Quincy • Founder, Ski Noir 5280

Quincy, dean of students at DSST Middle School, was born and raised in Denver and has witnessed the Park Hill neighborhood transition from “hood” to urban suburb. Like many Coloradans, Quincy loves winter sports activities, which is why he founded Ski Noir 5280, an organization that is passionate about getting more African Americans on the Rocky Mountain slopes. He’s a public speaker at Quintessential Remedy and works at his local house of faith, New Hope Baptist Church. Here’s what Quincy shared with me about his experiences in Denver.

What does it mean to you to be black in Denver?

To be black in Denver is to understand othering in a way that often seems to highlight differences and similarities. We make up such a small percentage of the overall state population, so being black in Denver means to be placed in sometimes uncomfortable situations like having to represent both myself and the entire race. To be black in Denver is to feel the cultural ramifications of gentrification while also embracing those who don’t know what the black community was like because they moved here after its transition; and those holding on to the past who still claim Park Hill or 5 Points as being their “hood” without seeing it as the new urban suburb. To be black in Denver is unique, beautiful, and brings a responsibility to train up the next generation.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

With the beauty of the Rocky Mountains in our back yard, what I love most about living in Denver is the access it brings to beautiful scenery and outdoor activities.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

Growing up in an area that was considered the “hood” gave me a unique lens on Denver. I was plugged into the black community in a way that masked our low percentage. I went to private schools and have lived in a number of areas that helped me to understand this place I call home more than most. My experiences helped me to stand out while also seeing why so many found safety in hiding in the crowds. They taught me to stand up for my beliefs and know my voice matters.

If you’re interested in hitting the slopes with Ski Noir 5280 this winter, join the community! Gatherings are held regularly at Boney’s BBQ on Champa. Find more information here.