Strengthening communities through learning
Our students and faculty collaborate with local schools and communities to support children in the foster care system, study the role of family in education for low-income students, and strengthen partnerships between child welfare and early education services.
This commitment to accessibility continues through campus initiatives and community programs that empower high school and college students. The Center for Multicultural Excellence brings K-12 students from low-income and underrepresented groups to campus to take part in events that inspire their learning and prepare them for a college career.
Community Education Initiatives
Spotlight on Success
Students and faculty at our Graduate School of Social Work partnered with 36 schools in the Denver Public Schools system for the Spotlight on Success program, which works to lessen the rate of out-of-school suspensions that disproportionately affect students of color and increase their risk for contact with the criminal justice system. The goals of the program are to identify more effective disciplinary strategies, help end the school-to-prison pipeline and give students a better chance to contribute to our shared community.
DU Day of Action
The DU Day of Action is a campus and community partnership that provides a daylong college experience for local elementary school students and their families. The program aims to make college seem more tangible to children coming from lower-income families, many of whom don't consider college a realistic option.
DU Takes High School Students to the Movies
Students from the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science collaborated with three Denver high schools to give students a special screening of the film Hidden Figures in the hopes of encouraging girls and young women, particularly those of color, to pursue careers in engineering, technology and math. The screening was followed by a conversation with IBM executive and DU alum Carita Watso, as well as current Ritchie School students Toni Dunlap and Hannah Apuan.
The Hour of Code
Our computer science students partner with Denver Public Schools for the Hour of Code program, where they work with elementary school students, imparting their skills and their passion to a generation for whom computer science will be an increasingly important part of life.
Get to know some of the services offered by our Center for Multicultural Excellence.
Excelling Leaders Institute
The Excelling Leaders Institute encourages an open and inclusive environment for students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as they transition to DU. The institute supports incoming first-year students as they transition from high school to college. In addition to working closely with our faculty, participants have the opportunity to build friendships that will last throughout their college careers.
Black Male Initiative Summit
The Black Male Initiative Summit promotes leadership and academic achievement for eighth- and ninth-grade black male students. School leaders from across Denver nominate students with strong leadership qualities and personal characteristics of excellence. DU students lead engaging and interactive workshops attended by participants like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Colorado Leadership for Equity, Advocacy and Discovering Social Justice (CO-LEADS) brings college students together from across Colorado to discuss social justice and change, activism and advocacy. Students participate in workshops that allow them to explore their roles in systems of privilege and oppression to deepen their understanding of their own and others' identities.
As a center of Denver's learning community, we host events that address local education issues. These include the Keeping the Dream Alive conference, which examines the needs of undocumented college students, and the annual Diversity Summit, where students, faculty and community members unite to advance our commitment to academic inclusion and excellence.
Other events bring K-12 students to campus to participate in academic events in a venue that will inspire them. These events include the Denver Urban Debate League's city championships and the Colorado Geography Bee state finals. Our graduate students collaborate to enrich science and math education in the DU community by helping organize Colorado's middle school MATHCOUNTS competition.
These events and others make DU a place where all of Denver comes to learn and engage with their community.