Category Archives: News

Showcase 2017

Come join our Peers Building Justice Youth Organizers on Saturday May 20th from 2-4pm at the University of Colorado Rec Center (1835 Pleasant St, Boulder, CO 80302) in the “Ice Overlook Large meeting Room”. This is a free event! Open to the public! Light snacks will be provided! Bring your friends and family!

During this annual showcase event, youth organizers will be presenting the projects they have been working on all year and sharing about their experiences in the Peers Building Justice Training Institute.


Up Next for PBJ


Peers Building Justice wrapped up a successful Martin Luther King, Jr showcase, above is our team celebrating our hard work.

The back of our shirts say, “The first duty of a revolutionary is to be educated”- Che Guevara

We plan on spending the rest of the school year preparing for our May Showcase,

which will demonstrate the hard work students are putting in now to research and address youth issues.

Here is what we have planned:

3/20-Workshop on Intersectionality/Gender and Sexuality

3/27– Spring Break NO PBJ

4/3-Research for Social Justice Workshop/Cold and Hot Spots Workshop

4/17-BVSD is Off NO PBJ

4/24-Boulder Valley Planned Parenthood Workshop

5/1-Spoken Word Training

5/15-Full Work Day

5/19–  Full Work Day




Peers Building Justice

Are you interested in making a difference in your community?

Join Peers Building Justice’s Training Institute to discuss social issues and how to take action!

This Monday, we will be hosting an information PBJ meeting for anyone who is interested in joining our Training Institute. It will be an opportunity to meet fellow high school students and learn more about this amazing opportunity and become leaders in your communities.

WHEN: Monday, Sept 12 5pm-7pm

WHERE: 1000 Alpine Ave. Boulder CO, 80304



High Schoolers: Join PBJ’s Training Institute!

PBJ Logo_cool

Are you interested in making a difference in your community?

Join Peers Building Justice’s Training Institute to discuss social issues and how to take action!

The Training Institute is comprised of high school students from across BVSD and meets twice a month after school. We generally meet every other Monday from 5-7 p.m. in Boulder.

The mission of the Training Institute is to promote social justice and resist violence in our communities. We meet to learn and talk about different forms of oppression including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, classism, able-bodiedism and more. We’re also focused on talking about healthy relationships and how to prevent dating abuse and sexual assault.

We believe that youth have the power to affect community change, so we also collaborate to plan events and take action on different issues that matter most to you! If you are interested in learning more or joining us, email and/or like us on Facebook at PBJBoulder.

BVSD Educators: Schedule Violence Prevention Presentations

Calling at BVSD educators!

With the new school year starting, it’s once again time to schedule with PBJ to host our curriculum presentations. PBJ uses an evidenced-based youth violence prevention curriculum that is based on Safe Dates & Expect Respect. The full curriculum requires 6-8 hours of class time to complete.

To schedule a curriculum presentation in your classroom or youth group contact:


Jackie Manzo

Youth Violence Prevention Educator, SPAN




[one_half_last]Reina Ross

K-8 Violence Prevention Educator, SPAN



Below is an outline of material covered in the curriculum.

Session 1: Introductions & Defining Caring Relationships

  • Introductions, mandatory reporting, goals for sessions, group agreements
  • Defining Caring Relationships

Session 2: Power and Control & Defining Dating Abuse

  • Defining power- Individual, Collective, Institutional & access to resources
  • Defining Dating Abuse– Harmful Dating Behaviors What is Abuse?

Session 3: Why do People Abuse?

  • Why do people abuse
  • Video: Causing Pain: Real Stories of Dating Abuse and Violence
  • Warning Signs of Abuse

Session 4: Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Consent

  • Defining Consent & Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment vs. Flirting

Session 5: How to Help Friends

  • Why don’t people leave?
  • How to help a friend
  • Role Play

Session 6: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes

  • Images and where they come from discussion
  • Gender Stereotypes in the media video compilation, discussion

Session 7: Identifying and Communicating Emotions

  • Extending Feeling vocabulary
  • Knowing When You’re Angry/How to use Calming Strategies
  • Assertive Communication

