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October 2012

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelle Fouther Tanya Ishikawa Hugh Johnson Sheila Smith ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Gillian Conte, The Creative Spirit Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix



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 2012 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. Office address is 2727 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

Fighting A Good Fight

A couple of months ago, I was joined by several other business women to produce a video in support of President Barack Obama – Women For Obama, I Gotcha Back! It was compiled from video footage and photos featuring a diverse group of women including Obama Campaign National Co-Chair Eva Longoria, Operation Vote Director Jamiko Rose, women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke, Colorado State Representative Beth McCann and, of course, First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle’s words still ring in my ears. “That’s how real change happens. If we keep fighting the good fight and doing what we know is right – because we know – then we always get there.” Are we fighting a good fight? This month, DUS contributor Hugh Johnson invites readers to find out why Four More Years Matter with the re-election of Barack Obama. Sheila Smith shares the trials and tribulations of two breast cancer survivors; and Tanya Ishikawa reviews Katherine Dunham’s controversial Southland performance and tells how Cleo Parker Robinson brought it back on the stage after a 60 year hiatus, and why. Obama, Saundra Robinson, Kimberly Cain, Katherine Dunham, Cleo Parker – fighting a good fight. With the impending elections, we reached out to campaigns – nationally and locally – to help let their voices be heard within our pages. We heard from many that they were not placing advertisements in print. With the onset of the Internet, my how times have changed. Many (community publications) feel that we are taken for granted especially during these times when you see on TV, hear on the radio, get bombarded with mail and constantly view on the Internet – massive political ads. And maybe we are; though I feel we are also taken for granted on a daily basis outside of the political season. However, we must still fight a good fight and be the voice of the community. As you peruse this issue, you may notice the lack of political ads – much different from days gone by when political advertising was plentiful. But I must thank and acknowledge someone who understands fighting a good fight when it comes to supporting your community newspaper. State Rep. Rhonda Fields is one that is constantly on the battlefield for her community and supporters. From the onset of her son’s untimely death to being thrown in the political arena, Rhonda Fields knows how to fight a good fight and we applaud her continued efforts. For those of you who did not attend the Democratic National Convention, take a moment to read, see and feel the energy that was in Charlotte last month. You can also read a couple of up close and personal stories by Sheila Smith and Rep. Beth McCann. But I must say, on a daily basis, we are in a fight – it may be personally, professionally, financially, socially, or politically. But the question is: are we fighting a good fight? In about one month, we all will have to choose who will win the fight on Nov. 6. I’m betting on the one who is fighting a good fight. A lot is at stake in this election and Obama should not be taken for granted – so get out and cast your vote and make sure everyone you know will do the same. For those who fought a good fight before us – the Sojourner Truths, the Dr. Kings, the Congressman John Lewis’ – let’s fight a good fight on Nov. 6. P.S. You can view the Women for Obama, I Gotcha Back video at


Meles Zenawi: Black Leadership At Its Finest

on the condition they begin immediate development. Highways and roads now zigzag the country, strengthening security and allowing for the movement of goods and people. Universities were built and women’s rights expanded with the establishment of the first Ministry of Women’s Affairs. They overhauled legislation on rape and female genital mutilation. Zenawi fought to reduce foreign aid dependence and he changed the image of impoverished, skeleton-thin Ethiopians, which brought shame to my generation as children in my Colorado grade school taunted us for what they saw on “Feed the Children” television marathons. Zenawi advocated for the establishment of the African Union in Ethiopia. He was the peace broker between Sudan and South Sudan; He was a brother to the Muslim and Christian counterparts in a dangerous East African region. Zenawi was certainly imperfect. He jailed opposition party leaders, was criticized for not running a true democracy and killed violent protestors in 2005 – to which The West turned a blind eye. He was, after all, an ally in the fight against terror. He often reflected on his mistakes in interviews with foreign reporters. He was willing to be human and show weakness. Talking to Alex Perry at Time Magazine, Zenawi was asked

Editor: My friends and I often debate what would change the African landscape. We criticize government leaders, blame westerners for exploiting natural resources and debate the merits of Chinese investment. We do this, of course, sipping $4 lattes in air-conditioned coffee shops in the U.S. In the trenches are leaders such as Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. His death was announced last month although details of his illness are still sparse. During his reign, Ethiopia – a nonoil producing country – experienced double-digit economic expansion. Zenawi re – claimed the Nile for Ethiopians in spite of Egypt’s intimidation and began building a dam that will be the largest hydro-electric power plant in Africa. Not only will The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam electrify the nation, it will export to energy-hungry African countries – including Egypt to boot. Growth is booming in the capital city of Addis Ababa where government banks offer generous financing meant to attract investment from the Diaspora. Expats were recently given acres of land throughout the country

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Rosalind J. Harris Publisher

what keeps him awake at night. His response: “It’s the fear that the light which is beginning to flicker, the light of a renewal, an Ethiopian renaissance, that this light might be dimmed by some bloody mistake by someone, somewhere. This (renaissance) is still fragile; a few shoots, (which) may need time to be more robust. At the moment, it is fear born out of hope that this new millennium will be as good as the first one and not as bad as the second one.” Zenawi should be criticized for his wrongs. But he should be praised for representing a rare form of Black leadership. The medical school dropoutturned guerrilla fighter-turned prime minister never sold out his people for personal gain. Zenawi had no offshore bank accounts, private jets and coastal mansions in African and European nations in case he was ever exiled. He played tennis and always talked about his vision for an Ethiopian renaissance. For that, he just may be the wealthiest of modern-day African leaders. He had the rare fortune of being welcomed home after dying in a Brussels’ hospital by thousands of Ethiopians at the airport who waited in the rain for his corpse to arrive. They wailed and chanted: “Jigna Aymotim” or a hero never dies. A friend and fellow EthiopianAmerican, who was often critical of Continued on page 34


Why T

here’s just a little over a month to go until Election Day. In the aftermath of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Americans are left with a choice between two paths for America’s future. Looking at the issues, both parties agree on what needs to be done – create jobs, continue economic recovery, etc. – it’s the how it should be done that creates discord. Who should lead this country back to glory? What this election boils down to is whether Americans should stay on the same difficult road toward the president’s vision of a more perfect union or try a different road that leads to Governor Romney’s. The choice belongs to the American public and four more years means something different to everyone. At the Democratic National Convention (DNC), President Obama outlined his reasons for running for office. He wanted to restore the promise of the American Dream. The promise that with hard work, Americans can build better lives. In 2008, he spent months championing the values of unity and change. On a chilly night in November, America celebrated the advent of “change” when Presidentelect Obama made his victory speech. “[We] Americans sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states,” said the President. “We are and always will be the United States of America...It’s been a long time coming but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, in this defining moment, change has come to America.” Four years later, the landscape is a little different. Somewhere between the barrage of attacks on the president and the polls on CNN showing that 44 percent of Americans feel they are worse off now than four years ago, “change” has lost its hype. The gradual

More Years Matter By Hugh Johnson

America’s First Family: Michelle, Barack, Sasha and Malia Obama.

shift from fervor to fear has many people asking if things are better than they were four years ago. Now in the face of a new election where the contrast between red states and blue states is sharpest, the President is asking the nation to put its faith in him one more time. “Now I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” said the President at the DNC in Charlotte. “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth. The truth is that it’ll take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. ...The path we offer may be harder but it leads to a better place and I’m asking you to choose that future.” That future is obscured by a litany of issues plaguing American lives and of those issues, perhaps none is more daunting and divisive as America’s struggling economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistic reports that when the president took office in January of 2009, the unemployment rate continued its climb from the end of 2008 to peak at an astonishing 10 percent in October of 2009. Since then it has been on a steady decline to 8.1 percent where it stood as of August of 2012. Somehow though, numbers don’t seem to be enough, there are still too many stories out there of real American struggles, from those who have been laid off and can’t get back to work to college graduates who have to put their dreams on hold while they lose their value in a stagnant work environment. Minorities have been hit even harder with the unemployment rate being at 11 percent for Latinos and 14.4 percent for African Americans. In his first four years, President Obama has tried to revitalize the job industry by bringing jobs back to the United States. In his DNC speech he emphasized the need for America to export more products. “After a decade that was defined by what was bought

and borrowed, we’re getting back to basics,” said the President. “We are making things again.” In Photo: 2009, President Obama gave emergency loans to Chrysler and General Motors, saving 1.1 million jobs in 2009, 310,000 jobs in 2010 and adding an additional 230,000 jobs since 2009. The night prior to the president’s speech, former President Clinton made his case for celebrating President Obama’s efforts at the DNC. He extolled President Obama for helping to create 4.5 million jobs including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. President Clinton made a heartfelt call for Americans to believe that this country is and will be better off than in 2008, and if the people persevere and re-elect the president, they will feel the difference. President Clinton’s plea highlights the fundamental issue that has haunted the president since he took office, that Republicans don’t want him to succeed. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell vowed to make Obama a one-term president. President Obama’s Bring Jobs Home Act, which would offer a 20 percent tax break on the costs of moving jobs back to the states, is the latest in many job reform initiatives that have failed in the senate. In short, the president is under fire and he needs his supporters now more than ever. For Karnard Jordan, a volunteer neighborhood team leader in Montbello, four more years means the chance to stand by the man he voted for in 2008 and the change he knows the president can deliver. He’s got the president’s back in spite of those who wish to question his authority. “I have been disappointed in the way that Republicans have treated President Obama,” said Jordan. “I believe we elected him to be the President of the

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


United States not just for Montbello or for African Americans or for Democrats. So instead of sitting back whining, crying, complaining and writing editorials, I decided the best thing for me to do is to knock on doors and make sure everybody in my precinct, house district number seven, is registered and ready to vote on Nov. 6.” An African American volunteering for Obama for America, Jordan is essentially working a second job for free. He works during the day as a telecommunications technician but spends his evenings speaking to his neighbors making sure they understand what’s at stake in this election. Another reason four more years is important to Jordan is because of his daughter. She just turned 24 and can remain on her parents’ health coverage thanks to the extension clause on the president’s Affordable care act which lets young adults remain on their parents’ plan until they are 26. The $100 she saves in health care costs, she uses to pay off her student loans. The extension is giving Jordan’s family a much needed break from the stress of more bills. “Some people might say $1200 or $1500 a year isn’t that big of a deal but when you’re speaking to a college student with $30,000 or $40,000 in debt, those little pennies pay off huge in the long term,” Jordan said. “I always tell my daughters that as middle class Americans nothing will be given to them for free. Not scholarships, not lunch, nothing...It was kind of nice to see a middle class guy get a little benefit off of a law passed in Washington.” Young adults aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, According to the White House website, 54,000,000 people have access to preventive health care. Clo Ewing, director of constituency press for Obama for America, asserts that access to preventive care will help to reduce the number of health disparities in 41 million African Americans who are disproportionately affected by certain diseases such as heart disease. The Affordable Care Act also insures an additional seven million African Americans across the country. Continued on page 6

Fired Up And Ready To Go At The DNC! T

By Sheila Smith

he leader of our nation, second in command, a former president and Mom-InChief made their case on why this country can’t go backwards but only move forward. Last month, at the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., you saw the face of America. A spectrum of people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds were represented at the DNC. Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee Brad Woodhouse spoke of the diversity at the convention – 40 percent attendees were people of color, 27 percent African Americans, 13 percent Hispanic, and half of the delegates were women. And Colorado delegates were right in the midst – fired up and ready to go. They left the convention more pumped up and with a renewed sense of hope and urgency in keeping the country moving in the right direction, expressed Colorado State Representative Beth McCann. “The diversity of the delegates was a great testament of the inclusiveness of the Democratic party. Every race, sexual orientation, national origin, and gender was represented – an exciting mosaic of American culture,” McCann said. State Representative Angela Williams emphasized that Colorado is a swing state and one that President Obama needs to win. “Michelle knocked it out of the park,” Williams commented about the First Lady’s speech. “She talked about the real values that Barack was raised upon and how they are raising their children; and how he relates to real middle class Americans.” Although Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez relates to Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro and his twin brother, Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio and keynote speaker at the DNC, he was even more impressed with Michelle Obama’s speech. “When I was done listening to

her, it reminded me of my own family, my own daughter. It made we want to continue being a better man. I represent my neighborhood every day with hopes that my daughter will be proud of that legacy,” he said. There are a lot of people in the state of Colorado who work hard and deserve the right to vote, Lopez added as to why he is a strong supporter of Obama’s Immigration Reform. “They (immigrants) deserve the right to vote and be full citizens if they choose. Give them that opportunity. Especially the kids, who work hard to graduate from high school, try to get into college and then have the door

shut in their face. That is wrong,” Lopez said. When it came to former President Bill Clinton’s speech, “He was unbelievable. It sent chills down my spine,” was all Colorado Delegate Chris Martinez could say. Martinez is also Director of the Division of Small Business Opportunity for Denver. And Michelle Obama’s speech reminded him how families back home are struggling to raise their children in today’s economy and need to stick together, Martinez said. He also outlined a few reasons as to why it was important to keep the President in office for four more years.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


“We should never forget what it took to get our rights to vote. And we’re still fighting for that today as the Colorado Secretary of State is trying to take people off the rolls. We are on the right track and if we change now it will be a disaster,” he said. Charlotte definitely felt the economic boost it got from the DNC. As Obama is pushing for the middle class and poor to have their fair share of the American Dream – hundreds of vendors from around the country peddling their wares participated in that dream and profited selling T-shirts, hats, buttons, books and anything else with Obama on it. 

