D M ON ARES

Volume 26, Number 2 May 2012
DON
MARES
A Champion
for Mental
Health
Page...4
Celebrate
Cinco de Mayo
Photo by Bernard Grant
MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Volume 26 Number 2
Thank you, thank you, thank you...
May 2012
PUBLISHER
Rosalind J. Harris
GENERAL MANAGER
Lawrence A. James
MANAGING EDITOR
Sheila Smith
FILM and BOOK CRITIC
Kam Williams
...to all who helped us celebrate 25 years of spreading the news about people. This past quarter of a century has been
a journey and we are looking forward to what the next one will bring.
This month we recognize Cinco de Mayo and Mental Health Month. And fortunately we acknowledge both with this
month’s cover story spotlighting Don Mares, President/CEO of Mental Health America of Colorado. Find out what he has
been up to and what took him to his current journey of combating mental health.
Managing editor Sheila Smith has been covering the trail on the very controversial issue of city council redistricting the
city. Find out how it may affect you and your community today, and in the future, and why you should be concerned.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, read how the seeds one mother planted has shaped the life of one man and about the
“sisterly” love for another. Unfortunately, this special day will be unforgettable and regrettable for one mother. Read how
Sybrina Fulton is weathering the storm after the death of her son Trayvon Martin.
Once again, thank you to our readers, advertisers, business associates, family and friends for your
continued support. It’s because of you that we do what we do!
Peace, joy and blessings to you.
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Annette Walker
Sheila Smith
Rosalind J. Harris
Publisher
ART DIRECTOR
Bee Harris
GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Gillian Conte, The Creative Spirit
Jody Gilbert, Kolor Graphix
PRODUCTION AND OFFICE ASSISTANT
Cecile Perrin
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Cecile Perrin
ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANTS
Rodney Sturgeon
WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR
Tanya Ishikawa
DISTRIBUTION
Glen Barnes
Lawrence A. James
Ed Lynch
The Denver Urban Spectrum is a
monthly publication dedicated to
spreading the news about people of
color. Contents of the Denver Urban
Spectrum are copyright 2012 by
Rolado, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the
publisher.
The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout
Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum
welcomes all letters, but reserves the
right to edit for space, libelous material,
grammar, and length. All letters must
include name, address, and phone
number. We will withhold author’s name
on request. Unsolicited articles are
accepted without guarantee of publication or payment.
Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum
at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041.
Office address is 2727 Welton St.,
Denver, CO 80205.
For advertising, subscriptions, or
other information, call 303-292-6446 or
fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at
www.denverurbanspectrum.com.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
delightfully, informed, entertained,
and most importantly, provided a
variety of vital information and current local and national news to our
community for the last 25 years.
You and your staff are to be commended for a job well done.
We are extending our congratulations and appreciations to you and
your staff.
Thanks For 25 Years!
Editor:
I can’t believe it’s been a quarter of
a century! 25 years ago I was teaching
at Montbello High School, but that’s
not the only reason I started reading
your magazine. Having had the experience of being the only white guy in
the room is an experience that few
whites have experienced, unfortunately. I know it happens the other way
around a lot, and white people should
be a little more conscious of what their
Black brothers and sisters may be
experiencing in these situations, in the
classroom, at parties, meetings, etc. (I
used to play in a local soul band, as
well as being a teacher.)
In any case, your magazine has
been a wonderful part of my life in
Denver. Being aware of all of our
diverse cultures in this city is essential.
And, having spent many years in a
small city in Indiana, not too far from
KKK territory, I feel lucky to live in a
city with a little less ingrained racism.
We still have a long way to go,
though, to become a truly non-racist
city. Your journalism helps us nonBlacks feel more informed about, and
at home with, the Black community.
And really, I think it’s so cool that in
Denver, where African Americans are
not a huge percentage of our population, have maintained such a vital and
entertaining print presence in a time
where publishing magazines and
books has become so difficult recently.
Thanks for your work
The Batey’s
Samuel and Barbara Batey
Denver, CO
Spoken Words Of Forgiveness
To Trayvon
Editor:
Please forgive us for letting the
deaths of Oscar Grant, Sean Bell,
Amadou Diallo, Paul Childs, Marvin
Booker, and Alonzo Ashley go by
without finding an effective means to
deal with the beast that took your life.
Forgive us for substituting protest for
actual problem solving. For not knowing when our “goodness” becomes
stupidity. For being afraid to rock the
boat in a way that would wake-up its
sleeping passengers. Trayvon, forgive
us for Sleep-Walking. For not seeing
when the fruits of our “Christian
Kindness” ultimately add up to toothless-ness in the face of the real
“Enemy.” Forgive us for misunderstanding the true nature of God. For
not admitting when our righteousness
is just fear of the inevitable confrontation when the illusion of freedom and
safety falls apart.
Forgive us for being addicted to
entertainment, and not the attainment
of knowledge; for being consumers of
the filth of the Advertising Elite. For
wanting big bank accounts more than
big hearts. Forgive us forgetting that
the values of the God we say we serve
Gregg Painter
Denver, CO
Kudos And Congrats To US
Editor:
Congratulations “Bee” and the
Denver Urban Spectrum staff. You have
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
3
may involve laying down one’s life
not just for your brother, but for the
sake of future generations. Trayvon,
forgive us for turning children into
sacrificial lambs for the God of capitol.
And Trayvon, finally, forgive your
people, the descendants of American
slaves. When our leaders were killed,
and we failed to stand up, they effectively killed us, too. Forgive us for not
admitting that our need to assimilate
was greater than our need for real
freedom. It is an iron need, forged in
the fires of the cotton plantation,
where the seeds of our inner unworthiness were planted. Forgive us for
masking our self-hatred with integration reform, fighting to love our
enemy when we could scarcely love
ourselves. A need which drove the
wealthiest of us as far away from our
people as money could buy. Yes,
Trayvon, I ask you to forgive our elders, who chose to survive, but not take
on full responsibility for the burden
that survival entailed. In so doing,
they proved why other peoples chose
Continued on page 34
Denver Urban Spectrum
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Denver Urban Spectrum
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News & Information
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Graphics & Design
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Distribution & Circulation
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The Diverse Life Of
It is Saturday night at the
Edgewater Coffee Company. The regular crowd shuffles in. It is a tiny, but
cozy neighborhood hangout. Every
table is full and late arrivals must
either stand or find a place on the
floor, which more than a few already
have. It’s a good crowd.
Everyone is waiting for the band, a
diverse group of middle-aged guys
and women, to finalize its set. No hiphop or heavy metal tonight; just a
steady dose of melody, boy-meets-girl,
feel good ‘60s and ‘70s saccharine. One
look around says everything; it is a
salt-n-pepper crowd that’s come to
hear a salt-n-pepper band.
But it is a lot more than a Saturday
night gig for the guy on the 12-string
guitar. Though incognito, in jeans and
open collar instead of his more familiar Brooks Brothers and briefcase, Don
Mares has come to play. For the last 20
years, this lawyer/public servant/toplevel administrator has been a force in
Denver and state politics. But tonight,
he is just another face in the band.
He enjoys the music and camaraderie. But it goes beyond wanting to
strum a tune or two. “It’s my mental
health therapy,” he says. And, without
a hint or irony, it is something Mares
knows a thing or two about.
The now President/CEO of Mental
Health America of Colorado, Mares
has been playing guitar since he was a
kid. In high school, he was good
enough to play with the Colorado
chapter of “Up With People,” the
squeaky-clean troupe that takes its
positive message to schools across the
country.
“It just gives me a sense of joy,” he
says of playing with the group. And
joy, as he can well attest, in the field of
mental health can be a fleeting and
problematic commodity. Mares knows
this as well as anyone and certainly
more intimately than he would care
to. He knows it not only because it’s
his job at MHAC but also because, like
DON MARES
By Laura Cordes
millions of
other
Americans,
mental illness
has dropped
anchor on the
Mares family.
His brother,
once a Pulitzer
Prize-winning
journalist, has
lived with the
illness for a
number of
years. And
while the condition, depression, is manageable, nothing short of a
miracle will
ever cure it.
And there’s no
wishing it
away, either.
But in
Mares’ family,
unlike so
many
American
families, his
brother’s condition was
never treated
as ‘the ghost at
the banquet.’
Not talking
about it was
never an
option. And
Mares talks
openly about
his brother
with no hint of
reluctance and
certainly without a bit of shame. The
subject is neither too delicate nor
embarrassing. Mares says he and his
family have accepted his brother’s
condition in the same way they would
as if it were a broken bone or any
other physical issue.
Like so many other mental illnesses, no one knows what triggered his
brother’s depression. But after the
death of their mother, something happened. The normalcy with which he
lived his life for all those years before
simply vanished. Work, family, all the
simple routines that existed before
were no longer simple or routine.
The
entire
Mares family got
involved
and as a
family
faced the
issue headon. Today
their brother is doing
well and
living independently.
He has also
resumed his
writing,
doing
pieces for a
local community
paper and
speaking
out on his
life’s journey.
The
strength of
the Mares
clan was
forged by
an indefatigable mother. If
Priscilla
Mares wasn’t taking
care of her
family, she
was
“knocking
on doors for
Photo by Bernard Grant
a political
candidate
or working on a school or community
issue,” says Mares. As he talks about
his late mother, his eyes crinkle into a
smile. The impact she had on him is
obvious and reflected in his own core
beliefs.
She stressed very simply values –
education, morality and public service.
And, she practiced them in abundance. Mares, along with his brothers,
followed her lead no matter the direction. “She was my hero,” he says with
a wistful but obvious pride.
But Mares is also quick to give
credit to his father, Bonifacio. Despite
his parents having two entirely differ-
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
4
ent personalities, they worked as a
team. She never did anything without
his full support; he never discouraged
anything she did. And both parents
were unwavering in their love and
support for their boys.
Mares joined MHAC in March
2011, after more than two decades in
public service. Before that, he served
as a member of both houses in the
state legislature, followed by eight
years as Denver’s City Auditor and,
most recently, as Governor Bill Ritter’s
Executive Director of Labor and
Employment.
While a soft landing in a prestigious Denver law firm first would
have been lucrative and certainly
attractive to the firm that brought him
in, that would have been too easy. He
might have also been a hot property
for some company as its lobbyist. He
does, after all, know the ins and outs
of the legislature and is as well
respected on the Hill as anyone in
Colorado politics. But while both
options probably carried great benefits
including a great salary, at this point
in his life he has made mental illness
and behavioral health his primary
focus. If sometime in the future he
decides to return to law, says Mares,
“I’m sure the door will still be open.”
There’s no denying that with kids
in college or getting ready to go, the
money would have come in handy for
Mares and his wife, Ruth. Their son is
in college in California and his
youngest daughter is set to graduate
high school next year. His oldest
daughter, who followed in his footsteps to Stanford, has already graduated. It’s only money.
“There was something deep inside
telling me to do this,” he said over an
orange juice at a Park Hill McDonalds
on a recent Saturday morning. “I really felt like I wanted something more
rewarding.” He might have added,
and something more challenging, as
well. With MHAC, he got both.
It is estimated that in America, a
fourth of the population – more than
57 million individuals – suffers from a
diagnosable mental illness or behavioral health issue. Most of these conditions are treatable allowing people to
live normal lives. But for countless
others, they can be disabling, almost
crippling and requiring long-term care
or hospitalization. For this group,
there are no known cures, something
both frustrating and challenging – but
not hopeless – at least to Mares.
Despite the hard sell that is mental
illness, Mares’ time in the public eye
has provided him with entrée to speak
Continued on page 6
City, Firefighters
Reach Agreement
To Create A
Sustainable Denver
Mayor Michael B. Hancock,
Denver Firefighters Local 858
President Mike Rogers and City
Council President Chris Nevitt
announced they’ve reached an agreement that will save the City’s general
sacrifices needed to drive operational
efficiencies and fix the structural
imbalance that exists within the City’s
budget. We know that by working
together we will all deliver a better
city for future generations.”
“City Council is very proud of the
Hancock Administration and Local
858’s collaboration, getting us to a
record level of cost savings to the City
and County of Denver in these difficult budgetary times while still meeting the needs of our fire fighters,” City
Council President Chris Nevitt said.
“Not only do these brave men and
women serve our community every
day with pride and dedication but
they continue to lead the charge to set
us on the right path of both fairness
and fiscal prudence.”
Next, the agreement must be
approved by City Council through
ordinance. It will be discussed at the
Health, Safety, Education and Services
Committee meeting.
The ordinance request will then
proceed to Mayor-Council and
through first and second reading at
City Council. Upon final approval by
City Council, union representatives
and city officials will sign the
contract. Once signed, the agreement
will be filed with the Clerk and
Recorder.
fund $6 million.
Negotiations to alter a collective
bargaining agreement this year were
conducted against the backdrop of an
anticipated $94 million budget shortfall for 2013, including a persistent
structural gap of $30 million.
To help close the budget gap and
create a sustainable City structure,
Local 858 and city officials came to an
agreement that will preserve the high
level of safety services to the community while making significant organizational changes and operational efficiencies within the Denver Fire
Department.
The agreement was negotiated over
a 30-day period and was ratified by
voting union members during the first
week in April. City officials and Local
858 acknowledged the high level of
collaboration conducted to finalize the
2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters’ union.
The following statements were
released:
“Denver’s firefighters have boldly
led the charge, continuing to make
sacrifices necessary to balancing the
City’s budget while maintaining our
high-quality services to Denver’s residents, neighborhoods and businesses,” Mayor Hancock said. “This year
they’ve gone above and beyond their
duty to serve their community by
making tough, long-term decisions
that will increase efficiencies and effectiveness in the department and create
a more sustainable Denver. We are
grateful for Local 858’s extraordinary
leadership.”
“Local 858 is truly dedicated to our
community, understanding that in
these tough economic times difficult
decisions are critical to put our City on
a sustainable path. And we will
always go the extra mile to protect
and serve our City,” Local 858
President Mike Rogers said. “We’re
proud to work with the Hancock
Administration and city officials to
make our contribution to the shared
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
5
Don Mares
Continued from page 4
frankly about this condition and to
share his vision – along with his brother’s story – with a whole host of
groups and organizations.
He is a regular guest speaker
whose style commands attention. His
words carry both depth and breadth.
He is substantive in speeches but with
a delicate economy of language that
allows him to make his point in a
thoughtful and poignant way. It is the
product of a career spent selling arguments on contentious legislation or
conveying a message that may be
unpleasant but necessary. And when
he is talking about the vast expanse of
behavioral health, he knows he must
craft his message openly and honestly.
On this Saturday morning, he has
just finished a talk at a nearby AfricanAmerican church. “This is a personal
crusade,” he says. It is personal
because of his first-hand experience
with his brother and also because, as a
Latino, Mares knows that mental illness carries a very unmistakable stigma in the minority community. He is
committed to changing that.
“I want to have communities of color
more engaged and talking about this,”
he says. The sad reality is that too many
minorities are still perfectly willing to
talk in euphemisms – or not at all –
about parents, sons, daughters or close
relatives who live their lives on the
periphery, burdened by a sometimes
unbearable weight too often made even
heavier by a family’s shame.
“It’s just something we haven’t traditionally talked about,” says Mares.
But it is hard to dissolve the misconceptions that some still cling to with
this illness. Nevertheless he is
adamant that that “pride and old
school thinking” that shackles so
many can be overcome.
He is like the man charged with
eating the elephant – one bite at a
time. He has a sweeping agenda that
calls for getting into rural communities where this condition often goes
unaddressed. Young adolescents
struggling with problems they can’t
even find words to describe are a
major source of concern for Mares.
“There is a very real lack of providers
in rural Colorado,” he says. “We need
to change that.”