Session 8: Conclusion

  • Review of sessions, remaining questions

MLK Day Racial Justice Community Experience and Conversation

Since December, a group of Boulder County youth and adults have been working on a research project to better understand how and why people engage in social justice work. The group used a process called Participatory Action Research (PAR) to guide their work. PAR is an approach to research that challenges and complicates ideas around who creates knowledge and for what purpose. By centering community and individual experiences as rich sources of information, PAR looks to build off of what we already know about ourselves and our community in order to create grassroots solutions to community identified issues. It is a strengths based, truama-informed, and community-led method for educating and engaging in civic and social justice work. Based off of the research, which included interviews, social media posts, school surveys, conversation, and arts-based explorations of race and racial justice movements, the researchers arrived at 11 claims:

  1. People are more likely to fight for the issues that affect them the most, and the more people understand about their personal stake in racial justice, the more passionate, engaged, and committed they are to working to resolve it
  2. Moral or ethical reasons for engaging in racial justice work often stem from pity rather than identifying one’s personal stake. This can lead to less authentic and sustainable commitment to the cause.
  3. People who do not understand how they are personally impacted by racial injustice are less likely to engage in racial justice work.
  4. Since white people are less likely to understand their personal stake in racial justice, people of color tend to have a greater burden of fixing the problem of racial injustice and racism.
  5. People are able to make a personal connection to racial justice work through other areas in their life where they experience marginalization. (For example, in our group, white queer* people and white females are more likely to participate in racial justice work along with people of color from all genders and sexual orientations.)
  6. Guilt can lead people, especially white people, to engage in racial justice work.
  7. Social movements tend to be focused on one cause that addresses one identity. Yet, as people we have multiple facets of our identities that affect one another. Therefore, it is important for social movements be inclusive of all aspects of people’s identities.
  8. Some people externalize racism and white supremacy by denying personal responsibility or by denying its existence.
  9. As a community, many fail to recognize the definition of  racism as not just the use of derogatory terms or segregation, but also the oppression or judgement passed on a person based solely on race, including micro-aggressions and systemic biases.
  10. In discussions surrounding racism, people often feel that if a person of their race is being attacked, then they are also being personally attacked, resulting in that person defending their ‘race’ and in turn themselves.
  11. We, as a community, need to acknowledge that conversation surrounding racism should one of racist vs. non racist rather than black vs. white.

The researchers also articulated a counter narrative to the dominant stories that we are subjected to through mainstream media and education:

We want to establish a counter narrative to society’s tendency to define and in many ways confine people’s identities. We want to be able to self-identify and have it be recognized by everyone. We also have identities that don’t fit into any box, and we want those to be represented and seen. We think we are beautiful the way we are. We DO care about the kid in our class who gets made fun of. Color Blindness and assimilation are not the solution because there’s beauty in cultural diversity. We want to love ourselves for who we really are, and we want others to do the same. We don’t want to be limited in what we can or want to do in the world because of socially assigned identities, we want all of our complex selves to be visible and valued in our diverse cultures.

The students are still deciding how their research will drive future actions.

PBJ Interns Investigate Sex Education

In August, PBJ interns designed a research project looking at comprehensive sexual health education in BVSD. As part of the research process, interns critically assessed their own sex education experiences, conducted interviews with community members, synthesized their data into claims, and designed a survey for BVSD students that will hopefully launch during the school year.

Continue reading PBJ Interns Investigate Sex Education

Summer Action Research Internship

In August, PBJ will launch its new summer program. The Summer Action Research Internship (ARI) is a six-day long participatory inquiry project that will look at sexual health education and policies in Boulder Valley School District. We believe that the knowledge that young people carry about their every day life experiences is invaluable for informing the structures, policies, and curriculum that directly affect them. Continue reading Summer Action Research Internship

Beauty and the Beast

“Beauty and the Beast” starts with an unusual woman named Belle who, get this, is both beautiful and intelligent. Now Belle gives the audience hope that this might actually be a movie that accurately portrays women as three dimensional characters and human beings rather than dolls who are pretty and sing a lot. However, throughout the next eighty four minutes that argument is severely different. Continue reading Beauty and the Beast