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CBRT Colorado Bla ck Round Table

LOSING GROUND: COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROJECT

GAINING GROUND IN COLORADO’S


AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

A Report by and for African American Citizens


and Organizations on Strengthening Colorado
and Building Capacity in Our Communities

This report is authored and presented to community on behalf of the


Colorado Black Round Table (CBRT) by: Dr. Sharon R. Bailey

April 2014
Latino and black residents of Colorado are falling further behind the state’s white residents in some of the most
important measures of social progress. The I-News Network analysis of six decades of U.S. Census data shows
that the gaps between the three communities narrowed somewhat during the years surrounding the civil rights
movement, but have widened in the decades since.
CONTENTS

Thanks and Acknowledgements…………………..…….………………..1


Introduction…………………………………………………………………...3
Statement of Purpose……………………………………………………….5
Gaining Ground in Education……………………………………………...6
Gaining Ground in Health and Wellness………………………………..11
Gaining Ground in Criminal Justice……………………………………..15
Gaining Ground in Economic Opportunity……………………………..19
Gaining Ground in Civil and Voting Rights…………………………..…23
Observations and Recommendations -- Losing Ground Summit
(September 2013)……….……………………..………………………………....24
Resources for Thought and Action……………………………………...28
Afterword……………………………………………………………………..35

symbol of democracy and unity


THANK YOU
FROM THE COLORADO BLACK ROUND TABLE
The Colorado Black Round Table would like to acknowledge all of the sponsors,
clergy, community leaders, business men and women, as well as members of the
community who participated in the Losing Ground Community Education Project.
This information and initiative will continue to be a major support for the African
American community and other concerned citizens as we navigate everyday life in
Colorado.

Honorable Regis Groff / Gloria Tanner, CBRT Co-Chairs

SUMMIT SPONSORS:
Colorado Black Women for Political Action Bai 5 Antioxidant Infusion
African American Initiative Denver Public Schools
Southern Colorado Black Round Table Forest City-Stapleton
Urban League of Metro Denver I-News/Rocky Mountain PBS
XCEL Energy NAACP – Denver Branch

LOSING GROUND SUMMIT PANELISTS


Denver Mayor Michael Hancock State Rep. John Buckner
State Rep. Angela Williams State Rep. Jovan Melton
State Sen. Michael Johnston Denver Councilman Chris Herndon
State Rep. Rhonda Fields Denver Councilman Albus Brooks
DPS Board Member Happy Haynes DPS Board Member Landri Taylor
Theo Wilson, Columnist, Urban Spectrum – Head Mentor, Barber Shop Talk
Anthony Young, Ph.D., President, Denver-Rocky Mountain Assoc. of Black Psychologists
Chanell Reed, Council Management Analyst, Mayor / City Council of Aurora- Aurora Healthier
Beginnings
Christie Donner, Executive Director, Colorado Criminal Justice Coalition
John Riley, Coalition Coordinator, Colorado Criminal Justice Coalition
Robert C. White, Chief of Police, City and County of Denver
Bennie Milliner, Executive Director, Denver’s Road Home
Maya Wheeler, President Colorado Black Women for Political Action - Outreach Coordinator,
Forest Street Compassion Care Center
Quincy Hines, Midwest Regional Director Barber Shop Talk
Rev. Marjorie Lewis, Ph.D., D. Min. LMFT, LAC, CSPT, President, Center for Community
Excellence – Professor, Dept. of Human Services, American Pathways University
Thomas Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
Rico Munn, Superintendent, Aurora Public Schools
Myron Anderson, Ph.D., Associate to the President for Diversity and Assoc. Professor of
Education Technology, Metropolitan State University
Billy Scott, Board of Directors, Fair Share Jobs, Inc.
Rev. Robert Woolfolk, Pastor, Agape Christian Church, Denver

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Len Murray, CEO, Diaspora Mining Company
Walter Jones, Attorney –Community Development Specialist
Antwan Jefferson, Ph.D., Professor, Urban Community Teacher Education, University of
Colorado Denver
Eugene Wilkerson, Ph.D., Assistant Prof. of Non-Profit Management, Global Non-Profit
Leadership Dept., Regis University
Rev. James Peters, Pastor Emeritus, New Hope Baptist Church
Carlotta Walls Lanier, Member, Little Rock Nine, Central High Graduate (1960) Little Rock,
Arkansas
Larry Borom, Former Director, Denver Metro Urban League, Adjunct Prof. Political Science,
Metropolitan State University
Dorothy Hayden-Watkins, Ph.D., Principal Hayden-Watkins and Associates, LLC - Associate
Faculty, University of Phoenix-- Retired Executive/ NASA//Hilton Hotels Corp/US EEOC/Colorado
Civil Rights Commission
Rev. William T. Golson, Jr., M.Div., Senior Pastor, True Light Baptist Church - President,
Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance
Rita Lewis, Esq., President, NAACP–Denver Branch

A special thanks to Burt Hubbard of the RMPBS I-News Team and


Dr. Dorothy Hayden-Watkins for their review and editing of this document.

symbol of importance of learning from the past

For more information contact: Dr. Sharon Bailey drsrbb@yahoo.com

Source for West African Adinkra Symbols and Meanings - http://adinkra.org/

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Introduction
As we celebrate this milestone year, fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its
progeny, and 60 years after the landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1954, we stand at a crossroads in history.

While the Civil Rights laws and landmark civil rights court decisions opened a door of unheralded
opportunity, we still carry the weight of institutional racism and discrimination, de facto segregation,
and inequality.

No where does this fact speak more clearly and loudly than in the I-News Rocky Mountain PBS Losing
Ground Report February, 2013 addressed in the pages that follow, along with thoughtful and
insightful responses from the Colorado community.

Our answer when asked if we, the nation and its people have made progress should be a resounding
yes! To say less and to believe less is to disrespect and ignore the lives given, the dues paid, the
dedication demonstrated at great sacrifice by our predecessors.

It goes without saying then, that today, we look back and wonder, not only “how we got over” as the
old Negro Spiritual proclaims but how it is that we are still fighting the same battles, and struggling to
get out of the same quagmire of socio-economic, and political inequality some 200 plus years later.
We thought we had fought the good fight and answered the call in the 40’s, the 50’s, and certainly for
us Baby Boomers, in the 60’s. We fought with passion, intelligence, and resolve. With unanticipated
national tragedies like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
and subsequent watershed events escalated by politicians like President Lyndon Baines Johnson, an
unprecedented modern-day effort was launched to transform society.

Somehow, with the passage of time and indicators of success and achievement among some in the
black community, the momentum of the movement expired and the zeal subsided. Studies such as the
I-News CBRT Losing Ground project snatched us from our individual reverie to remind us, as the poet
Robert Frost lamented in his poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, “The Woods are lovely
dark and deep….but we have miles to go before we sleep!”

The admonishment to each one of us today and the shocking truth is that 50 years after King’s death
we are, on this very anniversary of the CRA, still waging a war for fair and decent pay for workers in
America. The monumental threat of this country becoming two nations is real, one rich, one poor, one
where justice rains down and one where it does not, just as we were once one nation divided before
the Civil War, one black one white, one rich one poor, one free, one enslaved. Nowhere is this more
reflected than in the recent Supreme Court rulings decimating the guarantees of the 1965 Voting
Rights Act.

The result is the formulation and implementation of public policy and private acts being advanced by
some Americans on the extreme conservative right that threaten to undermine an entire body of civil
rights and equal protection laws. The gap between the rhetoric of social justice and equity and the
reality shown in the Losing Ground study is unfanthomenable in 2014, yet true.