Why 4 More Years Matter

Continued from page 4 On day one, Governor Romney plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act in order to reduce government spending. Repealing “Obamacare” along with other government programs such as Planned Parenthood or National Endowment for the Arts, is part of Romney’s response to reduce the country’s deficit or spending more than it makes. Currently, America is in its fourth year of spending over a trillion dollars more than it makes. This in turn increases the amount America has to borrow from other countries to pay the difference. Much like an individual’s financial issues, part of the problem stems from too much spending and the other part comes from a lack of income. The tax cuts President George W. Bush created during his presidency are due to expire at the end of the year. Since taxes are a source of revenue for the government, the tax cuts have been an area where the government is losing out on income. However, both candidates plan to extend the cuts in some way: President Obama wants to continue the tax cut for single Americans making under $200,000 and married Americans making under $250,000. The president plans to use the tax money from Americans whose annual income exceeds these levels to generate more revenue for the country. Romney believes that extending tax breaks for low and middle class Americans only is tantamount to punishing high-class Americans for being successful. So instead he plans to cut the things “America can’t afford.” One of the departments “America can’t afford” may be the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to their official Web site, HUD’s goal is to provide strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all Americans. HUD plays a key role in America’s economic recovery due to the fact that the economic downturn began with the housing crisis. Under the Obama Administration, their philosophy is centered on whole communities and not just creating quality houses. Despite the fact that HUD has served 1.6 million first-time homebuyers through the Federal Housing Administration since President Obama took office, reporters overheard Romney talking about the possibility of eliminating HUD at a closed-door fundraiser in April. Justin Miller, a young man living in Denver who works for Organizing for America, was in Golden for the President’s address on Sept. 13. Miller works at a Section 8 townhouse complex, a property owned by the depart-

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


ment of Housing and Urban Development. When Miller heard what Romney said, he informed his tenants. The response was immediate. “Once I speak to them I can look in their eyes and see the reaction and see the fear,” said Miller.” That’s good, because fear is what mobilizes them and they know they have to vote. Once they know that this election will affect them, I think they will be more proactive and enthusiastic.” Not everyone is brimming with enthusiasm for four more years, however. For Leland Robinson, president of the Denver chapter of the Rocky Mountain Black Tea Party, four more years means four more years of being under the heel of overbearing government regulation, a far cry from the freedom an American citizen is entitled to. Robinson is African American and a homosexual but despite the president’s recent announcement supporting gay marriage, he remains committed to removing him from office. “President Obama doesn’t support gay marriage any more than he did before, he just gives the popular answer...Civil unions can be accomplished today without any additional legislation,” said Robinson. An aspiring inventor, Robinson believes President Obama’s restrictions on corporations strangle small businesses that are looking to introduce new products to the market in order to compete and chase their dreams. Beyond the issues, though, Robinson’s fight against the president is just one more battle in his own war against the ostracism and resentment he feels from members of his own race and sexual orientation because he does not support the president and the Democrats. He resents those who seek to drown out his voice. “I’m Black and I grew up here in this city but there are a lot of times when I distanced myself from the Black community because every time I open my mouth it starts a yelling match,” Robinson said. “After that it’s either end the conversation or just go along with the flow. Too often people just go along with the flow...For 95 percent of all Blacks to vote for Obama makes no sense. It’s a little more balanced. I know there are a lot Black conservatives out there that won’t tell you they’re gonna vote for Romney but they will.” Though the issues may seem immense and out of reach at times, every American has a stake in this election and every voice needs to be heard. Those who are behind President Obama need to realize that he needs support now more than ever. “Change” came to America four years ago. How hard will the people fight to keep it? 

By Sheila Smith

Breast cancer survivor, Saundra Robinson and husband Marcus


aundra Robinson was at the starting line when the gun fired. Her race began at Civic Center Park off Bannock St. – heading west toward Blake St., winding through several downtown Denver streets to the City Park Esplanade, back down 17th St. to Sherman and on to the finish line of 14th and Broadway.The Denver Rockn-Roll Marathon that took place on Sept. 22 was just a few of the many marathon races that Robinson participates in. She ran the marathon to prove that she was more than a rock star but a survivor. And she will proudly hold her head up and take on the challenge during the 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct 7. She and her husband, Marcus, will be receiving the Jacque Mattson Award for their commitment to bringing breast cancer awareness to the community. Robinson’s own journey began when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2006. She ended up having a double mastectomy. That is why she loves to run and cross that finish line and be reminded that she is still here. “It’s part of my healing for breast cancer. Every time I set out to run a

39-year-old breast cancer survivor, Kimberly Cain

Photo: Lindsay B Photography

The Komen Race for the Cure will take place at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, Oct. 7. Through events like the Komen Denver Race for a Cure, Komen Denver Metropolitan Affiliate has invested $30 million in community breast health programs in 19 counties around Colorado. “Together with our community, we have made much progress over the past 20 years,” stated Michelle Ostrander, executive director of the (Denver Metropolitan) affiliate. “Early stage of breast cancer now has a 98 percent survival rate compared to about 74 percent in 1980. The Race for the Cure is the main annual event that

has fueled our efforts and helped decrease breast cancer mortality rates by 39 percent, and made it possible for us to pay for breast cancer treatment and screening services for individuals across Colorado.” Like Robinson stated when it comes to those in African American communities, “Breast cancer continues to kill our women daily and even men…because they are being diagnosed when the cancer is in later stages.” She therefore encourages anyone to become a volunteer for Komen and get trained on how to educate and spread awareness about breast cancer in their communities. 

PPresenting resenting Sponsor


I Am A Survivor And Have Made It

race – in Denver, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles – it confirms I am a survivor and have made it,” she said getting emotional and tearful again. The 57-year old Robinson admits it was scary finding out she had breast cancer and thinking she was going to die six years ago. “You have to find out what resources are available in your community like Komen and Women’s Connection,” she explained. “Komen has resources in 19 counties in Colorado, that reach women and men who are underserved and lack monetary means. They provide education, lab testing, mammograms and even transportation.” Women of color often do not go in for mammograms, said Robinson, but if they do and get back positive results, they don’t follow up with testing. Being your own advocate is crucial to fighting the disease, added Robinson. While she became numb when finding out about her diagnosis, it was her husband, Marcus, who stepped up to the plate. His words to her were, “We got this,” she recalled. “He was my eyes and ears and read everything on the internet about breast cancer.” For Robinson, the only choice she had for treatment was having a double mastectomy. “There was no question in my mind not to do it. My breast did not define me before the diagnosis, then or now,” she said. As a marathon runner, Robinson started doing the 5k run with Komen Race for the Cure in 1999, which was ironic when she was later diagnosed with the disease in 2006. Today, Robinson continues pushing education, awareness and sharing information as a way of helping close the gap in breast cancer treatment. Kimberly Cain, 39, is now healthier and more hopeful because of Komen. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. “I told the pathologist to check again,” she said about the biopsy results being positive for cancer. “And it was spreading and that terrified me.” “Wow” is all she could say in not wanting to live with breast cancer but decided to take a deep breath. She sought treatment through a program funded by a Susan G. Komen Denver Metropolitan Affiliate. It wasn’t just the breast cancer Cain was fighting – she was also homeless. “I was fighting two demons – one in my body and the one outside,” she stated. Cain, however, now has a different perspective and is riding high on living a productive life. She is cancer free, has a job and stable housing.


Oct. 12, 2012 8pm A BENEFIT FOR


Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012



he Northeast Park Hill Community is currently in the midst of an exciting transformation — the epicenter of which was an eyesore and a symbol of community blight just four years ago. The Holly Shopping Center (known to residents of the community, for decades, simply as the “Holly”) burned to a pile of ashes — the suspected result of gang-related arson. For many in the community the Holly’s demise sounded as a death knell for the heart of this largely African American community. But through key partnerships, community engagement, and a love for the northeast Denver community, a renaissance is occurring — the community is in the midst of transforming its own future. The renaissance began when a group of community members gathered 400 signatures opposing the transfer of a liquor license from the ,burned out complex to a site across the street convinced the owner not to reopen. The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), with help from Denver’s Office of Economic Development, then bought the property and invested thousands of dollars in the demolition and environmental clean-up of the site. “It was critical that ULC invest in the demolition of the burned down

Northeast Park Hill: A Community Transforming Itself By Angelle C. Fouther

Rendering of Park Hill Boys and Girls Club Center

structure and clean the contaminated ground, so this Northeast Park Hill landmark could begin to rebuild,” says Aaron Miripol, ULC President and CEO. The ULC then took a remarkable next step: they reached out to the community and helped to create the Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP). This group, made up of community residents and others with a stake in the neighborhood, gathered in a series of meetings and forums starting in the

summer of 2009. Led by community by design, an urban planning and architecture firm hired by the residents and the ULC, HARP created a vision for the former shopping center site as well as the six-block surrounding area. Advancing a collective sense that development should transcend the usual hallmarks of blighted neighborhoods the HARP stakeholders set their sights on projects that would enhance the healthy expansion of the community and its youth. Ideas were

proposed through visioning meetings. The entire community was invited to offer feedback in the spring of 2010 at a fair held at the Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center. A final vision plan was approved, and the ULC, through a Request for Proposals process led by HARP members, identified several potential partners, including a Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver. This past spring the Anschutz Foundation stepped forward with a $5 million grant to develop the Nancy P. Anschutz Center, which will house the Boys & Girls Club as well as a community center. The project will break ground in mid-October 2012. To date partner investments beyond the ULC, which has invested over $1 million in the project, include $220,000 from the City of Denver, $100,000 in grants and staff time from The Denver Foundation, $140,000 in grants awarded to the Prodigal Son Initiative, an anti-gang program that has been deeply involved in the neighborhood since before the fire, and $150,000 from the Piton Foundation to install courts and playground equipment on half the site. Last month, over 150 individuals volunteered for the Holly Square Clean-Up Day. Organized by Prodigal Son Initiative, other partner organizations joined with Park Hill residents of

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Volunteers at Holly Peace Park

2nd from left: Patrick Horvath (SN Director), 2nd from right: Terrance Roberts (Prodigal Son) with Prodigal Son team members

all ages to lend a hand. They included The Piton Foundation, The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, Urban Land Conservancy, Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP), Colorado Rapids, Denver Inner City School, Sims-Fayola Academy, G.O.A.L. Academy, Providence Bible Church, Soccer Without Borders, B & E Media Group, Dan Levison and Cori Gutierrez. Councilman Albus Brooks and Sen. Mike Johnston made appearances as well. Work included the assembly of three temporary snap courts (two for basketball and one for small-sided or “futsal” soccer). Volunteers removed over two tons of weeds, trash and debris from the site, and the fix-it shop on the southwest corner of Holly Square that needed a little bit of TLC got a nice brand new paint job with the guidance of muralist Dan Levinson, Cori Gutierrez, and kids and staff from both G.O.A.L. Academy and Sims-Fayola Academy. A week later, the community was out in full force for a three-on-three basketball tournament, futsal soccer clinics, and games for adults and youth. This event, which was organized by Terrance Roberts, Executive Director of the Prodigal Son Initiative, and many community partners, presented a way to put the new courts to use and continue the positive traditions of the Holly Square. “We wanted to bring diversity, safety, fun, laughter, and a sense of community pride that shows the world we are still here and we do indeed care about our community,” Roberts states. Another partner in the Holly redevelopment efforts, The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Attendees at The Denver Foundation’s strengthening Neigborhoods Program

Newly installed basketball courts

Neighborhoods Program (SN), simultaneously held its 15th anniversary across the street at Skyland Park. SN has been instrumental in gathering residents and providing technical assistance for the community visioning and redevelopment. They also played a key role in connecting community members with the ULC. Several hundred individuals came out for both the celebration and the basketball tournament. SN has partnered with 10 neighborhoods in Denver, Commerce City, and Aurora over the course of its 15 years, including Northeast Park Hill, where it has long-term relationships that proved instrumental in spurring action in the redevelopment efforts. “At the time the ULC asked us to help gather residents to lead the community visioning process, we had been working in Northeast Park Hill for 12 years,” says LaDawn Sullivan, the SN program officer who has coordinated SN’s work with HARP. “The connections and the community pride and the readiness for action were all there—they just needed to be pulled together and focused on a common vision.” Many members of the community cite the stagnation of the Dahlia Square Shopping Center redevelopment as a catalyst for action at the Holly. For many years, the Dahlia Center was the largest African American-owned shopping center in the U.S. But by the 1990s the center was dilapidated and less than 15 percent occupied. The site remained almost vacant for years until the City created the Northeast Park Hill Urban Renewal area to help effect redevelopment. It took another eight years until the Park Hill Family Medical Clinic

opened on the site in 2009, and two more until a senior apartment complex opened on a part of the Dahlia site just last year. To provide signs of activity and progress, stakeholders, led by Prodigal Son Initiative, have invested in positive interim uses for the site. In May of 2009, the Holly Urban Garden was planted on the site by FEED Denver. In the summer of 2010, two full-size basketball courts were placed on the west half of the property, where the shopping center once stood, with support from the Denver Nuggets, a volunteer group from University of Colorado Boulder, and many others. The courts were resurfaced and a mural was installed with financial support from the O’Fallon Family Fund of The Denver Foundation and a grant from Denver’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Internationally renowned Nobel Laureate Rigoberta MenchuTum attended a community event and offered a blessing for the basketball courts, the mural, and the community. While great progress is being made, the community is determined not to rest on its laurels, and is working to envision what a completely redeveloped community might look like. HARP is currently considering several proposals for further development, including a school or community center focused on education, and is developing a master plan for the entire surrounding six-block area. Gerie Grimes is the Executive Director of HOPE Center, which occupies one of the remaining buildings on the north side of the Holly site. A member of the HARP Committee and chair of HARP’s Historical and Culture subcommittee, Grimes is excited to frame the next phase of

Aaron Miripol, Michele Sienciewicz, and Brother Jeff with kids at Strengthing Neighborhoods Celebration Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


development and feels it is imperative to integrate the rich history of the into new projects. “There’s a lot of rich history that will inform the future development,” Grimes states. “We are discussing plans to memorialize the community in the new developments such as the (Boys & Girls) Center and the library, showing the Holly in its various iterations, and the role it has played in the community‘s life.” Grimes says that the Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center will continue to be an anchor in the community and that Director David Hallman has been very involved in the process. The opportunities to refashion the physical space of the community that have been lifted up by the redevelopment of the Holly site are unquestionable. But for many residents, the sense of empowerment and hope are at least as valuable to the community. “The kids in the Prodigal Son Leadership Program are excited about the Holly Square Redevelopment and the addition of the Boys and Girls Club,” states Prodigal Son Executive Director Terrance Roberts, who has been working for years to keep younger children in the neighborhood from joining gangs. “They have never in their lives seen anything brand new come into the area. For them to get to be involved is something that they could never forget, because it is a progression that they can see and feel, and they know how scary it was over here for many years of their lives. They say that becoming a gang member is becoming less of an option as they see the possibilities to come.”  Editor’s note: For more information about the Holly Redevelopment efforts or opportunities, contact Christi Longsdorf at

Rigoberta Menchu Tum prays with community

R eality check: Dr. King would

consider Obama a “War Monger.” Inconvenient, I know. However, if King didn’t stand for Vietnam, what on Earth makes you think he’d suddenly be in favor of Afghanistan? You remember that pesky little war, don’t you? The one Obama sent thirty-thousand more troops to fight while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize…that King actually earned. The funny thing is that, you don’t care about this. You actually couldn’t care less that Obama proactively murders brown people in foreign lands with remote-controlled drone airplanes. Do you know how I know? Because you live here, in the heart of our empire, and don’t have to see how the sausage is made, you just eat it. Because you let his fine sounding speeches and smokin’ hot wife comfort you while other people’s children burn. Children who saw the same sun that you did this morning, but will not live to wish upon the same stars tonight are dead because of our first Black President. After all, he just looks so darn good on the cover of Ebony magazine. However, nothing about Mitt Romney makes me sit up and say, “Oh, here’s the leader of my dreams, standing before me like some dazzling Mormon Ken-doll who stepped out of a ‘Just for Men’ commercial. Yeah, he’ll never let me down.” His “47 Percent” comment was far from shocking. After watching the Republican National Convention, the Romney-Ryan campaign looked more like the punch-line at the end of a very long and racist joke. As a disappointed, disgruntled, disillusioned and disheartened former Pro-bama Democrat, I’ve still got the sense to know that these two clowns ain’t the answer. Not even close. So, what’s next?


