February 21, 2024. Louisville, KY.– Students from Jefferson County Public Schools will be in the spotlight sharing their ideas on ways to solve community-wide issues this Saturday at the fourth annual Park Community Credit Union Presents Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation JusticeFest. The JusticeFest event showcases projects and collaborative work done by JCPS students from elementary to high school, along with their teachers and coaches. They address a variety of concerns, including food access, playground inclusiveness, mental health, digital divides and historical content from diverse communities.

“These students are doing inspiring work to address issues and make an impact in our community and beyond,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “Thanks to our JusticeFest sponsors and partners, we can offer a platform for the students to share their ideas and connect with community and business leaders to help take their projects to the next level.”

JusticeFest is part of an immersive learning program called Justice Now at JCPS. Justice Now was launched in January 2021 and challenges students to make Louisville their classroom and Justice their curriculum. The students focus on four key cohorts as part of Justice Now and JusticeFest, which include: Acceptance and Equal Rights for all People; Environmental Justice; Educational Justice; and Community Investment/Disinvestment.

“This unique, student-led program focused on justice gives students a chance to use what they’ve learned inside and outside the classroom to improve our community,” said Dr. Marty Pollio, JCPS superintendent. “I’m impressed every year by their ideas and advocacy for those who need our support and are looking to the next generation to push for positive change in our community.”

On Saturday, 13 different student groups will present their concepts to panelists, including community and business leaders, as well as teachers, advisers, mentors, and other professionals. The panelists have been chosen based on their expertise and will provide the students with mentorship, insights, and ideas to help further their work.

JusticeFest is the inaugural event of the Derby Festival’s Derby Equity and Community Initiative (DECI), which was launched in 2021. Three Louisville-based companies – Churchill Downs, Humana and Park Community Credit Union – support the DECI. JusticeFest is presented by Park Community Credit Union.

“We’re leveling the playing field in Louisville, one dream at a time. Partnering with the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation on JusticeFest aligned with Park Community’s mission to fuel financial accessibility and build a brighter future for our communities,” said Jana Erny, Park Community Credit Union President/CEO. “As Kentucky’s largest CDFI credit union, we place an emphasis on fostering belonging and breaking down the walls that hold our communities back. This partnership is about creating opportunities, fueling dreams, and making transformative change.”

JusticeFest is presented by Park Community Credit Union. Contributing Sponsor: Ford Motor Company. Supporting Sponsor: Norton Children’s. The event is produced in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools and is a Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation event.