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February 25, 2015   |   by Michael Bennet

Remembering Regis Groff Black History Month draws to a close, our thoughts keep returning to Regis Groff, a giant in our community who we lost last October. Regis was many things to many people. To his students he was Mr. Groff. To his constituents, he was Senator Groff. To those he mentored, he was Regis. He was the glue that held us together. Educators, Rockies fans, jazz aficionados, political junkies, we all had something in common with Regis. We felt special because we shared something with Regis.

Regis' legacy is the many people he mentored. Countless stories were shared at his memorial service in October from elected leaders, members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, which he founded, and former students who remembered his classroom presence and his personal interest in their lives. He taught us that our work is never finished. We can take a break every now and again, as he did to catch an occasional baseball game. But we always have more work to do for our community and for our causes.

Regis was the person we strive to be. And he lived and worked with grace, courage, elegance, and humor. The best way to honor Regis' life is to continue his work. Let's close achievement gaps that harm our children's opportunity for a bright future; let's remedy income disparities that plague minority communities across the state; and let's reform our justice system so that everyone is treated fairly in our legal process. Let's make Colorado a better-educated, safer and more diverse state from grassroots to grass tops.

Finally, let's honor leaders like Regis Groff who paved the way -- not just during Black History Month, but all year long.


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