In the cold light of day, the question becomes what ought we to do, what can we do, beyond the
rhetoric? What, indeed, does history, the legacy of our fathers and mothers, and the hard-fought for,
hard-won progress that we celebrate teach us? Not only should we draw upon the lessons during
Black History Month and times of crisis but every opportunity we have to take the smallest step that
helps our children become critical thinkers, achieve computer literacy, acquire a second language, and
value each other. We honor our heritage and those on whose shoulders we stand. Every time we
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facilitate an opportunity for economic development and advancement for a small, minority or
woman-owned business and for wealth generation, each time we “hold the hand” of a young or
elderly person and guide them through the regulatory maze to register and then to actually vote, or to
sign up for health care we come closer to achieving the dream. Each time we individually or
organizationally assist a single parent or family who is living below the poverty level (or earning six
figures) find and acquire desirable housing for themselves and their children, as assured in part by
Title VIII of the CRA of 1968, we further the progress along that long, and arduous journey to the
destiny of our beloved country.

We continue to search for reasonable, enforceable means of holding ourselves and our institutions
accountable for helping to eliminate the existing gap between our communities. For youth that means
focusing on learning, studying, taking advantage of every opportunity to grow and become the most
knowledgeable, skilled and capable person one can be. For others of us it means “blooming where we
are planted.” That is to say we must each find a way to contribute individually, as well as within
organizations, in our daily comings and goings to transform the entire society from the collective
mind-set of quiet resignation. Each of us can motivate, in whatever small way, by our words and
deeds a critical mass of the population to confront injustice, bigotry, and institutional racism with the
power of synergy that comes from community.

We are well into the 21st Century, a full generation after those who passed on the baton to us and
entrusted to us this sacred charge. As demonstrated here in the work of the CBRT with the
contributions of Rocky Mountain PBS / I-News and others, no time is being loss in lamenting and
finger pointing. As a community we are engaged. To be sure, “if not us, who, if not now, when.” It is
our solemn duty, it will be our legacy.

-Dr. Dorothy Hayden-Watkins


Retired Executive
The Colorado
Civil Rights Commission
The US Equal Opportunity Commission
The National Space Administration

symbol of change, life's dynamics

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
LOSING GROUND DISPARITIES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The Losing Ground project of the Rocky Mountain PBS –I-News Network, analyzed sixty (60)
years of U.S. Census and other longitudinal data to uncover disturbing trends of growing
inequality between Black and Latino Coloradans and their White counterparts. The report
served as a wake-up call for African American communities and the broader Colorado
community. It revealed widening gaps in a number of areas. They found that:

“When it comes to some of the most important measures of social progress –income,
poverty, education and home ownership--- the gaps between minorities and whites in
Colorado are worse now than they were before the civil rights movement.”

Shortly after the release of the report, the CBRT and other community organizations began to
take a closer look at these growing disparities and the ground we were losing. After more than
twelve months of community meetings, a major summit, and additional research, we asked
ourselves several critical questions. How could these trends have gone unnoticed and
unaddressed for so long? Who is responsible? Which elected officials do we hold accountable?
Are there public policies that can address the causes of these disparities? Are there other means
besides public policy that could reduce the disparities? What has been the role of societal and
institutional racism? How do we reverse these trends? What can we do as a community to
address these growing disparities and regain ground that has been lost?

The years 2013-2014 have been historic, pivotal and transformative for civil rights and social
justice issues across the nation. We commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on
Washington, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Voting Rights Act. Sadly, true
equality remains nearly as elusive today as it was five decades ago for millions of African
Americans. We were faced with the sobering truth that though much has been achieved, much
more needs to be accomplished to realize the full promise and potential of Dr. King’s dream for
our nation. The changing political, social, economic and cultural climate of the country is
cause for a greater sense of urgency. The elimination and roll back of critical programs,
legislation, the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and the stripping away of
worker’s rights, reflect a new mean spirit and what appears to be an abandonment of the pursuit
of equality in America. LBJ’s War on Poverty has been transmuted into a “war on the poor”. It is
our hope that these persistent injustices and growing disparities are igniting the flame of a
revitalized 21st Century Civil Rights Movement.

This report presents findings and recommendations in four areas of disparity in Colorado:
education, health, criminal justice, and economic opportunities. Additional comments from
Losing Ground Summit participants and resources for thought and action are also included.
Recommendations for addressing these disparities are institutional and cultural and individual /
community-based. We recognize that there are still significant challenges when it comes to
addressing institutional racism and other structural barriers that have contributed to the
backward slide of progress in these areas. However, we also understand that there are also
opportunities for us to take action as individuals and organizations to improve conditions in our
communities. It is our hope that this working document will continue to broaden the
conversations and possibilities within Colorado’s African American communities and the broader
community. We must critically consider what we must do from here and what happens if we do
nothing. What a tragedy and a travesty it would be if we do not take on these new challenges for
our collective betterment. From education and economic disparities to criminal justice and
health disparities, our needs are great --- but so are our talents! It’s time to put them to
use!!!
*****************Dr. Sharon R. Bailey - Director, CBRT Losing Ground Project**************

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GAINING GROUND IN
EDUCATION

symbol of knowledge, life-long education and continued quest for knowledge

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CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT and
OPPORTUNITY GAPS
“I’ve been involved in K-12 education for forty years K-12. Protecting kids from a system that didn’t support
them…The systems we have in place are causing the outcomes that we get… We get what we intend to from the
systems we set up. If the system is failing students of color it is because we set it up to fail them…. We also have
to pass the changes in school finance. Underfunding results in lack of attention to the needs of students of
color.”(Colorado State Representative John Buckner-2013 Losing Ground Summit)

“We talked about the impacts of institutional racism, institutional discrimination and institutional lack of
opportunity. And one of the places we have seen that more powerfully than any place is in our school funding
formula. It is in the way this state has historically funded kids and schools. We have built a system that actually
puts more and more resources into kids that already have all the resources, and puts few and fewer resources
into kids that need it the most. It’s time for our school finance system to match our values.” (Colorado State Senator
Michael Johnston-2013 Losing Ground Summit)

“When I think about equity…I don’t think about the fact that equity needs to be won…equity needs to be
done. I am less concerned about the winning than the doing. Making sure that every day we are doing the
things, that we are treating students, that we are treating families in a way that makes sure we achieve equity
by practicing equity across our classrooms. I think that will have significant impact.” (Rico Munn, Superintendent,
Aurora Public Schools)

“We can’t forget about those out of high school for which life has happened. These are folks for whom life
has happened, have kids, jobs, but more importantly they have a wealth of experience that they can bring into
higher education when they begin to seek their degrees. Higher education has to do a better job of gearing
programs to build these students up…It comes back to policy, what are those access points that we can use to
get folks into higher education.”(Dr. Eugene Wilkerson, Assistant Professor of Non-Profit Management, Global Non-Profit
Leadership Dept. – Regis University – 2013 Losing Ground Summit)

********************************************

LOSING GROUND
EDUCATIONAL ACCESS, ACHIEVEMENT, OPPORTUNITY AND ATTAINMENT DISPARITIES

The 2013 Losing Ground report observed that in Colorado:

 The gaps among adults with college degrees have steadily widened since 1960, with the
percent of whites with college degrees three times higher than the Latino rate and
double the black rate. Those disparities are the nation’s worst for both Latinos and
blacks.

 Between 1992 and 2010, according to Census data, Colorado plunged from 24th to 40th
on overall state spending per student for K-12 education. When compared to per capita
personal income, Colorado ranked 45th among the states on K-12 spending.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education reports that:

 The African American graduation rate from two-year colleges in Colorado is 13%
compared to 28.7% for whites, African American graduation rate from four-year
institutions is 39.1 percent compared to 60 percent for whites.
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 Remediation rates for African American students in Colorado’s two – year institutions is
89% while that of white is 57%. Remediation rates for African American students at the
state’s four-year institutions, is 55.2% compared to remediation rates for whites of18.5%.
(Colorado Department of Higher Education – Stats presented at CBRT meeting February 16, 2014).

GAINING GROUND RECOMMENDATIONS


ELIMINATING RACIAL DISPARITIES IN EDUCATION

WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO NOW:

 Read to your children or grandchildren everyday

 Remind our children of their rich heritage of commitment to education by their ancestors
who risked their lives to read and write.