He also has a plan for getting help
for families who not only struggle
with the enormity of this weight, but
struggle in a different language.
Again, it’s one bite at a time.
There is no stone Mares won’t turn
over to bring light to an often unexplored world. In addition to an already
aggressive agenda, he also wants to take
aim at Colorado’s prison population.
Where do we go from here?
Denver City Council played the starring role perfectly in the redistricting
saga that had enveloped the elected body for months.
Following longwinded speeches meant to provide political cover, the
council pushed through council boundaries that remain in dispute. The controversial move came just eight weeks after numerous residents from all
walks of life urged Council to delay the vote on Map F, which elevates neighborhood boundaries over preserving communities of interest, largely in communities of color.
The outcome was already a forgone conclusion as far back as January 24th
when Council President Chris Nevitt unveiled a map that alters the face of
council districts North of Colfax while leaving affluent areas South of Colfax
untouched.
Councilman Charlie Brown defended the new map, insisting council was
not putting up the Berlin Wall that divides the city north and south. What
council leadership has effectively done is to create the new Mason-Dixon
Line and Rio Grande north of Colfax and the Platte River as well as create
painful divisions on the council that may not heal for some time to come.
Councilman Paul Lopez rightly blasted the majority on council of maintaining the status quo and the city’s pecking order, protecting the more affluent communities South of Colfax where the majority of whites live at the
expense of the working-class North of Colfax and the Platte River, where a
majority of the city’s Latino and African Americans reside and have long
endured the brunt of inequitable services and representation.
Judy Montero, whose historic District 9 was nearly dismantled and now
merges with District 8, argues that in communities interest in lower
Highland, Sunnyside and Chaffee Park are now being shifted into a district
that his highly gentrified “in name of neighborhood boundaries.”
While that sounds good, the truth is that communities of interest are vastly different. Communities of interest are held tightly to cultural, historical,
economic and political issues, not streets and intersections.
“As many as 25 percent of those incarcerated have mental health issues.”
While he has no illusions about
research finding a quick or miraculous
cure for this condition – this separate
reality – he remains confident that one
day there will be a breakthrough. “I’m
a glass half-full kind of guy,” he says
with smile. But that is simply keeping
in character for a perpetual optimist.
Remember, he just finished running
the state’s Department of Labor in the
most challenging economy since The
Great Depression! Oh, yeah. He also
runs marathons!
It is his optimism that tells him that
he can make a difference, that he can
bring and keep mental illness in the
conversation and give it a relevance
that people can wrap their arms
around. “It may not be rooted in a
physical cause but it’s still a health
problem.” People, he says, need to
understand that.
“It will be amazing when research
can decipher the brain,” he says.
Again, speaking with thoughtful pragmatism, Mares says he is willing to
wait on a breakthrough but wishes he
didn’t have to.
Most immediately, through speeches, white papers or the cajoling of the
media to carry his message, he just
wants to change the way people look
at this disease. Shame needs to be
taken out of the equation. “Why can
you have ten thousand people walking in support of breast cancer,” he
asks, “and not have the same number
walking in support of mental illness?”
The realist in Mares, however, must
deal with a stark reality that he can’t
wish away. Money is hard to find.
What is worse is that until the economy really turns around, mental health
programs will struggle.
But despite limited resources, he is
adamant that the state cannot afford to
ignore Colorado’s rural and low income
populations, especially teenagers.
According to the National Institute of
Mental Health, about half of all mental
disorders strike in the early teen years.
“The lack of rural providers is a personal issue with me.”
Mares’ brother has brought him, literally and figuratively, face to face
with a whole new world. In a recent
Christmas-time letter from his brother,
Fred, that Mares shared, his brother
thanked him for not giving up and for
standing with him during some very
dark times.
“You encouraged me to take long
walks,” the letter read. “You said to
get fresh air; live for today.” The letter
ends simply: “I took my life
back…things did get better….I love
you.”
“Your brother, Fred.”
What happen between our representatives and the communities they
were elected to serve? What happen to campaign pledges to keep the community involved and engaged? Where do we go from here?
The battle is not over for equality and parity is not over. There will likely
be a legal challenge to the new map to ensure it doesn’t violate the Voters
Rights Act of 1965 and to ensure communities highly impacted continue to
have equitable voice in city government.
As for Council members Albus Brooks and Chris Herndon who help lead
this flawed process and public roust, there will be a few “Coming to Jesus”
moments as they grapple with community anger and backlash. It has not
been lost on some that both political newcomers to the council and Denver
came to community leaders to seek help with their bids to become council
members, but strangely failed to circle back to key coalitions on this critical
issue.
Unlike Herndon, Brooks professed that he has learned some tough lessons. Among them is to do a better job reaching out to the communities of
colors in which he serves. He also learned that it is not wise to disrespect the
pioneers who paved the way for the succeeding generation and worked hard
for the political gains communities of colors now enjoy and are fighting hard
to preserve.
From this point forward, City Council as a whole should do what’s in the
best interest of the city and push for a charter change that would place the
redrawing of council districts in 2020 in the hands of an independent commission, following the wise lead of the state legislature and the U.S.
Congress.
This sage move alone will prevent the council from engaging in a politically flawed and self-serving process that solely sought to protect fresh
incumbencies and political real estate to the south of the Mason-Dixon Line
and the Rio Grande.
April M. Washington,MMPA
Award-winning Freelance Journalist/Media/Government Relations
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
6
persed and Latinos concentrated,”
Webb said. “Most of the changes
occurring on these redistricting maps
are north of Colfax. What makes it
sacred to change or eliminate a district
because of population growth?”
He further expressed his concern
about getting fair representation of
minorities elected in these districts if
City Council Members
Draw The Line When It
Comes To Redistricting
By Sheila Smith
E
let Valentine loves her
little piece of heaven in the
northeast area of the city that
is considered Montbello and
has lived there for more than
10 years.
But now the home
owner/resident is concerned
how her neighborhood fits
into the city’s redistricting
plans.
Redistricting occurs every
10 years, with city council
members redrawing boundaries lines because of population shifts based on the last
2010 Census.
Denver city council members set out to carve up
Montbello, splitting it into
two districts – boundary lines
starting between Havana and
Chambers Road would divide
the eastern portion of
Montbello and become part of
Stapleton in District 8 and the
remaining western portion of
Montbello would be part of
Gateway/Green Valley Ranch stretching out to Picadilly Road.
“People would like to see
Montbello whole,” said first-time city
councilman Chris Herndon who represents District 11 and drafted the
redistricting map that city council
members chose to go before a public
hearing April 23.
“But you can only have a population of 54,000 plus or minus five percent – and Montbello and Green
Valley are just shy of a population of
60,000,” he added.
The redistricting could also affect
the future city council representation
of Districts 8 and 11, now both represented by two African Americans
wanting to maintain their seats.
And the battle lines were drawn
when it came down to one map
changing the outlook of a city. The
harsh reality is Denver’s Black population is dwindling as the Hispanic and
white populations are on the rise. Not
to mention the huge trend of upper
and middle class residents (mostly
white) who have been moving into
once mostly dominated black-andbrown neighborhoods such as Five
Points and Park Hill.
When you look at the concentrated
minority populated areas of Denver
(according to the demographics on the
proposed redistricting map by
Councilman Chris Herndon), these are
the facts: District 1 – population of
56,412 with 39.7 percent Hispanic, 1.7
percent Blacks; District 3 – population
of 55,272 with 72.1 percent Hispanic,
3.5 percent Black; District 11 – population of 52,758 with 45.8 percent
Hispanic, 28.4 percent Black; District 7
– population of 56,411 with 44.1 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Black;
District 8 – population of 51, 911 with
23.8 percent Hispanic, 24.3 percent
Black; and District 9 – population of
56,176 with 33.8 percent Hispanic, 16
percent Black.
“African Americans are only 9.7
percent of the population of the city
and dropping. We have to build new
coalitions,” City Councilman Albus
Brooks over District 8 said. He cohosted with Rep. Angela Williams, DDenver the public town hall meeting
at Kimball Hall in Five Points on April
4.
Former mayor Wellington Webb
also attended the Five Points meeting
and was very vocal about the redistricting issue.
“The Black population is being dis-
those communities are divided, and
stated, “What kind of city council do
you want in the future….. you are
playing a hunger game of politics.”
Rita Lewis, first vice-president of
the Denver branch of the NAACP,
believes the whole redistricting is
about diluting the vote in the Park Hill
and Green Valley Ranch areas.
“African Americans and Latinos will
lose their vote…. this is a form of gentrification,” she stated as minorities
are being split in smaller districts and
being fractioned in the larger districts.
Another Denver resident, Sherron
Lewis, had his own concerns at the
town hall meeting. “The numbers in
the Black community are being challenged and we’re seeing diminished
populations,” he stated, “and most
Blacks are moving out of Denver anyway.”
It all came to a head at the public
hearing on April 23, when city council
members played out their role in this
redistricting saga.
Despite the filled city council chamber with people stating their disapproval, it still didn’t sway the outcome
of an 8 to 4 four vote in favor of having one final redistricting map drafted
by Councilman Chris Herndon
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
7
Many residents from Sunnyside
spoke out against being in District 1,
Lincoln Park residents did not want to
be a part of District 3, and the West
Colfax Neighborhood Association
clearly expressed not seeing their
neighborhood split as well.
Lisa Calderon with the Colorado
Latino Forum asked city council members to delay voting on
a map in order for the
public to have more
input and said the proposed redistricting
maps were not in compliance with the Voter
Rights Act of 1965,
which federal laws prohibit redistricting practices that impact citizens of a particular
race.
“I was disheartened
at the last committee
meeting to hear a city
council member say
they were tired of talking about redistricting
and wanted to move on
to other issues like
trash. People have the
fundamental right to
vote and people died
for those rights to vote,”
Calderon said addressing members of the city
council.
“Racial equality and
economic equality are
not things of the past.
The (redistricting) maps should be
redrawn to take into account the economic, historical and cultural experiences of the neighborhoods. ”
District 9 City Councilwoman Judy
Montero made it clear that those redistricting maps presented by Herndon
and Lopez did not represent “those
communities of interest.”
“This is about protecting incumbents seats for 2015, and I have been
deeply disturbed by this whole
process,“ claimed Montero.
Herndon’s response was, “I just
wanted to make sure people had a collective voice. There will not be a perfect map but what I proposed was
keeping neighborhoods whole.”
Elet Valentine waited her turn
among the more than 30 people waiting to state their opinions at the public
hearing.
Now that it’s over with and unable
to sway council members to delay the
redistricting process, Valentine is
relieved it was Herndon’s map that
got the majority vote.
“There will still be disconnect
among neighborhoods... and the map
can be tweaked,” she said remaining
hopeful of keeping her Montbello
neighborhood intact. 1210_KSURB
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acquiring vocational training,” asserts
Ms. Cancino. “For students who have
a well-defined goal, ICAP offers
important resources. For others, without such a well-defined career goal,
ICAP offers insight about the student’s skills and paths for them to
consider.”
One student exploring his options
is Alex, a Hope Online student from
Action Learning Academy in Aurora.
He and his classmates are learning a
lot about themselves through ICAP.
While deciding on a final career goal,
the sequential milestones that students
meet as they complete their individual
plans keep them on a path toward
continued education following high
school graduation.
After taking an interest and skills
assessment at CollegeinColorado.org,
the official organization and website
affiliated with ICAP, Alex realized
that his ability to organize, as well as
his sense of responsibility and outgoing personality, could be useful in a
career. As part of his ICAP exploration, Alex is writing a resume which
requires stating a specific career objective. Thoughtfully developing this
resume will help Alex further assess if
he has the background and passion to
become a talent agent – one of his
interests – or if his character strengths
and aptitude are better suited for a
different career path.
College And
Career
Confidence
By Heather O’Mara and
Ruth Márquez West
(Top) HOPE School Counselor Kristie Richardson,
(Bottom) HOPE Seniors Lonesha and Unique
are proud to have a college and career plan,
Student Goals are crucial to
college and career planning
H
OPE middle and high school
students at Learning Centers throughout the Denver Metro and outlying
areas are busy planning for life after
high school. Under the guidance of
HOPE School Counselor Kristie
Richardson, they are actively establishing their own Individual Career
and Academic Plan, often referred to
as ICAP.
As the number of HOPE college
applicants increases, more students
are searching for scholarships to support their plans for continuing their
“It is wonderful that our students’
thinking is shifting from ‘I can’t go to
college’ to realizing that there are actually resources to help them get there,”
notes Richardson. “Having a plan
with steps and goals makes all the difference.”
Areli and her friend, Jesenia, both
Hope Online high school students at
Action Learning Academy are gaining
awareness about the importance of a
plan. They find it humorous that they
were ushered toward similar careers
after they took their online surveys.
They encourage each other to accomplish future ICAP targets, including
crafting their own resumes, applying
for jobs to earn money for college and
establishing personal budgets to fortify the personal discipline needed for
long-term success.
Ending the day’s ICAP session,
Richardson inspires students with a
story about overcoming obstacles similar to those they face. She, too, had few
resources and little hope of ever going
to college when she was in high school,
and yet, she followed her dream,
worked hard and not only earned her
bachelor’s degree but, eventually, a dual
master’s degree as well!
Sharing her experiences with students is just another way she helps
HOPE students not only develop a
plan, but act on it, for a better future –
one that includes an excellent education. CP & S
education. Unique, a student at
HOPE’s Hillcrest Academy in Denver
found numerous avenues for financial
assistance that encouraged her college
search.
“Finding scholarships is the best
part of ICAP,” Unique points out with
her classmate, Lonesha, nodding in
emphatic agreement. Both young
ladies keep up their grades and their
ICAP progress, according to their
mentor, Amanda Cancino. “The ICAP
program gives students tangible goals
that are much more specific than just
‘thinking about’ going to school or
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9
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New Car Seat Fitting
Stations Opens to
Serve Families in
Northeast Denver
In an effort to increase the use of
car seats and protect children in the
Denver Metro area, Denver Health
and Street-Smart, Inc. have partnered
with the Colorado Department of
Transportation and the Colorado State
Patrol to establish two new car seat
inspection and fitting stations in
northeast Denver. The new stations
will be located at Denver Health’s
Eastside (Five Points) and Montbello
Family Health Centers. The new sites
will add to the CPS Team Colorado
network of more than 140 fitting stations across the state.
Monthly, Free Checks
With more than 90 percent of car
seats improperly installed, the Denver
Health monthly fitting stations will
provide free car seat checks, installations, and seat belt education to help
parents and caregivers make sure their
car seats are safely installed and are
appropriate for the child’s age and
Tim Durst is one of the certified Child Passenger Safety
Technicians that will be inspecting car seats at Denver Health’s
monthly Car Seat Fit Stations in Five Points and Montbello.
under the age of eight who are not
properly protected by a car seat or
booster seat will face an $82 fine.
“Our new stations present an excellent opportunity for our patients and
our community to protect their children and be in compliance with the
law at a price that’s affordable for
them,” notes Richard Castro, Denver
Health’s Clinic Administrator. “We
cannot be more excited about offering
such a valuable service for our families.”
Inspection Appointments
size. Inspections will be conducted on
site by a team of certified child passenger safety technicians provided by
Street-Smart, Inc., a Whittier neighborhood-based organization dedicated to
promoting a solid family foundation
in low-income families.
“Motor vehicle crashes remain the
leading cause of death for African
Americans from birth through 14
years of age, and the number one
cause of death for Hispanics between
one and 24 years of age,” said Ilana
Erez, manager of Child Passenger
Safety programs at CDOT. “We are
thrilled to partner with Denver Health
and Street-Smart to effectively reach
these families and save more lives.”
