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Volume 28 Number 5

September 2014

Racing to Advance Our Future Colorado Black Round Table Sets Agenda for Much Needed Community Involvement‌4 Photo by Lorenzo Dawkins

ON EXHIBIT September 20–January 4

A Project of American Anthropological Association

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


September 2014

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Wanda James Theo E. J. Wilson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Kiana English, USYF Angelia D. McGowan Tanya Ishikawa ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris




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

“We ask for nothing that is not right, and herein lies the great power of our demand.” – Paul Robeson

People are fighting for their rights, any and every way they know how – across the globe, in the United States, in Ferguson, in Denver, in ...well, you get the point. Our cover story this month looks at the Colorado Black Round Table’s response to the Rocky Mountain PBS I-News Network 2013 report, "Losing Ground." The report details how African Americans and Latinos are losing ground on gains made in various areas through battles fought decades ago in any every way they knew how. Just as importantly, this article addresses how to gain that ground back, and then some, for future generations at a summit scheduled Sept. 27 at Manual High School. We also highight events slated for National Hispanic Heritage Month, including Su Teatro’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Enrique’s Journey” and the second annual Americas Latino Eco Festival, the nation’s largest multicultural environmental gathering hosted by Latino Americans. It will take place in Boulder and Denver. In this issue, as we close out summer, we'll take a look back at the creative efforts of the Colorado Black Collaborative to help African Americans be more in tune with their health needs. Theo Wilson offers his perspecitve on the death of Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson and what he feels is the new “Black holocaust.” The Denver Urban Spectrum recognizes new columnist Wanda James for winning a Scribes in Excellence (SIE) award in the print-series category from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists at its annual banquet on Aug. 8 for her thought-provating column, “Blowing Smoke.” I also received a SIE award by CABJ that night for penning the story on the Morrisons – George Jr. and his wife Marjorie. My article, "My Dad: Denver's Godfather of Jazz" tied for first place in the print news feature category with Joanne Davidson's "Social Rights Activists" article. I would personally like to thank the Morrison family for sharing their story and moments of a purpose-filled life with me.


CAAH Appreciative For Support

Americans deal with depression. The statistics differ from sources but we can safely say most Americans have been depressed a few times during life. Many are never treated while others sadly become addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs and even turn to illegal drugs to cope with their mental battles. Robin Williams had it all, it seemed. Something was missing and even with clinical help he couldn’t eliminate the internal monster that dogged him to his unfortunate ending. Who am I to spout out a few answers in lieu of one who had accomplished so much and was loved by so many? My rambling feeble thoughts are insignificant but I have to wonder some of the following: Did he have two or three people in his life that he could really talk to? Most people don’t. Had his life become void of challenge? Maybe the lack of new goals and new ambitions dulled the sound of the morning trumpet that beckons us to spring from our beds with energy. Further, we know that he was dealing with his health; it is commonly reported that depression surrounds heart surgeries. He had gone through an aortic valve replacement, a very serious surgery. For all of us who have known at least a few depressing moments in life, I would offer the following: Try to have one or two people that you can talk to about anything. Reinvent yourself from time to time and do something different. Get out of the house as much as possible. Limit your daily media including TV, social media etc. Try to get daily exercise. Physical work and activity clears some of the mental cobwebs. And, connect with your

Editor: The Center for African American Health’s annual Destination Health Walk/Run/Learn event was a big success thanks to your support. More than 700 walkers, runners and volunteers of all ages participated in the event on July 26 at the pavilion in Denver City Park. New Hope Baptist Church is the new home for the traveling trophy awarded to the largest church congregation team. Other team winners included Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated (civic/social), Hope Center (school) and 50/50 Sport Performance (corporate). A special thank you to our outstanding event steering committee cochaired by Allegra “Happy” Haynes and Rev. Rodney Perry; Rep. Rhonda Fields, our honorary event chair; the center’s dedicated board chairman, Haven Moses; the Mary Louise Lee Band, and our generous sponsors. Proceeds from Destination Health go to support the programs and services the center provides throughout the metro Denver area.

Center for African American Health Board and Staff - Denver

America’s Depression, Robin Williams, Millions More

Editor: Robin Williams made us laugh but we’re not laughing now as we mourn his suicidal death. His tragic ending has placed a national spotlight on the seriousness of depression. In the midst of this heart wrenching tragedy maybe good will come as people may openly discuss their daily demons of clinical despair. We know that millions of

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor

Creator. Look up for a source of help and strength that nothing or no one else can give.

Glenn Mollette Newburgh, IN

Denver Police Department Job Well Done

Editor: Thursday afternoon on August 14, at the very moment I was heading downtown to participate in a national vigil commemorating the life of Michael Brown, the young unarmed Black man shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, I received a call regarding a simultaneous gathering in northeast Denver involving the police. A foot-chase through the Holly Square community designated “safe zone” had just occurred between an officer and a young Black man fleeing with a gun. As a lifelong resident of the Holly neighborhood, an active participant of summer safety efforts and the person at the center of the heated debate concerning concrete barricades being placed at 33rd and Hudson as a crime prevention method, without second thought, I drove straight for Holly Square and the barricades. Holly Square was full of patrol cars, an ambulance and a growing crowd of spectators. A gun was lying on the ground across from the barricades and a few feet away from where a few days earlier I held a press conference along with other community leaders as we prepared to remove the barricades and implement more desirable Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) measures. I stood in the rain staring at the gun with a feeling of relief and Continued on page 30

Gaining Ground by Being Involved By Charles Emmons

Colorado is a wonderful state and a beautiful place to live and raise a family… for most. Unfortunately, there are families that are not full participants in this idyllic vision. They are struggling to survive. The advances made in the Denver metro area for equality and a better life were hard fought by individuals who cared deeply about making a better living for their families. They knew in the end it would strengthen their communities. Blacks live all over the metro area now, but it was not always so. The right to buy and live in housing beyond York Street, then Colorado Boulevard and in Park Hill was hard fought. Equality in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) was fought for in the Keyes case that went before the Supreme Court. These battles, fought in the 60s and 70s, benefited the community and progressively opened the doors to opportunities. But in February 2013, a Rocky Mountain PBS I-News team presentation called “Losing Ground” was circulating throughout the city at numerous libraries. The presentation revealed the disparities in Colorado’s Black and Latino communities in the areas of education, economic development, health and wellness, and criminal justice. Dr. Sharon Bailey, director of policy and research for the Office of the Auditor for the City and County of Denver, happened to attend the presentation given at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library in the historic Five Points Business District. The data presented was unsettling to her as a community leader, policy maker and former DPS board member (1989-95). The report revealed, according to 2010 data, an 86 percent high school graduation rate for Black students in Colorado compared to 95 percent for whites, and that five percent of African American males were incarcerated. Bailey approached former Colorado lawmakers, Regis Groff and

Gloria Tanner says. “But we Dr.Sharon Bailey Regis Groff Gloria Tanner and the Colorado have not been able Black Roundtable, and they began to put that to use [in a way] that has holding monthly community meetings been productive for our community.” to reveal and discuss the findings. The first meeting was in March Reason for Desperation 2013, but as their audiences grew, they “When it comes to some of the most knew a larger conversation was neces- important measures of social progress – sary. The Losing Ground Summit was income, poverty, education and home held September 2013 at Manual High ownership —- the gaps between minorities School with 500 attendees. and whites in Colorado are worse now Government officials, political leaders than they were before the civil rights and members of the community conmovement.” vened to discuss what had happened Losing Ground Report (2013) to the progress made and what could Homeownership where many be done to get back on track. Americans count much of their wealth The conversation continues at the is just at 40 percent for African second summit being held this month on Sept. 27 at Manual High School. This Americans, a one percent increase over levels in 1960. While many were time the focus is related to the Losing victims of predatory lending and the Ground Rocky Mountain PBS- I-News Great Recession in 2008, Dr. Bailey Team report, “Gaining Ground in the and the group of leaders in their recBlack Community.” The community ommendations suggest financial literameeting is part of a summit weekend of cy be taught at all different levels in activities that have the support of leadthe community, including the schools. ing organizations in the African The time to be armed with this knowlAmerican community. edge is not when you are desperate. The CBRT Gaining Ground in the But the I-News report reveals that Black Community Summit Weekend there may be reason for desperation. is sponsored in conjunction with the The chances of developing a middle Colorado Black Women for Political class of professionals and leaders are Action, Greater Metro Denver significantly reduced with key memMinisterial Alliance, Colorado Black bers of the community unavailable. Leadership Caucus, NAACP, Urban For example, one out of 20 African League, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, American males was incarcerated in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and the Colorado in 2010. This high incarceraNational Council of Negro Women. tion rate is traced back to drug arrests, The discussion will revolve around which have had a tremendous impact the report authored by Dr. Bailey for on African American communities. the Colorado Black Roundtable after With any felony, it is difficult if not last year’s meeting. “We have the impossible to find work, vote and data; we’ve examined the issues now become productive citizens. what do we do about it. This is the So, what has been the response to gaining ground piece,” she says. these disparities? On the criminal jusA Princeton University graduate tice front Dr. Bailey says policy makwith a doctorate in public administraers are re-considering sentencing laws tion from the University of Colorado, Dr. Bailey believes that by marshalling for drug offenses. On the economic front representatives from the Small the collective brain power in the comBusiness Administration, City of munity that resolutions can be develDenver, RTD and the State of oped to address disparity issues. Colorado have come to the monthly “We know we have the skills, have community meetings held at the the knowledge and the talent,” she Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Hiawatha Davis Jr. Recreation Center to discuss minority-contracting opportunities. In the education arena, she reports there is a continuing dialogue with DPS about tracking achievement and engaging African American students in Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) education programs. Dr. Bailey says they have increased the two-way communication with DPS and also focused on tracking minority contracts with the district. The dialogue has produced a change in policies relative to minority contracting. “We even got specific with picky things like asking them to put Black faces on their marketing materials,” she says. Bailey’s Recommendations The report, prepared by Dr. Bailey made specific recommendations in disparity areas and focused on what churches and community organizations can do as well as individuals and leaders and elected officials. One of the recommendations under education is to increase the number of minority teachers and professors throughout all levels of education. For health and wellness, a recommendation is to talk to neighbors and organize a healthy living committee; create awareness of the health status of your community, coordinate outdoor activities, start a walking group and demand storeowners stock fresh produce. Under the criminal justice umbrella, she recommends create and strengthening collaborations between civic and faith-based organizations to increase the number of effective community-based after school and weekend youth life skills development. A recommendation under economic opportunity is to expand programs that provide financial literacy for community members of all ages, even making it a requirement for high school graduation. These daunting issues will require the collaboration of everyone and longterm sustainable solutions. Dr. Bailey says that the goal is to pull organizations together and to “network, communicate and collaborate in a manner that hasn’t been done before.” Continued on page 6

Freezing The Summer Melt T

By Congresswoman Diana DeGette

his is the time of year when many high school graduates are agonizing over their college class schedule, or trying to find their way around a new campus. Others are starting technical training so they can get certified in a field and begin their careers. But far too many recent high schools graduates won’t make it to their new programs this fall – despite having enrollment, financial aid, and other key details prepared. School administrators describe this problem as the “summer melt,” and it is keeping many young people in our community – especially in our low-income and minority communities – from reaching their full potential. Young people are caught up in the summer melt for many reasons. Some kids may be the first generation in their family to attend college; others experience pressure from friends who aren’t going to college, while others still didn’t have someone to help them make sure their paperwork needed to enroll and file for financial aid is completely ready. Meanwhile, studies consistently show that education beyond high school is critical to a successful career. This is especially the case for the Millennial generation, who are feeling the effects of the recent Great Recession even more than other age groups. We cannot afford to lose these kids. Their potential is too great, and a missed opportunity at higher education can haunt them throughout their working years. Our community will benefit if everyone can reach their full potential and make Colorado even more vibrant. Just as we all stand to benefit from young people’s success, everyone shares an obligation to help them along the way. High school graduates who may be vulnerable to the summer melt phenomenon need all of our attention, encouragement, and support. From educators to employers, community leaders to ordinary citizens, we all have a role to play. In Congress, I’m working to try to keep the cost of college down by pushing for a strong PELL grant program and low student loan interest rates. I am also supporting legislation to refinance all current student loan rates to the minimum level possible, saving students and young workers

an astonishing $70 billion. I will also be convening a number of groups that work with students to learn what more can be done. I hope you can join this effort in several ways: volunteer to mentor a student who doesn’t have a role model who has attended college; help a local kid with his or her financial aid packet; talk to students regularly about their needs or concerns; or connect a college student you know with a high schooler who could use a peer mentor. Together we can help every kid realize their dreams.  Editor’s note: Rep. Diana DeGette represents Colorado’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Gaining Ground

