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Volume 27 Number 6 September 2013


The Nerve Dr. Robbie Bean

Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. Final Reunion...4

Photo by Bernard Grant

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MESSAGE FROM DUS Volume 27 Number 6

September 2013

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris




The crisp feel of fall is in the morning air; the time for hot apple cider and looking forward to the holidays is near. With all seasons, it is a time for change and here at the Spectrum there is no difference. We welcome this month Angelia D. McGowan as our guest managing editor. You may have seen her work as a contributing writer over the years but there is so much more to her journalistic talents and expertise. As matter of fact, she was part of the MRBES Marketing Team to capture the Public Relations Campaign of the Year award from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists. We are proud that she has joined the DUS team.


FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Angelle Fouther Hugh Johnson Angelia McGowan Chris Meehan ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix


Rosalind J. Harris Publisher Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where a quarter of a million people rallied at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to address pressing issues facing the country. This issue of the Denver Urban Spectrum features people and issues that impact us today, and reveal that while there’s lots of work still to be done since that monumental day in history, a lot of good has been happening too. In this issue you’ll learn about the road Dr. Robbie Bean traveled before founding Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. After reading about the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for how a realtist (not realtor) can help you plan to buy a home and stay in it. We know it’s already on your schedule, but we wanted to give you a friendly reminder for the Colorado Black Women for Political Action’s “Tribute to Black Women” luncheon. In addition, you’ll read about Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, an alternative school that attracts students from across the country seeking the best way to graduate high school and then purse higher education. We extend best wishes to the Nancy P. Anschutz Center, which is rising from the ashes of the Holly Square fire, redirecting the future for the neighborhood. Without a doubt, this issue’s article on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be one of many to help you understand how this new healthcare system fits into your life. Next month, we look forward to sharing perspectives from candidates in the upcoming elections so that you will be able to make informed decisions when you cast your vote.


Angelia D. McGowan Guest Managing Editor

DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch


Animal Rights Need Embracing, Too

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 2013 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

and beaten into performing ridiculous tricks for human amusement. Monkeys, dogs, and rats are still burned, shocked, infected, poisoned, blinded, and surgically mutilated in laboratories despite breakthroughs in science that provide reliable and far more relevant non-animal testing methods. Animals on factory farms are treated more like widgets than the thinking, feeling beings they are: Chickens and pigs are crammed into cages so small that they cannot take a single step in any direction, calves are torn from the mothers who love them, pigs are prodded and kicked and deprived of everything that makes their lives worth living. Fifty years after Dr. King’s stirring, unforgettable speech, I have a dream that we will embrace animal rights as being as deserving of our energy as the other hard-fought and slowly accepted struggles for social justice. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Let’s honor his memory by pledging to oppose all oppression, prejudice, vio-

Editor: From my office, it is a short walk to the spot where, 50 years ago, on August 28, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, and crowds must have streamed along this very street on their way to the March on Washington. Who alive then would have believed that just a few short decades later, Americans would elect their first black president? We broke through one significant barrier, but we cannot stop there. We must shed today's prejudices as surely as we rejoice in having shed yesterday's. We know that all living beings experience maternal love as we do; that if you burn a child or a cat, they feel the same pain; and that all of us with a heart beating inside us desire freedom. Yet young elephants are still removed from their families, confined by chains to stinking, squalid boxcars,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


lence, and cruelty, no matter how novel the idea or how inconvenient the task. Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk President People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals 1536 16th St. N.W. Washington, DC 20036

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Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. Prepares for Final Reunion Founder Dr. Robbie Bean To Be Honored Owetta R. McNeil Family

School has been out for Dr. Robbie

Bean since 1992 when she retired after a 35-year teaching career for Denver Public Schools. Fortunately for the community at-large, she has continued administering life lessons as the president and founder of Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. This year, the non-profit that truly exemplifies its name, is celebrating 15 years of recognizing countless families from various races, national origins, socio-economic status, educational levels, political views and religious affiliations. This year also marks the final reunion event for Celebration of Families-Student, Inc. and will be held at New Hope Baptist Church on Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. In addition to performances from the Colorado Mormon Chorale and Excel Institute Choir, founder Dr. Robbie Bean will honored. Obstacles in securing someone to take over the organization combined with Bean’s health have influenced the decision to make this the final event, according to Bean’s daughter Patricia Kane. “The organization in the past looked for a new president and/or organization to take on this endeavor but was not successful,” says Kane, who has joined with the founding board members (Dr. Fannye Evans, Lovie Young, Richard Smith, Nora Cocha, Norman Winteroud and Kane) to help organize this final event. “My mother is the main driving force for the organization. Her whole life has been honoring others and their contributions to their community.” While the 83-year-old has never thought twice about committing to the work required, her husband Howard of 60 years, has said “it’s a lot of work,” says Bean, who has been making a winner’s comeback from poor health conditions this spring and is currently recuperating and doing physical therapy at Forest Street Compassionate Care Center.

She adds, “Our daughter Patricia has been doing a beautiful job.” Filling Bean’s ever-growing shoes is no small feat. A sign of her capacity to continue doing good works after retirement is demonstrated in her choice to learn how to use a computer. She has a Facebook page, but primarily uses the computer to reach out to friends and family in support of her annual event. “When I retired, I wanted to help families,” says Bean, who early in her teaching career set the expectation for parental participation at the start of each school year. The month of September was reserved for her to visit the home of each one of her students. “They knew the month and the time of day, but they didn’t know whose home I would visit that day,” she says. “One student’s parents had beer in their hands. When they heard their child shout ‘that’s my teacher,’ they tried to put it down to the side.” Bean let them in on a secret. She knew about beer and there was no reason for them to hide it. The downto-earth teacher built such a good rapport with her parents that one, who was originally from Switzerland, invited her to stay in their home on a visit to Europe. And, she did. While sharing some of her memories with the Denver Urban Spectrum for this interview, she said that she should have written a book on her experiences. If she were to write a book, she would state that she was born on Dec. 23, 1929 in Winona, Mississippi but raised in Durant, Mississippi until the age of nine. She would talk about the

moves the family made because of her father’s role as a United Methodist minister. From Durant, they moved to St. Joseph, Missouri and lived there for five years before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers’ fan would pay homage to her father, Rev. Robert Henry Powell, for leaving the ministry for about six years to work at the post office to pay for a college education for her and her sister, Freddie. Bean received her bachelor’s degree in history with a double minor in social studies and French; a master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska; a doctorate in education curriculum from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her father graduated at the age of 15 from Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and understood the value of education for his daughters. The legendary educator would surely chronicle her first teaching experience in the segregated 1950s as a 20-year old facing 40 Black students in Kansas after being told she couldn’t get a teaching job in her home state of Nebraska. Not only was she living away from home for the first time – nerve-wracking on its own – she didn’t know how to cook or sew. The latter was required to help make student costumes for school concerts. She could talk about becoming Nebraska’s first Black elementary school teacher after her dad and the ministerial alliance demanded she be hired. As a newlywed, she’d soon relocate to Denver with the goal of working as a teacher in the Denver Public Schools, only to have that career extremely deferred.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


By Angelia D. McGowan Photos by Norman W. Winterowd

She dabbled in education with a stint at the Jewish Community Center. She eventually took advantage of the rare employment opportunity the U.S. Post Office afforded many Blacks at that time. It was not her passion, but it provided her solid employment for about seven years. Unhappy about her repeat applications being met with silence or “quotafilled” excuses, her husband called the DPS personnel office to share a few choice words. They called her in the next day, and she finally joined the ranks of Denver Public Schools. “A lot of people don’t know what we had to go through, having an advanced degree and still not able to get a job,” says Bean, who stayed abreast of the latest education programs, spending one summer break with Project Head Start, initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 to reach low-income communities. She’d also mention the warnings she received when she joined and eventually led the American Association of University Women (spanning two terms). She had received a membership letter, and had the “nerve to join.” In response to people saying it was a white group, she said “not anymore.” She invited more Black women to be involved because, “a lot of minority women needed help.” One of her favorite occasions with the AAUW was the annual event that honored women. Her appointment as human relations (formerly race relations) chair for the Rocky Mountain Conference by the General Methodist Church would undoubtedly make the book. In short, she spearheaded luncheons to honor people who were pursuing diversity and coordinated a speaker’s bureau between the white and Black churches in the Denver area to inspire interaction and cultural awareness. The luncheons “were well attended, especially after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. People were prone to do something,” says Bean of the experience that encouraged dialogue between the races, provided Continued on page 6

East High School Outstanding Alumni 16 Accomplished Men And Women To Join Notables in Heritage Hall of Fame

Many people drive by East High

School and gaze just a moment longer than expected at the stunning architectural edifice that is Denver’s oldest high school. The building stands tall and proud at the entrance to City Park, in the spot it has occupied since 1925. But this beautiful school is about so much more than the façade, and inside its walls an impressive list of unique young men and women graduated to later become leaders in their fields. On Thursday, September 19, the accomplishments of a new group of alumni will be celebrated during an induction ceremony and dinner, as they are ushered into the East High School Alumni Heritage Hall. The list of distinguished graduates, which includes inductees from 2008, 2010 and 2013, represents more than 130 years of achievement, in every facet of life. The diverse list of 2013 inductees includes:

• Robert T. Bate, physicist and the “Father of nanoelectronics” – Class of ‘49 • Leslie Friedman Davis, businesswoman, banker and civic leader – Class of ‘40 • Bill Frisell, jazz musician, composer and recording artist – Class of ‘69 • Gen. Robert T. Herres, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff – Class of ‘50 • Daniel Walker Howe, Ph.D., History professor and author – Class of ‘55 • Rev. Leon Kelly, Community activist and anti-gang advocate – Class of ‘71 • Kenneth Kendal King, Banker and philanthropist – Class of ‘18 • Louise Lamphere, Ph.D., Anthropologist and author – Class of ‘58 • William R. Pace, Internatinal Human Rights Activist – Class of ‘64 • Ralph B. Peck, Civil engineer – Class of ‘30 • Opalanga (Donna) Pugh, Actor, historian, storyteller – Class of ‘70 • Jane Silverstein Ries, Landscape architect – Class of ‘27 • Richard “Dick” Robinson, Businessman and philanthropist – Class of ‘47 • Edward “Eddie” Robinson, Businessman and philanthropist – Class of ‘50 • Robert F. Smith, International businessman, philanthropist – Class of ‘81 • Peter Teets, Aeronautical Engineer, CEO, Undersecretary of Air Force – Class of ‘59

These prominent individuals join an impressive list of prior inductees, who have made significant contribution to their community and the world at large. Their dedication has impacted lives, in a way that spans arts and literature, science and technology, business and society. Past notables (to name a few) include singer Judy Collins (’57), actor Don Cheadle (’82), Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert (’49), businessman and philanthropist A. Barry Hirschfeld (’60), political leader Allegra “Happy” Haynes (’71), former    Miss America    Marilyn Van   Derbur Atler (’55), civic leader and CSU Chancellor Joe Blake (’54), Denver city

through the doors of East High School, it is hoped that students will aspire to achieve success in their own right, and to understand the importance of education and the role it will have as they move forward in their lives. The Alumni Heritage Hall was conceived by a dedicated committee of alumni, former and current faculty and parents, in collaboration with school administrators and staff. 

parks planner George Cranmer (’03), and Earth, Wind and Fire Grammy winner Philip Bailey (’69). Inductees are nominated by the community, and selections are made by a committee comprised of East High School alumni, faculty and community representatives. East High Alumni Heritage Hall was established to honor the exceptional accomplishments the school’s graduates since its founding in the 1870s. The Hall is meant to inspire, motivate and educate current students, by providing them with knowledge of the school’s rich   heritage and to provide them with positive role models. By showcasing the diversity of graduates who have walked

Editor’s note: For more information about East Alumni Heritage Hall or the induction ceremony and dinner on September 19, call 303-757-8253 or email

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Continued from page 4 speaking engagements for ministers who did not have a church of their own, and built lifelong friendships in her life. For kicks, she’d call out the professor, aka former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who taught her Black history at CU. She says, “I remember him more as a teacher than as a mayor before I retired. And I did work on his campaign.” Bean’s passion and tenacity over the years has not gone unnoticed. In one of her latter chapters, she would account for her many accolades, recognition from the National Council of Negro Women, Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Greater Park Hill Community and Denver’s 150. In addition, on Nov. 15, 1999, the City and County of Denver passed a resolution declaring her an outstanding educational and civic leader. She’s received two Martin Luther King Jr. awards, namely the Humanitarian Awards for Lifetime Achievement, and deservingly so.

The Impact of Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. The associate minister and administrative assistant for New Hope Baptist Church remembers her family, the Cannon’s, being honored as one of the first recipients of the Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. award.

Nathala (Cannon) Young’s family had been instructed by Bean to make sure they brought all of the family. They did. “They kept coming and kept coming. It was about 40 people,” says Bean, recalling the early years. Young, whose father was also honored posthumously by the organization a few years later, says, “Dr. Bean has a heart for the community, in doing something to recognize how important family is. God didn’t make the institution (of family) just because.” For the last several years, the organization has also conducted a creative writing and art contest for up to 200 children each year, ages four to 14. Submissions are accepted from schoolbased students, home-schooled students and independents. Entries from citywide took over the patio and garage, according to Howard.A lot of those entries were submitted by an estimated 120 students each year from Excel Institute alone. No surprise the school has numerous plaques for “school of the year” that greet visitors as they walk in the school’s entrance today. She provides an opportunity for people who may never receive it anywhere else “to get that applause,” says Excel Institute Administrator Vivian Wilson. What she’s done is not easy

“to make happen. She’s an organizer and an inspirer.” Wilson, whose school has participated since 2007, says Bean’s “traits are grace, love, patience and kindness.”

Student Recipients

There are not a lot of opportunities out there to recognize the entire family according to Charmaine Keeton, principal of Hallett Elementary which has participated in the organization’s program. She says, “It’s a great idea to display unique talents outside of sports and to recognize family as a whole unit.” When are we going to South Dakota? Intergenerational Youth

Bean’s second daughter, Vivian Haynes, has been involved, serving as mistress of ceremonies for student events. An intergenerational trip coordinated by Celebration of Families-

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Students, Inc. to South Dakota has built a fan base. The trip, consisting of estimated 80 people a year from age six to 92 of various genders, occupation, special needs and religious denominations, was initially established because of the state’s historical sites, close proximity to Denver and the low costs. Participants grew to ask about repeat trips where they would travel on the Ramblin’ Express bus and vans to Lead, South Dakota, and visit historical sites such as Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. A time to fellowship with Trinity United Methodist Church was also on the agenda, set months in advance by Bean. “I’d call them up, and ask if we could come to dinner. They’d have a big feast for us,” says Bean, who reveled in education mode with seminars held daily to see how well the travelers were studying the information packets that had been given to them for the trip. At the end of each trip the organization sponsored a community sharing program at St. Luke CME Church where students who participated reported on what they learned. With the spirit of the young teacher that visited all of the students’ homes at the beginning of the year, Bean keeps track of her Celebration of Families-Students, Inc. young participants from their New York internships to their acceptance to the U.S. Air Force Academy. She hopes her lessons echo throughout their lives, mainly to the point of, “I know you are smart enough to get by. But I know you can do better.” Organizations and individuals donating anywhere from $25 to $500 helped to keep the organizations events going, according to Kane. “Without their contributions none of the events could have been accomplished. The organization extends a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers, and contributors that have made the program a success for 15 years.”

