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Denver students to advise on new national Black history curriculum

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The first time Dahni Austin held a copy of a new Black history textbook for which she and other high school students will serve as advisers, she cried.

“There’s a page that says ‘Say Their Names,’ which I just think is so amazing,’” said Austin, a sophomore at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College high school in far northeast Denver. “They have a list of every single name of a person who has been through suffering or who has been through a traumatic event. I can’t stress how important this book is.”

Austin and three of her classmates — Jenelle Nangah, Alana Mitchell, and Kaliah Yizar — will serve on the Young Solutionists Student Advisory Board for an innovative new U.S. history curriculum called Black History 365 that begins in ancient Africa and goes up to modern day.

The four students have been leading forces in pushing Denver Public Schools to diversify its curriculum. Their advocacy led the Denver school board to pass a resolution named after the students’ podcast, “Know Justice, Know Peace.” It mandates that all Denver schools teach “the historical and contemporary contributions of Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities.”

Read more at co.chalkbeat.org.

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