DUS Celebrates 28th Anniversary with Launch of New Mobile App

In numerology, every number has an inherent meaning, a certain essence. Overall, the numerology number 28 represents a composition containing the ideas of:

The number 28 is synonymous with self-determination; it’s primarily focused on itself, its independence and self-sufficiency, while keeping the welfare of associates in mind, especially those it has close relationships with, according to the website affinitynumerology.com. There’s some attention on building a business. The inherent meaning also contains the ideas of exploring new locations and methods, companionship, diplomacy, business and a powerful initiative.
     How fitting that the Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) is celebrating its anniversary this month, fully embracing all 28 of its years covering communities of color in Denver and beyond. And many members of the community insist it’s marking this milestone embodying all that the number 28 represents.
      “It’s been a labor of love, but we’re so proud to mark yet another year of service to the Denver community,” says publisher and community ambassador Rosalind “Bee” Harris. “We look forward to serving this wonderful, vibrant and amazing community for 28 more years and beyond.”
     Harris is proud to announce that the publication she started with a clear vision nearly 30 years as a platform for “spreading the news about people of color” is commemorating its anniversary with the launch of a custom-designed mobile application created by an African American-owned technology company. The app, she contends, will bring DUS to your smartphone or tablet whenever and wherever you need it to be. “We want our readers to know they can read us wherever they are – on their iPhone, their Android wherever,” she says. “A lot of people are going mobile now; everybody may not be on our website, so this allows us to be wherever you are.”
     In addition to the news and feature stories that readers have come to expect each month, she says, “this is going to provide an opportunity for our audience to connect with those businesses that advertise with us and stay connected to community events and allow them to read about local, national and international news. Even if you’re a fan of the website, now you can take it to another level and go mobile!”

     The DUS app, available at no cost from the app store, was created by the CEOs of Total Reach Technology and Wireless 1,  college buddies Robert Ferguson, a nationally acclaimed fitness guru based out of Los Angeles and his Indiana University classmate Simon Bray, of Indiana. The company recently designed apps for R&B singer Toni Braxton and rap group Wu Tang Clan. “It’s a win-win situation; now reader can follow DUS and easily share the articles with others,” says Ferguson. “You can read the entire magazine – zoom in and zoom out. You can subscribe to and receive the Spectrum’s newsletter and learn about events happening around town.”
     The app features news and feature stories, a community calendar of events and a photo gallery, all easy to read and accessible on mobile devices. “So you can be in the barber’s chair getting a haircut and reading the Spectrum at the same time,” adds Ferguson. “We’re so proud of Bee for staying up with the times. Not having an app in 2015 is like a company not having a website in 2000!”

     Gerie Grimes, president and CEO of the Hope Center pre-school program says the app’s launch is merely a testament to Harris’ innovative leadership and longstanding commitment to the community. “She’s certainly a woman and a Black woman with a vision that she has made a reality based on her own hard work and following her gut,” says Grimes who has also led the Holly Area Redevelopment Project. “Sometimes she’s been standing out there by herself fighting to keep her dream alive. Many times “the establishment”stands in the way of people getting the financial resources necessary to keep things going, but Bee took on the challenge and hasn’t stopped. The reason that the Spectrum is still in existence is because she’s a fighter. She wouldn’t let go of her dream.”
     Grimes, admits that she’s “old school” and will likely stick to reading a hard copy of the publication, but she believes the app will help the Spectrum expand to new audiences. “I think that’s going to work out well for Bee,” she says. “When I think about my grandchildren and others in the upcoming generation, I know it’s going to be a good resource to keep them engaged. They won’t have to wonder about, ‘how do I keep up with the community?’ It’s going to be on their phone!”

     Former DUS Managing Editor and Contributing Copy Editor Tanya Ishikawa could not agree more. “It’s so great to hear that they’re updating themselves with technology; I’m glad they’re taking advantage of it,” she says. “The whole purpose of a community publication is to be accessible and this is just making it that much more accessible to people who want to get their media and information that way. It’ll be interesting to see how community adapts to this new option.”

     Perhaps Pastor Del T. Phillips, president of Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance, sums it up best. “As we look back in history – journalism here in Denver, this is the ‘go-to’ publication for our community,” he says. “For the Urban Spectrum to have lasted 28 years is a signature event. We’ve had other papers that have started here and they have not been able to continue on. I’m glad that we can add the Spectrum to a long list of African American publications that have survived. We’re excited and we look forward to getting the Spectrum to its 50th anniversary.”

Editor’s note: Guest Managing Editor Chandra Thomas Whitfield is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in People, Essence, Ebony and Jet magazines, along with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and on Time.com. The Atlanta Press Club recently named an award-winning feature story she penned for Atlanta Magazine one of “Atlanta’s Top 10 Favorite Stories of the Past 50 Years.