Page 1

Volume 28 Number 8 November 2014

Giving Thanks to

Daddy Bruce Randolph...4

“Denver Feed a Family� celebrates 50 years of giving for Thanksgiving Day in the name of legendary restaurateur


November 2014

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris



Compassion and giving stand at the heart of this issue of the Denver Urban Spectrum. Both are welcome year round, but they seem to shine brighter as we enter the holiday season, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had the pleasure of writing two stories for this issue -- one on the 50-year legacy of "Daddy" Bruce Randolph and the other on the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, boldly marking its six-year anniversary. Both rely on volunteerism and donations of people and organizations vested in making a change for today and tomorrow. I commend super model Beverly Johnson and the multi-talented Jamie Foxx for their commitment to family members living exciting and full lives with Down syndrome. I commend Reverends Ronald Wooding, King Harris, Gill Ford and journalist Tamara Banks for their part in keeping Daddy Bruce's legacy alive. As we head into this holiday season, we must not forget the Honorable Regis Groff, and the impact he made in policy and in individual lives. This issue is dedicated to those who make a choice to make a difference. We hope you enjoy reading about their impact in the world.

COLUMNISTS Wanda James Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Martin V. Johnson Jr. Angelia D. McGowan Tanya Ishikawa ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Ann Marie Figueroa Cecile Perrin



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 2014 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at


Say Goodbye to Your Dumpster

city, Denverites must embrace change. Upgrading our waste management system is just one of many changes that we will face. Removing the dumpsters from Denver alleys is a change for the better.

Editor: A few weeks ago, a truckload of city workers pulled up in front of my house. While workers unloaded several black trash cans, I immediately went to the alley to see if the dumpsters were still there. Surprisingly, they were not! The removal of the dumpsters in the alley signifies the ushering in of the new face of Denver. Mayor Hancock often speaks of his vision to make Denver a world-class city. This change aligns with his strategy. World-class cities in the 21st century are green, safe and efficient. The switch to environmental-friendly plastic wheeled trash cans discourage illegal dumping and vandalism in the alleys and improves the physical appearance of our neighborhoods. Those of us who were born and raised in Denver are struggling to preserve the historic elements of our neighborhoods as Mayor Hancock’s vision emerges. Some things are synonymous with the culture of Denver. The Broncos, dumpsters, and the cash register building (Wells Fargo Center) are all symbols of historic Denver. However, these symbols must fit into the new vision of Denver to remain a part of our city. Dumpsters do not fit into this model. I admit feeling skeptical about all the changes that are taking place in Northeast Denver. The disappearance of the dumpsters provokes unease and nostalgic thoughts of the old Denver I know and love. In the past few weeks, I have accepted the fact that change is inevitable. I still miss my dumpster, but I notice that the alley is less cluttered. The familiar smell of rotten trash is gone. I am getting use to putting my trash can out on collection day. Change is difficult but necessary. To achieve the status of a world-class

Cynthia Brashears President, Cole Neighborhood Association

Ebola, Stop the Flights From West Africa

Editor: Ebola affected Liberians and other West Africans who can obtain plane tickets will be headed to the United States. How many more can we handle coming into our country? We only have a handful of hospitals that are currently equipped to handle Ebola. Each of these has only four or five equipped isolated treatment areas. I have friends in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. We must help them by providing West African hospitals with what they need to fight this fatal disease. America spends billions on war every year. Spending a few billion on equipping West African hospitals and training staff will be a great investment in saving our planet. I hope the West African nations will help us financially since our nation is broke. Closing commercial flights from this part of the world is a prickly idea for many. We have Americans who are living or visiting in Liberia who need to get back to America. We can screen them and fly them home. Medical teams, equipment and tons of medicine must go to these areas. There are plenty of planes that can be booked for the months and probably years of medical service that will be demanded. This will not be a permanent situation. However, we cannot allow everybody to board planes to the United States and circulate in our

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Managing Editor Angelia D. McGowan

country while spreading Ebola. Securing our borders from illegals, drug traders, ISIS and Ebola is a task that seems almost insurmountable. We are not winning the war on border security. We don’t want to lose the Ebola war. There must not be any surrendering in this area of national security. A few hundred Ebola cases in this country would be more than we could handle. The real answer to the Ebola crisis is finding a cure. More than ever we need billions of dollars invested in medical research. Millions of Americans simply endure and live with disease instead of beating disease. We are desperate for a new era in America’s medical research. It’s time for a cure for cancer, neurological disease and Ebola.

Dr. Glenn Mollette Newburgh, IN

Editor’s note: Dr. Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication. Like his Facebook page at or visit Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

Advertising & Marketing Graphics & Design

Distribution & Circulation

Tradition to Feed Those in Need Lives on Through the

Spirit of “Daddy” Bruce

This Nov. 23 marks the 50th

anniversary of a Thanksgiving food giveaway to an average of 10,000 people in honor of Daddy Bruce. The first 25 years, Daddy Bruce provided cooked meals on Thanksgiving Day. After his passing in 1994 at the age of 94, things changed but the sentiment was the same. Salem Baptist Church, and eventually Epworth United Methodist Church (EUMC) distributed baskets the day before the holiday so that families could make their own meals. Today, the honor continues under the Epworth Foundation and the direction of King Harris, EUMC senior pastor along with yearround community outreach headed by assistant pastor Ronald Wooding. A host of people have stepped in over the years to keep the tradition on track, including Wooding, who says, “I am proud to say today that I had a small role in the continuation of what is now called the “Denver Feed A Family” in honor of Daddy Bruce Randolph.” Unlike many people who had lined up to volunteer at the giveaway over the years, Wooding did not have that experience. He moved to Denver in 1995 to attend the Iliff School of Theology. He did not meet Randolph or experience his famous barbeque before he passed. In 2002, Wooding had just taken on the role of assistant pastor at Epworth United Methodist Church. A casual mention to someone that he wanted to live close to the church eventually landed him at 3401 Gilpin, where he would live and come to know the legend and spirit of Daddy Bruce.

By Angelia D. McGowan

“You can’t beat love. Nothing beats love. If you give just one thing, you get three things back. That’s why I do it.” –“Daddy” Bruce Randolph

The Making of a Tradition

dubbed him “Daddy Bruce.” Randolph’s wife and other son died, and he moved in with his sister and helped his uncle, a doctor, collect bills, riding by horseback around the region. Daddy Bruce remarried, but the marriage ended in divorce. He became a bootlegger during prohibition, selling whiskey in Coke bottles for 50 cents. He eventually drifted to Denver, where he became a shoeshine man, then a janitor, before he went into the food business. Designing his own barbeque pit, which he asked an engineer to draw for him, Randolph borrowed $1,000 from the bank and set it up in his son’s backyard and started a catering business. He began feeding the hungry in the late 1960s with a Thanksgiving dinner for 200 people at Denver City Park, where he had carried his portable grill and dished out holiday dinner. The tradition had begun. Randolph opened Daddy Bruce’s Bar-B-Q in 1963, at the age of 63, on

Bruce Randolph was born on Feb. 15, 1900, in Pastoria, Arkansas, where his family lived on a small farm. His parents separated when he was young. He lived sporadically with his grandmother, Laura Hurt, whom he credits for his barbeque sauce recipe and his spiritual belief in Christianity. His grandmother and father both were Methodist ministers. After picking cotton for his stepfather for a dime per week, he left home at the age of 15 and went to Little Rock, where he was hired as a water boy at the bauxite mines before talking his way up to becoming a mule driver. When he was 18 or 19, he bought a hog for $5, used his family recipes, and sold barbeque sandwiches for 10 cents. Randolph married his first wife, Polly, in 1924. They had two sons, including Bruce Jr., who worked with him at the Denver eatery before starting Daddy Bruce’s Bar-B-Que in Boulder. It was this son who first

the corner of Gilpin Street and East 34th Avenue. For many years he donated his own time and money to serving Thanksgiving dinners. He later took in donations and many local celebrities – including members of the Denver Broncos, police department, and clergy – helped Daddy Bruce serve tons of turkey, ribs, dressing, potatoes, and yams. He also gave away clothes and food on his birthday, Easter and Christmas. One year he dyed 25,000 eggs for an enormous Easter egg hunt.

Daddy Bruce: The Name

Former First Lady Wilma Webb, at the February 2014 birthday celebration for Daddy Bruce held at Blair Caldwell African American Research Library (BCAARL), said, “He didn’t just talk about giving, he got out there and did something about it. I know the city appreciated him. They named a school after him. Not everybody has a school named after him. I remember him being a man who was blessed, a Christian man.” Wellington Webb, former Denver Mayor, was also in attendance at the celebration. He recognized Daddy Bruce for being one of the people to leave something behind. That he has done. In 1985, a section of 34th Avenue, from Downing to Dahlia streets, was renamed Bruce Randolph Avenue. In 2008, Bruce Randolph School serving grades 6-12, was named in his honor. At least three proclamations are created in his name each year, from city council, the mayor’s office and the governor’s office, according to Wooding. His face is one of those featured in a mural at the entrance of BCAARL. Continued on page 6

Fundraising Events for 50th Anniversary of Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving Distribution

An art exhibit will be displayed for the month of November at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library at 2801 Welton St., in Denver.

One ticket supports three events!

Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards purchasing Thanksgiving baskets for the “Daddy” Bruce Thanksgiving Distribution. Baskets cost $30 and will feed a family of eight. All donations accepted. Make checks payable to the Epworth Foundation (For Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving).

November 7 - Annual fundraiser, Bogeys on the Park, 6 to 10 p.m., 2500 York St. in Denver. Light refreshments will be served 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Live entertainment: Mr. Charles and the Let’s Start Dancing Crew, Dave Carver, Detroit Ball Room Style Dancing Group, David “Pic” Conley of Surface, Linda Theus Lee and others.

November 14 - Cleatz Sports Bar and Grill, 6 to 10 p.m. at 8336 Northfield Blvd., in Denver with Sia Chander and Decades of Love & Shed G. November 21 - Cherry Creek Harbour, 6 to 10 p.m., 13740 East Quincy Ave. #9 in Aurora. Entertainment will include Dave Carver, D Style Ball Room Dancing Group.

For more information, call Ronald Wooding at 720-319-1491 or email Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


A 25-Year Journey of Praise and Worship

This celebration is free and open to the public. It will be held at Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court in Denver on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 303-3201712. 


onceived in 1989 through the vision of former musician Amanda Oliver, the Men-istry Male Choir of Shorter Community gave the men of Shorter an outlet and venue through which to lend service and praise to the Lord in worship. Joined by fellow musician Rev. E. Hayward Hobbs and with the support of the late Rev. J. Langston Boyd, Jr. and the Shorter Community AME Church family, Men-istry Male Choir began its’ musical journey of praise and worship. The Men-istry Male Choir of Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate its 25th anniversary with Intentional Praise, a musical concert on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. “For 25 years, Men-istry has proven that men can be both strong and spiritual.” said the Rev. Dr. Timothy E. Tyler, pastor of Shorter Community AME Church. “I am extremely proud of how the men of Men-istry continues to lift up the mantel of Christian manhood in the church and the community.” As in the formative years, Menistry has been blessed with spiritually gifted musicians including Amanda Oliver, Rev. E. Hayward Hobbs, Chad Brawley, Charles Coney, Charles Abernethy, Delgie Jones, Minister Nathaniel Black, Rev. Charles Jackson, and Marsha Wade Nichols – all serving with distinction to the glory of God. Currently under the leadership of Brother Steven Wilkins and Minister of Music, Lisa Jackson, the Men-istry Male Choir continues to serve Shorter Community A.M.E Church by witnessing through song. Guest musicians performing for the concert are the Rev. Hayward Hobbs, Marsha Wade Nichols, Charles Abernethy and Minister Nathaniel Black. Other community choirs will also participate.




FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK NOV 7 Explore Denver’s art districts, meet artists, and purchase art starting at $52.80.* *At participating galleries only







Indoor festival at the Colorado Convention Center.

Enjoy 22 museums free of charge throughout Denver.

NOV 14-16 Presented by Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

300 creative events, discounts and deals throughout the week. For a full list go to DENVERARTSWEEK.COM

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Daddy Bruce, continued from page 4

The Right Place at the Right Time

Though Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen paid for Randolph’s funeral, the community had raised some funds as well, some of which was used by the Rev. Gill Ford, then of Salem Missionary Baptist Church, to buy food for the needy during Thanksgiving to keep the tradition going. After nearly decade, in 2003, the Epworth Foundation, took the reins of the tradition that so many families had come to depend on to celebrate arguably the most popular holiday in the country. In the midst of the transition, Wooding heard his divine calling. During the early foggy morning of Nov. 23, 2002, he noticed a lot of tents set up along Bruce Randolph Boulevard as he was driving to Hispanic Worship Service. “The large crowd of people being served by the numerous of volunteers was amazing to me. The event intrigued me enough that I met the following week with Pastor King Harris and suggested that Epworth United Methodist Church should consider partnering with the organizations that organized this humanitarian event. This effort was definitely a mission outreach project in the community that was worthy of our participation,” he says.


