they love the woman and do not want to hurt her. He went on to say that when a man starts telling the truth to a woman it’s because he no longer cares about the relationship. Pure Crap!!! Men lie for one reason and one reason only -out of expediency, period. It is truly ironic that one of the socalled leaders in relationship advice in our community is also a comedian. This in itself would be laughable to any other community but I guess the bar is so low in the “AfricanAmerican” community that jesters can pass for experts. The aim of this article is not to discuss why men lie but rather why they SHOULDN’T lie and how lying destroys not only the relationship but the man’s own desires and dreams. Men have been socialized by this society to believe that they are not accountable to feminine energy. Most men falsely believe that after they leave their momma’s house that they don’t have to adhere to or respect the feminine voice and society through religion, social structures and media reinforce this erroneous idea. I am going to explain in detail how this corrosive thinking destroys relationships and renders men unable to accomplish a balanced and loving life. Allow me to go biblical for a moment. The good book says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (emphasis mine). John 1:1-2 Now whether you are a practicing Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or

MAN UP! just a homie in the hood you should understand the power of your word and the importance or respecting the feminine in relation to your word. It’s best to think of your word as a seed and in fact the ‘good book’ uses the analogy of the word as seed over and over again. To understand why lets look at the following 9 attributes of a seed: •A seed is alive: it contains life. •A seed does nothing until planted. •A seed is much smaller than the plant it produces. •A seed always produces after its kind. •A seed is powerful. •A seed begins its growth in secret (underground). •A seed takes time to produce. •A seed is persistent. •A seed is not affected by other seeds. So now that we have gained insight into the relationship of our words as mental seed (simply substitute “word” for “seed” in the above list to see it even more clearly) let us now examine the true detrimental effects of us lying to our mates. Just as word=seed our women=earth, the place where these word/seeds are planted in order to come into fruition in the world. This is the aspect of the feminine that is most often ignored or denied in Western culture, which is the true DIVINE nature of women. Most prominent in western philosophy is the earth/woman explained as the ultimate antagonist, a force to be subdued, controlled, manipulated and yes, lied to. But I digress. Now, I need for the men to follow me here. If our word is seed (and it is), and our women are our earths, the place where our seeds are planted both literally and figuratively (and they are), what is the only natural result that can come from speaking (planting) a lie to her/within her? I know - heavy right? Read this again before we move on. Hopefully, right about now a light is going off in your head but just in case there is a short circuit let me try to make it even plainer by providing an example of this principle in action. Lets say that your mate has asked you to do something for her (You know one of the million menial tasks that are thrown your way throughout a given week) and this particular task she is especially looking for you to assist her to complete. Within the course of your day you get caught up in the tasks that are on your plate and you forget to attend to her request. The phone then rings and it’s her on

the other-end urgently asking you if you have completed this task and what do you say: Answer yes, and delay the inevitable disappointment because she will soon find out that you didn’t do it? Answer yes, hurry up and hang-up to go get the task completed without her finding out that you forgot? Answer No, and begin to explain all the stuff you have on your plate, tell her you are busy with your stuff and you forgot because you don’t appreciate her pilling her stuff on your plate in the first place? Answer No, and apologize for letting it slip your mind and commit to get it done ASAP without further delay? This is not a trick question. Most men do one of the first three answers. Why? Like I said, those answers are the most expedient and least accountable. Answer-D requires something that many of us men have not been socialized to have in our relationships Courage and Honesty. Expediency is the enemy of Honest. We men must make it a habit of telling the truth to our women for the simple fact that what you plant in the earth is what you will receive in fruit. Most of us men cannot draw a line between the lies we tell to our women and the flared up argument a day, a week or a month later (refer to the 6th attribute of a seed above). Nor do we draw a line from the lie we tell to our women and the unanswered prayer or desire we send to God/Universe. How do we as men expect for the Universe to hear our prayers, meditations, wishes and desires and to act on them when we continue to send it mixed messages? How can we lie in one breath to our earths and in the next instance expect to reap a bountiful harvest? This is how we as men work against ourselves. This is how we undermine ourselves. This is how we cut ourselves off from our power and

then become frustrated in our impotency. Our power comes through our women and until we understand this and act accordingly we will be constantly aggravated and discouraged by our inability to manifest our desires in this world. Therefore, I’m asking all men who are reading this article to engage in an exercise. Commit to not tell a lie about anything (this includes the “white lie”) for a whole month. Not to our women, friends or family. Also, keep track of your prayers/meditations and see if more of them begin to come into fruition. Let us as a community eradicate the lie from our relationships as now more than ever we need the truth and the sweet fruit that it brings. Man Up!  Editor’s note: Hasira Watson-Ashemu (HSoul) is a relationship coach and is a syndicated columnist in N. America, Europe and Africa. He is a radio host at 89.3 KUVO and the producer of Souliloquy, a two minute audio tape on topical issues of the week. He also has conducted relationship seminars and trainings for the past 15 years. You can follow him on his weekly blog at or contact him at

What’s your fla vor?

Make it up close and personal with Julius, the man with a 1,000 voices.

Thursday, December 1, 2011 7:30 to 10:30 PM Admission: $10

Sunday, November 13th 2 to 4 PM

Johnson and Wales University 1900 Olive Street, Denver, CO

Free Admission ~Business Casual Attire~

For more information, call Katherine Burse - 303-489-5557

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Flavor of Havana Cigar Bar and Cocktail Lounge 2295 S. Chambers Road @ Iliff


African-American HistoryMakers Show Commitment To Schools


By Sheila Smith

olorado has a few of its own history makers among the more than 500 African-American HistoryMakers nationwide, from Denver Urban Spectrum publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris, civil rights activist Vincent Harding, and geophysicist Waverly Person to former Lieutenant Governor Joe Rogers. The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African-American video oral history archive, launched its 2nd annual Back-to-School with the HistoryMakers program in schools in 35 states. These HistoryMakers recount their school experiences, struggles they’ve encountered along the way, and commitment to finishing their education. This year’s theme was COMMIT. Bee Harris used the theme COMMIT as Challenging Opportunities Manufacture Mindset Intellect and Talent, in describing her journey in life.

“I felt an indescribable sense of pride that HistoryMakers felt that my story was worth sharing with high school students today,” she said about speaking recently to students at Montbello High School in Denver and being among the HistoryMakers. Harris grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich. She got married and moved to Denver, which has been her home for the past 30 years. Her ambition and drive to start a newspaper came when two other individuals approached her about being business partners. “Because there was a need at the time for a Black newspaper, as a trio we embarked on securing advertising for the first publication, and as they say, the rest is history,” she said. Coming up in April 2012, the Urban Spectrum will celebrate 25 years of spreading the news about communities of color. In addition to running the business of a newspaper for 25 years, Harris said the biggest accomplishment in her life was raising two sons into responsible and respectable men.

Harris also maintained her commitment to youth in the community. In 2000, she started the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation, a journalism program for youths between ages 13 and 17. She is always striving to instill the message to youth that anyone can succeed and do what they want. “Staying in school and getting an education will provide you with a better future and help you become a more productive member of society,” Harris advised students. Colorado’s HistoryMaker Waverly Person, a geophysicist, spoke at Centaurus High School(in Lafayette, Colo. Many students were impacted by his talk about the struggles Blacks had in getting an education when he was growing up. Person was born in Virginia and became the first African American to serve as the director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center. Vincent Gordon Harding, professor of religion and social transformation at the Iliff School of Theology and former civil rights activist, spoke at Escuela Tlatelolco School in Denver, leaving students with some history most never knew about. Harding was born in Barbados. However, during the 1960s he was very active in America’s Southern Freedom Movement and an avid fighter for international peace and other justice-related causes. Joe Rogers, a Republican, was elected as the youngest ever Lt. Governor of Colorado in 1999, and running mate of former Gov. Bill Owens.

HistoryMakers Joe Rogers Founder and Executive Director Julieanna Richardson said she launched the Back-to-School with HistoryMakers initiative to respond to President Barack Obama’s call for public service in a real and meaningful way, and help youth recognize that they can overcome the challenges confronting them. “By bringing these living legends into the schools,” Richardson said, “we raise awareness about the achievements of the accomplished African Americans in local communities and bring these leaders into schools to see things firsthand.” Richardson continues to encourage educators across the country to use multimedia resources such as The HistoryMakers digital archive to enrich their students’ exposure to the contributions of African Americans in every community. Over the years, many well-known celebrities and personalities have joined the ranks of HistoryMakers and shared their experiences at schools across the country. Nikki Giovanni, Andrew Young, Melba Moore, and hip-hop artist Common are just a few. Richardson noted that this program could not have come at a better time as the U.S. education system is in chaos, and government officials and educators are struggling to find solutions that will encourage students to commit to education. “At a time when schools across the country are facing budget and staff cuts and an increased emphasis on student achievement,” she added, “the HistoryMakers have responded to President Obama’s call for public service in a real and meaningful way by helping students see the alternatives to violence and dropping out of school.” 

