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February 2020 | Magazine Issue

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Read our latest edition of our Magazine, released in February 2020, featuring over 200 people and businesses from throughout Colorado.

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Blair Caldwell Research Library

Nestled in the heart of Denver’s historic and ethnically vibrant Five Points district, the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library has, for seventeen years, been serving the community as a reserve of Black history archives. 

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Nate Sheppard | Aeonik Threads

Our clothing brand is designed to inspire. We’ve committed to making clothes to inspire and encourage people forever. That’s my motto, no matter what you know, your story is your story. So be proud and tell it.

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Tivoni Brundage

. I want to make a statement with my artwork in a way people can see and feel; artwork that’s blatant and in your face. When it comes to doing business with other people, my main thing is helping other people to heal.

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Kailani Dobson | Dance

Kailani Dobson is a local installation artist with a background in movement-based works and a love for film and textiles. She is passionate about making dance more accessible by taking performances off the stage and exclusively performing in galleries and public spaces.

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Ralph McCoy | PHF Designs

Ralph McCoy of PHF Design is a freelance Graphic Designer and photographer that has an extreme passion for helping small business brand themselves. It all started back in 2006 when he design his first logo for a billiards company. The idea of desiging something from notes taking from client and a blanks sheet of paper. I felt designing was something new and exciting, it gave me chills, those chills soon would turn into my passion! Natively from Kansas City, Mo , he now lives in Fountian, Co. Networking and attending MBC events has allow him to connect with small business and grow his business even more!

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Rebecca Vanterpool

At the age of 8 my son wanted to learn how to flip. After researching some we came across Capoeira. After 6 months of training it was time for Batizado or ranking ceremony. Seeing the the beautiful movements performed at a higher level inspired me to join as well. During my 12 years training I was introduced to Samba and other wonderful dances of the Afro Brazilian culture. Intrigued by the quick step, hip movement and percussions, I was hooked.

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Porshaca Stokes

Upcoming Author for 2020. Her genres include Fantasy, suspense, fiction and self help. Her passion for storytelling with her son fostered her first publishing creation “Omni”. A  book series for children. Her enjoyment of mystery and the unknown propels the new author to share her stories with the world. 

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Theo Wilson

Theo Wilson is a founding member of the Denver Slam Nuba team, who won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He began his speaking career in the N.A.A.C.P. at the age of 15 and has always had a passion for social justice.

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Stephanie “Just A Vessel” James

Stephanie James, also known as “Just A Vessel,” is a poet, singer, speaker, and event host. Originally from Colorado Springs, CO, she graduated from Sierra High School and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

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Porsha Stuckey | The Lovely Rebel

Lovely Rebel is a very soulful and intentionally provocative spoken word poet who believes, “people connect to realness.” Formerly Mz. Skribble, a novice yet formidable poet groomed in Atlanta, GA, the artist has been writing and performing captivating poetry for over a decade. 

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Tanya Salih

Violinist and singer/songwriter Tanya Salih, known simply as Zanib, sings with a voice imbued with pride for one’s cultural heritage

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Acuna Black

Acuna Black formerly known as Ill Se7en, another longtime MC and advocate for social progress, is an unrelenting force of message and substance.

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Ebenezer Yebuah

Ghana-born singer Ebenezer Yebuah, known by his stage name Mawule, began his musical journey at church. Propelled by human connection and empowerment,

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Jawai Williams

Jawai Williams is a senior at Widefield High School with a 3.0 GPA.   Her favorite subject is science due to all the theory and creativity in that field.  Jawai is a phenomenal vocalist who has received a multitude of awards for her accomplishments.  She is currently exploring several HBCUs and would like to obtain a degree in Nursing and minor in music.  Her ultimate dream is to become a singer.

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Rodney Gullatte Jr. | Firma IT Solutions

As a leading expert in Managed IT Services and Cybersecurity for business, Firma IT Solutions offers a comprehensive solution to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your business data. With operations in Key West, FL and Colorado Springs, CO, we are able to create jobs and provide opportunities to the new cyber workforce to better protect local businesses and consumer data.

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Ronnie Haskins | Autosearch USA

Ronnie started in the auto industry in 1993 – selling cars at a dealership in Minnesota.  After 5 years he realized he wanted to offer his clients something more…  He really wanted to offer a solution to people’s needs instead of selling them a car that day.  Becoming a broker has given him the opportunity to be unbiased about any car, and helpful to people.  

In 1998 Ronnie joined AutoSearch USA, and eventually bought the Southern Colorado franchise in 2007.  “I love what I do!  I like to help people, and I am looking forward to helping you!”

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Sammie Blaque | Hypnotherapist & Yoga Instructor

The Venus Collective is a community of women on a mission to empower our community to live holistically. We believe that when a woman is empowered, awakened, and liberated, she can impact her community in an extremely positive way. We believe this world can get better through an army of empowered and awakened women.

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Beverley Besha | Single Parenting

My name is Beverly Besha. I am a 41-year-old single parent who enjoys parenting seven amazing children. My children are ages 22, 17, 16, 18, 13, 11, and 10. I own a business in the social service industry in Milwaukee, and in West Allis, Wisconsin; I’m also pursuing my doctoral degree in Public Policy with a focus on Social Policy. I currently hold a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management & Leadership, and a BS in Human Services with a Criminal Justice Concentration.

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Pelinda Latimer | Coming To America

I grew up in this little farm in Kenya that our family took care of. We took care of the goats and cows. We didn’t go anywhere else. If you go to different places, they don’t speak your language, and we didn’t have a vehicle to go places. Our community had a couple of vehicles that were used if there was something significant, like going to the hospital. But we never left our community except to go to walk to school

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Sparks Mindset | Lawrence Wagner

At Sparks Mindset, our vision is to help break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness in underrepresented communities. Our mission is to spark opportunity by increasing access to transformative technology careers.

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Jerome Ford | Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition

I’m the program director for the Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition non-profit agency. We focus on housing homeless veterans and helping them through substance abuse treatment with the VA. Providing transitional shelter for them as they go through the treatment for substance abuse.

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Alicia Coleman | Accountant & Financial Advisor

If you’re going to hire a CPA or an accounting firm, listen to ideas and suggestions, so you know what the “soup smells like”, because not all things are going to be a good fit your business, but it will also bring awareness to fraud scams that could cost you your business.

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Dr. Lauren Penn | Chiropractor Care

Lauren Penn has been healing people for more than twenty-five years. She was born with an innate gift to quickly discern the root cause of a person’s ailments and devise an effective plan of care to cure and restore them.

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Stanley F. Gbandawa | T. Rowe Price

I’m a pre-implementation manager with T Rowe Price. I’m responsible for assisting our sales team with presenting our  service offering to institutional clients ranging in assets from 25 million to two or three billion dollars in assets.

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Stephane Wallace | T. Rowe Price

I most like the sense of community on our team.  As a hybrid team comprised of members in varying roles and located in two sites, we do a great job of building camaraderie and banding together to take care of our clients.

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Jeff Fard | Multimedia Journalist

Jeff  S.  Fard,  Colorado  native,  known  as  Brother  Jeff,    is a multimedia journalist, historian, and community organizer. Fard is a national speaker to youth, students, social organizations, and professionals. There are a vast amount of topics Fard speaks on like cultural identity and history, diversity, self-empowerment, community building, economic development, health disparities, and the uniting power or art. Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center, founded in 1994, is located in the historic Five Points District of Northeast Denver. It was a space established for nurturing growth, strength, and develop the voice of the community. Brother Jeff is also a publisher and editor of the award-winning monthly publication 5 Points News.

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Ace Entertainment

Ace Entertainment was founded in 1979, in Detroit, Michigan also known as The Motor City, the home of Motown Music, and the Automotive Capital of the World!

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Latisha Hardy | Dance & Company

“I am a professional dancer, and I own a studio. I teach anywhere from beginner level to pre-professional adult dancers in various styles of Latin dances. We are getting more into pop and more traditional dances like ballet, modern, Brazilian and break dancing. The overall goal is to diversify the curriculum to give people a wide range of body movement. I also host social events around town so people can have fun, practice what they’re learning and also be social, hanging out and making new friends.”

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Tina Adams | Author

Tina Adam’s passion for writing began when she was a young girl writing for her high school newspaper. Since then, she has authored and co-authored three books to include her best-seller, “Out of Darkness.” Her next book, “Woman at The Well: Laugh, Love and God,” will be released in early 2020. Ms. Adams has always loved writing and sharing messages that God would give her through the written word. She began freelance editing in 2019, and soon after launched her editing company, Inkwell Edits. Her heart is rooted in helping people produce well-written works of art by ensuring their messages shine through without textual errors. Her repertoire is vast. She possesses expertise in copy-editing, as well as composing articles and book blurbs.