He adds, “Ironically, within two months from my making this suggestion to Pastor Harris, another door was opened for me in the life of Daddy Bruce. I was trying to find a place to live that would be close to Epworth Church.” Of all the homes across the world, he moved into the one next to the former location for “Daddy” Bruce Bar-B-Que at 34th and Gilpin streets in Denver, Colorado. And it has made a world of difference in the longevity of a tradition started by the iconic restaurateur to feed those in need on Thanksgiving Day. Wooding continues, “The house was on the corner of Bruce Randolph and Gilpin, next door to what had previously been Randolph’s restaurant. The house had been totally remodeled. To my surprise, it was once part of three houses that Daddy Bruce converted to use as part of his restaurant business.” After moving in, Wooding began meeting the neighbors and archiving the rich stories they had to share about the man known as the “Pied Piper of Denver.” He says, “The highlight of my living in the neighborhood and trying to find out about Daddy Bruce was meeting his son Bruce Randolph Jr. Bruce the son is the spitting image of his father and in his own quiet and humble way a legend. I met Cellia

The basket giveaway will happen Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church at 1865 Bruce Randolph Ave., at the corner of 34th Ave. and High St. People who just show up and ask for a basket on Nov. 22, unfortunately, will not be able to get one, so it’s important for families to sign up online or show up in person at the church to be able to pick up a basket. Operating under a foundation, it’s important for each basket to be accounted for according to Wooding. Go to to sign up.

Oliver who lived on Randolph Street and had worked at the restaurant. Oliver took pleasure in giving the details of the time that Oprah Winfrey came to eat at the restaurant and how all the staff got a chance to meet Oprah personally.” So it was no surprise that when he saw a lot of commotion in front of the building one evening that he wanted to investigate. Wooding says, “One night in mid-October of 2003 I was coming home and saw a television truck in front of my house. As the crew was setting up to do a newscast on the corner, I asked what was happening and they told me that the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving was going to be cancelled that year because the former sponsoring church Salem Baptist was not going to do the event.” He continues, “I knew Tamara Banks, the anchor person (at KWGNTV) assigned to do the story. I spoke with her and thankfully she was aware of my efforts to get Epworth involved in helping with the event that year. She

gave me the number of the former pastor of Salem Baptist. I immediately called him and put him and pastor King Harris on the phone. A meeting was set up for the next day and it was decided that Epworth would help in keeping the event alive.” Banks, today a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker, says, “The reason I did the story was because it was a good story. Daddy Bruce’s life, legacy and how he’d helped so many people are important and relevant for a story. I had no idea that it would turn the tide and keep the Thanksgiving event going. I look back at that moment when I was told the food distribution was in jeopardy and I realize God put me right where I was supposed to be and then gave me direction to get the story on the air.” She adds, “I don’t think many (if any) other people in the newsroom understood the magnitude and significance of the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving dinner and later, the

We’re people movers. We’re transit experts. We are RTD. Together we’ve been driving for nearly 30 years – so you know we’re expert drivers. Safe, quick, and friendly rides are what we’re all about – no matter if it’s on the road or on the tracks. You can trust us to get you where you want to go – whether it’s the airport, the mall or just across town.

– Cliff Alps, RTD Bus Driver Sandy Fox, RTD Light Rail Operator

RTD FasTracks RTD FasT Tracks is one e of the largest largest transit expansion n pr programs ograms in the nation. FasT FasTracks Tracks acks is adding mor more e rail, improved impr oved bus service, e, more more parking, and new transitt hubs to make your transportation ion options even better. betterr. Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


food giveaway. Certainly, people knew it was a nice holiday story but very few people understood his true legacy. This is a perfect example of why diversity in newsrooms is so important.�

Metro Cab has been the longest (sponsor) to deliver to seniors and disabled. They volunteer their time, their gas and use their automobiles. Volunteers do ride with taxi drivers to help them make the deliveries.�

With shopping carts and boxes on the ground, Harris, his congregation at Epworth United Methodist Church and volunteers filled used shopping carts and disbursed food from box to box. They handed out 2,000 baskets the first year. Harris says, “It would have been bad for the legacy to disappear and for families not to have. It is the most amazing project personally I have ever been involved with. We have to turn people away. Never had to do that. The giveaway is now part of the fabric of this community. It ties together the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ - those who need and those who have donated working side by side.� Interestingly, the fundraising has been a year-by-year challenge, says Harris. In the early days it was nervewracking. One year he was deep in a fundraising campaign and needed to raise $134,000 but he had to leave town on a church assignment. While away, he received an unexpected call from a Sam’s Club representative saying they didn’t have $134,000, but they did have $124,000. The church still had to write a check for $10,000.� As of October this year, the need is at $234,000, but Harris has learned not to worry, “God’s got it. I just got to wait for him to work it out. It’s amazing a little church congregation like ours can raise in excess of $200,000 in the past; $300,000 is expected to be raised this year.� Even with the work the church has done over the years, he finds it funny that most people don’t know their name. “That church at the corner of Randolph and High Street is where you go. That’s what people know,� says Harris, who is scheduled to retire June 30, 2015. “I salute Gill Ford for what he did and the legacy he created. If he hadn’t done what he did, there wouldn’t be anything for Epworth to take over.� Wooding believes everyone can keep the tradition going from corporate sponsors to individuals and cautions everyday people “not to forget that it is your financial donations and volunteer support that makes this the event that the community, the city and this country can be proud of.� He notes one of the long-term partnerships as being very necessary. “Denver is one city where no one should go hungry. But people slip through the cracks, especially seniors.

“A lot of people are not interested in history of Daddy Bruce, just a basket,� says Wooding, who teaches Randolph’s model of giving at Iliff School of Theology and whose personal mission is for new generations to know about the man. He is helping to produce a documentary scheduled to be screened in Denver in February 2015, titled “Keep A Light In Your Window.� More than 50 people will present their perspective of Daddy Bruce, down to his fatherly habit of standing at the corner making sure children got safely across the street when going to and from school. An estimated 12,000 volunteers sign up annually, but mostly to volunteer on that day. Wooding says they also need people ahead of time. They are getting help from Project Management Institute (PMI), which over time will document the process for others to use. Bob Kois, a PMI-certified lecturer with the University of Colorado at Boulder and Denver, as well as the Denver Institute for Urban Studies and American Pathways University, teaches the PMI class in the Five Points neighborhood. “We’ve been active in the neighborhood for about five years. Ronald has been a guest speaker for about four years talking about the Daddy Bruce event,� says Kois, who grew up in the Five Points neighborhood, eating Bruce’s BBQ. “We would help him brainstorm. Daddy Bruce is probably the biggest one we’ve done in Colorado. People who live to serve like to serve. If they are trained better, they work better. If we can help you do something better, we do it.� Kois adds, “Everybody has ownership in the success (of Daddy Bruce)� and referred to a time when Daddy Bruce’s restaurant was closed because of unpaid taxes. Once people learned they came down and provided enough money to pay the taxes. It was an experience Bruce Randolph, Jr. recalled during the February 2014 birthday celebration. He credits Jim “Dr. Daddio� Walker, at the time owner of KDKO Radio, for making that happen by getting on the radio and telling people to come down. Everyone from neighborhood residents to Denver Bronco’s members made donations. Dr. Daddio continues to shed light on community happenings on KOA 760 Talk Radio.  Editor’s note: For more information, call Ronald Wooding at 720-319-1491 or email

Epworth: That Church on Bruce Randolph & High St.

More Than a Basket


1RZ 1 1R Z (QUROOLQJ (QUROOLQJ ‡  ‡ Šƒ˜‡ Ž‘™ –‡ƒ –‡ƒ…Š‡” ƒ…Š‡” –‘ …Š‹Ž† ”ƒ–‹‘• ƒÂ?† ™‡ ™ ’”‘˜‹†‡ ƒŽŽ †‹ƒ’‡” ”•ǥ ™‹’‡•ǥ ˆ‘”Â?Â—ÂŽÂƒÇĄ ƒÂ?† ˆ‘ ‘‘†Ǩ Â†Â‹ÂƒÂ’Â‡Â”Â•ÇĄ ˆ‘‘†Ǩ ‡“—‹”‡Â?‡Â?–•ǣ ČˆŠ‹Ž†”‡Â? ƒ‰‡ Íš ™‡‡ ™‡‡Â?• ‡Â?• Č‚ Í™ ›‡ƒ”• ‘Ž† Čˆ‡ ƒÂ?† ’ƒ›Â?‡Â?–•Ǥ Čˆ ‡ ƒ……‡’–  ƒÂ? Â?†    …Š‹Ž† …ƒ”‡ ’ƒ›Â?‡Â? Â?–•Ǥ  ”–‹…‹’ƒÂ?– ‹Â? –Š‡ ‡Â?˜‡” ”‡•…Š‘‘Ž ”‡•……Š‘‘Ž ”‘‰”ƒÂ? ‡‡ ƒ”‡ ƒ ’”‘—† ’ƒ” ’ƒ”–‹…‹’ƒÂ?– Čˆ •Â? ƒ„‘—– ‘—” ‡‡ ‡ ƒ•‡† —ŽŽ ƒ› ƒ”‡ ˆ‘” ƒŽŽ ƒ‰‡• ƒÂ?† ’”‡•…Š‘‘Ž ”‡‡ ’ƒ”– †ƒ› ’”‡• •…Š‘‘Ž ˆ‘” Í—ÇŚÍ™ ›‡ƒ” ‘Ž†• ™Š‘ ‘ “—ƒŽ‹ˆ›



Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Dirty Little Secrets of Mutual Funds N ine out of 10 Americans

By Martin V. Johnson, Jr.

underestimate hidden 401K fees and may not know that mutual funds cost more to own than index funds – a lot more, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). A typical active mutual fund charges a fee between 1.5 and 2 percent while exchange traded funds (ETF) and index funds can run as low as 0.04 percent. Knowledge of these fees is critical because they can eat away at large amounts of families’ savings over time. Just how much can these fees add up over time? A retirement savings model created by researchers from the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech calculated that, over a lifetime, all 401(k)-related fees can cost a median-income two-earner household almost $155,000 – almost a third of their total investment returns. Meanwhile, a case study from the U. S. Department of Labor finds the potential for staggering losses in savings due to these fees. The study provides the following example: “Assume that you are an employee with 35 years until retirement and a current 401(k) account balance of $25,000. If returns on investments in your account over the next 35 years average seven percent and fees and expenses reduce your average returns by 0.5 percent, your account balance will grow to $227,000 at retirement, even if there are no further contributions to your account. If fees and expenses are 1.5 percent, however, your account

balance will grow to only $163,000. The 1 percent difference in fees and expenses would reduce your account balance at retirement by 28 percent.” When it comes to retirement planning, most people remain in the dark about how many fees their 401(k) providers are charging them – and just how much money they are losing as a result. Please note that advisors at the major primary firm of which we are all subjected to, on Sunday mornings are not allowed to market index funds because they have no vested interest to do so because of the low fees. Yet these same advisors readily admit to utilizing index funds when it comes to their own personal portfolios. Where are all these fees coming from, and how can those saving for retirement minimize the expenses eating away at their returns? The 2012 Department of Labor rule regarding Service Provider Disclosures under Section 408(b) (2) states that all of your 401(k) fees must be disclosed in your annual prospectus statement. It’s very hard to gauge whether or not you’re being given a good deal without also being given industry averages for context and comparison. In addition, many don’t even know that 401(k) providers charge fees at all. A 2011 AARP survey found that seven out of 10 of 401(k) holders didn’t know they were paying any fees to their 401(k) plan providers. The expense ratio, which measures a fund’s total annual operating expenses, is the most well-known fee you will encounter in your fund selection process, but it would be a mistake to believe this is the only fee you’re being charged within your 401(k) plan. Expense ratio is the fee displayed most prominently by each mutual fund because these types of fees do not vary much year to year, this is a static fee listed in each fund’s annual report. While fee structures vary widely from plan to plan, the following threelayer 401(k) fee structure is most standard. The first two fee types are associated with the funds within your

plan, while the plan level fees consist of the fees and costs of the 401(k) plan provider and administrators. This is the full list of fees you can expect to see, and the rough averages you can expect each fee to take of your returns: EXPENSE RATIO FEES: OPERATING EXPENSES (Averages around 1.105 percent of assets) Management Fees includes: •Fees to fund’s investment advisor for managing the fund’s portfolio •Administrative fees due to the investment advisor Distribution/Service Fees include: •Marketing fees •Sales charges •Shareholder service fees Other Administrative Expenses include: •Custodial expenses •Legal expenses •Accounting expenses •Transfer agent expenses •Any additional shareholder service expenses MUTUAL FUND-LEVEL FEES NOT INCLUDED IN EXPENSE RATIO (Averages around 1 percent of assets)

Transaction/Trading Costs include: •Brokerage Commissions •Bid/Ask Spreads Shareholder Fees can include: •Sales loads •Redemption fee •Exchange fee •Account fee •Purchase fee •Maintenance fee