2100 York Street - Denver, Colorado 80205 - 303-333-5077 s i m p l y f l o r a l b j @ a o l . c o m - w w w. s i m p l y b e a u t i f u l c o l o r a d o . c o m Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Presents Freedom Riders Exhibit Destination Freedom Special Live Performance; Get On The Bus Art Exhibit

John Lewis

Joan Mulholland

for its treatment of Lawson, who is now a member of its faculty. Major funding for the traveling exhibit ion is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, call Erin Lally, Library Program Assistant at 720-865241, e-mail or visit Destination Freedom Series continues with a special live performance of the Freedom Riders at El Centro Su Teatro, located at 7 Santa Fe. No Credits Productions and KGNU 88.5 FM, 1390 AM Boulder Community Radio will present a live performance and broadcast of, Destination Freedom; Black Radio Days on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Broadcast on KGNU 88.5 FM and 1390 AM

No Credits Productions, LLC and donnie l. betts in association with KGNU 88.5 FM, 1390 AM Boulder Community Radio



RREEEE ‘Southern Journey’ F E THHE singers from ring


From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. “Freedom Riders� examines the 1961 and earlier Freedom Rides from many perspectives - that of the Riders themselves, the Kennedy administration, and the international community.


events for the public in connection with the exhibition, including educator workshops, teach-ins for students K-12 focused on anti-bullying education, a film series, a live radio drama and lectures/discussions with Freedom Rider Jim Lawson, and other experts. James Lawson was a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the American Civil Rights Movement. He continues to be active in training activists in nonviolence. Lawson moved to Nashville, Tenn. and enrolled at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, where he served as the southern director for Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and began conducting nonviolence training workshops for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. While in Nashville, Lawson met and mentored a number of young students at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action. Lawson also trained many of the future leaders of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, among them Diane Nash, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry, and John Lewis. In 1959 and 1960 these and other Lawson-trained activists launched the Nashville sit-ins to challenge segregation in downtown stores. Along with activists from Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere in the South, they formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. Lawson’s students played a leading role in the Open Theater Movement, the Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement. Lawson’s expulsion from Vanderbilt as a result of these activities became one of the celebrated incidents of the era and eventually a source of deep embarrassment to the university. During the 2006 graduation ceremony Vanderbilt apologized

This broadcast will feature guest James Lawson and other riders from the summer of 1961. They will join the audience for a community dialogue on race and other issues that face our nation plus share firsthand account of the rides. Musical guest Southern Journey will perform songs from the Southern Freedom Movement. For tickets or more information, call 720-748-1388 or 720-318-9895 or visit Join Art Blaque for the opening of Get On The Bus, an art exhibit and panel discussion moderated by Holly K. Hurd to examine art, activism and leadership in the black community in the 21st century. Get On The Bus is an art exhibit of interpretations by local AfricanAmerican artists on important components, individuals and ideas related to activism of the past, present and future. Get On The Bus will be on display from Nov. 2 through 30. Exhibit and panel discussion are free and open to the public and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, e-mail or call 720-3644492. 

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Special guest James Lawson and other riders from the summer of 1961. They will join the audience for a community dialogue on race and other issues that face our nation plus share firsthand account of the rides. Featuring singers from ‘Southern Journey’ performing songs from the Southern Freedom Movement.



El Centro Su Teatro 721 Santa Fe Dr. Denver, CO 80204

Monday, November 14TH 2011 Tickets: $10





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The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library will host the national traveling exhibition “Freedom Riders� which tells the powerful, harrowing and inspirational civil rights story in 1961 when more than 400 courageous Americans old and young, black and white, men and women, Northern and Southern risked their lives to challenge segregated facilities in the South. The exhibition will be on display from Nov. 228 and is a companion to the May 2011 PBS broadcast of American Experience film Freedom Riders, directed by Stanley Nelson. “Freedom Riders� combines powerful photography and news coverage of the 1961 Freedom Rides and examines the movement from many perspectives - the Riders, the Kennedy administration, and the international community. To enhance the experience, visitors may use their cell phones to access 54 powerful firsthand audio accounts of this dangerous experiment in the fight for civil rights. The Freedom Riders had a simple but daring plan: to board buses in small interracial groups to test and challenge segregated facilities in the South. The Freedom Riders endured savage beatings, humiliation, and imprisonment, but ultimately, their brave actions and commitment to nonviolence changed American forever. Freedom Riders explore this littleknown chapter in civil rights history, and explain how the selfless actions of the Freedom Riders laid the groundwork for some of the most important civil rights legislation in our nation’s history. The exhibition, created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and PBS’s flagship history series, American Experience, is funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,� said Shirley Amore, city librarian. “The 1961 Freedom Rides are an inspiring example of what ordinary individuals can accomplish. The actions and the bravery of the Freedom Riders provide invaluable lessons for our young people today, and for anyone who hopes to make a difference in our community, country, or world.� The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is one of 20 sites nationwide selected to host the “Freedom Riders� exhibition. The site is sponsoring programs and other



Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; November 2011



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Stanley BPS is seeking intern candidates to participate in our Teacher Preparation Program in the fields of Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education for the 2012-2013 school year. • One-year alternative licensing program offering an option of either a Colorado Early Childhood Education Initial License or a Colorado Elementary Education Initial License. • Option of receiving graduate credit hours for work in the classroom and coursework seminars through our partnership with the University of Colorado Denver. • Interns are paid a stipend and receive some benefits. • Financial aid available to Stanley BPS employees. • Contact Gina Bernacchi at 303-261-1783 or for more information, or download an application from our website at (click on “Intern Program”).

Teacher Intern Program Seeks Teachers Of Color By Gina Bernacchi, Program Coordinator, Stanley BPS Teacher Preparation Program


he Stanley British Primary School Teacher Preparation Program is actively recruiting candidates of color for its 2012-2013 intern program in the fields of elementary education and early childhood education. Stanley BPS is both a K-8 school and a teacher preparation center. Each year, approximately 45 teacher interns participate in the Stanley BPS Teacher Preparation Program. Intern teachers work full time in the classroom alongside mentor teachers as an apprentice. For two decades, Stanley BPS has pioneered a unique approach to the preparation of teachers. “Our approach is based on three core elements,” said Sue Sava, director of the TPP. “We believe that teachers learn to teach by teaching, that the first year of teaching should occur with the guidance of experienced mentors, and that educational coursework should integrate theory and practice.” Interns gain an understanding of experience-based, developmentally appropriate education. They take on steadily increasing responsibilities as their skills and confidence grow. Intern teachers start the year working with small groups of children and end the year capable of managing the entire class. With ongoing feedback and support from their mentor teachers and educational advisors, interns participate in all aspects of the teaching process. They learn to differentiate instruction for individual students, and share in celebrating diversity within the classroom. In 1992, Stanley BPS formed a partnership with Denver Public Schools to establish British Primary programs in inner-city elementary schools. The British Primary teachers in these schools are graduates of the TPP and now mentor Stanley BPS interns in their classrooms. According to Sava, the TPP’s vision is to increase the racial/ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the intern program and to be more reflective of the racial/ethnic and socio-economic demographics that currently exist in Denver. “As a result of our intentional recruiting strategies, we have

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


increased the number of interns who are people of color from 7 percent in 2009-2010 to 18 percent in 2010-2011,” Sava said. “The importance of recruiting and preparing teachers of color to serve children of color cannot be underestimated.” The Stanley BPS Teacher Preparation Program, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Education, offers an option of either a Colorado Early Childhood Education Initial License or a Colorado Elementary Education Initial License. Interns enrolled in the licensure program receive credit for working full time in the classroom. In addition, interns take 225 clock hours of coursework on Thursday afternoons throughout the school year. Interns also have the option of receiving graduate credit hours for their work in the classroom and the coursework seminars. After acceptance into the program, interns may enroll in a master’s degree program, which is offered through our partnership with the University of Colorado Denver. Interns may apply for either the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education or Master of Arts in Educational Psychology. Coursework begins in August and continues throughout the school year. Interns meet weekly for seminars, hands-on workshops, and active discussions in which they pose questions and examine educational issues with reference to their own experiences in the classroom. The courses are taught by program staff, education professors from the University of Colorado Denver, and by teachers from local private and public schools.  Editor’s note: For more information about the program, or to apply for the 2012-2013 school year, contact Gina Bernacchi, Program Coordinator, at 303-261-1783 or Or visit Stanley’s website at; click on “Intern Program.”