You are Cordially Invited to Celebration of Families-Students Inc.

15th Year Anniversary Celebration Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 1 PM

New Hope Baptist Church

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Dr. Robbie Bean, President Come One, Come All and Spread the Word

Renunion of Past

• Honored Families • Student Contest Winners • Intergenerartional South Dakota Travelers

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Affordable Care Act: The Next Steps When this country elects a new

By Hugh Johnson

president in 2016 and President Barack Obama leaves office, what legacy will America’s first African American president leave behind? Surely there will be those who name the exposure of the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs as a key moment in Barack Obama’s administration. There will be others who look to the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden as a critical point. But for the millions of Americans who have struggled in finding affordable health care, the president’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be remembered as one of the greatest boons of his presidency. According to the president, 15 percent of Americans are uninsured. The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation reports that nearly 48 million non-elderly Americans, or 18 percent, were uninsured in 2011. Regardless of the source of the statistics, the gist remains the same: America needs a better healthcare system. In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare) into law with the goal of ensuring that every American has access to affordable health care regardless of income or preexisting illnesses. Since 2010, Americans have received a slew of benefits as a result of the law’s implementation. The percentage of young, uninsured Americans has decreased in the past few years due to a provision that allows for young Americans to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26. President Obama reported that millions of Americans have received rebates because of a provision that states that insurance companies have to return some of the money customers pay to them if they are using less than 80 percent of a premium on the customer’s health insurance. The Affordable Care Act also gives mandates for free contraceptive care and mammograms. Beginning next year, the country will take the next steps toward fully implementing the Affordable Care Act. January 1, Americans will able to shop online for competitive, quality healthcare through state or federal exchanges. Open enrollment for the exchanges begins on October 1. Each state may choose to either set up their own exchange in cooperation with the federal government or may elect to

The delay has prompted some republicans to take extreme measures in order to stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented further. based on preexisting conditions. This Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) proposed will lead to an increase in premiums shutting down the government in for younger and healthier patrons order to stop the Affordable Care Act. who purchased bare bones plans with “Well right now, this is the last stop cheaper rates. Insurance companies before Obamacare fully kicks in on that offered these plans are required to January 1 of next year for us to refuse charge everyone the same rate meanto fund it,” Lee said. “If Republicans ing that they will have to increase in both houses simply refuse to vote rates to accommodate for the influx of for any continuing resolution that consick customers into the healthcare tains further funding for further pool. enforcement of Obamacare, we can Also, one of the law’s key compostop it. We can stop the individual nents has been delayed. Starting in mandate from going into effect.” 2014, the Affordable Care Act was The president believes the idea of supposed to introduce unprecedented shutting down the government in this limits on how much a person could recovering economy in order to prespend out-of-pocket on medical care vent people from getting affordable in one year. Under that provision, a health care is reprehensible. single person could spend a maxi“Your health insurance isn’t somemum of $6,350 on medical care and thing to play politics with, our econoprescription drugs in a single year. my isn’t something to play politics The limit for families would be with,” the president said. $12,700. The Obama administration Above all the president is asking has decided delay the implementation this country to not only be patient but of the spending caps until 2015 in to think about the act in the long term. order to allow insurers to finish com“There is no doubt that in impleputer systems that will track customer menting the Affordable Care Act, a spending. program of this significance, there are The delay brought forth another going toyour be some glitches,” President "When you leave job... wave of criticism from many republiObama said. “That was true of social don't leave your money behind!" can opponents. Most notably, Speaker security, that was true of of the House John Boehner (R-OH) Medicare...that was true of the precalled the delay, “The latest evidence Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, scription drugCFP program part B that that the law is too costly and too comFinancial Adviser was rolled out by a republican presiplex to work – and that it’s not being dent…Our goal is to actually deliver implemented fairly.” high affordable healthcare for 3200 Cherry Creek Drivequality, South, #700 In a press conference, President people and to reform the system so Denver, CO 80209 Obama said the reason for the delay costs start going down and people was to give businesses time to find the - 303-871-7249 start getting a better bang for the buck best way to track customer spending. and I make no apologies for that.” “I didn’t simply choose to delay Is “Obamacare” simply a new this on my own. This was in consulta"Call Today for a FREE product that has a few glitches or is tion with businesses all across the Consultation!" it a nightmare of a program that is country, many of whom are supportdoomed to fail due to its poor design ive of the Affordable Care Act,” the and sluggish implementation? president said. “[They] were conAmerica will have at least part of the cerned about the operational details of answer by the time 2016 rolls changing their HR operation if they’ve around.  got a lot of employees, which could be costly for them.”

have the federal government run the exchange for them. Seventeen states including Colorado opted to establish their own exchanges while 26 states declined the offer. The remaining seven states created hybrid exchanges ran by both the state and the federal government. Colorado’s Exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, is hard at work getting the word out to Colorado’s uninsured. According to the Division of Insurance, the state will offer 541 plans to individuals and small businesses. The plans are serviced by 18 providers. In accordance with mandates in the Affordable Care Act, each plan is required to cover a minimum of services including ambulatory patient services, hospitalization, prescription drugs and maternity and newborn care among others. Connect for Health Colorado will also offer tax credits to aid qualifying families in paying for a plan. Tax credits will be available for singles making $15,000 to $46,000, couples making $20,000 to $62,000 and families making $31,000 to $94,000. Additionally, Colorado will offer four levels of service. Bronze plans will cover 60 percent of healthcare costs, silver plans will cover up to 70 percent, gold plans will cover 80 percent and platinum plans will cover up to 90 percent of healthcare costs. On August 16, Colorado’s Division of Insurance released premium estimates for a 40-year-old non-smoker. The premiums range from about $177 to approximately $774 based on level of coverage and where the person lives. The Affordable Care Act is no stranger to opposition and these latest steps haven’t gone uncontested. Some states are predicting an increase in insurance premiums due to the fact that insurance providers are required to provide a wider base of services and can no longer deny customers

"When you leave your job... don't leave your money behind!"

Shades of Blue

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP


Financial Adviser

September 13, 2013 Denver Museum of Nature and Science 6-9 pm

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 Denver, CO 80209

303-871-7249 -

"Call Today for a FREE Consultation!"

Honoring Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock with the Ed Dwight Jr. Award

For tickets and information please call: (303) 916-8840 Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


CABJ Honors DUS Contributors C

By Hugh Johnson

ongratulations to Denver Urban Spectrum contributors who received honors at the Colorado Association of Black Journalists 26th Annual Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet on August 9 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Public Relations Professional CABJ Award recipient Angelle Fouther

Want to learn more your drinking water? water? about your Chandra Thomas Whitfield, Bernard Grant, Angelle Fouther and Angelia McGowan were honored at the CABJ dinner for their outstanding contributions to journalism. Whitfield and Grant both took home Scribes in Excellence (SIE) awards. Fouther was named Public Relations Professional of the Year and McGowan was part of the MRBES Marketing Team to capture the Public Relations Campaign of the Year award. CABJ parliamentarian, Amani Ali, was the master of ceremonies for the event. The dinner featured addresses from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Rose Andom, the vice chair of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association and president of Rosmik, Inc., dba McDonald’s. CABJ honored 7News Anchor Bertha Lynn, who left her position after 37 years of television to become the executive director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation at Denver. CABJ

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YOUTH Y OUTH EDUCATION EDUCATION Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


also named Blake Foeman and Melanie Johnson as the recipients of the CABJ journalism scholarships. Finally, Dorothy Hollis, mother of the late Officer Celena Hollis who was killed at a jazz concert at City Park last year, was honored with the CABJ’s Excellence in Community Service Award. An emotional Hollis thanked the CABJ and those in attendance for their support. For CABJ president, Gloria Neal, providing support is the crux of the dinner. “When you are six months out or seven months out or into the wee hours of the morning...and you’re thinking somebody’s gonna depend on this money or somebody’s going to come to this dinner and be inspired, some member who is thinking about getting out of this profession is thinking about kicking it to the curb...and now they’re saying, ‘you know what I think I can do more,’” Neal said. CABJ President Gloria Neal and Dorothy Hollis Photos by Hugh Johnson

Of the haven for Black journalists, she said, “This body serves as food for so many people in so many ways... It helps when people say ‘Well why do we need organizations like CABJ? We don’t need those anymore; I mean laws have been passed – it’s different now.’ It’s not that different. So CABJ is needed because it is a place where you can come and it is a refuge and it also is a place that is professional and that’s why the passion is there and that’s why it’s so important.” 

The Nancy P. Anschutz Center Opens in Northeast Park Hill A Community’s Vision Realized

Denver is known for its year-

round sunshine. But on and around 34th and Holly in Northeast Park Hill, the sun seems to be shining even more brightly these days. There is a buzz in the air. It’s as much the sound of construction as it is the residents talking about what’s new and good in their neighborhood: The Nancy P. Anschutz Center, home to the Vickers Boys & Girls Club, Mi Casa Resource Center and the Prodigal Son Initiative. It is scheduled to open in early September. The facility, with its modern architecture and landscaping, now sits as a part of an entire campus dedicated to the positive development of Northeast Denver’s youth. That facility, erected on the site of the former Holly Square Shopping Center, is the result of four years of community visioning and planning. It now stands as a testament to what can occur when residents come together to work towards a common goal. Many of the youth who will attend programs at the Anschutz Center are too young to remember Holly Square, which, after being a thriving retail center for almost 50 years, was reduced to a pile of ashes do to gang-related arson in 2008. The demise of “the Holly” left a void as well as a stain on the proud community. Yet it became a catalyst prompting residents to come together to think about the future. The 2.6 acre site was purchased in the spring of 2009 by Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) with financial support from Denver’s Office of Economic Development. Strengthening Neighborhoods, a program of The Denver Foundation, and ULC came together with hundreds of community stakeholders to help guide the planning and visioning process for long-term reinvestment and redevelopment of the property. The Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP) was formed through these efforts. An important aspect of the community’s vision in the search for partners to redevelop Holly Square was the creation of a safe place for the neighborhood’s youth to go after school. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver emerged as the partner of choice.

By Angelle C. Fouther

Branch Director Jason Torrez (left) next to John Arigoni, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, and NE Park Hill youth and community stakeholders

A representative of the Kitchen Community works with club youth on the Learning Garden

“The exciting - really unique aspect of this project is that it emerged from a partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Urban Land Conservancy, and the residents of Northeast Park Hill,” states Patrick Horvath, director of Strengthening Neighborhoods at The Denver Foundation. “Resident leaders with the Holly Area Redevelopment Project interviewed all the organizations that expressed interest in developing at the site, asked hard questions, and worked with the ULC to select the Boys & Girls Club as a partner. The Boys & Girls Club, in turn, realized the enormous benefit of having a committed community partner that would work with it to ensure the project’s success.” The Anschutz Foundation contributed $5 million toward the capital development of the center to be named for the wife of business leader and philanthropist Phillip Anschutz. The Boys & Girls Club housed within the center is named for longtime club supporter Jack A. Vickers. The Prodigal Son Initiative (PSI), a nonprofit that works to develop the leadership skills of youth and deter them from gang life, played a key role as well. Terrance Roberts, PSI executive director and life-long Northeast Park Hill resident, was commissioned to create positive interim uses on the site. Through community outreach, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment, PSI was instrumental in the construction of basketball courts, a Holly Mural project (which Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, came to bless), Peace Poles made from the old shopping center structure and a futsal court. PSI offices are located within the new center. Built by Oz Architecture, the Anschutz Center has a very modern look, with high ceilings and energy efficient natural light. It was made to look like an “oasis in the city.” The

Gerie Grimes, ED of Hope Center (second to left), Elena Vasonez of Mi Casa (center), youth Counselor Lovell Norris, and Terrance Roberts, ED of Prodigal Son Initiative (all center), with Jason Torrez, Vickers Boys & Girls Club Branch Director and Kimbal Musk of the Kitchen Community (contributors of the Learning Garden), and NE Park Hill Youth

center includes a social recreation room with pool tables, foosball and carpet bowling; an education room where youth will obtain help with homework and reading; a cultural arts room for photography and fine arts; a technology/computer lab; a commercial grade kitchen, that will be used to serve dinner in partnership with Food Bank of the Rockies; and a gym with a full-length basketball court. Jason Torrez, branch director for the Vickers Boys & Girls Club, says “we want to offer kids the tools and the space to become successful adults.” “I am elated for the community and for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and particularly for the impact that we are going to have on the kids and the community,” states John Arigoni, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. “We designed the building with the input of the HARP steering committee, and it is truly the best and safest facility we’ve built in 52 years.” Arigoni says they are very grateful to the Anschutz family for their contribution in the name of Nancy P. Anschutz. “There was a great interest by the community to have something that complements the community and serves youth and families,” says Gerie Grimes, executive director of Hope Center and member of HARP. “The Boys & Girls Club does just that – it complements the services of the Hiawatha Davis Rec Center, Pauline Robinson Library, Prodigal Sons, Hope Center and the surrounding area.” Additionally Mi Casa Resource Center will offer a job readiness and training program at the center. Eric Swan is a long-time resident of Northeast Park Hill and a City of Denver employee. He also sits on the HARP steering committee and says, “It’s invigorating to see people excited about things and working to cooper-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


ate.” He adds that the availability of a community space will provide a lot of opportunities for other groups and residents. “I hope it will foster a greater sense of community and bring people together.” A community-wide grand opening celebration will be held in October, a month which often brings unpredictable weather to Denver. Yet, whatever conditions may arise for the occasion, one thing will be certain: the sun will be shining on 34th and Holly in Northeast Park Hill. 

Giving At-Risk Youth Alternative Means to Graduate By Chris Meehan Photos by Chris Meehan

Denver’s not the roughest place in

the country for students, but it and Colorado have a fair share of students and young adults at risk of not graduating from high school. Not everyone takes to or is interested in the traditional teaching methods used in the United States. In addition, minorities and inner-city children are among the most likely to be underserved and at risk of not graduating high school for a number of reasons: gangs, access to drugs, poverty and single-parent homes, to name a few.