Democracy and Deception ! OpEd by Theo Wilson

Well, the first step is growing some good ol’ American courage! For what, you ask? Well, to see America for what she really is, and not who we want her to be, for it is a result of the hypocrite she always has been. Being unwilling to accept America for what she is will in no way change the facts. Being unwilling to even look at what she has become because you “believe in the dream,” is no measure of your patriotism or virtue. Notice, you can’t spell “believe” without “lie.” Part of the problem with America is that the “Dream” only survives because it trains us not to look at the evidence. The fact is that being the “Land of the Free” is truly as black and white as whether or not you’re a virgin. Either you’re sexually active, or you’re not. Either you own slaves, or you don’t. Either women are voting, or they’re not. Either the Indians were exterminated, or they weren’t! When you look at the facts, then you know what to do, and see what steps are necessary to correct the problem, or walk away entirely. The evidence is pointing to the fact that political process has been commandeered by powers that are beyond the scope of traditional ballot-box voting. Time to face the cold hard fact that your vote doesn’t count like it used to! Not saying it doesn’t count at all, just not the way it used to. You know what does count more than your vote? The vote of the corporate lobbyists who bought and paid for the

campaign of your favorite puppet…I mean politician: yes, even the Black guy with the Hollywood smile. These are corporations who have economies as large as nations. They are pulling strings that your ballot has no control over. No politician is immune to their pull, from Obama to our local officials. Either they succumb to it, or find a way to defeat it, but they cannot ignore it. Look at the scope of corporate power. If Wal-Mart, Safeway, or King Supers shuts down, the entire community has 3 days’ worth of food supply, tops. Your very life depends upon their functioning. They import bananas, beans, and tropical foods from places that our military has subdued, and our corporations have set up sweat shop labor to exploit. This is slavery. They cannot fight back, if they did, you’d be inconvenienced. They have by force secured the supply chains that make this convenience possible, put the Mom-and Pops out of business, and absorbed all your income, which in turn, has long since bought up the levers of political power. Guess what, there is a word for this: Totalitarianism. Yes, you are living in complete and total submission to corporate power, and it’s so big, you can’t even see it. Even our armed forces have been taken over, and now functions as the baby-killing muscle to make sure profit margins are in the black each quarter of the

earnings report, so your retirement plan stays nice and healthy. It’s nothing to cry about, but now we have to figure out an action plan, As an actor, I know theatre when I see it, and American politics is theatre. This election is as scripted as anything Shakespeare put his quill to, just not as meaningful. We have two faux parties sitting on top of a corporate monster, pretending to tame the tiger. In other words, this circus is run by the animals; that’s the kind of danger we’re in. Do you realize that as bad as Bush’s ‘Patriot Act’ was, Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act, or ‘NDAA,’ is worse? Obama, a former Constitutional professor, has essentially burned that document by signing this into law. It makes it perfectly legal to militarize the police force, kidnap and hold you indefinitely without a trial, even off shore if necessary, and monitor all of your internet and phone activity. In fact, Senator Mark Udall, yes our Mark Udall was one of the few who had the guts to stand up against it. Even Forbes magazine called the NDAA, “The greatest threat to civil liberties Americans face.” Obama did that. But, you know what Obama didn’t do? He didn’t throw even one of those slimy Wall Street Bankers in jail, who stole so much money they drove the entire world into a depression! Way to defend the constitution, Mr. President! The time for blind loyalty is over. Voting is nice, but its validity must be questioned. Even the vote-counting process is not entirely accountable. In this corporate totalitarian state, your dollar is the new political ballot. But, boy, it’s hard to tell that to Black folks. As soon as voting’s power is called into questioned, the old “Our ancestors fought and died” argument begins! Where did this idea that challenging the power of voting makes you un-loyal to your ancestors even come from? The definition of insanity is what? Repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Maybe the

ates its 10th Anniversary at the Newman Center ffor or the Performing Arts

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ennie L. Williams ic Dirirector ector

LaDamion Massey

Fannie Scott

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Guest AcAcccompanist

dmission: $25 - $30 - $35

The Spirituals Project

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Terry Jac Jackk Principal Accompanist

VIP Reception & Concert: $125

sanest, most intelligent thing we can do is examine the voting rights our ancestors fought and died for. Maybe we betray them if we continue to blindly, sheepishly, and stupidly participate in something that is so broken. Maybe we preserve their legacy by proving that their descendants were not slavish idol worshipers who didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to fight a new and evolving fight. What if the new fight looks like us buying stock in the companies we hate, just to be part owners with the right to legally complain? With enough shares purchased, you get to have a vote in the board meeting and disrupt their operations. How about if enough of us buy the stock, we can simultaneously sell it, drive the stock price down, bringing the company to their knees, at least in theory. It takes a hell of a lot of money, but it may be our only option left. You wanna play the game, you’ve got to speak their language, because picket signs don’t cut it anymore, and you know it. In real life, the President has no influence, literally no influence like the people in your closest relationship sphere. How you react to gas prices, the economy, a national tragedy, or

the election is nearly entirely dependent on the quality of your relationships to those closest to you. If you know how to foster a good family life, love life with your spouse, professional work relationships, or community involvement with your church, that has 90 percent of the sway over what happens to your destiny, not whoever the heck is in office! You want to fix America? Take this politically charged energy and put it back into the people around you, and I guarantee this situation will change. Self-sustaining, selffeeding, self-defending, and self-loving communities are the brightest things this future can realistically offer. Do the work now. Learn to swim while the water is low, and you may save a million people from drowning. The ballot is not the only way to stay involved, so find a way that works for you, because we are the only change we can truly believe in.  Editor’s note: Theo Wilson is a native of Denver and graduate of Florida A&M University. His Spoken Word Poetry can be found at the,, and He is a community activist, performing artist, and lover of truth and beauty.

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The Answer Written by Otis Cullum, Omaha, NE

I do believe the time is now, for change to take the stage

an ev en in

While parents cried we fought and died, for the rights of you and me

Thank God the day has finally come, to stand up as one people

So take the hand of your fellow man, and know that we are equal

ds ien fr

This country that we love and share, from sea to shining sea



Not one more day can we give away, to bigotry or rage

with Hazel M z z ill ja f er o



Together we can make this work, and turn our world around Divided it will never be, and all come tumbling down

These seeds we’ll sow and not let go, to be my brother’s keeper God by our side nation and worldwide, we’ll strive to plant them deeper

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Don’t think me blind it’s not hard to find, hate mongers black and white

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Who will do their best to bring unrest, but we will win that fight I never dreamed that in my time, that I would ever see

Someone to stand and lead this land, who looked a lot like me

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But no one man on this earth, can fix what we have broken

It’s together that we’ll find a way, the people they have spoken

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America though standing tall, our country has a cancer

President Obama we now look to you, and pray you’ll find The Answer

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Fearless and full of spirit. These

Cleo Parker Robinson Delivers Robust Dance Triad

adapted the dramatic music that ranges from folksy to jazzy and soulful for a five-piece band. A dynamic words not only describe the three quartet of local voice talents, Darla A. pieces in Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Herndon, Mary Louise Lee, Brian Ensemble’s 42nd Anniversary season Tarver and Ronald White, soon joins opener, they also define the dance in. They are followed by the ensemble company and its bold founder and dancing the lively plantation scene By Tanya Ishikawa executive artistic director, as well as and the leading couple sharing a identify her legacy. romantic duet. All this merriment has With the program of Southland, the audience smiling and feeling fine. 1951 Fusion and Spiritual Suite excerpts, But, the good times don’t last and Cleo Parker Robinson – the woman the mood turns dark as a drunken, and the company – demonstrated, yet lustful white couple enters, with the again, their commitment to fearless, man portrayed ominously but with spirited artistic expression. The soulful tragic irony by a Black ensemble memdance selections and powerful perber in powdered white face. What formances at the University of occurs next is disturbing to watch, but Denver’s Newman Center on Sept. 14, it is followed by an even more devas15 and 16 elicited intense emotions tating event that leaves many in tears. throughout the theater. Joy, sorrow, The sniffles and muffled sobs coming anger, confusion, and comfort were from the theater seats were evidence experienced on stage and off as the of the cinematic depth of the performdancers, singers and musicians alterernment and was The rhythms and ance, created by not only the storyline 1951 nately uplifted, disturbed and shook never shown in flow of the dance and dancing but also the hauntingly up the audience. North America are mesmerizing, sung “Strange Fruit.” Starting with the excerpts from until now. As while the costumes, The ballet doesn’t end there, howSpiritual Suite, the dance company noted in makeup and coordiever. Instead of forcing us to clap and took us back several decades to share Robinson’s pronated, passionate cheer for the dancers at such a fragile the feelings and atmosphere of gospel gram introduction, movement of the moment, the final scene takes us into a lamentations as well as celebrations. the ballet’s “depicdancers are spellhonkey tonk bar as young, hip African Choreographed by Robinson, the four tions of false accubinding. Saintus is Americans swing to the “Basin Street sections of the suite were inspired by sation and lynchan expert at mixing Blues.” The contrast to the senses is her upbringing in the Southern Baptist Caribbean music, ing were considextreme, but an interruption by a Church of Dallas, Texas. ered too raw, too folklore and spiritufuneral cortege from out of the past In the tradition of Alvin Ailey’s ality to create origipowerful for audireminds us of the tragedy of racial vioRevelations (premiered 1960), Spiritual nal modern dance ences of the time.” lence. While the audience feels conSuite (premiered 1984-85) fits like a that is organic and The subject matnected to the shared experience of the silk glove on the multicultural ensempoetic. ter is still relevant past tragic events, the dancers on ble rooted in African American tradiCompleting the and may even be stage are eerily removed from the tions. The dances to “Sometimes I Feel exciting triad of too powerful for injustice surrounding them. Like a Motherless Child” and “Mary dance pieces was these times, despite The similarity between that picture Don’t You Weep” are almost prethe incredible reconthe fact that our and American society today is what dictable in their pained expressions, struction of nation is being led makes Southland such a perfect piece but the familiar anthems and ensemSouthland, a dramatic ballet choreoby our first African-American presiof art for the Cleo Parker Robinson ble members’ devotional motions graphed by Katherine Dunham in dent. As Robinson lamented before Dance Ensemble to be sharing now. In make them easy to enjoy over and 1951. A modern dance pioneer, the performance, she recently saw an a time when people escape the reality over again. Broadway star, cultural anthropologist image on the Internet of Obama with of high unemployment rates, endless The Suite’s musical foundation in the and humanitarian, Dunham was born the Democrats’ political message of international conflict and rampant culspirituals of the African slaves makes it in Illinois but lived and worked for “Hope” changed to “Rope.” tural tensions through other forms of a classic dance tribute to civil rights and decades outside the United States, Racial tension is alive and “hell” entertainment, Robinson’s re-creation the struggles of the Black people in including Haiti where she studied today. Times have changed and of this historic ballet seems almost a America. As Robinson explained in the local dance traditions, Argentina progress has been made, but work still necessity. It took a special kind of fearprogram, “Both Spiritual Suite and where she created Southland and needs to be done. What better place to lessness, and the spirit of a full cast of Southland speak to the strength and Chile where it had its world premiere. consider this weighty task than in the advisors, to bring back this masterhope that music has always offered to The modern ballet, depicting racial dance theater, where artists can move piece that had no film footage to learn all oppressed peoples.” violence and injustice towards Blacks and inspire us to thought and hopefulfrom and whose original creator had The second selection of the in America’s South, only had one ly action. passed away six years before. September program was Fusion, chore- other performance, which was in Paris Southland accomplishes that by As Dunham who left this world at ographed for the Cleo Parker in the 1950s. opening with toe-tapping live music 96 years old understood and Robinson Dance Ensemble by Haitian Seen as too incendiary for that peri- directed by Colorado native Michael Robinson repeated: not all legacies native Jeanguy Saintus. With its world od of emerging civil rights activism, Williams. Originally scored for the are positive ones – there are some premiere earlier this year on the East the piece was banned by the U.S. govChile Symphony, Williams craftily which are indicative of the darkest Coast and a Colorado premier in aspects of Boulder this Dancing with the Denver Stars, Oct. 6, 2012 human nature. summer, Fusion is bound to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is dedicated to excellence in providing instruction, performances and community programs for intergenerational students, artists “Recognizing become another and audiences. The organization’s premier fundraiser is “Dancing with the Denver Stars” which will be on October 6 at the Renaissance Hotel. The event fea- those legacies, audience tures members of the Dance Ensemble matched up with civic and corporate leaders for an exciting exhibition of dance. This year’s lineup includes 10 Star refusing to hide them, is favorite on the Dancers dancing to ‘70s style music! To purchase tickets, visit or call 303-295-1759. scale of Milton You can also find information on classes at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School and tickets for the December shows of “Granny Dances to a Holiday the mark of an evolving socieMyers’ popular Drum” at the above website and phone number. ty.” Rain Dance.