It’s the Law
The new fitting stations are also
intended to help increase awareness
among parents that Colorado law now
requires that all children under age
eight be properly protected in a child
safety seat when traveling in a motor
vehicle. Parents who have children
Parents should call 303-602-KIDZ
(5439) to schedule an appointment for
a car seat inspection. A $5 donation is
requested for services that may
require replacement of a car seat.
Parents must bring their child and
vehicle to the inspection appointment.
The days and time of operation for
the Denver Health fit stations are:
Eastside Family Health Center, 501
28th St., in Denver on the 3rd Friday
of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
and Montbello Family Health Center,
12600 E. Albrook Drive, Denver on
the 3rd Saturday of each month from 8
a.m. to noon.
For more information, safety recommendations or to find a fitting station near you, visit
www.carseatscolorado.com. Nationally Ranked. Locally Trusted.
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
10
C
ornel West is a philosopher
endowed with poetic discourse and a
commitment to social transformation
grounded in courage, compassion and
love. The Princeton University professor was the keynote speaker at the
recent Art of Social Justice conference
at the Auraria campus. The evening
event attracted a crowd of 1,000 people.
Organized by the Collective for
Social Justice, a student group, the
three-day conference explored a broad
range of topics, such as labor, corporate responsibility, the prison complex,
food production, indigenous rights,
education, women’s issues, ethnicity
within the current political atmosphere, and the Occupy movement.
“The main goal of the conference was
to speak to the interconnectedness of a
broad range of issues and to provide
tangible definitions to the term “social
justice” by showcasing the people
doing the real work,” said Candace
Johnson, a member of the Collective.
“Another goal was to bring together
activists from a wide range of fields
and have them connect with each
other to see the overlap and fill in the
gaps,” she continued.
The conference, however, involved
more than these traditional social
issues. There were also workshops on
self-empowerment and uses of new
media. West’s talk was preceded by a
powerful presentation by local poet
Dominique Ashaheed whose themes
ranged from the present controversy
regarding Trayvon Martin to the murder of Emmet Till in Mississippi in
1955.
West was an appropriate person to
address art and social justice because
he seamlessly blends both into his
scholarship and activism. During his
Auraria presentation he described life
in 2012 in the United States as “. . . .a
disappearing middle class on the
vanilla side, gangster activity on Wall
Street, a shadow banking system, the
prevalence of greed, and the Horatio
Alger mystique still remains in
America.”
He then applauded writers that he
called “truth tellers” for their portrayals of various aspects of American
society. “Thank God for Eugene
O’Neill for The Iceman Cometh and
Steven Sondheim for Pacific
Overtures; and thank God for Toni
Morrison for Beloved as well as James
Baldwin who didn’t need to go to college to make his contributions,” West
exclaimed.
Jazz great John Coltrane and other
musicians, such as Charles Mingus
C ORNEL W EST
Links Art, Social Justice and the
Meaning of Humanity
By Annette Walker
and Bruce Springsteen frequently
become metaphors in West’s oratory.
West acknowledges the tremendous influence that some artists, writers and musicians have had on his
thinking. Most notable is the impact of
the groundbreaking work of Anton
Chekhov, the 19th century Russian
playwright and short story
writer. West even defines himself as a
Chekhovian.
His fascination with Chekhov
involves the main fundamental question that motivates his writing. What
does it mean to be human? As a
philosopher, West says that “the existential quest for meaning is at the center of my thought.”
“I find the incomparable works of
Anton Chekhov – the best singular
body by a modern artist – to be the
wisest and deepest interpretations of
what human beings confront in their
daily struggles,” West writes in his
introduction to The Cornel West
Reader. “His salutary yet sad portraits
of the nearly eight thousand characters in his stories and plays comparable only to Shakespeare’s variety of
personages – provide the necessary
ground, the background noise, of any
acceptable view of what it means to be
human,” he continues.
West admires Chekhov’s avoidance
of facile solutions to social problems. “I find inspiration in his refusal
to escape from the pain and misery of
life by indulging in dogmas, doctrines
or dreams as well as abstract systems,
philosophic theodicies, or political
utopias.
Although Cheknov was a religious
agnostic, West affirms his own
Christianity and also refers to himself as
a ‘Chekhovian Christian’. “By this I
mean that I am obsessed with confronting the pervasive evil of unjustified
suffering and unnecessary social misery
in our world,” he writes in the
Introduction in the Reader. “And I am
determined to explore the intellectual
sources and existential resources that
feed our courage to be, courage to love
and courage to fight for democracy.”
Although West’s Ph.D. dissertation
was entitled The Ethical Dimensions
of Marxist Thought, he considers himself a non-Marxist socialist. He considers Marxist thought a legitimate part
of the Western stream of the larger
modern articulation of historical consciousness, and he accepts some of its
doctrines, but questions others.
However, he emphatically rejects the
trashing of Marxism by the U.S. liberal
academy.
West serves as honorary chair of the
Democratic Socialists of America which
he describes as “...the first multiracial,
socialist organization close enough to
my politics that I could join.”
Regarding the recent phenomenon
known as the Occupy Wall Street
movement, West actively supports
it. In October 2011 he participated in
the Occupy protest on the steps of the
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
11
Supreme Court and was arrested for
violating a law against protest signs at
that location. He later participated in
an Occupy protest in Norfolk,
Virginia.
At the Auraria conference he
described the Occupy movement as
“the deep democratic awakening in
America.” Last Fall during an interview with Amy Goodman on her
Democracy Now television and radio
program, he responded to those critics
who contend that the movement lacks
a clear and unified message. “It’s
impossible to translate the issue of the
greed of Wall Street into one demand,
or two demands. We’re talking about
a democratic awakening. . .you’re talking about raising political consciousness so it spills over all parts of the
country, so people can begin to see
what’s going on through a set of different lens, and then you begin to
highlight what the more detailed
demands would be. Because in the
end we’re really talking about what
Martin Luther King would call a revolution – a transfer of power from oligarchs to everyday people of all colors
– and that is a step-by-step process.”
West cautions against the temptations of our market-driven, materialistic society in which people yield to the
frivolous and superficial rather than to
serious matters. “It is easy to become
indifferent to evil and to other people’s suffering,” he said during the
Auraria lecture. “Indifference is more
evil than evil itself.”
He also warned against confusing
philanthropy with justice. “We want
to create a society in which charity is
not needed,” he said.
There has been some controversy
about West’s comments about President
Barack Obama. In 2008 he publicly supported Obama and addressed a crowd
of 1000 people at the Apollo Theater in
Harlem, New York. However, he has
been critical especially of the President’s
war policy. In his talk at Auraria he
pointed out that under President
George Bush there were 44 drone
attacks and under President Obama
there have been 239. He is also critical of
increasing military spending while cutting the budget for housing, health and
education.
“I support principles, not individuals, nor some of Obama’s policies,”
West said. He also called the
Democratic Party “spineless” on many
issues and characterized Obama as a
liberal.
Cornel West remains in the struggle. He and Tavis Smiley have coauthored a new book entitled The
Rich and The Rest of Us: A Poverty
Manifesto. Publicist Turned
Genealogy Buff
Breathes New Life into
Old Family Photos
“C
hronicling the untold stories
of my ancestors and their colorful heritage (European, Sub-Saharan African,
and Native American) became vital to
me,” says publicist-cum-family history
researcher, Regina Lynch-Hudson.
After a glamorous 25-year career
that has cast her access into the “all
that glitters” environs of privilege and
status, the Black Mountain, North
Carolina native realized that she wanted to tell the stories of her forebears.
Her writing had cast her penning
celebrity profiles, travel reviews, and
rubbing shoulders with diplomats in
exotic ports of call like South Africa,
“yet, I knew very little about kinfolks
who originated right under my nose
throughout humble hamlets in
Western North Carolina.”
From rummaging through records
of all types, to implementing a proposal that won genetic DNA testing for
family members, Lynch-Hudson
began to chronicle the lives of five triracial family lineages in 1999. Her pic-
torial tribute “Family Gems: A
Pictorial Treasury of Western North
Carolina Ancestors” yielded a magnificent full-color 420-page coffee table
book, depicting hundreds of restored
black-and-white photographs, some
dating back to the late 1800s – a
decade long project. Lynch-Hudson
sold the book to family members
nationwide, by exclusive distribution.
Next, stumbling upon a “goldmine” of elaborately bejeweled ruby
frames at an antique shop, LynchHudson encased her family’s red,
black, brown, and white faces in the
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gems, and hung them from a towering
Georgia pine. Dubbed “the AncesTree,”
it has become a revered conversation
piece. Past home décor creations landed
Lynch-Hudson on multiple episodes of
Home & Garden Television (HGTV)
before millions of viewers.
Over the past two years,
as she settled into semiretired status (she only represents select clients), the
inventive 54-year-old started her next project by gutting out vintage pocket
watches, with the idea of
collaborating with a jeweler
to create a Foremother’s
Necklace. “Not
only am I one
of few women
that I know
who can actually identify five
generations of
foremothers,
but people are
in awe that I
can actually picture five generations of maternal foremothers,” she says. “I
couldn’t let the visual opportunity surrounding such a
blessing go to waste.”
Lynch-Hudson began
procuring vintage pocket
watches on Ebay ($3,000
worth). She then searched the
country for a jeweler who could seal her
ancestor’s faces in the watches in glasslike resin, and who could bring her
Foremother’s Necklace concept to life.
“The jeweler with the resin pouring
expertise, and the artisan who could
carry out my very detailed design concept ended up being two different parties,” she says. “Both argued that they
couldn’t imagine me being able to carry
off the weight and size of five pocket
watches around my neck, but I was
insistent. I am six-feet tall, and I could
envision the necklace in my mind.”
Lynch-Hudson photocopied her
ancestor’s images in sepia-tone on
laser transparency film (the kind used
for overhead projectors) and then purchased bronze-colored leather cording
and brass wiring – providing the
materials to her contactors. Her artistic
direction yielded an ancestral masterpiece showcasing five foremothers,
beginning with Lynch-Hudson’s
maternal great-great-great grandmother, Sarah “Sallie” Freeman (1820-1900).
“As the oldest recorded maternal link
that we have a photograph of, the
family photo of Sallie Freeman,
reveals unmistakably prominent
Native American features – stereotypical high cheekbones, and straight
black hair, parted down the middle.”
Though Sallie is of Cherokee and
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
12
French ancestry, Native Americans
who lived in predominately black or
white households blended into their
households, and did not identify
themselves as Native American. Sallie
is listed in the 1860 Polk County,
North Carolina Census as “mulatto,”
living on the G.J. Mills Farm.
Also depicted on the necklace, Lynch-Hudson’s greatgreat grandmother, Francis
Freeman Payne (1848-1892)
was the daughter of Sallie
Freeman. Francis’s father
was said to be white planter,
Jim Wright. Francis was the
wife of George Washington
Richard Henry Lee Payne
(1838-1927), a proud Western
North Carolina blacksmith,
who was the first blacksmith
for the famed Biltmore Estate.
Francis bore him 12 children ─
a tri-racial mix of European,
Sub-Saharan African, and
Native American children.
(George’s father was fullblooded African and his mother was reported to be Cherokee.) Hattie
Othella Payne Burnette (1892-1986),
Lynch-Hudson’s maternal great-grandmother, was the youngest child of
George Payne and Francis Freeman
Payne, born only three months before
Francis died. Lynch-Hudson’s grandmother (Helen Juanita Burnette Lynch)
and mother (Hattie Geneva Lynch) also
dangle from the stunning ancestral
necklace.
For Lynch-Hudson, the euphoria of
creating ancestral-themed heirlooms is
unparalleled. What’s next on the
drawing board? Her latest brainstorm
is gutting old clocks to fill them with
pictorial collages. “Family pictures
speak to us. They are our personal
links to history. As we blow off
decades of dust, we uncover both the
triumphs and tribulations of our forebears, and a powerful connection to
the identities that shape us.” delicious, naturally
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Trayvon
Martin And
The Blood Of
A Black Man
By Christopher Jack
happen to me. So, who cares?” I
looked at our tour guide, and he said,
“He is correct. The law will do nothing.” These guys hunted and stalked
that animal. Even though they broke
the law, the law will not do anything
about it. We convinced our tour guide
to call it in to the authorities. This is
when the story became more complex,
complicated and convoluted. The
authorities said that they would not
we should live by. One of the commandments was “Thou shalt not kill.”
There were no signs posted that told
Mr. Zimmerman “No Hunting or
Poaching.” He killed that young boy
because he was after his prize trophy
catch. Mr. Zimmerman’s trophy came
at a high cost. He shined a light on the
proverbial white elephant in the room.
He showed us that it is okay to hunt
black men in this country year-round,
ationwide (BlackNews.com) –
Many years ago, I was privileged
enough to go on a safari in Africa with
a small group of friends. I remember it
like it was yesterday. This safari was
to just observe the animals in their
natural habitat and to take pictures.
As we were speeding to the area
where most of the animals like to congregate, I started to notice hundreds of
signs that said, “No Hunting or
Poaching of Any Animals.” I guessed
that the area we were going to was
only for picture-taking.
When we arrived to the site, you
could feel the excitement inside of the
jeep with the four of my friends. These
large beautiful creatures were there
grazing and taking advantage of the
land that God has given them.
The tour guide was telling us about
what particular species of animal we
were going to be observing; then it
happened... another jeep came out of
nowhere, fired a shot, and wounded
one of these huge, beautiful animals.
We were all shocked to see this huge
creature laying there gasping for air,
and barely clinging on to life. Then the
hunter walked up and put another
shot into it. As you probably know, all
of the other animals scattered from the
sound of the gunshot, and because of
us rushing over to the scene. The
hunter got to this poor animal first
and then, the people from our jeep.
I asked the hunters (from London),
“Did you guys see the signs posted
everywhere that hunting these animal
are illegal?” One of the hunters said, “I
know it is illegal, but nothing will
get involved because when people
come here for the animals they bring a
lot of tourist money. The authorities
do not want to stop that flow of
money coming into their area.
Let me see if I understand this: The
killing of these animals is illegal, but,
if they can make money from it then
it’s okay? That’s in Africa. Here in
America the same thing happens, not
with animals, but with people. Travon
Martin was hunted, stalked, and
killed; and the authorities did nothing.
He laid there on the ground like an
animal while the people, who knew
this was wrong, looked the other way.
Thousands of years ago, Moses
gave us the Ten Commandments that
and you do not need a license.
I’m sure the head of that animal
that was shot in Africa is worth quite a
large sum of money. Is Travon
Martin’s killing worth millions? Yes.
When this happened all of the major
networks carried this as their top story
for weeks. Newspapers and magazines are making millions from this
story. And yes, do not fool yourself;
the blood of a black man is still very
valuable in America – especially, if
he’s shot and killed by Tarzan. Editor’s note: Christopher Jack, is a college
professor, nationally syndicated columnist,
and public speaker in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. He can be reached at [email protected]
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
14
Justice For
Trayvon
By Benjamin Todd Jealous
All of last week, I was in
Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for
Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police
Department, and rallied with
Trayvon’s parents and 30,000 others in
Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.
As a son, father, brother and uncle,
the loss of another young Black man
in an avoidable, violent confrontation
hit close to home. I recalled my teen
and early adult years, where making it
to adulthood was considered an
accomplishment among my peers. I
understand the fear that lies in the
hearts of millions of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – the fear
that this could happen to their loved
one.
Despite the awful truth of February
26, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
have been pillars of courage. Like
Mamie Till after the brutal murder of
her son Emmett, Tracy and Sybrina
have stood and shown the world what
hate and violence have done to their
child, and the nation and the world
have responded. Their leadership has
resulted in a global movement for justice for Trayvon and, most recently, in
the appointment of a special prosecutor to review their son’s case.
