#ParkHillTalks - Park Hill Branch Library

Park Hill Talks Logo.png

#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


  • 8 attendees

  • Key topics

    • Education

      • School segregation

      • School resources

    • Emerging Adults/Youth Leadership

      • Building a sense of community in high school

      • Cultural differences

      • Volunteering

      • Business gentrification

    • Economics/Housing

      • Housing affordability

      • Community wealth

  • Outcomes

    • Attendees agreed to help plan and promote two more talks at each of the libraries in the community.

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#ParkHillTalks - House of Hair Barbershop - Part 6

Park Hill Talks Logo.png

#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


Overview

We host #ParkHillTalks in places that people feel comfortable to share their experiences and stories. These are often places that people already congregate regularly.

In a barbershop, conversations occur about community. It’s a place that people return to on a regular basis to not only freshen their appearance, but also to develop friendships, talk about what’s impacting their lives, and ultimately building community.

#ParkHillTalks have unofficially been occurring in places like House of Hair Barbershop for as long as the neighborhood has existed. Bringing the structure of community organizing to the barbershop helps provide the platform to turn the conversations to action.

June 18, 2019

  • 15 attendees

  • Key topics

    • Economics/Housing

      • New development in the neighborhood

      • Community wealth

      • Housing affordability

      • Home ownership

  • Outcomes

    • Attendees agreed that it was time to take action and to host a community assembly around the issues that have been raised at the six barbershop meetings.

Denver SafeNite Curfew Program - Community Dialogue and Curfew Update

Background

Park Hill Collective Impact took the data from the curfew survey that was collected and put a PowerPoint presentation together to present to Department of Safety executives and decision makers. Recommendations provided as part of the presentation were to have a consistent time across the board to lessen confusion, communicate accurate information to students and parents, collaborate with community organizations to continue conversations about curfew, and to have consistent messaging. This sparked a continued conversation to include community voice and to look more closely at messaging and education around curfew.

Action

Park Hill Collective Impact supported Denver Public Schools, whom hosted a community dialogue with youth at STRIVE-Prep SMART, a school in southwest Denver in the Harvey Park neighborhood. Youth took time out of their weekend to learn about curfew and develop recommendations to better educate students and parents. Some of the recommendations that came out of this workgroup were to provide late night drop in centers and more pro-social activities during curfew hours, utilize curfew vans to transport kids home, and the need to develop an alternate way to hold youth to prevent the trauma of handcuffing.

Result

Denver Police Department reviewed patrolling policies to ensure curfew vans were patrolling all parts of the city. This has reduced the number of citations in some areas of the city that have traditionally seen a higher number of citations issued and has increased the number of citations in other areas. The overall number of citations is down compared with the same timeframe in 2018. Continued conversations with community are still a priority and the actual curfew ordinance will be updated through city counsel.

Curfew Citations per Summer (2018 & 2019)

Denver Department of Safety, 2019

Denver Population by Race, Children under 18 years

US Census 2017

Summer 2018 Curfew Citations by Race

Denver Department of Safety, 2018

Summer 2019 Curfew Citations by Race

Denver Department of Safety, 2019

1st Annual One Park Hill - PHNEE

Background

One of PHCI’s main areas of focus is academics, specifically in regard to Park Hill’s four neighborhood elementary schools – Smith, Hallet, Stedman, and Park Hill Elementary.  Two years ago, a group of Park Hill neighbors gathered for a dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly as they relate to those four schools. That conversation highlighted the need to raise awareness across the community of the inequities among our schools and to work collaboratively to address them. Thus, was born Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE).  PHCI serves as a fiscal sponsor, support network, and frequent collaborator with PHNEE. Recognizing the deep commitment in Park Hill to diversity, equity, and inclusion dating back decades, and the stark disparities in resources and supports at our schools, PHNEE works to improve education for all of our kids.