Southland Tops Incredible September Program

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Reflections Of The DNC

Colorado Delegate Is Inspired and Motivated


By Beth McCann

orward Not Backward – these words echoed around the TimesWarner Arena in Charlotte, NC in thunderous repetition from thousands of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. From the welcoming Colorado delegation reception – complete with shrimp and grits, fried catfish, sweet potato pie, French fries, and blue martinis – to the last inspiring words of President Barack Obama, the 2012 DNC was an inspiring, energizing and amazing experience. The Colorado delegation was filled with hard working, fun loving inspiring Coloradans from throughout the state all full of enthusiasm and energy. We started each morning with breakfast at 7 a.m. (yes, 7 a.m.) at the Rainbow Café which included a smorgasbord of breakfast cuisine. Our fearless leaders, Rich Palacio, Alec Garnett, and Beverly Ryken presented an impressive list of speakers including DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Obama for America Campaign Manager Jim Messina, Dem. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Congress members Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, as well as our two U.S. Senators Michael Bennett and Mark Udall. Breakfast was followed with many options to choose from – lectures, caucus meetings, policy meetings, and tours. Highlights for me included a lecture about the history of Charlotte and a tour of the Museum of the New South. Who knew that Charlotte was

named for Queen Charlotte of England in the hope that special favors would come its way? Unfortunately for Charlotte, the Revolutionary War intervened, and no favors were forthcoming. The city of Charlotte was very welcoming and has a very interesting history. It was fun to learn about Cornwallis’s efforts to take over the city, the coming of the cotton gin, and the peaceful integration of restaurants in the 1960’s. One of Charlotte’s most famous sights is the NASCAR Speedway. I had an opportunity to visit, and we were suited up, with helmet and full gear, and paired up with a professional driver for three spins around the track – 170 miles per hour! It was really exciting and scary. And I have a picture to prove it if you want to visit my office at the Capitol. Other highlights included a panel at the Bloomberg News on media and politics, a presentation on the Affordable Care Act and how it was passed including a presentation by Nancy Pelosi. Both the Hispanic Caucus and Women’s caucus meetings included appearances by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. Lily Ledbetter also spoke at the Women’s Caucus. And needless to say, President Obama supports women’s issues and is proud to have signed the Lily Ledbetter Act as his first bill signed as president. He also has appointed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the first Hispanic justice. The official DNC program began each night at 5 p.m. in the Arena. Colorado, as one of the most important swing states, was among only seven states that scored seats on the floor for delegates. It was incredibly exciting to be so close. There were so many excellent speeches; it is hard to single any out. However, I would like to share some of the quotes that I found most compelling. Michelle Obama: “Being President doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are”….“Success is not based on how much money you make, but rather the difference you make in other peoples’ lives”…“Doing the impossible is the history of this nation.” She also explained that when you are President and are confronted with situations for which there are no easy answers, you have to rely on your value system which is how President Obama makes decisions. “Obama knows the American Dream because he has lived it.” Mayor Castro of San Antonio gave a very rousing speech about his life with his twin brother, his single mother, and his grandmother and the values they learned. One of his notable

quotes: “You can’t be pro-business unless you are pro education.” Lily Ledbetter was impressive in her account of her decision to take her case all the way to the Supreme Court when she learned after 20 plus years of working at a company that she was paid less than men doing the same job and men she had trained. “Twentythree cents out of a dollar may not mean much if you have a Swiss bank account, but it can make the difference for a family struggling to send a child to college.” Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts: “Democrats turn to each other not on each other.” Cecila Richards of Planned Parenthood: “When we’re (women) not at the table, we’re on the menu.” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper stayed on script (yay!) and gave an excellent talk about how in Colorado, we work together to get things done: “In Colorado it’s ‘we’ not ‘me.’” Jim Sinegal, founder and CEO of Costco: “President Obama supports companies that plant and grow not executives that reap and run.” Elizabeth Warren: “Romney’s plan will pulverize financial reform, voucherize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare.” President Clinton was brilliant. He is so smart and he has such powerful delivery. He methodically went through the Romney/Ryan criticisms of Obama and showed why they are not so. He made the complex issues understandable and compelling. He was mesmerizing in a 49 minute speech. A few memorable quotes: “’We’re all in this together’ is much better than ‘you are on your own.’”… “When I (Clinton) was President, Democrats never hated Republicans the way the Tea Party hates President Obama”…”No president, including me could not have turned this economy around in the time that Obama has been in office.” Vice President Joe Biden made some very good points about getting

to know President Obama and watching how he makes decisions: “President Obama always asks, ‘how will this affect the average American?’ “... “Obama has courage in his heart, compassion in his soul, and a spine of steel.” Of course, President Barack Obama was inspiring and Presidential in his speech and delivery. The country is faced with a clear choice: keep moving forward or return to the failed policies of the past. The Romney solution to the country’s ills are: “If you feel a cold coming on, take two tax hikes, roll back some regulations, and go to bed.” He noted that he has been confronted with difficult challenges and it has not been easy. However, we are moving forward and this is not the time to change. He recalled words of President Lincoln who said: “I have been driven to my knees many times because of my overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.” The Colorado Delegates left Charlotte with a renewed sense of hope and urgency about keeping the country moving in the right direction. We were FIRED UP and we are READY TO GO!  Editor’s note: Beth McCann is Colorado State Representative, House District 8. She can be reached at or 303-866-2959.

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Can I Vote?

Many people in Colorado believe that once you have a criminal record you can never vote. This is not true. Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC) works to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. Educating people with a criminal record about their right to vote is part of this work. The laws about disenfranchisement (denial of the right to vote) vary from state to state. That’s one of the reasons why so many people with a criminal record are confused about their voting rights. Your right to vote is determined by the state in which you live. If you’re a resident of Colorado and you have completed your sentence of incarceration for a felony conviction (including parole) you can vote regardless of where you were convicted. This right is automatically restored. People on probation and pretrial detainees are also eligible to vote.

What is the law in Colorado?

According to Colorado law, no person while serving a sentence of detention or confinement in a correctional facility, jail, or other location for a felony conviction or while serving a sentence of parole shall be eligible to register to vote or to vote in any election; however, a confined prisoner who is awaiting trial but has not been tried shall be certified by the institutional administrator and shall be permitted to register to vote by mail registration pursuant to part 5 of this article. (Colorado Revised Statutes § 1-2-103(4))

Who is eligible to vote in Colorado?

•People with a criminal conviction who have served their sentence, including parole if required •Pretrial detainees in jail •People currently on probation for either a misdemeanor or felony •People currently in jail serving a misdemeanor sentence only You must also be 18 years of age on or before the date of the election in which you want to vote; be a citizen of the United States; and live in Colorado at your present address at least 30 days prior to the election.

Who can and cannot vote in Colorado?

People who may not register to vote or vote include those who are:

•incarcerated for a felony in a jail or prison •on parole or federal probation following release from incarceration •transition clients in a community corrections facility on inmate status •residential diversion clients sentenced for a felony to a community corrections facility The law is not specific enough to include all of the sentencing scenarios that currently exist, which has created several gray areas regarding voting eligibility. CCJRC is working to clarify these areas, but at this time we recommended that anyone in the following situation consult with an election official before registering to vote: •home detention as part of a sentence for a felony conviction •diversion client in a community corrections facility who is on nonresidential status •in jail awaiting a revocation hearing for a probation violation Just as everything else seems to change, elections in Colorado are also changing. In many counties, more and more elections are being conducted using mail-in ballots instead of walk-in precincts and vote centers. This is because it’s less expensive to cast votes through the mail and many voters indicate they prefer to vote by mail. Be sure you understand whether you are eligible to vote. It is a classfive felony to register to vote or vote in an election for which you are not legally eligible. But remember, voting is one of the best ways to reclaim your civic voice and an important part of re-entering society. Voting is also the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy. We are a stronger country when people vote. Tell a friend. Even if you’re not eligible to vote, encourage your friends and family members to vote. Editor’s note: If you think you are eligible to vote and are told you may not by an election clerk, contact the Secretary of State’s office for help at 303-894-2200 or contact CCJRC, located at 1212 Mariposa Street, Suite 6, Denver, CO 80204. For more information, call 303-825-0122 or visit

Election Calendar Dates October 9, 2012

People who may register to vote and vote include those who: •are on probation for either a misdemeanor or felony •are a pretrial detainee awaiting trial, whether in jail or on bond •are currently serving a jail sentence for a misdemeanor sentence only •have completed serving their sentence for a felony conviction, including any sentence of parole

Last day to register to vote for the General Election

October 30, 2012

Last day to apply for a mail- in ballot for the General Election if mailed

November 2, 2012

Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the General Election if picked up at the county clerk’s office.

November 6, 2012

General Election 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers may help you understand more about your right to vote in Colorado.

How do I register to vote?

The easiest way to register is at This website will let you register online or download a voter registration form. You may also check the status of your registration at this website. You may also register to vote at: • Colorado Department of State, Elections Division, 1700 Broadway, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80290 • Your county’s clerk and recorder’s office (see for contact info) • Division of Motor Vehicle offices • Any government office that provides public assistance, like a social services office

What kind of identification document is required?

A valid Colorado driver’s license and state ID card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue are both accepted, as are a number of other documents. To see the complete list, go online to or talk to your county clerk and recorder office.

How do I vote?

Elections in Colorado can be held by mail or in person at voting locations. Every election may be different so be sure to read any election notices you receive or visit the Colorado Secretary of State at or your local county clerk for more information.

I recently completed my parole. Do I have to prove I have served my sentence and parole in order to register to vote or to vote?

In Colorado, you’re eligible to register to vote the day you’re released form parole. However, if your name still appears on the database as being under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, the voting official may ask you for proof after completing your sentence, so it’s a good idea to bring your parole discharge documentation with you when you register to vote.

If you were a registered voter before you were incarcerated, your registration was cancelled and you must re-register to vote.

If I was convicted of a federal crime, do I have the right to vote in a federal election?

It doesn’t matter if you were convicted in a state or federal court. Once you’re eligible to vote in Colorado, you’re eligible to vote in both state and federal elections.

Do I have to pay off all my restitution before I can vote?

No. Payment of restitution is not a condition of voting eligibility.

Is it a crime to vote in an election before I’m legally eligible to vote?

Yes. As of July 2006, it is a class 5 felony to register to vote or to vote in an election for which you are not eligible to vote (Colorado Revised Statute §1-13-704.5).

Romney’s “47 Percent� Knock Won’t Hurt Him With A Lot Of White Guys


By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

OP presidential contender Mitt Romney’s was hectored and battered mercilessly for his 47 percent don’t pay taxes slur, and shoot from the lip attack on President Obama’s alleged weak kneed kowtow to Islamic radicals in Libya and Cairo. But there are a lot of white guys that agree with him. They strongly believe that there are lot of deadbeats and freeloaders on the dole and that America is being pushed and bullied all over the joint and that it’s time to hit back. These are the guys that smoothed the path to the White House for Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. They even helped GOP presidential loser John McCain in 2008. Obama beat McCain out by a bare 1 percent margin of the overall white male vote. Since Obama piled up a double digit margin over McCain among white women, his white male draw with Obama was just enough to keep McCain’s loss from being a total and embarrassing rout. Romney words, his campaign NASCAR pit stops, and carefully choreographed swings through exclusively white suburbs, and exurbs, aim to keep him in favor with them. The white guys that he and other GOP presidents and contenders bank on are conservative blue collar, rural, lower income, non-college degree, blended with upper income and wealthy, conservative corporate and small business owners. Despite much media talk that blacks, Latinos, gays and white college educated single women have reduced them to impotence in politics, their numbers are still formidable. Equally important their demographic, regional position, and voter participation rate still pose a peril to President Obama. This was glaringly apparent in a recent AP-GfK poll that found that despite hell week for Romney; he was in a virtual dead heat with Obama among those most likely to vote. Romney’s shocking strength despite everything that hit him, and he hit himself with, underscored the potency

of Romney’s racial/gender demographic support, and the consistency that they go to the polls. Obama’s win in the 2008 didn’t change that. In a CNN 2004 presidential election voter profile, males made up slightly more than 40 percent of the American electorate, and of that percent white males comprised 36 percent, or one in three American voters. The percentages didn’t change much in 2008 and 2010 national elections. They consistently give on average sixty percent of their vote to whoever the GOP presidential candidate is. In the South and the heartland states, their lop-sided popular votes translate directly into the all-important Electoral votes, the percentage jumped to 70 percent for Reagan and W. Bush. White men backed Bush by a 27 percentage point margin over Presidential contender Al Gore in 2000. Without the big backing of Southern white males for Bush, Gore would have easily won the White House, and the Florida vote debacle would have been a meaningless sideshow. Bush repeated his top heavy margin of white male support in 2004. This again proved the difference in swamping Democratic presidential contender John Kerry in every one of the Old Confederacy states and three out of four of the Border States. This insured another Bush White House. The GOP’s grip on male voters, however, could have even caused some nervous moments for Bill Clinton in his reelection bid in 1996. If women had not turned out in large numbers and voted heavily for Clinton, GOP presidential contender Robert Dole may well have made the race close. While men rate defense, a strong military, the war on terrorism, and national security as high on their list of concerns, women say abortion rights, education, social security, health care, equal pay and job advancement, and equal rights are highest on their list of concerns. The intense and unshakeable loyalty of working and middle class men to the GOP is not new. The gender gap was first identified and labeled in the 1980 contest between Reagan and Carter. Men didn’t waver from their support of Reagan during his years in office. Many of them made no secret about why they liked him. His reputed toughness, firmness and refusal to compromise on issues of war and peace fit neatly into the often times stereotypical male qualities of professed courage, determination, and toughness. GOP presidential contenders, and now Romney, have religiously followed the Reagan blueprint. The Reagan revolution didn’t merely return America to a world in which God, patriotism, rugged individualism, militant anti-communism, and family values ruled supreme. Reagan, far more adroitly, than Nixon a decade

before him parlayed the forgotten American sentiment and a sanitized image of the past into a powerful conservative ideological movement. His first task was to eliminate the remnants of the Great Society programs rejected by an increasingly disenchanted public as government handouts to minorities. He didn’t totally succeed. But he further eroded public enthusiasm for massive spending on social and education programs. Reagan fixated Middle Americans on the government as prohigher taxes, pro-bureaucracy, proimmigrant and especially pro-welfare and pro-rights of criminals. He painted government as a destructive, bloated, inefficient white

elephant, weighting down the backs of Americans. He claimed that government entitlement programs that benefited the poor were a crushing drain on the budget. Romney’s 47 percent crack is just an updated play on that theme. Polls again confirm that flubs, gaffes, and missteps notwithstanding, Romney’s conservative white male base is holding firm. The bumbles of a GOP presidential candidate then won’t shake their allegiance to that candidate, even one named Romney. Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author, political analyst, and political commentator. Follow him on Twitter:












Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; October 2012


Sell Out Crowd Honors Unsung Heroes

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Denver Mayor Hancock Among M.O.D.E.L. Award Recipients

Photos by Bernard Grant

2012 M.O.D.E.L. Men (Left to right): Steve Shepard, Herman L. White, Jr., Medhat Ahmed, Eric S. Allen, Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Moses Brewer, Dr. Levester Lyons, Anthony Graves, Archie Chaney III, Arthur C. Jones, Vorry Chandler Moon **Not pictured: Dr. Morris S. Clark (also an honoree)


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sell-out crowd of more than 600 people honored the “best of the best” in local community service, as part of the third-annual M.O.D.E.L. (Men of Distinction Excellence and Leadership) Awards, hosted by the Epsilon Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Denver Mayor Michael B. Inc. The Hancock event was emceed by 9NEWS reporter and anchor TaRhonda Thomas. Mayor Michael Hancock addressed the crowd, expressing his honor at being named a 2012 M.O.D.E.L. Awards honoree. After he and the 11 other honorees accepted their awards, guest speaker and former professional baseball player Byron Embry addressed the crowd with a stirring keynote address on what it truly means to be a M.O.D.E.L. man and how the entire community plays a role in building up M.O.D.E.L. men. Alicia Harvey, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Nu Omega Chapter, expressed pride in hosting such a positive, successful event, “We started this program to honor what we considered the

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


‘unsung’ heroes in our community. The idea was that if we honored great men we would also inevitably inspire and elevate great women in our community. This year we have once again uncovered some great men! Many people told us we would run out of men to Keynote Speaker Byron Embry honor but this Alicia Harvey with mother, Starella Harvey

has not been the case and we know there are plenty more where they came from. This program has provided a platform for us to celebrate men and to inspire and empower other young men and women not to be afraid to create their own path to become the leaders that everyone can be,” said Harvey. The ladies of Epsilon Nu Omega also sold out of the annual 2012 calendar, featuring full-color photos of the M.O.D.E.L. men, outfitted in attire from corporate sponsor, Macy’s. Proceeds from calendar and ticket sales benefit the Epsilon Nu Omega scholarship fund for high school girls. Other sponsors include 9NEWS, Western OB/GYN Associates/Dr. Johnny E. Johnson and BBVA Compass.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Since establishing the Denver

Chapter of the Links, Incorporated as a part of the Western Area on May 9, 1952, the chapter has become both a cherished organization and a joyful tradition handed from one generation to the next. The Denver Chapter became a reality as a result of the vision and commitment of three local African American women who wanted to make a difference in the Denver community. Pioneers Fairfax B. Holmes, Geraldine Lightner and Edythe Hawkins shared the dream of the Links national organization founders that Denver was in need of such a group of African American women who could address the needs of the community. To that end, in May 1952 they joined together with 12 other Denverites in the Cedar Room of the Albany Hotel to become charter members of the Denver Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Since those early beginnings, chapter membership has increased to nearly 50 active members and 11 Alumnae members. To commemorate the 60-year anniversary the Denver Chapter of the Links celebrated with a weekend of events including the launching of the fourth year of the Stepping Into the Future program for Hallett Fundamental Academy 5th graders, a reception honoring the charter members and a luncheon. More than 100 guests attended The Unveiling of 60 Years of Friendship, Love, and Service Community Recognition Reception hosted by former First Lady Wilma J. Webb and Charleszine “Terry” Nelson. Denver Chapter Links President Wanda Pate Jones presented a 60 year historical retrospective of the Links. Greetings and tributes were followed from Rosemary Rodriguez; State Director for U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennett; Kevin Patterson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; Stephanie Y.

The Denver Chapter Of The Links Celebrates 60 Years Of Devoted Service

Photos by James Rowe

O’Malley, Deputy Chief of Staff for Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and former Denver Mayor, Wellington E. Webb. Special remarks were provided by Western Area Director Constance M. Smith from Stockton, California. Highlighting the evening was the unveiling of three portraits of founder Fairfax B. Holmes, the Charter Members, and the Denver Chapter Links, Inc.

About the Denver Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

For over 60 years, the Denver Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, has served the local Denver and international communities by delivering and sustaining community relevant programs and activities that have a positive and long-term impact. The Denver Chapter is an affiliate chapter of the national organization, The Links, Incorporated. Founded in 1946, the national organization is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Membership consists of more than 12,000 professional women of color in 276 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Local, national and

international programs focus on four major facets: National Trends and Services, The Arts, Services to Youth and International Trends and Services. The Links, Incorporated, through its chapters and The Links Foundation, has granted several million dollars to many charitable organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, Urban League, NAACP, Africare, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Harlem Boys Choir, and the National Merit Achievement Foundation and others. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the United Nations Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs. Since 2009, the Denver Chapter’s major focus has been our “Stepping into the Future” Program at Hallett Fundamental Elementary School located in Denver, which focuses on closing the achievement gap of middle school students through tutoring, mentoring, donation of computers and monitors, cultural and career awareness programs, health and wellness, and violence prevention. For more information, visit 

Link Tamika Pumphrey with her aunt Carol Devers

Links Linda Williams, Janet Adams, Rosemarie Allen, Carolyn Ash and guest Valerie Gill

Link Glenda Barry and Alumna Member Tish Williams

Alumna Jane and Link Kaarin Pigford and Tony Pigford Alumna Member Link Jane Draine

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


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Mayor Hancock Announces Appointments To County Court

Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced his appointments of Nicole A. Rodarte and Gary M. Jackson as Denver County Court Judges. The appointments will fill the vacancies created by the retirements of Judge Andrew Armatas and Judge Aileen Ortiz-White, who leave the bench in January 2013. “Nicole and Gary are proven exceptional legal minds, and both have displayed a strong, unwavering commitment to our community and to public service,” Mayor Hancock said. “The Denver County Court is one of this city’s finest institutions, and I have the utmost confidence that Nicole and Gary will uphold the trust our residents place in our judicial system. This city will be well served with both of them on the bench.” Nicole Rodarte is currently a partner in the law firm of Casper & Rodarte LLC, where she focuses on criminal defense. Before entering private practice, she served for several

(LtoR)–Manager of Safety Alex Martinez, Presiding Judge of the Denver County Court John Marcucci, Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Judicial Nominee Nicole Rodarte and Judicial Nominee Gary Jackson

years in the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. She is an active member of the Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Rodarte has been practicing law in Denver for 14 years. She is also active in her community, serving on the PTA of Swigert International School in Stapleton and has helped guide the policy direction of both the Colorado Hispanic Bar and Colorado Women’s Bar. A Denver native and graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado-Denver and Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Gary Jackson is a currently partner in the law firm of DiManna & Jackson LLP, where he focuses on attorney regulation, judicial discipline, attorney reinstatement and readmission, Board of Law Examiner cases and judicial performance issues. A former member of the Denver District Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Jackson previously served as vice president of

both the Denver Bar Association and Colorado Bar Association. He is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. Jackson has been practicing law in Denver for 42 years. He is a founder and past President of the Sam Cary Bar Association and active in the Denver community, serving on the board of Lowry Redevelopment Authority, Delta Eta Boule Foundation and is a past-Chair of Northeast Denver Youth Services. A Denver native and graduate of George Washington High School, he received both his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Rodarte and Jackson were nominated by the Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC), which is established by Denver City Charter and composed of three attorneys and four non-attorneys appointed by the Mayor. The Presiding Judge of the Denver County Court John Marcucci serves in an ex-officio advisory capacity. When a judicial vacancy is created, the JNC announces the vacancy and the timeline in which to apply for nomination. 

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Mayors Praise Appointment Of City Officials To National Board Responsible For New Public Safety Communications Network

Following the announcesure that mayors’ interests ment that former Denver and concerns are well repreMayor and Conference of sented in the federal governMayors President Wellington ment,” commented Webb and New York Police Conference of Mayors Department Deputy Chief Executive Director and CEO Charles Dowd have been Tom Cochran. “Wellington appointed to the First Webb was a great Mayor of Responder Network Denver and a great President Authority (FirstNet) Board of Wellington E. Webb of The U.S. Conference of Directors, current Conference Mayors. He will be a great of Mayors President and member of the FirstNet Philadelphia Mayor Michael Board and a great represenA. Nutter said: “America’s tative of the mayors of this mayors commend the Obama nation.” Cochran continued. Administration for making “As chair of our task sure that cities and their pubforce on crime, Wellington lic safety communications Webb led our efforts with needs will be well represented the Clinton Administration on the national board responto craft the 1994 crime bill sible for overseeing the planand see it enacted into law,” Charles Dowd ning, development, mainteCochran continued. nance and operation of the nationwide “Among other things, that bill estabwireless public safety communications lished the COPS Program which connetwork.” tinues to provide vital assistance to “By appointing one of our own, cities today.” former Denver Mayor and U.S. Nutter also praised the appointConference of Mayors President ment Charles Dowd to the Board. “By Wellington Webb, the Administration appointing New York Police has recognized the important contriDepartment Deputy Chief Charles bution which an experienced and sucDowd, who serves as Commanding cessful mayor can bring to the work of Officer of the Communications this Board,” Nutter commented. Division, the Administration has “Wellington Webb has been a role included on the FirstNet Board one of model for mayors across this country, the nation’s foremost experts in firstboth for the work he did in Denver responder communications. In comand for the national leadership he pro- mand of New York City’s emergency vided. Of particular importance is his call center on September 11, 2001, understanding of what it takes to Chief Dowd brings unique perspective make our cities safe and the many from our nation’s largest city to the contributions he made to public safety Board.” – both in his city and in the nation as a The 15-member FirstNet Board of whole. He was a key leader in the Directors was authorized through the Conference’s efforts to shape federal public safety broadband communicapolicies and programs that reduced tions provisions of the Middle Class crime and violence in our cities.” Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of “The Conference of Mayors has 2012, which was signed by the always been committed to making President on February 22. The law requires that at least three of the board’s members represent state and local governments, tribes and territories, and that at least three others have served as public safety professionals. The law focuses on the reallocation of critical spectrum – the so-called D Block of the 700 MHz – to public safety and funding for the development, maintenance and operation of the network. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. 

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


The Teaching Tool of Technology


By Heather Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Mara and Ruth MĂĄrquez West

At the forefront of digital instruc-

FENCES By AUGUST WILSON A star baseball player, his career blunted by racism, supports his family as a sanitation worker. Aware that strength of body and purpose are not enough, he struggles to keep the delicate fabric of his intricate value system from tearing apart. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards, Fences is a muscular yet lyrical portrait of a powerful man robbed of his dreams.

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tion, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op (HOPE) teachers incorporate technology as a tool in the hands of dedicated educators. The HOPE learning model combines the critical contributions of general education teachers, reading specialists, special education learning specialists and classroom mentors with technology at HOPE Learning Centers in a distinct blended learning approach. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Technology will never substitute what I do,â&#x20AC;? emphasizes HOPE Reading Specialist Kerri Rink, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but it certainly expands my options for approaching a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning obstacle, allows my students many opportunities for guided skills practice and, through completion of online assignments, captures invaluable data that helps me further accommodate a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s immediate and longterm needs.â&#x20AC;? Rink and her fellow HOPE teachers diligently select appropriate learning strategies for the individual student and the targeted skill based upon the most effective pacing that reflects understanding of the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s identified learning gaps. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our instructional field has definitely benefitted from digital applications and online options that give us many paths to address learning gaps objectively, not subjectively,â&#x20AC;? notes HOPE Special Education Learning Specialist Michele Dean. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And, these tools give us more time for meaningful one-on-one instruction! Assessment is more efficient and effective so instructional time can be focused on the irreplaceable relational components of teaching.â&#x20AC;? Dean also points out the improved communication between parents and teachers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parents are busier than ever and, rather than waiting to schedule a meeting or a phone call, many prefer email correspondence. Without delay,

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; October 2012


HOPE Teacher Tammy Fields praises her student Ronald for excellent progress technology allows me to share vital information and data with parents so that they are actively engaged in their childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning process.â&#x20AC;? HOPE General Education Teacher Barb Pagano agrees, recalling how she adjusted her mindset after many years in a traditional classroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought I was computer literate because I logged my studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grades online,â&#x20AC;? she shares with a laugh. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like so many teachers, I did not grow up with technology, but, believing in face-to-face instruction and the individualization afforded through technology, I knew that blended learning would be the wave of the future when I became a HOPE Teacher almost six years ago. I now teach in this exciting new way that helps students build many skills as they prepare to enter todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s society.â&#x20AC;? While Pagano does not see technology as a cure-all to any studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges, she believes it has enabled her to reach some of the most difficult students of her career â&#x20AC;&#x201C; students who now believe in their own capacity to learn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The immediate feedback that blended learning offers students is essential to their achievement,â&#x20AC;? she observes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I use data from my studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; online work to guide them as they establish learning goals. We often fortify their skills and learning through additional customized online and offline work. It bears repeating, technology is just one of our tools.â&#x20AC;? At HOPE, there is a belief in every studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s potential. A struggle to learn is not an inability to learn. Rather, a struggle to learn highlights a disconnection between a new lesson and its relationship to a concept a student already understands. Technology helps teachers identify specific learning targets to strengthen a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connection between one skill and the next. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Technology helps students see that there really are many different paths to understanding concepts and building skills,â&#x20AC;? concludes Dean. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is an invaluable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ahaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for teachers and students alike.â&#x20AC;? 