401K PLAN-LEVEL FEES Highly variable range: median ‘all-in fee’ averages 0.72 percent of assets (Of the service provider) Plan-level Investment Fees include: •Plan set-up •Portfolio management fees •Advising plan sponsor fees – either by record keeper or portfolio manager •Educational materials and services expenses

Plan-level Administrative Fees include: •Recordkeeping services •Employee enrollment services – meetings, paperwork, etc. •Customer service – e.g. phone and web support •Legal advice to employer •Compliance testing expenses – e.g. audits Plan-level Service Fees include: •Fees for additional features or services – e.g. investment advice, loan fees

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides full definitions of each type of fee and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has a useful tool for looking them up. Technically, these are not so much hidden fees most should be listed out in any fund’s prospectus under “Shareholder Fees” as they are difficult to understand fees. However, it is incredibly important to know how the money is being spent, because all of these fees, whether directly or indirectly, are passed on to holders of IRA‘S and 401(k) plan participants, you.  Editor’s Note: Martin V. Johnson Jr., president and founder of Johnson’s Global Advisors Corp., has been a securities professional for over 25 years. He covers high net worth clients; he is also a global generalist stock and bond institutional sales/trader. He is a general securities licensed series 7, uniform securities agent blue sky state law license series 63 registered representative, and Series 65 Registered Investment Advisor registered with the Colorado DORA Division of Securities. For more information, visit www., email or call 720-222-9502.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility.

a.m. m. traveling traveling companions com mpanion ns Most locations open 24 hours. ours. ©2014 McDonald’s M 9/14 47856.1

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


More than 1,200 supporters from

around the nation turned out to watch people with Down syndrome strut the runway with celebrity escorts at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show on Oct. 25, 2014 at the Sheridan in downtown Denver. They also came out for the silent auction, the live auction and the presentation of two Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awards, affectionately known as the Q Awards. This year Beverly Johnson, founder, chairwoman and CEO of BJE LLC, received the award given to people who use their celebrity to help with Down syndrome and other development disabilities. Brad Hennefer, 25year-old self-advocate, also received the 2014 Q Award. He is the inspiration behind the Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation that has been providing golf athletic opportunities for individuals who have Down syndrome since 2006. The sixth annual event is a fundraiser for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation benefitting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down syndrome. The executive director is Michelle Sie Whitten. Funds raised have yet to be announced for this year’s event, but prior to the 2014 fundraiser, the event had raised $7.6 million for Down syndrome research, medical care, advocacy and education. David Tollenson, executive director of the National Down Syndrome Congress located in Georgia, praised their ability to raise funds, secure matching dollars and feature celebrities. “Down syndrome is woefully underfunded and (the foundation) is the global leader in bringing attention to that lack,” he said. Johnson is most known for being the first African-American supermodel. She landed on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974, making world history as the first African-American model to ever grace the magazine’s cover. Her career, which spans four decades, is a showcase of accomplishment: from model to mom to actress, author, activist, businesswoman, TV personality, and finally icon. She has also been a spokes-person for several causes dear to her heart, namely Down syndrome. Her first cousin and niece have the condition. She concurs with Tollenson: “It’s one of the least funded. It has a stigma and a taboo. People don’t understand so they shun people with Down syndrome. The children are treated cruelly and have very specific medical needs.” As she helped with her niece over the years, she said she “almost felt like am I doing enough? I look at my sister and say to myself, what can I do? I get more out of this (serving as the foun-

Supermodel Recognized for Work with Down Syndrome

Beverly Johnson taps into personal life to support fundraising efforts By Angelia D. McGowan

Natalie Fuller blows a kiss as her aunt, Beverly Johnson, waves to the crowd.

dation’s national spokesperson) than the kids. It’s such food for my soul.” She says her 26-year-old niece Natalie Fuller is a gift. “Then to bump into this group of people is a ‘Godsend.’ Fuller, who graduated from high school in 2007, has attended and worked at Hi-Hope Service Center in Georgia for the past six years, where she is a very active member of client council. She has been a model in the fashion show for four years. In her efforts over the years to find various support for Fuller, she has run into disturbing data. The foundation reports that Down syndrome has nothing to do with race, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or anything the mother or father did during pregnancy. But, a study published in June 2001 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated a stark racial disparity in the median life spans of people with Down syndrome. The study based on an analysis of 34,000 multiple-cause mortality files from 1968-1997 indicated that the median age of death for white people with Down syndrome is 50 years, while it is 25 years for Black people and 11 years for people of other races. Having a diverse list of advocates helps to raise awareness to these types of issues. DeOndra Dixon, the inaugural Q Award recipient in 2011 is little sister to Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx. She travels around the U.S. and represents the foundation at conferences and events. Foxx, who was in attendance with his sister, told the story of her coming to one of his music video shoots. She had a clip-on ponytail in her purse, ready to dance. She said, “Big bro, don’t leave me out.” Since then she has performed at the Grammy’s and spoke in front of Congress about Down syndrome. “It’s great to see that confidence,” he said.

Photo by Lorenzo Dawkins

When asked what she wanted people to know about people with Down syndrome, she said, “I’m talented. I like to sing. I get it from my brother.” As a model for four decades, Johnson has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers from Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan to Essence, Ebony and French Elle. Her success during the 70s and 80s transcended race as she became a household name. She signed with the Ford Modeling agency and was one of the highest

paid models in the industry in a very short period of time. The New York Times named her as one of the “20th Century’s 100 Most Influential People in the Fashion Industry.” When she looks at the industry today, she is “proud and happy to see the actual diversity of the modeling industry, with Alec from Africa, Gisele from Brazil, and Joan Smalls of Russia. I love the global feeling of the industry. Really wonderful.” She is disappointed, however, in the designers. “In the 70s when I started there were more African American models and designers. Now I’m on the other side and sit in front row at Fashion Week. Big fashion designers exclude models of color. The audacity!” In recent years, she has appeared in Tyler Perry’s movie Good Deeds. Last year, she launched her reality show, “Beverly’s Full House,” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She has signed with Simon & Schuster to publish her memoir, which is to be published in early 2015. When asked about retirement, she says “You never want to stop using your mind. I don’t believe in retirement.”  Editor’s note: For more information about the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and their partners, visit

Providing Minimally Invasive Treatments for Gynecological Conditions Dr. Dana Dr. Dana Roper Roper treats treats all all gynecological gynecological conditions conditions including including uterine uterine fibroids, fibroids, which women w hich affect affect three three out out of of four four women. women. Most Most w omen are are unaware unaware they they have have u terine fibroids, fibroids, which which can can be be discovered discovered during during a pelvic pelvic exam. exam. Schedule Schedule an an uterine appointment a ppointment with with Dr. Dr. Roper Roper to to learn learn about about minimally minimally invasive invasive ttechniques echniques that that are fibroids a re available available to to treat treat uterine uterine fi broids and and other other gynecological gynecological conditions. conditions. Dana R Roper, o r, MD oper MD,, FACOG FA ACOG 11960 960 O gden S treet, Suite Suite 2 30 Ogden Street, 230 Den verr, C O 80 218-3671 Denver, CO 80218-3671 Phone: 3 303-318-3540 303-318-3540 w ww.exempladoct e

Specializing lizing in:

Hours: M Monday - Frida y, Monday Friday, a.m. p.m. 8:30 a.m m. – 5:00 p .m.

• Family Family Planning/Pregnancy Planning/Pregnancy Infertility & Infertility

• da da V inci Robotic Robotic Surgery Surgery Vinci • Minimally Minimally IInvasive nvasive Gynecological S urgery Gynecological Surgery

• Obstetrical Obstetrical Care Care iin n Uncomplicated P regnancies Uncomplicated Pregnancies • High High R isk P regnancies Risk Pregnancies • Post-Menopausal Post-Menopausal Issues Issues

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014



It’s Celebration Time for Denver Luxury Watch Entrepreneur 10th Anniversary Inspires New Designs and Partnerships By Tanya Ishikawa

Standing the test of time. That’s


the sign of quality, endurance and lasting relevance. As Banneker Watches celebrates its 10th anniversary, founder and CEO Derrick M. Holmes shares his excitement – and a bit of relief. “To survive through what was a rough recession, when people were more concerned about saving their homes than about buying great products, feels really good,” said Holmes from Los Angeles, one of the company’s three office locations including Chicago and the headquarters in Denver. “A lot of companies, large and small, were not able to sustain. It was a tight time for everyone. I’m glad to get on the other side of it.” Holmes launched his first line of Banneker watches in 2004, named after early American astronomer, inventor, surveyor and mathematician Benjamin Banneker who built the first entirely wood-made clock in the United States in 1753. Each watch design includes a unique wood face including exotic varieties such as African maple, African padauk, Madagascar ebony, red sandalwood, stained mahogany, and Egyptian zebra. “Making it this far shows our staying power, and that people do really like Banneker as a brand,” he said. “Luckily, things have picked back up in the watch industry. Watch sales are fashion driven. Younger people are buying them as a fashion statement.” As part of the company’s postrecession rebirth, Benjamin Banneker, Inc. was formed in 2014 as the parent company of Banneker Watches and Clocks. Banneker watches are priced $85 to $599, including a new line of nine Banneker watches that came out May to July this year. The Benjamin Banneker line of luxury and custom timepieces will be priced $1,000 and above, and feature Swiss movements and materials like platinum, gold, Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


white gold, rose gold, emeralds, rubies, and all colors of diamonds. Holmes has been successful over the past few years in establishing partnerships that will facilitate the anticipated fast growth of the brand in the next couple years. MZ Berger is a world-class manufacturing partner with more than 60 years of experience, several wellknown brands in their portfolio, and more than 700 employees. Royal Asscher is one of the world’s most storied and prestigious diamond producers and will be providing all of the diamonds and precious stones used on Banneker watches. Paradox Fine Jewelers is a distribution partner with more than 1,800 independent retail locations across the nation. The retail store in The (George) N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit, one of the oldest African American-owned art galleries in the world, will begin selling Banneker watches on Nov. 21. The Banneker CEO has enjoyed developing several relationships with celebrity endorsers, who have come on board to build brand awareness. Tyler Perry wore Banneker watches in his movie Single Mom’s Club released in 2014. Russell Simmons, James Pickens Jr., Rocky Carroll, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Beyoncé, Brad Pitt, and other entertainment and sports stars own Banneker products. Banneker’s president is former NBA player Tim Hardaway, who is now the assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons. “He is working on developing a real network and distribution opportunities in the NBA. We made the first ever NBA championship watch in 2006 when the Miami Heat won it, and would like to do that in years to come,” Holmes said. Select retailers such as the Sterling Group will carry exclusive watch models and celebrity specific designs. Banneker will set up a co-op advertising campaign and use in-store appear-

Otis Williams, Russell Simmons and Derrick Holmes

Helping you create wealth... protect wealth... and leave a legacy!

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 • Denver, CO 80209 303-871-7249 •

Call today for a free consultation! ances with select celebrity endorsers to launch new products. In addition to watches and clocks, Benjamin Banneker, Inc. will produce bags, sunglasses, school supplies and other products. These new items will be tied to selected celebrity endorsers and some products will utilize causerelated marketing to help drive efforts of nonprofit organizations. Banneker’s relationships with celebrities are also benefiting youth across the nation. Through the Banneker Franklin Foundation, high school students are encouraged to stay in school and graduate. Celebrities and national leaders visit their schools and reward each student with a Banneker watch for graduating. The foundation director is Allen Webb II, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb’s grandson. Meanwhile, Banneker is exploring the use of “street teams” – using the Mary Kay paradigm – to increase sales and spread brand awareness. Another unique marketing and sales approach is the watch sale party where watches are displayed, a sales team answers questions and party-goers can try on watches. A recent party, basically a trunk show, in LA generated more than $10,000 in watch sales in three

hours with about 60 attendees including multiple celebrity guests. Additional parties are planned for Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City. In 2015, Benjamin Banneker, Inc. will roll out the new brand, Lady Banneker, with fashion watches, sunglasses bags and other women’s products. Women are already a target market and avid buyers of Banneker watches, while men continue to show a strong interest in watches – even in collecting them. “Sixty percent of men I have spoken with are quasi-watch collectors. What I noticed is that for men this is our only real piece of jewelry that speaks to who we are. Our cars, our shoes and our watches – those are the three things that give men an opportunity to make a statement. Because of that, a lot of men collect watches. Some serious collectors own 12 to15 watches,” Holmes added with a lot of satisfaction and optimism about Banneker’s next 10 years.  Editor’s note: For more information, visit For investment opportunities, call Derrick Holmes at 720435-5528 or email Holmes at

Derrick Holmes and Lionel Richie Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Governor and Former Mayor Visit with AfricanAmerican Leaders

On Oct. 21, Colorado

Does your student STRIVE for College? STRIVE Green Valley Ranch and STRIVE Montbello are free public charter schools, for grades 6-8, open to all families in Northeast Denver. STRIVE Prep schools are small, safe, and focused on preparing students for the challenges of high school and college. LEARN MORE AT AN OPEN HOUSE: For more information and to RSVP please visit:


4045 Pecos St., Denver, CO 80211 Phone: 303.830.0215 Fax 303.830.2885 TDD Relay Colorado 1-800-659-3656


Archdiocesan Family Housing Inc.