 Balance the time your children spend learning vs. playing videos games and watching TV.

 Create clean, quiet spaces for your children to do homework.

 Get library cards for each member of your family.

 Arrange enriching family and neighborhood activities for children of all ages: (For example,
take advantage of recreation centers, museums, libraries, educational games, and science
fairs.)

 Become involved in your child’s school—PTA, school committees. Learn more about
effectively navigating the K-20 pipeline. Our schools cannot be improved if African
American parents and communities continue to sit on the sidelines with hopes that things
will get better. We all know that families are children’s first teachers. Families must do
their part to get children ready for school. Families implant basic attitude and values
about learning, as well as self-discipline and good manners necessary for learning in a
group. Families must remain involved with their children.

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand changes in current policies
and practices.

WHAT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES CAN DO:

 Make literacy, math, and science skills a community priority with a sense of urgency.

 Continue to broaden the scope and depth of conversations in the community regarding
the education of black children in our cities and state.

 Work in partnership with state and school district officials to increase the numbers of
African American teachers, professors, and staff at all levels of education.

 Expose our students to role models in a variety of careers and occupations.

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 There is a need to change the culture in our community to one that supports academic
achievement. We must combat the perverse view among many black youth that serious
scholarship is "a white thing." Reward academic excellence.

 There is a need to monitor closely reforms related to teacher effectiveness and staffing
patterns in schools. Parents and community should visit and observe classrooms. Take
every opportunity for discourse with the teachers, guidance counselors, principles, etc.

 Create and support community-based institutions that monitor policies that impact
achievement of African American students in Pre-K through 20 education. There is a
pressing need to develop the capacity of the African American community to decipher
state and local education legislation, policies, and reform efforts and to share this
information with community. There is a need for a centralized clearinghouse –parent
resource center in our community that can share information on site and through a
database on Pre-K- 12 educational options and choices, scholarships and post high school
opportunities.

 Expand the spectrum of community-based programs for black boys and girls. Duplicate
and bring to scale those programs that inspire our students to achieve more. Identify and
coordinate resources to strengthen educational outcomes for African Americans of all
ages. (Examples: Joint Effort Better Boys Project (Stedman), Bro. Jeff’s Black Men in Schools, and the
Barber Shop Project)

 Engage the philanthropic, business, non-profit and educational communities in a dialogue


on African American student achievement and attainment and work to establish
partnerships with stakeholders from these sectors.

 There is a need to increase resources for community-based academic and career


counseling for African American students and their families.

 Partner with educational institutions and private funding programs to increase our
student’s exposure to hands-on science and math activities through the development of
STEM after school and summer programs.

 Demand that the DPS Board of Education and administration, other school districts,
Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Higher
Education (CDHE) engage in a rigorous and transparent audit of which programs,
initiatives, school models, and supports actually produce gains—and which do not.
(Recommendation from, A+ Denver (2013) that makes sense for the entire state.)

 In higher education, engage African American faculty, staff and students in Colorado’s
public and private institutions in a critical dialogue regarding issues impacting African
American students’ access and success. Bring this wealth of talent, knowledge and
resources to strengthen the educational pipeline by providing better communication and
a network of professionals to create stronger pathways and support.

 Encourage community members/ leaders, organizations, and college students to become


more actively engaged in the school policy conversations –Show up at Board of Education
meetings, monitoring local education news, participate in local policy discussions, engage
elected officials through letters, emails and personal contact and hold them accountable.

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 Develop, educate, motivate and mobilize a critical mass of individuals and organizations
who can serve as advocates for improving educational outcomes for African American
students at all levels.

WHAT LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO:

 Restore adequate funding to Colorado’s K-12 and higher education systems. Guarantee
that all children have access to appropriate and sufficient facilities, curriculum resources
and materials.

 Invest in child and parental development. Expand access to high-quality, affordable early
childhood education. (Example: Denver Pre-School Program)

 Develop a universal, well-rounded, and comprehensive curriculum. Ensure that all areas
and all levels of curriculum reflect the rich history and culture of people of African
descent. Ensure an education in which students truly amass knowledge and preparedness
for the next level of school and life.

 Adequately train and compensate professional staff. Our teachers must be trustworthy,
competent, diverse, culturally-sensitive and hold high expectations for all children. Hold
the state’s teacher preparation programs to a higher standard for increasing the pool of
African American teachers.

 Develop effective policies and programs to address the crisis in the recruitment and
retention of African American teachers.

 Expand and fund community-based programs that increase exposure to hands-on science
and math activities through the development of STEM after school and summer programs.
(Examples: SEEK –Summer Engineering Experience for Kids, Colorado Assoc. of Black Engineers and
Professional Scientist’s (CABPES) programs)

 Support policies and programs to address college affordability issues for African American
students.

 There is a critical need for more effective and targeted outreach regarding programs and
resources to assist students and families in navigating the educational pipeline from Pre-K
– graduate school. Provide information and training for parents to assist them in knowing
their rights, understanding the data related to testing, and how to monitor the academic
progress of their students.

 Provide more information to students and families about programs to support students in
making the transition from high school to college. (Examples: pre-collegiate programs
throughout the state at various higher education institutions)

 Ensure that African American communities statewide are included in these efforts.

 Keep youth in school and reduce risks for involvement in juvenile justice and criminal
justice systems by reducing school expulsions and suspensions, and offering alternatives
to incarceration including school-based teen courts, peer mediation programming, and
restorative justice programming.

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GAINING GROUND IN
HEALTH AND WELLNESS

symbol of mortality

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ADDRESSING HEALTH DISPARITIES

“We’re sicker than most and dying sooner than we should.”


(Grant Jones. Founder- CEO, Center for African American Health)

“I want to suggest a call of action in health care as well. We need to focus on the organizations that are
already doing the work in the community like the Center for African American Health, the Colorado Black Health
Collaborative and the Aurora Healthier Beginnings. As a community we need to step up and support them with
dollars, people and time. We have to get back to that time when we believed that community engagement
matters and that we can make a difference in our communities. We need to step up and volunteer with these
organizations to make a difference. ” (Maya Wheeler, President Colorado Black Women for Political Action – Outreach
Coordinator, Forest Street Compassionate Care Center -2013 Losing Ground Summit)

“Inequities in health [and] avoidable health inequalities arise because of the circumstances in which
people grow, live, work, and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. The conditions in which
people live and die are, in turn, shaped by political, social, and economic forces.” (World Health Organization
Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, 2008)

LOSING GROUND
The Losing Ground report finds that in Colorado:

 Blacks and Latinos, for example, experience significantly higher rates of infant mortality
and deaths from diseases such as diabetes than whites in Colorado.

 Health disparities between racial and ethnic minorities and white Americans are nothing
new — hundreds of studies over the past 20 years consistently found that African
Americans and Latinos trail Caucasians in a host of measures, from life expectancy to
the odds of death from cancer or kidney ailments. In Colorado, blacks are more likely to
suffer from asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate cancer and obesity than
whites.

 Blacks experience an infant mortality rate that is significantly higher than that of
Caucasians. Black babies die at a rate much higher than white babies, according to data
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, the rate at which black
babies died before reaching their first birthday was a little more than twice that of white
babies. African American babies experience 14.5 deaths for each 1,000 births according
to an average of data from 2007 through 2011 calculated by the state health department.
According to a World Bank compilation of health data, that figure would place black
Coloradoans between the overall mortality rates of China and Columbia.

 Whites, on average, lived 3.4 years longer than African Americans. In 2011. The life
expectancy for a Caucasian in Colorado was 80.3 years, compared to 76.9 for African
Americans.

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GAINING GROUND RECOMMENDATIONS
NURTURING HEALTHY FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES

WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO:

 Take responsibility to improve your diet: eat at least one additional fruit or vegetable
daily.

 Walk one mile every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

 Make sure your children have healthy diets, get their daily exercise, and are fully
immunized.

