Black community leaders host panel

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COLORADO SPRINGS – A group of Black community leaders hosted a panel on Saturday at Acacia Park to discuss racism in Colorado Springs and across the nation.

The event was put on by two different local women. One Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Colorado Springs a Licensed Professional Counselor. The events Facebook page stated: we have 20 years of experience working in mental health and have witnessed how systemic issues affect access to resources, effective treatment, and interfere with overall wellness.

“We wanted something to happen that wasn’t just in the hype of it all,” Lee Thompson, one of the organizers said.

Six different panelist spoke about a series of topics and also took questions from the crowd.

During the panel the group discussed issues they want to address here in Colorado Springs.

“I’m glad there was a large demographic of white people out here because that is the group that really needs to help facilitate the change,” Thompson said.

According to the events facebook page these were the panelist who spoke:

DR. STEPHANY ROSE SPAULDING: Dr. Spaulding sits as the chair for the Women’s and Ethnic Studies program. Dr. Spaulding’s success in building a dynamic sense of community for herself and others can be seen in the faces of the parishioners attending the Ebenezer Baptist Church where she serves as senior pastor. People of different faiths, ethnic, economic and political backgrounds gather every Sunday to share their challenges and hopes for the future. Dr. Spaulding is a well known advocate and powerhouse in both local and statewide politics.

ASHLEY CORNELIUS, MA, LPCC: Ms. Cornelius is a co-director of Poetry 719, a community poetry organization in Colorado Springs that fosters and supports the freedom of expression through the written and spoken word, focusing on uplifting and celebrating voices of marginalized communities and people of color. Ms. Cornelius is an El Pomar Foundation Fellow, where she learned about grants, nonprofit management, and developing as a young professional. Ms. Cornelius received her Master’s degree in the International Disaster Psychology program at Denver University and is currently working towards becoming a registered poetry therapist.

DR. JAMAL RATCHFORD: Dr. Ratchford is a Professor in the Department of History, and the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies Program. Dr. Ratchford specializes in African American history, sport studies, and twentieth century U.S. history, and his work explores synergies and discontinuities between sport and long black freedom movements. His work has been cited by The Guardian, NPR, and Salon. He has earned fellowships through the National Endowment for the Humanities at Harvard University, and most recently the Kentucky Historical Society.

REGINA GUY-ENGLISH: Ms. Guy-English sits on the Board of Directors for Harrison School District 2. Ms. Guy-English was crowned Mrs. El Paso County and serves as an ambassador for healthy marriages and families as well as inspiring women of all nationalities. Ms. Guy-English is a speaker and supporter for The RISE coalition and has lead community food and toy drives. She is currently running as Mrs. Colorado America.

CHINETA LYNN: Ms. Lynn serves as an advocate and brand ambassador in Colorado for American Descendants of Slavery. Ms. Lynn is a strong community activist, advocating for important issues such as reparations needed to bring equity to our city as well as encouraging and advocating for descendants of slavery to identify their own experience. Ms. Lynn has led several local conversations regarding the radical wealth gaps in our community and is a local singer and artist in Colorado Springs.

NICHOLAS CRUTCHER: Mr. Crutcher is a minister at New Direction Baptist Church as well as a licensed therapist and teacher. Mr. Crutcher is the ceo of Crutcher Cornerstone Ministry Development Corporation, which is a community-building organization, partnering with other organizations such as the Martin Luther King Youth Success Movement and the Pikes Peak Southern Christian Leadership Conference to provide the online Reading Success toolkit to help families grow their children’s reading skills.

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