Hundreds Gather to Discuss Gentrification — and Criticize Denver’s Response — at Summit

Shorter Community AME Church was nearly packed to the brim on Saturday, January 13, when several hundred Denverites congregated there for a six-hour summit to discuss Denver’s response to gentrification. Sparked by the Ink! Coffee controversy, the summit represented more than a month’s worth of planning by a new coalition of community groups and activists called Denver Community Action Network, or Denver CAN.

Reverend Timothy Tyler kicked off the summit with a rousing speech. “Gentrification is a social-justice issue,” he said. “Whenever you have an organized plan to destroy a historical community and drive out ordinary people in the name of progress, that’s a social-justice issue.”

Following Tyler’s remarks, attendees heard from a variety of local organizers — including Lisa Calderón, Candi CdeBaca and Kayvan Khalatbari — and then had the option of participating in various breakout sessions on topics that included affordable housing, cultural conservation and encouraging socially conscious businesses.

Signs outside of the gentrification summit.

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