Continued from page 4 Partnering With A Purpose She has the expectation that higher education and academia will play a larger role in continuing to uncover the problems in the community. She believes it is essential that researchers and administrators on each Colorado campus become acquainted, exchange contact information and that each one knows what the other is doing. Dr. Bailey would also like to see greater visibility of these academics in the community in evaluating problems. “The process of re-building and refocusing on these disparities is more effective. We don’t have to guess about them,” she says. She notes that the African American Policy Institute at the University of Denver, developed by Peter Groff, was certainly viable, and that there have been talks with DU about developing that resource again under the Colorado Black Round Table umbrella. With knowledge of who is on what campus, parents and students will have ready aids to contact as they navigate the education pipeline preparing for college and beyond. “Students shouldn’t get where they are going by accident,” says Dr. Bailey, whose passion is facilitating better engagement

and solutions to improve the educational pipeline from pre-school to graduate school. With school choice and standardized testing, educating your child has become much more complicated, leaving many African Americans left out, because they are not savvy in understanding how to make the best choices for their children. The Colorado Black Round Table is partnering with Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Urban League of Metropolitan on a STEM education program and a website clearinghouse for parents to better navigate the education system more proficiently. “Our students are capable and that is where our focus should shift. We are not losing ground. We are disconnected,” says Moses Brewer, interim president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan League. After years of working in the community, as a corporate executive in the beverage industry, and through the various iterations of Coors, he understands that collaboration is key. “You create and develop strategy based upon ‘what do we want to accomplish?’ ” Rocky Mountain PBS I-News films the summits and posts the videos online and Dr. Bailey says that the link has been sent out to about four to five

thousand people. This allows people to be engaged even when they are not present. Each member of the Colorado State Legislature has been given a copy and Dr. Bailey commented that it is often used by minority caucuses in shaping arguments and proposing legislation. The recent shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is an indicator that much work is required to keep African American communities from being marginalized. This requires the effort of the broader community as well. In the last session of the summit on Saturday political candidates for office from both parties have been invited to address one question…”How will you use your office and influence to assist the Black community in the disparity areas?” Dr. Bailey says, “The torch is going to need to be passed. Young people are eager for something to do, and we can give that to them as well as learn from them. This cannot be the old folk sitting around talking about the past and wishing for a better future.” However, she recognizes that past leaders have played an integral role in bringing us to where we are, and this should not be lost. “We have not been able to use the brain power of the folks at our disposal, the wisdom of

those who have already put in the time…the Webbs, the Groffs, the Tanners.” Summit Schedule On Friday a reception will be held to honor all former and current Colorado legislators, with a special salute to former state Senator, the Honorable Regis F. Groff. On Saturday at 9 a.m., the summit begins with a discussion about race in the 21st century, followed by a discussion of educating Black students and strengthening the educational pipeline. After the lunch break, the summit sponsors will be recognized and community service awards will be given to Lu Vason, Syl Morgan-Smith, Wallace Yvonne Toilette, and Norman Harris, Jr. In the afternoon, workgroups will convene to address each of the four disparity areas — education, criminal justice, health, and economic development. The I-News Team will provide a Losing Ground update also later in the afternoon. The Summit community meeting will adjourn at 6 pm. “There is plenty of work to be done,” Dr. Bailey says. “This is the building capacity piece, and we want the workgroups to develop a direction, collaborating and working beyond the summit. 

We are working hard to keep our promises to you. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Re Elect Working to Connect OUR Diverse Communities in District 9 Former Mayor Wellington Webb Says “Three years ago, I endorsed a young man who I thought would bring new young leadership and compassion to the most diverse district in the city. He has undertaken the tough issues and not ducked any controversial topics. He has brought new development and sense of community to the entire district with residents feeling that everyone counts. I am proud of the job he is doing as our councilman.” Facebook/CouncilmanAlbusBrooks Twitter@AlbusBrooksD8 Paid for by Albus Brooks for Denver. Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Sponsored & Co-Sponsored Numerous Events in Northeast Denver D Celena Hollis Memorial D Annual King M. Trimble., Esq. Tea & Roses Senior Social D Annual Hiawatha Davis Jr. Senior Luncheon D Safe Summer Safe Holly Park Hill Festival D Imagin8 Neighborhood Tour: My office embarked on a strategic visioning tour, bringing every neighborhood together to share ideas about challenges and opportunities in our district.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT D Established Welton in Five Points as an Urban Renewal Area D Partnered with the Office of Economic Development (OED) for the Welton Street Design Challenge D Changed the name from Welton Street Cultural Historic District to the Five Points Historic Cultural District (Official in the fall of 2014) D Future development of the Central Denver Recreation Center D Grocery stores working to eliminate the food deserts in NE Denver: Sprouts Farmers Market, Colfax & Garfield, and Walgreens, 35th & Colorado Blvd.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT D Partnered with OED to provide intensive training to over 70 young men & women of color who live in District 8 and have been involved in the justice system. D Upon completing the training, the young adults attended a job fair. Over 40 employers participated: 550 job opportunities were available.

What an

alarming title. You

Theo E. J. Wilson

think it’s too

extreme? Then

answer me this:

What do you do with 45 million

obsolete African people in America? What do you do when the jobs they once did are now handled by

machines or migrant workers? What happens when outsourcing is more profitable than ‘Made in America?’

What do you do with people who are no longer necessary for the operation of the America’s global money

machine? Probably the same thing

you do with the evidence from any

crime: you get rid of it. We are the evi-

dence of the biggest get-rich-quick

scheme in world history, which was

the transatlantic slave trade. Now, this extermination would have to be gradual since we contribute 1.1 trillion dollars to the American economy. It’s best to pick off the poorest people first, since they contribute the least money to the aforementioned figure. Then, find new ways to profit from them outside of consumer society, perhaps a corporate prison structure to exploit their captive labor. Concentrate the police force up to six times more in their neighborhoods in order to increase the captures for said corporate prison structure. Cultivate a new class of poor people to replace them in the American socio-economic order. Pit African people against the growing Brown population, who are willing to do near slave-labor jobs abandoned by Blacks decades ago. Next, you would beef-up the police force in every city. Recruit adrenalinejunky soldiers to your police force, fresh off of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give them surplus military supplies to prepare for any armed conflict that may result from your violent oppression of the people. Fix the legal system in order to remove consequences for any officer that commits murder in the line of duty. Finally, have an upper class of Blacks who collaborate with the program. Make them stakeholders and beneficiaries of the status quo. Make it uncomfortable and inconvenient to speak out on behalf of their brethren being nakedly and unquestionably brutalized. You cannot have a takeover without an inside man, so why not use the elite? Whether it is an

Targeted for Extermination:


African slave trader, government official, a financial investor, or a good ol’ fashioned stool pigeon, Black people have a history of collaborating with their oppressor for short-term personal gain at the expense of the rest of us. I’m sure W.E.B. DuBois is rolling in his grave with the wholesale buyout of his “Talented Tenth.” Now all you would need in an inciting incident. Enter: The Shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A little over a year after the acquittal of George Zimmerman over the killing of Trayvon Martin, civil unrest has set in. A cop shooting a surrendering, college-bound teenager six times in broad daylight, then leaving his body in the street for four hours is a pretty good recipe for rebellion. Who knows how long it will last? No one can be sure, but what is for certain: The police state was exposed for the creeping monster that it is. From the Bearcat armored vehicles, to the militarized police, and the snipers aimed at reporters from News Week, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and Info Wars, the beast is on the loose. The disregard for Black life is painfully apparent. Having a sitting Black president does not reverse the trend of the devaluing of Black bodies. Sadly, we have been willing participants in this devaluation. The gang warfare and drug crimes plaguing our communities for the last three decades have opened a dark pathway for our oppressor. In the same way it is easy to leave dirt while visiting an unclean home, why would ‘they’ value our lives if we don’t? Why would they respect our lives if every single year, Black people murder more Black people than 50 years of the KKK? Why would gentrification respect your community when you have defaulted

to graffiti and bullet holes as decoration? Selfhate crimes seem to have escalated the higher some of us climb in the American social strata. And now, the game might finally be up. Think about it. What road haven’t we as a people traveled in search of our freedom? We have tried the Booker T. Washington approach to self-reliance. We have tried to repatriate our homeland with Marcus Garvey. We fought foreign tyrants and America’s enemies with the Tuskegee Airmen. We have tried to build a nation within a nation with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. We fought the power tooth-and-nail with Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers. We have tried nonviolent coexistence with Dr. Martin Luther King. We followed Bill Cosby into the middle class, chased Oprah and Eddie Murphy to financial titan-hood. We produce Michael Jackson and Jay-Z, chasing the glitter of stardom and spotlight. And now we’ve even spent the last six years in the White House with Barack and Michelle. What has it gotten us? Obama’s home town of Chicago is bathed in the blood of our children, and Eric Garner is choked to death by the NYPD. We still only own half of one percent of America’s wealth, the same as we did in the year 1850, according to the research of Dr. Claude Anderson. We are economically castrated and woefully unemployed in every major U.S. metropolitan area. No major Black corporations to employ in masse, and no Black military force protects Ferguson, or any of the rest of us. You tell me if you think this is a recipe for survival, let alone success. People forget, Hitler didn’t just up and throw the Jews in the ovens overnight. It was a gradual and methodical devaluation of their lives

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


and a deconstruction of their influence over German affairs. When the crap finally hit the fan in Nazi Germany, people were still in denial about what was happening. The same is true with America’s extermination of the indigenous peoples of America. You had to make them unnecessary before you could massacre them. There were micro-aggressions before macroaggressions. Remember, both the Jews and the Natives is a holy people in their own right, so don’t count on any amount of prayer or special relationship with God to save you from this onslaught. If the chosen people’ could get it, what’s stopping destruction from coming to you? “But, wouldn’t the United Nations, NATO, or some international body step in before that could happen?” Don’t count on it. They haven’t done anything yet. The U.S. calls the shots at the United Nations, and NATO is basically the United States. There is no African nation with the might to challenge this machine, and China and Russia talk a good game, but would not dare overstep their boundaries on our behalf. Our only hope is in ourselves. With social media and YouTube, we could force the hand our local governments to step in, especially if their voting block is under quarantine. Standing courageously against corrupt policing and in non-compliance with corrupt directives could render them impotent against the power of the people, unified. Armed resistance (yes, a Thomas Jefferson rebellion) may be necessary if human life is reduced to cannon fodder by the police state. It’s goin’ down, folks, no more games. Ferguson, Missouri has unmasked the reality of the New World Order. It is upon you. You have a purpose, and it is freedom, so be willing to fight for it. If not for you, then fight for the children. History is being made right now, so be on the right side of it. What a glorious time to be alive! 