City Year Denver Deploys 50 Corps Members To Area Schools For Year of Service

Fifty corps members will serve in 5 schools throughout Denver in its inaugural year City Year, a national organization that unites young people for a year of service in high-need urban schools held its Opening Day ceremony in Denver, kicking off its inaugural year of service in Denver public schools. Denver is City Year’s newest site, marking the 21st city its AmeriCorps members serve in the U.S. Corps members will serve as tutors, mentors, and role models in five Denver public schools this year. Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia, Mayor Michael Hancock and others joined Jeff Park, Executive Director of City Year Denver, and 50 local corps members at Civic Center Park to kick-off the inaugural service year. “As someone who has been a public servant for many years, I am continuously inspired by people who dedicate their time to serve others. These young people have already mentioned that they are City Year and demonstrate spirit, discipline, purpose and pride,” said Congressman DeGette. “I encourage these corps members to walk in the shoes and lean on the shoulders of the thousands

of corps members who have served before them as they embark on this amazing journey.” “We are proud to have City Year in Denver to partner with Denver Public Schools to address the dropout crisis,” said Mayor Michael Hancock from the steps of Civic Center Park’s Greek Amphitheater. “The City looks forward to seeing the results that will undoubtedly come from these young leaders who will serve as role models, tutors and mentors to students who are struggling. These Corps Members have dedicated one year of full time service in our schools to ensure our students are in school and on track to graduation.” “This year of service – YOUR year of service – will serve as a model for generations to come. Thank you for answering the call of service, and thank you for including Comcast in that journey with you” Richard Jennings, Regional Vice President from Comcast, told Denver’s corps of 50 AmeriCorps members. Comcast

sponsors Opening Day at all 21 City Year locations. In 21 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates in London and Johannesburg, these diverse young leaders help turn around high-need schools and keep students in school and on track to graduation by working to improve their attendance, behavior and course performance. “We are proud to welcome City Year Denver as the 21st U.S. site of City Year, and its 50 corps members to our national corps that is today 2000 strong, helping students and schools succeed,” said City Year Co-Founder and national CEO, Michael Brown. In 2009, with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Brown announced In School &On Track: A National Challenge, a campaign to address the nation’s high school dropout crisis and turn around low performing schools by scaling City Year programs nationwide. In 2010, 90 percent of 3rd through 5th grade students tutored by City Year improved raw literacy scores. As a result of City Year’s attendance support initiatives, 55 percent of 6th through 9th grade students who were off track in attendance were back on track in 2010.And 90 percent of ninth graders working with corps members agreed that City Year helped them understand the class content better. “We’re honored to be serving in five Denver schools, partnerships that would not be possible without the support of the Denver Public School System, the local Denver business community, and the founding corps and staff,” said Jeff Park, Executive Director of City Year Denver. “Here’s to an impactful first year, keeping students in school and on track.” High school dropouts are three times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed and eight times more likely to be incarcerated than high school graduates. In Denver, just 51.8 percent of students graduate high school on time. City Year corps mem-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


bers help keep students in school and on track to graduate. Learn more at  Editor’s note: City Year is an educationfocused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out. In more than 20 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, our teams of young AmeriCorps leaders support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to graduate.

October marked the 5th year of

National Bullying Prevention Month. In 2007, Denver school, Hope Online Learning Academy, started implementing strict anti-bullying policies and has been noticing drastic drops in bullying incidents ever since. Hope Online Learning Academy is a non-profit, public charter school that provides students an opportunity to take classes online at community based Learning Centers. The school has 46 Learning Centers, 35 in the Denver metro area, serving nearly 3,000 students statewide. “Students sometimes seek online education because they were bullied at their other school, and it is no different at Hope. To be sensitive to the needs of these students and the at-risk population we serve, we knew we had to address bullying in a proactive way,” said Gigi Hill, student services coordinator at Hope Online Learning Academy. “At Hope we expect our teachers and parents to model nonbullying behavior. We work with everyone at each learning center to not just identify ‘bullies’ but to identify ‘bullying behavior.’ This strategy helps make sure everyone is treating each other with respect.” At the beginning of each school year, Hope students attend a presentation on

Bullying Prevention Program Creates Safe Environment For Hope Online Learning Academy Students By Kavitha Thimmaiah

bullying prevention and Learning Centers receive a packet with additional information on preventing bullying behavior. The packets include a checklist on how to identify bullying behavior, a bullying prevention contract, strategies for dealing with bullying and a questionnaire that helps students communicate if they have been bullied. To supplement the materials that Hope distributes system-wide, each Learning Center is encouraged to develop its own strategies, tailored to its unique student body. At the Hope Online at New Beginnings Learning Center, a Center that serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade, students participate in a webinar about strategies for preventing bullying, write essays about their own experiences in dealing with bullying and teachers discuss real-world examples from the news to help students identify bullying behavior and develop successful strategies to stand-up to bullies.

“Our students are racially diverse and often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so they have a lot of insecurities because they think other kids have things that they don’t. These insecurities can lead to name calling, cyber bullying or even physical violence,” said Detrice Brown, Learning Center Director at New Beginnings. “Since we started the bullying prevention program we’ve seen a big decrease in the physical bullying. At the younger ages we still see namecalling and bullying by not including someone, but we are working with students and their parents to address these behaviors and promote healthy responses to conflicts.”

National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign started by PACER Center, a Minneapolis-based parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all types of disabilities, in 2006. The initiative began as a weeklong effort in Minnesota and today provides educators, students, families and individuals nationwide the tools they need to address bullying in schools, recreational programs and community organizations. Hope increases its bullying prevention activities during National Bullying Prevention Month, but the effort to maintain a safe learning environment for students happens throughout the year. The program is also married with four principles, called “pillars” at Hope, which guide all initiatives at the school. The pillars include increasing attendance, deepening the experience of belonging, promoting achievement and generating high aspirations. “Our priority is seeing these students become productive citizens. There is a lot of research that links bullying to attendance. The goal of our bullying prevention policies is to create an environment where a student feels safe coming to school because then we are helping them take that next step toward academic success,” said Hill. 

Stand Up To Your Bullies With HAHASO

Below is the HAHASO strategy to bullying prevention that Hope students use:

•Help – See assistance from an adult, friend or peer when a potentially threatening situation arises. Seek help also is other strategies aren’t working •Assert Yourself – Make assertive statements to the bully addressing your feelings about the bully’s behavior. •Humor – Use humor to de-escalate a situation. •Avoid – Walk away or avoid certain places in order to avoid a bullying situation. •Self-talk – Use positive self-talk to maintain positive self-esteem during a bullying situation •Own it – “Own” the put-down or belittling comment in order to diffuse it. .

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Graceful Maturity

By Dr. Roberta McClinon

fits of having reached this wonderful time in your life. Give thanks for your wisdom, your contributions to family, friends and community, your successes, your blessings, your life. It’s really up to you. Being in good health as one age does not mean being 70 and trying to look 40 but being the BEST senior you can be today. It also does not mean that you are going to be without challenges. What matters most is that you do all that is in your control to ward off illness, dis-ease, pain or other not so pleasant conditions. I believe there are five major areas of concern for maturing adults today:

Maintaining strong mental capacity

Growing old gracefully can be a

reality for the more than 78 million Americans and, in particular, the

approximately 8.5 million of African

Americans, who are part of the Baby Boomer generation – those born

between 1946 and 1964 – as well as

those beyond this group. We’re liv-

ing in a time where life expectancy can be upward to 90 to 100 years old. How can you live a graceful, healthy life

over this period of time? Aging and growing older does not means we no longer participate in life. Maybe not at the same level as when we were younger, meaning 10 or 20 years ago or even last year. Sure as we get older we may not do some things at the same pace, frequency or endurance as before, however, Graceful maturity is about being and doing the BEST we can with what we have now – with a little – or maybe a lot of – help! What questions do you ask yourself on how aging affects you? Why does your health matter? Why is it so important to be healthy? What are the benefits of gaining and maintaining your health? What can you do to change? First of all, you can begin the process immediately. Simply change your thinking. Believe maturing can be and is a good thing. What does that mean? A simple mind shift can determine if you’re going to walk through life with vibrancy and grace or accept that creaky bones, lack of hair, desire, mobility, pain, forgetfulness, excess weight are just part of getting old. Or you can decide to appreciate the bene-

Over half of all seniors say that one of their greatest concerns is losing their memory and possibly developing some form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. The many causes and reasons for developing illnesses vary. Prevention or at least slowing down the progress is possible. Some of the natural remedies that have shown signs of success include: lecithin – a lipid (fat) found in foods such as egg yolks, soybeans, fish as well as grains and wheat germ, that converts to choline and studies have shown that it is beneficial in improving memory and increasing learning and reaction time. Essential fatty acids such as flax oil and fish oil should be included in the diet. Studies conducted at the University of California, Irvine with results published in the Journal of Neuroscience, indicate that an omega3 rich diet may slow or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Frank LaFerla, neurobiology and behavior professor at the University of California, Irvine says, “…simple changes in diet can positively alter the way the brain works and lead to protection from Alzheimer’s disease pathology.”

Living as Stress free as possible Don’t worry – be happy! I recall my father telling us that he did not worry about anything. As a young person I didn’t understand how anyone could NOT worry. There was so much to worry about as far as I was concerned. However, I don’t recall him complaining or ever being sick until the day he passed at the age of 80. I would like to contribute his longevity to his stress-free outlook on life. When you find yourself feeling stressed, stop, and take a deep breath. Most people shallow breath – that is only breath from the chest up. By learning to breathe from the stomach up through the diaphragm, we reduce tension, pain, stress and more.

Sitting quietly with eyes closed and deep breathing for as little as 2-5 minutes can revitalize your energy and help you continue with your day. Meditation can be anything that brings you comfort or relaxation such as reading, gardening, journaling or listening to your favorite music.

Living a quality, healthy life free of or limited illness and dis-ease

Even if you’re coping with the typical so-called age-related conditions: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, joint and other mental and physical issues – I am challenging you to not “rest on your laurels.” Making changes will not be overnight, however, the longest journey begins with the first step and you still have plenty of steps left.

Elimination and/or reduction of Pain

Somehow we have been taught that being in pain is something that has to be “managed,” not eliminated. Pain is a warning sign of the body being out of sync and balance. I’m not speaking of the type of pain you get when you bump into the corner of a table or accidentally burn your finger. I’m speaking of chronic pain, pain that lasts for weeks, months and years. Even emotional pain such as that caused by losing a loved one, loneliness, etc. can affect health if not dealt with appropriately.