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Cynthia Camble | Author & Publisher

I am an unique visionary to bring your written project to life. With 20 years of Document and Information Management experience to include working in the Government, Non Profit, and Private sectors the power of the written word has always been my great passion.

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Brenda Jones | Author

A prolific writer. She is also a spiritual entrepreneur/business owner who ministers in the marketplace which helps to establish and host the Presence of God and bring healing to the body, soul and spirit of the people. She resides in Colorado Springs with her husband and her four Children.

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Natalie Sharp | Poet

Natalie Sharp is a Black writer, dancer, and activist from Savannah, GA, and based in Denver, CO. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing

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Kylee C | Poet

Kylee is a Denver based poet, visual, and performance artist who works with non-profit organizations to create healing through art.

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Rosenna Bakari

Dr. Bakari is an author, advocate, and scholar. She is a role model for those whose life experiences have been steeped in challenges of oppression.

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Cicely Okain | R&B/Soul/Pop

Cicely O’Kain is an artist in every since of the word. A free spirit who uniquely expresses her artistry through music, design, poetry and a sheer appreciation for life. Her infectious sound and style appeals to all when she’s center stage. Inspired by the sounds of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Chaka Kahn, and many other R & B legends. Her style is an eclectic mix of R&B and soul with whimsical twist. She’s vibrant and keeps her audiences entertained with her endearing stage presence.

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Harold Rapp III | Saxophonist

Harold Rapp III was born in New Orleans as a second generation PK (Preacher’s Kid) and was raised in the church. His love for the sax came at age 10 and he started his career as a performer by 12.

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The Reminders | Hip Hop/Folk

The reminders are a reggaae fusion group made up of Big Samir & Asia Black. They have been performing artist and a a couple for over a decade. They have released 2 albums and have toured all around the world. They are one of the premier music groups out of Colorado Springs.

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Kid Astronaut | Singer & Songwriter

KID ASTRONAUT is an artist, dreamer, visionary and creator.   He was recently a featured artist at TedxBoulder, his music was featured on 303 Music Volume 2 a compilation album from 303 Magazine and he’s played stages from music festivals to venues in London, England.  

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Wes Watkins | Singer

“I strive to use my music to encourage people to experience the individual. I believe if you can acknowledge and accept the entirety of yourself you will find perspective in your perception of others. No matter housing status, economic status, race, gender, political association, etc. In our quickly changing world I make music to create inclusive neighborhood, because the best change supports connection to community. “

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Alpha The Musical | Acoustic

I’ve always felt like my life is the plot for a musical and the only one who could write the score was me. I love talking to people through music because it allows for us to share a moment.

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Hott | Melvin Shaw | Hip Hop

Hailing from the bitterly cold surroundings of Syracuse, New York, comes a new emcee whose musical conviction is dedicated both to new and old generations of underground Hip-Hop fans alike. Utilizing a bevy of weapons in a ceaseless lyrical arsenal, HOTT engages his listeners with poignant rhymes that reflect on topics that range from politics to the ever-present struggle presented toward the oppressed in America and abroad

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DJ Cavem | Hip Hop Health Activist

From an early age DJ Cavem has had a deep connection to environmental activism and food justice. Raised in Denver’s Five Points district, often referred to as the Harlem of the West, his interest for gardening and hip hop helped him resist the snares of gang lifestyle. Becoming vegan at age 14, he said he felt a calling to speak about these issues in his songs, “especially since most of the neighborhoods considered food deserts were people of color.”

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Json Martin | Producer

What I’ve done is taken my music theory knowledge, my sound engineering knowledge, my photography and videography knowledge and kind of combined it together to create a real high-end finished product.

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Kennedy Pugh | Actor & Educator

An esteemed member of the vocal music and theatrical community in Pueblo, Kennedy is a Pueblo County High graduate with degrees in music, theatre and speech and has toured the country as a professional performing in musical theatre  Broadway runs. Kennedy’s professional career spans years of performing on such significant stages as the Virginia Stage Company, Lyric Stage and New Rep in Boston, Waterfront Playhouse in Key West, and the Denver Center and Arvada Center to name a few. Nominated for the Denver Post Ovation Award, his talents are vast and varied as a ‘triple threat.’