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Five Points Now Home To Newly Named


Denver’s Five Points neighbor-

Left to right: Councilman Albus Brooks, Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth, Wilma J. Webb and Wellington E. Webb. Inset (left): Rep. Ed Perlmutter; (right) Mayor Michael B. Hancock Photos by Lens of Ansar

Representative for District 8, elected Council President Pro-Tem from 2002 hood was the place to be for the recent to 2003, and Council President from dedication of the Elbra M. 2003 to 2005. She was a leading force Wedgeworth Municipal in Denver’s bid to secure the historic Building. With Councilman Albus 2008 Democratic National Convention where she served as the president and Brooks serving as the dedication’s chair of the Convention Host master of ceremony, the event drew Committee. In 2008, she was elected an impressive roster of current as the president of the Denver and former elected officials. Union Station Project Authority Those providing remarks Board of Directors, and is the immeincluded Congressman Ed diate past president for the Downtown Denver Partnership Perlmutter (CO-07), Mayor Board. In 2007, she was hired as the Michael B. Hancock, Five Points Chief Government and Community Business District’s Tracy Relations Officer for the Denver Winchester and the Governor’s Chief Health and Hospital Authority, where of Staff Roxanne White, who read a she is responsible for hospital policy proclamation from Gov. matters on the local, state and federal level John Hickenlooper. “Today, the Five Points honors one of their own, the Honorable Elbra M. Wedgeworth, an iconic servant-leader in the City of Denver. The naming of and also for community “This is a wellthe Five Points Community Center at 2855 Tremont Place to the Elbra M. Wedgeworth Municipal Building will forever leave an indelible mark of the outreach initiatives. deserved honor for a work she has done in this neighborhood. We are happy to honor and congratulate Elbra on her accomplishments.” Wedgeworth received a great friend and tremenCouncilman Albus Brooks (District 8) bachelor of arts degree dous leader,” said Rep. in sociology/ anthroEd Perlmutter. “Elbra is “Elbra Wedgeworth is a true leader who has dedicated her life to public service. She is relentless in her pursuit to build a great city, transform peopology from the one of Denver’s greatest ple’s lives for the better, and mentor future leaders. She is a collaborator, a visionary and an implementer and her impact is evident in everything from housing and urban planning, to economic development and public policy. She has been a gift to the city and this building dedication is one University of Redlands assets and I know I join way we can ensure her legacy is embedded into the history of Denver.” in Redlands, California. with many when I say Tami Door - Downtown Denver Partnership “I am very humbled congratulations and by this honor,” said thank you for your long “I am very pleased that Elbra is being honored today. As a valued member of our executive staff, we are grateful for her expertise and tireless work Wedgeworth. “I am so lasting contribution to on behalf of our patients and our community.” honored to be acknowlour community.” Dr. Art Gonzalez, Denver Health edged for my life’s Former District 8 work of public service Councilwoman Elbra support from community leaders and began her public service career with to the city and county of Denver and Wedgeworth, who grew up in Curtis organizations. the City and County of Denver in 1989 the state of Colorado.” Park just blocks away from the newly “There is not a more deserving and has the unique distinction of The building, formerly a Denver named building, was the unanimous individual than Elbra Wedgeworth,” being the only person (male or female) Human Services office, is home to a choice for the naming of the building said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “She in recent memory to serve in all three Denver Motor Vehicle Division branch by City Council. Today’s building has given tirelessly to help realize the branches of city government in and administrative offices, and condedication was the culmination of a vision for our great city and this tribDenver, including: City Council, tains the neighborhood office for formal citywide renaming process that ute is a fantastic way to mark her conCityAuditor’s Office and the Mayor’s Council District 8 and Councilman involved the collection of close to 650 tribution and celebrate her legacy.” Office. In December 1999, she was Albus Brooks.  signatures and more than 20 letters of The Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth elected as the City Council

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Call today for a free consultation! Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Exploring issues of CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY COMMUNITY Presented by CONVERSATIONS Facing History and Ourselves and The Allstate Foundation in partnership with History Colorado and RACE: Are We So Different?

America’s Story: A Community Conversation with Award-Winning Journalist Maria Hinojosa Monday, September 22, 2014, 7:00 PM History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Denver For 25 years, award-winning news correspondent and journalist Maria Hinojosa has covered America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. This Community Conversation is the premiere event for RACE: Are We So Different?, a new exhibit at the History Colorado Center. Seating is limited. To register, visit communityconversations or call (303) 316-4848 x221. As part of Facing History’s national series of Community Conversations, this event is free and open to the public. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation generously provided by DPS Multicultural Language & Outreach Services. RACE: Are We So Different? will be at the History Colorado Center, September 20, 2014 through January 4, 2015. For more information on the exhibit, additional program opportunities exploring the history and science of race, and community memberships please visit

Presented by:

This Community Conversation is presented in partnership with:

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Circle of Latina Leadership, City Year Denver, Colorado African Organization, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), Colorado Providers for Integration Network (CPIN), Colorado Refugee Services Program | Colorado Department of Human Services, Denver Kids, Inc., Denver Urban Spectrum, Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Mile High United Way, Second Tuesday Race Forum, The Conflict Center, Welcoming Colorado, Young Education Professionals (YEP) | Colorado

RACE: Are We So Different? To Open at History Colorado Center

Exhibition Explores the Volatile Topic of Race in America

The History Colorado Center will

open an exhibition that confronts the issue of race and racism in the United States. RACE: Are We So Different encourages museum visitors to explore the science, history and everyday impact of race. The exhibition opens Sept. 20 and runs through Jan. 4, 2015. RACE also coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month. Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, RACE is the first exhibition that tells the stories of race from biological, cultural and historical points of view. AARP, The Denver Foundation, and Facing History and Ourselves support this unprecedented exhibit. “This is an amazing exhibition that tackles an issue that is vitally important to our community and our country,” said Ed Nichols, CEO of History Colorado. “It offers a powerful look at race and racism, and challenges visitors to talk about the issue and their own experiences. We’re using this exhibit to create a broader platform to engage our community. We want to open up dialogue and stimulate thought-provoking programming that extends well beyond the exhibit.” History Colorado is planning a variety of programs, including a professional development series, workshops for teachers, parents and students, and networking events. The museum has launched an extensive community partners program, engag-

Photos courtesy of the American Anthropological Association and the Science Museum of Minnesota

ing nearly 100 multicultural organizations to be part of the conversation and participate throughout the exhibit’s stay at History Colorado, and beyond. “Our teams are working to help our community partners activate their networks, neighbors, colleagues, friends and families in this extremely complex, controversial and vital discussion – especially today, when many people feel that we live in a post-racial society,” says donnie l. betts, education liaison at History Colorado. For families, there will be a series of workshops about the importance of talking to children about race. “With the growth of interracial unions, multiracial and LGBT families, the complexity of a conversation about race and diversity enlarges,” says betts. “Let’s not fear the conversation, let’s love the conversation.” Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, who has covered America’s untold stories and unsung heroes, will lead a community conversation on Sept. 22 at the History Colorado Center. Hinojosa will explore issues of identity, and how individual experiences define our nation’s “race” story. Register at A six-month series called “FWD,” developed and curated by betts, will explore the history and science of race. What does race and identity mean for our future? How do we move forward in our nation to heal the open sore of racism? Each evening will feature film clips, music, a panel, a facilitator and honest audience dialogue in a safe environment. The Oct. 14 FWD program features What Does the Science Say? “Though there is no biological difference between races of people, race as a concept is very real,” says betts. “This program will explore the origins of race and how institutional racism is so deeply entrenched in our community and the world.”

also features a performance of area high schoolers as they explore what the letters “R. A. C. E.” mean to them in this millennium age. RACE is also an exhibit designed to help educators teach about race, and not just in a historical context. On Sept. 23, History Colorado will host educators’ open house and exhibit preview. This will be followed by a two-day professional development workshop on Sept. 27 and 28, where teachers are invited to join an exploration of membership in U.S. history, of “in groups” and “out groups” closely tied to the history of race. Lectures will include Dr. Greg Robinson from the University of Quebec at Montreal about wartime Japanese confinement in the U.S., Canada and Mexico during World War II. Robinson will speak at the History Colorado Center on Sept. 16. The History Colorado Center will screen the film I’m Not Racist . . . Am

I? on Oct. 20. The film follows a diverse group of teens in New York through a yearlong exploration of racism. Through tense, honest and painful moments, it portrays how these difficult conversations affect their relationships with friends and parents and ultimately challenge them to look deep within themselves. Join History Colorado for RACE: Are We So Different? Be part of the conversation, and maybe you’ll even help change that conversation through your participation.  Editor’s note: History Colorado, a Smithsonian Affiliate, inspires generations to find wonder and meaning in the past and to engage in building a better Colorado. Find them: on Colorado and on Twitter@History Colorado. For more information visit, call 303-HISTORY (447-8679) or visit History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway in Denver.

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The Nov. 11 conversation will explore the economics of race in urban and rural development as well as access to bank loans, mortgages and affordable healthcare. The Dec. 9 program will feature race and the arts, introducing audiences to the ways race shapes everyone’s lives, especially as we experience the arts and pop culture. This month

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


A New Shade Of Gree n

Latino Eco Festival Advocates For Environmental Justice Across Borders By Tanya Ishikawa


y 2021, Latinos will make up

Photo by Gary Isaacs

over 50 percent of Colorado’s high

school students, 32 percent of Denver

County’s population and 24 percent of the under 18 population in Boulder, according to population projections

cited by Americas Latino Eco Festival

organizers. “Those statistics just tell you that the discussion should not just be about Latino Americans joining a traditionally ‘white club’ conservation movement but that a movement can’t truly be without us. Moreover, recent polls and studies by national organizations are telling us that Latino Americans are not only the fastest growing segment of the population and the economy but the greenest with 93 percent of us believing in cli-

Irene Vilar

mate change,” explained festival founder Irene Vilar, a Puerto Rican American cultural activist, author and editor. “Back home we come from a long tradition of recyclers and up cyclers. In part this is due to growing up in

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non-affluent societies where we cannot afford to dispose of that much, where even a crazy uncle holds a seat at the table. Relationships are not easily disposed of. In non-affluent societies you need each other more. The extended family is essential and can be a matter of survival,” Vilar said. The 2nd Annual Americas Latino Eco Festival takes place in Denver and Boulder, September 11-15. Designed as a “Latino South by Southwest,” the festival is promoted as the nation’s largest multicultural environmental gathering hosted by Latino Americans. Thought leaders of North and South America will share solutions to the challenges arising from climate change and environmental degradation as well as to celebrate Latinos’ long history of ecological activism through multimedia presentations, film, art and music. Nine of 10 Hispanic voters prefer investing in clean, renewable energy sources to fossil fuels, according to studies conducted by the National Resources Defense Council. Eighty-six percent of Latinos support the Obama administration taking action to limit carbon pollution – an even higher percentage than the 61 percent of all Americans who support the President’s climate action plan. “We have to work on this together. We are placing Latinos as hosts of this multicultural festival to realign illinformed perceptions and to bring to light and celebrate our own green legacy,” Vilar said. “The process of organizing and launching the first festival in 2013 confirmed my intuition that Latinos were not being heard in the conservation movement in this country. The movement did not have a multicultural face, which meant it did not represent the fabric of this country and could not offer viable solutions for the future.” Festival events will take place at The Dairy Center of the Arts in Boulder and the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver, and other venues in the two cities. Over 60 artists, scientists, scholars, musicians and forum speakers are confirmed to attend. Keynote speakers include JeanMichel Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society and Hollywood actor and activist Edward James Olmos, who will host a dialogue entitled, “Overcoming Adversity and Stigma, the Power of Diversity, and the Forging of Environmental Stewardship.” Additional main attractions will be talks by Bianca Jagger of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, U.N. Champion of the Earth Pati Ruiz Corzo, Goldman Environmental Prize winner Jose Pablo Orrego, Congressman Raul

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Grijalva, and actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. “North and South Americans – we are all one big family with shared histories that go way back; some painful, some redeeming,” proclaimed Vilar. “But fundamentally, there is a very persistent neurosis in this ‘extended family’ about a segment of the family…immigrants, and especially Latino immigrants. Latino Americans have been scapegoated by delusional members of the family with poor emotional intelligence taken in by group fantasies.” “I think that scapegoating has been going on for too long. This coupled with vicious campaigns of disinformation, championed for example by quasi news soap operas like Fox News, have generated a family dysfunction that can only be cured through a special activism directed at people’s awareness of their ailing common home, the planet that has reached its limits and cannot be saved if we are not all engaged in the discussion and solutions,” she has concluded. “Multicultural knowledge platforms such as this festival are a major effort to end the scapegoating, realign people’s perceptions and create coalitions to work on environmental solutions for our shared future.”  Editor’s note: The mission of the Americas Latino Festival is to promote environmental awareness and create a platform for dialogue and mobilization for a just society to ensure that everyone has access to a healthy environment. The festival includes activities for all ages, races, and economic backgrounds. The festival is produced by Americas for Conservation + the Arts and is presented in part by The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and The Dairy Center for the Arts. For more details, and Read a speech by Festival Founder Irene Vilar, where she describes her background and overcoming cultural adversity and stigma at /sections/spectrum-talk.