The Seminole County branch of the
NAACP has played a critical role in
men by law enforcement. Across the
country, our precious sons and daughters are being sacrificed all too frequently, with justice arriving far too
infrequently, if ever.
We won’t let it continue to happen.
We will keep speaking out, and we
will keep raising our voices for
Trayvon and for all of our precious
children. In Sanford, I saw a strong
community willing to band together
in the face of tragedy and raise its collective voice for justice. We need a
continued national commitment to
ensure that we fix the Sanford Police
Department, and we need to keep the
movement rolling to demand justice
for Trayvon.
Editor’s note: Ben Todd Jealous is the
President and CEO of the NAACP.
igniting this movement for justice in
Sanford. On Thursday – in light of
pressure from Seminole County
NAACP President Turner Clayton
and the branch to step aside – Sanford
Police Chief Bill Lee temporarily
resigned from his post. Along with the
ongoing Department of Justice investigation, it is heartening to see that the
wheels of justice are in motion.
It is clear that the Sanford police
badly mishandled the investigation
into Trayvon’s death. The routine mishandling of similar cases by police,
prosecutors and judges has eroded the
Sanford community’s trust and fueled
the perception that justice for our
young men and boys is of little consequence to law officials. It is vitally
important that the state’s attorney
assigned to this case handles it with
passion and an eye for justice.
Trayvon’s family, the Sanford community and the world lost a precious
gift in Trayvon. Unfortunately, he is
not the only young person we’ve lost
to senseless violence. Trayvon’s killing
and the city’s failure to bring his killer
to justice exemplifies patterns of racial
profiling and the devaluation of black
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
15
Lost Your Joy?
Black Moms
And The Seeds
They Plant
By Christopher Jack
Nationwide (BlackNews.com)
Find it again at the
United Church of Montbello!
Come as you are and get connected to your best self through
great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ!
Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel)
4VOEBZ4DIPPMBNr8FEOFTEBZ#JCMF4UVEZQN
Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor
4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070
http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net
I
stepped up to the plate. I heard
my buddies say, “Get a good hit
Chris!” The pitcher threw the ball and
it was the pitch a little boy dreams of.
Just as I wound up and prepared to
smack this ball into the stratosphere,
my heart filled with joy because I
knew there was going to be a parade
with floats in my honor, as I was
about to become the youngest kid to
hit a ball to the Middle East.
Just as I started my perfect swing, I
heard a loud voice saying, “Chris,
come in the house. It’s time for dinner.” Now as a little boy I learned a
few colorful metaphors from my dad.
I didn’t have a clue what my Dad
meant when he would say, “What the
hell” but I figured this was a good
time to say it. With her voice ringing
in my ear, I swung as hard as I could.
Strike three, the catcher said. With
I believe God was busy elsewhere at
the time I was receiving my sentence.
I always tell my students the story
of October 17 – way back when. My
job cut the hours of 90 percent of all
the employees, my rent was past due,
my car was repossessed, my refrigerator was empty and the electric company was at my door preparing to turn
off my electricity. I am an adult but I
will tell you the truth. I sat on my
couch and began to cry. I recall saying,
“Lord I need your help”. Then I
prayed myself to sleep. The next
morning my phone rang, it was my
boss from work. My heart began to
pound because I thought I was going
laughter all around me, I threw the bat
on the ground and gave my Mom the
worst look I could muster. Who cares
if I was only 3 feet tall, afraid of leaves
and the sound of the dryer running at
night? My mother had messed up the
perfect pitch, but I couldn’t stay mad
at her, she was the person who kissed
me when I fell and scraped my knee.
As I got older, I realized that I was
not the only one Mom did that to. She
called all of my brothers and my sisters in for dinner. I noticed that our
family did something else I never saw
my friends do. Every night Mom had
us all come into the living room and
pray before we went to bed. Let’s see
here, we ate dinner together, we
prayed together and we went to
church together. I have to be honest.
All of this drove us crazy. Come on,
we were kids, and on a Sunday morning we thought we should be playing
baseball. I remember my Mom saying,
“One day you will be thankful that I
took you to church”. And Mom would
always say, “If you get in trouble you
can ask God for help”. I remember
trying it once when I got a spanking...
to be fired, he said “Chris, I have a full
time job for you if you want it.“ I was
speechless. “Absolutely, I said.“ A
week later a friend at the job said he
had a car he wanted to get rid of.
Things began to look up for me, and I
never looked back. But the question
still rings in my head. Why did this
happen to me? I’m a good guy. Why?
I come from a family of 12, and I
have never shared any of this with
them. Years later, I shared with Mom
about what happened. I told her about
the electric truck in back of the house
and everything. She sat quietly listening as I told her my story, then she
said she’s glad things worked out for
me. I look at how blessed I am today
and still wonder, what took me so
long to ask God for help. Arrogance is
a terrible thing. I’m glad I made it
through it. Still, I hate to wonder
where I would be if Mom did not
introduce me to God... Thanks again
Mom. Editor’s note: Christopher Jack, is a college
professor, syndicated columnist, and public
speaker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can
be reached at [email protected]
Is Venture Prep right for you? Stop by our Open House,
May 9, 6-7pm or Pizza with the Principal, May 30, 6-7 pm
I Am…
in 6th grade.
here because
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
16
I
will never forget that day,
it felt like the worst day of my life at
that moment.
That was the day they took her
away from me. I cried and begged
them no to take her. You would have
thought that I was never going to see
her again.
My father says he can remember
the day I was conceived. I guess he
felt something good would come out
of that evening. He was right, because
nine months later on December 25,
1976 my sister was born, and three
minutes later I was born. That’s right;
my mother had twins on Christmas
Day. My parents couldn’t decide
what to name us, so for the next couple of days they called us baby A and
baby B. Then they finally decided to
name us Roshelle and RoShawn.
When we went home, my sister and I
shared a crib. This would be the
beginning of our special bond,
although I believe
that we bonded
way before we
came into the
world. When we
were one-year old is
when my parents
noticed that my sister’s lips ad fingertips would turn a
purple like color
every so often.
They took her to the
doctor and found
out that she was
having problems
with her heart and
would need open
heart surgery. She
stayed in the hospital for a while after
her surgery, and I stayed with my
grandmother. They say that while she
was gone, I went into a deep depression because she wasn’t next to me
like she’d always been. As toddlers it
was hard to keep us apart from each
other. I remember being at a babysitter’s house and her taking my sister to
the bathroom. We both started crying
and screaming because we couldn’t be
away from each other for five minutes.
When it was time for us to start talking we developed our own language –
twin language as they called it. My
parents said it would sound like we
were speaking French. No one could
understand what we were saying to
each other and that’s how we like it
because it was our language only.
People would talk to us and we would
look at them like they were crazy and
just keep speaking to each other in our
own language. In pre-school, we didn’t play with anyone else, just ourselves. I remember when we would
The First Time
I Understood The
Meaning Of Love
By RoShawn T. Ford-Bryant
RoShawn and her twin sister Roshelle
stay at my grandmother’s house,
and the room we
stayed in had twin
beds. When it was
time to lay down,
my grandmother
would say goodnight and turn off the
lights. As soon as she walked away,
one of us would get out of bed and
climb into the bed with the other. We
would even go to the bathroom
together. My grandfather used to say
“They have to go to the bathroom
together”? My grandmother would
laugh and say “That’s their thing.”
I remember our first day of school;
we were so excited to be starting the
first grade. My mom got us ready that
morning and drove us to school. I
remember the school looking very big
and intimidating but we were still
excited. When we got to the school,
the lady in the office told our mom
where our classes would be. My sister
and I looked at each other like “what
do you mean classes.” We found out
that we would be in separate classes
because at that time they didn’t allow
siblings in the same class. My sister
and I got nervous. We weren’t just siblings, we were like one person. We
cried and begged them to let us be in
the same class. My mom even begged
them, but they couldn’t change their
policies. I cried and begged them not
to take her (my sister). You would
have thought that I was never going to
see her again. They tried to calm us
down but couldn’t and it took about
thirty minutes to separate us. My
mom says that when she left the
building she too started to cry because
she knew that we couldn’t be apart
from each other.
Getting through the day was tough.
They took my air, my other half away
from me. I thought about her every
minute, what she was doing, was she
still crying, was she O.K. I don’t
remember but I’m sure we got to see
each other during lunch. Towards the
end of the day, I got anxious. I knew
that it would soon be over and I
would reunite with her.
When the last bell ran, I couldn’t
get out of that class fast enough. We
met in the hall and when I first saw
her face it was the greatest feeling, and
I could breathe again. We walked
down the hall to go outside where our
mother was waiting for us. We talked
about our experiences of that day. It
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
17
was then when I realized she was
more than my sister, more than my
playmate – she was my love. And that
is when I first understood the meaning of love.
The next year we moved and had
to go to another school. At this school,
they decided to allow me and my sister to be in the same class. They had
never done this before but wanted to
see if twins worked better in the same
classroom or in separate classrooms.
So we were the first twins at this
school to try this experiment. We did
great being in the same class! Our
grades were always high and our
involvement was even better.
Today, me and my sister are 34
years old and have learned to live
apart. She lives in Las Vegas, NV and
I live here in Denver. We live in two
different places but our lives are quite
alike. We are both married, we both
have a step son, and neither one of us
had children of our own. Although we
are apart, we talk on the phone for at
least an hour every day. I believe we
have twin ESP (extra sensory perception) because we tend to call each
other at the same time. We are apart
but our love for one another keeps our
twin bond together. Editor’s Note: RoShawn T. Ford is a published author and has written this essay
about the love that she has for her twin sister, Roshelle.
Prom Is Prime
Time For Teens
To Drink
Speak to your teen about
alcohol before the big night
Dazzling dresses and dashing
tuxedos are sure to be the talk of the
town this prom season. As high school
students get ready for their big night
out, the Denver Resource for
Awareness and Prevention (Denver
RAP) program urges parents to speak
to their children about the risks of
drinking alcohol.
Here are some ways to approach
the subject with your teen as you shop
for dresses, pick out a corsage, help tie
a bow-tie or take pictures.
Remember, teens value what you
say.
Parents often feel like what they
say goes in one ear and out the other.
But when parents regularly talk with
their kids about not using alcohol or
other drugs, their kids are up to 50
percent less likely to use alcohol. Start
talking about the risks of alcohol and
drug-use on a regular basis.
Pick an everyday life example to
bring up the subject.
Sometimes it is hardest just to get
the conversation started, but great
conversation-starters are all around
us. A news story about addiction; a
TV show, song, or movie that talks
about alcohol and other drugs; or a
real-life story of someone you know
who has been harmed by alcohol and
drug use can all serve as conversation
starters.
Make your position on alcohol and
drug use clear.
When discussing alcohol and drug
use, clearly state what you expect
from your son. For instance, you can
say, “I know you may see other kids
in your school drink, but let me be
clear, I expect you to not drink. I don’t
want to see you risk your future by
getting in trouble or getting seriously
hurt when you drink.” Tell your teen
about what will happen if he breaks
your rules. Be sure to follow through
if he does break the rules with the consequence.
Find out the when, where and who.
It is important to know where your
daughter will be on prom and afterwards. And, equally important to
know who she will be hanging out
with and what time she is expected
home. These types of questions will
show how much you care about her.
Suggest tips to avoid peer pressure.
You can teach your son to stay real
to himself when he is being pressured
to drink; REAL stands for Refuse,
Educate, Avoid, Leave. Some easy
ways for teens to avoid being pressured to drink is to say, “No thanks;
it’s not my thing.” If a friend continues to pressure him, he can say, “No
way. My mom told me not to drink.
She’ll ground me for the rest of the
year if I do.” Finally, if he still gets
pressure to drink, he can avoid the situation by saying: “I love this song. Do
you want to dance instead?” If all else
fails, he can excuse himself and leave
the situation by saying he needs to go
the bathroom or going to another
party.
For more tips about speaking to
your teen about alcohol, download the
Parent Toolkit – How to Speak to
Your Child About Alcohol at
www.denvergov.org/Drug_Strategies
or visit Denver RAP on Facebook,
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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
19
State Lawmakers
Reignite School
Wars Over Religion
By Charles C. Haynes
First Amendment Center
C
ontrary to culture-war mythology, God is alive and well in many, if
not most, public schools.
Visit almost any school in America
and you’ll find students sharing their
faith, reading their scriptures, saying
grace before lunch and, in high
schools, meeting in religious clubs.
But in a growing number of state
legislatures around the country, lawmakers want more.
Barred by the U.S. Supreme Court
from turning the clock back to the
days of state-sponsored prayers and
devotional Bible reading, state legislatures are discovering creative new
ways to get more religion through the
schoolhouse door.
Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott
signed a law encouraging local school
boards to create a forum at schoolsponsored events for students to offer
inspirational messages. Although the
state can’t require students to give a
prayer, critics of the legislation say
“inspirational message” is a euphemism for prayer and student-government leaders charged with deciding
who speaks will inevitably favor the
majority faith.
Texas passed the first of what
opponents dub “prayer bills” in 2006.
Other state legislatures, including
Oklahoma and Tennessee, are currently debating similar legislation.
Creating a “free speech” forum at
school events may indeed be constitutional, but lower courts remain divided on where to draw the line on student speech before a captive audience.
Beyond the murky legal issues, giv-
&21*5$78/$7,216
0(75267$7(*5$'8$7(6
Your hard work and dedication inspire us to continue
providing Colorado students with a high-quality
academic experience—relevant and rich with diversity.
You are a vital resource to Colorado’s economy.
Best of luck in your future endeavours.
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
20
ing control of the microphone to student speakers strikes many school
administrators as a risky business. Get
ready for conflicts and lawsuits when
some students offer Christian prayers,
others pray Muslim, Wiccan or fill-inthe-blank prayers, and still others
speak out for atheism.
Meanwhile in Arizona, lawmakers in
the state House voted in February for a
“Bible bill” designed to encourage
schools to set up Bible courses (it’s now
before the state Senate). Although public
schools in most states can offer Bible
electives now, some legislators want to
provide state support and incentives to
encourage more such courses.
Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and
South Carolina already have “Bible
bills” – and other Bible Belt states are
likely to follow suit.
Bible literature and history can (and
should) be part of the public school
curriculum – but only if the material is
taught objectively using scholarly
materials. Most of the Bible bills, however, give little or no guidance on
what safeguards schools should put in
place to ensure that Bible courses are
academic, not devotional. And little
provision is made to prepare teachers
or to provide scholarly resources for
teaching about the Bible.
A proliferation of Bible courses in
public schools, taught by unqualified
teachers using the Bible as a history textbook, will be a boon for lawyers – but a
legal quagmire for school officials.
Prayer and Bible bills are part of a
larger legislative effort by many conservative Christian groups and lawmakers
to reverse what they see as a secularization of American schools and society
that is hostile to (their) religion.
Religiously motivated opponents of
evolution, for example, are pushing
hard in many states for legislation that
would require teaching the “strengths
and weaknesses” of evolution and
other topics they deem “controversial”
in science. Louisiana passed such a bill
in 2008. A similar bill was enacted by
the Tennessee Legislature last month
and awaits the governor’s signature.
Critics of these bills charge that this
nationwide effort to change science
education is another attempt by the
Christian Right to undermine teaching
the well-established theory of evolution – and a back-door way to promote religious views as science in
public schools. Supporters counter
that opening the science curriculum to
other views promotes critical thinking.
It’s worth recalling that over the
past two decades, groups on the left
and right managed to reach consensus
on a range of issues, from the importance of teaching about religion to the
necessity of protecting student religious-liberty rights.
