The IRISE community works to advance equity and justice with community-based research and initiatives across our city and state. We are uniquely positioned to make an impact both in academia and in community, serving as a bridge between two worlds that often do not interact meaningfully. Below you will find a selection of our recent work that is making an impact.

The image above is the Memoria de Nuestra Tierra by Judy Baca. The 10 foot by 50 foot mural tells the Hispano-Mexicano history of the Southwest with specific emphasis on the Colorado four-corners area of the United States and Northern Mexico. Learn More

Art by StorySpring

Documenting the Past, Fostering the Future

DPFF Project Website 

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IRISE Wins National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

IRISE partners with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to offer new classes that bring students into the study of Colorado's Chicane/x Past

NEH logo


IRISE received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to pilot a unique interdisciplinary curricular project starting in the 2023-24 academic year. Part of a larger IRISE initiative called Documenting the Past, Fostering the Future (DPFF), faculty from the across the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences will use 12-18 courses to amplify Youth Voices in El Movimiento and the Struggle for Racial Justice along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountain West. The NEH grant will allow us to design a robust and integrated multi-course curriculum to engage students, faculty, and community members in place-based learning and humanities research to understand how the activities of young people from this area played a role in the past to inform perspectives for racial justice work in the present and future. These classes will engage students in primary research and give them skills in the production of original, community-centered multimedia narratives. Oral histories or testimonios that the students collect will contribute towards efforts to decolonize the archives of the Rocky Mountain West. At least 12 testimonios will be housed at History Colorado, who is also a partner in this effort. As students work with a team of faculty members and local historians, they will center young people in cross-generational dialogue as major change agents and thought leaders in the Chicane/x movement of the 1960s and 1970s and the larger struggle for racial justice today.


The courses will be part of the University’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) program and are being developed in partnership with the Departments of

Students will be able to take the courses either as part of a major or minor or in fulfillment of their liberal arts requirements.


In Press

NEH announces $28.1 Million for 204 Humanities Projects Nationwide

DU student, Camila French, shares her thoughts about the project. 


Follow us online @irise_du 

"Being able to interview someone who grew up here allowed me to see Denver for what it is now and learn about how it used to be."

Camila French, DU Student
collage of chicano movement photos over map of northern Colorado from 1905

Project Team

IRISE has partnered with a group of scholars, scholar-activists, and community partners from multiple disciplines across DU and Colorado to be  engaged in all aspects of this curricular project. Faculty partners contribute their passions and scholarly expertise to design and curate a curriculum that fosters the skills, insights, opportunities, and content that this project seeks to bring together, in collaboration with a diverse range of community organizations, voices, and partners. 

Project Directors

Headshot of Tom Romero

Tom I. Romero

Associate Professor; Faculty Director, IRISE

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Marinka photo

Marinka Swift

IRISE Associate Director

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Lisa Martinez headshot

Lisa M. Martinez


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Lynn Schofield Clark

Lynn Schofield Clark

Professor and Director, Estlow Center

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Lead Instructors

Lina Reznicek-Parrado

Lina M Reznicek-Parrado

Teaching Assistant Professor, Spanish; Director, Spanish Program for Heritage/Bilingual Speakers

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Carlos Jimenez Jr.

Assistant Professor

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Esteban Gomez

Esteban Gomez

Co-Director, Undergraduate Studies; Associate Professor, Museum & Heritage Studies

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Our postdoctoral fellows are publishing research which is shaping the field of diversity, equity and inclusion across sectors. 

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When the Levees Break:

The Cost of Vicarious Trauma, Microaggressions and Emotional Labor for Black Administrators and Faculty Engaging in Race Work at Traditionally White Institutions

by Dr. Myntha Anthym and Dr. Frank Tuitt
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education


Lessons for My Hijo and Other Children of Indigenous Immigrants

by Dr. David Barillas-Chon
InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies

A Lighter Shade of Brown?

Racial Formation and Gentrification in Latino Los Angeles 

by Dr. Alfredo Huante
Oxford Academic