Ednium: The Alumni Collective grew out of a need to ensure the most relevant voices in education have a platform to share their experience and develop new ideas. We see who consistently shows up to "community” meetings, who testifies before the Board of Education, and who has the ear of the education leadership in Denver. And the majority of those people do not reflect the DPS population or our communities.
If we want a more equitable educational experience for our children, who are our future leaders, then we need to create space and be intentional about sourcing the expertise of the very people who are products of this system.
Over the course of the past two years we’ve positioned ourselves to positively impact Denver Public Schools and the Denver education ecosystem as a whole.
Every student will leave the public school system with the knowledge, skills, and agency to define and achieve success for themselves.
Summer 2018: A group of 20 DPS alumni met with school board members during the superintendent search process.
Fall/Winter 2018: Superintendent Susana Cordova requests a meeting with a group of alumni to inform her entry plan; she then raises the value of the group District-wide, asking her senior leadership to ensure more alumni voices are included in key processes.
Summer 2019: In partnership with the Denver Scholarship Foundation and funded by RootED, 150+ young DPS alumni came together to discuss their educational experiences and dream for the future via the inaugural Data and Design Lab. Matched with insight from key stakeholders and extensive work from a subset of participants, the group established their policy priorities.
Fall/Winter 2019: Our alumni share their policy priorities with Superintendent Cordova and the entirety of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). SLT Leaders agreed to ongoing work with alumni to identify partnership opportunities and policy implementation. In response to the support, participating alumni requested help with additional training and network expansion. Thus the founding Leadership Launchpad was born.
Spring 2020: Realizing the inequitable impacts of Covid-19, 20+ alumni leaders stepped up to develop their knowledge and build their social capital. The Founding Leadership Launchpad was instituted.
Summer 2020: Ednium is born, touting a strong network of alumni, District partnerships, and an advisory board committed to the authentic development and activation of Denver's homegrown talent to make an impact on this City.
Fall 2020: Ednium graduated its second Leadership Launchpad cohort. The Advocacy Accelerator is launched and a coalition of 15 alumni take on major curriculum changes focused on financial literacy and cultural and ethnic studies.
Since Ednium is built by and for alumni to serve the next generation our values are rooted in our experiences and are a reflection of our communities and cultures. They guide us in strategic decisions about the programs we offer, the people and organizations in which we partner, and the funders from which we accept financial support. Our stories, our people, and our communities are not up for sale and these values serve to remind us everyday that we will be the owners of journeys and the creators of our destinies.
Public school alumni and their communities possess great talent, creativity, wisdom, and ingenuity. Their lived experience makes them uniquely qualified to guide, lead, govern, and cultivate a shared vision for the future of our public education system.
Public school alumni and their communities must possess active ownership of their public education system, identifying needs, developing solutions, and demanding accountability.
Public school alumni, especially those from historically underserved schools and communities, can disrupt systems and practices that uphold and promote racism and division by offering tangible solutions that will directly impact them and their communities.
Our public education system should embody justice and share power with its community.
Our public education system must be nimble, innovative, and responsive to the changing needs of the community. Because alumni have direct experience with the public education systems and its consequences, they are a required partner in this pursuit.