Archdiocesan Housing, located at 4045 Pecos Street, Denver, Colorado is now accepting applications for our subsidized family housing portfolio. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements for Section 8 housing. Rent is 30% of total adjusted income.

Featuring 2, 3, and 4 bedroom apartments at four different locations: 1300 block of S. Irving, 800 block S. Monaco, 1900 block S. Raritan and 3700 block Humboldt.

There is no preference given to location of unit.

Occupancy limit:

1 Bedroom: 1-2 persons 3 Bedroom: 3-6 persons

2 Bedroom: 2-4 persons 4 Bedroom: 4-8 persons

No immediate or emergency housing is available.

The units are filled through the waiting lists only, according to the date and time of the application.

Interested applicants should contact Archdiocesan Housing at 303-830-0215 or visit our website at Applications can be mailed and picked up at our office at 4045 Pecos St., Denver, Colorado 80211. Office hours: Monday-Friday: 8 AM to 5 PM. Closed from Noon to 1 everyday. Persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for assistance completing the application.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb visited with about 40 African American leaders who had gathered at Welton Street Café in Denver’s historic Five Points Business District to learn more about job creation and education. The governor talked about the stamina of the state to endure numerous natural disasters over a four-year period, including droughts, fires and floods. He also talked about needed updates in the education system, including proper education for students who are dyslexic, as is the governor. He emphasized how the state would address transparency with parents by soon developing a website that would show parents how funds are distributed at schools, including how much goes to teachers. He discussed the healthcare system and how it should be a right for everyone and not a privilege of the rich. He updated the group on improvements in job growth and the decrease of unemployment in the state. The governor’s invitation for all the leaders to introduce themselves resulted in a broad range of concerns and accolades being expressed during the visit. Sean Bradley, national outreach advisor for American Federation for Children, thanked the governor for his support of President Barack Obama, which spurred the governor’s account of the president’s visit to the Wynkoop Brewery Company in July. He was impressed at the time President Obama took to talk with people at the restaurant. Denise Edwards, a registered lobbyist, talked about her efforts to encourage people to vote. She informed the governor that though she had collected more

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


than 70 ballots, it was challenging work because of voters’ tendency to believe that politicians “only show up when you want something.” The governor was also recognized for his initiatives with the homeless. Other leaders in attendance include Shontel Lewis, who works toward gang reduction in Montbello; Eddie Koen, executive director of College Track; Elma Joyce Hairston, former president of the Colorado Black Women for Political Action; Quincy Hines with Shop Talk Live and Damon Jackson, a professional in the 2014 Chamber Connect Leadership Program, part of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. During the visit, the governor stressed the importance of community members and leaders being active in making change, from the big commitments of serving on state boards and commissions to the simple act of voting. He said that everyone needs to encourage their friends and family to vote. Webb added, “Bad elected officials are elected by people who don’t vote.” Hickenlooper, in complementing Webb on carrying out former Denver Mayor Federico Pena’s idea for Denver International Airport, said how important it is for people to not only have great ideas, but also to implement them. “Getting people to do them is what changes the world.” The gathering of Black leaders was “like a reunion,” says Fathima Dickerson, who serves as head waitress and whose family owns Welton Street Café. “I’m happy they chose this location. It’s appropriate for them to come here to a Black-owned business. I recognized a lot of people that were invited here. It was good to see familiar faces.” 

What are Viruses?

By Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks D.Ac., L.Ac., B.S.


iruses are medically defined as microscopic pathogens consisting of genetic material (RNA or DNA) surrounded by a protein, fat, or glycoprotein coat. Viruses are not cells. They don’t have the components of living cells; therefore, they are not living. Without a host cell, viruses cannot make their own energy or reproduce – they don’t metabolize or respond to stimuli. Seen through the view of a microscope, a virus will insert genetic material into a host cell and take over its energy and biochemical operations. The cell can – and many times will – lose its ability to function normally. Viruses usually spread by simple contact from person to person or animal/insect to person. Some require sexual contact, others from contaminated food or water. Since a virus is a bundle of chemicals harboring the ability to live by parasitizing a host cell, the variables are immense and almost unknown. So, medically, much is interpreted and assumed. Researching viruses is very complex, using high tech equipment and techniques. And even with all of this viable data about how viruses multiply, who carries it, how it makes people sick or whether (and what type) of antibodies to other viruses may protect against or not – there are still many unknowns about viruses. On the other hand, if the body’s immune system detects an undue viral invasion, it responds dramatically. First, there is RNA or DNA interference to degrade the viral genetic material. Specific antibodies are produced that bind to the virus to neutralize it. T-cells come to get rid of the virus. Viruses infect specific cell types, for instance, influenza viruses infect respiratory cells; poliomyelitis virus infects nerve cells, etc. There are many viruses in our environment – some are harmless, slow, rare, latent and active. It’s been known by the medical community since the 1950s that a myriad of harmless viruses exist in humans and animals. Dr. Louis Pasteur, the “Father of modern genetics,” admitted that a microbe is

not entirely responsible for illness but instead it is the biological terrain and the immune system function of the individual that determines disease. In general, viruses must quickly multiply to cause illness since the host’s immune defenses usually rapidly neutralizes the virus and prevents disease when functioning normally. A “slow” virus like HIV can lie dormant in a host’s body for years before activated, but a healthy immune system will not allow it to be reactivated and multiply to cause illness. There is no way to avoid viruses. We live among them all the time. Just

because a virus is found in a human or animal doesn’t mean the virus will definitely be transmitted. For a virus to live, it has to be transmitted to new, susceptible hosts by births or waning immunity. For example, illness such as measles, mumps, and rubella must wait for births to accumulate before they can spread to susceptible children and people with lowered immune function are more susceptible to viral invasion. To conclude part one of this article, I want you to not panic when you hear about a new virus and a potential epidemic, since fear and stress will

also suppress immune function. During these times, you need your body to function at optimum levels with an efficient, quick-responding immune system. Information is power, so stay tuned for part two where I will discuss beneficial viruses and nutrition, herbs, etc. to use to boost your immune system. Blessings!  Editor’s Note: Dr. Meeks is the owner of the Moyo Health Associates Clinic located at 3515 S. Tamarac St. in Denver, Colorado, Suite #102. He can be reached by calling 303-377-2511 or by emailing

Join us for

The 31st Annual

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Denver Chapter Sunday, December 21, 2014 4 pm Ballroom Doors Open 5 pm Doors Close - Presentation Begins Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel 1550 Court Place, Denver, Colorado Plaza Ballroom The Masters of Ceremony: Mr. Javon Brame Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr. For tickets: For info: No tickets sold at the door

Formal Attire Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Denver Urban League 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Annual Gala A Huge Success


Rita Kahn, Phil Washington and Robert Willis Photo by Bernard Grant

By Wil Alston

ore than 500 area patrons, sponsors, and elected officials were present at the 2014 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Gala. The overall event, held at the newly renovated Marriott City Center in downtown Denver on Saturday, Sept. 27, began with a VIP Reception that featured Gov. John Hickenlooper, US Senator Mark Udall, and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. The dinner portion of the program, with 9NEWS’ TaRhonda Thomas as mistress of ceremony, featured entertainment from Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee and highlighted this year’s award winners: the Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth (Denver Health); Lonnie Porter (Regis University), Phil Washington (RTD), Pat Cortez (Wells Fargo), and Robert Smith (Vista Equity Partners). The evening concluded with an after party hosted by

the Urban League’s Young Professionals. “We could not be happier with the success of this year’s gala,” said Interim President/CEO Moses Brewer. “The turnout from the community and the support from our corporate friends are a testament to the value of the Urban League and its work.” Each year, the gala marks the beginning of the work-year for the organization. During his “State of the League” remarks, Brewer noted that priorities for the organization during the upcoming year include job training, appointing a permanent President/CEO, strategic planning, and fiscal sustainability. “The Urban League is finally getting itself back on firm footing,” Brewer said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we feel like we have such great momentum after the tremendous success of the gala. During the event, the Urban League presented the “McKinley Harris Distinguished Warrior Award,” given annually to organiza-

Do You You Know What Health Y Coverage Is Right for You?

Make Sure Y You ou Have the Medical Coverage Y You ou Need! Visit Visit a Healthcare Coverage Guide for free, one-on-one assistance at any Denver Human Services office! 1200 Federal Blvd. | 3815 Steele St. | 4685 Peoria St. 720-944-3666 |

tions or individuals that exhibit a strong commitment to youth, education, community, or The League in general; and the Chairman’s Award, presented each year to an outstanding individual by the current board chairman. This year’s event was chaired by DU’s Robert Willis and Loop Capital’s Rita Kahn. Honorary chairs were Landri and Gloria Taylor.

About The Urban League

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

Denver Urban League 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Annual Gala Award Recipients

McKinley Harris Distinguished Warrior Award Recipients Pat Cortez, Senior Vice President PR & Government Relations; Wells Fargo Bank Pat Cortez is the senior vice president for Wells Fargo’s public relations and government rela-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


tions in Colorado. Pat oversees Wells Fargo’s charitable contributions in Colorado where nearly $4.4 million are awarded each year to more than 900 Colorado nonprofit organizations. Prior to her current position, Pat managed Wells Fargo’s business development efforts among emerging markets, including the African-American, Asian, Latino and Women’s markets, with responsibility for nearly $1 billion in consumer assets. Under Pat’s leadership, Wells Fargo has received community service awards from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Museo de las Americas and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is actively involved in the Denver community where she was a founding member and past chair of the Colorado Scholarship Coalition, and previously served as a trustee of the Denver Public Library, a mayoral appointee to the Planning Board for the City and County of Denver, and director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver. Lonnie Porter, Founder/Executive Director; Porter Billups Leadership Academy at Regis University Considered the “Dean” of Colorado men’s basketball coaches, Lonnie Porter will put together his 38th and final men’s basketball team during the winter of 2014-15. With his 533 career victories, Porter has served at Regis longer than any other current men’s Colorado collegiate basketball mentor, and has the state of Colorado’s all-time best record for men’s collegiate basketball. During the spring of 2013, Porter was prestigiously inducted into the Iowa High School Athletics Hall of Fame, and in 1996 he began the Lonnie Porter Leadership Academy at Regis University—an annual three-week academic summer program that provides at-risk youth with the skills to stay in school, combat negative peer

pressure, graduate from high school and attend college. The academy received a large boost in 2006 when NBA All-Star and 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups joined up with Porter in efforts for the academy. Phil Washington, General Manager; Regional Transportation District (RTD) Phil Washington is the general manager RTD where he oversees the entire transit system, including the buses and trains, the build-out of FasTracks, and the Denver Union Station transit center. He was unanimously selected as RTD’s General Manager in 2009 by RTD’s board and is leading one of the most dynamic transit agencies in North America. Under his leadership, RTD is implementing the FasTracks program, one of the largest transit expansion programs in the country and overseeing the build out of the commuter rail line from Denver International Airport to downtown Denver, where he spearheaded and utilized a first-of-its-kind $2.2 billion dollar transit Public/Private Partnership (P3). He is also responsible for the regional Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) Program, a collaborative partnership between RTD, Community College of Denver, Denver Transit Partners (DTP) and the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. WIN helps job seekers, companies, and local communities by creating career opportunities in the transportation and construction industries. Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer; Denver Health Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth began her public service career with the City of Denver in 1989. She has the unique distinction of being the only person— male or female—in recent memory to have served in all three branches of city government in Denver, including City Council, City Auditor’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office. In December 1999, she was elected as the City Council Representative for District 8 and served as Council President from 2003-2005. In 2007, Elbra was hired as the Chief Government and Community Relations Officer for the Denver Health and Hospital Authority where she is responsible for hospital policy matters on the local, state and federal level and also for

community outreach initiatives. Elbra served as the President/Chair of the Board for the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee for the historic Democratic National Convention, and was most recently honored by the city and the community with the renaming of the Five Points-based Elbra M. Wedgeworth Municipal Building. Chairman’s Award Robert F. Smith, Founder; Vista Equity Partners Robert F. Smith is the Founder,

Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. As Vista’s Chairman and CEO, he directs Vista’s investment strategy and decisions and provides firm governance and oversight for investor relations. Under Mr. Smith’s leadership, Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of approximately $13 billion

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


and oversees a portfolio of over 20 software companies that employ a combined 22,000 employees worldwide. Since Vista’s founding in 2000, Smith has overseen over 100 completed transactions by the firm. In 2012, Buyouts Magazine awarded the firm’s Vista Equity Partners Fund III the Gold Medal as the top-performing 2007-Vintage Buyout Fund in the U.S. Prior to founding Vista, the Denver native worked for Goldman Sachs in New York and Silicon Valley. 

Up Close and Personal with...

Charity Gala Features Cuisine by 100 Gentlemen as Chefs The Paiges: Samir, Neil, Larry and Jionni

Greg Goodloe

Sunday, Nov. 23 - 3 to 6 PM

Jazz@Jacks - 500 16th St. (Mall) #320 Denver, CO 80202

Buffet - Cash Bar

Tickets: $25 Advance, $30 At the Door - For more information: Call 303-292-6446 E-mail Proceeds benefit the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation


Up Close and Personal with...