Having Intimacy and Great Sex Life

Maturing into our senior years does not mean the need for intimacy has to diminish or totally disappear. Adjustments may be necessary do to physical or even emotional concerns. Certain health issues and medications can restrict the ability to perform or have interest in intimate relationships. For men, the development of prostate problems can inhibit the ability to perform. For both men and women the restrictions of mobility come into play. Maturing gracefully is possible even when dealing with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and others. In addition to any medications or other regimens your doctor has prescribed, there are natural ways to complement these methods. Always discuss with your doctor any supplements you are taking to prevent any interactions. I also believe there are 5 Successful Steps to Aging Well that can help with the concerns above:

Keep a positive attitude

Studies have shown that being optimistic about life can add 7 ½ years to your life. What are you going to do with those extra years?

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Eat simple

Include whole grains, fruits, fresh raw and/or lightly steamed vegetables, lean meats such as turkey, chicken, lean ground beef, fish. Eat frequent, small meals – this applies to most of us not just diabetics. Eliminate excessive sweets and snacks, fried, greasy foods, alcoholic beverages from your diet. Use moderation in all you do, don’t be extreme one way or the other.

Get your rest and sleep

Many of us do not require 8 hours of sleep each night, however, the amount of sleep you do get should be RESTFUL sleep. You should feel refreshed when you rise in the morning. If not, there may be some underlying medical reasons for this. Be sure to check with your health care professional if you have concerns.

Drink plenty of water

Our bodies are 75 percent water. The amount is used just to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level must be replaced. Drinking at least the recommended eight 8 ounce glasses is best, even more if you weigh over 160 lbs., work outdoors in the heat, and when exercising. Please keep in mind that if you have health conditions that limit your water/liquid intake, follow your doctor’s recommendations.


Movement can extend the life span by revving the body up to burn fat, increase energy, rid the body of toxins (through lymphatic system, skin, bowels, bladder), increase heart rate, stimulate the cardiovascular system - to name a few of many benefits. You may not want to be or are able to be a marathon runner, however, there is SOME type of movement you can do according to your physical ability to improve the state of your health and physical well-being. Exercise also includes flexibility, strength, and endurance. Get in the habit of stretching at least 10-15 minutes a day. When we first wake up in the morning our body is usually stiff. By gently stretching the neck, arms, legs and other body parts, we relax the muscles and well as release energy that helps get us through the day and clears the brain for improved thinking and better mood. As we advance further into this 21st century, continue to make your mark and leave your legacy of Graceful Maturity. I send you peace and blessings!  Editor’s note: Dr. Roberta McClinon is a Naturopathic Consultant and the owner of Healthy Souls LLC and has been in the natural health field over 30 years. She can be reached at or 720-775-1275 or visit


Has Having a Black President Really Changed America? Or Did the Black Man in the White House…?

Rumors t’s November, 2011, approximately one year before Americans turn out again to decide who will be the next Executive Chief of our still great, though imperfect, nation. Between now and can expect the planes and the sparks to fly frequently

as candidates from the various parties try to shake as many hands, kiss as many babies, and verbally spank as many ears they deem necessary to get themselves heard, know, and ultimately elected. And while we may not all agree on who the best man (or

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woman) for the job is, we certainly all recognize that these are precarious times and more than ever we need to be as sure as we possibly can that the person we pick is indeed the right one for the position. Well, since none of the candidates (with one exception) have ever been President of the US before, all we will have to base our choice on is what they themselves declare and what the media discloses about each of them. And if history has done nothing else, it has taught us that a politician’s pre-election promises are about as reliable as the vows made in lust-inspired Las Vegas wedding; once the honeymoon is over and folks settle into their new homes (the “white” one in this case, their “I do’s” too often become “I won’ts” and nothing short of divorce (impeachment) can get them to change. This brings us to our topic: CHANGE. For wasn’t that the platform our current President, Barack Hussein Obama ran and won on in 2008? And is he not the only candidate with a three year presidential track record we can use to evaluate his performance and gain some sort of indication of what to expect is he were reelected? Now at this point I imagine that some many question why the article is entitled “Has having a ‘Black’ President Really Changed America?”, rather than simply “Has Barack Obama Really Changed America?” Why emphasize his being a ‘Black’ President? My response is that it was America itself that emphasized his blackness back in 2008 when it first became evident that the dark horse (no pun intended) out of Chicago had a real shot at winning the prize. Even in November of 2010 when I asked citizens all along the Front Range what their reason for voting (or not voting) for Obama was (see “By the Color of his Skin”….DUS Nov. ’10 issue), I learned that while there were a handful who actually knew something about the gentleman’s policies and voting record prior to his presidential campaign, the majority admitted they knew nothing about him EXCEPT that he was Black and represented change. So, with just 12 months before what could very well prove to be the most crucial Tuesday in America’s political history to date, I respectfully re-submit the question: “Has Having A Black President Really Changed

America?” And more directly, “what affect, if any, has it had on you as an individual?” Michael Quintana (24, Hispanic, Artist): “I do feel that having a Black President changed America by causing many who were racists and claimed they would never accept an African American as President to change their minds; not only because of Mr. Obama’s poise and ability to handle the position, but also because not doing so would challenge the sincerity of the patriotism, they claim to have for the American way of life.” Robert Apodaca (44, Hispanic, Denver Sheriff): “I hate to say it but I think the hatred and racism many people kept bottled up has leaked out of them as a result of there being a Black president. Before Obama was elected, they may have been able to pretend they weren’t bigots and keep their deep-seeded, prejudicial views secret because there was no cause to air them out. But when face to face with the reality of an African American president, their true feelings came to the surface.” “I like Obama and think he needs more than four years to straighten out the mess he was handed. It took longer than four years for this nation to get so jacked up and it will take more than just one presidential term to fix it. The man deserves a lot of credit for how he has handled things, not to mention the guts it took to go into Pakistan and get Bin Laden; something no previous administration was able to do. But instead of getting credit for a job well done, he often gets the finger pointed at him for any and every little imperfection. Part of the blame for that goes to our American way of politicking and the Republicans. They are so backwards they care more about party lines of Red vs. Blue than they do right or wrong; acting more like gang members than statesmen.” Robert Welcome (38, White, General Contractor); “I don’t think it’s really

changed anything at all, and it has nothing to do with color. A lot of Americans are still broke and out of work. The housing market remains at an all-time low. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, and I continue and I continue to pay almost four dollars a gallon for gasoline.” Jennifer Green (36, White, LPN): “I think it has in some ways and hasn’t in others. In one sense, we are better people and less inclined to limit anyone based on race or gender. Yet I can’t say it’s changed our economy a whole lot. We’re still in the same basic situation we were in before. However, I still believe he’s the right one for the job and will vote for him again next November. I think he deserves four more years to fix the problems that no one else could have done any better with in such a short time.” Fred Pena (49, Hispanic, Commercial Painter): “I definitely believe that having a Black President changed America for the better. It opened doors of opportunity for minorities and women and encouraged all of us to reach for goals that one time may have seemed unattainable. People on all levels, from national to municipal jurisdictions, are much more likely to get involved with government and run for its’ offices. I think what Mr. Obama did by becoming President was re-kindle the spirit of hope in the hearts of many Americans that Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. helped instill with his famous “I have a Dream” speech. We had become complacent with the current status quo and he challenged us to reach for an even higher standard of Americanism. For me personally, he strengthened my faith in the American Dream and way of life. His election proved that regardless of race, creed, or color any citizen of the United States can rise to the highest pinnacle of our democracy. I’ve always loved this country, but Mr. Obama helped re-spark the flame.” David Henry (46, Black, Pastor): “While I do appreciate the astronomi-

cal changes Mr. Obama’s presidency has bought to our nation, I cannot, in good conscious, support him just because he’s black. As a Christian, I must examine his policies in light, of God’s Word and unfortunately, I find them to be contrary to each other. His support of homosexuality and samesex marriages is an abomination to this country that was founded upon Biblical principles. I also question what he has actually done for us as a people. I do, however, like the guy and will continue to respect and pray for him, as is our duty toward all of our leaders. I’m just hoping he’ll turn us around towards God and not just ‘freedom’. After all, what good is liberty if it leads us to hell?” John Brungardt (20, White Restoration Tech): “Although I recognize that Mr. Obama is this nation’s first non-white President, I think what he has done towards changing America has more to do with his heart than it does his complexion. He wants better health care, more jobs, and better way of life for all Americans, not just for minorities.” Sheine Derleth (22, White, Disc Jockey): “I honestly hoped either he or Hillary got the election because it would prove that our historical values really have changed. I’m not prejudiced and believe all people are equal and am glad to see the majority of his country feels the same. As far as me personally, I can’t say I’ve been affected by his presidency one way or the other. My economic situation hasn’t changed all that much. But I do hope he’s re-elected because it would serve as a double confirmation of the positive strides we’ve made as a nation.” John Cox (49, Black, Food Service Equipment): “On the one hand I do think it’s changed a lot of people’s opinions about Blacks in general because of President Obama’s accomplishments. But as far as our economic situation, I don’t see much of a change at all. I’m still having just as much trouble finding a job as I did before he was elected.”

