Denver Urban Spectrum celebrates our 30th Anniversary with a year of celebrations. Please join us!
Denver Urban Spectrum
Denver Urban Spectrum  was launched 30 years ago, in April 1987. Called the Denver Journal for three issues it was soon changed to the Urban Spectrum. Later, it became the Denver Urban Spectrum, spreading the news about people of color. The first year featured Native American, Asian, Latino and African American women. Singer James Van Buren became the first man to be featured on the cover.

Since its inception, the goal of the Denver Urban Spectrum has been to inform, inspire and entertain. True to its mission, each issue has been filled with award-winning stories and photography featuring politics, social issues, health and wellness, business, education, entertainment, religion, women’s history, black history, African news, and local perspectives on major national events. From gang violence to hurricane Katrina and the first Black President of the United States, the Spectrum has never shied away from any significant topic, recording the hopes, dreams and worries of the day.

Over the past three decades, several hundred contributors have helped create 360 newspapers plus several special publications. A long line of editors, writers, graphic designers, photographers, marketing sales consultants and distribution clerks both contributed as well as advanced their talents and careers in the pages of the Spectrum.

An integral part of the community, Denver Urban Spectrum has continuously drawn its strength from the people. Sponsoring events and supporting organizations has always been at the forefront for its community-driven activities.   
Denver Urban Spectrum has served as a voice for the voiceless in communities of color, and has always been operated by the belief in helping and supporting those who can’t help or support themselves. 

The devastating tragedy of Katrina effected many people in New Orleans who were transported and relocated to cities in other parts of the country. One of those cities was Denver where many of the evacuees were welcomed and helped by the community. Denver Urban Spectrum hosted Spectrum of Hope, an all-day festival and a holiday open house in their honor, providing food, clothing, health information, phone cards and gift cards.  

In conjunction with the Cherry Creek Mall, Denver Urban Spectrum hosted two years of the Me and The Dream Exhibit and Program, a Black History Month event featuring photos and historic records from the life and times of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as presentations and celebrations of contemporary African American leaders.

The most gratifying achievement over the years has been the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation, which organized summer journalism programs for more than 250 youth participated since 2001. Through these two to seven week long camps, local teenagers have received mentoring in writing, editing, photography, graphic design, sales and marketing, business development, and leadership. From these experiences, many of the camp graduates have pursued careers in journalism including photography, reporting, public relations, and broadcasting. The last couple years of the camp have continued through a partnership with Big Hair, Bigger Dreams, focused on helping young ladies discover and pursue their creative and career dreams.

Denver Urban Spectrum and Bee have been recognized over and over again for the important role in successfully recording black history in real time for Colorado. With pride and a sense of obligation, the publisher has been honored by diverse organizations for the achievements of the newspaper and its staff. Credit goes to many people. 

In addition to the contributions from freelance writers, editors and photographers, the award-winning stories could not have been told without the cooperation of the newsmakers and the many people who were willing to open up about their work, volunteerism, creative pursuits and families. It is with extreme gratitude that Denver Urban Spectrum staff and publisher have listened and recorded the communities’ stories on our pages over three challenging yet rewarding decades.