DENVER (CBS4)– As people gathered for the March on Washington to protest racial injustice and police violence, in Denver people gathered throughout the day to share stories of racism and to call for change.
“My daughter is really entering her social awareness and wanting to be a part of protest,” said Shawn Jackson, the father of 23-year-old DaShawna Jackson.
A young teacher now, like her mother and father, she started protesting in her teens and her parents have been joining her. As the Black Lives Matter movement has grown, DaShawna has attended more protests and her parents are following… and learning.
“Growing up for me it was kind of like, let’s keep the status quo, don’t rock the boat too much,” said Shawn Jackson, a math teacher at George Washington High School in Denver. “I was part of the generation that said, you protest by being better. It was like, they can’t look past you if you’re being better. If you’re a straight-A student, they can’t say that you’re not smart. You do your best and they can’t deny you, but somewhere along the line they started to say, ‘Well, that’s not good enough either.’”
His daughter wants change now, “I think we should be looking at alternatives to the police department. They are built off of the slave patrol. So We should be looking to fund community organizations and put money into preventative organizations… I want to see criminal justice reform in our prisons. The whole thing; reform it.”
It took a few thoughtful moments for Shawn Jackson to consider whether his views have evolved. “I guess I have changed,” he said. “I do a lot on conversations with my daughter and hearing the young perspective helps me to reflect and reevaluate my entrenched (views)… and hearing young and fresh perspectives is allowing me to say, you know what, maybe the way I did it, maybe it wasn’t wrong, but maybe there’s a better way.”
“I credit my daughter for helping me get to that point,” he said. Jackson added, “I don’t want another 30, 40 years and still have to protest and rally and march for the same things.”