Continued on page 21
Komen Denver Affiliate Is Celebrating
20 Years Fighting Breast Cancer
And Supporting The Community
This year Komen Denver Affiliate
celebrates 20 years of fighting breast
cancer in our community. In 1992, a
group of dedicated women and men
established Komen Denver Affiliate to
provide breast cancer education and
screening for women in Colorado, as
well as raise money for much-needed
research. In the last 20 years, the
Affiliate provided funds to 87 locallybased community and health organizations to pay for screening, treatment,
treatment support and education.
“Komen Denver has and continues
to invest in our community to help
ensure that no individual faces a diagnosis of breast cancer alone. We have
made much progress over the years.
Early stage breast cancer now has a 98
percent survival rate compared to
about 74 percent in 1980. Our efforts
helped decrease breast cancer mortality rates by 39 percent impacting the
life of Coloradoans,” stated Michele
Ostrander, Executive Director of the
Affiliate. “Yet we have much to do, in
Colorado this year almost 3,400
women will be diagnosed and 500 will
die from this disease.”
Komen Denver Affiliate is awarding $2.5 million to 15 organizations
this fiscal year including: Saint Joseph
Hospital Foundation, Rocky Mountain
Rural Health, Planned Parenthood of
the Rocky Mountains, Colorado
School Wars Over Religion
Continued from page 21
But now groups on all sides are
gearing up for new conflicts generated by state legislation that goes
beyond the consensus by encouraging
prayers at school-sponsored events,
promoting problematic Bible courses,
and sparking new debates over science education.
Welcome to the latest chapter in
the long struggle over the role of religion in schools – an argument that
dates to the founding of public education more than 150 years ago.
In the spirit of the times, let’s call it
school wars 4.0. Editor’s note: Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education
Project at the Newseum, 555
Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington,
D.C., 20001. Web: firstamendmentcenter.org.
E-mail:
[email protected]
Department of Public Health
(Women’s Wellness Center), Colorado
Coalition for the Homeless, Denver
Health Foundation, Colorado
Community Network, Poudre Valley
Hospital Foundation, Yuma District
Hospital, McKee Medical Center
Foundation, Boulder Community
Hospital, Mount Evans Home Health
and Hospice, The Raymond Wentz
Foundation, Women’s Resource
Center, and Colorado Foundation for
Public Health and Environment.
Grants awarded by Komen Denver
Affiliate are targeted to uninsured and
underinsured individuals in the
greater Denver community and focus
on breast cancer screening, treatment
and treatment support services. “A
high priority for this year’s grant cycle
is screening because of the increased
need within the community due to
state funding cuts, which have resulted in approximately 5,000 fewer
women having access to breast cancer
screening in the Affiliate’s service
area. Komen Denver Affiliate is the
safety-net program in the community
for women who have nowhere else to
turn to receive breast cancer screening
and treatment services” said
Ostrander. Due to state funding cuts,
the Affiliate’s Board of Directors prioritized screening grants to help meet
the needs of women in our community. The key to survival is detecting
breast cancer early when the 5-year
survival rate is 98 percent. The survival rate plummets to 23 percent
when the cancer has spread to distant
parts of the body.
Grants from last fiscal year funded
nearly 17,000 breast health and breast
cancer services for medically underserved individuals in the community.
The positive impact this funding has
made on women’s lives in the community is significant but not enough,
as the need continues to grow. This
year, the Affiliate received $3.7 million
in requests for funding. Due to prioritizing screening grants and continued
economic challenges, the grant
requests exceeded the amount of
funds available resulting in nine fewer
organizations being funded this year.
Komen Denver is not an endowed
foundation and all the money that we
grant each year was raised the previous fiscal year.
The Affiliate has a rigorous granting process. Grants are available to any
nonprofit providing breast cancer
screening, treatment and support services for low-income and uninsured
individuals. All grants are reviewed
by an Independent Review Panel
made up of community volunteers
with knowledge of grants management, medicine, nonprofit management, finance, community groups, as
well as breast cancer survivors. The
panel members review and score all
the applications and make recommendations to the Affiliate’s Board of
Directors who have the final approval
of the grant funding slate.
The Affiliate will continue the
work in the community and is committed to realizing a world without
breast cancer and encourages the community to get involved to help save
lives and end breast cancer forever. Editor’s note: About Susan G. Komen for
the Cure® and the Komen Denver
Metropolitan Affiliate Nancy G. Brinker
promised her dying sister, Susan G.
Komen, she would do everything in her
power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982
that promise became Susan G. Komen for
the Cure and launched the global breast
cancer movement. Today, Komen for the
Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and
activists fighting to save lives, empower
people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Through
events like the Komen Denver Race for the
Cure®, the Komen Denver Metropolitan
Affiliate has invested more $30 million in
community breast health programs in 19
Colorado counties (Adams, Arapahoe,
Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver,
Douglas, Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan,
Morgan, Park, Phillips, Sedgwick,
Summit, Washington, Weld, and Yuma).
Seventy five percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stay in the Denver
Metropolitan area. The remaining funds go
to the national Susan G. Komen for the
Cure Grants Program to fund research. For
more information, call 303-744-2088 or
visit www.komendenver.org.
McGEE
PRINTING
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reconnect + reengage + rejuvenate = renaissance
D E N V E R,
R COLORADO
JUNE 16
6
and JUNE
17 2012
ONE
E OF THE NATION’S LARGEST JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS
Arts & Culture
Culture
Y
Youth
o
outh & Edu
Education
ucation Enrichment
Enrichme
ent
Performance
Main Stage
Sta
age & Feature
Feature P
er formance
Celebrity
Cel
ebrity Softball Game
Game
Food & Bever
Beverages
rages
Sunday
Services
Sunday Church
Church Service
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Gospel Concert
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www.juneteenthmusicfestival.com
www.junet
teenthmusicfesstival.com
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
21
Dance Africa
Denver 2012
T
Sam Williams Memorial Golf Classic
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Saddle Rock Golf Course 21075 E. Arapahoe Road
8 A.M. Shotgun Start
$100 per player or $400 for team of 4
Sponsorship levels
•Eagle - $3000 •Birdie - $1500
•Par - $1000 •Golfer - $500
•Hole - $250
Awards and Memorial Luncheon is included in golfer registration fee.
Also, open to community for $25 or $80 for table of four.
Tournament contests:
•Longest Drive •Straightest Drive
•Closest to the Pin •Betting Hole •Speed Hole
Awards luncheon and silent auction will follow the tournament at 1 p.m.
Proceeds benefit a scholarship to Johnson & Wales University, prostate cancer research, and the Sam Williams Mentoring Program.
For additional sponsorship or registration info, please call 970-396-4266 or
email [email protected]
Registration Deadline: May 15 (Pre-registration is required)
his year marks
the 35th anniversary
of DanceAfrica!
Created in 1977 by
Chuck Davis, it is the
nation’s first festival
devoted to African dance and has
become one of the largest celebrations
of its kind, uniting dancers the world
over to celebrate the cultural vitality of
Africa and its diaspora. Growing into
the country’s largest annual celebration of African and African American
dance and culture, DanceAfrica now
has dates in many cities such as
Brooklyn, Dallas, Chicago;
Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Miami;
Minneapolis; Philadelphia; and now
Denver. Dallas recently made the festival an annual event, and Denver plans
to do the same, with this being the second year for the Festival in our city.
This year’s DanceAfrica Denver
2012 features not only performances
by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Ensemble but also special
guests Afriky Lolo from St
Louis, Giwayan Mata from Atlanta,
and Capoeira Luanda from Bahia,
Brazil.
DanceAfrica will be held on May
18-20 at Kay Schomp Theatre, Denver
School for the Performing Arts, 7111
Montview Boulevard in Denver.
The Festival will also feature
an African Market, featuring the arts
and crafts, food and beverages of various local vendors. Market space is
available by calling 303 295 1759 x20.
For more information and tickets,
call 303-295-1759 x13.
Afriky Lolo
Afriky Lolo, founded and led
by Diádié Bathily, is a West African
dance non-profit corporation that is
committed to bringing West African
dance and culture to the St. Louis,
Missouri, community through teaching and performing. Bathily is a
Master dancer from the Cote d’Ivoire,
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
22
West Africa. He immigrated to the United
States in 1998. He has
a strong personal and
professional desire to
share the beauty, culture and passion of
West African dance
with Americans, especially African
Americans.
Diádié Bathily has danced professionally for over 30 years and has performed professionally for Marie-Rose
Guiraud’s Les Guirivoires, Adama
Drame, Wara Danse (his company in
the Cote d’Ivoire), and Diádié Bathily
Dance (in the United States). Bathily is
an experienced teacher who specializes in traditional dances from Mali,
the Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Ghana.
He teaches and performs in St. Louis
elementary and secondary schools and
at local universities, colleges, and
dance studios throughout the
Midwest. Throughout the school year,
Bathily teaches and gives workshops
at local elementary and secondary
public schools, at Washington
University and at the University of
Missouri in St. Louis. Bathily also
choreographs original pieces for university dance companies.
The Company has 75 dancers —
ranging in age from 6 to over 60 and 8
drummers. Afriky Lolo, meaning
African Star, performs traditional
West African dance at community
events throughout the year.
Capoeira Luanda was born from
the union of capoeiristas from different times and experiences, with the
effective participation of all professors,
instructors and graduates of Mestre
Jelon. Capoeira Luanda was founded
on April 6, 2007, after a long process
of research and study under the direction and guidance of Mestre Jelon.
Capoeira (Pronounced ka-poo-eyhda) is an African-Brazilian martial art
that incorporates acrobatics, dance,
music, and songs in a rhythmic dialogue of body, mind, and spirit. Coors Light and
Ice Cube Search
for the “Coldest”
MC in the Country
Coors Light Search for the Coldest
also continues its partnership with
OurStage, a leading destination for
new music discovery, who provides
opportunities for emerging artists to
open for, be mentored by, or collaborate with established artists. The website, www.SearchForTheColdest.com,
will allow hip-hop fans to vote for the
artist they believe should advance to
the final round of the competition.
Fans will also have the chance to win
daily prizes, including trips to the
ESSENCE Music Festival, and the
Search for the Coldest grand finale in
New York City.
Contest Overview:
Contestant Submissions:
April 1 – May 15
C
oors Light is partnering with
hip-hop pioneer Ice Cube for the
Coors Light Search for the Coldest
program, a national talent search for
the best MC in the country. Garnering
more than 140,000 online votes in
2011, its inaugural year, the program
is quickly becoming a platform for upand-coming MCs to showcase their
skills to a broad, national audience.
“I’ve had the opportunity to grow
my career into many areas, but hiphop is where it all began for me,” said
Ice Cube. “As a fresh and innovative
brand, Coors Light is a natural fit with
the hip-hop community, so I’m excited
to partner with Coors Light to find the
next Coldest MC in the country.”
Coors Light Search for the Coldest
will include a regional tour and competition featuring high-octane concerts
with celebrity appearances and performances. MCs will compete to make
it to the finale in New York City,
where hip-hop heavy hitters Ice Cube,
DJ Drama and DJ Khaled will decide
who will be crowned 2012’s Coldest
MC. The grand prize winner will
receive the opportunity to develop a
single track by a celebrity producer,
studio time and their song featured on
the Coors Light Search for the Coldest
Mix tape. Last year, PyInfamous was
crowned the Coldest MC and opened
for hip-hop acts N.E.R.D. and Pac Div
in New Orleans during the ESSENCE
Music Festival.
“Coors Light is known as The
World’s Most Refreshing Beer and
hip-hop has always been
about what’s fresh and new in music.
Who better than Ice Cube, a hip-hop
pioneer, to help Coors Light identify
the Coldest upcoming MC?” says
Mwanza Lumumba, brand manager,
Coors Light African American marketing. “We’re proud to design a program that recognizes aspiring artists
within the hip-hop community.”
The competition begins with online
submissions in which emerging MCs
upload an audio track or video of an
original composition to
www.SearchForTheColdest.com,
between April 1 and May 15, to be
voted on by fans and celebrity judges.
Voting: April 1 – July 10
Legal-drinking-age consumers can
vote for their favorite MC from April 1
– July 10, and the top contestants will
be selected to perform in the semifinals.
Semi-finalists
Eight semifinalists will be chosen
through both online submissions and
via live performances in select markets. The final eight will fall into the
following categories:
•New York-based semifinalist,
chosen via online submission
•New Orleans-based semifinalist,
chosen via online submission
•Video channel semifinalist, best
video submitted
•Best live-performance challenge in
Baltimore on June 20
•Best live-performance challenge in
Philadelphia on June 21
•Best live-performance challenge in
Atlanta on June 28
•Best live-performance challenge in
Charlotte on June 30
•Wild card semifinalist, best MC
among all other markets
The semifinal events will feature
celebrity appearances and performances. All eight semifinalists will make
it to the grand finale in New York City
for a chance to be crowned Coldest
MC.
Grand Finale: July 26
Contest finalists will battle it out in
New York City. Celebrity judges Ice
Cube, DJ Drama and DJ Khaled will
select the contestant who will be
crowned the Coldest MC and awarded the grand prize. For competition
rules and details, visit
http://www.SearchForTheColdest.co
m. Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
23
REEL TALK...WITH STEVE HARVEY
Born in Welch, West Virginia on
January 17, 1956, Steve Harvey is a
media conglomerate personified
whose career began doing stand-up in
the mid-1980s. His success as a comedian eventually led to a long stint as
host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo, multiple TV shows and movies, assorted
acting roles, and to hosting, writing
and producing.
Steve starred on the big screen in
such movies as Love Don’t Cost a Thing,
You Got Served, Johnson Family Vacation
and Madea Goes to Jail. This year, he’s
celebrating his 12th year as longtime
host of BET’s Celebration of Gospel.
In 1997, he toured as one of the Kings
of Comedy alongside Cedric The
Entertainer, the late Bernie Mac and D.L.
Hughley. That led to the taping of one
of the most successful comedy concert
films in history – The Original Kings of
Comedy – directed by Spike Lee.
Currently, Steve serves as the host
of the long-running syndicated game
show Family Feud. His presence since
his debut in September 2010 has rejuvenated the series and increased the
Feud’s TV ratings by more than 40
percent. This fall, he will debut a new
syndicated daytime show, a one-hour
daily program covering relationships,
parenting, the workplace and a range
of other topics.
September 2000 marked the premiere
of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a
nationally-syndicated radio program
which airs Monday – Friday, from 6 to
10 a.m. in over 60 markets with a total of
approximately 7 million listeners. The
show enabled him to share love advice
with his listeners through the
“Strawberry Letter” segment, where he
responds to relationship questions.
That segment’s popularity led to
the publication of Steve’s first book
“Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”
in January of 2009. Love guru
Harvey’s must-have guide to unlocking the male mind, understanding his
game, anticipating his moves and
countering with unstoppable offense
and defense, the widely-acclaimed
book was on the New York Times Best
Sellers List for 64 weeks, selling over 2
million copies worldwide.
Here, Steve talks about the opus’
screen adaptation titled, Think Like a
Man, starring Taraji P. Henson,
Michael Ealy, Gabrielle Union and
Kevin Hart.
Kam Williams: Hi Steve, thanks for
another interview.
Steve Harvey: Hey, no problem,
Kam, How you been doing?
KW: Great, thanks. When did it
occur to you that Act Like a Lady,
Think Like a Man could be turned into
a movie?
Steve at Ease...
The “Think Like a Man” Interview with Kam Williams
SH: It actually never
occurred to me. In fact,
as a first time author, I
didn’t expect the book
to be a #1 best-seller.
So, I had no idea that
the book was going to
be such a success. And
when they came to me
about adapting it into a
movie, my foremost
concern was that they
not make a mockery of
my book. So, they
promised to keep me
involved every step of the way,
including the script and the casting. I
think everybody they put in the film
was a great pick.
KW: I know you play yourself in
the film. But which of the characters in
Think Like a Man would you say
you’re most similar to?
