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In a court document filed Friday, the district said it “renounces any claim of ownership over the trademark Know Justice, Know Peace for a podcast” and “any efforts to monetize” the name. Denver Public Schools asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit against it.
If a judge agrees, it will end a high-profile dispute that attracted national media attention and earned Denver Public Schools — a district whose superintendent has said he wants to dismantle racist systems — significant criticism from local community members who accused the district of asserting ownership over something Black students created.
“It’s almost ironic how us as Black students, learning about our history, learning about how as Black people, oftentimes our ideas are stolen, our history is stolen, all of our things are watered down, that now we’re in a situation where our name and our brand and this work that we’ve continually built up is potentially being taken away,” Kaliah Yizar, one of the students who founded the podcast, said at a press conference in September.
In a statement Monday, the district said its trademark attempt was an effort to ensure the podcast could continue in Denver Public Schools.
“From the beginning, we have repeatedly stated that our efforts were about protecting this important educational tool for our scholars,” district spokesperson Will Jones said in a statement. “Now that these young ladies are in a position to actually own this intellectual property on their own, we are thrilled that it will soon be theirs.”