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u Teatro announced their original adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Enrique’s Journey, will open the 2014-2015 theatrical season Sept. 18 to Oct. 4 at the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center at 721 Santa Fe Drive. Adapted for the stage by Artistic Director Anthony J. Garcia, who also directs the play, Enrique’s Journey is based on the book written by journalist Sonia Nazario, which won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting for her story of Enrique, a Honduran boy who travels the tops of the trains through Mexico in a quest to reunite with his mother in North Carolina.

Children Stranded at the Border

In 2014 the story has been multiplied many times over as an estimated 70,000 children have crowded the U.S. borders in search of hope and survival. Like Enrique, they made the dangerous trek from their homes in Central America for a variety of reasons including poverty, violence and in Enrique’s case to reunite with their families and loved ones.

National Best Seller

Enrique’s Journey, a national best-

“Enrique’s Journey” Su Teatro Revisits Award Winning As 2014-2015 Season Opener

seller, has been selected as the Freshman Read or All-Campus Read by 38 universities and scores of high schools nationwide. It was the second most likely book chosen by universities for their freshman read for fall 2010 and was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, People, The Miami Herald, and the San Antonio ExpressNews. It also has been chosen as a one city, one book read by seven cities including Denver, and has been published in eight different languages. In 2013, author Sonia Nazario published

a young readers’ version of the book.

Author Sonia Nazario

For her work Sonia Nazario has won numerous national journalism and book awards including the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence.

Artistic Director Anthony J. Garcia

Anthony J. Garcia is the Artistic Director for Su Teatro and has been the recipient of the prestigious United

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States Artists Fellowship of which Enrique’s Journey was chosen to be a part of the USA Projects Program. He was also named, Theater Person of the Year 2010 by the Denver Post. The play was the recipient of the Ovation Award, from the Denver Post for Best New Play.

Latino Theatre Encuentro

The company will travel and perform at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles in the Latino Theatre Encuentro, Oct. 17 to Nov. 7. Su Teatro was selected to be one of 10 out of 80 applicants to participate in the Encuentro, the largest gathering of Latino theater companies in 20 years.

Collaborations with Schools

Su Teatro will be offering collaborations with local middle and high schools, as well as colleges in the metro area that utilize Enrique’s Journey in the class room. The playwright/director and actors will venture out to classrooms throughout the area to offer background and advance discussions for students in preparation for their reads and attendance of the production.  Editor’s note: For tickets and more information, call 303-296-0219 or visit

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Sybrina Fulton Is Keynote Speaker at Courageous Citizens Awards Ceremony

Three mothers bonded by the death of a child and committed to a journey of justice Rep. Rhonda Fields was joined by Vivian Wolfe, mother of Christine Wolfe and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, to celebrate the courageous acts of others who make daily sacrifices for the civil liberties and pursuit of justice for all. On August 9, nine years after the tragic deaths of college sweethearts Javad Marshall Fields and Vivian Wolfe, the . Each year the Marshall Fields Foundation recognizes exceptional citizens in the state and nation devoted to excellence in public safety, civic engagement, community service, legislative processes and the improvement of victims and witnesses rights. These individuals are recognized at the annual Courageous Citizens of

Left to right: Maisha Fields Executive Director, Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund, Dave Young District Attorney 17th Judicial District, Jahvaris Fulton and Sybrina Fulton (brother and mother of Trayvon Martin), Rep. Rhonda Fields, Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Mally, Denver Police Chief Robert White, and Mark Hurlbert Assistant DA 18th Judicial District Photo by Lens of Ansar

Colorado Award Ceremony. This year’s honorees included victims advocate Carole O’shae, Arapahoe county coroner Michael Doberson and Chrsitina Vargas, who was shot by her then-boyfriend outside Aurora Central High School, and testified before Colorado lawmakers at the Colorado State Capitol, in support of stronger gun laws in Colorado. The Memorial Fund was founded in memory and honor of Javad

Marshall Fields and his finance, Vivian Wolfe, both graduates of Colorado State University. Both were tragically murdered to prevent Javad’s testimony for a related case against the perpetrators. Following this violent crime, the mothers of Javad and Vivian, Rhonda Fields and Vivian Wolfe, have made victim advocacy, social justice and education priorities in their lives. The families created an endowed

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


memorial scholarship fund administered by Colorado State University. For the past nine years, the Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund has provided 38 scholarships to students who graduate from a school located an Aurora, demonstrate strong leadership skills, and maintain a B average throughout their undergraduate career. More than 150 people, including Mayor of Aurora Steve Hogan, Denver Police Chief Robert White, and Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley and others, gathered to celebrate the legacy of Javad Fields and raise funds for the Fields Wolfe Memorial Scholarship fund. The soulful songs of SuCH, a local gospel choir and Tony Exum set the stage for an inspirational and spirit filled afternoon. The event concluded with keynote speaker Sybrina Fulton, stating, “We must do more, we can’t stop. Racism is alive and well. I can take off my dress, but I can’t take off my skin.”  Editor’s note: The mission of the Fields Foundation is to ensure all children from 018 have a fair, safe, and healthy, head start towards a successful passage to adulthood. To learn more, visit www.fields

RTD Is About Serving People, Not Just Mega-Projects By Barbara Deadwyler, RTD Director District B

A lot of


progress is tak-

ing place as the Regional

Transportation District (RTD)

continues to build new rail lines. You can see it along the new commuter rail alignment between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport, where big bridges, steel rails and overhead wires already are building anticipation for the start of train service in 2016. However, what makes RTD a vibrant and responsive public transit agency isn’t the concrete and steel of our mega-projects – it’s the living, breathing passengers we carry on our system day in and day out. As an elected member of the RTD Board of Directors, one of my fundamental responsibilities is to advocate for the transit needs of residents in District B, which is anchored by northeast Denver and north Aurora. Recently, Montbello and Green Valley Ranch residents told me they thought bus Route 45, which serves the heart of those communities, stopped running too soon in the evening. The last trips of the day left Green Valley Ranch westbound at 5:32 p.m. and Montbello eastbound at 6:16 p.m. The schedule was leaving some riders with no way home from afterschool or after-work activities except to call a friend or family member for a ride. It was easy to see the potential to serve our customers better. At my request, our service planners analyzed the cost and benefits of extending those service hours to accommodate later trips. As a result, RTD is adding two more hours of service to the Route 45, past 8 p.m. Eight new bus trips have been added – four eastbound and four westbound, running every half hour. The last departure from the Montbello Park-n-Ride on Peoria Street will be 8:16 p.m., arriving at 56th Avenue and Genoa Street in Green Valley Ranch at 8:53 p.m.

Now that RTD has opened its new Union Station bus concourse, all eyes are turning to our District B, where the East Rail Line – the next big RTD FasTracks project – is 60 percent built and on track to open in early 2016. This project has brought major construction to Clayton, Cole, North Park Hill, Stapleton, Morris Heights and other neighborhoods along Smith Road. RTD appreciates the patience you have shown with the disruption the project has caused to some of our bus routes and roadways that cross the tracks. We are obligated to rebuild all of the at-grade crossings of our new tracks, and it takes a lot of time. Our construction workers are highly skilled and focused on their jobs. They are delivering a quality project in extreme heat or cold, year-round. We want them to be safe in doing so. When you go through our construction zones, please slow down. Please be careful and give the workers a thumbs-up and a smile. The East Rail Line will be RTD’s first non-light rail train service. Rail cars on this line will be larger, heavier, self-propelled electric vehicles carrying more people and traveling faster than light rail cars. You will get an opportunity to see them this fall when the first four of 66 fleet cars arrive in Denver from a Philadelphia assembly plant. RTD and Denver Transit Partners, the concessionaire that is building and will operate these trains, are planning an open house weekend when you will be able to view and walk through the new vehicles. Sign up for our mailing list at to get all of the newsletters, traffic alerts, tour invitations and other project news. Also, construction is ready to start on the portion of the Aurora Line/I225 Rail project north of Colfax Avenue in District B, which will connect to the East Rail Line at Peoria Street and Smith Road. The Aurora Line/I-225 Rail will provide a southbound connection to the heart of Aurora, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the adjacent Fitzsimons Life Science District, Denver Tech Center, and entertainment and job opportunities for District B residents. Finally, Peoria Crossing, the new bridge that carries traffic up and over Union Pacific and RTD tracks at Peoria Street, is open. It’s a big improvement in mobility for northeast Denver and north Aurora, eliminating the busiest at-grade crossing on the airport train project. Yes, a lot of exciting changes are taking place around RTD’s eight-county district, including right here in

District B. I invite you to join us in welcoming all of the improvements. Editor’s note: Barbara Deadwyler represents RTD’s District B, which covers portions of Denver, Aurora and unincorporated Adams County. Visit to learn more about the RTD Board of Directors.



CDOT announces the release of the I-70 East Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS) for public review. The public review and comment period runs from August 29, 2014, through October 14, 2014.

PUBLIC HEARINGS These hearings are an opportunity to provide comments to CDOT and FHWA on the SDEIS. Comments will be recorded during each of the three sessions. A list of document viewing locations and information on how to provide comments on the SDEIS are available at the project office (3501 East 46th Avenue) during the comment period or on the project website ( 303.294.9300

5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Formal presentation and comments start at 6:00 p.m.

Aurora Tuesday, September 23 Sable Elementary School 2601 Sable Boulevard

Commerce City Wednesday, September 24 Kearney Middle School 6160 Kearney Street

Denver Thursday, September 25 Bruce Randolph Middle School 3955 Steele Street

The same information will be presented at each meeting. Spanish translation, childcare, and refreshments will be available at all meetings. For disability assistance, please call 720.475.7039 prior to the meeting.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Colorado State House and Senate Candidate Forums

All eight of Denver’s Colorado State House seats and two State Senate seats are up for election this year. Denver Decides, a partnership of the League of Women Voters of Denver, the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC), Historic Denver and Denver Channel 8, will present candidate forums in the fall for all of those seats. Candidates certified by the Colorado Secretary of State were invited to participate. There will also be a forum in October to cover the pros and cons of ballot initiatives and some of the Congressional races. You can attend in person, view them on Denver Channel 8, or stream them online from the Denver Channel 8 website. If you don’t know your districts, you can look them up under Voter Information at The invited candidates, dates, and times for these events are as follows: •House District 9 (Southeast) Celeste Gammache and Paul Rosenthal, Thursday, Sept. 11 at Calvary Baptist Church, 6500 E. Girard at 6:30 p.m.; •House District 2 (South Central) Alec Garnett and Jon Roberts, Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Police District 3 station, 1625 S. University Blvd. at 6:30 p.m. •Senate District 32 (South, Southwest) Irene Aguilar and Dawne Murray, Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Police District 3 station, 1625 S. University Blvd. at 7:15 p.m. •House District 7 (North East) Jason DeBerry and Angela Williams, Tuesday, Sept. 23 at Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St. at 6:30 p.m. •House District 8 (North Central) - Beth McCann and Jeffery Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St. at 6:30 p.m. •House District 4 (Northwest) - David Dobson and Dan Pabón, Thursday, Oct. 2 at CEC Middle College, 2650 Elliot St. at 6:30 p.m. •House District 5 (West and Northwest) - Crisanta Duran and Ronnie Nelson, Thursday, Oct. 2 at CEC Middle College, 2650 Elliot St. at 7:15 p.m. •Senate District 34 (West and Northwest) - Lucia Guzman and Stuart Siffring, Thursday, Oct. 2 at CEC Middle College, 2650 Elliot St. at 8 p.m. •House District 1 (Southwest) – Raymond Garcia and Susan Lontine, Tuesday, Oct. 7 at Southwest Improvement Council, 1000 S. Lowell at 6:30 p.m. •Pros and cons of ballot initiatives - Congressional candidates, Saturday, Oct. 11 at Police District 3 station, 1625 S. University Blvd. at 9:30 a.m. Editor’s note: For more information, call 303-321-7571, email, or visit

Denver Public Schools Launches Updated Denver Plan, Sets Goal Of 80 Percent Of Students In Every Neighborhood Attending High-Performing Schools By 2020