Coco Brown

Linda Theus-Lee


his November, 100 Men Who Cook, Inc. will host its annual 1,000 person black-tie gala, which will raise funds for local youth charities, Struggle of Love Foundation, Colorado Starlites Drum and Drill Team and the Jazz C.A.F.E. (Cultivating a Future of Excellence). The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Denver International Airport Convention Center from 6 p.m. to midnight. The 100 Men Who Cook Fundraiser will feature a diverse group of 100 men from throughout the community preparing their homemade, mouthwatering specialties for sampling by guests. Mayor Michael Hancock will prepare his family macaroni and cheese for tasting at the gala, comedian Sam Adams will amuse the crowd as master of ceremonies, and guests will be treated to casino excitement

Ask About Our Holiday Specials!

Diana Castro

A Holiday Celebration

Sunday, December 21 3 to 6 PM Jazz@Jacks

500 16th St. (Mall) #320 Denver, CO 80202

and live entertainment by national recording artists reSurface formally known as Surface. The evening will be highlighted by a VIP reception featuring entertainment by Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee. “We are extremely thankful to have support from such distinguished men from around Denver willing to invest their personal time in our youth,” says Chief Operating Officer, Norma Paige, noting Mayor Hancock, Dr. Collis Johnson and long-time participating chefs Dr. Johnny Johnson and Walter Gray. “The thought that this one event helps sustain youth-based organizations in Denver keeps us going and will for years to come. The youth are our future and this has become the community’s investment in them.” The 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser contributes to grassroots, youthfocused organizations by raising funds to support their goals and objectives. After a vigorous selection process, 2014 gala leaders chose charities that

Buffet - Cash Bar

Tickets: $25 Advance $30 At the Door For more information: Call 303-292-6446 Email Proceeds benefit the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


100 Men Who Cook 2014 Charity Recipients:

Struggle of Love Foundation (SOL): Offers mentoring and sports programs; summer/winter camps; back to school assistance; and toys for the holidays. Founders, Joel and Lakeshia Hodge have operated SOL for the past 5 years with in-kind donations and their own finances. Colorado Starlites Drum and Drill Team: Has been serving youth in the Denver for the past 30 years. Along with the benefits gained from participation in a precision driven, teamwork activity, youth are also taught life skills. The Jazz C.A.F.E. (Cultivating a Future of Excellence): Promotes and develops music and leadership skills through music education and academic preparation in youth grades 6-12. In addition, The Jazz C.A.F.E. equips students with 21st century technological skills that assist in advancing their music and leadership abilities. Each year, the gala chooses a color to add more spice to the affair. This year’s signature color is red.  Editor’s note: The 100 Men Who Cook will be held on Saturday, Nov. 29 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Crowne Plaza DIA Convention Center, 15500 East 40th Ave. in Denver. For tickets and information, visit or call 800998-5984.


About The 100 Men Who Cook, Inc.

have been nominated by the community. In this year’s case, three charities are benefactors. The 2014 100 Men Who Cook, Inc. recipients include Struggle of Love Foundation, Colorado Starlites Drum and Drill Team and Jazz C.A.F.E. (Cultivating a Future of Excellence).

In 2013, the newly formed 100 Men Who Cook, Inc. was established as a Colorado non-profit organization whose mission is to assist grassroots nonprofit community organizations whose focus is supporting, educating, and developing youth; by raising operating capital to sustain their goals and objectives. The annual 100 Men Who Cook fall event collects and donates the net proceeds to organizations in an effort to sustain their operating capital. For more information, visit

SOUTHERN SMOKED $50 Large (6-10) - $40 Small (4-6) Fried Turkey Leg Dinner with Trimmings (Serves 2) - $24



What do you want most from your realtor? Highest price for your property...quick closing... smart investment or great workspace? Call me for great sercvice and the results you want.

Mable Sutton GRI, CRS “For all your real estate needs” 303-744-6200 - Office 303-313-8929 - Direct


“We are the heart of Denver” 420 Downing Street - Denver, Colorado 80218


Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Store Now Closing!

40 to 50% OFF!

and more!!!

Pass the Peas Please!”

Quality time never tasted so good

303-320-0797 2021 E. Colfax Avenue

and all the work it will take to restore the kitchen back to its original state is overwhelming. In today’s households it can be rare to see families all seated at the table, more than 5 days in a week, sharing a meal. Someone is always headed to practice, getting off work late, not wanting to miss their favorite TV program or just not hungry at the same time dinner is served. There’s good news...according to research, the benefits of eating together as a family OUTWEIGH all those stressors.

along. Schedule some extra shopping time to point out and talk about the foods and spices you’re buying that are typically not on your shopping list. The produce section alone is a classroom; so allow your toddler to touch, smell and ask questions about different items he or she sees. For older children give them the task of tracking how much you’re spending. You can make it more challenging by taking away the calculator (rounding prices up by the cents or next dollar helps keep them on track).

1. Eating together provides time that kids can count on spending with their parents. 2. Kids who share at least four meals with their families do better on achievement tests than those who eat three or fewer meals with their families. 3. Kids’ thinking skills and linguistic development improve. (This may be due to the longer conversations that tend to take place during family meals.) 4. Family meals contribute to a child’s healthy development even more than play or story time. 5. Teens who eat more meals with their families are less likely to be depressed. 6. Teenagers who share more family meals are less likely to take drugs. 7. Eating more meals together also results in teens being more motivated to learn. 8. Teens who share more family meals experience better relationships with their families and friends. 9. Kids who are in the habit of eating with their families eat more vegetables. 10. Kids who share family meals drink less soda. (Eat better-eat together: research on family meals)

Now that you have all the components of your meal, let’s start cooking together. Regardless of the child’s age there’s always something they can do. Toddlers can wash the peas while older kids read the recipes and measure out ingredients. Remember to really get things cooking by stirring up conversation with your kids.

10 Benefits of Family Meals

Thank you for 22 years of business! Open: Tuesday-Friday, 9 to 6; Saturday 10 to 6

By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland

Editor’s note: The Nest Matters (TNM) is advice from “egg to flight” from early childhood educators and leaders. TNM focuses on early child development from prenatal (the egg phase) through the stages of tweens when children prepare to leave the nest (the flight phase).

Mmm mmm mmm, the savory

scents of the holidays are fast

approaching. There’s nothing greater

than smelling a golden brown turkey,

roasting, sealed with juicy-ness, being

pulled out for basting and then quickly returned back into the oven.

Countdown…dinner’s about to be

served. What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? Food? Family? Time-off? Gifts? Quality time, that’s our answer! For some families the thought of the holidays can be stressful. Just thinking about the amount of money you have to spend, laboring over a hot stove, guests tracking dirt onto the carpet

Shopping Together = Quality Time

So when you head out to the grocery store to collect your holiday meals, let the little and big kiddos tag

Cooking Together = Quality Time

Eating Together = Quality Time

Family style dining is commonly used in most high quality childcare facilities. Researchers and educators know the benefits to a child’s social and language development when family style dining is an option. Even though most holiday meals are served family style; with all of the foods in its own dish on the table and everyone’s saying “pass the peas please”, we tend to make the smaller kids plates robbing them of the true experience that ties to family style dining. We can be more mindful by giving children (starting in infancy by placing them on our lap and at the table when they can sit-up) the opportunity and right size utensils to serve themselves. Through family style dining kids learn manners, have an “I did it!” attitude, are more likely to eat their veggies, put the right serving amount on their plate, and tend to not overeat. When planning your holidays remember the best ingredient you can add is Quality Time, it just tastes so good!

a.m. m. traveling traveling companions companions Most locations open 24 hours. ©2014 McDonald’s M 9/14 47856.1

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Colorado Online School Holds Third Annual Field Day

By Amanda Kalina, Communications Manager, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op

When you think of an online

school, you normally don’t think that the students ever meet in-person to participate in activities. Nearly 700 HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp students from around the state gathered on the University of Colorado at Denver Field at Auraria Campus, on Friday, Sept. 19 for their annual Field Day. Field Day is part of HOPE’s growing character development program and helps contribute to the educational success of students. “I enjoy being able to get outside and hang out for the day,” said Adrian, one of the HOPE students at the event. Students beamed from ear-to-ear as they enjoyed the perfect summer day and visited nearly 30 stations through-

out the event, which was sponsored by Campus Recreation at Auraria Campus. Volunteers from the University of Denver as well as HOPE staff helped run the stations brought by the event coordinator, JUMPBUNCH Sports and Fitness for Kids. “My favorite station was tug-ofwar, but I liked almost everything” said HOPE student Michelle, who was attending HOPE’s 3rd annual Field Day for the second time. “This year was just as fun.” The station activities varied from sack races to jump roping, the limbo and cup stacking. Participants commented that the tug-of-war and sack race stations were their favorites.

“I can’t wait for this event next year,” said HOPE student Isaiah, a first-time attendee. The day concluded with races between Learning Center students. Each Learning Center entered their fastest girl and boy runner in each grade, and the top runners to cross the finish line received ribbons. Those not participating in the races cheered from the sidelines. This year marks HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op’s 10th year of operation. Through the years HOPE has found that activities and athletics improve kids’ academic performance and their likelihood to stay with HOPE. For many of HOPE’s at-risk student population, these are events they wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate in otherwise. In fact, HOPE underwrites the costs for most of these programs, making them very affordable to our families. “A lot of anticipation and excite-

New 2014 Land Rover LR2



ment has been built through our activities and athletics program. This year we have the most athletic teams ever. Not only does it help our students but their families are becoming more involved in our events. Many times at our events, Field Day included, we have huge family cheering sections,” said Melanie Stone, HOPE’s Director of Activities and Athletics. In addition to Field Day, HOPE has art and talent shows, competitive sports, dances, a science fair, the persuasive argument competition, as well as arts, music, dance programs. HOPE’s sports teams play against themselves as well as other alternative school options in the area. Some of the sports programs are run under the All City Urban League, which is an interscholastic sports league founded by HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp.  Editor’s note: HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op is a blended online/offline learning model that focuses on individualized instruction. This learning model is delivered through 34 Learning Centers throughout the state of Colorado by qualified teachers and mentors. HOPE serves nearly 3,000 students in K-12th grades. Class sizes average 20-25 and students attend Learning Centers for the full school day five days a week. For more information, visit or call 720-402-3000.

New 2014 Range Rover Evoque

6160 South Broadway • Littleton, CO 80121

1-800-NEW-LAND-ROVER 1-800-NEW -LAND-RO -L AND-ROVER | www .LandRoverDenver er.c .com Like Lik e us on Facebook: Facebook: F Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


The Uniqueness of Denver The Mile High City Celebrates Its African American Residents

Denver’s Dr. Ryan Ross’ Success Story

Friends of Blair Caldwll reception honor some of Denver’s shining stars. Left: Former Mayor and First Lady of Denver Wellington and Wilma Webb unveil portrait to Big Jon Platt. Center: EWF’s Andrew Woolfolk and Larry Dunn enjoy the festivities. Right: Charlie Burrell enjoying his portrait Photos by Lorenzo Dawkins


uring my 12 years as Denver’s mayor the most frequent question I received – especially from people who didn’t live here – is how did I get elected the city’s first African American mayor when the black community makes up only 11 percent of the city’s population? That often was followed by the second most common remark from black people outside of the state: “I didn’t know there were any black people in Denver.” But Denver and the state of Colorado have been quite unique in supporting black residents who have aspirations in politics and the arts and culture. For example, Colorado voters elected two African American lieutenant gover-

nors: Democrat George Brown in 1974 and Republican Joe Rodgers in 1999. My alma mater, Manual High School, graduated four black mayors: Norm Rice, mayor of Seattle, Wash., from 1990-1998; Patsy Jo Hilliard, mayor of East Point, Georgia, from 1993-2006; myself, mayor of Denver, from 1991-2003; and the city’s current Mayor Michael Hancock who was elected in 2011. As mayor I was fortunate enough to get the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library built in the historic black neighborhood of Five Points. Inside, new generations can learn about the significant contributions African Americans have made in our city, state and the West. It is the


1599 Dayton St - Aurora, CO 80010 303-343-1921 -


The mission of the Enlisted Association is to enhance the quality of life for uniformed services personnel, their families and survivors - including active duty, veterans, reserve and guard components, and all retirees; to stop the erosion of earned benefits through our legislative efforts; to maintain our esprit de corps, dedication and patriotism; and to continue our devotion and allegiance to God and Country.