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Rita Nakano (54, Italian American, Civil Service): “President Obama’s election has proven that anything can and will happen. I think he’s a good inspiration to all people in spite of all the negative racists who have just become even more embittered as a result of an African American being in office. Those people refuse to give him a break because they want to see him fail. I voted for him the first time and will definitely do it again. I think he’s doing a fantastic job considering everything he’s had to deal with.” While these are only a fraction of the views so many of you shared with us, they were selected because they accurately represent the wide range of varying opinions we received as a result of this article. I personally want to thank all who contributed to it, for not only have I gained a much broader perspective of the issues at hand, I’ve also come to a greater understanding of some of the deeper questions facing us as individuals and as a nation. Questions like; can we, as African Americans, separate our support for Barack Obama as a Black man who represents our hope for a less racist America from our obligation to honestly assess him as a President. We hold responsible to bring about positive socio-economic change directly to our communities? And, if our Christian beliefs and moral convictions ever come in direct conflict with our desire to be politically correct, what side will we choose? These are just examples of the kinds of questions we might very well ask ourselves before jumping on to our political bandwagons. We owe it to those who have given their lives for this nation, and also to those whose future lives will be affected by our choices., to make our decisions with all due diligence. Has having a Black President really changed America? My answer is now we have a Black President BECAUSE America has changed. But, are all of the changes for the better? 

Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams Excellent'''''. Very Good''''.. Good''''''... Fair'''''''.. Poor'''''''. Thunder Soul

    No stars

Thunder Soul 

Reverential Bio-Pic Pays Tribute to Legendary H.S. Bandleader


fter graduating from Wiley College (of The Great Debaters fame) back in the Thirties, Conrad “Prof” Johnson (1915-2008) briefly embarked on a promising career as a jazz musician, joining big band orchestras led by the likes of Count Basie and Erskine Hawkins. However, he decided to come off the road in 1940, right after meeting the love of his life, Birdie. The couple soon married and decided to settle down in his native Texas, where for the next 37 years, Prof would teach music at Kashmere High in Houston. There, he formed a stage band to compete in tournaments against other schools, and as conductor taught his students how to achieve a professional quality sound on their instruments. By the late Sixties, Kashmere had developed an enviable reputation as a world-class powerhouse, courtesy of a funky brand of music dubbed Thunder Soul. But perhaps more important than forging youngsters into a competitive, top-flight band capable of winning national championships was the fact that Prof simultaneously served as a father figure to so many who were being raised without a male role model. Although he retired in 1978, Conrad Johnson had made such a last-


ing impression on his Kashmere kids that numerous band alumni decided to pay tribute to him 30 years later by reuniting to do a show when they learned their hero was in failing health. That Herculean effort is the subject of Thunder Soul, a reverential bio-pic directed by Mark Landsman. Produced by fellow Texan Jamie Foxx, the picture features file footage of the group performing in the

Seventies when they were mostly sporting big afros and wearing bell bottoms pants and platform shoes. That retro reminder is deftly juxtaposed against the same individuals now middle-aged, yet somehow still summoning up the funkified fire of old as they “practice, practice, practice” just to please their former mentor in one glorious, toe-tapping last hurrah. Mixed in with those preparations are a host of heartfelt reminiscences about how much Prof meant to each of them. And if you aren’t moved by those teary-eyed testimonials, then the Courageous

floodgates will certainly open on reunion night when their 92 year-old mentor is wheeled up the aisle from a hospital bed to attend the magnificent concert in his honor. They don’t make ‘em like Prof anymore!

Rated: PG for smoking and mild epithets Running Time: 83 minutes Distributor: Roadside Attractions To see the trailer for Thunder Soul, visit: Courageous 

Cops Struggle to Juggle Careers and Fatherhood in Faith-Based Family Flick


hen Pastor Alex Kendrick read a report back in 2003 alleging that movies had become more of an influence on impressionable young minds than the church, he decided to do something about it. So, along with his brother, Stephen, and fellow pastors Michael Catt and Jim McBride, he cofounded Sherwood Pictures in order to make their own faith-based films. Operating on a modest budget under the aegis of the Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia, the Christian-themed studio has previously produced a trio of well-received, inspirational morality plays, most notably, Fireproof, which grossed over $30 million at the box-office alone. A bona fide Renaissance Man, Pastor Alex not only writes and directs each feature, but stars in them as well. Plus, he is the author of several best-selling novels, including “The Love Dare,” a New York Times #1 Best Seller which has remained on the list for 126 weeks thus far, while selling 6 million copies and counting. Courageous, Kendrick’s latest cinematic offering, is an alternately actionoriented and thought-provoking adventure which thoroughly entertains while ever so subtly issuing a

clarion call for a cultural rededication to traditional family values. The story specifically telescopes tightly on the trials and tribulations faced by a quartet of colleagues serving on the Albany Police Force. We witness an endearing male bond-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


ing among the four at work as they cultivate the trust necessary to know a buddy will have your back when apprehending perpetrators in dangerous situations. However, an entirely different type of camaraderie is called for after hours as they try to unwind from the stresses of the day in the company of their wives and children. It is that struggle to juggle career and fatherhood which sits at the heart of Courageous, a sobering parable designed to make men reflect on what’s most important in life. And to varying degrees, each of the picture’s protagonists proves to be a flawed individual. First, there’s Officer Adam Mitchell (Kendrick), who’s been chided by his wife, Victoria (Renee Jewell), for not devoting enough quality time to their kids. He can’t catch a break, between missing daughter Emily’s (Lauren Etchells) dance recitals and declining son Dylan’s (Rusty Martin) repeated offers to run a 5K race together. Then we have Adam’s partner, Shane Fuller (Kevin Downes), who behaves more like a pal than a dad to his 12 year-old, perhaps because he was left emotionally wounded by his own parents divorce. Consequently, he’s taken to filling that hole in his soul in an inappropriate manner. The third officer is Nathan Hayes (Ken Bevel), an 8-year vet from Atlanta who has just moved his family back to his hometown to raise his kids in a city with a slower pace. He never even met his own father, so foremost among his issues is figuring out how to parent a flattered 15 year-old (Taylor Hutcherson) being wooed by an older boy (Donald Howze) in a gang who has his own car. Finally, there’s Nathan’s young partner, David Thomson (Ben Davies), a deadbeat dad who is in denial about the existence of a 4 year-old daughter born out-of-wedlock. Each of the aforementioned predicaments eventually boils over into a crisis leading to a moment of truth. But no matter the issue, again and again the question seems to return to whether or not each is ready to summon up the requisite amalgam of courage, faith and resolve to become a man. A moving, modern parable not to be missed by anyone who’s always wondering why they don’t make wholesome movies with uplifting messages anymore. Rated: PG-13 for violence and drug use Running Time: 129 minutes Distributor: Tri Star Pictures / Affirm Films To see a trailer for Courageous, visit:

Fear of a Black Republican



Fear of a Black Republican 

Does the GOP Even Want the Black Vote?


ave you ever noticed how few African-American Republicans there are? At any Grand Old Party gathering you see on TV, there are generally so few blacks in attendance that they tend to stand out like a sore thumb. That sorry state of affairs inspired Tavis Smiley to remark that “You can fit all the black Republicans with any clout into a phone booth.” And they’re probably also about as hard to find as a phone booth is nowadays. This phenomenon was not lost on Kevin Williams, a white Republican from Trenton, New Jersey, who felt frustrated by the fact that the Democrats had a stranglehold on all the political positions in his predominantly African-American hometown. So, as a filmmaker, he decided to shoot a documentary getting to the bottom of why blacks aren’t represented in the Republican Party. Is it that the GOP would prefer to remain lily-white or are AfricanAmericans simply short-changing themselves by remaining so loyal to the Democratic Party? That fundamental question rests at the heart of Fear of a Black Republican, an eye-opening expose’ supplying a variety of intriguing answers. In order to unravel the mystery, Williams approached some of the black Republicans crammed into the aforementioned phone booth, from recently-deposed RNC Chairman Michael Steele to former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Ed Brooke who warns of “corruption where there’s no two-party system.” Yes, there’s that danger in districts where a Democratic

nomination assures a candidate of victory. Still, there’s probably truth to Tavis’ suggestion that once the Republican Party figured out that it could win national and statewide elections without blacks “then the needs of that constituency never rose to the top of its agenda.” Among the other pundits weighing-in here are Princeton Professor Dr. Cornel West, right-wing journalists Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter, and possible Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Yet, the most meaningful interviews are with rank and file black Republicans, average folks who make heartfelt pitches for their fellow African-Americans to abandon the Democrat Party which they indict for taking the black vote for granted. Whether it’s up to white Republicans or jaded black Democrats looking for an alternative to make the first overture, Fear of a Black Republican might serve as a great conversation breaker to encourage both camps to bury the hatchet and to give each other serious consideration as a viable political partner. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the GOP to reflect the all-inclusive rainbow the Party envisioned during more enlightened times when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and a plethora of black Republican candidates ran successful campaign for political office.

