brother jeff (detailed)
A native of Northeast Denver, Jeff S. Fard, better known as brother jeff, is a multimedia journalist, cultural and community organizer, and entrepreneur. He frequents the national lecture circuit speaking to youth, students, social organizations, and professionals about issues including cultural identity and history, diversity, self-empowerment, community building, economic development, and the uniting power of art. A seasoned and deeply committed grassroots organizer, brother jeff has been a key coordinator for a wide array of national events and movements that seek to uplift and heal, including the national Stop the Killing Tour, the Million Man March, and more. He has worked closely with some of the nation’s leading activists, scholars, and organizers including Dick Gregory, Mauala Karenga (founder of Kwanzaa), Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Lenora Fulani, and Kwame Ture (aka: Stokely Charmichael) to name a few.
In 1994 he founded brother jeff’s Cultural Center & Café—located in the historic Five Points District in Northeast Denver—a space committed to fostering growth, strength, and voice in the community. These ends are achieved through the exploration of visual and performing arts, celebrations, and programs that inform and enrich people’s lives. The Cultural Center’s Award-Winning Open-Mic Poetry Set has been at the center of the growing national cultural arts movement and has hosted such literary notables as Amiri Baraka, Jessica Care Moore, Kevin Powell, Sonia Sanchez, and Haki Madhabuti. The Center has also born the dynamic cast and production of Ego Trippin’, a program that fuses poetry, jazz, hip-hop, dance, and music in an exploration of pivotal social issues and ills. Committed to youth, the Cultural Center also sponsors an annual free summer lunch program for area children, providing sustenance, support, enrichment and fun for young people during the summer. The center hosts a variety of special events and celebrations that serve to ground community throughout the year including Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, and Black History Month activities.
brother jeff has also been successful in bringing organizations and service providers into Five Points. This work has been most clearly epitomized in the 1999 establishment of the Fard Building, a facility located in the heart of the Points that houses various human service programs such as Out For Life Colorado, the Colorado Hip-Hop Coalition, NKM2, and the Five Points Community Mobilization Project. These organizations have chosen to be based in Five Points and are currently providing programming addressing HIV/AIDS, prisons, youth services, mental health, drug and alcohol counseling, etc. in the neighborhood and beyond.
In 2000, brother jeff began organizing nationally to help reduce the disproportionate HIV and AIDS rate in the African-American Community. He developed, brother jeff’s Community Health Initiative and successfully convened his first annual "Pro-Active 4 A Change: HIV/AIDS African-American Community Conference" which is the first of it’s kind and attracted participation from leading local, national and international experts relating to this twenty-year old, 100% preventable disease.
brother jeff publishes 5 POINTS NEWS, a monthly publication, distributed at various cultural events, conferences, seminars, and meetings. Designed with a desire to keep the community connected and informed, 5 POINTS NEWS has become a useful resource for individuals and groups wanting to share and learn more about community-based organizations, businesses, services and influential leaders.
He received an honorary doctorate in humanities from the Denver Institute of Urban Studies and numerous awards including the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity "Citizen of the Year 2000" award, The Denver Foundation "Judy Kaufman" award, The Colorado Black Women for Political Action "On The Move" award, The Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, The Shades of Genius Community Health Leadership Award, The ACE AIDS Coalition for Education Award.
brother jeff is a member of Center for African American Health, and was a past board chair of the Denver Foundation and has served on the Denver Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, the Denver Public Library African American Research Library Advisory Committee, the Facing History and Ourselves Advisory Board, the Denver Kwanzaa Committee and the North City Park Neighborhood Association.