Power in Our Voices: The Know Justice, Know Peace Story

© 2021 RootED. All Rights Reserved

The story of four Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College students whose life-changing trip to the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. altered their views on the history curriculum being taught in Denver Public Schools. These remarkable young women launched a movement to impact change for all students. Their work included the creation of a virtual podcast and policy changes through the Denver Board of Education.

Facilitator’s Guide

A reflective tool for Power in Our Voices: The Know Justice Know Peace. This facilitator’s guide offers potential focus areas with inquiry questions for discussion, which facilitators can use, adapt, or simply take inspiration from, based on desired outcomes with their audience. It provides specific steps to help you prepare your event, facilitate well and continually improve.

Inspire Innovative Action

Inspire change in your school community by:

Expressing your voice ↗

Sign up for Public Comment at an upcoming DPS Board of Education Meeting.

Building a relationship with your district Board of Education director ↗

Connect with your local board member/ or at-large board member to share your idea. See Resources for more information about your local representative.

Advocating for School-Based Decision Making ↗

Explore the various types of school models in DPS and how you can engage.

Engaging in  your school community ↗

Get a Volunteer, join family and parent groups, seek out advisory boards.

Engage with community-led advocacy groups ↗

View list of community-led groups founded by RootED Denver.

Resources

  • Where can I listen to the DMLK Podcast: Know Justice Know Peace The Take?

    Visit the DMLK Know Justice Know Peace YouTube channel: Know Justice Know Peace The Take – YouTube

  • How do I contact the Denver Board of Education?
    • About the Board | Board of Education (dpsk12.org) The DPS Board of Education website provides contact information and bios for each of the seven board members (five representatives for the five districts and two at-large members.
    • District maps: These show the boundaries of each of the five board districts. You can click on a map to see which district you are in and who your board representative is.
    • Lists of schools: These have lists of schools in each board district. You can click on a representative’s name and district to see who represents your student’s school or which district your student’s school is in.
  • What does the Denver Public Schools Board of Education do?
    • The school board is a group of seven volunteer elected  members from the community who are elected into office by Denver voters. Their duties include:
      • Establishing a vision and strategic plan for the district
      • Hiring and overseeing the superintendent
      • Setting the yearly budget
      • Approving contracts for teachers and outside vendors
      • Expanding the district and/or closing schools
    • School board members are elected to four year terms and scheduled to meet 1-2 times per week throughout the year. Each month, they have four types of meetings:
      • Work session meetings are when board members receive training or get introduced to new initiatives. This is a time for the board to deliberate on resolutions before they are finalized and voted upon. 
      • Focus on Achievement meetings center on how the board and DPS is prioritizing growth in academics.
      • Finance and Audit Committee meetings are designed to make sure the board is focused on the budget and managing contracts. 
      • Regular School Board Meetings with Public Comment are when the board votes on resolutions and the public can share testimony on topics they choose.
  • How do I learn about what’s being discussed at the Board of Education meetings?

    The DPS Board of Education website includes links to watch board meetings live and recorded, access board documents (including past and current agendas and information about board policies), and instructions on how to sign up for public comment at a board meeting.

Thank You

A special thank you to all that supported the creation of the film, facilitator’s guide and community resources.

Film Directed by:

Diego Estrada Bernuy and
Emily Han-Young of Degotelo Studios

Featuring DMLK students:

Dahni Austin, Alana Mitchell,
Janelle Nangah and Kaliah Yizar

Featuring DMLK
educators and leadership:

Kimberly Grayson, Brendan Kelly and Kiara Roberts

With special thanks to community members:

Ava Ector, Kayla Grayson Yizar, Nicholas Martinez and Jennifer Holladay
for your contributions to the film.

Support in part by:

RootED Denver