My name is MiDian Holmes

and I am the mother of three schoolaged children in the far Northeast community. I am also a Stand for Children member, volunteering as the Denver Chapter Chair. I come to you representing a mass of our community and I come to you with a voice that I believe will not go unheard. My voice advocates for the students in our communities and the opportunity that we are entrusting the Denver Public Schools system to enable for their future. The opportunity, you ask? It is the bond and mill levy that you will see on your ballots this November. My children and all DPS students deserve access to functional computers, up-to-date curriculum and safe and reliable facilities that do not compromise their ability to learn. As apparent as this concept sounds, there have been hurdles that have pushed this opportunity further from reality. Colorado state budget problems have forced the district to make deep cuts. This, coupled with an increase in the student population, has impacted the district’s ability to provide our students with the resources they need to be successful and has compromised our students in over-sized classrooms, aging infrastructure and lack of technology resources.

I Support The Bond And Mill Op-ed by MiDian Holmes

The bond and mill represent a remedy and a gleam of hope that can position our district to ensure that our students are afforded the education that will equip them for a bright future! The bond and mill will restore and expand programs that increase student achievement, like enrichment programs and tutoring services, address critical infrastructure needs, such as safety upgrades and put more resources where they are needed most. The far Northeast is one of the fastest growing areas in the city and is desperately in need of updates to existing buildings and more seats to accommodate the current and expected population growth. The bond authorization will put $4.3 million into the Montbello High School campus, $5.2 million into Manual High School,

$1 million in Amesse Elementary, and nearly a million into Martin Luther King Jr. Early College. These are just some of the projects planned for the far Northeast. These proposals will make a difference for not only our community, but will impact the entire city and enhance educational opportunities for all DPS children. Like all parents, I have a strong desire for my children to have access to a learning environment that will nurture them to receive a quality education. Our kids deserve the muchneeded time for arts, music and physical fitness to become well-rounded individuals, and they should be able to learn and play in an environment that will exalt their talents. Additionally, these proposals will increase early-childhood education

opportunities and provide full-day kindergarten to all DPS students, programs proven to help close the achievement gap. As a community our decisions can make or break the future of our children and our city. It is critical that we stand behind our children and invest in their future, our economy and ultimately our next generation of leaders. That is why I am confident that you will do what is right this November and vote yes for 3A and 3B. Each one of our votes represents the dreams of our children, dreams that are far too important to stay silent. In honor of their dreams, I ask that you cast your vote on Election Day to pass the bond and mill levy. As mentioned before, my desire for a brighter future is far from unique. There are countless parents, teachers, and most importantly students who are not only depending on us, but are eager to celebrate with us the increased investment in our children, in our schools, and in our city that the approval of the bond and mill levy in November would bring. I am one voice that comes with many echoes, and the sentiment and needs of our students is clear. So please do not disappoint our students, Denver, and do what is right for our kids! 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012




iola Davis was born on August 11, 1965 on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina, but raised by her parents in Central Falls, Rhode Island. After earning a degree in theater from Rhode Island College in 1988, she went on to do post-graduate work at the prestigious Juilliard School prior to embarking on a critically-acclaimed professional career. Davis made a memorable mark on Broadway, winning Tonys for stellar performances as Tonya in King Hedley II and as Rose in the revival of Fences. She’s also been nominated twice for an Academy Award, for her powerful portrayal of stoic Abilene in The Help and for her equally-sterling interpretation of Mrs. Miller in Doubt. Viola’s other noteworthy screen credits include impressive outings in Traffic, Nights in Rodanthe, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eat Pray Love, Madea Goes to Jail, Antwone Fisher, World Trade Center, Trust, Knight & Day, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and State of Play. And her upcoming films include Enders Game with Harrison Ford, Beautiful Creatures with Emma Thompson and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby with Jessica Chastain. Here, she talks about her new film, Won’t Back Down, a female empower-

Voila! It’s Viola!

The “Won’t Back Down” interview with Kam Williams ment saga, where she plays Nona Alberts, a jaded teacher who joins forces with a frustrated single-mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to turn around an underperforming public school. Kam Williams: Hi Viola, thanks for the interview. Viola Davis: Thank you, Kam. KW: Music teacher Steve Kramer asks: What interested you in Won’t Back Down? VD: My interests in the film were two-fold: the backdrop of education and also the human story within it about a woman who, when she was in her twenties, had all these high ideals and hopes of taking the world by storm as a great teacher and also as a great mother. But all of that was just blown to bits, and we find her at a low point where she’s totally disillusioned. For me, the movie is about her story of


TEXT TYLER PERRY AND YOUR ZIP CODE to 43549! Example Text: Text: TYLER PERRY 80206 Entry Deadline: Monday, October 15 There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Check your plan. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Limit one entry per cell phone. The screening will be held the week of 10/15 at 7:00pm at a local theatre. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. The film is rated PG-13. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first come, first-served basis. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Summit Entertainment, Allied-THA, 43KIX, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. NO PHONE CALLS!


coming back to life again. And that journey is a very human one. It intrigued me, and I saw it as a very interesting challenge as an actor. KW: What was it like working with such a top-flight cast: You had an Academy-Awardwinner Holly Hunter, as well fellow Oscar-nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rosie Perez? VD: You forgot another Oscar-nominee, Marianne Jean-Baptiste. It was fabulous! To me, it’s always a luxury to be able to work with the best of the best because they make it easier for you to do what you do. It’s harder to work with people who are not as dedicated to their craft. It also leaves you a better actor when you finish the project, since you always feel like you’ve learned something. And it’s refreshing to spend time with actors who are so vocal, so articulate. “You get more material to steal from.” That’s what I always say. [LOL] KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier would like to know whether you had any problems with any of your lines in the script, and how you handle such a controversy. VD: Yes, I did have a problem with a few things, which is good for an actor. The average person might not see it that way. The sentiment that I had a little trouble with was the idea that, “You change the school, you change the community.” I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I just feel that those two trains need to be leaving the station at the same time. I think that that’s a heck of a responsibility to expect schools and teachers to change these challenged communities. Many of them are experiencing growth deficits or are going bankrupt, and are infected with gang violence with as many as 85% of the people living below the poverty line. I knew this was going to be a hotbed issue, but I didn’t realize how volatile it was going to become once the movie was released. Nevertheless, I welcome this spirited discourse. That’s always been a spearhead to change. KW: Is the big brouhaha due to allegations that the picture is antiunion? VD: Yes, that is what the controversy’s about. I don’t think the film’s anti-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Urban Spectrum

union. I feel it’s pro-education. The teacher, in the end, becomes the hero. The teacher! Oscar Isaac’s character [Michael Perry] says in the film that the one of the things he remembers about the high school teacher who inspired him to become a teacher was how the union had stepped in and saved the man’s job when the system was failing him. So, I don’t feel it’s anti-union. I consider it pro-activist. KW: Larry Greenberg was wondering what would you say is the movie’s message? VD: The movie really emphasizes that we’re all in the position to be the change that we want to see in this country. And I think there’s no better time to bring that message home. What’s interesting is that that theme is a common thread in the film, even in terms of the two main characters’ taking control of their own personal lives. At the end of the day, nobody can tell you how to tackle failure or how to handle change. The world is very good at encouraging you to go along with the status quo and at basking in your successes. But when you hit a wall in your personal life, and you screw up, people don’t give you a chance to navigate your way through it and tap into what’s extraordinary about you. I think this movie tackles that subject in a beautiful way, and I think it’s the best message you could give to a child. And, hey, you can even bring your kids to the film because it’s rated PG. [Laughs] KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: Won’t Back Down is not only the title of your new film, but that same sort of spirit was also part of your character’s persona in The Help. How much of that strength we see up on the screen is you and how much of it is great acting? VD: [Chuckles] Well, I’d like to say that it’s all great acting. That’s what I’d prefer to say, but I suppose I do have that same quality in real life. I guess they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention” because you have two stark choices when you find yourself in a really desperate situation. You can either fold and cave-in to it or you can become really passionate about getting out of it. When you’re really passionate, you’re going to grab hold of every rope you see, and wrap them around your arms and legs to claw your way out. And that’s the way I’ve felt in my life. KW: Harriet has another question: Is there a classic film you’d like to star in the remake of? VD: You know what? Playing Norma Rae would be great, too, although I don’t whether that would work. I’d also like to play Harriet Tubman.

KW: Patricia is also wondering whether there’s any truth to the rumor that you’ll be playing Barbara Jordan in an upcoming biopic about the late congresswoman. VD: Yes, my husband [Julius Tennon] and I started a production company out of necessity, the need for great narratives for actors of color, and we are currently developing that script with some great producers. KW: Kate Newell says: I loved your performance. Did you have a teacher who especially inspired you? VD: I had several teachers who inspired me, in both the public school system and the Upward Bound program. I needed several, because I lived in such abject poverty and dysfunction. And they’re still in my life today, because I consider them to be friends, actually. KW: Thanks again for the time, Viola, and best of luck with Won’t Back Down. VD: Thank you, Kam To see a trailer for Won’t Back Down, visit:

Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams

Excellent<<<<<.  Very Good<<<<..  Good<<<<<<...  Fair<<<<<<<..  Poor<<<<<<<. No stars Won’t Back Down 

Won’t Back Down

Jaded Teacher and SingleMom Join Forces in Uplifting Tale of Female Empowerment


n 2010, California passed the nation’s first “Parent Trigger Law,” a bill which enables a neighborhood with an underperforming public school to fire the principal, replace the staff and convert it to a charter, provided a majority of the parents with students attending it sign a petition.


The legislation has proved very controversial thus far, with opponents alleging that the measure is merely anti-union, whereas the sponsors call it an overdue reform intended to give kids stuck in so-called “dropout factories” a fair chance. Consequently, Won’t Back Down is opening under a cloud of controversy, which is unfortunate since the film is otherwise a quite engaging and entertaining tale of female empowerment. The reason why the picture has generated so much suspicion is that it was produced by Walden Media, the same studio that just a couple of years ago released Waiting for Superman, an incendiary documentary that came under attack for blaming teachers unions for the broken educational system. Although based on actual events that transpired in Los Angeles, Won’t Back Down is set in the City of Pittsburgh, where we find an exasperated Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) struggling to just to survive. Between selling used cars by day and bartending at night, the single-mom barely has any energy left to attend to the academic needs of her dyslexic daughter, Malia (Emily Alyn Lind). Convinced that the lagging 8 yearold hasn’t learned to read out of neglect, she enters the little girl in a lottery for one of the few coveted spots opening up at Rosa Parks, a highly-regarded, nearby charter school. But when Malia’s name isn’t called, the frustrated mother decides to do something about the school they’re still stuck with. Inspired by the state’s new “Fail Safe Law,” Jamie morphs into a tireless child advocate hell-bent on wresting the reins of control from an administration and staff with low expectations. Along the way, she enlists the assistance of Nona Alberts (Viola Davis), a jaded teacher who had all but gone to acceptance. Initially, Nona is reluctant to get involved, because she could very easi-


PLEASE VISIT WWW.GOFOBO .COM/RSVP AND ENTER THE CODE USV9A1 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS EACH PASS ADMITS ONE. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. RATED PG-13. Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. Please note: Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee you a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of tickets assumes any and all risks related to use of ticket, and accepts any restrictions required by ticket provider. Paramount Pictures, 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. Participating sponsors, their employees and family members and their agencies are not eligible. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. NO PHONE CALLS!


ly get blacklisted for trying to bust the union. Furthermore, she’s an emotional wreck, being overwhelmed by the prospect of having to raise her son (Dante Brown) on her own in the wake of her estranged husband’s (Lance Reddick) recent departure. Nevertheless, Jamie and Nona bond and, over the objections of bureaucrats, not only garner the requisite number of parental votes but even talk the teachers into surrendering job security for performance-based salaries. An uplifting, overcoming the odds Hollywood saga suggesting that the solution to public education’s host of woes might be as simple as a couple of women on the verge of a nervous breakdown picking up picket signs. In the tradition of Norma Rae and Erin Brockovich, say hello to Jamie Fitzpatrick and Nona Alberts! Rated: PG for mature themes and mild epithets Running Time: 121 minutes Distributor: 20th Century Fox/Walden Media To see a trailer for Won’t Back Down, visit: Looper


Hit Man Turns Fugitive in Riveting Time-Travel Thriller


ateline: Kansas City, 2042, which is where we find 25 year-old Joseph Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gainfully-employed as a novel type of hit man called a “looper.” The grisly line of work basically involves waiting at a designated clearing in a cornfield for the delivery of a blindfolded kidnap victim involuntarily teleported back in time. As soon as each person spontaneously materializes, Joe blows them away on the spot with a big blunderbuss, before incinerating the body to eliminate the evidence. This modernistic equivalent of filling cement shoes has become the mob’s preferred method of assassination since loopers can commit the perfect crime by

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


killing people who technically don’t even exist yet. Despite the great pay, Joe’s job has one major drawback, namely, that he will eventually be expected to close his own loop by shooting his future self (Bruce Willis) dead in the killing field. In the interim, he copes with the prospect of committing suicide via drugs and denial, getting high while making plans to retire to France that ostensibly amount to an exercise in futility. The moment of truth arrives the fateful day he finally finds himself face-to-face with his 55 year-old alter ego. However, Joe is unable to pull the trigger, a failing which doesn’t sit well with his short-fused boss (Jeff Daniels) who immediately dispatches an army of thugs to finish off both fugitives. That is the absorbing premise of Looper, a riveting sci-fi thriller directed by Rian Johnson. The movie marks the third collaboration between him and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a reteaming lending credence to the age-old maxim: three times a charm. The picture’s inscrutable script is as confounding as Chris Nolan’s Memento, and visually the production is rather reminiscent of the best of Steven Spielberg. Nice company. Again and again, just when you think you’ve unraveled the convoluted plot, the story takes yet another intriguing turn into uncharted waters. Great performances abound here, starting with Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same character. Also deserving of accolades in substantial support roles are Paul Dano, Emily Blunt, Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels. A mind-bending masterpiece that’s a must for more cerebral fans of the time-travel genre. Rated: R for profanity, sexuality, nudity, drug use and graphic violence Running Time: 118 minutes Distributor: Sony Pictures To see a trailer for Looper, visit:



THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED. Please note: Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee you a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of tickets assumes any and all risks related to use of ticket, and accepts any restrictions required by ticket provider. Paramount Pictures, 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. Participating sponsors, their employees and family members and their agencies are not eligible. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. NO PHONE CALLS!


