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environmentalist Dr. Monica Unseld, and founder of Roots 101 African American Museum Lamont Collins, and so many more... are sharing their expertise and resources with JCPS students to increase their leadership capacity and prepare students for JusticeFest.
“JusticeFest is the stage where students share their work with the world! It is the height of Justice Now as students learn by leading... And KDFF is the partner who makes JusticeFest possible. At JusticeFest, students from across JCPS will present to rooms filled with potential partners and funders to take their work and dreams to the next level. It is the moment where students will grow their local and national reach, grow awareness of the injustices we face, and where students will show how they can ‘be the healing’ in our communities.” (Co-Founder of Justice Now, Matthew Kaufmann)
The importance of this work is critical to highlighting student voices and empowering JCPS students to take the lead in addressing the inequities they’re most affected by. Louisville stands as one of the most segregated cities within the nation, and this segregation between the west and east end impacts JCPS students in everything from their food, air quality, and education- to even their lifespan. Justice Now works to bridge the gap caused by neglect of these communities - not through performative justice - but rather by uplifting the voices of the future to create the change urgently needed for the city, giving JCPS students the skills to continue this change well beyond their time within JCPS, and creating a Louisville where Justice is in the Now.
Words from the program’s co-founder and students:
“Our students are our now; they are our future, and at JusticeFest, the whole world will see.” (Co-Founder of Justice Now, NyRee Clayton Taylor).
“Justice Now gives us a safe space where we are able to discuss issues in society that usually only adults can talk about. We’re showing - as kids - we can talk about the injustices that impact us and be able to create solutions too.” - Grace, Johnson Middle School
“The Justice Now School encourages people to ask questions, have hard conversations, and empower students to not make them feel so helpless when facing their own oppression.” - Lucas, Knight Middle School
“We are talking for the people who have a voice but can't use their voice, and we can help make a change for them, for all of us”- Faye, Western Middle School
“Educating people is best done by expressing one’s creativity. We need creativity to create justice in a world where creativity and being one’s true self is not always an option. I know at JusticeFest, I’ll be able to show my true self as I fight for justice in my life and world.” - Adam, Marion C Moore High School
Kentucky Derby Festival & The Fillies, Inc. 2021 Official Program	57

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