Action

In collaboration with PHNEE, the first annual One Park Hill Day was hosted at McAuliffe International School. All third-graders from each of the four schools gathered at the school for a day of joy, laughter, and community building. The students were each given one of eight different colored One Park Hill bracelets which divided them into groups filled with students from all four schools. Throughout the day, the groups learned a dance routine taught by dancers from The School of Breaking and participated in team-building activities led by Denver Parks and Recreation. This event allowed kids from different racial, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds to build friendships and create memories with one another. With events like this, we have the chance to unite our diverse neighborhood of exceptional learners, helping them discover their shared humanity.

To support these efforts, PHCI staff helped coordinate the day and provided fiscal support. PHCI interns pitched in on helping manage the day that included over 300 third graders.

Huge thanks to everyone who made this event possible. Susie Seawell and the rest of the PHNEE resources committee, the McAuliffe International School Staff, Shine Volunteers, The School of Breaking, Denver Parks and Rec, and all of the principals, teachers, paras, and kids, who made the day a success.



Public Safety Youth Leadership Team - Safe City Youth Summit

Background

For the past 24 years the Public Safety Youth Leadership Team (PSYLT) has planned, organized ,and coordinated The Summit. The Summit’s agenda and workshops are developed, coordinated, and implemented by a 14-member team comprised of youth between the ages of 13 to 18 years of age. PSYLT is a youth run organization dedicated to improving the leadership skills of Denver’s youth while supporting and improving the community. The Summit’s mission is to create a safe forum for youth to discuss, address, and implement an ongoing youth partnership within the community. The summit event features a Keynote Speaker, roundtable discussion, interactive workshops on the latest hot topics as identified by the PSYLT, youth entertainment, DJ, breakfast/lunch and giveaways including scholarships.

Action

Park Hill Collective Impact was invited to talk on a workshop round table about how to included community voice in collecting data around the recent curfew reform actions taking place in their community. The workshop was called “#CURFEW, REALLY.” PHCI sat on a panel with Denver Chief of Police - Paul Pazen, Department of Public Safety - Michael Sapp, and Public Safety Youth Programs - Pat Hendrick. This was a result of presenting the PHCI curfew survey findings and continuing the conversation that was started to have consistent messaging and to educate students and parents on curfew laws.

#ParkHillTalks - House of Hair Barbershop - Part 4

Park Hill Talks Logo.png

#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


Overview

We host #ParkHillTalks in places that people feel comfortable to share their experiences and stories. These are often places that people already congregate regularly.

In a barbershop, conversations occur about community. It’s a place that people return to on a regular basis to not only freshen their appearance, but also to develop friendships, talk about what’s impacting their lives, and ultimately building community.

#ParkHillTalks have unofficially been occurring in places like House of Hair Barbershop for as long as the neighborhood has existed. Bringing the structure of community organizing to the barbershop helps provide the platform to turn the conversations to action.

April 16, 2019

  • 10  attendees

  • Key topics

    • Economic/Housing

      • Community wealth

      • Financial literacy

      • Impacts of reverse mortgages

      • Lack of support for minority owned small businesses

    • General Community Issues/Concerns

      • Loss of community history and connections

#ParkHillTalks - House of Hair Barbershop - Part 3

Park Hill Talks Logo.png

#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


Overview

We host #ParkHillTalks in places that people feel comfortable to share their experiences and stories. These are often places that people already congregate regularly.

In a barbershop, conversations occur about community. It’s a place that people return to on a regular basis to not only freshen their appearance, but also to develop friendships, talk about what’s impacting their lives, and ultimately building community.

#ParkHillTalks have unofficially been occurring in places like House of Hair Barbershop for as long as the neighborhood has existed. Bringing the structure of community organizing to the barbershop helps provide the platform to turn the conversations to action.

March 19, 2019

  • 10  attendees

  • Key topics

    • Education

      • Opening schools to the community again - Community involvement

      • School choice

      • Quality of education

      • Accountability when students are displaced

    • Community Health

      • Mental health at schools

      • Social-emotional support after trauma

    • Juvenile Justice

      • Concern about Community Resource Officer presence over social workers

  • Outcomes

    • Attendees agreed to continue to organize for the next meeting.

