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JCPS students to tackle citywide issues at fourth annual JusticeFest

The poster for a previous JusticeFest, depicting  hands of bright colors holding up peace signs and heart symbols.
Justice Now
JusticeFest is part of JCPS' Justice Now program which "challenges students to make Louisville their classroom and justice their curriculum."

On Saturday, local students will present their ideas to solve communitywide issues at the fourth annual Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation JusticeFest.

Thirteen groups led by students from Jefferson County Public Schools will share their ideas on how to address concerns inside and outside the classroom to community leaders, business professionals, teachers and advisers Saturday.

The fourth annual Kentucky Derby Foundation JusticeFest brings together a collaborative of students from elementary school through high school who create projects that tackle concerns like food access, playground inclusiveness, mental health, digital divides and the history of diverse communities, according to a news release.

“These students are doing inspiring work to address issues and make an impact in our community and beyond,” Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Matt Gibson said in the release. “Thanks to our JusticeFest sponsors and partners, we can offer a platform for the students to share their ideas and connect with community and business leaders to help take their projects to the next level.”

Each group will have the opportunity to present their projects in front of panelists who can offer funded community partnerships, long-term mentorships and further insight.

The event is part of JCPS’ Justice Now learning program.

The program launched in 2021, following the racial justice demonstrations in Louisville that started in 2020.

“This unique, student-led program focused on justice gives students a chance to use what they’ve learned inside and outside the classroom to improve our community,” JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said in the release. “I’m impressed every year by their ideas and advocacy for those who need our support and are looking to the next generation to push for positive change in our community.”

JusticeFest pitches will start at 9:30 a.m. and end around 4:45 p.m. at the Muhammad Ali Center. It is not open to the public.

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Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.

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