© 2011 Disney

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Unrated Running Time: 111 Minutes Studio: Shamrock Stine Productions To see a trailer for Fear of a Black Republican, visit: To order a copy of Fear of a Black Republican on DVD, visit:

Text the word KERMIT and your ZIP CODE to 43549 for your chance to win! Example Text: KERMIT 80246 | Entry Deadline: Tuesday, November 15 Texting 43KIX is free. Standard text message rates from your wireless provider may apply, check your plan. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Limit one entry per cell phone. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with screening details by 11/16 at 5PM. Each mobile pass admits 2. The screening will be held on Saturday, 11/19 at 10:00AM at a local theatre. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. The film is rated PG. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theatre. Seating is on a first-come, firstserved basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Allied-THA, 43KIX, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS!


Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


Born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell, Texas on December 13, 1967,

Jamie Foxx was raised by his grandparents from the age of seven months, following the failure of his parents’ marriage. He sang in the church choir as a child, and quarterbacked his high school’s football team, before going on to major in classical music and composition in college. Jamie’s showbiz career began after a dare in 1989 when he went on stage on open mic night to take a shot at doing standup. After paying his dues on the comedy circuit, he was invited to join the ensemble cast of the Wayans Brothers’ TV sketch series In Living Color alongside Jim Carrey and Jennifer Lopez. He subsequently landed his own series, The Jamie Foxx Show, which went on to enjoy a five-year run. He not only starred on the series but was also its co-creator and executive producer, and directed several episodes. He made his big screen debut in Toys in 1992, followed by appearances in Booty Call and The Players Club. He received rave reviews for his riveting work in Any Given Sunday and as Bundini Brown in Ali, breakout roles which in turn led to a trio of criticallyacclaimed performances in Ray, Collateral and Redemption in 2004. He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles as well as an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his work in Collateral. Furthermore, he won an NAACP Image Award for his portrayal of reformed, Death Row inmate Tookie Williams in Redemption. Jamie has since appeared in The Soloist, Horrible Bosses, Due Date, Dreamgirls, Miami Vice, Jarhead, The Kingdom and Law Abiding Citizen. Here, he talks about producing Thunder Soul, a reverential bio-pic which pays tribute to the late Conrad “Prof” Johnson (1915-2008), the founder and conductor of Houston’s Kashmere High’s legendary stage band. Kam Williams: Hi Jamie, thanks for the interview. Jamie Foxx Hey, man, thank you, brother. KW: It’s been awhile. The last time we spoke you were filming Law Abiding Citizen in Philly. In fact, we talked on the same day that you had to beat up that intruder who broke into your hotel room. JF: Well, let’s hope that it doesn’t happen like that again. KW: I have a lot of questions for you from fans, so why don’t I get right to them? Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: What interested you in producing this film? Is your sponsor-


Jamie’s Soulful Thunder The “Thunder Soul” Interview by Kam Williams

ship of this type of documentary a direction you plan to continue in? Do you have other projects like this in development? JF: What interested me was the fact that the story had a huge music component, since I have my own fond memories of playing in a stage band when I was a kid. And then I also liked the movie’s eloquent and touching storyline which flowed as if it had been scripted, even though it’s a documentary. You have the band getting back together for the first time in 30 years for a reunion concert, and then Prof’s ending up transitioning right after the event. It’s a beautiful film, and I just wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of it. KW: This movie had my eyes welling up all through it, not just at the ending. JF: Oh, yeah, I was dying, man. And when a story touches you like that, you gotta be a part of it. KW: Irene also asks: What message do you hope audiences will take away from watching Thunder Soul? JF: The message is let’s get back to some of that old-time good feeling. This whole world has become so mean and so hateful; and everybody’s hating each other. You know how they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Well, I think they’re punishing everything. Thunder Soul is the type of uplifting story you can take the kids to see, and enjoy it, and sort of float away for a minute. Also, in the back of your mind, it’ll have you thinking about what we can do to keep the focus on the arts in schools. Because any time there’s a little trouble in paradise, the first programs they cut are the arts. KW: Felicia Haney wants to know whether this project struck a personal chord with you, being a musician and also from Texas. She asks: What impact did music education have on you in life, and what do you have to say to schools that cut music programs? JF: Kam, you know I come from the gospel background, and that my grandmother later had me learn classi-

cal music, and that I went on to college on a classical piano scholarship. Then, as an actor, I did Ray and Dreamgirls, movies with musical components. So, I‘ve been heavily impacted by my music education. Music has always been a way in which I expressed myself and supported myself. KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles says: When you do your musical gigs, you go front and center as Jamie Foxx and don’t get to hide behind a character with make-up and costume the way you would for a film role. How different is that? JF: It’s a little different. When it’s just me, it’s sort of more of my expression. It’s what I have inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out and am finally giving people a chance to hear. When you’re on stage, it’s right there. And every night is a different night. But when you’re making a movie, it’s a process which will have been edited by the time it comes out. KW: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier asks: Did you ever get to meet Prof? JF: No, I didn’t, unfortunately. KW: Patricia also asks: what is your favorite song by the Kashmere Stage Band? JF: I don’t necessarily have one particular favorite. As you watch the movie, you feel the band’s overall vibe more than you listen to any individual song. That was what made them hot. KW: Lastly, Patricia says: You are multitalented already, but if you could wake up tomorrow having gained one new ability, what would you want that ability to be and why? JF: To be multilingual, Patricia, because, think about it, you could communicate and hang out every time you went to a different country. KW: Larry Greenberg asks: When do you think I’m going to hear a brass section in a hot, hip-hop single? JF: You already heard it, Larry, if you listen Jay-Z or The Roots. KW:Judyth Piazza asks: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


JF: Hard work and discipline without needing anyone telling them. KW:The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory? JF: Me sitting on a chair in my grandmother’s nursery school at the age of 3, watching my then pastor’s wife walk in with her kids on their first day there. KW: Editor Mike Pittman asks: Who was your best friend as a child and are you still friends today? JF: Wow! Gilbert Willie was my best friend as a child and, in fact, he’ll be coming to my house in a couple of days and we’re going to throw a huge birthday bash for him. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman says: Since you believe so fervently in musical education, having started at the age of 5 due to your grandmother’s insistence, can you envision taking your advocacy of this issue a step further by joining a charity which promotes music education? JF: Yeah, although I’m already committed to a lot of charities that do great work in the arts. Any chance we get to promote music, we do it. KW: Bernadette would also like to know whether your daughter sings or plays an instrument. JF: Not my older one, but my little one does. She plays the drums and the piano, and she’s only 2½. KW: Erik Daniels asks: Will you use your radio show as a way of getting minorities out to register and to vote in the next presidential election? JF: Oh, most definitely! We did it last time when Barack Obama was 30 points down and nobody knew who he was. We not only educated people about Obama, but about politics in general. And we plan to do it again. KW: Dante Lee, author of “Black Business Secrets,” asks: What was the best business decision you ever made, and what was the worst? JF: Oh man, I’m making a couple of big business decisions right now, so I have a feeling we’re going to find out soon. KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you? JF: Fun! Just fun, no matter what it is. A great concert… playing softball with the family… Fun! KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? JF: I see a blessed man. KW: Thanks again for the time, Jamie, and best of luck with Thunder Soul. JF: Thank you, Kam. To see the trailer for Thunder Soul, visit:

‘Occupy’ Protests, Tea Party Rallies:

Assembly, Petition In Action By Gene Policinski First Amendment Center

The “Occupy Wall Street”

movement and its rapidly spreading urban echoes are – like the tea party movement – grand examples of Americans using at least two of our lesser-known First Amendment freedoms: assembly and petition. Regardless of how you feel about either or both movements, they are the latest examples of the role of protest in American politics and society. In the history of protest, there are both lessons to be learned and mistakes to be avoided. As a nation, we too often forget that along with apple pie, protest is a uniquely American tradition. We also need to recall that too often we have trampled on that tradition in the name of order or safety or security. Americans have taken to the streets to object to all manner of issues, from taxes on whiskey to the proposed Constitution itself. Abolitionists marched against slavery. Activists pressed for child-labor laws and industrial safety. Thousands protested to gain the vote for women a century ago, and thousands more demonstrated for civil rights in the 1950s and ‘60s and against the Vietnam War in the ‘60s and ‘70s. But even as today’s demonstrators camp outside government and financial offices in a number of cities, recycling ‘60s protest music, we hear reverberations of the pro-Vietnam War advocates who proclaimed, “America: Love It or Leave It.” If the “occupy” movement continues to spread, and mass arrests occur, we should recall another time when public protest rooted in deep economic woe and joblessness led to a shameful stain on the First Amendment rights of assembly and petition. In the spring and summer of 1932, a ragtag assembly of about 15,000 World War I veterans, many accompanied by their families, converged on Washington, D.C., to petition Congress for financial help in the Great Depression toward the end of President Herbert Hoover’s term. Seeking early payout of a special payment not due to be made till 1945, these veterans occupied public land and empty buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue and in a neighborhood across the Anacostia River from the Capitol.

