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An Urgent Call To Action

Integration, Equity, Tackling Global Warming Highlighted During Annual GPHC Meeting

By Cara DeGette

Editor, GPHN

Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. board member Blair Taylor, left, with board chair Tracey MacDermott. Taylor is this year’s recipient of the J. Carlton Babbs Award for her work on behalf of the neighborhood. Photo by Tara Bannon Williamson

A call for civility, a nod to the neighborhood’s rich history, and a challenge to harness climate change in our collective backyard were all themes during this year’s Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. annual meeting.

More than 100 attended the Oct. 4 meeting of the Registered Neighborhood Organization, which began with a reminder of Park Hill’s roots in working together. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Park Hill became a national example of integration and resisting blockbusting – the “white flight” that occurred when African American families started moving into neighborhoods that were predominately white.

“[Greater Park Hill Community] worked to integrate this neighborhood and became a national example of what can be,” noted current board chair Tracey MacDermott, addressing the crowd.

“I believe that spirit still lives on in this community. However, we are not without our setbacks. Recently, I have witnessed downright hostility towards members of our community. I know we will not always agree but we certainly can practice civility and honesty. We can try to understand others’ perspectives.

“We can work for a more cohesive neighborhood and find middle ground. Let us be that national example again.”

Jim Kroll, manager of the Western History/Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library, provided an overview of Park Hill’s rich history. Kroll, a longtime Park Hill resident, described the many resources that are available via the DPL, including 80,000 photos online from the Western History Collection.

Kroll was followed by speaker Raj Pandya, director of Thriving Earth Exchange. The organization works with volunteer scientists and community leaders on issues of sustainability. During his speech Pandya described connections between environmentalism and equity, and highlighted a need to tackle global warming at the neighborhood level to begin to affect change on a broader scale.

Several new and returning GPHC, Inc. board members were elected during the annual meeting. They include LaMone Noles (District 1); Heather Shockey (District 3); Blair Taylor (District 5); Jon Bowman (District 7); and Stephanie Ceccato (District 9). Three were elected to at-large seats on the GPHC, Inc. board, including Jeanette Fedele, Nancy Francis and Justin Petaccio. (Click here for a complete listing of GPHC officers and board members.)


Click here for the full story, and additional photos from the annual meeting.

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