 Gather information about disease and health risks. Schedule regular exams with your
health professional.

 Talk to your neighbors and organize a healthy living committee; create awareness of
the health status of your community, coordinate outdoor activities, start a walking
group, and demand that local storeowners stock fresh produce.

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand that health policies
support all communities in an equitable fashion

WHAT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES CAN DO:

 Establish partnerships and collaborations with centers focused on African American


health disparities to expand health education activities to promote a healthier African
American community. (Examples: Center for African American Heath, the Colorado Black
Health Collaborative, and the Aurora Healthier Beginnings.)

 De-stigmatize mental health issues in the African American community .Create new
and strengthen existing opportunities to increase behavioral health individually, in the
family, community, faith-based organizations, and the workplace.

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand that health policies
support all communities in an equitable fashion.

WHAT LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO:

 Improve data collection and analysis at local, state, regional and national levels.

 Continue to broaden universal access to quality healthcare and treatment.

 Engage communities of color in policy development and implementation to promote


health equity and reduce disparities. Health disparities cannot be addressed without
input from the local community level.

 Expand programs to provide regular health check-ups for low-income residents.

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 Ensure residents in low-income neighborhoods have decent places to engage in
physical activity and purchase healthy foods. Eliminate food deserts.

 Strengthen regulations on hazardous toxic substances that have negative impacts on


health and the environment.

 Provide education and increased awareness, especially among health care providers
and public health officials, about health disparities and their root causes, including
social and economic obstacles such as discrimination and unconscious racism.

 Strengthen policies and higher education practices to recruit and retain African
American health professionals.

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GAINING GROUND IN
CRIMINAL JUSTICE

symbol of law and justice, slavery and captivity

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CORRECTING A SYSTEM OF
UNEQUAL JUSTICE
“I want you to know that part of what is fueling the fire is a choice…We made a choice to incarcerate more
people than any other nation in the world. That isn’t something that just happened. So what I would like to offer
for us is a couple of things for us to think about because the level of over use of incarceration and the role of the
criminal justice system is at epidemic levels. So I want to use that language because I think it speaks to our dis-
ease in our communities in the fact that we have not found the right solutions.” (Christie Donner, Director, Colorado
Criminal Justice Reform Coalition - 2013 Losing Ground Summit)

“I’ve heard two themes that are reactive versus proactive. I understand the importance of them, but we really
need to change the tone of them. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve been involved in where they’ve
talked about alternatives to incarceration. Meaning, you’ve been locked up, but what can we do to keep you out
of the jail and give you other alternatives? There is some importance to having these conversations, but how
about the conversations about the alternatives to getting into the criminal justice system. Those are the
conversations that we need to spend much of our time having.” (Denver Police Chief, Robert White - 2013 Losing
Ground Summit)

“Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then
engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals
in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a
felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to
vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury
service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black
man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely
redesigned it.” (Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow)

LOSING GROUND
The Losing Ground Report finds that in Colorado:

o In 2010, about one in every 20 black men were incarcerated in Colorado state
prisons compared to one out of every 50 Latino males and one of every 150
white males.

o In Colorado, for the past several years per pupil expenditure has averaged
approximately $6,500 compared to over $30,000 per year for each inmate.

o The incarceration rates for Latino and black males in Colorado are higher than
the national average, while white male incarceration rates mirror the national
average.

o The increase in minority incarceration rates in Colorado coincided with the


increase in prison terms for drug crimes.

16
GAINING GROUND RECOMMENDATIONS

CORRECTING A SYSTEM OF UNEQUAL JUSTICE

WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO:

 Encourage and help children in our families and neighborhoods to behave and do well
in school.

 Plan family and neighborhood activities for children of all ages: movies, games,
outings.

 Form adult clubs in the neighborhood to plan activities, create safe houses where
children can hang out when parents are not home, and tell parents when you see
children misbehaving.

 Join the discourse of challenge to inequities in the criminal justice system.

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand that current policies and
practices be changed to eliminate disproportionate incarceration rates of African
Americans.

WHAT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES CAN DO:

 Educate community members of all ages to “know their rights” relative to the criminal
justice system. Talk to young people about how to conduct themselves if they are
stopped or confronted by police officers; even if polices officers do not respect their
rights, encourage them to be respectful, so as not to escalate situations.

 Encourage religious institutions to provide support (jobs, counseling) for adults


returning to the community from prison.

 Create and strengthen collaborations between civic and faith-based organizations to


increase the number of effective community-based after school and weekend youth
life skills development. (Examples: pre-employment skills, work skills, crime prevention
and early interventions)

 As part of overall voter educational and registration initiatives, stress the importance
of the right of felons to vote in the State of Colorado. Join with other groups to
educate and increase voter registration of persons with felony records.

 Join the discourse to challenge inequities in the criminal justice system. (There are many
silos of such capacity found for example through the Greater Denver Metropolitan Denver and the
Southern Colorado Springs Ministerial Alliances.)

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand that current policies and
practices be changed to eliminate disproportionate incarceration rates of African
Americans.

17
WHAT LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO:

 Broaden system wide reforms throughout Colorado schools for use of “Restorative
Justice” models in lieu of criminal justice involvement and out of school punishment
for students.

 Reform drug policies; reduce the crack cocaine and other sentencing disparities.

 Restructure “zero tolerance policies” so that all children are treated fairly.

 Overhaul mandatory sentencing programs to eliminate unfair treatment. Expand


judicial discretion for certain non-violent drug offenses, lower mandatory minimums
and incentivize prisoners to tackle addictions.

 Ensure adequate re-entry and ex-offenders programs for adults and youth. Hold
offenders and re-offenders accountable while at the same time encouraging and
assisting with successful reintegration through opportunities for re-employment,
housing, behavioral health, and redemption.

 The New Jim Crow-Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle


Alexander needs to be required reading for every African American. Encourage
individuals and faith communities to read and discuss the book. Join with other
Colorado groups working on campaigns to end the New Jim Crow.

 Help women in prison maintain family ties and improve parenting skills.

 Support policies that promote the diversification of police, fire, sheriff and court
system personnel. Recruit and hire community-conscious personnel. Adequately train
all officers in cultural sensitivity, racial profiling, and excessive force policies.

 Refocus policies, programs and resources to focus on justice reinvestment where we


intentionally take funding out of corrections at the state and local level and reinvest it
in the community and the things that work.

 Create efficient oversight mechanisms and eliminate barriers to citizen’s filing


complaints against police, ensure fair and thorough investigations. Collect, compile,
and publish relevant statistical data on police abuse.

 Ensure that juvenile justice systems are accountable and effective.

18
GAINING GROUND IN
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

symbol of affluence, power, abundance, plenty, togetherness and unity

19
ACHIEVING FAIRNESS IN
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

“Any strategy to reduce intergenerational poverty has to be centered on work, not welfare--not only because
work provides independence and income but also because work provides order, structure, dignity, and
opportunities for growth in people's lives…It means we must redouble our efforts to make sure our economy
works for every working American. It means helping our businesses create new jobs with stronger wages and
benefits, expanding access to education and health care, rebuilding those communities on the outskirts of hope,
th
and constructing new ladders of opportunity for our people to climb.” (President Barack Obama on the 50
Anniversary of the War on Poverty, January 2014)

“We cannot move forward without all of you…one of the pieces of legislation we are looking at is to have
racial impact statements performed. Just like when we do a fiscal impact note. When a legislator introduces a
piece of legislation we need to understand how it may impact communities of color. Last year we introduced the
‘state procurement disparity report”. All of you know that it did not pass…We’re coming back full force with the
state disparity report. What the disparity report will do is it will determine if there are disparities in state
procurement contracting for minorities, the disabled, women and veterans….We can’t determine if there are
disparities until we know the facts.” (State Representative Angela Williams – 2013 Losing Ground Summit)

“The banks, the large businesses…have made obscene money over the last ten years. The legislation from
George Bush, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan caused taxation to be a little different for them. They got
off the hook when the banking industry collapsed, when the markets collapsed, their CEOs didn’t go to jail, but
we sure lost our homes, we lost our businesses and no one is paying for that. So let’s put them back on the hook.
Let’s say you need to be good corporate citizens, and you need to be part of a plan that allows small businesses
to make it in America and right here in Denver.” – (Len Murray, CEO Diaspora Mining Company – 2013 Losing Ground
Summit)

“For all intents and purpose, affirmative action has been wiped out…There is no longer a desire to assure that
minorities are being placed in jobs.” (Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Losing Ground Report)

“In no family where parents are working full-time should they have to raise their children in poverty. “
(President Barack Obama)

LOSING GROUND
The Losing Ground report finds that:

 In 1970, for example, black families earned 73 percent of white family incomes
and Latino families earned 72 percent. By 2010, those numbers had fallen to
about 60 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

 Colorado has one of the largest federal workforces among the states. In total
federal payroll, it ranks No. 8. Yet, federal jobs fell from 6 percent of all jobs in
the state to 3 percent between 1970 and 2010. For black workers, the jobs
dropped even more dramatically — from 15 percent of all jobs held by African
Americans in the state to 6 percent.

20
 In 1970, one in four black workers either was employed in manufacturing or by
the federal government. By 2010, that had dropped to one in eight.

 The African-American population has a 14.4 unemployment rate while Metro


Denver’s overall unemployment rate is 7.2 percent.

 The median income for black households in Colorado is (2012 Census) –has
decreased over the past two years to $45,920, and for black households – while
for white households it has increased to $78,908. The foreclosure crisis also hit
minorities particularly hard. Lenders have been accused of steering blacks and
Hispanics into expensive subprime loans during the housing boom. As a result,
many neighborhoods of color have been especially ravaged by default and
vacancy in the housing crash's aftermath.

GAINING GROUND RECOMMENDATIONS


RESTORING JOBS, HOUSING AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO:

 Open and maintain a savings account, no matter what your family’s income may be.

 Encourage your children to save.

 Create neighborhood, organization and church job clubs to share information about
available jobs and support (such as transportation) for employment.

 Change the African American economic development paradigm to also focus on the global
marketplace, specifically, that which is linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and
Math (STEM) fields.

 Shop at black-owned businesses.

 Make sure that schools focus on financial literacy as part of the core curriculum.

 Report and monitor discrimination in hiring, contracting and other areas of economic
opportunity.

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand changes in current policies
and practices.

WHAT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES CAN DO:

 There is a need to broaden community interest, discussion and participation in economic


issues.

 Develop legislation and initiatives to address racial economic inequality.

 Increase community engagement with state and local governments relative to job
development, business and contracting opportunities and economic development
21
planning. (Examples: Denver’s 5 year development plan –I-70, RTD, WIN project and stock show
totaling billions in development that the African American community should have a share of.)

 Ensure existing businesses in the community actually have Africans Americans working at
many levels. Develop business and government diversity and opportunity report cards
(Example: National NAACP Business Report Cards)

 Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand changes in current policies
and practices.

WHAT LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO:

 Invest in the African American community.


 Enact disparity study legislation at the state level modeled after Denver’s recent study.
 Develop partnership with government, the private and nonprofit sectors so that when
students enroll in higher education they are immediately connected with employers,
whether it’s through jobs, internships, apprenticeships or service learning programs.

 Make sure that schools focus on financial literacy as part of the core curriculum.
 Expand programs that provide financial literacy for community members of all ages.
Consider financial literacy courses as a key core competency and requirement for high
school graduation.

 Monitor and prevent predatory lending.


 Establish tax-free homeownership savings accounts.
 Promote career development among low wage workers by helping them to stay in the
labor market and advance into better jobs.

 Develop legislation and initiatives to address racial economic inequality.


 Support government contracting standards that value local companies that are weighted
for diversity, minority contracting, living wages, safety, etc.

 Commit to local, state and national job training and career counseling for youth.
 Expand Earned Income Tax Credits.
 Support increasing minimum wages to living wages.

22
GAINING GROUND IN CIVIL
AND VOTING RIGHTS
GAINING GROUND RECOMMENDATIONS

RESTORING AND PRESERVING CIVIL AND VOTING RIGHTS

WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO:

 Register to vote and then make sure to vote in all elections.

 Teach children about the importance of voting by introducing them to the civil rights
struggle that won the right to vote.

 Support all legislation to promote and ensure civil rights for all, including; the
reauthorization and strengthening of the Voting Rights Act; measures to reform local
laws restricting the right to vote of ex-felons, etc.

 Support elected officials of your choice with time and money.

WHAT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES CAN DO:

 Younger generations do not feel connected to African American history and the civil
rights movement in particular. Community organizations and churches should work
with colleges and universities to provide community-based courses for credit on these
topics.

 Educate organization and church members about current civil and voting rights issues.

 Support local voter registration drives with time and money and encourage your
members to vote.

WHAT LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO:

 Support the reauthorization and strengthening of the Voting Rights Act.


 Restore the right to vote for former felons.
 Do away with voter suppression and intimidation.
 Elected officials need to engage their communities on how the political process works
and keep them informed on legislation that impacts African American communities.

23
OBSERVATIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM
LOSING GROUND SUMMIT

symbol of service and leadership

24
OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM
LOSING GROUND SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS

“I think this is a very timely and appropriate conversation for us as a community…We are making
investments where they matter…We are removing barriers. We are going to continue to focus on
education, we are going to focus on economic development and economic opportunity, we’re going to
continue to focus on housing issues…If we’re going to be honest about addressing these issues as an
African American community, we have to get serious about black men staying in their families or we
will never move the lever…We have to encourage our families to stay together so our children can
grow up in healthier environments and have better opportunities. And it’s been proven that families
that stay together, pray together, kids get better and they do better. This is real family
conversation…it’s about the family.” (Denver Mayor Michael Hancock)

“We have two institutions that we have always had control of…the black family and the black
church. And unfortunately, many faith-based organizations have empty buildings four or five days a
week. We could use those same institutions to create after school programs, life skill programs. And
guess what, it does not cost any money. It’s one thing to deal with our policy issues at the state and
federal level. What I am talking about doesn’t cost one penny. We have the enough skills among the
fraternities, sororities and many other civic organizations to use those skills in after school programs
in churches and schools which are also closed in the evenings.”(Dr. Anthony Young, Denver/Rocky Mountain
Association of Black Psychologists)

“I think that it is incredibly important that we start early. That many of our kids come to us in
kindergarten already two years behind their middle class peers, for example out kids in poverty. And
the fact that we as a state don’t even offer full day kindergarten is wrong. It is critical that we offer
full day kindergarten for all of our kids. But not just that, every three and four year old in this city
should have access to full-day preschool. And the voters in Denver last year approved a measure that
means that a thousand more four year olds in poverty will have access to full-day preschool.”
(Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools)

“Let’s try to figure out what we used to do better than what we’re doing now…and build on the
successes that we have had. African Americans don’t give ourselves the credit for even surviving this
long. In the face of a European imperialism that has vaporized other peoples of color…we are still
here. Let us give ourselves credit. The language of criticism has been so pervasive…because we have
been criticized. We don’t know how to stand up and give ourselves the love that we deserve…so let’s
start today.” (Theo Wilson, Columnist Urban Spectrum – Head Mentor Barber Shop Talk)

“As we look at the numbers, it’s the area of pre-conception health where we have seen the most
benefit to our unborn babies, as well as our babies who are in the world today. And so part of our
mission of Aurora Healthier Beginnings is to reduce risk behaviors, such as obesity and focus in on
preventive behaviors such as diet and nutrition, taking folic acid, multivitamins and exercising. It is an
empowering movement when you take control of your own health care.” (Chanell Reed, Council
Management Analyst, Mayor / City Council of Aurora- Aurora Healthier Beginnings)

