Summer. Struggles. Standing Up. Welcome Here.


Although it’s been decades since my own school days, the month of June still sparks the excitement of summer weather and the official end of the school year. When I graduated, I was bumped from the learning phase of life into the earning phase of life. Would June ever be the same?

Thankfully, it has not. It turns out that June owns some interesting history and has marked some significant cultural changes. Here are a few June highlights that I find interesting:

June 1956: The city officials in Santa Cruz, California banned rock & roll at any public gathering, stating that the music is detrimental to the health and the morals of the youth and community at large. Yet-

    In June of 1964, the Rolling Stones began their first concert tour, gathering massive crowds that were not comprised of moral degenerates. And June of 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the US; it remains the top selling album in the UK. So far, we’ve not suffered societal destruction through moral decay. Times changed, and minds changed.

June 1963: Alabama Governor, George Wallace blocked black students from entering the University of Alabama. Yet-

    June 1967 saw the first black justice to sit on the US Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall. He served for twenty-five years, resolving some of the most complex legal issues in the country. Women and young girls were not encouraged to pursue work in the technical field. But when Sally Ride made history in June of 1983 as the first woman in space, we changed our thinking about female potential in science. Justice changed, and again, minds changed.

So how do we create more positive social and cultural change and limit the events that put blemishes on our history? For one thing, we need to listen more and talk less. Vera Nazarian once said, “Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.”

If we let just a small number of loud voices drown out other voices, we’ll end up with a pretty boring, monotonous dirge. We learn nothing in an echo chamber, so let’s listen more, and open the door to other perspectives. Here are a couple life experiences to lean into on CPT12 this June:

    Sunday, June 23 at 7:00 pm on 12.1
    The story of three United States veterans struggling to adapt to life back home. All three suffered from PTSD, and with greater awareness of mental health challenges and resources, each has found hope and new ways to handle their stress and emotional challenges through the aid of a companion dog.
    Wednesday, June 26 at 8:00 pm on 12.1

    In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians to be a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service. Over the next four decades, tens of thousands of government workers lost their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation. But the actions of the government had an unintended effect – they inadvertently helped ignite the gay rights movement.

We tip our hat to the renegades and the change makers who open our minds to a more diverse chorus and to new verses. Each one of us has the capacity for creating a more just and a more tolerant world. Own it, and use it wisely.

Kim Johnson
President & General Manager

P.S. We’re very excited about our new series, STREET LEVEL: STARTUPS, which tells the stories of Colorado’s vibrant startup scene. Check it out at