The Voice of the Enlisted Serving the Total Enlisted Force •••Veterans •••Active Duty •••Retired •••Reserves •••National Guard


largest such research library west of the Mississippi. The facility, which includes a library, research area and museum, was named after Omar Blair, the first black president of the Denver Public Schools Board, and Elvin Caldwell, the first black Denver City Council member. Recently, the Friends of the BlairCaldwell Library began spotlighting some of our shining stars. Those recognized grew up in Denver or moved here to make their dreams come true. While no city is colorblind Denver has a climate where hard work and determination can allow anyone to succeed. And I’m sure it will blow some people’s minds to know the majority of these successful people grew up in Denver and graduated from our public schools. Just to name a few who were honored last month: Film/TV - Actress Pam Grier, East High School graduate; actor Don Cheadle, East High School graduate; Academy Award winning actress Hattie McDaniel, East High School graduate; actor and political commentator Joseph Phillips, George Washington High School graduate; and actor Ron Pinkard, Manual High School graduate Dance - Cleo Parker Robinson, George Washington High School graduate Music - Singer Dianne Reeves, George Washington High School graduate, singers and musicians Phillip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Andrew Woolfolk, Earth, Wind and Fire band members and East High School graduates; music producer John Platt, Montbello High School graduate who has worked with Kayne West, Jay Z and Pharrell Williams; and Denver Symphony and jazz musician Charlie Burrell So when people ask me how I got elected with such a small black population my answer has to include that Denver is a unique western city. Black people not only live here but have talents that grow a mile high and beyond.

Wellington E. Webb Mayor of Denver, 1991-2003

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


r. Ryan Ross is the Dean of Student Development and Retention at the Community College of Denver, and one of Colorado Biz Magazine’s 2014’s Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals. Dr. Ryan Ross, will tell you himself - he should not be alive. In fact, as a child, he figured he would be happy just making it to Disney World just once in his lifetime. Today, Ross’s life feels like a fairy tale to him. Ross was the second of six children. At a young age, he had “a pair of bad stepfathers” who brought abuse and violence to the house; he was constantly targeted for recruitment by gang members and witnessed drive-by shootings on a regular basis. “I had an intense and humbling childhood,” he says. “I could not have envisioned the life I have today, back then.” A far cry from the gang warfare, abusive childhood and hopeless outlook of a child growing up in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood during Denver’s notorious “Summer of Violence” in 1993.


“I was trying to stay out of trouble, but some days were better than others.” Ross never imagined the journey that really did lie ahead of him – a journey that he unknowingly initiated. “I was looking for a way to leave the school that I was attending so that I could get away from the gangs,” he said. “I really wanted to go to Mullen High School and play football, so I made going there my mission.” Ross caught the bus to Mullen every day for two weeks straight, introducing himself to the school’s administrators and asking if he could sweep floors in exchange for enrolling. “I literally begged them to let me in and let me play.” During that third week, he got his chance, but it almost passed him by. “I was on my way to the school to pester them some more when I spotted a police car in front of the school. I assumed the school had finally had enough of me and called the police to cart me away, so I turned to leave,” he recalled. “As I was leaving, one of the school administrators motioned for me to come over and chat with a gentleman named Larry Byrne who, as it turned out, was a Denver-based businessman from Chicago, who was starting a foundation to help kids like me go to Mullen.” Ross was so eager to take advantage of that opportunity he completed the application himself and even forged his mother’s signature to seal the deal. It was the beginning of an upward trajectory that landed Ross a spot on Mullen’s football team, a regular role performing community service, and ultimately, a seat at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. He went on to earn his Master’s degree from Colorado State University and his PhD from the University of Colorado at Denver. “I got out of Denver and began to really find my way in the world,” Ross explained. “I joined the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, helped make Juneteenth a holiday in Nebraska, and became really active in the community.” Ross returned home to Denver in 2002 with a desire to give back to his hometown, much like others had done for him. When Ross returned he briefly worked for the Department of Corrections, but was disheartened to see so many young African American men being incarcerated and following paths of self-destruction. “I wanted to catch them before going to jail was even an option.” That is when Ross decided to work with children as a youth counselor for Denver Kids, and developed leader-

ship programs for middle and high school students through his fraternity. He also joined the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Connect Program. He ultimately became one of the program’s cochairs, writing program’s curriculum, raising funds and recruiting emerging professionals into a 10-month program of leadership, civic service, servant leadership and an understanding of Denver’s political landscape. “This was the beginning of my path to the Community College of Denver,” he explained. Ross was recruited by CCD’s Yvette Hunt, who hired him as a

counselor for the Trio Educational Opportunity Center. Since then, Ross has become CCD’s Dean of Student Development and Retention, which allows him to steer youths toward college, keep them there through graduation and find their own success in the community. He also was influential in creating CCD’s Urban Male Initiative (UMI), a program designed to help young men attend CCD and succeed with specialized programming and additional resources. “I was fortunate to play a role in CCD’s commitment to the Denver community, especially with people who are starting out much like I did.

I’m part of an amazing team,” he said. His endless efforts in the community did not go unnoticed as members of the community nominated him for the Colorado Biz award. Ross had come full circle. “My family life is where I get the most joy,” he said. “My biggest reward is life with my wife Simone, our five year-old son, Gavin, and looking forward to our second child in November.” He’s also grateful to have taken his family to Disney World for the first time just this past month. “That’s the real highlight,” he said. “That meant the world to me.” 

ON EXHIBIT Now through January 4

A Project of American Anthropological Association

This September, the History Colorado Center is proud to present the exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, RACELVWKH¿UVWQDWLRQDO exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States. »

How to Talk to Your Kids About Race: Adoptive Families | Saturday, November 1


FWD Series: Part Two: Economics of RACE/ The Health of RACE (Racial Disparities) | Tuesday, November 11

Learn more about our programs and events at

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


RACE: A History of Moving and Mixing

ry of the idea of race, and the economics of race such as the experience of race in the U.S. in housing, land ownership and wealth. It also explores the experience of race in this country in education, schools and among young people. Race and the U.S. Census are delved into – and the ways categories are shifting. And a conversation space and resource center is at the center of the exhibit.

“Human genetic variation is the consequence of a long history of cross mating, or piracy, of slave taking…mixing things up, leaving behind some variation.”


Exploring Human Variation

-Richard Lewontin, evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Harvard University

n this issue of Urban Spectrum, we are going to take a walk through the exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? – from the entrance and introductory experience into spaces exploring human variations, challenging misconceptions and revealing race’s history.

Entrance and Introductory Experience

Greeting visitors to the exhibit is the title panel that rests inside a large photo by Minneapolis photographer Wing Young Huie. As visitors enter the exhibit they hear the recorded voices of people answering the question, “What is Race??” These voices speak to the complexity of the topic

and invite visitors to consider their own answers. And, as they listen to these speakers, visitors can watch Face Morphing, a provocative and beautiful video created by artist Teja Arboleda.

A History of Moving and Mixing

The sharp lines of physical difference implied by race disappear on closer examination. To be sure, people from two distant points around the globe tend to look quite different. But to a traveler walking between those points, the people encountered at any point along the way would look pretty much like those nearby. There are a million shades of human skin color –

not four or five – and no geographical boundary that separates those with straight hair from those with curls. The features that make people in one part of the world look different from those in another blend and mix in ways that defy easy categorization. The complex patterns of human variation reflect a history of human movement that has gone on since our origins in Africa. The exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? at the History Colorado Center through Jan. 4, 2015 explores human variations, misconceptions about race, race and the arts, the histo-

This area investigates what current science and scholarship tells us about human variation and its connection to ideas about race. A large world map printed on the floor provides an interactive centerpiece for a cluster of components about human migration, gene flow genetic drift, and the continuous distribution of human traits across the globe. In one key experience, Traveling Genes, visitors use a computer simulation to experiment with the dynamics of gene flow. The nearby Human Variation Video features scientists discussing their various research about human variation and how their findings differ from common conceptions of race.

Challenging Misconceptions of RACE

The idea of race has a complex and convoluted history in the United

ASCENSIONAWARDS CBCC Annual Awards Gala SATURDAY • NOVEMBER 15 | 2014 To learn more and register, visit: today!

COLORADO BLACK CHAMBER of COMMERCE Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


States and its development over the past few hundred years has left a legacy of misconceptions and confusion about race among many Americans. In a country founded on ideals of freedom and justice for all, notions of race served to rationalize slavery, justify the near-elimination of Native Americans and their cultures, and privilege people viewed as white. Science played a key role in the construction of race, with scientists attempting to classify humans into a taxonomic system on the basis of presumed biological and other differences. Linking race to biology led to a “race science” that attempted to legitimize race as biological fact and account for differences in peoples.

Living with Race Theater

Two mini-theaters anchor either side of the gallery. Near the entrance, Race Is an Idea introduces the themes and story lines at the heart of this exhibition. This five-minute overview of the exhibit from the American Anthropological Association invites visitors to explore the complex history of race and racism. On the other side of the gallery, the Living with Race Theater tells stories of common people’s experience of race and racism in the U.S. today.

History of the Idea of RACE

No story of race and human variation in this country is complete without an understanding of how race evolved in the United States. To emphasize the centrality of history in understanding race, four History Stations form the spatial centerpiece of the exhibition. Each station includes collages of images, video and text positioned to reflect and common on other exhibit areas.

Facing the entrance and serving as a primer for the history area is Creating Race. Here a large monitor, photos, objects and text reflect on the origins of our ideas about race in the United States. The second station, Race (Mis) measure, focuses on the pursuit of “race science” in the 19th and 20th centuries to legitimize racial and ethnic inequalities. Separate and Unequal traces the history of inequality and privilege. It centers on the second half of the 19th century, when segregation and ideas of distinct racial categories were set firmly in place. During this time and beyond, white Americans instituted laws and social practices that unapologetically disenfranchised American Indians, many immigrants, and people of African descent. The last station, The Invention of Whiteness, considers “white” as a racial category normalized and sustained over many years. Finally, historical sidebars throughout the exhibit connect the contemporary expression of race and racism.

The Economic Experience of RACE

There is much more ahead in the coming months at the History Colorado Center. The upcoming FWD (Forward) Series program on Nov. 11 will deal with The Economics and Health of RACE. Panelists from the banking, health and housing sectors will discuss redlining, urban and rural development, access to bank loans and mortgages and healthcare.  Editor’s note: Presentations run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Costs to History Colorado members and students is $4; nonmembers $5. For more information visit:

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


The Life of the

Regis F. Groff Honorable

The Honorable Regis F. Groff was born April 8, 1935 in Monmouth, Illinois to Eddie Groff and Fenimore Thomas (both deceased). He had three sisters, Millicent Ann (James) Williamson, Vivian Kay (James) Young, Maude Lucille Groff (deceased), and one brother Thomas (Joe Thelan) Groff who resides in Boulder, CO. He is survived by his wife Callie Brownlee-Groff of Aurora, Colorado. His oldest son, James (Yvette) Wallace resides in Atlanta, GA. From the union of Regis and Ada Groff, two children were born: the Honorable Peter C. (Rev. Regina) Groff of Woodbridge, VA and Traci (Tony) Jones of Denver, CO. He was a positive role-model for his wife’s adult children Keith, Jennifer and Michael of St. Louis, MO. After graduating from Monmouth High School in 1953, Regis served in the United States Air Force stationed with the Northeast Air Command in Goose Bay Labrador, Canada until 1957. He attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1962. In 1972, he received a Masters degree in Secondary Education, majoring in History, from the University of Denver. He also attended the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1980. Regis was a teacher of American History, United States Government and African American History for the Denver Public Schools. He taught at Smiley Junior High School (1963-1966), Lake Junior High School (1967-1969) and East High School (1967-1978). He also was an instructor of African American History at the University of Denver, the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Metropolitan State College during the summer months. He also served as the Intergovernmental Relations Specialist and Community Affairs Coordinator with the Denver Public Schools for several years prior to his retirement from Denver Public Schools in 1992. Regis was elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1974 to fill the two remaining years of the Senate seat vacated by Lieutenant Governor George L. Brown. He was elected to his first full four-year term in 1976 becoming the second African American State Senator in Colorado History. After the 1976 election, Senator Groff was elected Colorado Assistant Minority Leader by his colleagues. In 1977, he joined eighteen other African American State Legislators to create the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL). In 1978 and again in 1980 he was chosen Colorado Senate Minority Leader, becoming the first African American to hold this leadership position. As a Senator, Groff pushed Colorado to divest itself from business relationships with the apartheid regime of South Africa. He also lobbied for national gun control. One of his proudest moment as a legislator came in 1984, when he persuaded the Colorado Senate to pass a bill making the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a state holiday. Senator Groff ran for Colorado Lieutenant Governor in 1986. He left the Senate in 1994 to assume the directorship of the Youthful Offenders System, a multi-million dollar rehabilitation facility for violent juveniles. In 1998 he retired from State service and accepted the position of Executive Director of the Metro Denver Black Church Initiative, a faithbased organization for community service. As his professional career advanced, he also served on various boards and commissions statewide. Groff served as Vice-President of the Denver Federation of Teachers (1968-1970), President of Black Educators United, and President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (1991-1994). He also was a member of the Colorado Education Association, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, Colorado Federation of Teachers, National Conference of State Legislators, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Black Caucus, and the Anti-Defamation League. Groff was an active member of the Shorter African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and Campbell AME Church in Denver, Colorado. Regis traveled to many countries including Nigeria, Germany, Jamaica, Israel, China and South Africa to work on a variety of important issues. He received numerous civic and social awards including: Legislator of the Year Award from the Associated Press, Distinguished Service Citation Award from the United Negro College Fund and the Coloradoan Award presented by the Colorado Education Association. The last years of Regis’ life, he and Callie enjoyed spending their time traveling, cruising the deep blue ocean, tutoring young students, playing golf, watching his beloved Rockies, and continuing to contribute to our community through his work with the Colorado Black Elected Officials, the Colorado Black Round Table, the Aurora Housing Authority, and the Aurora Mental Health Association. Regis Groff will be remembered by his colleagues as “The conscience of the Colorado Senate and as a man who never backed down from a fight and always stood up for what he believed in.” “Although he often stood alone, he never hesitated to do what he believed was right.” (Senator Mark Udall). His commitment to education and youth, along with boundless energy, a million dollar smile, wise words, and unwavering dedication to bettering the lives of those in his community will be missed by all. He is the cherished grandfather to James Dickey and Jamar Dickey, Aurora, CO; Malachi Groff and Moriah Groff, Woodbridge, VA; Desiree Jones, Andrew Jones, Isaiah Jones, and Brooke Jones, of Denver, CO; and uncle to Amy (Darren Barton) Williamson-Barton Chicago, IL, Suzanne E. (David) Walsh of Seattle, WA, and Lisa Valentine, Lafayette, IN; and beloved to additional nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Jean Marshall

Lost Your Joy?