Calling themselves the “Bonus Expeditionary Army” – a play on the name for U.S. military forces that had fought in Europe – they were ordered to disperse after Congress rejected their plea for early payment. When they did not, U.S. Army troops, led by future national heroes Gen. Douglas McArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton, and backed by a handful of surplus Army tanks, moved against the veterans. Scores of veterans were injured and several died after clashes with troops. Their makeshift encampments were destroyed and burned. Within a few years, claims that the veterans were anarchists or communists bent on destroying the nation were set aside – and a second “bonus army” was

greeted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1936, Congress agreed to the early payout to needy vets. Thankfully, confrontations thus far in the “occupy” movement haven’t involved tanks or troops – more like a limited deployment of pepper spray and plastic handcuffs. For the most part the arrests of hundreds, not thousands, in New York, Boston and Washington have occurred because protesters broke laws. Let’s hope everyone keeps in mind the unspoken but eminently valuable safety valve provided by the First Amendment – the right to voice criticisms of those in power, and to assemble peaceably with like-minded people to petition for “a redress of grievances.” Even those who see themselves as

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


disenfranchised – as some “tea partiers” and “occupiers” both have claimed – find that their voices are not stilled, their protests not muffled by representatives of the most powerful government on Earth. Deep-seated public anger over economic disparity or a government seen as out of control is finding a public voice. Tempers are not being further frayed by the frustration of sweeping suppression. The First Amendment is working – for now.  Editor’s note: Gene Policinski is senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn., 37212. Web: E-mail:

HATS OFF TO... From left, Patrick Gullies, Regional Administrator for the Office of Regional Operations, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Primary Health Care; Chris Herndon, Denver City Councilman, District 11; Michael Hancock, Mayor, City and County of Denver; Patricia Gabow, M.D, CEO, Denver Health; Angela Williams, Colorado Representative, House District 7; and Kenneth Floyd, Chair, Denver Health Community Health Services Board cut the ribbon to Denver Health’s new Montbello Family Health Center.

Denver Health Cuts Ribbon To The New Montbello Family Health Center

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Patricia Gabow, M.D., CEO, along with Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon and members of the Montbello community cut the ribbon to open the new Montbello Family Health Center, Oct. 24. The new, 18,000 square foot Montbello Family Health Center expands family medicine, adult care, child/adolescent services, women’s care, pharmacy and medical laboratory. Montbello also offers WIC services and a pediatric dental clinic with four procedure rooms. Denver Health’s Community Health Services received a $2.2 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to expand the Montbello Family Health Center. The grant helped in the construction of a new building and provided the start-up funds needed to offer dental services in the new facility.

Chauncey Billups Elite Distinguishes Itself As 4th Grade Team Wins National Championship The summer competition for the Chauncey Billups Elite Basketball Academy (“Academy”) culminated this month. More than 280 teams from across the United States comprised the intense national competition in the MAYB National Basketball

Championship Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Because of the size of the tournament, multiple venues were utilized including the Charles Koch Arena which is the home of the Wichita State University basketball teams. Competing against some of the top teams in the country, the Academy’s 4th grade team was crowned the national champion in a 28 team pool of competition. For more information, call 303-6279604 or visit

Denver Public Library Receives Two Top Awards from Colorado Association of Libraries

The Denver Public Library (DPL) accepted two top awards from the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) at the statewide association’s annual conference on October 14. Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, which opened in March 2011, was honored for being among the best in the state, and will be named CAL’s “Library of the Year,” which honors exceptional accomplishments by a

Colorado academic, special, public, or school library during the past year. The Central Library Renovation Project Team of the Denver Public Library was also honored by CAL for being among the best in the state, and was named “Project of the Year,” which recognizes a creative and innovative project which furthers library service within the state of Colorado.

Denver Clerk And Recorder Appoints Director Of Elections And Deputy Clerk And Recorder

Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson announced the appointments of Amber F. McReynolds as Director of Elections and Juan Guzman as Deputy Clerk and Recorder. McReynolds was instrumental in the reorganization of the Elections Division following Denver voters’ repeal of the 105-year-old Election Commission; creation of Denver’s award-winning Ballot TRACE program, which allows voters to track their mail ballots through the postal system; and the implementation of a pilot program that allowed Denver’s military and overseas voters to vote in the recent municipal elections via the internet. McReynolds joined the former Denver Elections Commission as ballot coordinator in 2005. Denver’s new Deputy Clerk and Recorder is Juan Guzman. Guzman most recently served as deputy city clerk for the City of Aurora. Guzman was instrumental in bringing Aurora’s recordkeeping into the digital age and has an extensive background in governmental and private sector information and records management. His private sector experience includes management of records retention schedules, records policies and procedures, enterprise content management, and federal records compliance for Lehman Brothers in Denver, including chain-of-custody tracking of hundreds of thousands of mortgage loan documents.

The Eastern Colorado Council Of Black Nurses Recognizes Excellence In Nursing

ECCBN held its first Recognizing Excellence in Nursing event on October 15. Five registered nurses were recognized in various categories ranging from trailblazer, clinician, education, leadership, and distinguished nurse. In addition one person was acknowledged for completing the CNA class and a RN student received a 1,000 scholarship.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


ECCBN has existed in the community for 38 years. In 2010 ECCBN became a chartered chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. ECCBN proudly acknowledges many accomplishments of its members. One of the original founders Dr. Margie Cook is still actively involved in the organization, and recently received the post secondary educator of the year award from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Emma Jackson is another long standing member who received an award from the Colorado Black Women for Political Action. In addition, many members have either graduated with an advanced degree or are currently in school pursuing an advanced degree.

Hutchinson Wins Black Press Radio All Stars Awards Columnist of the Year Award

Author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson won the prestigious Black Press Radio Magazine Columnist of the Year Award for 2011. The awards will be presented in Washington D.C. in November prior to a scheduled White House tour and congratulatory event for the winners. Hutchinson was especially pleased to be in the company of other nationally known distinguished nominees in the columnist of the year category that

included Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Bryce Watkins, Dr. Jeff Gardare and Stanley Crouch. The dozens of nominees in all categories of the media profession were the best and brightest in American journalism and media communications. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter


Senior Pastor Installed At New Hope Baptist Church

The officers and members of New Hope Baptist Church installed Pastor Rev. Eugene M. Downing, Jr., D. Min., formerly the Photo by Senior Buddy Baker Pastor of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the tenth senior pastor. A spirit-filled Installation weekend celebration was held Oct. 7-9 at New Hope Baptist Church. The agenda included a youth explosion and worship with Rev. Quincy Shannon; a fellowship brunch with guest and local entertainment; morning worship with guest preacher, Rev. Dr. Dwight C. Jones, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, South Richmond, Virginia; and the installation worship with guest preacher, Rev. Dr. Howard A. Chubbs, Senior Pastor of Providence Baptist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina.


Continued from page 2 should....â&#x20AC;?one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.â&#x20AC;? I often wonder about these words when I see racial divisions perpetuated (fairly and unfairly.) All races need to participate in order for a color blind society to exist. This cover, picture and headline just did not seem right to me. I imagine you would be unhappy if the image featured a white child, with a Black teacher and the same headline. So why should the reverse be acceptable? I hope you understand.

Eric Blumer Lakewood, CO


Coalition Grateful For Coverage


Editor: On behalf of the board of directors of the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, I want to thank you for the outstanding article you did on our press conference/rally and the situation in the Sudan. I have sent the article to people on our mailing list and will include it in our marketing packets. There really are no words to tell you how appreciative we are! Again, thank you.


Roz Duman, Denver â&#x20AC;˘ 720-621-6336

To give good care to others, we must first take care of ourselves. November is National Caregivers Month!

The African American Caregivers Support Program has been serving the community for over 9 years! Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re there on your behalf...



















For more information, please contact

Nichelle Stiggers 303.217.5856 or

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; November 2011


Order Today Cajun Fried or Southern Smoked

Holiday Turkeys Order Deadline: Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

Whole Turkeys (14-20 lbs, Feeds 8-14 People) – Only $45 Half Turkey (8-10 lbs, Feeds 4-6 People) – Only $30

Email: or call Chef D. James at 720-272-5844


Mammography Screenings Available In November

If you are a woman 40 and over or have a history of breast cancer in your family, Full circle Intergenerational Project will present mammography screenings on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shorter Community AME Church, located at 3100 Richard Allen Court in Denver at no or lost cost. If you are uninsured or underinsured, this service is no cost but if you have insurance, the cost is low. You must bring your insurance card. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Anita WestWare at 303-333-7595.

CHM Health Screening

A free health screening sponsored by Congregational Health Ministry, will be held at 3840 York St. on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be free flu shots for adults without insurance, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar check, 15 minute classes on healthy life style changes, and much more. CHM is the Community Outreach Department of Inner City Health Center, a non-profit health and dental facility for the uninsured. For more information call Bettye at 720-833-5088 or E-mail

Volunteer Tax Preparers Needed At Local Colleges To Help Lower-Income Families

The Piton Foundation is recruiting people who have experience preparing tax returns to be volunteers at free income tax assistance sites at colleges in the metro Denver area during the upcoming tax season. The Piton Foundation operates free tax assistance sites at four Denver colleges to help lower-income families in the community prepare and file their tax returns for free. In addition, volunteers have the opportunity to work with and mentor college students, expand their knowledge of income taxes, and may be eligible to receive a letter of recognition from the Governor of Colorado. The colleges’ tax sites operate from late January through April 15. While experienced tax preparers are preferred, free training leading to IRS certification is available for individuals interested in volunteering. For more information, contact Diane DiGiacomo at 303-825-6246.

Holiday Fair Trade Market

World boutique returns for its 5th year where the public can shop for one-of-a-kind gifts just in time for the holidays. Items available include

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


handmade jewelry, weaving, knitting, sewing, paper crafts, and more. These handcrafted works are made by international artisans living in Colorado and around the globe. The Fair Trade Market will be Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Emily Griffith Opportunity School. For more information, call Yvette De La Cruz at 720-423-4803 or 720435-5439.

