Black college students in Denver are suing the varsity district, saying it’s attempting to “steal” their podcast title “Know Justice, Know Peace.”
The lawsuit says the scholars, who created the racial justice podcast “Know Justice, Know Peace” following George Floyd’s homicide in 2020, made “an prompt hit” that bought the eye of media retailers including the “Today” show, The Denver Post reported.
The group — composed of 4 Black present and former college students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early Faculty — sued Denver Public Colleges in federal court docket on Monday. The district filed three trademark functions, together with one state software and two federal functions, for the title, in keeping with the lawsuit.
A Colorado trademark registration referenced in reporting by Chalkbeat Colorado reveals the district described the collection as “providing details about inequities within the instructional system [and] offering options for implementing, enhancing, [and] sustaining fairness.”
The lawsuit described an irony within the district’s effort to trademark the title.
“The irony of DPS’s makes an attempt … is that DPS has for years fallen means brief on Black historical past, racial justice and training round these essential points,” the lawsuit mentioned. “That their newly discovered and considerably tardy want to handle racial points needed to come on this type is a tragic commentary on the state of DPS.”
A spokesperson for Denver Public Colleges instructed HuffPost it could not present remark because of the pending litigation.
District Deputy Superintendent Anthony Smith met with college students and their mother and father in an effort to “coerce and bully” them into saying the district owned the trademark, in keeping with the lawsuit.
“Notably, it’s your purchasers who’re answerable for trademark infringement,” the district’s lawyer mentioned in a letter to the scholars’ lawyer.
Chalkbeat reported that an legal professional for the district despatched a letter in August to former principal Kimberly Grayson, who was concerned within the podcast’s creation, regarding her registration of a business named “Know Justice, Know Peace: The Take LLC.”
The letter, which Chalkbeat mentioned it obtained by means of a public information request, mentioned the title belonged to Denver Public Colleges and described the podcast as produced with district gear on its property.
Grayson mentioned in an electronic mail to district workers obtained by Chalkbeat that she registered the enterprise as a result of she had left the varsity and the scholars wished to document the podcast independently.
She wrote that the district was contradicting itself for expressing its stance on fairness whereas additionally saying it “OWNS 4 Black younger girls’ picture, voice, and content material,” in keeping with Chalkbeat.