#ParkHillTalks with Mayor Hancock - March 4, 2019

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#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


Troy Grimes speaks next to Mayor Hancock about issues facing Park Hill.

Troy Grimes speaks next to Mayor Hancock about issues facing Park Hill.

Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock stopped by on Monday to see what #ParkHillTalks is all about. Along with the community, the Mayor discussed issues facing Park Hill and what his office is doing to recognize and work on each topic. The room was split into three different small groups that took time to express the personal experiences of the people that attended. The Mayor made time for each group, responding personally to each person about their concerns.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Hancock agreed to stay involved with the conversations occurring in Park Hill and expressed a desire to replicate the talks in different communities across the city.

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  • 25 attendees

  • Key topics

    • Gentrification/housing affordability

    • Eduction

      • School equity

      • Segregation in Park Hill’s elementary schools

      • School choice

    • Emerging Adults/Youth Leadership

      • Needing to live with parents to afford Denver

      • Youth engagement/power

      • Cost of college

    • Economics

      • Competing with the demand for Denver’s jobs

      • Homelessness

  • Outcomes

    • Mayor Hancock agreed to stay engaged in the conversations and expressed the desire to see similar activities in other neighborhoods. He said he would reach out to Park Hill Collective Impact for technical assistance in assisting.

Juvenile Justice - Curfew Reform

Background

Park Hill Collective Impact brainstormed unintended consequences surrounding the current curfew ordinance in Denver. Some of those unintended consequences were introducing juveniles to the criminal justice system, profiling juveniles based on appearance, and incurring an unexpected expense without taking into account home circumstances, leaving work late, or lack of transportation. As a result of the passionate juvenile justice work of the partners in Park Hill Strong, PHCI staff and youth met with Denver Police Department, Chief of Police - Paul Pazen to discuss concerns.

Data shows that hispanic and black juveniles are disproportionately targeted for these violations.

Denver Population by Race, Children under 18 years

US Census, 2017

Curfew Citations by Race

Denver Department of Safety, 2018

Action

Park Hill Collective Impact created a survey that asked questions about the understanding about curfew. The survey was distributed among our network which included schools, community, youth advocacy organizations, social media, friends, and family. The survey gathered 197 valid responses from 42 middle schools and high schools that encompassed the Denver Metropolitan Area. The survey found that there is a large education and communication gap regarding the specifics around curfew.

Takeaways

  • Most youth do not have a curfew at home

  • Most youth and parents don’t know the specifics around curfew

  • Most youth are unaware or unsure of where to find information about curfew

Result

Park Hill Collective Impact took the data that was collected and put a PowerPoint presentation together to present to Department of Safety executives and decision makers. Recommendations provided as part of the presentation were to have a consistent time across the board to lessen confusion, communicate accurate information to students and parents, collaborate with community organizations to continue conversations about curfew, and to have consistent messaging. This sparked a continued conversation to include community voice and to look more closely at messaging and education around curfew.

#ParkHillTalks Facilitation Training - January 8, 2019

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#ParkHillTalks are small, conversational community meetings to cultivate change through the sharing of personal stories, recognition of shared interests, leadership, and organizing for action.


Over 30 community members gathered to learn about the new efforts of organizing the community with #ParkHillTalks. Community power, voice, and participation was discussed, then attendees we taught how to facilitate meetings for themselves. Afterwards, they were asked to commit to hosting meetings around the community, including their homes, churches, barbershops, and anywhere else that community already congregates or would be comfortable to congregate in.

  • 30  attendees

  • Key topics

    • Education

      • School closures and school choice

      • Elementary school segregation

    • Economic/Housing

      • Gentrification/housing affordability

    • General Community Issues/Concerns

      • Lack of neighborhood social inclusivity

  • Outcomes

    • Attendees signed up and agreed to host and facilitate additional meetings throughout the year

Early Literacy Pilot - Holiday Ornament Decorating

PHCI Ornament Decorating Activity to close out the end of the Early Literacy Pilot and celebrate the holiday season!