“You’d be surprised what little brother and little cousin and other family members see when one of
their own graduates from college it impacts them so they think maybe I can do this, maybe I can go to
college. So now you’re having a cause and effect on a generation…Then there’s the economic piece
where people in the community get to experience that…People are working and paying taxes…and
that affects the community….Having an educated community and an educated society really benefits

25
everybody, and that’s why it is so important.” (Dr. Myron Anderson, Associate to the President for Diversity and
Assoc. Professor of Education Technology, Metropolitan State University)

“We need to talk about the importance of having a lasting legacy financially. One of the things as a
pastor that I experience is that many times people will come to the end of life and they have to be
buried. And often times I see that family and friends have to get together and take a collection, if you
want to be able to put hat loved one away. When you think about someone who has worked for
thirty, forty, fifty years in that situation, that’s a travesty. Recognizing that there are issues of
employment, there are issues of recessions. I understand that. But the fact of the matter is that we
need to be able to pass to our children a lasting legacy financially. We ought to be able to leave an
inheritance for our young people. We see other ethnicities do that all the time.” (Rev. Robert T. Golson,
Jr., M.Div. Senior Pastor, True Light Baptist Church - President Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance)

“As you leave here today, you will drive by several construction projects, through the Denver metro
area… the seven county area, you will probably see zero black workers. I can guarantee you that in a
short amount of time we’ll change that number…Right now, young black teenagers are expelled from
high school at rate of 11 to 1. My grandfather is white, almost ninety percent of my clients are white,
and I know for a fact that black teenagers are not eleven times worse than white teenagers. I don’t
want to say that as racial issue. I want to say that as an economic issue. These people are qualified;
they are emotionally talented to earn the same as the top level people of any community in our
country.” (Billy Scott, member Board of Directors, Fair Share Jobs, Inc.)

“What it seems that we’re missing from the dialogue about what it means to take back ground…
The issue about education and what it takes to get our youth to believe that going to school will
prepare them for an adulthood is missing because the models seem to have become silent. The
examples of what young people are suppose to be striving for, believing about, having a sense of self
worth and self image seems to have broken down, and that is not their fault. But if the only outcome
that we focus on is that the do well on their tests and that they get a job, then we’re still
communicating the message that they should take what they earn and go somewhere else and do
what belongs to them. Not the sense that this community needs you to bring that back and use it to
our benefit…and I think that’s an important message.” (Dr. Antwan Jefferson, Professor Urban Teacher
Education / University of Colorado Denver)

“One of the best investments that I think we can make as a city is in people. That is the greatest
investment that will generate the greatest return. One of the things that I am a huge proponent of is
financial literacy. We talk about the wage gap, but it’s not about as much as how much you make, but
about how much you save. If we start to educate our kids about personal finances that will go a long
way…Another thing is that our students today don’t see us. If our students don’t see us they are never
going to believe they can accomplish the thing we have accomplished.” (Denver City Councilman Chris
Herndon, District 11)

“Once you get that opportunity to do something, whether the door is cracked or thrown wide open,
you’re prepared to go through it. And that’s what I tell young people today; that they need to be
prepared to go through the door. Do not just look for things to drop from the sky. You have the
responsibility. You are to be the CEO of your being. You can control what you can do.” (Carlotta Lanier,
Member Little Rock Nine)

“The racism hasn’t gone anywhere. And Obama’s presence in the White House has brought it all
out. The question is what we do about it as a black community, Hispanic community. And what we do
about it is to pay very close attention to what we do with our children, what we do with education.

26
Any black child in this room who hasn’t graduated…get your behind back in school. If you’re in here
now and you quit school, you need to get your behind back in school and shut your mouth until you
do. Because you’re falling victim…you are letting the system victimize you. And as was mentioned in
the last panel…there are no jobs out there. If you don’t have at least a high school diploma you can
forget it.”(Former State Senator Regis Groff)

“There needs to be action taken, and I would propose a couple of things. One, is the mayor needs to
appoint a czar to deal specifically with this study. There needs to be someone down at the city, who’s
looking at this report (proposal) and saying, “I’m going to coordinate the City’s response.” The black
caucus in the legislature and the Latino caucuses need to appoint somebody who is their coordinator…
The caucuses need to take responsibility. Here’s a body of information. And we need to take that
information and we need to see what we can do to make a dent…what we can do to take us the next
step. And as Rev. Peters said, “It’s not going to be straight…it’s not going to be fast…but it must be
continuous. We must continue.” (Larry Borom, Former CEO Metro Denver Urban League)

“If we don’t have a strong black community, we don’t have anything. And that’s where we are
now….We need to get involved and I just don’t see that now. I want to thank you all for recognizing
the NAACP …but that is not enough. We need to support all of our organizations, fraternities,
sororities, children’s…we need to get involved and I just don’t see that now. I don’t mean to be
negative, but I want to be real about it…I think here in Denver…we have to make it a point to be
responsible. Often times, some of my friends say, “We don’t have anything to be worried about…I’ve
got mine.”… and we don’t. We don’t have it. It could be taken away the next day. How many
foreclosures do we have in this city? How many people have lost their jobs in this city? Don’t take for
granted that the government job you go to everyday is going to be there tomorrow…because it’s not.”
(Rita Lewis, Esq., President, NAACP Denver Branch)

“Today’s students do not have a clue about the history of civil rights in this country. And we’re not
doing the job I think we need to do…I think we’re trying but we all have a responsibility to make sure
everybody knows, because we have to work together as a people…Let’s call it a challenge, whether it
is the gap in education, employment, economics, health care, the status of families. It is a
responsibility of the entire nation, the whole community.” (Dr. Dorothy Hayden- Watkins, Principal Hayden-
Watkins and Associates, LLC – Associate Faculty, University of Phoenix - former Exec. Director Colorado Commission
on Civil Rights)

“We can’t have these lofty policy macro visions, because nine times out of ten they don’t get to the
East side of Denver, to 80205, over here. I’m witnessing that first hand like with our MWBE program,
which is a great program…We see that there is a disparity in the African American community within
those goals. And sometimes even the best intentions fall short…We need a focused plan that impacts
individuals in our community.” (Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, District 8)

“I started my teaching career in the Mississippi Delta. Most astonishing, is that I would come home
and folks would say, ‘It must be crazy out there in the Delta. I can’t imagine how terrible the
opportunities must be for those kids you were working with.”…The reality is that the day I took office
in this state, you had a worse chance being a black or brown kid, of ever graduating from college than
you have growing up anywhere in the Mississippi Delta, or anywhere in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia
or Texas. That’s an absolute embarrassment for our state…Now is the time to deliver on the promise
that college is actually affordable. We have to make sure our kids get degrees after high school.
Seventy percent of the new jobs in this state in the next 5-10 years are going to require some sort of
secondary training. What are we as a community going to do to make sure we are sending more of
our kids to college and careers and not towards cages and coffins?”(State Senator Michael Johnston)

27
“THE EYES OF THE FUTURE ARE LOOKING BACK AT US AND THEY
ARE PRAYING FOR US TO SEE BEYOND OUR OWN TIME.”
(Tempest Williams in Covenant with Black America)

RESOURCES FOR
THOUGHT AND ACTION

symbol of readiness, steadfastness, hardiness

28
EDUCATION
Anne E. Casey Foundation, (2014) – Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children - Policy
Report - In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity.
The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones
across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level.

A+ Denver (2013), Adequate is not Enough: Denver Public Schools Progress Report -
http://www.aplusdenver.org/work/reports

Brewster, Joe, Michele Stephenson and Hilary Beard, (2014), Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in
School and in Life, (Random House Publishing Group).

Darling-Hammond, Linda, (2009), The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will
Determine Our Future, (Teachers College Press).

Davis, Joy Lawson, (2010), Bright, Talented and Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted
Learners, (Great Potential Press, Inc.).