A number of organizations and schools are available to help in the region, including Denver Justice High School, Denver Street School and Denver Urban Scholars. But one school in Colorado —Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park —offers a completely immersive scholastic experience that literally transports students, and frees them from the daily factors that have hampered their education. The school is a free, scholarshipsupported charter school for students that are at risk of not completing high school or that need a second chance to

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graduate. “We’re a part of a much larger progressive school movement,” says Jeff Liddle, who became the head of school last year after working at Eagle Rock for more than a decade. He says the school, funded by Honda, is just part of the company’s education initiative. The center works with schools and educators around the country to learn how to keep students engaged and on the path to graduation. Eagle Rock averages 75 students with about half coming from Colorado and half from the rest of the country, Liddle says. A lot of students are from urban areas like Denver, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. “We try to have a really diverse student body,” he says, noting that of the 58 current returning students, 14 identify as Latino and 11 as Black. Generally, it’s kind of a reflection of the kind of the percentage you’d see in the general population.” “Students find out about us either through referrals from teachers or counselors or community workers that know of a student that would be a pretty good fit for us. …You have to be at risk of dropping out of high school or have dropped out of high school,” Liddle says. “A student has to want to get an education and have to be in really bad shape in their school and they can’t have really significant learning disabilities. We’re not really dealing with highneeds learning disabilities or significant mental health issues,” he adds. Anna Alarid, a former student of the school who graduated Eagle Rock at 21 and then went on to get her master’s degree at 26, says, “In ninth grade I dropped out of school. They were going to kick me out of school. Instead of having that on my permanent record I decided to withdraw and figure out what I was going to do,” she says. Before dropping out at 15, the Denver-area native tried going to a number of different area schools, but they weren’t working for her. “As a teenager I was doing a lot of drugs and really just abusing them. It went beyond the point of parties and fun, and a lot of my friends became coke addicts or addicted to meth, or just were really becoming really bad alcoholics, having babies and abortions and my cousins were going to jail. The whole kind of environment was dragging me down,” Alarid says. “I found Eagle Rock on the Internet because I knew I needed a place that was very alternative because I didn’t rank in all these other schools. I just knew I had to get my life on track and Eagle Rock was kind of the perfect decision because I could get away from my environment but still be close to home and they offered a lot of things that sounded really perfect at

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


the time,” she says. It was what Liddle was looking for as well. “One of the big reasons that I came to Eagle Rock is the outdoor education program is inside the context of the school,” he says. “You’re not just pulling students out of their neighborhood, sending them on a month-long wilderness trip then sending them back to the neighborhood without support. Here the wilderness trip is part of a much bigger context and it becomes a touch point for the rest of their experience at this school.” Applying to Eagle Rock takes months and numerous interviews over the phone and in person, according to Alarid. Even upon initial acceptance students aren’t guaranteed full enrollment. The immersion starts with the wilderness experience. “They push you to go through all these life-changing experiences to see if you’re really ready for it,” she says. “Our curriculum is integrated. So you might take a class that involves math, English and science. The five expectations are making healthy life choices, practicing leadership for justice, being an engaged local citizen, learning to communicate effectively, and expanding in your knowledge base,” he says. “We’re unique in the country in the sense that we’re the only school that does exactly what we do,” Liddle says. “If you went to our campus, you’d say this thing is going on in JeffCo. This is going on at Rocky Mountain Expeditionary Learning School. This thing is going on in the Mapleton School District in the big picture school.…We have elements of different things that lots of other schools are doing.” The approach worked for Alarid, who is now the program manager of a teacher leadership program in New York City called Creative Pedagogies for School Change. “I think they prepared me very well for the path of study that I wanted,” says Alarid. The school also helps students, like Alarid, seeking post-secondary education scholarships. “We support those students who graduate with a graduate higher education fund and they’re eligible for up to $14,000 that goes toward higher education. For the undergrad, you can get up to $2,000 a year. Then there’s more if they go on to get their masters.” Considering Eagle Rock’s student body, the graduation rate is high. “One hundred percent of students were on track to drop out of school when they came here. We found 87 percent of them graduated either from Eagle Rock or came to Eagle Rock for a while and then returned to their home community and graduated from that school or another school in the

Do you need help paying for

child care? area or got their GEDs or some kind of graduate high school credential,â€? he says. Still Liddle thinks Eagle Rock could be even better. “We can get a lot of students of color to come here, but we can’t get as many staff of color to get here, because it’s predominately a white, retired community. That’s been a challenge for us,â€? he says. But he adds that it’s an issue reflective throughout the country since the majority of educators are white and not reflective of their increasingly diverse student bodies. Eagle Rock is not the only solution for at-risk students seeking higher education and beyond in Denver. The Colorado Legacy Foundation offers students some incentives, for example. “One of the most important things we’re doing is a program called the Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative,â€? says foundation spokesperson Heather Fox. “Students taking AP courses are 24 percent more likely to graduate from college,â€? she says. But notes that “Disproportionately lowincome and minority students don’t take AP coursework.‌This initiative confronts itself with expanding access to AP coursework to low-income and minority communities.â€? Under the program students who go through and complete AP courses

CCAP Can Help

and pass the AP tests are rewarded with $100. “It’s the most amazing thing. We have schools where the increase in kids passing AP coursework is 400 percent in one year.� The foundation is also engaged in non-traditional learning like the experiential learning that’s practiced at Eagle Rock. “We have an entire initiative called next-generation learning,� says Fox. “What traditionally happens is that we limit ourselves to how teachers teach instead of starting from a place of how students learn. If you start with how students learn and recognize that that is different, it allows you to tailor your instruction to meet kids where they’re at and make sure that they achieve to their potential.�

720.944.KIDS (5437) The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families that are working, going to school or looking for a job afford child care. CCAP provides financial assistance for children up to age 13 and special needs youth up to age 19.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013



No matter where you happen to live - Whittier, Montbello, Park Hill or

any other neighborhood in the Denver metro area - consider yourself fortunate if you own your home. The impact in Colorado was less than in other parts of the country, but the Great Recession has not been kind to Blacks and Hispanics. For many, much of their net worth is attributable to the equity in their homes, and their values have significantly eroded. Homeownership grew from the late 1990s into the early 21st century, but values plummeted in 2009. African American homeownership has declined from 49 percent to 46 percent. Big banks, congress and Wall Street have all had their time in the blame spotlight, but what is needed are grassroots solutions with an expansion of collective community knowledge so that future crises in our cities and neighborhoods are averted. To preserve our communities we must step up to the challenge and become more aware, engaged and understand the impact and responsibility of home ownership. Fortunately, there is an ally in a body of real estate professionals who keep this at the forefront, and they recently met in Denver. They are the realtists of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the nation’s oldest minority trade organization and the oldest Fair Housing advocacy group. Nearly 2,000 realtists from NAREB gathered at Denver’s Grand Hyatt Hotel for their 66th annual convention August 4-7. Author Michael Eric Dyson as well as Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, addressed the attendees. Established in Tampa, Florida in 1947 by 11 men and one woman, NAREB arose because Blacks selling and transferring properties were not allowed to join white real estate organizations and thus could not adopt the professional title of realtor. So, they became realtists. But these are more than salesmen and saleswomen chasing commissions. Like scientists, dentists and botanists, who share this suffix denoting someone who practices a profession, realtists passionately seek solutions to housing issues. “Democracy in Housing” continues to be the organization’s motto and battle cry. “When we sell a house, we sell hope,” said outgoing NAREB president Julius Cartwright, who finds it unique that NAREB, when it was established 20 years prior to landmark discrimination cases and the civil rights movement, was open to all races. The organization brings its messages to cities across the country, and Cartwright, for many reasons found that Denver was the appropriate city for the 66th meeting; one of them was

Selling Hope…Real Estate Convention Visits Denver By Charles Emmons

in homage to wellCartwright says known Black real that Senators such estate practitioner, as Ohio’s Sherrod McKinley Harris. Brown, and con“That is a very gressional repreeasy answer. It’s the sentatives Elijah Harris family. Mac Cummings, Shelia Harris was a Jackson Lee, Outgoing President-CEO, Julius Cartwright handing staunch supporter presidential gavel to incoming president Donnell Eleanor Norton, of this organization. Spivey. Photo by Kelvin Moulton Phd have supported I came up in this these forums. The organization over the last 20 years culmination of these forums can be with very close relationships with found in an August 2013 result in a Patrick and Verne Harris,” Cartwright published report that will be available told me when I posed the question first electronically and then in hard ‘Why Denver?’ which barely has a 10 copy. percent African American population. Cartwright shared some net worth “Denver is a beautiful city, and it is figures that are surprising. “The average a city that many of our members have net worth of African Americans is not had a chance to visit. And so it between $4,900 and $5,700. These are the was an ideal city to have our convenpeople who own real estate. For those tion and it was an opportunity to supwho do not own houses its $1700.” port the Harris family,” he adds.” Black and Latino households have Verne Harris of Public Realty with most of their net worth in the equity of offices in the heart of Five Points, at their homes, and this was why they 26th St. and Welton, told me his father were hit so hard by the Great Recession. learned about NAREB in 1950. After A Pew Research Center study, entitled Al Snyder, the owner of Public Realty “Twenty-to-One-Wealth Gaps Rise to hired his father away from running a Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks bicycle rental stand on 26th St. and and Hispanics,” published in July 2011, California St., the young McKinley summarized that the median wealth of found he needed support in the organ- whites was 20 times that of Blacks and ization as he began his new career in 18 times that of Hispanics in 2009 at the real estate. end of the recession. This was attributed In 1965, he bought the company from to the significant drop in the value of Snyder. His two sons, Verne and their housing and unsecured debt. Patrick, run Public Realty today. In 2008 NAREB is ready to stand up and Verne was named top-selling broker address these issues by developing associate of the year by the Denver expert professional practitioners with Board of Realtors, an organization that pertinent toolboxes within their ranks. would not let his father join. NAREB has great resources and “It meant a lot to me to win that partners and includes all real estate award, when they would not even professionals, including developers, allow him to join. That’s huge…I am appraisers, contractors and lenders. the first black and only black to have Affiliate organizations within NAREB ever won that,” said Verne Harris, support the entire effort, such as NATwho lives the NAREB motto daily in PAC, a legislative advocacy arm; his business. United Developers Council-UDC, He believes that everyone, no matNAREB Investment Division (NID); ter his or her economic status, comes and the most active affiliate, the to a point where they need a hand up. Women’s Council. Together and apart, NAREB has been that support for these affiliates carry out the mission of communities across the country, NAREB and lend their expertise on organizing the State of Housing in the SHIBA report. Black America (SHIBA) forums since At the convention in Denver, memNovember 2011 in New Orleans, bers could take course on different Riley, North Carolina, Houston and tracks, from business development to Cleveland and at Morehouse College technology and energy. A NAREB and Howard University. partner offered LEED Certification Foreclosure mitigation, neighborexam prep courses at a reduced rate. hood blight and disaster recovery, Cartwright noted that African topped the forum agenda. “The disasAmericans are the highest consumers ter recovery focus was primarily in of energy, so energy literacy is sorely New Orleans, so that is where we needed. “Because it is one thing to get kicked it off at our convention.” counseling, and to get a budget, but if Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


you don’t budget for utility costs and don’t understand the ways of energy conservation, then you can still find yourself in a financial bind,” said Cartwright. It is apparent that financial literacy may be somewhat lacking as well, and this is why there has been such a big push by NAREB to teach such basics as budgeting, investment and insurance. The 2011 Pew Research report showed that nearly 25 percent of African American households own no assets. Although many African Americans are doing well, the transfer of wealth through real estate and other means will be difficult in the future. This is another important goal of NAREB. “The other piece was to really focus on women and the women’s worth piece, said Cartwright, who pointed out that African American women’s net worth is $100 compared to white women’s net worth of $41,500. This great disparity is in part due to the number of single mothers in the community struggling to raise families. Women have always been a cornerstone in the African American community, so these statistics don’t bode well for a bright future. This is one reason the NAREB Women’s Council, with 15 chapters, has become so active and focused on educating the community. According to Melinda Dightman of the 2014 NAREB Women’s Council, $20,000 in scholarships were awarded in total to 20 students at the convention in Denver. “In my thought, it is essential to have an education to do the things that we need in business. Especially in housing,” says Dightman, who has more than 25 years in the real estate business and has been a NAREB member for 19. “There are so many African Americans that don’t own housing and many of them are singleparent women. So, we encourage education through financial literacy education we give them and through the techniques. We work with low- to moderate-income families and encourage the importance of owning a home.” She teaches financial literacy courses in her home city of Houston. Dightman wants African Americans to realize the importance and benefits of owning a home and once you are in it how to keep it. “We teach the importance of maintaining your credit. That is the main thing, and we teach budgeting. “It’s important to have a budget so that you know where your money is going each month.”  Editor’s note: For more information about NAREB, visit Charles Emmons is a freelance writer based in Aurora He can be reached by E-mail, at

Every year the participation in

Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn continues to grow, as evidenced by the large attendance at the annual event on July 27. More than 600 people including families and volunteers came out to support The Center for African American Health and to enjoy a multi-generational experience that combined exercise and education. Slim from Jammin’ 101.5 and CBS4’s Gloria Neal served as the event’s masters of ceremonies. Step dance instructor Charles Doss and personal trainer Rudy McClinon got things started by leading a warm-up session that included popular dance moves like the ever popular “Wobble.” Route signage along the way provided encouragement and information for runners and walkers, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was on hand to urge the crowd to stay active and healthy. The largest team for this year’s Walk/Run represented Macedonia Baptist Church, where 2013 Destination Health co-chair Pastor Rodney Perry is Supply Pastor. “It is wonderful to see so many people, especially families, come out and have fun while actively participating in this worthwhile event,” says Rev. Perry.