Early Literacy Pilot - “Watch Me Read!” “Watch Me Succeed!” Literacy Camp

As a part of the Early Literacy Initiative, Park Hill Collective Impact supported Black Child Development Institute-Denver (BCDI-Denver) and Project Proud Fatherhood in launching the first night of its 3rd Annual “Watch Me Read!” “Watch Me Succeed!” Early Literacy Camp Thurs. July 12, 2018. The literacy camp is designed for African American children ages 3 to 8 years old, led and ran by African American males, with a focus originated out of a call from DAAP (Denver African American Philanthropist) Group in 2016.

This year’s theme is “Building Wakanda!” From concept to set-up newly hired BCDI Program Development Director Jalen Taylor took the vision of thought leaders and did an outstanding job!

Tonight was Mbaku’s “How to build your kingdom” where children were assembled into their tribes and did a mapping activity connecting the Kingdoms of Africa with Great Kings and Queens. King Kenneth D Crowley did a call and response to the young kings! Queen Aijah Elaine did the call and response for the young queens! Jonathan McMillan assembled the tribes and BCDI Family Literacy Specialist Janet Rene Damon created the classroom literacy lessons for each tribe and their homework.

The moms were invited into our Sankofa Women’s Circle, while father’s had a Fatherhood Circle of their own and served as Reading mentors in the classrooms. The program is also designed to create at home libraries through National BCDI’s Read to Succeed Program, so children took home lots of books tonight and will every week!

After the 3 week literacy camp ends they will have earned all of the knowledge needed to be awarded their very own crown!

Next week will build ecosystems with Toi Massey’s JEKL Foundation in her creation of Shuri’s Lab! And our 3rd week will conclude with T’Challa’s Rite of Passage with Tyrone Beverly’s Im’Unique.

Early Literacy Pilot Kickoff

The Early Literacy Kickoff was a great success! We are so grateful for all our partners and volunteers for it wouldn’t have been a big success without them.We look forward to improving the literacy capacity in this community.

For more info about the Early Literacy Pilot, click here.

2018 Early Literacy Pilot

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FREE Literacy Programming in the Summer & 2018-2019 School Year!

Summary

The Early Literacy Initiative aims to help children in Park Hill thrive by cultivating confident readers that truly enjoy books and are ready for high-quality learning!

Park Hill Collective Impact is a network of partners that have come together to set common goals. Early literacy success is the first area that the community and our partners will address as we align our efforts to ensure the success of each child in Park Hill. We will be working with children between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade and their families to connect them to early literacy-focused programming and events in the community.

Who qualifies to participate?

All Roots Families with scholars also enrolled at the Boys & Girls Club for summer/after School programming.

 

How will my child benefit?

Through partnership with Boys and Girls Club, your child will receive targeted literacy programming throughout the summer using the Accelerated Reader program and leveraging support from the Denver Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. Once the school year begins, your child will receive free literacy tutoring by Roots Teachers twice a week after school. 

This program is not just designed for scholars, though! Families are asked to participate in the STAND for Children Parent Programs that include a series of 4 classes on how to best support literacy skills in your home and for your child. Families are also encouraged to participate in 2 literacy focused community activities over the course of the year.

Collective Partners:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Education

The Greater Park Hill neighborhood has a long history as a leader in the fight against discrimination in housing and schools. Beginning in the 1950’s, neighborhood leaders like Art and Bea Branscombe and Rachel Noel organized to oppose redlining in the housing market and segregation in the schools.

Today we face many of the same issues of gentrification and segregation in our neighborhood. Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE) is a group of concerned parents, neighbors, and community members working together to address current inequities in our neighborhood elementary schools and to inspire a revitalization of community leadership on these issues.

On January 27th, PHNEE hosted a community event featuring presentations from community leaders, Nita Mosby-Tyler (Chief Catalyst at The Equity Project) and Alan Gottlieb (co-founder of Chalkbeat, and owner of Write.Edit.Think.LLC) on the current state of Park Hill’s neighborhood schools.

Over 150 community members united to discuss the issues facing the community in small groups, beginning the much needed conversation on the state of the schools.