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Marisa Herbert | Actress

A Colorado Springs native who studied Theatre and Women’s Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. Marisa is an actor, director, and playwright, as well as an active member of the Colorado Springs theatre community. She has worked with the Fine Art Center, Millibo Art Theatre, TheatreWorks, Springs Arts Ensemble, and StarBar.

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Cherish Evans | Actress

I’ve always had such a bright personality. So my parents just kind of threw me into voice lessons and then I had a vocal teacher who also taught drama and then I kind of just knew after that.

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donnie l betts | Actor & Director

donnie l. betts is an Emmy Award winner filmmaker, 4 time CABJ award winning radio journalist and Broadway performer. He is a founding member of two theatre companies in Denver, City Stage Ensemble and Denver Black Arts Company.

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Abner Grenece | Actor

I am Abner Genesee and am a local actor, director, teacher, artist, father, Storyteller here in the Denver area. I am a member of Actors Equity Association.

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Maya Hastings | Actress

Maya Hastings has been performing as an actor since she was in elementary school via in-school educational arts programs. She played multiple characters, including Belinda Cratchit, in Theatreworks’ production of A Christmas Carol in 2018.  She also draws and plays violin and ukulele. She is a freshman in Palmer High School’s International Baccalaureate Program. She also participates in Speech and Debate. She loves Musical Theatre and hopes to pursue a career in either Performing Arts or History. 

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Lynne Hastings | Actor

As Interim Artists Director of Theatreworks, until late 2019, and with over 20 years of experience in theatre, Lynne Hastings has impacted many around her with her enthusiasm for the arts.

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Jordan Johnson | J Angel Visuals

Jordan Johnson of J Angel Visuals LLC is a freelance videographer/photographer that has an extreme passion for cinema and the art of photography. It all started back in 2013 when he picked up and saw the GoPro action camera. The idea of shooting and editing was something new and exciting and ever since then he has been able to grow in the art form of photography and grow into a full-time photographer/videographer. Natively from Colorado Springs, he now lives in Denver, Co in order to grow his business even more!

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Danielle Trina Photography

I’m in love with images and how images can tell the story of a person. Images are a universal language, they can speak to anyone. I want my images to make you stop, stare, and experience the same

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Dre Lamar Photography

My name is Andre’ and I am a photographer located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I enjoy photography because I like to bring out the best in each and every person that I photograph, from all range of ages. What makes me different from others is my passion for encompassing my clients vision, and really collaborating on concepts for the shoot.

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Brother Jeff’s Picks

Jeff  S.  Fard,  Colorado  native,  known  as  Brother  Jeff,    is a multimedia journalist, historian, and community organizer. Fard is a national speaker to youth, students, social organizations, and professionals. There are a vast amount of topics Fard speaks on like cultural identity and history, diversity, self-empowerment, community building, economic development, health disparities, and the uniting power or art. Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center, founded in 1994, is located in the historic Five Points District of Northeast Denver. It was a space established for nurturing growth, strength, and develop the voice of the community. Brother Jeff is also a publisher and editor of the award-winning monthly publication 5 Points News.

Read More »

Frank Sinclair | Growing Your Business Through Networking

“Ever thought, I could really use some help navigating the muddy waters of business? Coaching is ridiculously expensive and rarely have true measurements. Dream Again is the answer!! We offer coaching that is about you and for you. It guides you through your story to uncover your destiny. And the sliding scale payment system prevents more discouragement from payment distress.” – Frank Sinclair

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Kevin C. Mitchell | Author

Kevin C. Mitchell is a community activist, emcee, and poet. As Executive Director of the Empowerment Solidarity Network, he works to lift up Families of Color and other marginalized groups throughout Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Luchals Catering | A Burst Of Flavor

Chef Luchal aspires to become a major chain throughout the state of Colorado and United States. She plans to dedicate a percentage of her proceeds to a second endeavor; a program for troubled youth who have a passion for cooking.

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Caffeinated Cow | Coffee, Ice Cream & Smiles

Caffeinated Cow is a coffee and ice cream shop. They’ve created a friendly neighborhood location where members of the community may gather for fun or relaxation. Customers rave that the level of customer service is no less than stellar. Their ice cream and coffee selections are perfectly paired to create sensational flavoring. Caffeinated Cow eagerly invites you to visit soon. The best part about their establishment is you!