SH: Michael Ealy’s character,
Dominic. I was definitely more of a
dreamer. That was me. Of course, I
never met the chick who was making
six-figures. I was always a dreamer
with high aspirations, but I kept coming up short my whole life. I couldn’t
quite nail it down. So, I thought
Michael’s character was closest to me,
other than that fool, Kevin Hart’s.
KW: What message do you want
people to take away from the film?
SH: That men and women really
do want the same things. We just need
each other to bring it out. That’s really
the truth of the matter.
KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman
asks: From whom have you learned
your greatest lessons about love?
SH: From my father. My father was
married to mother ‘til the day he died,
for over 64 years. He’s why I kept trying to get the marriage thing right. All
I knew growing up was that my father
was married to and loved my
momma, period. He worked hard,
made some money, and put it on the
dresser. She spent it on the family, and
he went out and earned some more.
He taught me the most about love.
KW: Children’s book author Irene
Smalls asks: Of which of your many
achievements are you most proud?
SH: Wow! I’d have to say I’m most
proud of my mentoring camp that I
do in Dallas every year for one hundred boys from single-parent homes. I
was raised by a mother who was a
Sunday school teacher and a father
who worked hard. Together they
taught me to give back. Other than
that, I’m also very
proud of my stand-up
career. I’m sure it’ll be
a pretty emotional
night on August 2nd
when I hang it up for
good at the MGM
Grand in Las Vegas.
Those two things have
set the benchmark of
who I am.
KW: I think of
stand-up as one of the
toughest things to do
in the world. It’s just
you and a microphone.
SH: Let me explain to you just how
difficult it is. You can take lessons to
become almost anything: flying lessons,
piano lessons, skydiving lessons, acting
lessons, race car driving lessons, singing
lessons. But there’s no class for comedy.
You have to be born with it. God has to
give you this gift. And there are only a
few who can earn a living at it. It’s been
an honor and a blessing.
KW: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier
asks: What message do you have for
someone who believes that a woman
should not think like a man?
SH: Don’t think like a man, and let’s
see where that gets you. Thinking like a
man doesn’t mean you have to stop acting like a lady. “Think like a man” is
just a catchphrase. What I really want is
for women to know how a man thinks.
Patricia, you don’t have to think like a
man at all if you don’t want to. But,
good luck, call me, and let me know
how it works out for you.
KW: Yale grad Tommy Russell
asks: What do you think of the
Trayvon Martin case?
SH: It’s very simple for me. Let’s
remove the race issue for a second,
because as long as we make it a racial
issue, it forces people to take sides, and
that’s the part I don’t like. So, let’s forget
all the 911 calls and the fact that the
police said “Don’t follow him.” And
let’s ignore all the speculation about
who was hollering for help. Just imagine that your child goes to the store to
buy an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
And on his way home, he’s shot dead
by an adult male with a gun who
admits shooting him. What should we
do about that? Let’s go from there.
KW: When you look in the mirror,
what do you see?
SH: I see a man who finally found
some joy in his life, and I’m overjoyed
about that. It has a lot to do with my
wife and my faith. I finally figured out
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
25
the difference between fun and joy.
Joy resides on the inside. You don’t
have to go anywhere to get it. It’s all
really cool.
KW: The Melissa Harris-Perry question: How did your first big heartbreak
impact who you are as a person?
SH: It taught me how powerful
women really were. And it made me
respect them all the more. I said,
“Wow! I’ve just discovered something.
I have to have one of those to feel
good about myself. And when they
don’t want me anymore, it hurts.”
KW: Dante Lee, author of “Black
Business Secrets,” asks: What was the
best business decision you ever made,
and what was the worst?
SH: [Chuckles] The worst was asking
my parents to borrow $5,000 so I could
buy a carpet cleaning machine. I couldn’t pay the loan back and they lost the
entire $5,000. That was heartbreaking,
man, because that was a lot of money
for them. I resolved right then that I
would never disappoint them again.
And I paid them back a million times
over before they passed. I tell you, Kam,
the smartest business move I ever made
was writing this book. It really turned
my career around by making
Hollywood see me as general market as
opposed to multi-cultural. After the
book’s success came Family Feud and
invites to appear on shows like Oprah,
Ellen and The View. And now here
comes my own talk show. All that
flowed from the book.
KW: I thought you were going to say
the best business decision was when
you were transformed spiritually when
you did that “He Ain’t through with Me
Yet” concert. I got goosebumps watching the end of that show.
SH: Wow! You’re absolutely correct. There has been nothing more
impactful on my life and meaningful
to me than the introduction of Christ.
That, hands down, blows away every
joke I’ve ever written. When I did it
that night, it was the first time I’d ever
done it on stage. And the whole room
exploded. That was the most powerful
performance of my entire career. But
that wasn’t a business decision.
KW: Bernadette also asks: What is
your favorite charity?
SH: The Steve and Marjorie Harvey
Foundation.
KW: The Tavis Smiley question:
How do you want to be remembered?
SH: As a guy who made it and
then helped as many other people to
make it as he could.
KW: Thanks again for the time,
Steve, and best of luck with the film
and your many other endeavors.
SH: Thank you, Kam. Let’s talk
again, my man, when the talk show
debuts in the fall. REEL ACTION
Movie Reviews
By Kam Williams
Excellent.
Very Good..
Good...
Fair..
Poor.
No stars
Think Like a Man
Guys and Ladies Match Wits
in Battle-of-the-Sexes
Comedy
C
omedian/actor/radio and television show host Steve Harvey
shocked the world a few years ago
when he added love guru to his repertoire with the publication of “Act Like
a Lady, Think Like a Man”. The popular relationship primer, which earned
the #1 spot on the New York Times
best-seller list mapped out a step-bystep strategy designed to help any
woman turn her man into Mr. Right,
merely by understanding and manipulating the male psyche.
Think Like a Man, the movie, is less
an adaptation of the book than a bat-
tle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy
revolving around a quartet of conniving females who secretly rely on the
tenets of Steve’s philosophy to try to
land the men of their dreams. This
proves easier said than done once the
guys discover what the objects of their
affection are up to, and then decide to
beat them to the proverbial punch by
reading the opus themselves.
Directed by Tim Story, the film features an A-list cast with stars in both
the lead and supporting roles. Calling
the play-by-play is Kevin Hart, who
does double duty as narrator and as
Cedric, a trash-talking blowhard going
through a difficult divorce.
Luckily, the four ill-matched couples at the heart of the tale are so simplistically-drawn that they’re easy to
keep straight. Earnest Dominic
(Michael Ealy) is an unemployed chef
who dreams of opening his own
restaurant. He goes to extraordinary
lengths to impress Lauren (Taraji P.
Henson), a status-conscious corporate
executive he thinks wouldn’t give him
the time of day if she knew he didn’t
have a job or a Mercedes.
Meanwhile, Michael (Terrence
Jenkins) and single-mom Candace
(Regina Hall) can never get together
between the distracting demands of
Special Engagement
Cedric the Entertainer - May 17
Trevor
Noah
May 24-27
Think Like a Man
his meddling mother (Jenifer Lewis)
and her precocious, 6 year-old son
(Kaleel Harris). Then there’s Kristen
(Gabrielle Union) who has grown
weary after 9 years of waiting for her
immature boyfriend (Jerry Ferrara) to
pop the question. And finally, we
have Mya (Meagan Good) who refuses to sleep with hot-and-bothered
Zeke (Romany Malco) for 90 days
after having been seduced and abandoned by her previous suitor.
Overall, the banter is so laugh-outloud funny that I strongly urge you to
sit near the front of the theater, since
the audience din drowned out a lot of
dialogue at the screening this critic
attended. Many of the film’s most
memorable moments arrive courtesy
of celebs making cameo appearances,
especially talk show host Wendy
Williams, comedienne Luenell, hunky
Morris Chestnut, The View’s Sherri
Shepherd, singer Chris Brown, pro
basketball players Ron Artest and Lisa
Leslie, and Steve Harvey himself.
Still, I would be remiss in my
duties if I failed to forewarn that the
picture’s politically-incorrect brand of
humor is apt to offend those sensitive
about homophobia, misogyny and the
use of the N-word. One only hopes all
is forgotten, if not necessarily forgiven,
by the time the canoodling couples
disappear into the sunset.
The male mindset as the path to
happily ever after. Who knew?
Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, crude humor, ethnic slurs and brief drug use
Running Time: 123 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems
To see a trailer for Think Like a Man, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7VmU8aHAtw
Marley
Revealing Biopic
Chronicles Personal Life
and Musical Career of
Revered Reggae Icon
Special Engagement
Lavell Crawford - June 1-3
8246 E. 49th Avenue # 1400 Northfield @
Stapleton Denver, CO 80238 USA
(303) 307-1777
www.improvdenver.com
beloved icon admired all over the
world?
That little-known side of Bob’s life
story is the subject of Marley, an intimate biopic produced by his son,
Ziggy, and directed by Scotsman
Kevin Macdonald. Because of the participation in the project of so many relatives, friends and colleagues, the picture paints a fascinating portrait which
fully fleshes out its subject, thereby
resisting the temptation of merely
placing him on a pedestal.
At the point of departure we learn
that Robert Nesta Marley was born in
1945 to Cedella Malcolm, a young
local gal, and Captain Norval Marley,
a British plantation overseer already in
his 60s. Bob never really knew his
father or the rest of the Marleys, a
prominent family with a construction
business on the island. In fact, his
request for financial help to kickstart
his career was rebuffed out of hand by
his relatively-rich white relations.
Rejection was a recurring theme
during Bob’s formative years, when he
was teased as a “half-caste” by other
boys for being mixed. And he was
equally unpopular with the opposite
sex, since “Every girl’s dream in
Jamaica was to have a tall, dark
boyfriend.” He was even abandoned
by his mom who moved to America
while he was still in his teens.
Fortunately, Bob eventually found
salvation through a love of music and
the embrace of the Rastafarian community. Seeing his guitar as a way out
of poverty, he let his hair grow while
writing popular songs about equality,
world peace, and cannabis, which is
considered a sacred herb by the dreadlocked adherents of his pot-smoking
religion.
After struggling to make it for over
a decade while getting ripped-off by
unscrupulous producers and promot-
W
hen most people think of Bob
Marley, what probably comes to mind
is reggae, Jamaica and marijuana. But
how did a street urchin raised by a
teen-mom in a country shack with no
electricity manage to become a
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
26
Marley
REEL ACTION
ers, Marley finally landed his big
break in 1973 when he and the Wailers
signed with Island Records. The group
went on to record such hits as “One
Love,” “Jammin’,” “No Woman No
Cry,” “I Shot the Sheriff,”
“Redemptive Song,” “Get Up, Stand
Up,” “Stir It Up” and “Is This Love?”
to name a few.
The 2½ hour combination concert/interview flick allocates a decent
portion of time to archival footage of
The Wailers’ performing many of the
aforementioned anthems. Attention is
also devoted to the reflections of folks
like Bob’s widow, Rita, who talks
about how she was really more of her
his guardian angel than his wife.
After all, he had 11 children by 7
different women and often needed
help juggling his groupies and babymamas. As Bob’s attorney, Diane
Jobson, explains it, her client considered himself faithful to God, if not his
spouse.
Among Marley’s many lovers was
gorgeous Cindy Breakspeare, Miss
Jamaica 1976, who went on to win the
Miss World title. Not so lucky was
Pascaline Ondimba, the daughter of
the African nation of Gabon’s prime
minister. She recounts how Bob had
called her “ugly” because she straightened her hair, and had encouraged
her to cultivate and appreciate her natural beauty.
Sadly, Marley’s life was marked by
tragedy, too, including an assassination attempt and later the skin cancer
to which he would succumb at the
tender age of 36. Still, his “One Love”
legacy is likely to withstand the test of
time and inspire generations to come
with its all-embracing message of
understanding and tolerance.
A wonderfully-revealing, wartsand-all tribute to the human spirit of a
Rasta rock god!
Rated: PG-13 for violent images, mature
themes and cannabis consumption
Running Time: 145 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
To see a trailer for Marley, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP12LSwhkKc
We the Party
L.A. Teens Come of Age in
Millennial Generation
Morality Play
Whether by design or merely by
coincidence, it’s impossible to ignore
the fact that We the Party is being
released the same day as American
Reunion, the 4th installment in the
American Pie series. After all, the original American Pie revolved around a
quartet of horny, high school students
competing to lose their virginity
We The Party
before graduation, and we find the
testosterone-driven quintet at the center of We the Party in pursuit of the
same rite of passage shortly before
their senior prom.
However, despite sharing that deceptively-identical point of departure, We
the Party actually proceeds to morph
into something far more substantial
than males merely bonding around the
attempt to mate indiscriminately. For,
this inner-city dramedy seamlessly
blends that rather raunchy theme with a
timely cautionary tale about the pitfalls
of failing to plan for one’s future. Plus, it
has some inspired comedy and a cutting-edge score, featuring performances
by a number of emerging hip-hop acts,
including Pink Dollaz, The New Boyz
and The Rej3ctz.
Unfolding like a 21st Century
update of African-American cinematic
classics such as House Party (1990) and
Love Jones (1997), We the Party might
very well come to serve as the seminal
adventure capturing the angst and
aspirations of the Millennial
Generation. Written and directed by
Mario Van Peebles, the film stars his
son, Mandela, as Hendrix Sutton, a
kid more concerned with buying a
flashy automobile and finding a girlfriend than with getting good grades
and going on to college.
This unfortunate focus frustrates
his divorced parents to no end. After
all, Hendrix’s father (Mario Van
Peebles) teaches at his high school,
and his mom (Salli Richardson) is the
principal. So, the slick slacker has to
listen to endless lectures about the
consequences of not applying himself
academically.
Still, Hendrix’s dad’s warning that
“Minimum effort now means minimum
wage later,” only falls on deaf ears since
the recipient is a teenager with raging
hormones. After all, his head has been
hopelessly turned by a cute classmate
called Cheyenne (Simone Battle). Yet, to
land the girl of his dreams, he not only
has to compete for her hand, so to
speak, with a handsome jock, but he has
to convince her “Ro-bro-cop” of a father
(Michael Jai White) that his intentions
are honorable.
Meanwhile, Hendrix’s motley posse,
Quicktime (Moises Arias), Chowder
(Patrick Cage II), Que (Ryan Vigil) and
Obama (Makaylo Van Peebles) are
experiencing their own unique relationship drama during their separate
searches for sexual satisfaction. Be forewarned, much of the R-rated humor
here ventures to the crude, like when
the boys mount a tiny camera on a shoe
in order to look up girls’ dresses; and
the language is both profane and peppered with the N-word.
Look for Snoop Dogg, Tiny Lister
and the director’s legendary father,
Melvin Van Peebles, in supporting
roles, although they’re not the reason
to see We the Party. What makes the
movie worth its while is its anti-materialistic message that your character,
what you are, is of far more import
than where you live, what kind of car
you drive, and your sexual conquests.
The African-American answer to
American Pie!
Rated: R for profanity, sexuality, ethnic
slurs and teen drug use
Running Time: 105 minutes
Distributor: Arc Entertainment
To see a trailer for We the Party, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0W
9i6GvfPE
Wrath of the Titans
Wrath of the Titans
3D Sequel’s Spectacular
Showdown of the Gods
Improves upon the
Original Episode
I
wish somebody would help me
understand why the characters in
movies set in ancient Greece invariably speak with British accents, since
the English language didn’t even
come into existence until centuries
later. Other than that glaring anachronism, I have no complaints about
Wrath of the Titans, a 3D sequel which
is a rarity in that actually eclipses the
original in quality.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
(Battle: Los Angeles), this visually-captivating action-adventure revolves
around another epic battle between
the forces of good and evil. Sam
Worthington, Liam Neeson, Danny
Huston and Ralph Fiennes have
Continued on page 28
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BY PETER BERG INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC
SOUNDTRACK ON BACK LOT MUSIC
AND VARÈSE SARABANDE
© 2011 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
“BATTLESHIP”™ AND © HASBRO
to
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Entry Deadline: Monday, May 14
BATTLESHIP HAS BEEN RATED PG-13 (PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED - SOME MATERIAL MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN
UNDER 13) FOR INTENSE SEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE, ACTION AND DESTRUCTION, AND FOR LANGUAGE.