DPS to leverage high-impact strategies and invest in new targeted supports to achieve five ambitious goals to ensure every DPS student succeeds Denver Public Schools launched the Denver Plan 2020, an ambitious and challenging set of five goals, along with strategies to achieve them, to dramatically raise student achievement and reach the DPS vision of Every Child Succeeds over the next five years. The plan’s primary goal—Great Schools in Every Neighborhood – calls for 80 percent of all DPS students in every neighborhood to attend a highperforming school by 2020. Currently 61 percent of students attend a school rated “Green� or “Blue� on the district’s School Performance Framework, and the Denver Plan lays out specific high-impact strategies for DPS to increase the number of high-quality schools in every neighborhood. “Since the launch of the original Denver Plan in 2005, we have made tremendous strides in bolstering student achievement for many students, thanks to the hard work of our educators and the partnership of our community,� said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “But we still have much work to do to prepare all students for success after graduation, and the Denver Plan 2020 outlines the goals, strategies, beliefs and values it will take to get there.� When the first Denver Plan was launched in 2005, only 33 percent of students were at grade level on state assessments; DPS had one of the lowest rates of year-on-year academic growth among medium and large districts in the state; and 39 percent of students graduated on-time. Today, 48 percent of students are proficient on state assessments; DPS has ranked at the top in year-on-year academic growth for three straight years among major districts; and the district-wide on-time graduation rate has increased by 23 percent. Persistent achievement gaps continue to exist, however, for students of color, students who are learning English as a second language and students who are in poverty. “We’ve seen strong academic growth and progress in several areas, and the Denver Plan’s charge is to expand the programs and initiatives that drove those gains,� said DPS Board of Education President Happy Haynes. “At the same time, this is also a challenge for us to find new, effective strategies to close our persistent achievement gaps and to accelerate our progress.�

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


The Denver Plan outlines specific goals and strategies designed to close academic achievement gaps and prepare all students for success. In addition to the goal to create Great Schools in Every Neighborhood, there are four additional goals that will guide DPS’ efforts. A Foundation for Success in School: 80 percent of DPS third grade students will be at or above grade level in reading and writing and Lectura and Escritura, the Spanish language literacy and writing exams. Ready for College and Career: the four year graduation rate for students who start with DPS in ninth grade will increase to 90 percent. DPS will double the number of students who graduate college and career-read from 1,100 to 2,200. Support the Whole Child: ensuring that each school environment encourages students to pursue their passions and interests, supports physical and mental health, and ensures students continue to develop socially and emotionally. Close the Opportunity Gap: the graduation rate for African American and Latino students will increase by 25 percentage points, to 89 percent. Third grade reading and writing proficiency will increase by 25 percentage points, to 75 percent. For a full copy of the Denver Plan 2020, visit Editor’s note: The Denver Plan 2020 was crafted with input from nearly 3,000 educators, parents, students, community partners and city leaders across Denver over the course of the 2013-14 school year. DPS will continue to work in close partnership with community organizations, city agencies and civic leaders over the course of the Denver Plan to accomplish each of its goals.

Lost Your Joy?

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! Come as you are and get connected to your best self through great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ4DIPPMBNr8FEOFTEBZ#JCMF4UVEZQN

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That’s So Dope Presents Fly Guy Brand By Kiana English Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation


had the pleasure of meeting young entrepreneurs Preston, 11 and Austin, 15, two young boys who showed me a different path that other boys their age can take. When I walked into the Fly Guy Brand popup store last month at Southlands mall, I felt a warming presence. Founders of Fly Guy Brand Preston and Austin were very sweet and professional.

When asked why they decided to start Fly Guy Brand, Austin stated, “10 dollars a month allowance just wasn’t enough,” also Austin said they found out how much their friends really enjoyed their style of clothes which encouraged them to start a clothing line. Fly Guy Brand was a bunch of ideas coming together from two brothers made into designs. These designs

include stickers, snapbacks, backpacks, hoodies, T-shirts and other teenage accessories. Fly Guy Brand is not just any design, it also stands for something and that is anti-bullying. You can find some of their “Don’t be a jerk” shirts in their brand. “Clothing is a way to express yourself in any type of way you want to without being made fun

of. You don’t even have to say it. When you are walking down the street, people know you are wearing Fly Guy,” said Austin. When asked if they could change anything about fly guy they both said they wouldn’t change a thing. That doesn’t mean the road was not difficult for these two boys. They had to juggle school, homework and also their clothing designs. What keeps them motivated is the money they make from the design. The boys are going to continue doing their business when they grow up. They say, “This is our business.” Editor’s note: For more information on Fly Guy Brand, visit

Reporter’s note: Are you a youth or know a young person who is doing something “Dope”? If so, email me at and you could be recognized in the next That’s So Dope column in the Denver Urban Spectrum and Word on the Street.

most open




20 wins in a row


Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Health Industry Taps Into Convenient Places for Patient Care By Angelia D. McGowan

Tired of playing nurse to your

Little Clinics

friends and family who make little to no time for doctor’s appointments. You can breathe a sigh of relief. Your shift is getting shorter thanks to health professionals stepping outside of the traditional examining room to meet patients where they are. Nonprofit organizations across the country are recruited regularly by health organizations to create and implement health awareness campaigns to diverse communities. Like many of these organizations, the Colorado Black Health Collaborative (CBHC), has been charged with reaching out in unique ways to communities impacted by health disparities. And they realize it’s about more than handing out literature at a festival booth. The 501c3 has been working in the community ever since its beginnings in 2008 developing outreach activities, holding quarterly community health forums and producing a bi-annual resource directory. The CBHC has taken its outreach efforts to another level by tagging onto the work of Dr. Byron Conner, who had been conducting hypertension screenings and health education in his own barber shop for a couple of years. The CBHC corralled its resources and did the same in multiple salons and barbershops in the Denver metro area within the last year and a half. Herman Muhammad, owner of Supreme Style Barbershop, says the monthly visits are “convenient because a lot of African American men are very reluctant to go to a health

care facility. They discover a lot of things they wouldn’t have known” if they hadn’t come to the shop to get their hair cut and found CBHC there. They upped the ante with the right audience for May in recognition of National Blood Pressure Education and Stroke Awareness Month. The Office of Minority Health reports that African American adults are twice as likely to have a stroke as their White adult counterparts. Through the support of the American Heart Association, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, 37 volunteers and the cooperation of the shop owners, the CBHC created Power Saturday. Instead of one shop at a time, they were present at multiple locations simultaneously. On May 31, more than 230 visitors at seven barbershops and salons in the Denver metro area were screened for high blood pressure, received stroke risk surveys and information on healthy eating, stroke prevention and blood pressure control. Dr. Terri Richardson, vice chair of the board-operated CBHC, reports that 60 percent were male and 40 percent were female. Thirty-three percent screened were in the hypertension range. When necessary, CBHC representatives recommend they go back to their primary for follow up. If they have no primary doctors, they are referred to Inner Clinic Health Clinic with a discount voucher. While they have their attention at the shop, they also work to educate them and talk to them about their health goals. Richardson and Connor are internal medicine physicians at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and are among the doctors assigned to each location when screenings are being conducted. For any number of reasons, the idea of convenience reigns supreme for people seeking medical attention. The healthcare industry is not blind to this and a new trend has gained momentum to meet this consumer demand. A 2013 report by Accenture entitled, “U.S. Retail Health Clinics Expected to Double by 2015” states “the number of retail clinics is expected to increase by 20-25 percent per year between now and 2015 and double from 1,418 to 2,868 clinics in that time period.” A sign of the times is The Little Clinic, which operates more than 100 healthcare clinics in convenient retail settings in seven states, including more than a dozen King Soopers grocery store locations in the state of Colorado. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., The Little Clinic is a pioneer in customer-focused healthcare with a mission to provide convenient, affordable healthcare and wellness education. The Little Clinic’s affiliations – locally the University of

Kaiser Power Saturdays

Colorado Health Partners – connect with world-class medical systems to provide easy access for routine and advanced care. Ladean Cross, regional clinical director of The Little Clinic locations operating in Colorado, says the biggest gap The Little Clinics have helped to bridge for health care is in fact “convenience. Quality healthcare has been available for many years, but we are connecting quality care to patients when they need it, right in their community supermarket,” says Cross, a family nurse practitioner-certified (FNP-C), who has worked in retail health for the last five years. Prior to that, she worked in a private family practice for 19 years. The past seven of those years were as owner and sole provider of a private family practice. She says, “First-time visitors frequently ask about our scope of services, whether we accept their insurance, and our hours of operation. They ask if we can write prescriptions and about the qualifications of the person seeing them. New patients are often surprised and happy to hear that The Little Clinic can treat many common illnesses and injuries, accept most major insurances, and are open seven days a week.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


While the location is a bit different the shifts are typically 11 hours, which is similar to a hospital. The clinic is staffed by board certified nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants. The Little Clinic also employs patient care technicians that assist the patient with check-in, payment and other things to help the visit be efficient and timely for the patient. It’s standard for healthcare professionals to promote regular checkups with primary care providers, but being regularly accessible at grocery stores and barbershops is a good start. “Over the past several years, retail health clinics have become a far more acceptable source of healthcare,” says Cross. “Now that more people have access to health insurance (postAffordable Care Act) and have not had any increase in the number of providers, it seems that all retail clinics are seeing volume growth.” Thelma Craig, chair of the Colorado Black Health Collaborative board says, “We believe in meeting people where they are. If we go where they are then we feel we’re getting a message out in a different way. We need to make it interesting.”  Editor’s Note: Learn more about The Little Clinic at and the CBHC at

HOPE Puts Alumnus on Track to College

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


OPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op loves hearing about the success of our alumni after they graduate. Our graduates go on to do many exciting things, including attending college. HOPE graduates attend college at institutions from the University of Denver to the University of Northern Colorado, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Boulder and Aims Community College. Recently, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op caught up with one of our 2011 graduates, Jared Hudson from Denver. Jared attended HOPE at Victory at Hillcrest Learning Center in Denver for a few years in elementary school as well as the last two years in high school and ended up graduating as the HOPE Valedictorian. He is now

entering his senior year at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) where he is majoring in English with a triple minor in women’s studies, Africana studies and writing. Jared’s career ambition is to become a professional writer. Jared points to many ways in which his schooling at HOPE helped his transition to college. Up near the top of the list was “learning to be a people person.” “I was very shy before I came to HOPE,” said Jared, whose summer job is working in customer service in a

local call center in Greeley. “But one of my favorite classes in high school ended up being Ms. Williams’ speech class.” The support system at HOPE has been an important part of Jared’s life. He especially appreciates the guidance he received as he was preparing for college. “The small class sizes at HOPE make the environment feel like your second family. They were there for me to help me with my course work and also help with difficult family situations,” said Jared. “The staff guided me throughout my college selection process. And they even helped me move to college. Ms. Williams to this day is like my ‘second mother.’” If there is one word Jared would use to describe himself, it would resilient. He says he enhanced this skill while learning how to succeed in HOPE’s online learning environment. “The staff (at HOPE) taught us good study habits, including how to manage our time and meet deadlines as we paced ourselves through our work. They also taught me, someone who is a perfectionist by nature, to find time for breaks, and a little fun, in between,” Jared said. Jared truly believes that HOPE delivers on its name for the youth it serves.

“The one-on-one attention you receive at HOPE helps you find your pathway to success,” said Jared. HOPE’s unique blended online/offline educational model with individualized learning plans can help your k-12 child reach academic success. HOPE is a free education option for children throughout Colorado. HOPE Learning Centers are operated from Fort Collins to Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. In addition to education, music and arts offerings, HOPE students participate in extra-curricular activities from competitive sports to specialty clubs, talent shows and more.  Editor’s note: For more information on how HOPE can make a difference for you, visit or call 720-402-3000.






THEY’LL MAKE IT B BETTER ETTE R TOMORROW. TO MORROW. Preschool hool iiss an an iinvestment nve stment in in every eve r y c child’s hild’ d’ss ttomorrow, omor row, and the eD Denver enver P Preschool reschool Program P ro g r a m m makes akes iitt possible possible for for all all Denver Denver 4-year-olds. 4 -year- olds . We offerr ffunding help choose u nd i ng and a nd information i n for m at ion to to ffamilies a m i l ie s to to h e lp them t he m c ho o s e tthe he right r i g ht high-quality child. Because preschool a l it y preschool p r e s c ho ol ffor or ttheir he i r c h i ld . B e c au s e tthe he kids k id s who who go go to to p r e s c ho ol e tthe he ones one s who who are are b ette r prepared p r ep a r e d ffor or ttheir he i r ffuture. ut u r e . now are better

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014

20 D PP.or g

The Nest Matters Wants YOU to Get Involved

By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland

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

quality of life for all children, especially children of color. After learning more about NBCDI, our Nest Matters team just could not understand why Colorado never applied for an affiliate chapter. So we began looking into the process of becoming an affiliate state under NBCDI. We submitted a grant proposal within the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Alumni Network to begin our research. We started our project this past January with the following questions in mind.