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Pikes Peak Perk | Great Community & Service

Marc and Elary, opened Pikes Perk with a goal to cultivate an environment where conversations are started, and new friends are made. Marc is a veteran with 24 years of service, they affectionately refer to Pikes Perk as a veteran-owned establishment. Both are also employed as physician assistants but their dedication to Pikes Perk never wanes. They strive to maintain a business of which the community can be proud and rely on for great service and appetizing entrees.

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Spice Island Grill | Serving Jamaica’s Favorite Dishes

Spice Island Grill is a homey eatery that serves some of Jamaica’s favorite dishes, vegetarian items, wines, and liquors. Proud owner and master chef Ellen Skeets has devised a menu of delicious entrées. Each selection is a special, perfectly seasoned, delight. To consume them, is to be whisked away to an ambiance likened to the island itself.
From the gracious service to the charming atmosphere, Spice Island Grill strives to provide a spectacular dining experience. On the weekends D.J. Smithy fills the room with music from the islands. Come in for a delicious Latin American meal, and the best Caribbean cuisine Colorado Springs has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!

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English Dockside | The Best Seafood Around

English Dockside is the best fresh seafood restaurant in Colorado Springs which also serves fantastic burgers, ribs, and steaks. Don’t just take our word for it, read the online reviews.
Since 2005, English Dockside has consistently won the “Best of Colorado Springs” award. Their signature dishes include Blue Crab Gumbo, Clam Chowder, Alaskan King Salmon, and Chilean Sea Bass. Their menu has succulent dishes for every palette. English Dockside invites you to come, eat heartily and drink deeply. Come see for yourself what the critics already know!

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Rion Evans | A Comedian For Everyone

Rion Evans has been making people laugh for fifteen years. Initially, he did not pursue comedy, it found him when he accepted a job as a D.J., at a comedy club in Los Angeles. His position afforded him the opportunity to rub shoulders with numerous comedians who headlined at the club; and to his enjoyment, made them laugh! It was then, Evans realized he had a gift. Even as an amateur, his talent was formidable. “I started to realize I could obtain that same power they possessed on stage.”

Since this realization, Evans has steadily climbed his way to headlining and appearing at some of the nation’s top comedy clubs, networks, and festivals: BET’s One Mic Stand, Laugh Out Loud Network, Bill Bellemy’s Who’s Got Jokes?, and the Mo’Nique Show to name a few. “Being undeniable” and “making laughter the only option” are two philosophies Evans lives by. Evans continues to entertain, inspire, and delight audiences around the world.

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Robert Houston | Black Pegasus

Robert Houston II, commonly known as Black Pegasus throughout the music industry, is a Hip-Hop artist based in Colorado Springs. He is the current president and CEO of Brass Knuckle Entertainment. Mr. Houston considers himself a pioneer artist after contributing more than nineteen years to his craft. Having achieved nine Studio albums including Black Pegasus, Black by Popular Demand, and The Black Mexican, the Hip-Hop pioneer shows no sign of slowing down. After twenty years he has accomplished a diverse portfolio inclusive of music production, local and national concert performances, numerous music videos, collaborations, mixed tapes, and even voice-over acting! Mr. Houston owns his own studio, also located in Colorado Springs; a milestone he attributes to his ever-expanding platform. “I used to make a lot of money just being an artist, but my platform has grown, and I’ve been able to take advantage of that to make a living.”

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Poetry 719 | New Faces

Poetry  719   supports   the   freedom of self-expression through the spoken and written word. They  strive  to  network  with local and neighboring  communities  to  provide a forum wherein more diverse voices can be heard, validated, and celebrated. Phillip Curtis founded the organization. Together with Christopher Beasley and Ashley Cornelius, they sponsor enriching open mic events that reflect the experiences of the diverse community that surrounds them.

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Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding | Gaining Momentum

Born on Chicago’s Southside in 1978, her family and her faith community played important roles in the formation of her core beliefs. Her day-to-day life centers upon the charge to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8.) One result of this is her firm belief that what we really need in government are people willing to sacrifice and treat others right, and with respect.

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Tony Exum Sr. | Representative for House District 17

A Community Servant For Over 40 Years.

As a retired Battalion Chief of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, Tony dedicated his life to making our community safer. Now as our state representative, Tony has continued to serve with passion and commitment. fighting for families to earn higher wages, receive quality healthcare, and give their kids a better education. Going forward, Tony believes that in the wealthiest nation in the world, working families shouldn’t have to struggle. It’s time for a Colorado that’s good for the many.

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