Language justice win in DPS

Language Justice is defined as a commitment to ensuring all voices are heard and understood in the process of community engagement. It is more than having access to translators and interpreters, it is a practice to create inclusive and equitable spaces so that community, families, students, and staff can participate in the language of their heart. 

Language Justice has been a practice Stand for Children strives to deliver in all spaces we hold for community. We believe that if people communicate and understand content in the language of their heart, power is secured to make meaningful change. Even though Stand works hard to attain all resources, like interpreters, translators, translations, and equipment to deliver a language just space, we recognize that there are other spaces that families attend that might not uphold the same practice. To ensure that we are promoting positive and equitable changes in institutions that surround our community, the Stand team set their eyes on securing a policy add-on about language justice in Denver Public School (DPS) policy. 

We are thrilled to announce that after months of collaboration, learning, and relationship-building, Language Justice was added as a priority as an ENDS statement that talks about equity in Denver Public Schools (DPS). ENDS statements are “description of the long-term goals for the district”.  This statement was approved by the DPS board of education on May 18, 2023.’

ENDS 1 – Equity  
DPS will be a district that is free of oppressive systems and structures rooted in racism and one which centers students and team members with a focus on racial and educational equity, enabling students to ultimately become conscientious global citizens and collaborative leaders.  
DPS has a collective responsibility to uphold the practice of Racial Equity, and Educational and Language Justice in all of its forms by honoring language and culture as fundamental human rights. We will achieve equity when we identify and remove deeply rooted systems of oppression that have historically resulted in inequitable access and distribution of opportunities and resources for those who represent marginalized identities, including but not limited to race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language and ability. 

DPS ends 1.0 policy

Although this was a clear achievement, and we applaud the board for their leadership, we will be working to ensure the promise of this statement is reached and felt by the community by holding DPS accountable in practicing their policy.  We are still working on the implementation factor to address the inequities we see and hear about so much when it comes to language accessibility.  

We would like to thank the DPS staff and Board members that guided and advocated for Language Justice and look forward to monitoring and improving the practice in all spaces DPS holds.  Sign a thank you note to the board!

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