2013 Destination Health Walk/Run/Learn Has Record Attendance Annual event benefits The Center for African American Health

“Denver is blessed with many caring citizens and it was heartwarming to see so many of them supporting The Center for African American Health and its work.” Other groups receiving recognition certificates during the awards ceremony included the largest civic/social team – Clayton Early Learning and largest corporate team – Kaiser Permanente. Entertainment and activities were abundant. Mary Louise Lee kept the crowd moving with her soulful sounds and line dancing lessons for people who wanted to learn the latest steps were available. With more than 40 exhibitors at the Health

Learning Expo, participants received a wealth of healthful information. Attendees were encouraged to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a supporter of the Destination Health event since its inception; with free passes for attendees and volunteers to enjoy the exhibits. Healthy light refreshments included water, hot coffee, apple slices, PoP Chips, granola bars and more provided by McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Walgreens. Other Destination Health sponsors included Lilly, CBS4, DaVita, AARP, Piton Foundation, Denver Health Foundation, The Denver Museum of Nature & Science,

Jammin’ 101.5, Live Well Colorado, Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance Foundation, Pepsi, Denver Urban Spectrum, Colorado Health Foundation, Colorado Trust, Colorado Access, Kaiser Permanente and the 5 Points News. Walgreens served as the Volunteer sponsor and also provided great prizes for participants and Expo visitors through their partnership with Coleman Company. Planning is already underway for the 2014 Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn. Mark your calendar now to save the date for July 26. Proceeds from Destination Health benefit the Denver community that is served year-round by About the Center for African American Health. The Center 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 Americans, offering programs on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, as well as a wellness program for seniors and health literacy training. The Center is also a Connect for Health Colorado Assistance Site.  Editor’s note: For information about The Center for African American Health visit or call 303-355-3423.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


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Tradition Continues At Annual CBWPA Tribute To Black Women Luncheon By Angelia D. McGowan

After being asked one too many

times to serve as the only Black person on yet another board early in her career, former Colorado Sen. Gloria Tanner (D-Denver) responded with an action that reverberates 36 years later. Frustrated with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know any qualified minoritiesâ&#x20AC;? statement, she called 12 women to her home with the intent of â&#x20AC;&#x153;doing something.â&#x20AC;? That â&#x20AC;&#x153;somethingâ&#x20AC;? evolved into the 1977 establishment of the Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA), an organization that encourages African-American participation in the political process and serves as a political advocate for the African-American community. The time is near again when the organization recognizes women and partnerships that exemplify the spirit of those pioneering women. On Saturday, Oct. 5, from noon to 2 p.m., the CBWPA will host â&#x20AC;&#x153;Amplifying and Expanding

Partnerships,â&#x20AC;? at its 34th annual Tribute to Black Women luncheon at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec St. CBWPA will honor seven outstanding women in the community who have impacted the arts, business, community service, education, history, politics and youth. CBWPA President Elma J. Hairston says the luncheon is a great way to celebrate the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus on leveraging inclusive partnerships, most recently demonstrated by its Women Making History event to honor 12 women from various cultures that have made significant contributions to the state. The event has happened in March for the last two years during womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history month. In addition, the organization has established three top initiatives in the areas of â&#x20AC;&#x153;education, economic development and leadership trainingâ&#x20AC;? to address the needs of the community. Hairston points to founding CBWPA member and legislator Rosemary Marshall, as prime examples of the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s potential for grooming â&#x20AC;&#x153;leaders for the future.â&#x20AC;? The guest speaker for the event, which will feature past, present and future political leaders, is Dr. Nicol E. TurnerLee. As vice president and chief research and policy officer for the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), a civil rights advocacy organization, Turner-Lee is charged with heading the research and policy arm. Prior to MMTC, Turner-Lee served as president and CEO of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC), where she worked to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. She has been recognized as a Top 10 National Broadband Promoter, and was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age by the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. She received her B.A. cum laude from Colgate University and her masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; September 2013


and doctorate from Northwestern University. The luncheon, which serves as an opportunity for individuals to learn more about getting involved in the political process and become energized about what lies ahead for Colorado, is also a rites of passage for the luncheon co-chairs Simone Ross and Portia Prescott. They are walking in the shoes of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s co-chairs, Sen. Tanner and Glenda Barry. Ross says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re established in our careers, but we are young in the organization. They have entrusted us to make it a success.â&#x20AC;? Prescott concurs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an honor to have them behind us. It shows their trust for new young women and grooming leadership.â&#x20AC;? Addressing what sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learned about the political process, particularly over the last two presidential elections, Ross says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes a lot more than casting your vote.â&#x20AC;? Tanner says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You only have one vote. But if you are sitting at the table on a board or committee, you can stop a lot of bad things that should not happen. I wish that I could say (CBWPA) is no longer needed, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 1977 there were very few of us on boards and committees (government or corporate),â&#x20AC;? she adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At one point there was a Black person on every board of higher education. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going backwards now. If you look around now, we need African Americans in statewide offices.â&#x20AC;?  Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: For ticket information and sponsorship inquiries, e-mail luncheon cochairs, Simone Ross, or Portia Prescott, or visit


Talking the Talk

20-Year Ovarian Cancer Survivor Shares her Story to Save the Lives of Other Women

Naomi Lawrence can justifiably

be described as an exceptional woman. Diagnosed with Stage IIIA ovarian cancer in August of 1993, today she is alive, well and promoting awareness about the too-often-deadly disease as a Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) volunteer. “I am a rarity,” the 20-year survivor admits. “Not that many of us survive when the cancer is found at such an advanced stage.” Lawrence is one of the lucky 24 percent of women with Stage III diagnoses who live past five years. As is often the case, Lawrence was misdiagnosed when she began experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer: bloating, abdominal pain and fatigue. When her visits to doctors started in April 1993, she was told she had irritable bowel syndrome and needed more fiber, and that she was just undergoing normal age-related body changes. By August she was so fatigued she took a week off to rest, but wasn’t feeling any better when she returned to work the following Monday. When she awoke on Tuesday she was in such incredible pain that she had to crawl from her bed to call 911 and then to the door to open it for the emergency medical personnel. Admitted to the hospital, she was poked and prodded before an ultrasound revealed that she had a 13cm cyst and it had burst. “The tumor tearing apart was the pain I felt that day,” says Lawrence. “The curse of this disease is that the symptoms are so vague the doctor is

not going to say ‘This is ovarian cancer.’” She had surgery the following morning followed with eight chemotherapy treatments over the next six months. Lawrence’s oncologist wanted her to remain off work during those six months of treatment, thereby controlling her environment, and she admits that plan really helped her. “My oncologist told me he wanted me to grow into a little old lady,” Lawrence recalls. “I told him that was my goal too.” Like many women, Lawrence was not familiar with ovarian cancer before her experience. “I had never heard of it,” she says, adding there was no history of the disease in her family. “Suddenly I was hearing terms I had never heard before.” She had a lot to think about; her daughter was supposed to be going off to college and she wondered how her diagnosis would affect her fiancé, but she needn’t have worried. The couple had previously designed a ring for her and he was making monthly payments on it rather than tapping a bank account. Following Lawrence’s surgery, the man to whom she is now married escalated those payments so he could give her the ring in November. “I am so thankful my family and friends, and my church family, were there for me,” she says “God’s mercy brought me through my trial.” September is observed nationally as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month so again this year Lawrence will post awareness signs in her yard and put

teal ribbons on the trees, but she does not limit her educational efforts to just 30 days. As a participant in Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives® (STS), a program created by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, she shares her story about her diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, and treatment with third-year University of Colorado medical students. “I stress the importance of listening to your patients,” says Lawrence. “In my case, each doctor basically blew me off; they implied I was crazy.” The 20-year survivor also participates in COCA’s annual Jodi’s Race for Awareness each June and speaks to church groups. “I reach out to support women who are diagnosed, especially women of color,” she says. “I am always willing to speak to any women’s group.”

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


When it comes to advice about ovarian cancer, Lawrence states, “Keep in mind there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer (the Pap test does not detect this cancer). Know your body. Know the symptoms. Know the three tests (transvaginal ultrasound, pelvic exam, and CA-125 blood test) to ask for if you suspect your symptoms are ovarian cancer. It’s so important that we be our own advocate.” As for how ovarian cancer has changed her life, Lawrence says, “All the little petty stuff does not matter.” Editor’s note: The mission of the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance is to provide support and to promote awareness and early detection of ovarian cancer through advocacy and education. To learn more about COC , visit

Do you need help paying for

child care? CCAP Can Help 720.944.KIDS (5437) The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families that are working, going to school or looking for a job afford child care. CCAP provides financial assistance for children up to age 13 and special needs youth up to age 19.


DHA Students, Families Take Flight with Metropolitan State University, Shades of Blue birds-eye view of the planes taking off The Department of Aviation and and landing.

Aerospace Science (AVS) at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Shades of Blue and the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) recently launched the second year of Project SOAR, which provides DHA students and families a behind-thescenes look into the aviation and aerospace industries. AVS is one of the largest and most advanced collegiate aviation programs in the country, specializing in space science, flight officer training, aviation management science, and air traffic control. Shades of Blue, a local nonprofit organization, is committed to providing young people with education opportunities, training and employment assistance needed to pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries, and to assist educators with the development of curricula that will prepare students for careers in those fields. This year the five-day camp began with a visit to the Wings Over the Rockies Museum to learn about the

history of aviation. In addition to a brief introduction to the fundamentals of flying from Metro State alumni and United Airlines Captain Willie Daniels, the middle school students also had an opportunity to sit in an airplane’s cockpit and to feel like they were taking flight through the Museum’s “Wright Brothers” simulation experience. On Day Two, the Project SOAR group traveled to the Front Range Airport in Watkins, Colo., where they met with the Young Eagles, pilots who participate in a program that encourages aviation at a young age. During a visit to the control tower the students learned about the navigation and guidance of planes during takeoffs and landings, after which Captain Daniels, who is also the founder and president of Shades of Blue, invited the children to board his personal plane – which was parked on the airport’s tarmac – for a lesson about aircraft instruments and flight plans, and for some hands-on experience at the controls. Pointing out that Colorado is the second largest aerospace community in the nation, Daniels says, “We need to encourage students to explore the field of aviation and to pursue studies in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. By providing access to role models and resources we can help them to connect what they are learning in school to what career opportunities exist.” The Day Three destination for Project SOAR was the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where the students’ tour included a special visit to the flight line to meet cadets who were preparing to parachute from a plane. After viewing a short film highlighting the sky diving team, the group learned how parachutes are assembled and many of the students put on a parachute for the first time with the guidance of an USAFA professor who explained the importance of the equipment’s various components. The youngsters also saw how gliders are towed and released, and then went to the control tower for a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


On Day Four the DHA group joined with other students attending the Julia Greeley Academy (JGA) aviation camp at the Clayton campus for a classroom experience that included a film and a rocket assembly. Retired professionals from United Launch Alliance and Lockheed Martin volunteered to help assemble the rockets with the students who subsequently decorated them for the anticipated launch. Dr. Warren Layfield, a retired NASA physicist and education director for the Colorado Springs Rocket Society, outlined the rocket launching process and reviewed the components assembled to ensure a successful lift-off. Day Five was Launch Day – and the culmination of a week of learning geography, math, science, technology and engineering in association with aviation and aerospace. The students met at the East High School parking lot, where all had an opportunity to place their rocket on the launch pad, do an official countdown and press the button to achieve lift-off. After a picnic lunch at Denver’s City Park in the shadow of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue that was sculpted by the first African American astronaut trainee and Shades of Blue board member Ed Dwight Jr., the group visited MSU Denver, where they explored the campus, learned about the college process and asked questions about the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science. “Project Soar is a perfect example of the University’s mission in action,” says Gwendolyn Mami, MSU Denver’s executive director of sponsored research and programs. “It engages the community through creative activity and sparks interest for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”  Each year Shades of Blue honors an educator and/or corporate member with the Edward Dwight Jr. Award for their support of the organization’s student members’ educational opportunities in aerospace, aviation and all STEM curriculums. This prestigious accolade will be presented to Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock during the 2013 Annual Dinner Gala Friday, September 13 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Tickets are available by contacting Willie Daniels at 303-549-6204 or Stef Petryszyn at 303-916-8840.

Queen Latifah Q&A

Tell us a little bit about your show. My show is going to be an eclectic mix of interviews with real people as well as celebrities – people who are fun and fascinating. It will be a program you can tune into to feel good every day. I also think it will inspire people who watch it. I know I’ve certainly been inspired by a lot of the stories we plan to share.


On September 16, global entertainment icon Queen Latifah will premiere her new daytime talk-variety series The Queen Latifah Show. Hosted by the uniquely talented Queen Latifah, this hour-long, multitopic series will showcase her tremendous range as an entertainer and her distinct ability to connect with people. Featuring celebrity interview segments, inspiring human-interest stories, musical performances and pop culture, viewers will be engaged by Queen Latifah’s dynamic personality – from her outgoing and hilarious side to her compassionate and genuine spirit. Her successful career as a multiple award-winning musician and actress, entrepreneur, spokesperson and author has led her to hosting this brand-new daily syndicated talk show. With this series, Queen Latifah is committing to empowering people’s lives and the concept of paying it forward. The show will be led by five-time Emmy® award-winning executive producer Corin Nelson. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will be handson in guiding the show and attracting the biggest names in Hollywood. The show is also executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, James Lassiter and Miguel Melendez. The program will be taped in a stateof-the-art multimedia stage at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.


A Genuine Multimedia Star That Audiences Know, Love And Want To Watch!

How did it all come together? My partner Shakim and I have a long history with Will and Jada Smith, and we have always wanted to find a way to do something big together. We all thought this was the perfect project, and since Will and Jada’s company Overbrook has a relationship with Sony, we’re excited to be doing it with them as well. Tell us about your company Flavor Unit and also about your history with the Smiths. It’s definitely a family affair. Shakim and I actually grew up together. My Mom was his teacher and we started Flavor Unit together back in 1993. We have been friends with the Smiths for years. I was on “Fresh Prince” with Will, and Jada and I were in a film together called “Set it Off.” We have a long history and I definitely feel like we grew up together in Hollywood. If you had to describe the show to someone with 3 adjectives what would they be? Fun, inspirational, authentic. Who’s designing the set? Lenny Kravitz and his design firm Kravitz Design are designing the set – and I can’t wait for people to see it! Not only is Lenny an incredible musician, but he and his team are amazing designers, too. The set will feature unusual textures and classic compositions, as well as bold architectural features and an elegant mix of materials using refined metal screens, warm woods and organic marbles. It’s going to be beautiful. Have you had the chance to sit down with any experienced daytime talk show hosts to seek their advice? I have talked to a number of different friends who have done it, including Ellen, Oprah, and Jimmy Fallon. They’ve all been terrifically helpful and encouraging.



So what will set your talk show apart from the others? Me! If you could have any two people who ever lived on your show, who would they be and why? Martin Luther King Jr. and my grandmother. Dr. King was such an incredible thinker and he was so far ahead of his time. I would love to have the chance to sit face-to-face with him and ask him how he would respond to the kind of challenges we face today. And I would love to interview my grandmother, so I could give audiences the chance to hear her advice and inspiration firsthand. What are you most excited and most nervous about? I am excited to hear people‘s stories and share in their journeys. I am nervous because it is always overwhelming to start something new. Who has been the most influential figure in your life? My mom.

Nowling! En r ol


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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013

Method to Racist Madness in Fresh Racial Attacks on President Obama

In quick succes-

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

sion in one week’s time, a protestor waves a sign “bye bye black sheep” and a small chorus chimes in and puts it to the popular song ditty of bye bye blackbird in front of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix where President Obama spoke about housing finance reform. Hundreds of attendees at a Missouri state fair roar with laughter and applause at a Rodeo clown’s mocking Obama. In Orlando, a knot of protestors wave racially insulting signs including “Kenyan Go Home” at Obama’s motorcade. And a GOP congressman hints that there’s sentiment among House Republicans for an Obama impeachment drive over questions about his American citizenship.

