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DOTI's Heritage Events Series Celebrates Black History

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is working to cultivate a richer workplace environment for its employees with a series of events that encourage celebration of the city’s diverse culture and rich heritage.

At a February 27 gathering at New Hope Baptist Church, DOTI celebrated the many cultures and heritages of the African American community.

Guest speaker Maurice Wade spoke about being one of the few African American cowboys in Denver, while DOTI’s Rolf Eisinger discussed the life and career of professional cyclist Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor.  Community leaders Sean Crump, Dedrick Simms and Ryan Ross followed to discuss important topics such as awareness, education and career opportunities for members of the African American community.

Vocalists Edna Robinson, Katesha Campbell and Nova Robinson-Labadie sang two inspiring selections, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome” and the program concluded with spirited dance performances by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy and Joda & Friends African Drumming and Dance Ensemble.  It was quite a sight to see the entire DOTI family clapping and dancing around the room!

The first celebration of Black History Month took place in 1970 at Kent State University.  Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial.