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PBJ aims to educate and empower youth to prevent interpersonal and sexual violence while promoting social justice in our communities.



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Up Next for PBJ

On 15, Mar 2017 | No Comments | In News | By 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



Martin Luther King Jr. Showcase

What: MLK Showcase and Community Conversation
When: January 16th, 4-6pm
Where: Alfalfa’s Community Room, 1651 Broadway St., Boulder CO 80302

Come attend and participate in our annual Martin Luther King, Jr Showcase led by and for youth, yet all members of the community are invited. This event will showcase the work Peers Building Justice (PBJ) youth have prepared for the community surrounding issues of race, identity, solidarity, and criminality. PBJ is a youth group committed to promoting social justice and resisting violence in our communities. Please come to this event on MLK day if you are interested in exploring student experiences and perspectives around race, racial justice, violence, and overall youth issues. Please spread this email and attached fliers with other community members who are also committed to supporting youth and ending violence. There will be light refreshments and heavy dose of education, conversation, and fun.



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On 09, Sep 2016 | No Comments | In News | By PBJ

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





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High Schoolers: Join PBJ’s Training Institute!

On 25, Aug 2016 | No Comments | In News | By PBJ

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.



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BVSD Educators: Schedule Violence Prevention Presentations

On 16, Aug 2016 | No Comments | In News | By PBJ

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



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

PBJ Summer Project: How Do Youth Engage?

This June, eight high school youth joined PBJ for a concentrated Participatory Action Research (PAR) project. The youth spent a total of 10 hours together investigating the question, “How do I engage?” The youth wanted to get a better idea of what motivates them and other youth to engage in their communities and social justice activism.

They began the process by making “mind maps” to illustrate their thoughts on the question. After much discussion, the youth then came up with several sub questions to inform their overall research question. The youth interviewed each other using these questions and took notes. We collected all of the answers on large butcher paper hung around the room. With the data collected, the youth were then tasked with finding common themes and important outliers in the answers given. The students identified these themes using sticky notes and grouped some of them together to illustrate their findings.

After examining the outcomes, the youth then partnered up to create posters with messages they would like to share with their peers – keeping in mind that high school students only have so much time to engage. Yet, they are living proof that in only a few hours, a lot can be accomplished. PBJ hopes these students will continue to be leaders and show their peers how they, too, have something important to say.

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PBJ End-of-Year Showcase 2016!

The youth organizers of PBJ’s Training Institute held their end-of-the-year showcase on Saturday, May 14! The event was held at The Block 1750 and included food, a project gallery, and community conversation centered around the theme: “Let’s Talk About Sex, Stress, Stigma and Social Change.”

The afternoon began with the youth organizers sharing the projects they had been working on all semester, which examined comprehensive sex education, mental health in AP/IB programs, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity in high school history curriculum. The youth shared their findings through poster presentations and art displays. Attendees were invited to observe and talk with the youth about their projects and findings.

The second half of the event was focused on conversation. To begin, Elissa and Charissa led the attendees through an activity in which they asked a question with two possible answers, and participants had to move to one side of the room or the other based on their answer. For example, one question was, “Do you think stress and anxiety are necessary for being successful in school – yes or no?”

After this activity, the youth organizers led two fishbowl conversations. In a fishbowl, there is a small inner circle of participants who engage in conversation, while everyone else sits outside of the circle and observes. Participants may enter the inner circle if they wish to add to the conversation, and they may leave as they please. This format was used in order to create a space in which youth voices are heard and centered in conversation. The youth organizers brainstormed several questions ahead of time to guide the conversations. The youth followed the day’s theme and discussed sex, stress and stigma – primarily in schools. Several event attendees also added to the discussions – including parents, peers and educators.

The showcase concluded with PBJ celebrating another successful year of the Training Institute! The PBJ Coordinators thanked each student for their work with a small gift. We wish the best for our graduating seniors and can’t wait to see all of the great work the PBJ youth do in their futures!

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In Events
Social Justice


Let’s Talk About Masculinity

On 04, Feb 2016 | No Comments | In Events, Social Justice | By PBJ

Join Peers Building Justice for a free screening of “The Mask You Live In” on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. at Boulder High School. This documentary follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating the U.S.’s narrow definition of masculinity. All community members are welcome to attend! After the show, stick around to hear a panel discuss the film and their experiences with masculinity.



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MLK Day Racial Justice Community Experience and Conversation

On 03, Feb 2016 | No Comments | In News | By PBJ

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.

“The Mask You Live In” Screening: On Redefining Masculinity

On 11, Jan 2016 | No Comments | In Events, Knowledge, Social Justice | By PBJ

From Jennifer Newsom, director and writer of Miss Representation, “The Mask You Live In” documentary follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating US’s narrow definition of Masculinity. Please join Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) and the Parent Engagement Network (PEN) on a screening of “The Mask You Live In” on Thursday, January 14th at 6pm at Centaurus High School. There will be a panel of community members, including faculty from Centaurus High and district attorney Stan Garnett, discussing the film and their experiences of masculinity afterward the show.