These despicable and outrageous displays of racism should be condemned. But at least they’re honest in that the upfront bigots shredded the carefully honed script that has been the template for the racially sneaky and insidious attacks on Obama. The script reads like this. Whenever an elected official, tea party figure, or even leader, or gobs of protestors wave their racially loaded signs, posters, and shout racially derogatory barbs at Obama, tea party ad GOP leaders chalk it up to variously a fringe few, or crank, and then wail that it’s blatantly unfair to, as well as politically conniving, to tar the tea part, let alone, the GOP as racist for the acts of a kooky few. They’d have a legitimate grip except for one, actually two, small points. In 2012 a Brown University social scientist used polling experiments and an independent survey to identify a series of issues that have been bitter and contentious between Obama and the GOP and that are seemingly race neutral such as tax

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Special Event

Sher yl Underwood September 13-14

policy, health care reform, Supreme Court appointments, and political party identification. He found that those with a racial antipathy toward blacks were more prone to oppose anything that Obama supported. There’s method to the madness there. The relentless racial assault on Obama has been the one unyielding constant from the moment that Obama declared his presidential candidacy in 2007. This was not simply an unorganized, spontaneous expression of bigotry. It was subtly stoked and orchestrated by the GOP with the clear political aim of disrupting, destabilizing, and rendering politically impotent Obama’s program, initiatives and proposed legislation. The final presidential vote in 2008 gave plenty of warning of the lethalness of the GOP’s core conservative white constituency when aroused. Overall, Obama garnered slightly more than 40 percent of the white male vote. Among Southern and Heartland America white male voters, Obama made almost no impact. The only thing that even made Obama’s showing respectable in those states was the record turnout and percentage of black votes that he got. They were all Democratic votes. A Harvard post-election assessment of the 2008 presidential vote found that race did factor into the presidential election and that it cost Obama an added three to five percent of the national popular vote. Put bluntly, if Obama had been white the election would have been a route. During the GOP presidential primary campaign GOP presidential candidates made sure of that with the stream of racetinged references Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney made to food stamps, welfare, work ethics, and an entitlement society. Then there were the racially-loaded newsletters from Ron Paul that resurfaced. The candidates when challenged ducked, dodged, and denied any racial intent, or in the case of Paul’s newsletter, that he even penned them. His 2012 reelection victory gave

even more warning that little had changed. In fact, it got worse, he got a smaller percentage of the overall white vote than he did in 2008, and that included a small but significant defection of younger white voters who backed him in 2008. The Tea Party took much heat and continues to take some for race baiting witness the recent broadside from Harlem congressman Charles Rangel, in which he branded them as “white crackers.” The attacks stung and hit home, and they retooled, repackaged refined their attacks and slogans to the deficit, the budget, spending cuts, and alleged Obama and Holder scandals. This was carefully designed to yank the albatross of race off the tea party and the GOP’s back. But, that hardly meant that race was off the GOP table as a major political weapon in the GOP’s political attack arsenal. They could have it both ways. Their shock troops in the streets as they showed in front of the high school where Obama spoke could hurl their racist taunts at Obama, and the GOP and tea party leaders cold either stay mute, or engage in plausible deniability, namely its a few lone nuts, not us, that are racist. The serenading of Obama to the tune of bye bye blackbird, and other clownish racist antics, simply reconfirmed the horrid fact that Obama’s public policy stances and battles will continue to be dogged by subtle and overt racial rips from the congenital Obama race baiters. And despite the fevered denials that race has anything to do with their Obama animus, there’s political method to the madness.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC Political Contributor and weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK Radio-Pacifica Network.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Lemon Zest!

The We Were There: The March on Washington Interview with Kam Williams


orn in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 1, 1966, Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN/U.S. programming. Based out of the network’s New York bureau, Don joined CNN in September 2006. In 2008, he reported from Chicago in the days leading up to the presidential election, including an interview with Rahm Emanuel on the day he agreed to serve as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. He also interviewed Anne Cooper, the 106-year old voter Obama highlighted in his election night acceptance speech. Don has covered many breaking news stories, including the George Zimmerman trial, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Philadelphia building collapse, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Colorado Theater shooting, the death of Whitney Houston, the Inaugural of the 44th President in Washington, D.C., the death of Michael Jackson, and the Minneapolis bridge collapse, to name a few. And he anchored the network’s breaking news coverage of the Japan tsunami, the Arab Spring, the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Joplin tornado. Don began his career at WNYW in New York City as a news assistant while still attending Brooklyn College. He has won an Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the capture of the Washington, D.C. snipers, and an Emmy for a special report on real estate in Chicagoland. In 2009, Ebony Magazine named him one of the 150 most influential Blacks in America. A couple of years later, he came out of the closet, and discussed his homosexuality in an autobiography entitled “Transparent.”

Don recently caught a lot of flak from a number of African-American pundits for agreeing with Bill O’Reilly’s criticisms of the black community, especially since he even suggested that the conservative talk show host hadn’t gone far enough. Here, he talks about We Were There, an oral history of The March on Washington featuring the only surviving speaker Congressman John Lewis as well as Harry Belafonte, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, and other attendees. The special debuted on CNN August 23. KW: What interested you in doing a special about The March on Washington? DL: We had been talking about it for awhile as the 50th anniversary approached, and I kept indicating that I would love to be a part of it. Somewhere, somehow, somebody heard that, Kam, and they said, “Don really wants to do this. Let’s have him do it.” KW: Being an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winner, I don’t think you’d have to beg too much. DL: Just because I’m here at CNN, I never rest on my laurels and presume I can coast now. I still throw my hat in the ring and push to have a voice. I am the face of this documentary for CNN, and I think that says a lot about how far we’ve come. Here I am a young African-American who has a voice at this major network. That is part of the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. KW: Does the documentary have a theme? DL: There are, for me, a few different themes. People like John Lewis and A. Philip Randolph put their lives on the line to participate. So, the first theme that stands out to me is courage. The second theme was the hope they exhibited in “the teeth of the most terrifying odds,” as James Baldwin said. Thirdly, Bayard Rustin, who many call The Architect of the Civil Rights Movement, finally gets his due. I think that’s a fair characterization to some degree. He’s the silent, strong man who made The March happen. But because he was gay and people tried to use that against him is probably why we don’t hear so much about him. KW: I remember feeling admiration as a child for the folks from my neighborhood who were going down to The March on Washington, because of everyone’s palpable sense of concern for their safety. DL: I think admiration is a good

way of putting it. Whenever I see John Lewis, I invariably say, “Thank you.” And I will never stop. I don’t know how he’s still standing, because what he endured took courage and strength that I don’t know that I have. KW: I interviewed Ellen DeGeneres the day after Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election. She felt his victory had been bittersweet because Proposition 8 had passed in California, banning gay marriage. The measure had succeeded with the help of the black community. I asked her whether she thought African-Americans would feel differently about homosexuality, if a famous black icon came out of the closet. How do you feel about that, as probably the most prominent black celebrity to come out? DL: I don’t consider myself a celebrity. I’m just a journalist. Yeah, I was in the forefront, and took a lot of heat for it. I think the president’s evolution in terms of gay marriage has helped change many people’s minds. I think it’s empowering for a person to live an authentic life. It can only help when prominent and successful people of color come out and live authentically, because younger people, who are being bullied and might be questioning whether they should continue to live, might have second thoughts about taking their own lives. KW: Do you think coming out started a snowball among Black gays? DL: I don’t know. But I do think it helps the next person, because I get positive feedback every day from someone who has read my book. KW: See, you’re not just a journalist. Plus look at all the blowback from your recent remarks agreeing with Bill O’Reilly about the Black community. DL: I don’t feel any blowback, but I will say this, whether you agree with whatever I said or not, at least I got a conversation started. That was my goal, and I think I accomplished it. I think if you’ve watched or read my work over the years, you know that I’m pretty much at the top in terms of taking on issues that have to do with African-Americans and profiling, and with race and racism. Journalism is about having a diversity of opinion. And just because I’m AfricanAmerican does not mean I have to feel a certain way because I’m black. KW: I always feel that I’m black, so whatever my opinion on an issue happens to be is a black opinion. DL: That’s a good way of putting it. KW: But do you fear being pigeonholed as a buddy of O’Reilly? DL: There are many things that Bill O’Reilly and I disagree about. I just happen to agree with some of what he had to say on this issue, but not all of it. Does that mean I co-signed his whole being and existence? No?

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would? DL: Yes, what do you get from icons like Dr. King, Malcolm X and John Lewis? What I get from them is personal empowerment, personal responsibility, and that the only thing you truly own is your mind. And once you truly own your mind, you’re free. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? DL: The last two books I read were: “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, and “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? DL: Besides all the flaws, I see the kid that I once was. Seriously, what stares back at me is someone who lives in a constant state of gratitude, regardless of what’s going on in my life. KW: Can you give me a Don Lemon question? DL: Yeah, this question has gotten to just about everyone I ask. It even made Wendy Williams cry. It’s, “Who do you think you are?” KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? DL: Seafood gumbo, because I get to make it with my family over the holidays. KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? DL: Being self-possessed. Having a strong sense of self. KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision? DL: Leaving Louisiana. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? DL: I think it’s great, if you want to follow in my footsteps, but I want you o be better than me, and you have to do it because you are passionately motivated by journalism and by a quest for the truth, not by a desire to be a celebrity. And you have to be thick-skinned, since you’re going to receive a lot of criticism, and that’s part of what being a journalist is. I feel really strongly about the oath that I’ve taken to inform and to tell the truth. I’m not a race protector, I’m a truth protector. KW: Thanks again for the time, Don, and best of luck with We Were There. DL: It’s been a pleasure, Kam. To see a trailer for We Were There: The March on Washington, visit: 0/video/bestoftv/2013/07/31/expwe-were-there-the-march-on-washington.cnn.html

Heading Back to School with

Citrus Collards Greens Seafood Salad Sausage And Peppers Bar-B-Que Ribs Shepard’s Pie Jambalaya Baby Back Ribs Jalepeño Mac and Cheese Pecan Pie St. Louis Style Riblets Rudy’s Tilapia Fish Beef Brisket Grilled Chicken Breast Creole Bread and Corn Pudding With Rosemary Supreme Sauce Green Chili Southern Fried Catfish Macaroni Cheese Creole Shrimp Salmon A’La King Creme Cheese Pound Cake Maryland Lump Blue Crab Macaroni and Cheese MeatLoaf and Mashed Potatoes Ethiopian Fare Peach Cobbler Salmon Chocolate Centric Chimicanga Potatoes AuGratin Shrimp Crayfish Etouffee Cornish Hens Chicken and Sausage Jambalya Red Beans and Rice Chicken Shrimp Spaghetti and more...


By Heather O’Mara

n August 22 the teachers and staff at HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op welcomed students back for another energizing year of blended learning. In our eighth year, HOPE continues to provide its unique model of learning; combining online curriculum and face-to-face support from teachers and

Students enjoy their lunchtime at the Children's Academy Learning Center in Aurora.

A Black Tie Affair benefiting the Struggle of Love Foundation, The Colorado Starlites Drum & Drill Team, and the Jazz C.A.F.E. (Cultivating A Future of Excellence)

Photos by Erik Keith Photography

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through third grade. With a focus on early childhood programs, The Children’s Academy helps younger students master core subjects like language arts, math, reading, science, and social studies. HOPE does offer a new approach to academics but not everything is different at the school. Students still receive many of the services they might expect from every public school. HOPE is enrolled in the National School Lunch Program with options for students who qualify for free and reduced meals. Some Learning Centers also offer breakfast and transportation to and from the center. Clubs and programs dedicated to science, art, music, persuasive arguments, and sports are also offered. Older students enjoy the Spring Formal dance and other social activities. Learning Centers also work to offer

The students and staff of the Children's Academy Learning Center settle into their new classroom on the first day of school.

mentors allowing students to receive customized help in their academics. HOPE has more than 40 Learning Centers that serve students in neighborhoods all over the Denver Metro area as well as locations throughout the state. HOPE at Hillcrest is one of the Learning Centers, serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. “Hillcrest and all HOPE Learning Centers are excellent places where non-traditional learners can feel comfortable. Families in transition, teen moms and dads, students who have gaps in learning, students who don’t fit in large schools and packed classrooms, and families who want their older children to care for younger siblings on the way to and from our K-12 Learning Center, are examples of some of the types of our successful students,” said Amener Williams, Director of HOPE at Hillcrest. Joining Hillcrest and the rest of the HOPE family this year are five new Learning Centers, including The Children’s Academy. The Children’s Academy is located in Aurora and serves students in kindergarten

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Students hit the books during the first day of classes at Hillcrest Learning Center in Denver.

individual programs for students. At Hillcrest this year students will be able to participate in an offline reading series as well as engaging field trips. Ms. Williams also noted that the central location of the Center offers students access to community and neighborhood organizations like the Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center and the Pauline Robinson Library. Students will also soon be able to take advantage of a new Boys & Girls Club being opened in the area. “Learning should be a community effort, not something that happens only within a single room or building. We purposely engage community leaders to run our Learning Centers because we know how important neighborhood involvement is to ensure that all HOPE students are successful,” said Sherida Peterson, Executive Vice President of Academic Achievement of HOPE. “An education should empower students and give them hope of a bright future. That’s our mission and something every mentor, teacher, and staff member at HOPE is committed to 100 percent.”