Gutierrez, Gabriella et. al., (Ed.), (2012), Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for
Women in Academia, (University of Colorado Press).

Jackson, Jerlando, (2007) Strengthening the African American Pipeline: Informing Research, Policy and
Practice, (State University of New York Press).

McCartney, Kathleen, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Laurie B. Forcier, (Eds.), (2014), Improving the Odds for
America’s Children: Future Directions for Policy and Practice, (Harvard Education Press).

Mettler, Susan, (2014), Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American
Dream, (Basic Books).

NAACP, (2012), Finding Our Way Back to First: Reclaiming World Leadership by Educating All of America’s
Children (NAACP). http://www.naacp.org/blog/entry/naacp-2012-education-report

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – The Nation’s Report Card / Parent Resource Page
http://nationsreportcard.gov/parents.aspx

Ooms, Alexander, (2014), Beyond Averages: School Quality in Denver Public Schools, (The Donnell Kay
Foundation).

African American Scholarship Opportunities - http://www.collegescholarships.org/resc_minority.html


Children’s Defense Fund - http://www.childrensdefense.org/
College Invest- https://www.collegeinvest.org/ - 529 Plans for college savings
College in Colorado – https://secure.collegeincolorado.org/ - One-stop-shop for career and college planning
Colorado GEAR UP - http://coloradogearup.org/ - Federally funded program that helps low-income, first-generation students
successfully prepare for college
Denver Scholarship Foundation - http://www.denverscholarship.org/
DiversityDatakids.org / data for a diverse and equitable future – Heller School for Social Policy and Management –Brandies
University – http://www.diversitydatakids.org/data/profile
National Black Child Development Institute - http://www.nbcdi.org/
United Negro College Fund - http://www.uncf.org/
U.S. Department of Education – College Affordability and Transparency Center - http://www.collegecost.ed.gov/catc/

29
SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES
Acs, Gregory, Kenneth Braswell, Elaine Sorensen and Margery Turner, (2013), The Moynihan Report Revisited,
(The Urban Institute). - http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=412839&renderforprint=1

Birchett, Colleen and Yvonne Abatso, (2010), How to Equip the African American Family: Issues and Guidelines
for Building Strong Families, (Urban Ministries, Inc.).

Durr, Marlese, and Shirley A. Hill (Eds.), (2006), Race, Work and Family in the Lives of African Americans,
(Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.).

Hart Associates for the Children’s Defense Fund, (2011),The State of Black Children and Families: Black
Perspectives on What Black Children Face and What the Future Holds: Research Findings, (Hart Research
Associates).

Hattery, Angela J. and Earl Smith (2010), African American Families Today: Myths and Realities, (Rowman and
Littlefield Publishers).

Hill, Robert B., (1999), The Strengths of Black Families: Twenty-Five Years Later, (University Press of America).

Jewell, K. Sue, (2003), Survival of the African American Family: The Institutional Impact of U.S. Social Policy,
(ABC-CLIO, Inc.)

Johnson, Leanor Boulin, Robert Staples and Robert B Hill, (2004), Black Families at the Crossroads: Challenges
and Prospects, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

Ladner, Joyce A., (2000), The Ties That Bind: Timeless Values for African American Families, (John Wiley and
Sons, Inc.).

Lareau, Annette, (2011), Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, (University of California Press).

Patterson, James T, (2010), Freedom is not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle Over Black
Family Life—From LBJ to Obama, (Basic Books).

Schiele, Jerome, (2013), Human Services and the Afrocentric Paradigm, (Taylor & Francis).

Shriver, Maria and The Center for American Progress, (2014), The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes
Back from the Brink, (Palgrave Macmillan Publishers). Website: http://shriverreport.org/

U.S. Department of Human Services / Administration for Children and Families - Child Information Gateway –
Working with African American Families - https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/cultural/families/african.cfm

Wynn, Michael (2014), Teaching, Parenting, and Mentoring Successful Black Males: A Quick Guide, (Rising
Sun Publishing).

Black Parent Initiative (Portland, OR) - http://thebpi.org/


Center for Family Research / University of Georgia - http://www.cfr.uga.edu/saaf1
Children’s Defense Fund - CDF Policy Priorities - http://www.childrensdefense.org/policy-priorities/
Kids Count Data Center - http://datacenter.kidscount.org/
National Center on African American Marriage and Parenting - http://www.hamptonu.edu/ncaamp/
National Black Church Initiative – African American Family Circle Initiative - http://www.naltblackchurch.com/healing-family.html
National Partnership for Women and Families - http://www.nationalpartnership.org/
30
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / INCARCERATION
Alexander, Michelle, (2012), The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, (The New
Press).

Bloom, Lisa, (2014), Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue
to Repeat It, (Counterpoint Press).

Boothe, Demico, (2007), Why Are So Many Black Men in Prison? , (Full Surface Publishing).

Davis, Angela, (2003), Are Prisons Obsolete?, (Seven Stories Press).

Elmore, John, (2012), The African American Criminal Justice Guide: Staying Alive and Out of Jail, (NOOK
Book), (Amber Communications Group, Inc.).

Free, Marvin D. and Mitch Ruesink, (2012), Race and Justice: Wrongful Convictions of African American Men,
(Boulder, Co: Lynne Reiner Publishers).

Jones-Brown, Delores and Beverly D. Frazier and Marvie Brooks, (Eds.), (2014), African Americans and Criminal
Justice: An Encyclopedia, (Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.).

Padres & Jovenes Unidos, (April 2014), Third Annual Accountability Report Card: Toward Ending the School-
to-jail Track in Denver Public Schools 2012-2013. http://padresunidos.org/release-denver-public-schools-show-
progress-racial-disparities-persist-punishment

Peeples, Carol and Christie Donner, (2012), Getting On after Getting Out: A Re-Entry Guide for Colorado (GO
Guide), (Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition). http://www.ccjrc.org/reentry-guide.shtml

Richie, Beth, (2012), Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation, (New York: New
York University Press).

Shipp, Robbin and Nick Chiles, (Pub. Date 11/14/2014), Fighting for Justice; Helping African American Families
Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System, (Agate Publishing).

Taibbi, Matt, (2014), The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, (Random House Publishing
Group).

Thompson, Anthony C., (2009), Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming Communities: Re-Entry, Race, and Politics,
(New York University Press).

ACLU – Race and Criminal Justice - https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/race-and-criminal-justice


The Brennan Center for Justice - http://www.brennancenter.org/
Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition - http://www.ccjrc.org/index.shtml
Own Your Future - https://secure.collegeincolorado.org/Own_Your_Future/_default.aspx
The Own Your Future website leads participants through a series of steps that may help them find housing, transportation, jobs,
education and career training. The program provides ex-offenders information and resources that will help them build a realistic
path to productivity and keep them from reoffending.
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice - http://nabcj.org/
The Sentencing Project - http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm

31
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT / WEALTH GAPS
Bernstein, Jared and Dean Baker, (2013), Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working
People, (Center for Economic Policy Research). http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/books/getting-back-to-
full-employment-a-better-bargain-for-working-people

Center for American Progress (Ben Olinsky and Susan Ayres), (Dec. 2013), Training for Success: A Policy to
Expand Apprenticeships in the U.S.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/report/2013/12/02/79991/training-for-success-a-policy-to-expand-
apprenticeships-in-the-united-states/

DiversityInc., (2014), Taking Supplier Diversity to the Next Level http://www.diversityinc.com/supplier-


diversity/taking-supplier-diversity-to-the-next-level/

Gottesdiener, Laura, (2013), A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Right for a Place to Call Home,
(Zuccotti Park Press).