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IN THEATERS
MAY 18
www.BattleshipMovie.com
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
27
REEL ACTION
Continued from page 27
returned to reprise their lead roles
as Perseus, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades,
respectively.
The story unfolds a decade after the
initial installment which ended with
hero Perseus’ defeat of the Kraken.
Since slaying the monstrous sea monsters, the widowed demigod has been
passing an unassuming existence as
an ordinary fisherman, quietly raising
his now 10 year-old son, Helius (John
Bell), in obscurity.
But Perseus suddenly has a good
reason to take his mighty sword back
out of its scabbard when he learns that
Hades and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) have
imprisoned his father, Zeus, in an
underworld dungeon. For, after
killing Poseidon, the two renegade
titans entered into a diabolical pact
with world domination in mind.
Accompanied by the lovely
Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) with the
goofy Agenor (Toby Kebell) tagging
along for comic relief, altruistic Perseus
and an intrepid band of warriors
descend into a subterranean hell on
behalf of humanity. While searching for
Zeus, they encounter a host of mythological creatures, including one-eyed
Cyclops (Martin Bayfield), half man-half
bull Minotaur (Spencer Wilding), an
addlepated fallen god (Billy Nighy) and
fire-breathing dragons.
Of course, the quest inexorably culminates in a spectacular showdown
which takes full advantage of advances
in 3-D technology. Be prepared to find
yourself frequently ducking or squinting to avoid boulders or flaming embers
which appeared to be aimed straight at
your head.
Graphic, high body-count bloodsport born of man’s imagination, harking back to the days before modern
science provided plausible explanations for thunder, lightning, volcanoes,
earthquakes, tsunamis and other
seemingly-supernatural phenomena.
The gods must be on steroids!
Rated: PG-13 for action and intense violence
Running Time: 99 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
To see a trailer for Wrath of the Titans, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHHPPX6dnYU
Mirror Mirror
Snow White Saves Prince in
Refreshing Overhaul of
Beloved Classic
E
verybody knows that the story
of Snow White is about an expiring
damsel-in distress who’s ultimately
revived by a handsome Prince’s kiss
on the lips. But the world has changed
considerably since the Grimm
Brothers first published the fairytale in
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
28
Mirror Mirror
1812, so why not tweak it a tad to
reflect 21st Century sensibilities?
That is ostensibly the idea behind
Mirror Mirror, a novel overhaul of the
original into a female empowerment
flick featuring a spunky heroine capable of saving herself rather than having to rely on a knight in shining
armor. Directed by Punjab-born
Tarsem Singh, this incarnation even
includes a Bollywood dance number
during the closing credits.
Furthermore, it renames the seven
dwarfs to Napoleon (Jordan Prentice),
Half Pint (Mark Povinelli), Grub (Joe
Gnoffo), Grimm (Danny Woodburn),
Wolf (Sebastian Saraceno), Butcher
(Martin Klebba) and Chuckles (Ronald
Lee Clark). But before you suggest
that it might be blasphemous to take
such a liberty with the supposedlysacrosanct source material, consider
the fact that the septet had previously
been popularized as Blick, Flick, Glick,
Snick, Plick and Whick by a 1912
Broadway production before subsequently being dubbed Bashful,
Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy,
Dopey and Doc in Disney’s 1937 animated version.
Here, despite several superficial
changes, the essence and message of
the fable remain intact. It revolves
around the attempt of a wicked stepmother (Julia Roberts) to become
queen by preventing her beautiful
stepdaughter (Lily Collins) from
ascending to the throne following the
disappearance of the King (Sean
Bean).
So, the evil Clementianna not only
banishes the grieving orphan to the
forest to die, but soon sets her sights
on replacing her hubby with Snow’s
suitor, Andrew Alcott (Armie
Hammer), a wealthy prince from a
neighboring kingdom. However, after
placing the young nobleman under a
spell, the vain monarch still finds herself frustrated by her magical mirror’s
answer to “Who’s the fairest of them
all?”
For instead of perishing, the enterprising, exiled princess survives her
ordeal by bonding with a band of
diminutive men living in the woods.
And, with their help, it’s just a matter
of time before the rightful heir returns
to reclaim her inheritance, flipping the
REEL ACTION
script in the process by breaking the
Queen’s spell with a peck on the
Prince’s lips.
Between the elaborate costumes
and splendid principal cast performances by Lily Collins, Julia Roberts,
Nathan Lane and Armie Hammer,
Mirror Mirror adds up to an enchanting update of a much-beloved classic
guaranteed to delight kids of any age.
Rated: PG for action and mild crude humor
Running Time: 106 minutes
Distributor: Relativity Media
To see a trailer for Mirror Mirror, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MDqdODIOSQ
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods
College Kids Hunted at
Haunted House in
Harrowing Horror Flick
A
t first blush, The Cabin in the
Woods reads like your run-of-the-mill
slasher flick. After all, it revolves
around unsuspecting teenagers isolated at a secluded setting who suddenly
find themselves stalked by a homicidal maniac. Furthermore, at the picture’s point of departure, we’re introduced to five, naïve college kids
embarking on a weekend getaway by
Winnebago to a lakefront cottage
located so far from civilization that it
has no cell phone reception and can’t
be tracked by GPS either.
Such a break off the grid is just
what the doctor ordered for the overstressed quintet assembled by Curt
(Chris Hemsworth), a jock who’s been
blessed with free use of a cabin by a
long-lost cousin. Each of the classmates invited to join him represents a
readily-identifiable horror film archetype. There’s Jules the blonde bimbo
(Anna Hutchinson); Marty the wasted
stoner (Fran Kranz); Dana the innocent virgin (Kristen Connelly); and
Holden the straight-A student (Jesse
Williams).
En route, the motley crew blissfully
ignores the ominous warning to turn
around while they still have a chance
issued by a creepy local yokel (Tim De
Zarn) familiar with the grisly history
of the estate where they’re headed.
And it isn’t long after their arrival that
HATS OFF TO
evil forces residing at the haunted
house start picking them off one-byone.
That is where the similarity to the
stock scary movie plot begins to
unravel in this genre-bending adventure marking the auspicious directorial debut of Drew Goddard. For, our
ill-fated heroes have no idea that their
ensuing struggle for survival is a hightech ordeal being very-carefully
orchestrated from an underground
bunker at the whim of a couple of
jaded government bureaucrats
(Richard Jenkins and Bradley
Whitford) with an army of technowizards.
It’s impossible to discuss the storyline further without spoiling an abundance of surprising supernatural
developments, but suffice to say that
waiting to be unleashed are a host of
bloodthirsty ghouls and goblins capable of killing in endlessly-creative, if
gruesome fashion. Overall, this hairraising roller coaster ride keeps you
on edge for the duration, although its
frustrating game frequently feels
unfairly rigged in favor of the sadistic
puppeteers over the intrepid protagonists you’re so futilely rooting for.
While this howl-inducing splatterflick definitely deserves its R rating
given the incessant gore, it nevertheless remains highly recommended for
fright fans interested in a more cerebral brand of bloodletting.
Rated: R for profanity, drug use, sexuality,
nudity and graphic violence
Running Time: 95 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Films
To see a trailer for The Cabin in the Woods, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXfc12BqFkc
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
Teens Forced to Compete in
Fight to the Death in
Futuristic Sci-Fi
Picture a post-apocalyptic North
America left devastated by a combination of fire, famine, drought and wars.
The U.S. has collapsed only to be
replaced by a centralized, totalitarian
regime run with an iron fist by the
President (Donald Sutherland) with
the approval of effete elites barricaded
inside the wealthy Capitol.
That pampered class remains blissfully insulated from the ongoing suf-
Congresswoman Diana DeGette
Announces Winner of First District
Congressional Art Competition
Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO01) announced that Glynn Rosenberg
won the First District Congressional Arts
Competition. Rosenberg is a student at
Denver School of the Arts. The winning
piece is a drawing in pencil entitled The
Awakener. Several members of the local
arts community including Cathey
McClain Finlon, Denver Art Museum
president, volunteered to judge the competition.
The First District Congressional Arts
Competition is part of a nationwide program entitled An Artistic Discovery, in
which Members of Congress raise awareness of the importance of art education
by recognizing outstanding art students from their Congressional District. The
winning piece will be displayed with others from across the country in the
Canon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“As a member of the Arts Caucus in Congress, I am committed to advocating
for legislation that strengthens art programs in schools and offers children the
opportunity to grow,” said Congresswoman DeGette. “Glynn’s work exemplifies the benefits of a strong art program for someone with such talent.”
Jazmin Ocon from Montbello High School won both 1st and 3rd Runner up
with two photography pieces. Emily Abramson, who also attends Denver
School of the Arts, won 2nd Runner up with a collage entitled The Portrait.
Rosenberg will be invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony in June in
Washington D.C. with Congresswoman DeGette. The winning piece, as well as
the other 40 entries, is available to view at RedLine Art Galleries.
fering of the citizens trapped in any of
the country’s dozen outlying districts.
For, since an attempted coup 74 years
earlier, the government has been punishing the proletariat by staging an
annual fight to the death in the
wilderness in which each district is
represented by a boy and a girl.
The 24 participants are chosen by
lottery and, as the story unfolds, we
find 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen
(Jennifer Lawrence) consoling her
younger sister, Primrose (Willow
Shields), who has had the misfortune
of having her name picked to represent District 12. However, Katniss
altruistically volunteers to take her terrified sibling’s place, and soon finds
herself shipped off by train to the site
of the nationally-televised Hunger
Games.
En route, she and fellow District 12
entrant, Peeta Mellark (Josh
Hutcherson), are supposed to be mentored by former-winner Haymitch
Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). But
the fatalistic alcoholic only has discouraging words to share, warning
them to, “Embrace the possibility of
your imminent death, and know
there’s nothing I can do to save you.”
Nonetheless, Katniss is determined
to survive the ordeal, knowing just
how much her sis and widowed
mother (Paula Malcolmsen) might
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
29
mourn her demise. Fortunately, the
spunky tomboy already has a host of
survival skills at her disposal, being
adept at archery and camouflage.
Based on the first installment of
Suzanne Collins’s popular trilogy of
the same name, The Hunger Games is a
riveting, if gruesome adventure which
definitely will not disappoint its
legions of loyal fans, a demographic
every bit as rabid as readers of the
Harry Potter and Twilight series. While
this eagerly-anticipated cautionary
tale of Orwellian dimensions does
address a litany of timely themes
ranging from greed to loyalty to
exploitation to corruption, it nevertheless remains, at heart, a high attritionrate, splatter flick designed to satiate
the bloodlust of kids weaned on gory
computer games.
How else would you describe a
futuristic sci-fi revolving around a
reality show where humans hunt
humans they don’t even know purely
for sport, spectacle and survival? The
Most Dangerous Game meets Lord of
the Flies.
Rated: PG-13 for intense violence and disturbing images
Running Time: 142 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Films
To see a trailer for The Hunger Games, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ANq4sAL0 NEWSVIEWS
Hick’s Sig Ices Metro
State Name Change
Metro State College of Denver’s
transformation to Metro State
University of Denver became official
when SB12-148 was signed into law by
Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Sen. Lucia Guzman (D-Denver)
was the Senate sponsor. The bill does
not go into effect until July 1.
Cutline: Surrounded by the Metro
State Roadrunner mascot, student
trustee Jacob LaBure, faculty trustee
David Kottenstette, Rep. Crisanta
Duran and Metro State President
Stephen Jordan, Gov. John
Hickenlooper signs SB12-148.
Denver SafeNite
Program Underway
CAREER TRAINING
CALL US
TODAY!
1.888.573.8333
Health Care Career Training
Starts Here!
Offering career training in:
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Thornton, CO 80229
Apply online at www.SeeEverest.com
Financial Aid
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For more information about our graduation rates,
the median debt of students who completed the
program, and other important information, please
visit our website at www.everest.edu/disclosures
Denver Safe City diversion officers
and Denver police officers team-up
every year from April to September to
run the Denver SafeNite Program. The
program offers court diversion opportunities for youth 17 years of age and
younger while police actively enforce
Denver’s Curfew Ordinance.
Denver’s Curfew Ordinance prohibits youth from being in a public
place or on public property from 11
p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through
Thursday, and 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday
and Saturday, unless:
The minor is accompanied by a
parent or legal guardian (an adult
friend does not qualify as a legal
guardian)
The minor is accompanied by an
adult (18 or older) AND that adult is
in possession of written permission
from the parent or legal guardian
The minor is in a motor vehicle
being used in INTERSTATE travel
The minor is working, traveling to
work, or returning from work WITHOUT any detour stop
For more information, contact
Tiffany Vu from the Denver Safe City
Office at 720-913-4619 or Lieutenant
Magen Dodge from the Denver Police
Department at 720-913-6023.
Sims-Fayola International
Academy Receives Grant
Sims-Fayola International Academy
will receive a $70,000 Daniels Fund
grant to support its professional development program for its founding staff.
The professional development priori-
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
30
ties are building capacity in singlegender instructional strategies, projectbased Learning, and supporting
English language learners.
Sims-Fayola International Academy
Denver (SFIA-D) is Denver’s first single-gender public school uniquely
poised to engage young men in the
rigorous, but rewarding work of a
College Preparation Curriculum with
a focus on International Studies. The
school will be located in Far Northeast
Denver in Green Valley Ranch’s High
Point area. The vision of SFIA-D is to
prepare boys to become creative, innovative thinkers, and responsible world
citizens through international awareness, competence, and a global perspective of excellence. The school’s
learning environment uses researchbased, proven instructional
approaches designed to naturally
increase the relevance and engagement levels of male students. An
authentically delivered standardsbased curriculum allows “boys to be
boys,” while teaching them to think
critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively; these are all skill necessary to
succeed in the 21st century. Core values include: discipline, hard work,
character, commitment, and vision.
The school is now enrolling students
entering the 6th and 9th grade for the
2012-2013 school-year.
For more information about SimsFayola International Academy, call
(720) 515-7342 or visit
www.simsfayola.org
Venture Prep’ First Graduating
Class Achieves 100 Percent
College Acceptance
This year marks the first graduating class for Venture Prep, a fastgrowing 6-12 charter school in the
Park Hill area. While the class is small
at 17 scholars, its achievements are
mammoth, as all 17 seniors have been
accepted into at least one college for
next year, amassing total scholarship
offers of almost $700,000.
College offers range from close-tohome (Colorado State University, CU
Boulder, University of Northern
Colorado, and Metro State) to across the
country (Drake University in Iowa,
Kansas University, Xavier in Ohio, and
Marshall University in West Virginia).
The school achieves this success
through a multi-faceted approach. Like
many high schools, Venture Prep offers
AP classes and concurrent enrollment in
high school and college courses.
Venture Prep is a free, public charter school founded on the belief that
rigorous preparation in middle and
high school will lead to success in college for all students, regardless of
NEWSVIEWS
New Web Site Features
Latest College Scholarships
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Finding
college funding can be tough for students, but one organization is aiming to
solve that problem. The National Online
Directory of Scholarships (NODS) has
launched a new web site at to help students easily find scholarship opportunities and education grants.
The web site,
www.ScholarshipsOnline.org, promises to post a new scholarship opportunity every single day, and each opportunity is real and legit.