Free Poetry Contest

The Christian Poets Academy is sponsoring a free poetry contest open to everyone. There are 50 prizes totaling $5,000, with a $1,000 grand prize for the winner. Poems of 21 lines or less on any subject and in any style will be judged by the contest director Dr. Jeremy Cameron. Send poem by Nov. 15 deadline to Free Poetry Contest, PO Box 761, Medford, OR 97501 or enter at Include your name and address on the same page as your poem. For a winner’s list, enclose a self addressed stamped envelope.

The Denver Chapter Of Jack And Jill Presents The 28 Annual Beautillion

Amidst dancing and celebration, the spotlight will be on 30 exemplary young men – African American high school seniors from across Metro Denver – who have all demonstrated excellence in leadership, academics, sports, and/or community service. The “beaus” will be escorted by young ladies and honored by their families during this rite of passage. Terrance D. Carroll, Esq. and the Honorable Wiley Y. Daniel will be the emcees for the evening. The Beautillion will be held Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. Tickets are $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 303-3210285.

CHUN Announces Image Contest for 41st Annual People’s Fair

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) is seeking an image design to celebrate the 41st annual CHUN Capitol Hill People’s Fair June 2 and 3, 2012. Each year, artists from across the state are invited to submit an original design to the Image Contest, from which the work is judged and an image is selected to represent the People’s Fair in the promotional campaign for that year. For more information and applications, visit

Great Western Art Gallery Private Art Collection


For more information, call 303-8131669 or register online at Scholarships are available.

Denver Public Schools Rolling Out New SchoolChoice Enrollment Process

The Great Western Art Gallery will present a private art collection featuring a Silver Bust of Virgin Mary Pieta, Madonna Della Pieta by Michelangelo. Other artists in the collection include Romero Britto, Juan Carrillo, Marc Chagall, Albrecht Durer, Anatole Krasnyansky, Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Alexander Nechita, Picasso, Rembrandt and Renoir. The collection will be featured at the gallery through Jan. 14, 2012. An opening reception will be held Friday, Nov 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the gallery at 1455 Curtis St., in Denver. This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 303-3962787 or visit

Alzheimer’s Association Offers Multicultural Forum Series in November

Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado examines the changing face of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in culturally diverse communities in a month-long series during November. Overcoming Obstacles in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care will be held on Mondays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. during November at 455 Sherman St, Suite 500 in Denver. The program brings together caregivers, professionals, family members and clergy to discuss cultural aspects of dementia care. Throughout November, the forum will offer local speakers who have extensive knowledge of cultural competencies necessary to provide effective and compassionate care to culturally diverse communities. At the conclusion of the series on Monday, Nov. 21, there will be a multicultural discussion panel with representation from many diverse communities on the following issues: behaviors, health and wellness, end of life decisions, and spirituality. There is a $10 fee for each program which includes a light dinner.

Denver Public Schools is in the process of vastly simplifying the way families enroll their children in school by moving to a single application system. To acquaint families with the new process – called SchoolChoice – the district will be hosting a series of informative regional events in December. During the five scheduled regional expos, families will have the opportunity to learn more about SchoolChoice and how to enroll their children in a new school. The events will also offer families the opportunity to learn about public schools in their neighborhood, with principals, teachers and students from each region on hand to answer questions. Starting with the 2012-13 school year, any student transitioning to or entering a new DPS school, including those entering ECE, elementary, middle or high school for the first time, will complete a SchoolChoice form. The SchoolChoice form will be the only application that will need to be completed for all DPS traditional boundary schools, as well as most magnet and charter schools. Under the current system, there are more than 60 different enrollment processes for DPS schools, with different forms and due dates depending on whether the school is a charter, selective-enrollment or regular choice school. The new system will not only reduce the number of processes and deadlines to one but will maintain an emphasis on choice, with allowance for selection of up to five different schools. For more information, visit

Whittier K-8 Community Open House

The Spirituals Project Takes On “The Duke”

On Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., The Spirituals Project will present How We Got Over: From the Spirituals to Duke Ellington at the Newman Center for Performing Arts. The performance will include communal singing of African American spirituals, followed by selections from the three Sacred Concerts of the legendary Duke Ellington. For more information and tickets, call 303-871-7720 or visit

donation, you can also help homeless pets by doing your holiday shopping at the Dumb Friends League: For more information on the Dumb Friends League and how you can help, visit or call 303751-5772.

Senior Pets In Need Of Loving Homes

Metro State Holds Open House

The Metro State open house on Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will offer an opportunity to explore the vibrant urban campus, meet faculty and staff, and see how programs, services and people help students reach educational goals. The open house is free and open to anyone interested in enrolling. Speak with professors about Metro State’s 55 majors and 90 minors. Learn about admission, financial aid, scholarship opportunities and a wide range of student services, clubs and activities. Bring any previous college transcripts and have credits evaluated. The open house will be held in the Auraria Event Center.

Paws To Give/ Or Shop To Help Homeless Pets This Holiday Season

Our four-legged friends need your help this holiday season. The Dumb Friends League is holding its annual Paws to Give fund drive in November and December to help care for more than 24,000 homeless pets this coming year. Financial contributions can be made online at or by mailing a check to Dumb Friends League Paws to Give, 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231. In addition to making a financial

Whittier K-8, located at 25th and Downing streets invite all interested families and community members to a Community Open House on Dec. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Whittier K-8 was recently recognized for its strong academics through reaching the “Green/Meets Expectations” level within DPS. Visitors will have a chance to tour the school, see examples of classroom work, talk with classroom teachers and meet Whittier parents. For more information, call Karen at 303-986-5929 or E-mail Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2011


There are millions of pets in shelters across the country. If you are looking to adopt, there are added benefits with choosing an older pet. They are past the puppy and kitten phase that often requires an extensive commitment of time and energy from their people. Older pets are still active, but they know when to sit back and enjoy the scenery. And they generally will make themselves right at home, acclimating quickly to their surroundings. If you are looking for a pet with a little more “sophistication,” be sure to visit the Dumb Friends League at or call 303-751-5772.

Aim High Scholarship For African American Male High School Seniors

Applications are now being accepted by the Asfaw Family Foundation International for their annual Aim High Scholarship. Ten African American young men will be selected to receive college scholarships in the amount of $1,200. The deadline for submitting complete application packet is November 4, 2011 For more information, visit




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Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ 4DIPPM  BN r 8FEOFTEBZ #JCMF 4UVEZ QN

Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070


Family Liaison Specialist

Clayton Educare is non-profit organization in NE Denver that offers early childhood education programs. We are looking for a Family Liaison Specialist to deliver culturally responsive mental health services (screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment) to families & children from birth to 5 years of age. Must have exper. working with families and children from diverse cultures preferably in a non-profit environment. Expertise in early childhood education, family dynamics and parenting in the context of different cultures. Masters in Social Work, school psychology or counseling (LCSW preferred). 2 years exp. working with children and their families from diverse cultures preferably in a nonprofit environment. Knowledge of child development, family dynamics, parenting in the context of different cultures. Fluency in English/Spanish is preferred We seek to reflect the diverse community we serve To apply please visit our website





Available for all Holiday Events, Special Occasions and...


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303.355.4979 P.O. Box 39163 H Denver CO 80239

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Floyd Jones Jr.

Membership & Business Development Director

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410 17th Street Suite 1110 Denver, Colorado 80202 303.831.0720 (v)

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303.831.0755 (f)


Transmission? We have your medicine!

*Meetings start promptly at 6:30p.m., and light refreshments will be served. Î&#x17D;Î&#x17D;&Ĺ˝Ć&#x152; Ä&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ć&#x;ŽŜÄ&#x201A;ĹŻ Ĺ?ŜĨŽĆ&#x152;ĹľÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÍ&#x2022; Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝ ZÍ&#x2DC;^Í&#x2DC;sÍ&#x2DC;WÍ&#x2DC; ĨŽĆ&#x152; Ć?Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ä?Ĺ?Ä&#x201A;ĹŻ ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ć? Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2039;ĆľÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć&#x161; Ĺ˝Ć&#x152; Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝ Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2039;ĆľÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć&#x161; ^Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĹ?Ć?Ĺ&#x161; Ć&#x161;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĆ?ĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÍ&#x2022; Ć&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ä&#x17E; Ä?ŽŜĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ć&#x161; :Ĺ˝Ć?Ĺ&#x161;ĆľÄ&#x201A; ^ŽůĹ?Ć? Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161; ĎŻĎŹĎŻ-ώϾϳ-Ϲώϴϰ Ĺ˝Ć&#x152; ĹŠĹ˝Ć?Ĺ&#x161;ĆľÄ&#x201A;Í&#x2DC;Ć?ŽůĹ?Ć?Î&#x203A;Ä&#x161;Ć&#x161;Ć&#x2030;ĹŠÇ&#x20AC;Í&#x2DC;Ä?ŽžÍ&#x2DC;

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; November 2011


Goochâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Transmission Specialist

Myron Gooch, Manager 760 Dayton Street Aurora, CO 80010 303-363-9783 Making transmissions well for 22 years.



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DUS November 2011  

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2011 Issue

DUS November 2011  

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2011 Issue