Ask About End of Summer Specials !

Picture Left to Right: Cassandra Johnson, Wendy Allen (Buell Alumni Network Coordinator), ShantĂĄ Johnson (5th Year Buell Fellow) , Sena Harjo and Dorothy Shapland

The Nest Matters has been work-

ing hard on a research project and would like to get you involved. If you are interested in being part of a Denver Interest Group to start an affiliate chapter under the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) we want to hear from you.

What is the NBCDI? Glad you asked. The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been involving leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around important issues that effect Black children and their families for 40 years. We are a trusted partner in delivering support that respond to the strengths and needs of Black children. We work on issues like early childhood education, health, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. With the support of our network across the country, we are committed to our mission “to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy.� (NBCDI Mission Statement) About our research The Nest Matters is passionate about improving and advancing the

• Is there potential for impact? • Are there possible benefits for children if a chapter of NBCDI exists in Denver? • Is there opportunity for more work between agencies, locally and nationally? • Is there a “go toâ€? organization for families of color? • Can we establish better communication about education and health opportunities in Denver? We want to learn how we can connect with other agencies and organizations to fill the “gapsâ€? in services for our children.



Why Denver? Why now? Our children need us NOW more than ever! We must look into all kinds of support for their growing needs. We believe that becoming an affiliate chapter under NBCDI’s organization could be the answer.

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What’s next? We are hosting a meeting Sept. 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with members from NBCDI’s National Office to start a conversation. We invite parents, caregivers, educators, legislators and community members to join us for some light food and great talk.  Editor’s note: For more information about attending the Sept. 11th meeting, email

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014



The Voice of God

Cannabis is a plant that has been made illegal by the United States government for reasons of corporate profit, prison system slave labor and racism. For over 5,000 years, cannabis has been written about in history books, medical journals and various sacred books, including the Bible, numerous times. Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The West and Christianity

There is clear evidence that God instructed the used cannabis in the Holy Anointing Oil to both Jesus and Moses. This Holy Anointing Oil was used to heal the sick and give clear understanding of the spiritualty of God. In Exodus 30:23, God directed Moses to make a holy anointing oil composed of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, Kaneh-bosem, cassia, and olive oil. “And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil.” According to Biblical scholars, the “250 shekels of kaneh-bosm” refers directly to cannabis. Sula Benet, Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw and author of Early Diffusion and Folk Uses of Hemp, demonstrated that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also rendered in traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannubus. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, the

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. From ancient times, cannabis has been shown to be effective in the treatment of not only epilepsy, but many of the other ailments that Jesus and the disciples healed people of, such as skin diseases (Matthew 8, 10, 11; Mark 1; Luke 5, 7, 17), eye problems (John 9:6-15), and menstrual issues (Luke 8:43-48). Cannabis has been used for more than 5,000 years by most of the world’s great cultures as a medicine, and is also recognized and highly valued as an aide to spiritual practice. When used, cannabis can have a profound, enlightening effect. Why then, is it so difficult for our communities to see cannabis in the same light that wine is used in many Christian religions? Is the grape any more sacred than the cannabis flower? Should the consumption of the cannabis flower be a reason to send our children to prison and cripple our communities, when God instructed that all fruits and seeds are good?

India, Nepal, Tibet and Buddhism

In the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, it is said that Buddha subsisted for six years on nothing but one hemp seed. Various spiritual texts, including the Buddhist Tara Tantra, list cannabis as an important aide to meditation and spiritual practice. In India today, cannabis is often made into a drink consumed by local people and is said to be the favorite drink of Indra, the king of the Indian gods.

China and Taoists

A Chinese Taoist priest wrote in the fifth century B.C. that cannabis was used in combination with ginseng to set forward time in order to reveal future events. It is recorded that the Taoists recommended the addition of cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st century A.D. and the effects produced were regarded as a means of achieving immortality. At one point, cannabis was so prized that the Chinese called their country “the land of mulberry and hemp.”

BLOWING SMOKE Iran and Zoroastrianism

Ancient Iran was the source for the great Persian Empire. In the ZendAvesta (the ancient texts of Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion) hemp occupies the first place in a list of 10,000 medicinal plants. One of the few surviving books of the Zend-Avesta, called the Venidad, “The Law Against Demons,” calls bhanga (cannabis) a “good narcotic,” and tells of two mortals who were transported in soul to the heavens where, upon drinking from a cup of bhang, had the highest mysteries revealed to them.

Africa and Rastafari

Members of the Rastafari movement use cannabis as part of their worship of God and for Bible study and meditation. Rastafarians see cannabis as a sacramental and deeply beneficial plant and consider it to be the Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible.

Up Close and Personal with...

The use of cannabis is an integral part of what Rastafarians call “reasoning sessions” where members join together to discuss life according to the Rasta perspective. Bob Marley said, “The herb ganja is the healing of the nations.” Considering all the evidence of God’s approval of the plant he created, who are we to jail people for following the teachings of our greatest spiritual leaders? I believe it is time to rethink our beliefs surrounding this plant. And we are not blowing smoke... Editor’s note: Blowing Smoke is written each month by Wanda James. She is the managing partner at Cannabis Global Initiative and is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. She worked with the regulatory process to bring medical marijuana to fruition and was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Amendment 64 Task Force Work Group. Wanda’s political and professional work on cannabis reform has led to her being featured in numerous national shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and on CNBC’s Marijuana USA. She and her husband Scott Durrah, also own Jezebel’s Southern Bistro + Whiskey Bar in Denver. She would like to answer your questions or comments. Email

Biff Gore

Sunday, Sept. 7 - 3 to 6 PM

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

Buffet - Cash Bar

Tickets: $25 Advance, $30 At the Door - For more info:call 303-292-6446 or email

Special Guest Appearance Comedian Louis Johnson

Up Close and Personal with...

Mary LouiseLee

According to Rastafari philosophy, “the herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness” and is believed to burn the corruption out of the human heart.

Sunday, October 12 1 to 4 PM Jazz@Jacks 500 16th St. (Mall) #320 Denver, CO 80202

Acclaimed Vocalist & First Lady of Denver Buffet - Cash Bar

Tickets: $25 Advance, $30 At the Door - For more info:call 303-292-6446 or email

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


New Hope Baptist Church Earns Destination Health Honor

Center for African American Health event attracts hundreds of supporters; proceeds benefit local disease prevention and management programs New Hope Baptist Church is the new home for the traveling trophy awarded to the congregation with the most participants at the 2014 Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn. Hundreds of Denver area residents of all ages were in City Park July 26 to support the Center for African American Health, including recognition for the largest teams from Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated (civic/social), Hope Center (school) and 50/50 Sport Performance (corporate). Proceeds from Destination Health benefit the Metro Denver community that is served year-round by the Center. CBS4’s Gloria Neal and Slim from Jammin’ 101.5 were masters of ceremonies for this year’s festivities, which got underway with a lively warm-up

led by Rudy McClinon, Kim Farmer and Chessa Hallman before the runners and walkers took to the 5k and Mocha Mile courses. The expo area and children’s health and safety zone featured more than 45 exhibitors and organizations. Entertainment was provided by the Mary Louise Lee Band along with free line dance lessons led by Charles Doss and his Let’s Start Dancing crew. Rep. Rhonda Fields, honorary chair for the annual fundraiser, encouraged event attendees to take responsibility

for their health and to participate in the Center’s many programs. Representing Mayor Michael Hancock was his Neighborhood Liaison Michael Sapp, who said he was pleased to see so many families actively engaged in being healthy. He also praised the center for its many contributions to the well-being of the Denver community. Also in attendance was the center’s board chair and former Denver Bronco Haven Moses. “Destination Health is an excellent opportunity for the Center for African American Health to partner with participants and sponsors in providing health information and resources and promoting healthy behavior,” said Moses. “We can all do a better job of treasuring our health and taking actions that make healthy activities in our lives a top priority.” Allegra “Happy” Haynes, vice president and at-large member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education, and Rev. Rodney Perry served as this year’s co-chairs for the event. The Center for African American Health partners with a wide variety of health-education and health-delivery organizations to develop and provide culturally-appropriate disease prevention and disease management programs to thousands of African

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Americans, offering programs on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer, as well as a wellness program for seniors and health literacy training. The Center is also a certified Connect for Health Colorado assistance site. This year’s sponsors included Lilly USA, Key Bank, Colorado Health Foundation, King Soopers, Kaiser Permanente, Colorado Trust, Copic, Denver Health, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Piton Foundation, Walgreens, LiveWell Colorado, Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance Foundation, Stryker Orthopedics, AARP, McDonald’s, CBS4, Jammin’ 101.5, Urban Spectrum and 5 Points News. Mark your calendars now and save this date – Saturday, July 25, 2015 – for the 5th Annual Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn. 

Editor’s note: For more information about the center visit or call 303-355-3423.

James Foley: Courage In The Face Of Danger T

By Gene Policinski

o just mourn the brutal death of photojournalist James Foley ... seems not enough. To just be sickened by the shabby and cowardly manner in which he was beheaded by the terrorist group ISIS ... feels inadequate. And to hear his killers say Foley died in retaliation for U.S. military airstrikes in Iraq ... is to face the twisted logic of generational vendettas that so scar the Middle East conflict on which Foley was reporting. Foley, 40, was kidnapped in November 2012 while reporting on the Syrian civil war for a Boston-based online news organization, Global Post. He also had worked by PBS NewsHour and NBC News, and had returned to reporting after being abducted in 2011 and held for nearly 40 days by Libyan government troops. Dozens of journalists have gone missing in Syria since 2012. And the Committee to Protect Journalists lists, world-wide, nearly 50 journalists and other media workers who have been killed or died thus far in 2014 while gathering and reporting news. A video posted on YouTube shows Foley reading a statement critical of the U.S. bombings of ISIS fighters in Iraq and then being beheaded by a masked executioner. The video ends by showing another captive American journalist, Steven Sotloff. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” says the ISIS figure in black. Foley’s family created a “Free James Foley” page on Facebook to seek his release, which now carries a plea from his mother, Diane Foley: “We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.” She also says, “We have never been

prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.” The Newseum’s Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C., carries the names of more than 2,200 journalists who have died since the 1800s in the pursuit of news. Each year since 1997, the memorial has been rededicated, and a symbolic group of new names is now added to represent all who died in the previous year, to call the world’s attention to the inherent danger globally in reporting the news. In a June interview on the Newseum Institute’s “Journalism/Works” online news program, immediately after speaking at the 2014 Memorial rededication, Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of The Associated Press, agreed that there are increased dangers to journalists worldwide. She noted the irony that the very new media and new technology that make it possible to report the news quicker and to more people also means that journalists no longer are considered noncombatants in war zones. “Even in the wars in the Balkans 20 years ago, you could still put ‘press’ signs, TV, on your car. And the combatants on all sides wanted their stories told and they felt it was important for you to help tell their story,” Carroll said. “Not that you were taking sides ... but you were there to tell their story that otherwise would not be told.” Carroll said, “That’s really changed a lot. No one labels themselves ‘press’ anymore because that makes you a target. And part of the reason is these factions can tell their own stories. ... Journalists are no longer considered a tool to get the message out.” Sadly, it’s not just in war zones that journalists face injury and death. Among the representative group added to the Newseum’s memorial earlier this year are journalists from all areas of the globe who also challenged political figures and movements and who reported on drug gangs and other criminal activity. Foley and others who cover conflict, or place themselves at risk reporting or commenting on any number of controversial subjects, are willing wit-

nesses on behalf of all of us — and necessary ones. As Carroll notes, it’s far too easy in this electronic age to shape messages from a singular point of view. The value of having multiple voices is multiplied exponentially by the opportunity we now have to read, see and hear them. Perhaps the ultimate context in which to place the horror of Foley’s death, and others like it can be found in history’s lesson that such tactics ultimately fail. Messages can be blocked for a time, and messengers stilled for the moment — but not for all time. Even now, the world knows ISIS for what it is. And to those left to carry on the work of James Foley, it may be the words of Winston Churchill, spoken in Britain’s darkest hours of WWII, in late 1941, that offer guidance and inspiration: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force.” True then. True now.  Editor’s note: Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. He can be reached at

Chuck Moss

September 11-16 BOULDER

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Attend the nation’s nation’s most thought provoking seed gathering with thought leaders of the Americas as they discuss novel solutions for a sustainable future and celebrate Latino’s Latino’s long history of ecological activism and the “new shade of green” they’re bringing to this movement. From politics and business to arts and entertainment: it’it’ss all covered at the 2014 ALEF. ALEF.







