Housing and Education

Antwan Jefferson, PhD

Welcome to a major inflection point in the as-yet infant life of the Denver Journal of Education and Community. For the past two years, we’ve been working hard to discover our collective identity–not an easy task in an information-saturated society in which “traditional” media platforms remain anemic due to chronic disinvestment and the outcomes of at-your-service media platforms. From our start, it’s been important to us to hold on to a few core values, such as community-sourced content; looking closely at and around education; maintaining focus on people groups that may be excluded from much of education decision-making; and getting better with time.

These values, and a few others, remain central to our work, and you’ll see these values evident here. These values also are the reason that we’re next going to be hard at work making the transition to toddlerhood (if that’s the word for it).

The nature of transitions is central to the content of this issue, as well. You’ll get a sense for the nature of transitioning as you engage with Chief Writer Allan Tellis’ exploration of the tensions and challenges that urban design and city planning have for families whose children have lessing access to play areas, must travel increasingly lengthy and complex journeys to reach school each day, and who wrestle with the concept of public safety in their communities. Community Editor James W. Roy, II makes the compelling argument, based on his own experiences growing up in Denver, that a sense of safety is subjective, and that the unique nature of growing up in an urban environment will likely have an array of consequences for children that distinguish their understandings of safety from that of their peers.

While some things have changed, it seems, in our constantly growing, and thus transitioning, metro area, some things remain about the same. The contributions of students from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College (DMLK) (we appreciate you Ceirra and Angel), scholars from CU Denver (with gratitude Dr. Makarewicz, Ryanne, and Marisa) and a local housing expert (big thanks, Jonathan) add even more depth to this issue, demonstrating that there are long-standing patterns of residential development, school placement, and a varied set of interests that continue to predict how topics of housing justice and environmental justice must remain in our view if we are interested in public education.

And interested in public education we remain. As this is the final issue of the first iteration or form of DJEC, what’s ahead is quite promising, and we hope to maintain your attention so that you can make the move with us. Pretty soon, we’ll be sharing an updated structure for the Denver Journal of Education and Community, one that involves a community-based data hub supporting families to better understand schools in the region, and more frequent publication cycle (we’re going monthly), a subscription model (for quarterly issues), and new structure for community-based education research in the region.

For sure, transitions can be difficult. Life is full of them. While sometimes, we cannot predict when a transition is upon us, at other times, we can anticipate and even cause transition. We’re experiencing the latter, and are excited about what this will mean for us–and for you.

Thanks for reading. More soon.