Jocelyne Argüelles

2019 – AT-LARGE REGION
Jocelyne Argüelles is a senior at the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) in Denver, Colorado. Jocelyne is one of the three Student Board of Education representatives for her school, as well as the president of the Latinx Student Alliance. As a part of a district-wide social justice competition, Challenge 5280, she created an Equity Task Force at her school, leading two groups of ten students through a Critical Civic Inquiry method of conducting research and creating policy. The first group created a policy around making implicit bias trainings a requirement for all teachers at DCIS. The project began by asking teachers to take the Harvard Implicit Bias Test on race. Jocelyne's team members and she then contextualized the results from the Implicit Bias test, and after seeing the needs of teachers at the school, planned workshops that would allow the teachers to think more deeply about their impact on students. The workshops included defining microaggressions and asking students to share their experiences. In another workshop, all teachers and a diverse group of students participated in a "privilege walk." The "privilege walk" was followed by discussions of why everyone believed they were closer to the front, or all the way in the back. Jocelyne guided her team through making these workshops sustainable and in doing so created a policy, which was implemented by the school administration and allowed for the legitimization of the work. In addition to leading the Equity Task Force, Jocelyne meets directly with the Board of Education to try to create transparency within the district.