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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014



Ground Rules

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


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


sary, he retires the old crew swapping them out for a bunch of younger and digitally tuned team (Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, and Victor Ortiz) to bring fresh energy and updated skills to the team. No surprise there, but the team ended up being captured by Conrad’s crew and eventually, all the Expendables, young and old are forced to fight together in a dilapidated building in Central Asia. Classic old-school tactics meet high-tech The Expendables 3

TO 43549 Example text: DENZEL 80202 Entry deadline: Tuesday, September 23 at 4PM

THE EQUALIZER HAS BEEN RATED R BY THE MPAA. There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Text HELP for info, STOP to opt-out. To view 43KIX’s Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, visit Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with details on how to claim their prize by Tuesday, September 23 at 5:00 PM. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Columbia Pictures, Allied-THA, 43KIX, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. NO PHONE CALLS!


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The Expendables 3 1/2

Samantha Ofole-Prince

our years ago, Sylvester Stallone released an explosive action thriller about a group of hard-nosed aging fighters known as The Expendables starring Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Statham. Two years later, he followed it with a sequel and returns for a third installment in the franchise. This time he joins forces with Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and 11 more legends and rising stars. Directed by Patrick Hughes (Red Hill), the film opens as the crew bombard a train on a mission to rescue their brother in arms Dr. Death (Snipes), a fellow ‘Expendable’ who has been locked up for eight years. After racking up the body count, amping up the explosions and jacking up testosterone levels once again, they rescue a charismatic Snipes who appears complete with pearly white teeth and a ‘70s afro. After a bit of stifled barbed wit, which has them comparing weapons of choice (blades, guns and bullets), the motley crew of mercenaries head off to Mogadishu to take out an illegal arms dealer where there are more obligatory explosions and shootouts. This time there’s a shocking turn of events as Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) is shot and Barney (Stallone) discovers that the ruthless arms dealer they are pursuing is his former pal and partner Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) – an Expendables’ co-founder and a man he thought he had killed more than a decade ago. Determined to take out the evil Conrad by any means neces-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


expertise as the combined team battle to survive an onslaught by Conrad’s heavily armed militia. It’s another popcorn flick, which sees the heroes waltzing in and out of the bad guys’ lair with relative ease. The stunts are extremely over the top and the special effects are unimpressive with collapsing buildings that look obviously animated. Also gone is the wisecracking, tongue-in-cheek approach we saw in the last film. This film’s script seems thin and flimsy making this third installment appear quickly cobbled together in a franchise that feels as if it’s just built out of hype and marketing. To see a trailer for The Expendables 3, visit unWlFc

When The Game Stands Tall



By Laurence Washington

hen The Game Stands Tall is a football movie about life lessons and inspirations. Oh, yeah – and football – but mostly life lessons. Inspired by the true story of California’s De La Salle High School’s winningest high school football coach, Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), When The Game Stands Tall’s premise hinges on the team’s 151-game winning streak that comes to a screeching halt after Ladouceur suffers a heart attack and one of De La Salle’s best players, Terrence Kelly (Stephan James) is murdered the night before he was to leave on scholarship at the University of Oregon. When The Game Stands Tall is an uneven movie. The off the field drama


When The Game Stands Tall

Guardians of the Galaxy


and gridiron action doesn’t mesh seamlessly together as with Remember the Titans (’00) or the beloved Rudy (’93). The trailer pitches the film as a comeback flick about a team that bounces back after a teammate’s murdered. Which is true, but it’s a small part of the film that should have been better fleshed out. That not to say When The Game Stands Tall is a bad movie. There are plenty of heart-wrenching moments such as the players reading their commitment cards outlining their person goals and team dedication. There’s also a father and son subplot: Ladouceur and his son, whose on the team, and the team’s star player’s conflict with his win-at-all-cost father. However, much of the first half is about Ladouceur’s tutelage involving character building and shaping play-

er’s lives – with a dose of how to weather unfair things that happen to good people in life. To the film’s credit, the director didn’t fall prey to the tired Hollywood cliché where the hero is losing on the field, spots their loved ones in the crowd then is inspired to throw the winning touchdown. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The end credits show the actual Bob Ladouceur coaching up his team – a cliché that biopics can’t resist. During a summer saturated with comic book superheroes, When The Game Stands Tall is a refreshing portrayal of a real superhero. To see a trailer for When The Game Stands Tall, visit E4iAnJo

By J.R. Johnson

long time ago, people used to go to the movies for more than just visual effects. Movies used to be an experience, and the price of admission was well worth it. It’s become more acceptable now to just throw something on screen and let your eyes glaze over with explosions, shootouts or car chases and call it action or adventure. With the rising genre of superhero films raking in every dollar possible on opening day, they toss anything up on the screen for fans to watch and devour without a second thought. Fortunately, Marvel really cares about the product they put out, and Guardians of the Galaxy might be the funniest two hours you’ll ever spend at the movies. In his first leading role, Chris Pratt takes the role of Peter Quill, aka StarLord, a scavenger who only looks out for himself and a good time. Almost like a combination of Hans Solo and Indiana Jones. Quill comes across an orb, a treasure with a big bounty on it. Little does he know, it’s something much more than that, something much more powerful, and he’s not the only one chasing it. Suddenly, Quill

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


finds himself at odds with a man ready to set fire to the universe and only he and a group of rag-tag outcasts can save it. Marvel’s films have set the gold standard for any comic book flicks since Iron Man, but Guardians of the Galaxy has raised the bar even higher. Blending several genres along with an excellent cast, director and writer James Gunn cooked up what is arguably the most entertaining comic book adaptation yet. Taking on an ensemble of unknown characters and trying to give the audience a reason to like them is a difficult thing, but there’s no problem. The supporting cast of Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Disel and David Batista couldn’t be anymore different but they mesh together perfectly, creating one big happy dysfunctional family. Together they bring out every bit of emotion they can in the emotional spectrum. They’re funny, interesting and completely personable. They’re destined to become fan favorites. Much of the reason these characters are able to step out and test their range is the story. It is ridiculously amusing and peppered with many unexpected moments. This is very Continued on page 28

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Continued from page 27 different from your typical comic book movie. It finds a way to put you on the edge of your seat or holding your sides at any given time. It really is a good time for everyone. Guardians of the Galaxy looks like Marvel’s most risky move yet, but it turned out it might’ve been their best. It’s weird and different, but that’s definitely a good thing. It won’t be long before we see this group again. To see a trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, visit Sf47MIQ

group of five citizens who over the course of the night become allies. Just minutes before the annual Purge begins on March 21 at 7 p.m., we meet Eva (Carmen Ejogo) who lives in a bad neighborhood with her daughter (Zoe Soul) who is trying to get home; Leo, (Frank Grillo) a sergeant who is planning a vigilante mission of vengeance against a man who has killed his son; and a couple who find themselves stranded after their car breaks down. The next hour devotes itself to spectacular nonstop bouts of slaughter as the strangers, through dire circumstances, meet and band together in an

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The Purge: Anarchy


The Purge: Anarchy 1/2

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

magine if you could contain crime to just one night each year without facing any consequences – what would you do? Would you behead an adversary, rob a bank or simply kill for the fun of it? It’s the million-dollar question that makes The Purge: Anarchy a thought provoking intense thriller as the film’s premise puts you in an anticipatory mood. A sequel to last year’s The Purge, it returns us to a dystrophic future in 2023 where the government has sanctioned its annual 12-hour Purge to ensure that the crime rate stays below one percent for the rest of the year. With police and hospitals suspending help, it’s the one night each year when citizens can commit crimes without any punishment or fear of retribution. In a nutshell, it’s a free-for-all for pedophiles and psychopaths. Writer/director James DeMonaco wastes little time in introducing us to a

effort to stay alive and make it through a lawless night seeking refuge where they can as a masked gang trails them through downtown Los Angeles. At its best, the film has some scary jolts. And what makes this film a better sequel is that it places the audience outside on the streets during the annual purge so there’s plenty of action, madness and mayhem. John Beasley has a small role as Ejogo’s ailing father who sacrifices himself to a group of wealthy socialites who kill for the thrill of it while Michael K. Williams rounds off the cast as the leader of a resistance group who questions The Purge’s rationale. There are a few gaping plot holes and a couple of things that don’t quite add up, but ultimately The Purge: Anarchy is a tense thriller that is sure to get you talking, and thinking as you exit the theater. To see a trailer for The Purge: Anarchy, visit DqKE4yA

Mayor Michael B. Hancock Discusses 21st Century Leadership with The Denver Foundation’s Nonprofit Summer Interns



enver Mayor Michael B. Hancock gathered recently in an intimate circle at The Denver Foundation to chat with the 17 summer interns who were ending their 10-week stint in the Foundation’s Nonprofit Internship Program. Each student garnered experience individually, working with Metro Denver nonprofit organizations that are addressing disparities in the areas of education, basic human needs, or economic opportunity; and collectively, through workshops and an intensive retreat that addressed issues such as leadership and racial equity. Mayor Hancock shared his reflections of developing as a leader, and a few humorous stories, before taking questions from the group. “I recall walking into the mayor’s office on July 18, 2011 for the first time as the mayor,” Hancock reflected. “Thoughts came rushing back to me about being that poor kid, hungry, cold, and homeless on Denver’s streets for a while, and even the uncertainty after getting into college – how will this all be paid for?” The mayor shared with the students that he took a chance and put in a call to then Mayor Federico Peña during his freshman year and asked to be an intern in his office during the upcoming summer. Hancock received a return call from Mayor Peña on the hall phone in his dorm at Hastings College (he reminded the chuckling students that there were no cell phones back then). Peña offered him a paid internship, and Hancock went on to work for the mayor during his remaining summers throughout college. “You will acquire a lot in life – cars, houses, objects,” Mayor Hancock shared with the students. “All of those

things can be taken away from you. But no one can take away your degree or the experiences you’ve earned.” He emphasized the importance of internships as a gateway to jobs after college, adding that “it’s not who you know, as much as it is how well you know who you know.” The visit with the nonprofit interns underscored that notion in many ways. While interning for Mayor Peña in the early 1990’s, he reported directly to Lauren Casteel, who was Mayor Peña’s Senior Communications Director. She is currently the Vice President of The Denver Foundation’s Philanthropic Partnerships Department (the department which manages the Nonprofit Internship Program). By way of introducing the mayor to the students, she stated: “The greatest joy of my career has been the opportunity to work with new talent. And what was most compelling about Michael at 19 was his eagerness to learn and receive feedback, which was equal to his desire to offer suggestions and lend his perspective about community issues.” Additionally, another of the mayor’s key mentors at that time was Denver Foundation President and CEO David Miller, who was Mayor Peña’s Director of Finance. The 2014 Nonprofit Interns represent the 8th Class in the program, the purpose of which is to provide paid summer work and opportunities for college students who have traditionally been underrepresented in the nonprofit sector (people of color, first generation college students, GLBT, etc.). To date, more than 100 students make up the alumni corps of the Nonprofit Internship Program, many who have successfully entered into the nonprofit or public service sectors.  Editor’s note: To learn more about the program, visit

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


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Continued from page 3 thought, “Today, those controversial barricades along with other measures including heightened community and police collaboration saved a life.” No shots were fired at or by the police on that rainy afternoon and what could have ended in the injury or death of a fleeing young Black man, a public servant or an innocent bystander, ended in the young man’s arrest as well as a weapon, most likely illegally obtained, being taken off the street. “The way that boy was running with that gun, if the police would have shot him, they would have been totally justified,” an older eyewitness told me. “That boy is lucky to be alive.” The CPTED barricades have proved effective. In the past, gunmen simply sped through the intersection of 33rd and Hudson and began shooting. This time the potential shooter had to walk into Holly Square, run from waiting police, and was captured all without gunfire. Leaving Holly Square and speaking at the national vigil, I expressed how imperative it is to hold law enforcement accountable when they overstep

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


their authority and engage in police misconduct. At the same time I commended the Denver Police officers who moments earlier de-escalated a situation that resulted in arrest and not death. Thursday was a day of police contrasts and mixed feelings. In Missouri an unarmed young Black man was killed and in Denver an armed young Black man was not. Therefore, I participated in the moment of silence for victims of police brutality; while also offering a moment of applause for officers that rarely get recognized for the many things they do well. In Denver a young Black man will have his day in court and a community all too familiar with violent tragic endings will have no funeral. To that, Denver Police Department, I say, “job well done!”