Urban Spectrum MONDAY 10/01 4.5 x 5.75



Chicago Resident Meets President Obama And First Lady

Chester McSwain, a wrestling coach, Chicago Public School career substitute teacher, and blues vocalist is pictured with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle at a chance meeting in the neighborhood while visiting his daughter Rian who lives near the much guarded home of the First Family in Hyde Park. Pictured left to right are Michelle Obama, McSwain, Rian (with daughter) Barack Obama and Stevie Leak.

Denver City Council Approves Five Points Urban Redevelopment Plan

The Five Points Community received a long overdue victory by the Denver City Council with a vote of 121 approving the Urban Redevelopment Plan for the Welton Street Corridor. The proposed Urban Redevelopment Plan will create an urban redevelopment area for the Welton Corridor encompassing approximately 85 acres and all or portions of 29 city blocks. The plan will allow for public improvement projects and private sector developments, modeled after the Downtown Denver 52-block Urban Renewal Area. The Five Points Community can now move forward with their vision of revitalization to attract new businesses and residents to the Welton Street sidewalks and provide for a more environmentally sustainable area for the community.

First Black Owned Crematory

Elvin R. Caldwell, Jr., president and owner of Caldwell-Kirk Mortuary announced a brand new state of the art crematory to serve families and other mortuaries in the Denver Metropolitan area. Caldwell is proud that it is the first crematory to be Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


acquired by a black family owned mortuary in the state. The crematory equipment is a Power-Pak II Plus manufactured by the Cremation Division of Matthews International, the largest manufacturer of cremation equipment in the United States. The crematory is located at 3916 Niagara Street in Denver.

Mayfair Vision Clinic Gives Gift Of Vision To People In Need

Local optometrist, Dr. Janice Jarrett of the Mayfair Vision Clinic, is joining the World Sight Day Challenge during the month of October to help give the gift of vision to people in developing countries and underserved communities. On World Sight Day (October 11) Dr. Jarrett will donate a portion of her eye exam fees to help more than 600 million people in the world who are blind or vision impaired simply because they do not have access to an eye exam or glasses. This will be the second year that Dr. Jarrett has supported Optometry Giving Sight. Just $5 can provide an eye examination and a pair of glasses for someone in a developing country. Dr. Jarrett is also inviting her patients and the community to make a donation at her practice, located at 1336 Leyden St., throughout October. For more information about Optometry Giving Sight and the World Sight Day Challenge, visit

The Links Foundation, Incorporated Awarded A $250,000 Grant From Chevron

The Links Foundation, Incorporated announced that it has been selected for a $250,000 grant from Chevron in support of STEM education. The funds, designated to help eliminate the STEM academic achievement gap for students of color, will be dispersed over a two-year period, beginning in the fall of 2012. The grant provides vital funding to enhance one of the key programs of The Links, Incorporated, “STEMULATING Left Brain and Right Brain.” With a focus on students from 6th to 12th grades, the program aims to enhance the current curriculum,


emphasizing STEM disciplines, engineering and energy industry career readiness. The Links, Incorporated expects to reach approximately 1,200 students across the country with this academic enrichment. The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $24 million in charitable contributions since its founding.

3rd Annual White Linen Event Black Greek Gala Held

On Saturday, August 25, the George E. Hailey Endowment Fund and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Psi Lambda Chapter of Denver hosted their 3rd Annual White Linen scholarship fundraiser where Fraternity â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chefsâ&#x20AC;? cooked up their specialty dishes. Proceeds benefitted the George E. Hailey Endowment Scholarship Fund which was formed in 1987, and has since awarded more than $71,000 in scholarships to students in the greater Denver metro area. The evening eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s included a video presentation from the 2012 Harold S. Brown Scholarship Awards Program when seven Denver area students were awarded $1,000 scholarships. Remarks were given by endowment founder, George E. Hailey. Guests enjoyed and array of food entrees and desserts from six stations, music and a line dancing lesson. All donations for the event were taxdeductible For more information about the George E. Hailey Endowment Scholarship Fund, or to make a donation, E-mail Steve Jones at

Annual Back Home Gospel Shout Out Program Held

The 8th annual Back Home Gospel Shout Out program sponsored by Sisters Enterprise was held on June 30. Random Acts of Kindness Awards were presented to Shauna Carter, Fred Chagolla, Cenece Dixon, Viola Garlington, Cherlyn Haliburton, Pam Hertzog, Jaraine Lattany, Ousmane Ndoye, Michael Richardson, Robin Robinson and Charolette Ware who recently passed away to her long battle with breast cancer on Aug. 9. In less than five years, Wareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program

D Dine i n e iin no orr T Take ake o out ut

Southern yle desserts, S o u t h e r n sstt y l e ffood, o o d , de s s e r t s, AND v e g e ttarian ar ian p l a t tters e rs vege plat



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Grace, Inc., recognized more than 150 local seniors with the Living Legends award for their life achievements. One hundred year old George W. Gray, Jr. was also recognized who passed away on August 2. Elder George had been the oldest Morehouse College man in Colorado. These outstanding and well-known Coloradoans will be remembered as great movers and shakers in our community for their massive contributions and accomplishments.



Lost Your Joy?

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! This is the Ba Barr B Q Que ue y youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve o uâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been b e e n looking for. There is a dif ference. Come taste for yourself!

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Car Racer, Robb Holland Was Honored To Visit Hospitalized Children

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Denverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Robb Holland, the first African-American driver who recently competed in the British Touring Car Championship, spent quality time with ill children at Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, on Sept. 6. Hollandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedication to giving back had him at the hospital for more than three hours, taking pictures, signing autographs and conducting personal one-on-one visits with the children and their parents. Holland carried his racing helmet along for the ride. Many of the children found it fascinating and even had the opportunity to try it on for size. Robb belongs to the non-profit organization, Racers Who Care, Inc. a West Hollywood, California-based 501c3 charitable corporation, founded in 1993, that is dedicated to making a positive difference for the next generation. Over the past several years, Holland has been a consistent podium finisher in both Pirelli World Challenge, Touring Car and GT Divisions, leading to a strong 4th place overall finish in the Touring Car division last season while only competing in 6 out of 10 events. Holland is also well known for his work off the track as well, with stints as a journalist for and as a co-trackside/webcast announcer for the SPEEDWorld Challenge Series.

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

Finishing touches are still being completed!

Watch for the new Grand Opening Date in November!

Sorry for any inconvenience! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be worth the wait.

We guarantee!

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; October 2012



CBWPA Presents 35th Anniversary Celebration And 33rd Annual Luncheon

Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) announces their 2012 Annual Tribute To Black Women Awardees. The seven outstanding women in the community in seven categories are Bennie Lucille Williams for the Arts, Tammy Booth-Myers for Business, Community Service- Cheryl Williams-Carter for Community Service, Daphne L. Hunter for Education, Representative Angela Williams for Politics, Kimberly Renae Turner for Youth, and Frances Owens will receive the Legend award. The celebration and luncheon will be at noon on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel, 1701 California St. in Denver. Tickets are $65. For more information, visit

LFC 4th Annual Community Spirit Award Celebration And Call For Nominations

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 42 4 2nd Anniversary Season Celebration!

Dancing with the


Save the Date

Saturday, October 6, 2012 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Lowry Family Center will host its fourth annual Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 1 in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus. The Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award celebrates intrinsically motivated individuals who have dedicated their lives to community service and development. The award is dedicated to the memory of Kathy Hill-Young, the first Executive Director of the Lowry Family Center until her death on Dec. 6, 2008. Kathy’s passion for helping families in the community resulted in a life’s work that had a positive effect on thousands of people. If you know of an outstanding community leader and activist for children, youth and families, nominate that individual for this year’s 4th annual Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award. Deadline is November 1. For more information or nomination forms, call LaToya Petty at 303-641-8759 or email

Nominate A Black Educator For Salute To Excellence Award

Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship & Awards Gala 2013 is the largest civic event to honor outstanding African-American educators in school districts throughout the state of Colorado. TheEduCtr is now accepting nominations from the public, individuals, schools, family members, colleagues, or organizations/companies. The nomination can be a self-nomination or come from a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


third party. Nominees must teach in any public, charter, religious, an educational organization or private school in the State of Colorado. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. The gala will be held Friday, March 1, 2013 at the Renaissance Hotel on Quebec and Smith Road. For more information, E-mail

NAACP Colorado Montana Wyoming State Convention 2012

The NAACP Colorado Montana Wyoming State Convention will be held Oct. 19 to 21 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs and will include opportunities for training, advocacy, engagement, renewing friendships and establishing new ones. Colorado’s Lt. Governor, Joseph A. Garcia, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. There will be special performances, a panel discussion, and strategy/planning breakout sessions. This is an important opportunity to help craft the vision for the next year of NAACP civil rights activism in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. The registration fee is $40 the deadline for reservations is Oct. 12. For more information, visit or call 719-233-0243 or Email

The Spirituals Project First Annual Conference

Planning is under way for the inaugural R.E. A.P. National Conference on the Spirituals, June 13 to 15, 2013 and co-sponsored by The Spirituals Project and the University of Denver. The conference will focus on the varied dimensions of the spirituals as represented by the four pillars of Research, Education, Activism, and Performance (REAP). They are currently soliciting proposals for conference presentations with a primary focus on research, education or activism. Proposals should be submitted online no later than Nov. 1. An early bird discount for conference attendees is available through Dec. 31. Confirmed speakers include, Nikki Giovanni – renowned poet, commentator, activist and educator as well as Dr. Vincent G. Harding – civil rights historian, author, and activist. For more information, visit or call 303-871-7993.

NHBC Tuesday Afternoon Community Bible Study Class

The Tuesday afternoon community Bible study class meets every Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. through


December at New Hope Baptist Church (NHBC). The public is invited to attend under the teaching leadership of Rev. Eugene Downing, Jr. For more information, call 303-3225200.

Su Teatro Alter Ego La Carpa Aztlan Returns With Updated Political Commentary And Farce

Su Teatro brings the nearly 20 year old signature work, La Carpa Aztlan presents: I Don’t Speak English back to the stage as part of the celebration of the company’s 40th anniversary and as a kick off to their third season at the Denver Civic Theater. Performances will be at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive in Denver through Oct. 14 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee performance on Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $17 for students and seniors over 65, comadre group rates are available. For more information and tickets, call 303-296-0219 or visit

Return Of The Corn Mothers Celebrates Unsung Heroines

After a two year tour of the southwest the Corn Mothers return to Colorado. Metropolitan State University of Denver, Center for Visual Art, in conjunction with the Colorado Folk Arts Council, will host the award-winning, photo-journalist exhibition, Return of the Corn Mothers, Sept.20 through Nov 2. The exhibition features 39 stories and portraits of women from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. These modern unsung heroines are multigenerational, multi-cultural and they are true Wild West women, who create change. Award-winning photographer Todd Pierson spent five years interviewing subjects for the exhibition. Return of the Corn Mothers features 34 women (Corn Mothers) from Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, who have earned the respect and admiration of their community for their activism and creative endeavors. Each woman also recounts in story form her memories of other women who influenced her. The Center for Visual Art is located at 965 Santa Fe Drive in Denver. For more information, call the MSU Denver Center for Visual Art at 303294-5207, E-mail, or visit or

A Pink Tie Affair On October 27 To Fight Against Breast Cancer

Join in the fight and help celebrate the 20th anniversary by attending the annual Denver Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure gala, A Pink Tie Affair. This gala brings together local community leaders, friends and family to support the Komen Denver Affiliate and its work to end breast cancer. Along with the annual Komen Denver Race for the Cure in October, A Pink Tie Affair raises millions of dollars each fall for breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment. A Pink Tie Affair will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, beginning at 6 p.m. at The Sheraton Hotel Denver, 1550 Court Place, in the Plaza Ballroom. Individual tickets are $200 per person or $2,000 for a table of 10. Young professionals 35 and under may purchase tickets for $150 per person. Tickets are available for purchase online at or by calling 303-367-1367.

Seeking Companions For Elders Overcoming Loneliness at End-of-Life

PeopleFirst Hospice seeks compassionate, committed and dependable individuals to provide companionship to hospice patients and their families. By volunteering as few as 1 or 2 hours per month, you can help combat the isolation and loneliness that affects the quality of life of countless people near the end of their lives, simply by listening and providing a comforting presence. Orientation and training provided. To learn more, call PeopleFirst Hospice at 303-546-7921.