Denver Students Improve in all Subjects on State Assessments

DPS Has Highest Rate Of Academic Growth Among State’s 12 Largest District’s For Second Consecutive Year


enver Public Schools’ students posted gains in all four core subject areas on the 2013 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (formerly CSAP), according to results released today by the Colorado Department of Education. Denver students made gains on 23 of 27 exams, and outpaced the state in terms of academic growth in all subject areas. Denver ranked first in overall academic growth (Median Growth Percentile scores) for the second year in a row among the 12 largest school districts in Colorado. DPS posted its greatest proficiency growth in math and science – a 3-percentage-point gain in each, while the state improved 1 point in each. This marks the 10th consecutive year that overall math scores in DPS have increased. Overall, the percent of students who scored proficient or advanced in math increased from 43 percent to 46 percent. Proficiency scores in reading increased 2 percentage points, from 52 percent in 2012 to 54 percent this year, while writing improved 1 percentage point, from 41 percent to 42 percent. Since the start of the Denver Plan—the DPS blueprint for improvement – in 2005, DPS has shown dramatically more improvement than the rest of the state in every core subject area. DPS’ progress is particularly strik-

ing in terms of year-to-year academic growth. For the second consecutive year, DPS students showed more academic growth on average than the students in any of Colorado’s 12 largest school districts. The Median Growth Percentile (MGP) measures year-toyear academic growth compared to peer students across Colorado, and the state average score is 50. DPS students posted scores of 54 in reading, 55 in math, and 54 in writing. That cumulative MGP of 163 is the highest among Colorado’s major school districts. Prior to the start of the Denver Plan

reform program, DPS had the lowest year-on-year academic growth of any major district in the state. Since then, DPS has consistently gained ground on the rest of the state in percentage of students performing at or above grade level, and Denver schools have become the fastest-growing major district in the state in terms of year-onyear academic growth.

ary school in the Far Northeast community – is another school that posted MGPs that are among DPS’ highest: 72 in reading, 97 in math; and 70 in writing. In 2011, DPS launched a comprehensive school turnaround effort in the Far Northeast aimed at strengthening existing schools and offering families with new, high-quality schools in their communities. For the second year in a row, students enrolled at schools in Far Northeast Denver performed far better academically than they did prior to the changes. The impact of this work has been particularly pronounced at the secondary level, where students have made dou-

“I am very grateful to our teachers and school leaders for driving our academic gains. The steady academic growth we are continuing to see among our students is encouraging, and I’m particularly pleased to see strong growth happening at schools in all regions of our city,” DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said during a TCAP results announcement Wednesday at Smith Renaissance School, where students posted doubledigit gains in math and writing. “Our teachers, school leaders, and parents have teamed together to drive improvements at our schools through hard work and a commitment to helping ensure that every one of our students is successful. That dedication is evident in the continued improvements seen at our schools. “While we continue to see strong and steady growth across the city and dramatic improvements in some regions, there remain wide performance gaps with the rest of the state and among different racial and socioeconomic groups in Denver,” Boasberg added. “We need to eliminate those gaps. To do so, we will continue working together with our community to invest in and sharpen the Denver Plan strategies that are paying off. Most of all, we will continue to support the tremendous work and commitment of our educators and our students across DPS.” Smith Renaissance School is among the schools that posted the highest growth this year on TCAP– an 83.5 MGP in math, bringing its proficiency rate in math to 58 percent – a 26-point gain in the percentage of students who are proficient or advanced. Additionally, STRIVE Prep Montbello posted some of the highest MGP scores in the district – 79.5 in reading, 94.5 in math, and 76 in writing. The Denver School of Science and Technology High School at Green Valley Ranch – another new second-

ble-digit gains in both proficiency and MGP over the last two years. During the same time, enrollment in secondary schools has increased by over 30 percent. Some of the drivers of the school reform efforts include daily math tutoring, data-driven instruction and a longer school year for the nine schools that are part of the FNE improvement efforts. These schools begin the school year two weeks earlier in August than the rest of the school district. While overall trends are positive for these schools, growth this year fell short of the growth posted by students last year at several of the FNE schools. 

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013



CBCC Foundation Appoints Ken Parks To Board Of Directors

Wellington E. Webb, chairman of the board for the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation), announced the vote for Ken Parks, Vice President of Gates Corporation to their board of directors effective Aug. 19. Ken Parks currently serves as Vice President for the Gates Corporation and oversees global development and implementation of Gates technology strategy and innovation processes as well as providing direction and guidance for all of engineering and technology enhancement projects. Additionally, Parks is responsible for driving the design, development and delivery to manufacturing of all Gates products. Prior to joining the Gates Corporation in 2012, Parks was with the Ingersoll Rand Company as vice president of unitary engineering. Parks holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida. In addition to his extensive experience, Parks holds numerous engineering patents and awards for innovation.

The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in Little Rock, Arkansas recognizing 40 members as NABCJ Icons. Denverite Elaine Neal was recognized for her dedication, commitment, strength, tenacity, determination, resilience, financial support and hard work on behalf of the organization. Concerned about hunger and food insecurity in America and as a sign of caring, Neal initiated and organized The Empty Plate Project in July 2012. She recognized the economic downturn of many food banks and how they were struggling because donations were flat and the demand for food has soared. This project was chosen to network with Feeding America because it is the nation’s largest and leading domestic hunger relief charity. NABCJ is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic association of criminal justice professionals, community persons and civic leaders. They represent the continuum of correctional services; probation, parole, laws enforcement officers, rehabilitation and other supportive services. Its mission includes networking for strategic actions.

Denise Burgess, president and general manager of Burgess Services, joins seven other influential community and business leaders in the 2013 class of inductees to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction program in Denver. This year’s honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, vice president of government and external relations at Kaiser Permanente Colorado and 2012 Women of Distinction, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. The Women of Distinction commit to supporting Girl Scouts of Colorado and serving Girl Scouts today. Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor these inductees at the 2013 Thin Mint Dinner in Denver from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. For more information call Amy Myers at 303-607-4896, E-mail, or visit

Gerie Grimes recently received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award for more than three decades of dedicated service to the Denver community. Grimes is President/CEO of Hope Center in Northwest Denver, where she has worked for more than 30 years to help build programs to serve children and youth in the surrounding neighborhood. At the same time, Grimes has been a tireless community volunteer with Metropolitan State University of Denver, the Center for African American Health, Denver Early Childhood Council, Holly Area Redevelopment Program, The Denver Foundation and many more. Grimes was also a major proponent of the 2006 ballot initiative that created the Denver Preschool Program, for which she now serves as president of the board of advisors. For more than 36 years, Grimes has served as president of the Falcon Youth Organization, where she volunteers with other members of her family.

Denise Burgess Named As Girl Scouts Of Colorado Woman Of Distinction Inductee

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Gerie Grimes: A Lifelong Career In Helping Children And Youth

Forest Whitaker is a distinguished

artist and humanist. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, and the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. A versatile talent, Forest is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished performers, receiving such prestigious honors as a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in The Last King of Scotland, as well as a Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for Bird. Over the past decade, he has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work, feeling compelled by his social awareness to seek ways of using the film medium as a means of raising peoples’ consciousness. To that end, he produced the award-winning documentary Kassim the Dream, which tells the touching story of a Ugandan child soldier turned world champion boxer; Rising from Ashes, which profiles Rwandan genocide survivors’ attempt to qualify for the Olympics riding wooden bicycles; Serving Life, which focuses on hospice care for prisoners at Louisiana’s Angola Prison; and the Peabody Award-winning Brick City, which offers an unvarnished peek at innercity life in Newark, New Jersey. Whitaker was the 2007 recipient of the Cinema for Peace Award, and he currently sits on the board of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In addition, he serves as a Senior Research Scholar at Rutgers University, and as a Visiting Professor at Ringling College of Art and Design, too. Besides the aforementioned films, Forest’s impressive resume’ includes The Great Debaters, The Crying Game, Panic Room, Platoon, Ghost Dog, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Good Morning Vietnam. Here, he talks about his latest outing as the title character in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a decades-spanning sage chronicling the life and career of an African-American who served eight presidents in the White House. Kam Williams: Hi Forest, I’m honored to have this opportunity. Forest Whitaker: Oh, no, it’s a pleasure just to talk to you, Kam. KW: What interested you in The Butler? FW: It’s an amazing story. And the script was beautiful in the way it followed this man who served eight presidents and portrayed his love for his family, as well as the love between him and his son. So, I saw it as offering a great challenge and opportunity. And I thought that Lee [director Lee

This Forest’s on Fire! “The Butler” Interview with Kam Williams

Daniels] would do a wonderful job with the script as a filmmaker, so that was an attraction as well. And I had wanted to work with Oprah, so all of that came together to afford me this tremendous opportunity. KW: Did the film’s father-son relationship resonate with you when you reflected upon your relationship with your own dad? FW: Yes, it’s hard to always understand and appreciate your father when you’re coming up, especially since my dad had three jobs when we moved to L.A. So, he was always working. Plus, coming from the South, from Texas, he had a certain way of disciplining that made it hard for me to appreciate, at the time. You don’t fully appreciate the reasons why or the sacrifices that were being made until a later age. In some ways it did parallel the journey of ultimate appreciation that we see in the movie of me towards my son and my son towards me. KW: How did you prepare for the role of Cecil Gaines? FW: I trained with a butler coach for quite some time. And I studied the history and, of course, tried to make that a part of my own emotional understanding of the time period and the presidency. In terms of the aging process, I particularly had to work on movement and mannerisms. I also tried to understand the dialect and speech patterns. And I worked on how I could communicate my thoughts more clearly without words. I wanted to fill myself up enough so that you would be able to feel my thoughts, even in scenes where I would say nothing. KW:That hard work paid off. I cried about a half-dozen times during the film. FW: It’s very moving because it deals with so many primal issues: loss, degradation, even joy. Lee painted a picture that allows you to get in touch with many different emotions. KW: True. Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What was it like acting opposite Oprah? FW: Oprah just really committed completely to the movie. She was startling, at times, in how deeply she was

into the authenticity of the scenes. For instance, there was a big emotional moment that wasn’t shown completely in the film where she screamed and fell to the ground, letting out a piercing wail that went through my bones. It had me trying to figure out how to comfort her, because it’s hard to find the proper emotion to respond to pain that over-

whelms. KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier says: You are a great director, in addition to of course being an excellent actor. Personally, I love biopics, like where you played Charlie Parker in Bird. Is there a story about an icon that you would like to direct and star in? FW: Yes, there’s a film I’ve been developing about Louie Armstrong that I’d like to direct and star in. I wrote the script and really believe in it. I think it’s something I’ll probably do next year, although I haven’t made a final decision about whether I should direct it or not. It’s a really special story. KW: Leah Fletcher asks: How did it feel, when you were just breaking into the industry, to receive such a glowing acknowledgment from a seasoned and respected actor such as Sean Connery for your work in The Crying Game? FW: Leah, I didn’t even know ‘til now that Sean Connery had commented about my work in The Crying Game. A lot of Brits believe that I was British for quite some time after that film. So, I can see how Sean Connery might have said something. That’s nice. KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: You produced the extraordinary Fruitvale Station. Is this a new role you see for yourself? FW: The truth is, I produce one or two movies every year, both independent and studio films. I’ll continue to produce. In fact, I have a documentary that just came out about the Rwandan National Cycling team called Rising from Ashes. KW: You can check out my review at Rotten Tomatoes. Bernadette also says: You are a true Renaissance Man. Besides acting, you write, direct, narrate and produce. You’re like a latterday Oscar Micheaux.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


FW: Oscar Micheaux reshaped the Black Film Movement. Those are some great shoes to fill. I can only take that as a compliment. Thanks, Bernadette. That gives me something to live towards, because it’s a lot. KW: Director Rel Dowdell, who has made two low-budget films, including Changing the Game last year, would like to know how he can pitch you about a project. FW: I have my company, Significant Productions, in Los Angeles. And I also have a company called JuntoBox Films Select, a crowdsourcing film site which we produce movies out of. We just finished one with a first-time filmmaker, called Sacrifice. And we’re about to do another one in a month or so. Rel can reach out to either one of those companies. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? FW: That everyone could recognize themselves in the face of the other people that they see. KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be? FW: I’d either be a natural healer or a teacher. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? FW: Solutions Focus. os/ASIN/1904838065/ref=nosim/thsl fofire-20 KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? FW: Passion! KW: Harriet also asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in? FW: The Audrey Hepburn-Albert Finney film, Two for the Road. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? FW: Always tell yourself that you want to continue to grow, and you’ll be more connected to growth. KW: The Jamie Foxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend that time? FW: With my family. KW: Thanks again for the time, Forest, and best of luck with The Butler, and I hope to talk to you about your upcoming independent project. FW: Sure, Kam, and thanks again for supporting Rising from Ashes. To see a trailer for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, visit: php?id=108 Or: omJedbKwzLg

Movie Reviews

By Kam Williams ExcellentEEEEE. Very GoodEEEE.. GoodEEEEEE... FairEEEEEEE.. PoorEEEEEEE.

    No stars

2 Guns 

Washington and Wahlberg Co-Star in Implausible Crime Caper


EA Agent Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and Naval Intelligence Officer Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have both infiltrated a drug syndicate run by Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos), a creep who carries the head of a decapitated adversary around in a bowling bag. Therefore, the imbedded lawmen are careful to make sure their cover isn’t blown while bringing down the ruthless kingpin. However, neither of the narcs is at all aware of other’s true identity, which means they aren’t prepared to serve as backup in a sticky situation. Worse, when an operation does go bad, they are initially suspicious of each other. But once they clear up the mutual case of mistaken identity, they conspire not only to crack the cartel but to relieve it of $43 million in ill-gotten gains sitting in a bank vault. This development doesn’t sit well with Earl (Bill Paxton), Papi’s accomplice holding the key to the emptied safe deposit box. Directed by Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband), 2 Guns is basically an adrenaline-fueled buddy flick featuring a high body-count designed to satiate the bloodlust of the lovers of gratuitous gore. Here a body, there a body, everywhere a body-body.


The picture has its share of titillation, too, most of it coming courtesy of an inscrutable moll played by pretty Paula Patton, real-wife of crooner Robin Thicke. The problem is that the preposterous plot never pretends to be plausible, a failing perhaps forgiven by diehard Denzel Washington fans eager to see him trading quips with Mark Wahlberg or cavorting carnally opposite a topless Ms. Patton. As for standouts in the supporting 2 Guns

cast, Edward James Olmos and Bill Paxton do great jobs of portraying a couple of readily-detestable villains. But their never-developed characters are so simplistically drawn that the audience’s job is just to sit back and wait for these bad guys’ inevitable demise. A remarkably unengaging adventure, given its incessant attempt at overstimulation.

Rated: R for profanity, brief nudity and pervasive violence Running Time: 109 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures To see a trailer for 2 Guns, visit: RK2fgI Lee Daniels’ The Butler 

Forest Whitaker Delivers Oscar-Quality Performance in Emotionally-Searing Civil Rights Saga

Eugene Allen (1919-2010) served

eight presidents over the course of an enduring career in the White House during which he rose from the position of Pantry Man to Head Butler by the time he retired in 1986. In that capacity, the African-American son of a sharecropper felt privileged to be an eyewitness to history, since his tenure coincided with the implementation of most of the landmark pieces of legislation dismantling the Jim Crow system of racial segregation.