Brother Jeff Denver, CO

Editor’s note: Read more DUS Letters and Op-eds on Spectrum Talk at Soul Food Festival Sends Apology To Denver Community; and Foley’s Horrifying Death, ISIS Is A Cancer That Must Be Eliminated; and Preparing Students for Great Futures is a Multi-Faceted Task, Venture Prep Does.

Denver Library Recognizes African American Artists and Musicians

Twelve African Americans who have roots in Denver and excelled in the arts locally and nationally will have their photographs permanently displayed at the Blair-Caldwell African American Library in recognition of their contributions to acting, dance and music. Wellington and Wilma Webb, cochairs of the Friends of Blair-Caldwell Library, said the photographs will be placed in the library at 2401 Welton St. this fall. The library, which opened in the historic Five Points neighborhood in 2003, includes a museum and research area that chronicles the impact of Black residents in the Mile High City and the West. The artists, a majority who graduated from high schools in Denver are: Film/TV – Actress Pam Grier, East High School graduate; actor Don Cheadle, East High School graduate; Academy Award winning actress Hattie McDaniel, East High School graduate; actor and political commentator Joseph Phillips, George Washington High School graduate; actor Ron Pinkard, Manual High School graduate; Dance – Cleo Parker Robinson, George Washington High School graduate. Music – Singer Diane Reeves, George Washington High School graduate; singers Phillip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Andrew Woolfolk, Earth, Wind and Fire band members and East High School graduates; music publisher Jon Platt, Montbello High School graduate; and Denver Symphony and jazz musician Charlie Burrell.

Jeffrey Washington Throws Hat In To Run For House District 8

Jeffrey Washington has announced his candidacy to run for House District 8 on the Republican ticket. Born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1979, Washington moved to Denver in 2008 to study biology and earned his PhD in Microbiology at Metro State University. He says he is motivated to run for office because, “I see the challenges our community faces and I truly believe that a free-market, capitalism system is the best economic practice for society. It offers people of the inner city more freedom, choice and opportunity.” Washington’s passion for public service began while serving in the student government assembly at Metro State. He was a passionate advocate


for student veterans and played a key role in having health insurance added on as part of their tuition ensuring their insurance was covered by their GI bills. He has also pushed for more local control over public services by putting together the Five Points Metropolitan District which creates a special district to meet the many needs of residents within HD 8. Washington will begin a tour of meet-n-greets within the district beginning Sept. 3 at Coffee at the Point, 710 E 26th Ave. in Denver from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or call 720-569-6241.

Cannabis Consultant and PR Veteran Join Forces to Form Cannabis Focused PR Firm

Colorado now has its first public relations and marketing firm dedicated to the advancement, regulation and public education of the cannabis industry. Wanda James, cannabis consultant and political strategist has joined forces with twenty five year public relations veteran, Tracy Williams, principal of TradeWinds Communications, to form Cannabis Global Consulting (CGC), the public relation and marketing division of the Cannabis Global Initiative

(GCI) which will focus on assisting municipalities, corporations and elected officials to better navigate the rapidly Tracy Williams changing landscape of the cannabis industry. CGC is a full service public relations firm, complete with media placement, branding expertise, logo and web design, and outreach. The firm employs legislative and regulatory experts along with cannabis, education and health industry professionals. What differentiates the firm is its alliance with the City Park Law Group and their public affairs team. City Park Law Group specializes in promoting inclusiveness for small businesses entering emerging markets, and they are experts in managing the business growth and the political needs of CGI’s client base. This will allow CGI to support clients with pertinent contracts, business development, planning, and For more information, visit,, or

Stapleton Introduces Its Next Great Neighborhood: Willow Park East

Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is excited to announce that Stapleton is beginning the build-out of Willow

Park East, its next great neighborhood. This is the second neighborhood north of Interstate 70 that will continue Stapleton’s strong momentum of neighborhood growth. Willow Park East, an evolving expression of Stapleton, weaves nature on a grand scale into a friendly, urban pattern with a mix of purposeful new parks, sweeping green spaces, and next-generation homes. Undeniably a Stapleton neighborhood, it is drawn with a sharp new pencil and painted with a crisp new brush. Willow Park East will offer all the lifestyle benefits Stapleton is known for: from the award-winning schools to the community events, broadly priced Denver homes and a lively mix of residents. The new neighborhood will also boast acres of parks and open space that integrate seamlessly into the landscape and celebrate the windswept, high prairie landscape. The homes at Willow Park East are ideally located north of I-70 and offer easy access to DIA and downtown Denver. Willow Park East offers a thoughtful mix of energy efficient new home designs from modern to traditional. With porches, patios and roof decks that take advantage of Colorado’s climate and colors inspired by nature, the homes range in price from the mid-$100s to $800s and will vary in size from 1,000 to more than 3,500 square feet. The neighborhood is located on 200 acres just northeast of Conservatory Green and will be comprised of 770 total homes.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $300,000 to the Denver Foundation to Amplify Philanthropy in Communities of Color

The Denver Foundation believes that community change can be especially powerful when the people most impacted by issues lead in identifying and implementing solutions. The pervasive disparities in education, health care, affordable housing, and employment are among the many issues that the Foundation addresses through funding initiatives, community partnerships, and connections with generous donors. Because these disparities disproportionately affect people of color, the Foundation leadership has made a pledge to identify and acknowledge their philanthropic contributions (time, talent, treasure, and testimony) and to deepen, leverage, and grow philanthropy among individuals and groups within communities of color. The $300,000 award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), which will be utilized over the period of two years, will aid in a more robust implementation and evaluation of those efforts. The Denver Foundation has core commitments to develop philanthropy, engage residents, and advance racial, ethnic, and economic equity. This has been demonstrated over the years through the Foundation’s extensive work in supporting resident

engagement and resident leadership through its Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, and in providing resources to help nonprofit organizations become more racially inclusiveness through its Inclusiveness Project – efforts which have both garnered national recognition. Through the dedication of staff and partnership with the Community Investment Network (another WKKF grantee), The Denver Foundation became the host to two giving circles comprised of people of color. Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP): Black Men Giving with a Purpose, which launched in May 2012, was the first. It is comprised of 20 African American men of all ages and backgrounds who each not only give a minimum of $365 a year, but also collectively invest their time and talent to positively impact community issues. There are currently more giving circles of color in the planning stages. For more information, visit www.denverfoundation. org. For more info on DAAP, visit: or email

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Aurora Fox Theatre Company Presents Once On This Island

The Aurora Fox will present Once on This Island, a high energy Caribbean fairy tale musical the whole family will enjoy. A young peasant girl (SuCh, the award-winning actress and R&B singer who played Celie in The Color Purple) rescues and falls in love with a rich boy (Carter Edward Smith) from the other side of the island. Guided by the gods of earth, water and love, the naïve girl finds herself torn between two very different worlds. Director/Choreographer Candy Brown began her professional career as a dancer on Broadway working with amazing directors and choreographers, most notably Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett and Hal Prince


(Pippin, Chicago, A Chorus Line, etc.) She has a long film and television career and since relocating to Denver six years ago, Brown has worked with several theaters, readings for Stories On Stage and is currently a guest artist teaching movement at the Denver School of the Arts. The show will have 12 performances only running from Sept. 12 through Oct. 5 on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees at The Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $28-$31 for adults, $24 for seniors and students, $14 for kids 12 and under. For tickets and/or group rates call: 303-739-1970 or visit:

Finalists Announced For the 35th Annual Tribute to Black Women Luncheon

Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) will present the 35th Annual Tribute to Black Women Award Luncheon, taking place at the Renaissance Hotel on Oct 4. This year’s event, “Securing Our Future,“ will feature keynote speaker DeLores Pressley, one of the most respected and sought-after authorities on confidence, motivation, and personal power.

Six African American women and one youth will be honored for their achievements in the community in various categories. CBWPA announces the following finalists nominated within each category. Community Service: Dianne Cook, Sharon Bridgeforth, and Dr. Sharon Ruth Bailey Education: Rosemarie Allen, Dr. Jeanette D. Patterson, and Regina Edmondson Politics: Leslie Herod, Barbara Deadwyler, and Stephanie Cross Legend (senior citizen): Betty Funderburke, Dr. Robbie Bean, and Jane Pigford Business: Dr. Nita Mosby Henry, Adriane Sanford, and Rose Andom Cultural Arts: Candy Brown, Deborah Walker, and Phaedra High Youth (college student or 2014 high school graduate): Eboni Stevenson, Lisa Napper, and Jalen Nicole Taylor For more information or to purchase tickets, visit For questions email Jeannie Davis at or call 303-337-1991.

Cary Kennedy to Speak at LWV Kickoff Meeting

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 5:45 pm, the League of Women Voters of

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2014


Denver will hold their kickoff meeting for the 2014/2015 season with a presentation by Cary Kennedy. Kennedy will be delivering a snapshot of the city budget and the highlights of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s recent State of the City Address as seen from her perspective as both chief financial officer and deputy mayor. The public is invited to the meeting which will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Montview Presbyterian Church at 1980 Dahlia St. The League of Women Voters of Denver, a nonpartisan organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, call 303-3217571, email or visit

WVOC to Host Women’s Veterans Conference

Honoring the service of over 38,000 Colorado women veterans, the Women Veterans of Colorado (WVOC) will host the 4th Annual Women Veterans of Colorado Conference at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Denver on Saturday Sept. 13, from 8


a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “Pathways to Self Sufficiency: Fueling the Entrepreneurial Spirit,” includes lunch and numerous resource providers. The 2014 keynote speaker will be Dana Niemela, Program Manager for Denver City and County’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. There will informational, employment, and sessions on wellness. Registration for this free conference is now open online at

CBHC Sets Family Reunion Event with Chef Nikki Shaw

It’s an afternoon of healthy fitness, food and fun at the 7th annual Family Reunion, Saturday, Sept. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Montclair Recreation Center, 729 Ulster Way in Denver. Enjoy a fitness carnival, Zumba under the sky, sample tasty healthy food demonstrations, children activities, prizes, awards and surprises. Sharing her passion for food and appetite for adventure will be celebrity chef Nikki Shaw. She conducts healthy cooking demonstrations and educates communities about the importance of making smart food choices and staying physically active. Free information will be available. The Colorado Black Health


Collaborative is a non-profit community centered organization that works to eliminate health disparities in the African American and other communities. For more information, call 720-9996180 or email


Polly Sanders-Peterson to Be Honored At a Dual Celebration in September

Elbra M. Wedgeworth Municipal Building Dedication

Hairstylist and business owner, Polly Sanders-Peterson will be the guest of honor celebrating 50 years in business and 70th birthday. Hosted at the Denver Sola Salon Studios in Cherry Creek North, the event will be on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 3 to 7 p.m. In lieu of birthday gifts, guests can make a donation to the scholarship fund created by Polly Sanders-Peterson through Covenant House of Love, a non-profit outreach ministry. Scholarships will be awarded to cosmetology students attending the Emily Griffith’s School of Cosmetology in need of financial assistance. For more information, call Polly Sanders-Peterson at 720-581-0059, email or visit

AROUND TOWN IN DENVER - AUGUST 2014 Photos by Lens of Ansar

Reception with Mark Udall at the Park Hill Golf Course


Fields Foundation presents Courageous Citizens of Colorado Gala and Awards Ceremony with special guest Sybrina Fulton

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Profile for Denver Urban Spectrum

DUS September 2014  

Our cover story this month looks at the Colorado Black Round Table’s response to the Rocky Mountain PBS I-News Network 2013 report, "Losing...

DUS September 2014  

Our cover story this month looks at the Colorado Black Round Table’s response to the Rocky Mountain PBS I-News Network 2013 report, "Losing...