The plant, the leaf and the flower

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! Come as you are and get connected to your best self through great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ!

May 12, 1931 – October 11, 2014

Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ4DIPPMBNr8FEOFTEBZ#JCMF4UVEZQN

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

Jean Marshall walked her own red carpet with class. She loved music and five decades ago she would spend time listening to her 78 RPM records; from Jazz to Soul, from Sarah Vaughan to Ray Charles. Jean also loved to dance, and would join her girlfriends at Pierre’s Supper Club after work to relax and savor the moment. Jean always gave to life, and life gave back to her. On May 12, 1931, Alma Jean Echols was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma to her proud parents, Eddie and Mossie Rosetta Echols. The youngest of five siblings, Jean graduated from Miller Washington High School in Red Bird, Oklahoma in 1949. She moved to Denver soon after and attended business classes at Emily Griffith Opportunity School, before returning to school in 1970 to earn a certification from Community College of Denver. After settling in Denver, Jean worked at John Selman’s Record Store in Five Points. In the late 50s, she opened a snack bar at 28th and Williams which became a popular lunch destination for students at Manual High School with “strawberry soda and the best foot-longs you ever wanted to eat,� as Jean would say. Ms. Marshall’s other work accomplishments included being a retail associate at both May D& F and JC Penney Company, and a security person at George Washington and Manual High School. Her last full-time employment was with Mountain Bell/US West/Qwest and finally Dex Yellow Pages before retiring in 1996. Never one to be idle, she returned to the workforce part-time at Farmers Insurance Group/Jody Macht Agency. A lover of Psalms and attending church, Jean was a devoted member of Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver. An avid collector of clown memorabilia, Jean also had an impressive display of elephant figurines and a vast assortment of refrigerator magnets from all over the world. She loved to cook throughout her life – no one could make better sweet potato pie. She doted over the years on her beloved schnauzers; Barney, Shay-Pierre, and Jasper. Jean loved plants and flowers. She was representative of this love, and was the epitome of a plant, as well as being a unique, beautiful leaf. No one fully knows, or can explain, why some leaves on a plant survive and others do not. The loss of a leaf doesn’t stop the plant from thriving, and in turn allows for new growth. Plants give us the air we breathe and are vital for the continuation of life. Jean’s last breath left an abundance of oxygen for her family and friends so that they may continue to grow. Jean lives on as a spiritual light in all who knew and loved her. Jean fully lived the life she gave forward. She had a passion for the goodness in all, and reveled in caring for others. Jean was strong with a powerful will. Her accomplished life will continue to be celebrated with light and love

Hats off and a toast to a leaf of an eternal season‌

Chuck Moss

She is survived by six children; Sandra K (Joe) Nunley-Bedenbough, Linnell (Bubbie) Nunley, Ronald (Ron) Ivory, Penny Ivory, Karen Marshall and Donna (Danny Hardaway) Hymes-Small, all of Denver. She is also survived by her eldest niece Jacqulyn (Jackie) Curry of Denver; nephew Bernard J. McIntyre of Albuquerque, NM; cousin Mary Alice Benson of Colorado Springs; a host of other cousins, nieces, and nephews; 17 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren, and numerous great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in being called home by her siblings; James Rollins, Bonnie McHenry, Elsie Scarborough and Pauline Rollins; and by her loving friend and niece D. Yvonne Freeman.

Norvell A. Ballard Otha Pullins

Ballard Family Mortuary, LLC ³,QWHJULW\EHIRUH3URILW´ 6700 Smith RD Denver, CO 80207 720.220.2122 ~Funerals ~ Pre-Planning Needs~ Direct Cremations~ Family Owned & Operated

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Ground Rules

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

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is’s Senior Critic-at-Large. J.R. Johnson is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver and’s intern. Laurence Washington is the creator of


By Samantha Ofole-Prince

e takes down five men from a Russian mob in 28 seconds with his bare knuckles, a knife and a corkscrew. Two cops with guns are on their backs begging for mercy in less than 10 seconds. He’s the equalizer after all. A monosyllabic, meticulous man with a dark past, it’s the kind of multi-layered role we’d come to expect from Denzel Washington who is drawn to dark and dangerous characters. Based on the television series that aired in the ‘80s, Washington plays Robert McCall, a middle-aged retired intelligence officer who is living a peaceful and solitary existence in Boston. He works at the local Home Mart – a supplies and hardware store, has no friends, and dines each night at a local diner where he faithfully brings his own tea bag carefully wrapped in a napkin. There’s a method to his madness and it’s glaringly clear from the first few scenes (something director Antoine Fuqua takes his time in building) that McCall has an obsessivecompulsive disorder. Every day is the same for this mild mannered man for the first half of the movie as it pans

from his home, his work, to the diner where he has halfhearted conversations with a young Russian prostitute called Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz). He tells her she has other options, she replies she has none and over time they develop a father/daughter type bond. One night, he discovers Teri has been brutally beaten by a client. Inspired to help, he finds himself the target of a viciously vindictive Russian mafia and becomes a one-man army of vengeance. The idea of a 60 year-old Denzel taking down men half his age and twice his strength and escaping with barely a cut or a bruise may seem a bit farfetched at first, but Fuqua’s made a gripping, suspenseful, and occasionally exciting drama so it’s hard to fault it. McCall’s the hero we want to get behind for his intentions become the hopes of the viewer, and when he gets

the job done, we have every reason to root for him. Also starring Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo, a married couple from his past, The Equalizer is a rousing, furious action-drama. People get stabbed in the throat, the eye socket and the earlobe. They are punched, burnt, blown up and strangled and the film does become extremely violent and torturous, but as the audience, we feel justice is being served. After all, we have seen what the mafia’s hit man, a Russian sociopath called Teddy (Marton Csokas) is capable of. So he rightly deserves a dose of Denzel justice. While Washington doesn’t quite give us a Training Day kind of powerhouse performance, he plays McCall with a quiet but angry determination, giving us a character that has absolutely no conscience about torturing someone.


The Equalizer


The Equalizer


sustainably raised salmon with plenty of room to swim. Lodo 1514 Blake Street Denver, CO

landmark center 5380 greenwood plaza blvd. 303.267.8744

denver cherry creek 2780 e 2nd avenue 303.322.9554

boulder pearl street mall 1117 pearl street 303.473.4730

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


follow us on twitter @hapasushi Instagam #hapasushi Foursquare

As he tells Teddy in one scene (to paraphrase) “I usually don’t do this, but I am making you the exception.” It’s a slow boil with a stellar cast that’s bound to bring huge box office returns, but it does beg the question; will the sequels have Denzel as its continued star? To see a trailer of The Equalizer, visit



By Samantha Ofole-Prince

avid Ayer who says he defied the rules of Hollywood by remortgaging his home to finance his first feature Harsh Times has constantly delivered the drama. Whether it’s Street Kings, End of Watch or his latest offering Fury, he’s garnered acclaim for a provocative directorial style. A vivid, violent but brilliant drama which highlights the misery of combat, Fury takes place in late-war Germany in 1945 and follows an embittered tank commander (Brad Pitt) whose responsibility is keeping his men alive. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal, the events of this film occur over a 24 hour period as Pitt’s character Don “Wardaddy” Collier leads a tank crew into Germany in the last days of the Second World War. At the start of the film, the crew has lost Red, one of their five members, and a new kid called Norman (Logan Lerman) is sent to join the crew. A trained typist thrust into war due to a shortage of soldiers, Norman, who has no tank experience has been sent to the front lines in the 2nd Armored Division, to serve as an assistant driver. Soon he is learning about life on the frontlines and over the course of these 24 fateful hours, his training is tested as the men of the M4 Sherman tank nicknamed Fury — Wardaddy (Pitt), the commander; Boyd Swan (LaBeouf), the gunner; Grady Travis (Bernthal), the loader; Trini Garcia (Peña) and Norman are forced to take on 300 enemy German troops in a desperate battle for survival. “Norman is young and fresh and innocent and very unprepared for what’s happening and that makes him endearing, but it’s also the problem he must overcome,” says Ayer. “Wardaddy who is very no-nonsense, very practical and pragmatic just cares about getting the mission done and must break him of his innocence.” An intense well-made World War II film that narrows its attention to the men in a specific operation, Ayer who is known for his gritty cop dramas has

Dear White People


cobbled up a very authentic-looking war drama and worked closely with tactical and military advisers to get all the details right. “It’s in the little things,” he says. “Even when somebody in the audience doesn’t understand what they’re seeing, when it’s right it all snaps together and matches the pictures that we’ve all seen in newsreels and on TV. That’s what I’m after.” As he has already demonstrated in previous offerings, he doesn’t spare the audience any shots of individuals with heads blown off, burning bodies and guts spilling out. “Fury” may not pack the emotional punch of other war films, but it conveys the horror of war through gritty realism showing several battle scenes involving a diminishing troop of soldiers as they desperately try to further their advance. A visual spectacle, the message in this movie is simple: War may be hell but it makes for good drama. To see a trailer of Fury, visit


Dear White People 

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

pacy, punchy ensemble piece set in a fictional Ivy League college, “Dear White” people glides effortlessly from comedy to cultural commentary, eliciting excellent performances from a perfectly selected cast. This edgy effort of director Justin Simien follows four high-achieving black students at Winchester University who each face a unique dilemma of dealing with cultural identity. There’s Samantha (Tessa Thompson) a biracial student struggling to pick a side; Lionel (Tyler James Williams) an introverted gay guy with a bad afro who doesn’t fit neatly into cultural norms; Troy (Brandon P. Bell) who is trying to figure out his own path and finally Coco (Teyonah Parris) who is willing to do whatever it takes to fit in with her white classmates. This is a smart and witty offering which bursts with energy. Simien who also wrote the script has successfully shaken up the 2014 Sundance Film Festival with this debut feature film, but like many young first-time writers and directors,

he had little luck getting Hollywood’s attention and launched a guerilla campaign using social media to smartly get the word out. “A lot of people responded to the material on a personal level, but there isn’t much to compare this movie to. We are doing something that feels

“The movie is really about identity and the relationship between identity and self and potential. It isn’t meant to address one group or another about all the things that they do wrong. It’s meant to show people in these situations,” shared Simien. “The title simply helps start a conversation that primes people for the movie.” A sharp and funny film about racial politics at a predominantly white college, Simien knows exactly where he is taking us, and how to get there. To see a trailer for Dear White People, visit HeK1dyAY .

The Book of Life

new and it was frightening to the gatekeepers,” says Simien. A film that takes a hard look at racial identity, the story circles around Samantha (Thompson), who sparks controversy between the black characters. As host of a comical and popular student radio show called “Dear White People,” she spurts controversy and commentary with acerbic, provocative remarks such as “Dear White People, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised…to two.” “Sorry,” she adds, “but your weed-man, Tyrone, does not count.” Samantha also pleads with white people to stop touching her hair: “Does this look like a petting zoo to you?” An outspoken ‘wannabee Angela Davis’ type, Sam, meanwhile, has a white boyfriend she’s trying to keep a secret. When she is elected house president, she rattles a few nerves, from Troy (Bell), son of the university’s dean (Dennis Haysbert) who initially held the post to Coco (Parris), who tries to use the controversy to carve out a career in reality TV. But there are more cages to be rattled when it’s discovered there’s a Halloween party titled “Unleash Your Inner Negro,” which is being hosted by the university president’s white son Kurt (Kyle Gallner). It’s a satirical look at black culture, and Simien’s cute observation distils humor from accuracy rather than caricature. He doesn’t ask us to judge the characters, or even to understand everything they do, but simply wants us to relate to their situations.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014



Ice Cube As God?