The Butler

Directed by two-time Oscar-nominee Lee Daniels, The Butler is a fatherson biopic relating events in Allen’s life as they unfolded against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. This fictionalized account features Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker in the title role as Cecil Gaines, and his A-list supporting cast includes fellow Oscar-winners Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams and Melissa Leo, as well as nominees Terrence Howard and Oprah Winfrey. The point of departure is a plantation in the Deep South, where Cecil witnesses his father’s (David Banner) murder on the cotton field for protesting his mother’s (Mariah Carey) rape at the hand of an overseer. Because the perpetrator was never brought to justice, the youngster gets the message at an early age that “Any white man could kill us at any time and not be punished for it.” Therefore, eager to avoid the same fate as his dad, he skips town as a teenager, settling in Washington, DC where he lands steady work as a bartender in a hotel catering to an upscale clientele. There he also meets Gloria (Winfrey), the maid he would one day marry and start a family with. Cecil’s sterling reputation as a polite and deferential black man eventually reaches the White House, where he takes a position on the express understanding that “You hear nothing. You see nothing. You only serve.” Although he manages to maintain an inscrutably apolitical façade on the job, the same can’t be said for the home front, where current events are freely debated. There, Cecil finds himself increasingly at odds with his elder son, Louis (David Oyelowo), a civil rights activist inclined to participate in voter registration marches, sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and freedom bus rides. The simmering tension between the two builds over the years to the boiling point when Louis derisively refers to his as father an Uncle Tom.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


At that juncture, Cecil’s protective spouse intervenes to slap her son before uttering the moving line likely to land Oprah Winfrey another Academy Award nomination: “Everything you have, and everything you are, is because of that butler.” However, Forest Whitaker is even more deserving of accolades, delivering a nonpareil performance as a humble provider understandably reluctant to rock the boat. Kudos to Lee Daniels for crafting such a gut-wrenching tour de force which never hits a false note while chronicling critical moments in the African-American fight for equality.

Rated: PG-13 for violence, sexuality, smoking, profanity, ethnic slurs, disturbing images and mature themes Running Time: 132 minutes Distributor: The Weinstein Company To see a trailer for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, visit: 108 The Happy Sad

The Happy Sad 

Couples’ Lives Serendipitously Intertwine in Bifurcated Brooklyn Drama


tan (Cameron Scoggins) and Annie (Sorel Carradine) are a young couple in crisis. She recently informed him over brunch in a Brooklyn bistro that she wanted to take a break “to figure things out.” Flabbergasted Stan pressured her for an explanation, so she lied and

said that she was already sleeping with a fellow schoolteacher, Mandy (Maria Dizzia). Believing the fib, he decided on the spot to end the relationship. The bitter breakup frees Stan to explore his own curiosity about bisexuality, so he makes the online acquaintance of a tall, dark and handsome stranger (LeRoy McClain). The two agree to meet, and end up mating on the first date. Only after Stan has given away his gay virginity does he learn that that Marcus has a live-in boyfriend. What makes the situation even messier, his life mate, Aaron (Charlie Barnett), just happens to be a waiter Stan and Annie know from their favorite restaurant. Marcus and Aaron do have an open relationship that’s lasted six years. Trouble is, their only rule is you’re not allowed to develop feelings for anybody you cheat with. That’s a problem since Marcus falls in love at first sight with Aaron. However, Stan isn’t quite inclined to reciprocate. He’s not even sure that he’s bi, let alone ready to come out of the closet to be in an interracial homosexual relationship. Not one to give up easily, Aaron informs Marcus that “I want to take my jaw, unhinge it, and swallow your head whole.” Meanwhile, odd woman out Annie does seduce her cute colleague Mandy, but when lesbianism doesn’t work out proceeds to lick her wounds at a local watering hole where she turns the head of a two-bit comedian. So unfolds The Happy Sad, a gender-bending romantic romp directed by Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother). You almost need a score card to keep track of all the coupling, uncoupling, and re-coupling, but the out-of-thecloset antics are amusing enough to intrigue. Who will end up with whom? The possibilities are endless when the players are this open-minded and so confused about their identities! Unrated Running Time: 86 minutes Distributor: Miasma Films To see a trailer for The Happy Sad, visit: Rising from Ashes 

Bike Racing Documentary Chronicles Rise of Rwanda Cycling Team


ver the course of a hundred days in 1994, the East African nation of Rwanda experienced an ethnic cleansing which consumed the lives of nearly a fifth of the population. The mass slaughter came as a consequence


of a revolt by the majority tribe, the Hutus, against the Tutsis, a minority which, with the help of the country’s European colonizers, had enjoyed a higher social and economic status for centuries. A few years after the cessation of the civil war, American bike racing legend Jock Boyer was looking for a chance at redemption in the wake of being paroled after serving time in prison for lewd behavior. He found that opportunity he needed upon moving to Rwanda at the suggestion of a friend. There, he took on the unenviable challenge of coaching the national cycling team. And over the next six years he trained them while teaching them how to compete on the level of World-Class athletes with the hope of one day qualifying for the Olympics. Rising From Ashes

The Wolverine

clan. For that reason, besides salaries, health care and education, some of the squad’s funds were devoted to addressing daunting mental health issues. An inspirational illustration of how the Olympics came to serve as a unifying step in terms of exorcising the demons ever haunting Rwanda’s grisly killing fields.

Unrated In English and Kinyarwanda with subtitles Running Time: 80 minutes Distributor: First Run Features To see a trailer for Rising from Ashes, visit: The Wolverine 

Jackman Journeys to Japan for Latest Adventure as MetalClawed Mutant

That seemingly impossible quest is the subject of Rising from Ashes, an uplifting, overcoming-the-odds documentary directed by T.C. Johnstone. Narrated by Forest Whitaker, the film introduces us to the ragtag crew of raw recruits, including prima donna Abraham, mischievous Nathan and strongman Nyandwi, that Jock had to try to whip into fighting shape. But besides athleticism, the intrepid coach had to worry about his young protégés equipment, since they were riding on quarter century-old, brakeless, wooden bikes ordinarily employed as taxis or to deliver huge sacks of produce. An even bigger hurdle had to do with the fact that each was also still suffering from deep, psychological turmoil caused by the mass slaughter they’d witnessed of a million fellow citizens. For instance, the team’s star, Adrien, had lost sixty members of his family, including six brothers and everyone on his mother’s side of the

Logan, aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is a mutant with retractable claws and a self-healing, metal skeleton. As a member of Marvel Comics’ X-Men, he has appeared in all five of the franchise’s prior screen adaptations, most notably, the eponymous installment exploring his origin. At this episode’s point of departure, we find him in Alaska and awaking from the clever cinematic contrivance of a nightmare within a nightmare. In the haunting dream, he’d been confronted by Jean Grey, aka Phoenix (Famke Janssen), the lover/colleague gone bad he’d been forced to stab to death in X-Men: The Last Stand. Here, she makes him feel so guilty about gutting her belly and aborting their baby that he promises never to hurt anyone ever again. Trouble is, Logan has anger management issues which cause him to morph into feral Wolverine whenever he loses his temper, and he proceeds to break the vow the very next day in a bar fight with a bunch of inconsiderate local yokels.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


However, the film’s setting changes from the Yukon to the Orient soon after the arrival in town of bottle redhead Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a capable bodyguard sent by Ichiro Yashida (Haruchiko Yamanouchi), the terminally-ill CEO of Japan’s biggest corporation. Since Logan saved Ichiro’s life when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, you’d think he was being summoned for a grateful, fond farewell. Think again. The old man suddenly wants to live forever and has hatched a plan to steal Wolverine’s secret to immortality. And he’s assisted in this diabolical endeavor by an army of ninjas as well as by Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), an evil temptress with an immunity to toxins. Meanwhile, Logan is lucky that Yukio has decided to shift loyalties from her boss to him. At this juncture, the picture launches into a ballet-like display of non-stop martial arts fare, the highlight being a breathtaking Kabuki dance to the death atop a careening locomotive. When the dust settles, Logan of course not only emerges victorious but will have to choose whether to ride off into the Land of the Rising Sun’s proverbial sunset with two-fisted, tomboy Yukio or with gorgeous Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Ichiro’s granddaughter. Provided you’re not suffering from blockbuster fatigue in this summer of sequels, this engaging and enchanting Asian adventure definitely deserves to be added to your “Must See” list. Crouching Viper, Hidden Wolverine! Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and intense violence In English and Japanese with subtitles Running Time: 126 minutes Distributor: 20th Century Fox To see a trailer for The Wolverine, visit:

Two-Time OscarNominee Talks About His Latest Offering The “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” Interview with Kam Williams

Lee Daniels is best known for

directing and producing the Academy Award-winning film Precious which was nominated for a half-dozen Oscars in 2010, including his two for Best Picture and Best Director. Mo’Nique won for Best Supporting Actress while scriptwriter Geoffrey Fletcher landed another for Best Adapted Screenplay. Lee’s production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut in 2001 with Monster’s Ball, the dysfunctional family drama for which Halle Berry would earn her historic, Best Actress Oscar. Last year, he wrote, produced and directed The Paperboy, an adaptation of the Pete Dexter novel starring Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman. Here, he talks about his new picture, The Butler, a civil rights epic recounting the real-life story of an African-American who served in the White House at the pleasure of eight presidents, from 1952 to 1986.

Kam Williams: Hey Lee, what a phenomenal film! Lee Daniels: Did you like it? KW: I loved it! Thanks, Kam. KW: I was born in the ‘50s so all of the ground you cover in terms of the father-son relationship and the Civil Rights Movement resonated with me and touched me very deeply. LD: That makes me feel good. Thank you very much. KW: So, what inspired you to make the movie? LD: What attracted me to the project was the father-son story which I looked at as a love story with the Civil Rights Movement as a backdrop. That was intriguing to me both because I’d had issues with my own dad, and because I have issues with my teenage son. I think the father-son love story is a universal one which transcends color. That’s what was sort of there on the page, but it wasn’t until I started shooting that we began getting into the Woolworth’s sit-ins and the Freedom Riders with the Molotov cocktails that I asked myself, “What have I stumbled upon?” It was then

that I realized the film was much bigger than just the father-son story. KW: Did you decide to tackle the civil rights material because of the Trayvon Martin shooting? LD: No, it hadn’t happened when Danny Strong wrote the script, including the line “Any white man can kill any of us at any time and get away with it.” KW: You got Oscar winners in Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams and Melissa Leo, and Oscarnominees in Terrence Howard and Oprah Winfrey to come aboard. How were you able to assemble such an outstanding cast? LD: My usual way… throwing out a net, and fishing. This one was easy because the material was so good. The actors I approached took the bait because they wanted to serve the material. We really didn’t have any money to pay them, so most of them lost money in relation to what their normal acting fee would be. KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: How has the tempest over re-using the title The Butler affected you? LD: Well, I just finished editing the movie five days ago. When did you see it, Kam? KW: Earlier today. LD: Well, I’m not sure which version you saw. Anyway, when I’m working on a movie, it’s like being in a cocoon. I consider it like giving birth, and I don’t leave the bubble, because if I do, then it’s bad and affects the child. But I was pulled out for a minute when my kids told me about something they saw online. I didn’t even hear about it from the studio. It disturbed me, but I didn’t have time to think about it. KW: Well, it’s now called Lee Daniels’ The Butler. LD: The MPAA [Motion Pictures Association of America] gave me that title and I still don’t know how to feel about it. I just finished giving birth to the movie. Lee Daniels’ The Butler! It sounds like The Greatest Show on Earth!

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


KW: Well Tyler Perry, Dino De Laurentis and others are famous for placing their names before the title? LD: I’m not Tyler Perry. I’m not Dino De Laurentis. I think it’s a bit much to put one’s name in front of the film. It makes me uncomfortable. Here’s the thing. Insiders like you know the whole story and about the legal issues, but not the average person. I worry that young kids in Oklahoma or Alabama might end up asking, “Who is this filmmaker to be so full of himself?” That bothers me. The MPAA handed down this edict. So, I don’t know how I feel about it right now. Ask me tomorrow. KW: My eyes must have welled up at least a half-dozen times while watching the film. As the director, you must be too close to the film for it to have that sort of emotional effect on you. LD: No, when I actually sat down all alone to watch the final cut just for pleasure, I broke down in tears. KW: You did a masterful job of portraying the tensions and differences between the Civil Rights and Black Power Generations. LD: There was no right and wrong. Cecil [played by Forest Whitaker] was right and so was his son (played by David Oyelowo). You’ve got a problem when neither is wrong, yet you have a conflict. KW: I also appreciated the evenhanded way in which you approached each of the presidents Cecil served under, like how Reagan could give his African-American help a raise to make their pay equal to that of whites, while hypocritically still supporting Apartheid in South Africa. LD:Ain’t that interesting? We don’t make Kennedy out to be a goody twoshoes either. KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier was wondering whether you’ve seen the TV miniseries Backstairs at the White House? LD: I did. I think it was a great movie for its time, but I wanted to avoid the episodic feeling of that film. KW: Patricia also asks: What message do you want the public to take away from The Butler? LD: I hate that question, Patricia, because it forces me to be philosophical… I think the message is that we have got a long way to go. I hope that this film rips a scab off the sore that is racism in America today. KW: Thanks again for the time, Lee, and best of luck with the film. LD: Thanks, Kam. To see a trailer for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, visit: _popup.php?id=108

Denver Days


The Mile High City successfully celebrated its first annual Denver Days, spanning from Aug. 3 to 11. Getting into the spirit of the new summer tradition, Denver residents, neighborhood organizations, community nonprofits and more hosted over 140 events throughout the city.

“By connecting our neighbors and neighborhoods, we are building upon our city’s civic infrastructure and making Denver an even more vibrant, safe and healthy place to live,” Mayor Hancock said. “I want to thank the hundreds of community members who held a Denver Days event and recognize the thousands of residents that turned out to help us deliver a world-class city where everyone matters by participating in this new summer tradition.” The Mayor and officials worked to establish a citywide celebration of Denver’s culture and history by encouraging residents to plan events in their community that worked to connect neighbor to neighbor and strengthen each and every neighborhood. City officials paved the way for residents to easily plan their Denver Days event by offering a simple toolkit that streamlined the planning process from beginning to end of every block party, service project and other social activities. The Denver City Council passed an ordinance in early July that officially designated the first Saturday of every August as “Denver Day.” Mayor Hancock signed the ordinance into law on July 15.

Mayor Announces Welton Design/Development Challenge A new and unique grant-making approach is being used to provide

momentum to revitalize one of Denver’s most historic neighborhoods. The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) launched its firstever Welton Design/Development Challenge, an opportunity for commercial and mixed use residential projects along the primary corridor of the Five Points business district to receive predevelopment funds for planning and design. The challenge will award funds to up to three projects in a range of sizes, including individual business owners as well as collaborative proposals from groups of contiguous property owners or other development teams that form around the most exciting ideas. The grants will fund a wide range of possible predevelopment expenses, including architectural renderings, engineering specifications, financial pro formas, environmental reviews and market research. The grants are designed to help support the steps generally required to prove project viability and garner commercial financing. The application deadline for this first Welton Challenge is Oct. 28, with up to three winners to be announced by Nov. 16. With the capacity of a predevelopment grant to engage developers, architects and engineers as needed, the projects are expected to take shape within about a year. Projects must be located along Welton Street, from 20th to 30th Streets. For more information, visit

Mayor Hancock Appointed Chair of U.S. Conference of Mayors Education Reform Task Force

Mayor Michael B. Hancock was announced as the Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Task Force on Education Reform. The Mayor will leverage this new position to increase mayoral involvement and recognition of the opportunities and challenges that lie within the public education system. Mayor Hancock will lead the U.S. Mayors, whose educational control spans a wide spectrum from city to city, in a comprehensive discussion regarding closing the achievement gap, through specific strategies and innovative practices and programs. A USCM task force is created by the president of the conference to address individual issues requiring the immediate attention of a select group of mayors. Task force recommendations are submitted to the organization as a whole and generally serve as the basis for conference policy positions.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Childhood Stress How do I help my child build resilience? Part 2 of 3

By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland


he Nest Matters’ Childhood Stress Part 1 addressed the effects of stress on children and why it matters. Our research indicated children that develop resilience in the form of certain character qualities are better prepared to be functioning stewards in society when it’s their time to leave the nest. This month we share the latest research on how to help children build resilience. Some kinds of stress are extremely common - like the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a failure of some kind. Most of us bounce back from these kinds of stressors pretty readily. Others take longer, but most of us devise a route to recovery. Some people, however, are set back and it triggers the start of a downward spiral. One negative event can cause a person to think negatively about themselves and about the world around them. They start looking for the failures and problems, and feel helpless to change things. The sense of being a victim of events outside your control becomes a kind of paralyzing fear, which leads to further failure.