The site is 100 percent free to use,
and does not require a membership of
any kind.
For more information, visit
www.ScholarshipsOnline.org
JAZZ
BLUES
DENVER
A FUNK ABOVE THE REST
MAHOGANY SOUL CHILD
Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) — The
Prostate Health Education Network
(PHEN) in partnership with churches
nationwide will mobilize its “Fourth
Annual Father’s Day Rally Against
Prostate Cancer” on Sunday, June 17.
The Rally takes place within participating churches on Father’s Day,
where prostate cancer survivors within each congregation along with family members of those who have been
victims of the disease are recognized
and join hands in prayer for healing.
PHEN provides each partnering
church with materials for distribution
to their members on Father’s Day.
Also, as part of its ongoing partnership and support PHEN provides
awareness posters, access to its educational resources, speakers, monthly enewsletters and webcasts. In addition,
PHEN enrolls prostate cancer survivors within each church to assist
with these ongoing education and
awareness efforts.
All churches are invited and
encouraged to join the PHEN Father’s
Day Rally by registering at:
www.prostatehealthed.org/churchreg
ister2012.php
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) –
The Links Foundation, Incorporated
launched the application process for
its 2012 Grants-In-Aid program. Since
1979, the philanthropic arm of The
Links, Incorporated has funded transformational programs that impact
lives and change communities contributing more than $24 million dollars
to date to nonprofit organizations
throughout the United States.
Not-for-profit organizations that
are addressing the needs of their communities and have a history of sustainable impact are encouraged to apply.
Applications can be found at
www.linksinc.org/grants.php. Each
grant application requires an endorsement from a Links chapter in their
community. The deadline to apply is
April 30.
For more information on the
Grants-In-Aid program, contact
[email protected]
R&B JUKE BOX
Phen Launches 4th Annual
Father’s Day Rally
Against Prostate Cancer
The Links Foundation,
Incorporated Launches Its
2012 Grants-In-Aid Process
ROCKIN’N’RHYTHM
To the delight of thrilled audiences
and rodeo fans across the United
States, some of the nation’s most
skilled and entertaining Black cowboys and cowgirls will ride into a
town near you. The nation’s only touring Black rodeo competition - the
thrilling Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
(BPIR) - will celebrate its 28th year
showcasing its skilled athletes’ performances and competitions.
Annually, the BPIR tour schedule
takes the show to cities like Denver,
Memphis, Phoenix, Oakland, Los
Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.
To learn more about the Bill Pickett
Invitational Rodeo, its competitors,
tour calendar, and local ticket purchase venues, please visit
www.billpickettrodeo.com. View Bill
Picket Invitational Rodeo segment on
the “Today Show” www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/v
p/41702279#41702279
Miami, FL (BlackNews.com) — A
Black Doctorates conference will be
held on June 29-30 in Miami, Florida.
The theme will be “Black Doctorates:
Building Our Future/ What’s Next?”,
and the conference will serve a
twofold purpose: (1) To discuss a plan
of action of how to increase the number
of black doctorates; and (2) expose black
youth to black doctorates as a motivational tool to earn a doctorate and make
a difference in the lives of others.
For more information and to registers, visit
www.blackphdeddmagazine.com or
contact [email protected] or call (786)
231-9820. The deadline for registration
is April 16, 2012.
GOSPEL TRAIN
Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
Announces 2012
Nationwide Tour Schedule
Black Doctorates Conference
COLORADO
background. Venture Prep serves students in grades 6 to 12 with a unique
blend of intensive skill-building and
engaging hands-on project-based
learning. For more information about
the school or enrollment for next year,
call 303-893-0805
ALL BLUES
ORIGINS:
ORGY IN RHYTHM
NEWS
SO WHAT:
THE RADIO SHOW
.89225*‡.9-=25*
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
31
COMMUNITY NOTES
Denver Community
Blood Drives May 2012
In less than an hour you have the
potential to save as many as three
lives by donating whole blood. By giving blood, you’ll help Bonfils Blood
Center maintain a state of blood supply readiness, while meeting the needs
of Colorado’s patients.
Bonfils Blood Center provides
blood and blood products to nearly
200 hospitals and healthcare facilities
throughout the Colorado and beyond.
Bonfils needs nearly 3,000 people to
donate blood every week to meet the
needs of the community and be prepared for any unforeseen events.
For more information about Bonfils
Blood Center and upcoming blood
drives in May, visit www.bonfils.org
or call 303-363-2300 or 800-365-0006.
TFSRP Is Seeking Nominations
For Father Of The Year Award
The Father’s Show Resource
Program (TFSRP) is seeking nominations for its third annual Father of the
Year Award program. The deadline
for submitting nomination forms is
Friday, May 4. The awards ceremony
will be held on Saturday, June 16,
location and time to be determined.
For more information and nomination forms visit
www.thefathershowrp.org, e-mail
[email protected] or call
Mike Thompson at 720-280-4793. To
mail your nomination form, send to:
Mike Thompson, The Father’s Show
Resource Program, 4860 Chamber
Road, #108, Denver, CO 80239. All
mailed-in forms must be postmarked
by May 4.
African Heritage Celebration’s
6th Annual Dinner-Silent Auction
The community is invited to enjoy
an evening of cultural engagement.
All proceeds will support educational
projects in Senegal.
The event will be Friday, June 22
from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Hyatt Regency
Denver at Colorado Convention
Center on 650 15th St., in Denver.
Donation is $30 in advance or $40
at the door. Table reservations are
available.
For more information, call
Mohamadou Cisse at 720-732-4638 or
Vance Johnson at 303-321-2470.
Announcing Steps To Success
Project To Support Montbello
Youth And Families
Beginning in early May, trained
interviewers will be visiting randomly
selected homes in Montbello to conduct an anonymous and confidential
survey with eligible families. If your
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
32
household is selected to participate,
please take part in this very important
community-driven project to help promote positive youth development and
reduce youth violence. Interviewers
have had background checks and will
be carrying name badges that identify
them as part of this project.
The Lowry Family Center is assisting in the coordination and administration of the survey. Information
obtained from the surveys will be
used by the Montbello community to
set priorities and make decisions
which will help young people thrive
and succeed.
This project, Steps to Success, is a
unique partnership between the
Montbello and Northeast Park Hill
communities, the University of
Colorado and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
For more information, call 303-7353655.
Whittier K-8 Hosts Family Event
The Whittier PTA presents a family
event, Walk for Whittier, at Whittier
K-8 School at 25th and Downing on
Friday, May 18. A community walk
will be held from 5 to 5:30 p.m. followed by an affordable family celebration with a non-profit fair, carnival
games, food and entertainment from
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the event. Tax-deductible
donations can be made online at whittierpta.chipin.com and $100 business
sponsorships are available. Proceeds
from the event will help bring music
to the school.
For more information, visit whittier.dpsk12.org/walk or contact Karen
at 303-986-5929 or e-mail [email protected]
Metro Denver
Lemonade Day Is Back
Metro Denver Lemonade Day is a
free, community-wide event dedicated
to teaching children how to start, own
and operate their own business
through the simple and time-honored
act of building and running a lemonade stand. Through this enterprise,
children will learn the entrepreneurial
skills necessary to be successful in the
future and become contributing members of their communities. The best
part of the program is that after covering their expenses and paying back
their investors, children are encouraged to open a youth savings account
so that they may save a little, spend a
little and give a little, donating a portion of their profits to a local charity of
their choice.
Lemonade Day will take place
throughout Metro Denver on June 3.
Career Training
COMMUNITY NOTES
For more information about
Lemonade Day, or to become a participant, volunteer or sponsor, visit denver.lemonadeday.org.
Grill & Chill at the
Safe Summer Kickoff
Families are invited to Grill & Chill
at the Safe Summer Kickoff. There will
be face painting, balloon animals,
food, a salsa demonstration, games,
live entertainment and many more fun
activities. The Safe Summer Kick-off
kick starts summer, demonstrates the
community’s commitment to keeping
families strong, and reminds families
there are many ways to have fun and
keep children safe during the summer
months. This event is free and open to
the public; and will be Saturday, May
12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kepner
Middle School, 911 S. Hazel Ct. in
Denver.
For more information, visit
www.facebook.com/DenverRap or
call 720-944-4225.
Memorial Day Remembrance
Parade And Tribute Ceremonies
The Memorial Day Remembrance
Parade, Wreath Remembrance
Ceremony and Tribute Ceremony will
be held Saturday, May 26 from 9 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. in Downtown Denver
near Civic Center Park. The events are
free and open to the public.
For more information, visit
www.DenverGov.org/Veterans.
Experiment! At DAVA
This exhibition explores the creative process and the importance of
experimentation in art. DAVA Youth
Sick
used unusual techniques and materials to discover new ideas. Artists
Rosane Volchan O’ Conor and Gary
Parkins add dimension to the exhibition, which opens to the public from
May 11 to July 13 with the opening
reception on Friday, May 11 from 4 to
8 p.m. Both artists will talk about their
works during a closing reception on
Friday July 13 from 6 to 8 pm. DAVA
(Downtown Aurora Visual Arts) is
located at 1405 Florence St., one block
south of East Colfax in the Aurora
Arts District.
This exhibit is free and open to the
public from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to
Friday or by appointment. For more
information, e-mail
[email protected]
Get into
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
TRAIN NOW!
Prepare for a
career in
corrections,
probation,
law enforcement,
immigration
and security
administration.
1-888-481-0049
Apply online at www.SeeEverest.com
Day and evening classes. Financial aid available for those
who qualify. Career placement assistance available for
graduates. Programs and schedules vary by campus. Law
enforcement agencies may require additional training.
Accredited Members, ACICS.
Annual Fundraiser Planned
To Provide Scholarships
Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de
Estudios will host its largest fundraiser 6:30 p.m. June 1 at Ninth Street Park
on the Auraria Campus. The fundraiser provides over 100 students scholarships to attend the community-based
school, which is celebrating its 41st
year of serving disadvantage Latino
communities.
The Flor y Canto Festival and
Champions of Change Awards will
honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the
Latino/Chicano and indigenous communities in the areas of education, business and community development,
human rights and social justice. 2012
Honorees are: Michael & Ron Roybal, of
the Roybal Corp. (Business and
Community Development Award);
Romana Martinez, member of the
Democratic National Committee
(Politics and Social Action Award);
Maria Guajardo, University of Denver
Trustee (Liberatory Education Award);
Former Denver Mayor Wellington
Webb, Humanitarian Award.
For more infomation or to donate,
contact Nita Gonzales at
[email protected]
Transmission?
We have
your
medicine!
Train for a Career YOU
Can Be Proud Of!
For more information about our graduation
rates, the median debt of students who
completed the program, and other important
information, please visit our website at
www.everest.edu/disclosures.
South Campus
14280 East Jewell Avenue, Suite 100
Aurora, CO 80012
North Campus
(SBOU4USFFUt5IPSOUPO$0
Gooch’s
Transmission
Specialist
Myron Gooch, Manager
760 Dayton Street
Aurora, CO 80010
303-363-9783
Making transmissions well
for 22 years.
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
33
Letters to the Editor
Continued from page 3
to die rather than live under American
rule; the loss of identity, the loss of the
self.
Trayvon, we failed to learn from
the Jewish People, who also chose to
survive, but systematized their survival with Hebrew Schools, Traditions
and Bar Mitzvahs to fortify their
young against the mind-control of
their oppressors. Not to leave their
impressionable psyche’s open to MTV,
BET, Toxic Rap Videos, Internet Porn,
and a host of other exploitive factors
that only take hold when parents fail
to prepare a generation to survive. A
generation that now rots in the belly
of the largest Prison Industrial
Complex ever known to man. These
privatized prisons that happen to fatten private pockets and only serve as
modern day slave plantations. Who‘s
to say that the souls of the young
brothers who died in street-gang warfare weren’t sent here to die in the
fight for our liberation? That those
young Crip and Blood warriors
weren’t born to pave the way for a
self-determined future?
Trayvon, we underestimated the
enemy, and you are gone because of
it! We let a President who resembles
you symbolize progress that we as a
whole did not make. It’s hard to tell
who was more self-deceived; a country who won’t admit its race problem,
or your people, who think income and
not wealth equals freedom in the long
run – a people in drastic need of selfhealing and self-reflection from undiagnosed “Plantation Sickness.” A
people who let themselves believe that
integration has added up to anything
more than a creative marketing ploy.
A ploy that has drained our communities dry, and left us defenseless against
a monster who invests trillions of our
dollars in its defense!
We can no longer afford to forget
that we are Black until something
tragic happens. This government is far
from color-blind. Ask the elected officials who continually attack Obama
because of the color of his skin, and
his wife for the African shape of her
body. Ask the Cops who didn’t know
they were racist until a Black boy lay
dead at their feet. Is this tolerable?
Were we born to live and die this way,
tragic, broken, and cliché while those
who look like you wallow in learnedhelplessness? No, Trayvon, No.
But Trayvon, I regretfully inform
you that our denial issue will not be
cured by your passing. This is
because the loss of your life will not be
enough to spur us into effective action.
We still won’t face ourselves, the get
healing we need, or find the courage
to use a new way to assert ourselves.
The American can dream is too sweet
to wake up from, and there WILL be
others like you.
Theo Wilson
Denver
Straight To The Pulpits
Editor:
This is an open letter to Denver’s
Northeast Ministerial Alliance, which
claims to be a local Black church association in the metro area. I’m not sure
if your association still exists, but as an
African American and local Colorado
resident I would like to put a few
questions to you all. Where are you?
And what have you all been doing
lately?
Please tell me and the Black community what accomplishments your
association has achieved in the last 12
months? What are your political/economic plans and strategies for
the local community this year and
next year?
Please also explain to the black
community why Black churches in the
Denver area collect tens of thousands
of dollars every Sunday and then
deposit the funds in local banks
Monday morning that don’t even
make loans to Blacks. Have you all
ever thought about creating your own
Credit Union for the Black community? It sickens me to see the millions of
dollars Blacks spend on businesses
that completely leaves the Black community and never recycled back to it.
I’m sending this letter to the Urban
Spectrum and hoping they will publish it because I believe this is a good
way to communicate to the Black community and the many Black organizations that seem to be AWOL in the
development of our communities. I
would like the DNMA to respond to
these concerns through the Urban
Spectrum to dispel the many negative
rumors that have been going around
about their association.
Available for all Holiday Events,
Special Occasions and...
303.355.4979
P.O. Box 39163 H Denver CO 80239
D R E W MANNIE
I L L U S T R AT I O N
STORIES THRU IMAGERY
[email protected] • 720-621-6336
Join CDOT
for an update on the I-70 East study and a
review of existing and new alternatives on the
current alignment of the highway from
Brighton Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard.
Corridor-wide Public Meeting
Perrier Jackson
Denver
Adults Without Dependent
Children Expansion
Adults who do not have dependent children receiving Medicaid, and who are at or
below 10% of the Federal Poverty Level
(FPL), may apply for Medicaid. Enrollment
in the adults with Dependent Children
(AwDC) will be limited to 10,000 people due
to funding.
The AwDC Medicaid expansion will
cover: ages 19 to 64 who do not have a
Medicaid-dependent child; at or 10% of the
FPL; not eligible for Medicaid under any
category; and not eligible for Medicare.
Applicants can apply the same way as
other Medicaid applicants or contact the D
enver Department of Human Services.
Wednesday
Thursday
May 2, 2012
May 3, 2012
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Commerce City Civic Center
7887 East 60th Avenue
Commerce City
Swansea Recreation Center
2650 East 49th Avenue
Denver
Food, childcare and Spanish translation will be available.
Disability assistance available by calling 720.475.7039 prior to the meeting.
www.i-70east.com
Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – May 2012
34
303.757.9413