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, (Issue Brief - April 2013), Further to Go: Job Creation in
African American Communities - http://jointcenter.org/research/further-to-go-job-creation-in-african-american-
communities

NAACP --Opportunity and Diversity Report Card: Consumer Banking Industry, (Jan. 2014)
http://www.naacp.org/preview/pages/opportunity-and-diversity-report-card-consumer-banking-industry

NAACP -Discrimination and Mortgage Lending in America (2010) http://www.naacp.org/publications


-A summary of the disparate impact of subprime mortgage lending on African Americans

NAACP - Countering Discrimination in Mortgage Lending (May 2010) http://www.naacp.org/publications ---


An NAACP Guide for Fair Lending discusses the NAACP fair lending principles and how they are intended to help
protect borrowers.

National Urban League, (2014), One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America – State of Black America
2014, (National Urban League Publication). - http://iamempowered.com/soba/2014/about-book

Smiley, Tavis and Cornel West, (2012), The Rich and the Rest of Us: The Poverty Manifesto, (Hay House, Inc.).

Center for Responsible Lending - http://www.responsiblelending.org/


Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce - http://coloradoblackchamber.org/
National Black Business Council - http://www.nbbc.org/
National Black Chamber of Commerce - http://www.nationalbcc.org/
National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (2010), Best Practices in Minority Supplier Development:
Guidelines http://www.nmsdc.org/nmsdc/app/template/contentMgmt%2CContentPage.vm/contentid/2019
National Urban League - http://nul.iamempowered.com/
The Opportunity Agenda - http://opportunityagenda.org/economic_recovery
Urban League of Metropolitan Denver - http://denverurbanleague.org/
U.S. Dept. of Commerce - Minority Business Development Center / Colorado - http://denvermbdacenter.com/

32
HEALTH DISPARITIES
Alcena M.D, Valiere, (2014), The Health Status of African Americans, (AuthorHouse).

Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2013 Health Disparities and Inequalities Report -
http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/CHDIReport.html#CHDIR

Frogner, Bianca and Joanne Spetz, (2013), The Affordable Care Act: Creating Job Opportunities for Racially
and Ethnically Diverse Populations (Presentation), (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies).

Gourdine M.D., Michelle A., (2011), Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Health, (Yale University
Press).

Hampton, Robert L., Thomas Gullota and Raymond, (Eds.), (2010), The Handbook of African American Health,
(Guilford Publications).

Harris, Marian S., (2013), African American Perspectives: Family Dynamics, Health Care Issues and the Role
of Ethnicity, (Nova Science Publishers, Inc.).

Henrie,Treadwell, Clare Xanthos and Kisha B. Holden, (2012), Social Determinants of Health Among African
American Men, (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.).

Kinsey, Penelope and Delroy Louden, (2013), Health, Ethnicity and Well-Being: An African American
Perspective (Xlibris Corporation).

Lemelle, Anthony J., Wornie Reed and Sandra Taylor, (Eds.), (2011), Handbook of African American Health:
Social and Behavioral Interventions, (Springer New York).

Logan, Sadye, Ramona Denby and Pricilla Gibson, (Eds.), (2014), Mental Health Care in the African American
Community, (Taylor & Francis).

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - `County Health Rankings and Road Maps -
http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2014/03/county-health-rankings-key-findings-
2014.html This report explores national and regional trends and offers an in-depth review of how five featured measures—
children in poverty, college attendance, preventable hospital stays, smoking, and physical inactivity—influence health. The
rankings offer an easy to use snapshot of the overall health for nearly every county in the U.S.

Walker M.D., Marcellus and Kenneth B. Singleton, (2008), Natural Health for African Americas: The Physicians
Guide, (Grand Central Publishing).

Black Doctor - http://blackdoctor.org/


CDC - Office of Minority Health and Health Equity - http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/
Colorado Black Health Collaborative - http://www.coloradoblackhealth.org/cbhc/
Center for African American Health - http://caahealth.org/ - Empowering community to live well. The Center for African
American Health is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the African American community. It provides culturally-
sensitive disease prevention and disease management programs to African Americans in the Denver metro area.
National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities - http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/
2040 Partners for Health - http://www.2040partnersforhealth.org/ -2040 Partners for Health is a Denver non-profit that is a
learning, community facilitating, informing, and assessing community-based research projects, health-related programs, and
relevant policies through a partnership with Northeast Denver Metro Area communities (East Montclair, Park Hill, Northeast Park
Hill, Northwest Aurora, and Stapleton), the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Stapleton Foundation, to
advance the health and healthcare of area residents and employees.

33
POLITICS, PUBLIC POLICY, AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Alweis, Dick, Anita Saunders and the Alice G. Reynolds Memorial Fund, (2007), Rebels Remembered: The Civil
Rights Movement in Colorado, (DVD Video), (Alweis Productions). – Available at Denver Public Libraries.

Caliendo, Stephen M., (2014), Inequality in America: Race, Poverty and Fulfilling America’s Promise, (Westview
Press).

Davis, Angela Y., (2012), The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues, (City Lights Books).

Davis, Townsend, (2014), Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History of the Civil Rights Movement, (Norton,
W.W. & Company, Inc.).

Griffith, Joanne, (Ed.), (2012), Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America, (San
Francisco: City Lights Books).

Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks, (2014), The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the
Republican Party in the Age of Obama, (New York University Press).

Ikard, David and Martell Lee Teasley, (2012), A Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-
Racial America, (Indiana University Press).

Katznelson, Ira, (2013), When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in
Twentieth-Century America, (Norton, W.W. & Company, Inc.).

King, Desmond S., (2013), Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama’s America, (Princeton University
Press).

Lopez, Ian Haney, (2014), Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and
Destroyed the Middle Class, (Oxford University Press).

Morris, Monique, (2014), Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the 21st Century, (The New Press).

Risen, Clay (2014), The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, (Bloomsbury USA).

Roithmayr, Daria, (2014), Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock in White Advantage, (New York
University Press).

The White House, (2011), The President’s Agenda and the African American Community,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/africanamericans

American Civil liberties Union (ACLU) - https://www.aclu.org/ ACLU Colorado - http://aclu-co.org/


Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights - http://www.civilrights.org/
National NAACP - http://www.naacp.org/ NAACP Denver Branch - http://www.naacpdenver.org/
NAACP Aurora Branch - http://www.auroracoloradonaacp.org/membership.html
National Commission on Voting Rights - http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0144
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies - http://www.jointcenter.org/
PolicyLink - http://www.policylink.org/site/c.lkIXLbMNJrE/b.5136441/k.BD4A/Home.htm
The Civil Rights Project - http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/ - Renewing the civil rights movement by bridging the world of ideas
and action. (College access, criminal justice, K-12 education, immigration, metro and regional inequalities)
The Civil Rights Digital Library - http://crdl.usg.edu/?Welcome - Documents America’s struggle for racial equality.
The New Civil Rights Movement - http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/

34
Afterword
ACTION
Action trumps talk every time. Words divide us, actions unite us. Too many of us just
complain about those issues impacting our youth, families, and communities, but too
few of us are committed to action. Many are trapped by a belief that individuals cannot
make a difference. An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than
an idea that exists only as an idea. We must constantly remind our young people of the
importance of giving back to community and being agents of change through their
actions. We must remind them of the need to be proactive rather than simply reactive
and to turn obstacles into opportunities --through the way we live, the adjustments we
make in our lives, and the action we take on issues that really concern us, we can begin
to make a difference.

POSITIVE CHANGE
Change for many is unsettling, but it is one of the only things that we can count on for
certain. The past cannot be changed, but the future is whatever you want it to be if you
are focused, disciplined, and have a positive attitude. The only way we can promote
progress in these difficult times is through a foundation of individuals committed to
positive change and service to our fellow human beings. We believe that we all can be a
part of continuing to move our nation towards and agenda for real positive change in our
economic, political and social life. Ghandi reminded us that “You must be the changes
you wish to see in the world.”

HEALING
There is much to be done to heal our terribly troubled local and global communities.
Faith, hope, love, forgiveness and mutual respect will go a long way in helping to resolve
conflict, communicate across groups lines and to see others perspectives. We will all
have to work together to find joy, energy, and a renewed sense of community in a world
of chaos and confusion.

symbol of the supremacy of God

35