So what makes the difference for those who have the resilience to bounce back, and those who simply can’t cope? According to current thinking, there are personality or character traits which lead one to move past stress. The nine traits identified in Part I were Persistence, Self-Control, Curiosity, Conscientiousness, Communication, Grit, Self-Confidence, Self-Regulation, and Transition Techniques. Dr. Ginsburg uses the following 8 C Model of Resilience in his

book “Building Resilience in Children & Teens”: Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Control, Contribution, Coping and Care. People who bounce back easily (Bouncers) believe some things about themselves and about the world that those with less resilience (Spiralers) do. Bouncers believe that: •innate ability is less important than effort (persistence); •they can make a difference (agency); •accolades earned are more valuable than prizes won (effort); •the world is neutral (fair) and not out to get them; •bad things can happen to anyone (imbalance) and can happen repeatedly; and •anything can be overcome (positivity) ublications/observer/2013/april-13/true-grit.html

Spiralers often believe that: •some people are just born smart or have a better chance than I do •nothing I do really matters / I can’t change things •the prize is what matters most / I don’t have a chance anyway •the world is against me / people are out to get me •for every bad thing, I’m owed a good thing and bad things happen to people who deserve it •some things are too bad to get over / It’s just going to get worse So how do we teach our children to bounce back from hardship?

0-3 Infants and Toddlers:

All children are born with a natural resilience. Parents can foster this natural strength and increase a child’s ability to become more resilient. Families are constantly rushing, which can create stressful environments for small kids that require lots of care. Babies need unconditional love, security, and

a deep connection to at the least one adult in their life. •Parents teach babies to love by giving love. Newborns, including toddlers are very sensitive to love and affection. Holding them, smiling at them, singing a song, feeding them, and changing diapers – these sometimes feel like part of the routine for grownups. These regular routines show signs of love. •Help your child feel secure. Infants and toddlers rely on adults for everything and when a child senses danger they look for security. Children need to be reassured they are safe and being placed into safe environments. You can accomplish this by making their daily transitions smooth and consistent. Your confidence helps them to feel secure. •Give your child role models to connect with. Children’s ability to thrive is highly affected by the community of adults that surround them.

Elementary Age Students:

•Remember to praise your child for sticking with it, for getting up and trying again, for being determined and not backing down. Stop praising for being smart and getting good grades focus on HOW they got there instead of the end accomplishment. •Let your child make some decisions that you KNOW won’t turn out well while they are safe at home. Don’t talk them out of mixing all those flavors of soda, talk about the choice afterwards and what they might have done differently. •Give your child responsibilities at home - simple chores that support the whole family can help your child feel that they can contribute. Carrying in the groceries is a big job for a young child, and a dozen broken eggs is worth the cost if your child learns from her own experience to be aware and gentle. •Find out if your child’s school teaches GRIT. School values like perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness will help build resilience.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


Tweens, Teens and College Students:

•Listen to your teenager attentively. It will outweigh any words you can say as parents. •Remember that your teen’s life is full of the stress of changing hormones. Try and be extra patient with the drama of adolescence, and always remind your child that they are bigger, stronger, and greater than any single situation. •Help your child get involved in helping others. One of the best ways for teens to get outside the hardship and struggles of teen years is by focusing on someone else’s struggles. When your teen recognizes that they have something to offer, and that they can be a positive support for someone else. •Find a program where they can volunteer. As much as we want them to get job experience and start earning their own money, we need to ensure that they have coping tools and can make wise choices for spending that hard earned money. •Understand how kids think and the social pressures that affect them. Teenagers can only begin to make positive choices when they are taught to be in control of what happens to them. Children that have a wide range of coping strategies will be better prepared to overcome stressors and are less likely to make risky choices. These strategies will help your child develop the resilience and grit to overcome the stress of everyday life. When your child is a “bouncer” he will have what it takes to navigate the unexpected setbacks of life and rise above stress inducing situations. Next month concludes our series with Part 3 of “Childhood Stress” with our research and answers to the question “How do I reduce unhealthy stress in my child’s life?” Visit our online blog for more information. Have a question or you want to share? Send an email to  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).

Bertha Lynn Leaves 7NEWS To Lead Children’s Diabetes Foundation

After bringing news into the homes of Coloradans for more than 30 years, 7NEWS Anchor, Bertha Lynn has left the newsroom to become the new Executive Director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation at Denver. Bertha Lynn is one of Denver’s most recognized and honored broadcast journalists and has been reporting news to Coloradans since 1976 when she began her work on-air with KBTVTV (now KUSA-TV) as an anchor and reporter. In 1984, she moved to 7NEWS where she anchored and reported for nearly every station newscast. Last year, Lynn was inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame, and in 2010, she was also inducted into the Broadcast Professionals Hall of Fame. In 2006, she was a Silver Circle Inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Heartland Chapter. She also served as Director of the Boards for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival (which named its Legacy Award for her) and as a trustee for Regis University and is a member of the Denver Art Museum’s African American Outreach Task Force. Lynn’s list of honors include numerous Emmy Awards as well as The President’s Award, Journalist of the Year, and Grace Under Fire Award from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists. Bertha Lynn signed off the air August 9 at 11 a.m. on 7NEWS.

New Denver Preschool Program Study Shows Reading Gains Persist Through 3rd Grade

Third-graders who participated in the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) four years earlier outperformed their non-DPP peers in Denver Public Schools (DPS) on the 2013 reading TCAP, the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, the first longterm study of DPP students reveals. A total of 64 percent of DPP children posted advanced or proficient reading


scores compared to 58 percent of nonDPP students. The gain for Black thirdgraders previously enrolled in DPP was even more promising: 61 percent of Black third-graders enrolled in DPP reached proficiency compared to 52 percent of non-DPP students. Slightly more than half (52 percent) of Hispanic children with DPP experience were proficient readers, compared to 46 percent of non-DPP students. DPP students who identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) were 7.2 percent more likely to attain proficient or advanced levels on the TCAP than their non-DPP ELL peers.

Roger Kilgore Announces Candidacy For DPS Board Of Education District 4

to a new level of entertainment. With PEG, Pride plans broaden the scope in entertainment by helping artists fulfill their music careers. Pride has partnered with Lee Parker of Brimstone Entertainment in Huntsville, Al. Parker has 45 years of experienced in the entertainment business, including record, concert, and festival promotion, and also artists management. PEG announced the signing of its first artist; Wade L. Brown, Jr., a 20 year old vocalist. Wade finished in the top 50 on American Idol, season 10. And he also appeared on the television show, The Voice, season 2, where he was selected by CeeLo Green to compete on his team. Wade has opened up for national artists such as Balladeer Eric Benet.

Be A Role Model For Girls

Girl Scouts of Colorado needs volunteers. It starts with one day, one meeting and one role model that show girls they can accomplish more than they ever imagined. Girl Scouts wants every girl to feel so excited about her future that she can hardly wait for it, because she knows she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Girl Scout volunteers will introduce girls to

Roger Kilgore announced his candidacy for the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in District 4. Kilgore is an active education community member, representing community interests on the District School Improvement and Accountability Council and the DPS Bond Oversight Committee. Kilgore’s experience running for the at-large position in 2011 showed him how divided the Board of Education has become and the need to overcome those divisions if DPS is to succeed. Kilgore has already begun gaining community support; Tim Tribbett, a well-respected Democratic activist, agreed to be his campaign Treasurer. For more information and a full bio, visit

Colorado Event Promoter Forms Record Company, Signs First Artist

Cedric Pride announced the formation of the Pride Entertainment Group (PEG), a record company that will include publishing, promotion, manufacturing, and distribution. Pride, owner of Cedric Pride Entertainment, has been promoting and producing some of Colorado’s best old school music events, expands Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


new experiences that make every day the best ever. Girl Scouts makes volunteering easy and fun. For more information and to sign up, visit, Email or call 1877-404-5708.

Goodwill To Serve More Students Through A Mile High United Way Grant

Goodwill Industries of Denver continues to invest in Denver’s youth thanks to a $225,000 Mile High United Way grant spread over three years, to support Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Program. This grant will help Goodwill successfully transition even more students from the classroom to a career. Goodwill’s youth program currently provides 18,000 at-risk students in 32 Denver and northern Colorado schools the tools they need to succeed through job-readiness training and career education. Goodwill supplements its career development classroom curriculum with other services like mentoring, mock-interviews, and job and internship assistance. For more information, visit

Congresswoman DeGette Answers Questions About The Affordable Care Act

On October 1, the health insurance marketplaces for the Affordable Care Act will go into effect, helping to bring access to quality, affordable health care for Americans. The state’s new online health marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, will enable families or small businesses to shop for, compare, and purchase health insurance. Congresswoman Diana DeGette invites the public to join her at one of four town hall meetings where they can learn more about the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance marketplaces, and other benefits of this comprehensive new health law. The four town halls are as follows: 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at National Jewish in the Molly Blank Conference Center, 1400 Jackson St. in Denver; 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at the McAuliffe International School, 3480 Syracuse St. in Denver; 12 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue in Denver and 6 p.m. at Barnum Recreation Center, 360 Hooker St. in Denver. For more information or to RSVP, E-mail or call 303-844-4988.

ECCC College Preparatory Program Underway

The Ethnic College Counseling Center celebrates 30 years of preparing middle school and high school students (6 to 12 grade) for education beyond high school. The program will run every 1st and 3rd Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning Saturday, Sept. 21 at Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd. (Room 205) in Denver. Skills and development areas to be covered include: vocabulary building for improved standardized test scores, test taking skills, essay writing, journaling, library researching skills, identifying your careers aptitude, researching scholarships via the educational opportunities center and summer enrichment programs application support. Third Saturday sessions will feature local acclaimed Black history story-teller Cassandra Sewell. For more information, visit www.EthnicCollegeCounselingCenter. org or call 303-751-9731.

NR4f Youth 3 on 3 Back 2 School “Ball Out” Tournament

No Room 4 Failure (NR4f) Youth 3 on 3 Back 2 School “Ball Out” Tournament is a community inner city youth basketball tournament purposed to fund raise, promote and


encourage education, and to empower and support inner city youth. The tournament will be Oct. 5 at the Evie Garrett Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St., in Denver from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost per team is $300. Each team will be sponsored, youth participation will be free. The deadline for team registration is Friday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. Vendor space and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, call Johnell Moody at 720-277-6692 or E-mail

The Eulipions Fund Accepting Grant Proposals For Performing Arts Projects

The Eulipions Fund is accepting proposals for its next grant cycle. The deadline is Nov. 1. The Eulipions Fund Inc. is a nonprofit organization that fosters, promotes, and preserves artistic expression with an emphasis on Colorado's African-American heritage and lifestyles. Applicants must be nonprofit, tax exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) status or with a fiscal sponsor with this status. The fund, administered by the Denver Foundation, provides grants for selected performing arts activities. Among these are documentary and feature film productions, dance, theater, and creative arts. For more information and to apply, visit, E-mail, or call 303-300-1790.

East “Y’ Visioning Team

The East “Y’ Visioning Team is a sub-committee of the North City Park Civic Association and the team’s purpose is to engage interested parties in decision making. The East “Y” Visioning Team will host a community workshop to share community member findings and input gathered recently regarding current redevelopment ideas for the former East Denver YMCA site. The East ‘Y’ Visioning Team believes that the redevelopment of the former YMCA site must be a collaborative effort of all stakeholders. This workshop will take place Sept. 7 from noon to 2 p.m. at the office of Councilman Albus Brooks, District 8, 3815 Steele St., in Denver. For more information, call Gerie Grimes at 303 -388-4801 or E-mail

Attention Youth Ages 16 to 21

To Raise A Child Inc. presents TRAC TRUE Youth Initiative, a program in which helps youth take hold of their future by: completing high

school, securing stable employment, owning a home, purchasing first automobile, acquiring the tools needed to be successful on your own, etc. To qualify you must be able to answer yes to one of the following: are you emancipated, currently living on your own, come from a single parent home, currently in out of home placement, previously/currently in the human service system, previously/currently in the foster care system, reside in a group home, between the ages of 16-21, do not have a stable support system, and are a U.S. citizen? The program will be Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6:30 to 8 the Mile High Youth Corps Office, 6740 East Colfax in Denver. For more information and to register, call 720-722-0759.



Take a written exam in June that can place you on an eligibility list for hiring with 16 fire departments/ districts in the Denver metro area. Visit and click on FIRE or call 303.480.6730.

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Flippin' The Script Honors Graduates Of Their Program

Flippin’ The Script helps hundreds of paroled ex-gang members change their lives for the better. This year’s graduation ceremony will be Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 at Jakes Food & Spirits, 3800 Walnut St. in Denver. The keynote speaker will be Brandon Shaffer, Chairperson, State of Colorado, Board of Parole. In addition, Steve Hager, Interim Director Parole/Community Corrections/YOS will be there to wish the graduates luck and encourage them to lead righteous lives and last, but surely not least, Rick Raemisch, executive director DOC, will also be there to support efforts and encourage the graduates. For more information, call 303- 8934264 or visit

Walk And Run-A-Thon For Children And Their Families

HOPE Center’s Annual 1K/5K walk and run-a-thon will be a community event involving families, friends and neighbors. HOPE Center’s goals are to raise monies to help over 200 children prepare for success in school by providing a top rated and accredited Early Childhood Education and Care program; support a high quality childcare program for working parents in the inner city; and continue to teach job readiness and socialization skills to special need adult clients enrolled at their vocational program. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 7 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Central Park, 9651 East Martin Luther King Blvd in Denver. For more information and to register, visit and use event code: HOPE97

Denver Urban Spectrum — – September 2013


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Denver Urban Spectrum September 2013 Issue

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Denver Urban Spectrum September 2013 Issue