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

he idea of rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube playing God in a movie may sound facetious, but in The Book of Life, Cube is the Supreme Being. “He’s not the God, but is a God,” says the actor who makes his animated feature debut in the Guillermo del Toro produced film. A fantasy-adventure that tells the legend of a conflicted hero who sets off on an epic quest to reunite with his true love, Cube’s character, the Candle Maker is a larger than life – and kind of nutty – ancient god. With a body made of wax and a beard made of clouds, he looks over humanity and makes billions of candles, with each candle representing a life. “He makes sure the souls that are remembered stay lit and keep burning. He is the only one who can tell people what The Book of Life is saying, and the Book is always saying something,” adds Cube who had a lot of fun voicing the part. “I wanted him to be interesting, dynamic, and all over the place. Someone fun and somebody who you wanted to roll with. I had a ball doing him.” Directed by Jorge Gutierrez, it’s a visually wondrous fairy tale that blends myth and fantasy. One of the most magical films to come along in years, the film is inspired by Mexico’s annual Day of the Dead festivities (Día de los Muertos) “I thought it was important to get this message across to people who Continued on page 28

Continued from page 27 don’t celebrate the Day of the Dead,” Cube continues. “This is the reason you do movies, to entertain, to inspire and teach. To me it was nothing but an all-around win.” With mariachi-flavored renditions of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” Radiohead’s “Creep,” Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend,” and Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait,” Cube doesn’t get to rap in this film, but does deliver his signature rap lines. “Every movie I do I have to make sure I have all my rap lines ready because they want one of them. It seems like I have said everything on a movie I have said on record,” says the actor whose films include the acclaimed Friday, Barbershop and Are We There Yet? franchises. Cube who found major success with the box office hit Ride Along, which his company Cube Vision produced, is in pre-production for the long awaited NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which will be directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job). “We just finished Ride Along 2 which releases in 2016, the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton is also finished. We just finished filming that


last week and that will be out next year. We also just started writing the script for Rocky Mountain High so are in the infant stages of that. We are keeping it moving,” says Cube. A crowd-pleasing mix of adventure, action, comedy, romance and music The Book of Life also features the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Kate del Castillo, Grey Griffin and Danny Trejo. To see a trailer for The Book of Life, visit 5YScs8iQ Addicted

Boris Kodjoe Talks ‘Addicted’


By Samantha Ofole-Prince

oris Kodjoe has a respectable presence. Statuesque and serious, it’s the kind of presence you’d expect from someone like him. It’s one that suggests he’s all business and not

someone to be teased or toyed with. He has to be especially if the modelturned-actor wants to get across the serious message of his latest film Addicted which follows a couple struggling with infidelity. “It’s a film that flips the script on infidelity and is told from a female perspective,” shares Kodjoe, best known for his roles in Love & Basketball, the Showtime drama Soul Food, and BET’s comedy series The Real Husbands of Hollywood. “I was intrigued because it addresses topics that I think have been misunderstood and laughed at and ignored, especially in our community. It takes on taboos and hopefully will open up a dialogue and that’s why I wanted to get involved.” In the Bille Woodruff (‘Honey’) directed film, which is based on the best-selling erotic novel of the same name by author Zane, Kodjoe plays Jason, a loving husband and father of two kids who discovers his wife Zoe (Sharon Leal) is a sex addict. Kodjoe says he turned to his mother, Ursula Kodjoe, a psychologist to better understand the disease. “I knew it was real and serious compared to other addictions,” he admits, “and talked to my mother about it so I learned a lot from her. I

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


love the fact that Zane’s novels keep encouraging women to cultivate their desires and to express themselves. Women should feel encouraged and empowered.” Kodjoe has several risqué sexual scenes in the film, and if he’s bothered about the excessive nudity, the cool exterior doesn’t give a hint to it. “Nudity is never an issue,” he says. “I don’t mind nudity as long as it drives the story ahead and is not gratuitous and is tasteful.” Still, the actor will admit it was a little awkward seeing the racy sexual scenes once the film was completed. “It’s one thing to shoot it and another to see it and it was a bit awkward at first as my wife was next to me when we saw it, but in the context of the film, my scene with Sharon Leal was marital sex and is what marital sex should be like. I wanted to make sure that my relationship with her was flawless and we wanted to make sure everyone understood that.” The film also stars Tasha Smith, Tyson Beckford, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kat Graham, and William Levy and is currently out in theaters. To see a trailer for Addicted, visit 5YScs8iQ


Representative McCann Awarded for Veterinary Medicine Contribution

The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) exists to enhance animal health and welfare, promote the human-animal bond, protect public health, advance the wellbeing of veterinarians, and foster excellence in veterinary medicine through education, advocacy and outreach. CVMA presented Representative Beth McCann with the 2014 CVMA President’s Award on Sept. 20 during its annual convention. This award recognizes individuals who have supported the president during his or her term by helping advance the association’s mission or a special project of benefit to veterinary medicine in Colorado. Representative McCann received this award for forming the Colorado Legislative Animal Welfare (CLAW) Caucus, which meets during the legislative session to build bipartisan consensus on animal welfare issues and highlights an understanding of animal public policy issues, and sustained leadership in advancing legislation that improves the wellbeing of animals in Colorado. McCann was also instrumental in helping the veterinary profession in animal welfare as the prime sponsor

for SB14-039 on Pre-veterinary Emergency Care. She was also the cosponsor for HB14-1270, Sunset Pet Animal Care Facilities.

CBWPA Honors Six Women and One Youth

Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) presented their 35th Annual Tribute to Black Women Award Luncheon at the Denver Renaissance Hotel on Saturday Oct. 4. This year’s award ceremony was themed “Securing Our Future” and featured keynote speaker DeLores Pressley. CBWPA hosted a first-of-a-kind Academy Award style luncheon to honor six outstanding African American women and one youth for their achievements in the community. The categories included community service, education, politics, legend (senior citizen), business, cultural arts, and youth. Following are this year’s winners in each category for this year’s prestigious award: Community Service: Dr. Sharon Ruth Bailey; Education: Rosemarie Allen; Politics: Leslie Herod; Legend (senior citizen): Jane A. Waller-Pigford; Business: Rose Andom; Cultural Arts: Deborah Walker; and Youth (college student or 2014 high school graduate): Lisa Napper.

You and a guest are invited to a special advance screening of

Please visit http://www. relativityscreenings. com/BeyondUrban for your chance to win passes! Limit 2 passes per person, while supplies last.

RATED PG-13. Please note: Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee you a seat at the theatre. Seating is on a first come, first served 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 tickets assumes any and all risks related to use of ticket, and accepts any restrictions required by ticket provider. Relativity, Allied-THA, TicktBox, Denver Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of a prize. Tickets cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. We are not responsible if, for any reason, recipient is unable to use his/her ticket in whole or in part. All federal and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS!

IN THEATERS NOVEMBER 14 /BeyondTheLightsMovie |

/BeyondTheLights |

/BeyondTheLightsMovie | #BeyondTheLights

CWCC Honors Top 25 Most Powerful Women

The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce will honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver. During the past 25 years these women have gone above and beyond becoming outstanding figures in the community. The event will provide an opportunity to recognize their contributions in turning the tide for women in business. The CWCC Top 25 Gala: Powerful Women Turning the Tide will be hosted on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver located at 1881 Curtis St. in Denver. The 25 Most Powerful Women being honored at the Gala are: Kristen Russel, Deloitte Digital; Jeannie Ritter, The Mental Health Center of Denver; Gail Schoettler, Ph.D.; Rosalind “Bee“ Harris, Denver Urban Spectrum; Cindy Parsons, Comcast; Helayne Jones; Katherine Gold, Goldbug Inc.; Christine MarquezHudson, Mi Casa Resource Center; Katrina Salem, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Nita Gonzales, Escuela Tlatelolco; Sylvia Young, HealthONE and HCA‘s Continental Division; Veronica Barela, NEWSED Community Development Corp.; Deborah “Debbie” Ortega, Denver City Council; Denise O‘Leary; Cindy Pena, Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver; Colleen Abdoulah, Wow! Internet Cable & Phone Kay Norton, University of Northern Colorado; Michelle Lucero, Children’s Hospital; Pat Cortez, Wells Fargo; Debbie DeMuth, The Colorado Trust; Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Xcel Energy; Kristin Heath Colon, Denver Public Schools Foundation; Sharon Linhart, Linhart Public Relations; Tisha Schuller, Colorado Oil and Gas Association; and Mary PacificoValley, Rickenbaugh Auto Group. Tickets are $155 for Chamber members and $185 for non-members. Table sponsorships are available for $2,000 and seat 10 people. For more information about sponsorships and to purchase tickets visit www.coloradowomenschamber.cham

Malik Robinson Named Executive Director of CPRD

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) announced that Malik Robinson has been named its Executive Director. Established in 1970, CPRD has engaged more than one million patrons and participants in communities throughout Denver, the nation and more than 20 countries worldwide.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


CPRD is a leading provider of artsin-education in the Denver metropolitan area serving 20,000 K-12 students each year. Together, the CPRD ensemble, theatre, school and education programs create an oasis where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to study and appreciate a modern crosscultural approach to the arts. Robinson served as Senior Director of CPRD beginning in 2007. An avid advocate for the arts, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance Board of Directors as well as the First Lady of Denver’s Bringing Back the Arts initiative.

RTD Officials Assumed Leadership Roles with APTA

Two officials with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) have been elected to serve in key leadership positions for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). RTD meets the public transportation needs of the Denver Metro area by offering safe, clean, reliable, courteous, accessible and cost-effective service in an eight-county service area while providing 100 million passenger trips annually. FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program to build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, as 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to connect the eight county district better. APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations that engages in advocating the advancement of transportation initiatives and programs. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. The APTA Board of Directors is the governing body of the association and consists of public and private sector representatives, the board’s executive committee, at-large directors, APTA president, and chairs of APTA committees. RTD General Manager and CEO Phillip A. Washington was elected as the APTA chair and RTD Board Director Angie Rivera-Malpiede (District C) was elected as a memberat-large for the APTA Board of Directors at the APTA Annual Meeting and Expo in Houston, Texas. Washington says during his chairmanship he hopes to rally the transit industry around a unified advocacy effort focused on increased transportation funding and putting people to work. Washington has previously served as the APTA vice-chair.



UCM Seeks Worship Leader

The United Church of Montbello, Denver is seeking a spirit-filled, dedicated Worship Leader/Musician. Foe more information, call Rev. James Fouther at 303-373-0070.

Thanksgiving Outreach Seek Support For the Homeless

The David Clifton Ministries’ 19th Annual Thanksgiving Outreach to the homeless will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8 from noon to 6 p.m. in front of the Denver City and County building in downtown Denver. Food servers, cooks, setup, clean up, hair cutters, singers, artists, manicurists, preachers and clothing distribution is needed. For more information, or to volunteer or donate, call 303-893-8363 or email .


Women of Good Deeds Luncheon Planned

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, Beta Rho Sigma Denver Alumnae Chapter, will host its 6th annual Women of Good Deeds Awards and Founders’ Day Luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Park Hill Golf Club, 4141 East 35th Ave., in Denver. The luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $45 per adult and $35 per child. For more information, call 303-3777506 or email For tickets, visit

League of Women Voters of Denver Present Free Briefing

PERSEVERE Nowling! En r ol

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

The League of Women Voters of Denver will explore options in addressing the gap that exists between the housing that people with low/moderate income can afford, and the housing that more affluent Denver residents can afford. The briefing will be held on Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St. in Denver. For more information call 303-3217571 or email to

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2014


Scott United Methodist Church Celebrates 110th Anniversary

To celebrate its anniversary, “New Beginning, Looking Toward the Future, Never Forgetting the Past,” Scott United Methodist Church will have an anniversary brunch on Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec St., in Denver. On Nov. 23, there will be a worship celebration at 10 a.m. and a musical celebration at 3 p.m. in the Scott Sanctuary. For more information, call 303-3228967.

Chamber Connect Leadership Program Accepting Applications

Chamber Connect is a 10-month leadership program designed to help business, political and community leaders develop meaningful relationships, refine their leadership skills and increase their civic engagement. The top 35 up and coming leaders will be selected. The deadline is Nov. 30. For more information or to apply visit, call 720-297-1910 or email

Community Open House

Whittier ECE-8 School invites all interested families and curious community members to a Community Open House, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 2480 Downing St. For more information, email or call 303-986-5929 or email

Urban Sidewalk Fantasies Art Exhibit Slated For December

Urban Sidewalk Fantasies, presented by ArtD’Elke artist Suzanne Mills Kramer, uses oil paintings to explore the lines, shapes and textures of the city. The public is invited to CORE, 900 Santa Fe Drive in Denver from Dec. 4 to 21. Kramer will welcome guests on Dec. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Friday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or call 720-2544049.


Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing excellent care today, which leads to healthier tomorrows. From cancer and cardiology to high blood pressure and stroke, the excellent care we provide for these conditions and others leads to better outcomes for our patients.

From generation to generation to generation...

Profile for Denver Urban Spectrum

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2014  

Denver's premiere community newspaper has been spreading the news about people of color since 1987.

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2014  

Denver's premiere community newspaper has been spreading the news about people of color since 1987.