Autumn Harvest: A Cocktail Party And Auction

Colorado’s movers and shakers are gathering for Autumn Harvest, a cocktail party and auction, supporting Smart-Girl, Inc. This gourmet celebration will feature wines from Pietra Santa Winery and food from Elevated Catering. The auction will include fun experiences to bid on in addition to restaurants and art. The event will raise awareness and funds for the Denver based non-profit organization that empowers preteen and teen girls to make smart choices and become confident, capable, self-reliant young women. Autumn Harvest will take place Oct. 6, at the historic barn on the property of Katy and Paul Rady, in Cherry Hills Village. To purchase tickets, visit and enter event code: SmartGirl106. For more information, call 303-815-1921 or visit Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


We Are Aurora, Colorado Strong Community Festival Planned

Aurora, Colorado is known as the

By Maisha Fields-Pollard

All American City, not because you can ride through Main Street on a trolley and observe kids jumping rope and

drinking milk shakes at the nearby din-

ner. Rather it a city, that reflects the true

ideals of which our country was estab-

lished upon, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Similar, to the pilgrims,

Original Aurora can be characterized by both immigrants and natural born

Americans whom move to a city, state, and country for a better shot at the

American Dream. In many ways,

Aurora is a typical American suburb:

endless wide streets, lots of single-family residential housing, and the automo-

bile as preferred means of travel. More recently, Aurora has been called everything but, the “All American City,” as a result of the recent movie theater shooting, apartment complex fire, and killing of Witness Javad Marshall Fields and his fiancée Vivian Wolfe. The devastating effects of tragedy and the aftermath have not left the city in ruins, but a beacon of light and hope. The community has been shaken, however there are several treasures and talents amidst the youth, residents and many local heroes who have demonstrated courage and leadership. The city of Aurora is home to one of the finest police departments, medical facilities and first responders in the state of Colorado. Individuals

who never think twice when tragedy strikes, are always first to extend a helping hand, and have infused a never give up spirit into the community. On Saturday, Oct 14, The Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund, in partnership with the Piton Foundation, will host “We are Aurora, Colorado Strong,” a free community festival to honor first responders and recognize students, businesses and non-profits whom are doing their part to build a city where people can live, work, play and heal. Festival participants will have an opportunity to receive free medical and behavioral screenings and services, learn about activities to promote active living and healthy eating, and receive information on after school programs, substance abuse, tutoring and college prep resources in the community. The event will be held at Fletcher Plaza at the MLK Library, 9898 E. Colfax Ave. in Aurora from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The program will begin with a kick off speech from Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry, then State Representative Rhonda Fields, a survivor and victims advocate will make a special presentation to the First Responders of the Movie Theater Shooting. Finally, the festival will conclude with Aurora’s version of – ‘Americas got talent’, a talent competition between high school students attending Aurora Public Schools. Contestants will have an opportunity to compete in four different categories, dance, music, spoken word and art, the winner for each category will win $100, and $500 for their school’s fine art department. Finally, the festival will feature a global food bazaar, highlighting a variety of local ethnic food eateries; a kid zone with a jumper, face painting, and crafts.  Editor’s note: To learn more and to register, visit, Individuals who register will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to King Soopers. For more information, call 720-432-4819.

What is Tooth Decay? By Collis Johnson


ecently, I was asked by one of my patients, what is tooth decay? And what causes it? Tooth decay is a loss of enamel on the tooth due to acid build up caused by plaque and bacteria. I explained to my patient that there are three layers of the tooth: The outer hard protective layer is called enamel. Beneath the enamel is dentin a softer layer and the last layer is the pulp or nerve of the tooth. If bacteria reaches the pulp, infection of the pulp will cause an abscess. An abscess is an infection in the tooth caused by bacteria. This causes the nerve in the tooth to die which then progresses to the gum and bone causing swelling and pain. Dental decay, with pain and infection can alter your quality of life significantly, restricts everyday activities, and becomes costly to treat. Loss of esthetics and mastication function will then affect your overall general health. Dental decay is linked to bacteria pneumonia infection. I told my patient that once acid builds up and eats a hole in your tooth, a cavity is formed. “What if I have a “hole” in my tooth, but it does not hurt,” he asked, hypothetically. If you have” holes” in your tooth or teeth, and if they are left untreated; then they can become an abscess. An abscess as described earlier, leads to swelling of the jaw and other complications. In some cases, if left untreated, it can lead to death.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Diet is important in the maintenance of good oral health. Large amounts of carbohydrates (which are simple sugars), and beverages such as soft drink and sport drinks have a large amount of sugar. For example, a 12 oz. can of soda have 32 grams of sugar, or 10 teaspoonful of sugar as in many high energy drinks. I reminded him that in order to prevent tooth decay, it’s important to check food and drinks label contents. In my last article, I talked about how proper oral care can help you prevent oral diseases, such as tooth decay. It was also important to explain to my patient that fluoride helps strengthen the enamel in teeth which will aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Fluoride is found in many sources, faucet drinking water, toothpaste, and application at your dentist office. Fluoride, using dental flossing, electric toothbrushes, Waterpik, and mouth rinses, along with other preventive aids, if used regularly will help keep plaque and bacteria from building up in between teeth and gums. And remember, tooth decay is an oral disease that can affect your over-all systemic health; however, as I explained to my patient, it is a disease you can prevent and control.  Editor’s note: Dr. Collis Johnson has been practicing dentistry for more than ??? years for the Denver community and is located at 1756 Vine St. He can be reached at 303-322-1177.


Bobbie Jean Williams Morgan

torical re-enactments at various venues. As a past PAresident of the Beckwourth Mountain Club and a board member of Beckwourth Outdoors, she was instrumental in telling the story of Winks and Melba Hamlette, founders of Winks Lodge. She is a co-author of, “Blacks Through the Ayes of Our American Presidents” which describes the impact presidential decisions have had on African-Americans. Jane is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and a host of other community organizations. In addition to her intellectual pursuits, she enjoyed gardening, hiking and playing with her cats. She leaves behind her husband Kenneth D; and their son Jerome D.; aunts Geraldine Jones of Bloomfield and Odessa West of Hartford; cousins William Jones, Jr. of Doylestown, PA, and his family, Candy Jones of Denver, CO, April Jones of Bloomfield; along with a host of other relatives and friends.

February 12, 1942 to September 2, 2012

Bobbie Jean Morgan was born in Junction City, Louisiana. She was the youngest of seven children. She was raised by her mother, Annie Lizzie and step-father Peter Long, in Warren Arkansas where she attended Arkansas Public Schools. Bobbie moved to Denver, Colorado in 1963, where she met her husband John Henry Morgan. Bobbie aAnd John Henry were married in 1970. Together they raised eight children, five boys - Andrew Williams, John Morgan, Jr., Ronald Morgan, and Timmy Morgan; and three girls - Debbie Kay Jay, Patricia Grant (deceased) and Penny Aurora Grant all of Colorado. John Henry Morgan preceded her in death on March 26, 2003. Bobbie Jean is survived by her 15 year old grandson, Mayo James Woodall who she was raising. Bobbie Jean was an active member in Holy Trinity Church of God and Christ in Denver, Colorado for many years. Others left to cherish her memory includes four sisters, Myrtiss Washington, St. Louis, MO; Vera Davis, Warren, Arkansas; Flourine Thomas, Minnesota; her nephew Bobby Doris (Betty) of Aurora, CO, and niece Earnestine Andrews of St. Louis, MO as well as many other nieces and nephews. Her grandchildren include Rodney Sidner, Sireta Jay, Latima Grant, and Anthony Grant. She leaves her dear friend of many years Joann Martin, and a host of other friends and relatives.

Castella Ellen Wedgeworth

January 4, 1930 to August 25, 20112

Castella Ellen Price was born January 4, 1930 in Fame, Oklahoma to Fred and Alice Price along with brothers Jarone, Pearl and Andrew and sisters Nellie, Anna Marie and Ruth. At the age of nine, they family moved to Eufaula, Oklahoma. Nicknamed “Tiny” because of her small frame, Castella was a hard worker and worked on the farm in the cotton fields with her Papa, Mother, Jarone, and Anna Marie. Castella started playing basketball as a forward when she was 15. In 1947, the family moved to Denver where she attended Manual High School, graduating in 1948. On July 23, 1948, Castella united in holy matrimony to Walter Wedgeworth Sr. and later had six children, Timothy, Danny, Clifford, Debra, Walter Jr. and Elbra. She was a devoted wife and mother. Castella was a woman of faith and believed in the Lord. She was a member of Scott United Methodist Church. Castella Ellen Wedgeworth departed this life on August 25, 2012 in Denver, CO. Those left to cherish her sweet memory are Walter Wedgeworth Sr. of Denver, her children Timothy Wedgeworth of Denver; Danny (Brenda) Wedgeworth, of Thornton; Clifford Wedgeworth, of Lakewood; Debra (James) Kelly, of Denver; Walter (Gwen) Wedgeworth Jr. of Denver; and Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth, of Denver; three sisters, Nellie Moore of Las Vegas; Anna Marie Swain of Las Vegas; and Ruth (Reverend Albert) Campbell of Philadelphia; sister-in-law, Helen Price of Diamond Bar, CA and a host of other family, church family and friends.

Sylvester Vernell Johnson

December 1, 1959 to August 30, 2012

Sylvester V. Johnson was born on December 1, 1959, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the third of four children born to Clara Lee (Johnson) Buchanan, who along with his only sister, Gertrude Wilson, preceded him in death. Sylvester was baptized at St. Marks Catholic Church where he attended parochial school. After graduating from Mercy High school in 1978 he began his life journey. Sly referred to himself as a “third generation” hair stylist following in the professional footsteps of his mother and grandmother. He graduated from the Bertha’s School of Cosmetology and shortly after moved to Denver, Colorado where he diligently perfected his skills and built a loyal and substantial customer base. Sly lived one of his dreams to own and operate his own salon, Sly’s Salon. He personally serviced famous people including Rosa Parks, Gayle King, Dave Chappelle, Shannon Sharpe of the Denver Broncos, and most recently our First Lady Michelle Obama. He hosted an annual breakfast for many years at his salon for anyone who wanted to eat before the MLK March. His generosity expanded to his annual “cuta-thon” providing free haircuts to the homeless in downtown Denver. Sylvester is survived by his three sons Sylvester Jr., Samson and Savion, and his two brothers Wendell Buchanan and Rodney Johnson (Debra Johnson). Also left to cherish his memories are his three aunts Mary Ann Bush, Darlene Gillespie and Dorothy Johnson, and one uncle, Jessie Johnson. Sylvester is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, and his companion Jill Kelley. The joy of Sly’s life was his three sons and nothing could bring out his smile more than those boys. They loved working at the salon in the summer alongside their father.

Soror Charolette Stokes Ware

August 18, 1957 to August 9, 2012

Charolette Ann Stokes was born August 18, 1957 in Tyler, Texas to Cleaster Stokes and the late Walter Ray Guthrie, Sr. She received a B.A. degree in Sociology and Education form the University of California at San Diego in May 1979, and later obtained a MBA Degree with honors from the University of Denver in 1998. Charolette worked for several years at IBM as a Certified Senior Project Manager. Charolette became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1977 at the University of California at San Diego. She was also a Charter Member of the Nu Upsilon Citywide Undergraduate Chapter, which she helped charter with her sister Robbie Stokes Butler and two of her closest friends. On August 18, 1984 Charolette married Kent D. Ware, Sr. and moved to Denver and became a member of the Denver Alumnae Chapter. She was especially dedicated to the ACT Preparatory Committee and was key to building the program into what it is today. Charlotte received the Torch of Excellence Award in 2009 for her service to the chapter. Charlotte was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star and as a strong advocate for the youth, elderly, and homeless, she established a non-profit organization in 2009, Grace, Inc. This organization has honored over 150 individuals age70 and older for their life achievements. She is survived by her husband of 28 years Kent D. Ware, Sr., five children, her parents Cleaster and Leroy Shigg, two brothers, three sisters, seven grandchildren, and a host of relatives, many Sorors and friends.

M. Jane Taylor

1951 to September 14, 2012

M. Jane Taylor (nee Mattie Jane Dolphy), 61, ended her journey in this life, Friday, September 14, 2012, at the Hospice Care Center of Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Born in Suffield and daughter of the late Caleb S. and the late Lavinia J. Dolphy (Jones), she grew up in Bloomfield, and spent 42 years of her life living in various suburbs of Greater Hartford. She lived in Broomfield, CO for the past 19 years. Jane was a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BA in Education and a MA in curriculum and supervision. She has taught children from preschool to high school. It was through Jane’s classroom experiences that she discovered the need to develop historical interpretation techniques to enrich her student’s understanding of history. When she moved to Colorado in 1993, her research led her to like-minded friends, to publically sharing the stories of people from the early 1800’s to the early 1900’s. She and others presented a number of his-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2012


Meles Zenawi: Black Leadership At Its Finest

Editor: My friends and I often debate what would change the African landscape. We criticize government leaders, blame westerners for exploiting natural resources and debate the merits of Chinese investment. We do this, of course, sipping $4 lattes in air-conditioned coffee shops in the U.S. In the trenches are leaders such as Ethiopiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. His death was announced last month although details of his illness are still sparse. During his reign, Ethiopia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a nonoil producing country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; experienced double-digit economic expansion. Zenawi re â&#x20AC;&#x201C; claimed the Nile for Ethiopians in spite of Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intimidation and began building a dam that will be the largest hydro-electric power plant in Africa. Not only will The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam electrify the nation, it will export to energy-hungry African countries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including Egypt to boot. Growth is booming in the capital city of Addis Ababa where government banks offer generous financing meant to attract investment from the Diaspora. Expats were recently given acres of land throughout the country on the condition they begin immediate development. Highways and roads now zigzag the country, strengthening security and allowing for the movement of goods and people. Universities were built and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights expanded


with the establishment of the first Ministry of Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Affairs. They overhauled legislation on rape and female genital mutilation. Zenawi fought to reduce foreign aid dependence and he changed the image of impoverished, skeleton-thin Ethiopians, which brought shame to my generation as children in my Colorado grade school taunted us for what they saw on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Feed the Childrenâ&#x20AC;? television marathons. Zenawi advocated for the establishment of the African Union in Ethiopia. He was the peace broker between Sudan and South Sudan; He was a brother to the Muslim and Christian counterparts in a dangerous East African region. Zenawi was certainly imperfect. He jailed opposition party leaders, was criticized for not running a true democracy and killed violent protestors in 2005 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to which The West turned a blind eye. He was, after all, an ally in the fight against terror. He often reflected on his mistakes in interviews with foreign reporters. He was willing to be human and show weakness. Talking to Alex Perry at Time Magazine, Zenawi was asked what keeps him awake at night. His response: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the fear that the light which is beginning to flicker, the light of a renewal, an Ethiopian renaissance, that this light might be dimmed by some bloody mistake by someone, somewhere. This (renaissance) is still fragile; a few shoots, (which) may need time to be more robust. At the moment, it is fear born out of hope that this new millennium will be as good as the first one and not as bad as the second one.â&#x20AC;? Zenawi should be criticized for his wrongs. But he should be praised for representing a rare form of Black leadership. The medical school dropoutturned guerrilla fighter-turned prime minister never sold out his people for personal gain. Zenawi had no offshore bank accounts, private jets and coastal mansions in African and European nations


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Denver Urban Spectrum October 2012 Issue