Two Berkeley schools named for founding fathers who were slaveholders will get new names following a push by Black Lives Matter activists, according to a newspaper report.
The Berkeley Unified School District board unanimously approved a “Resolution in Support of Black Lives Matter” during a meeting last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday. The move started the process of of renaming Jefferson and Washington elementary schools.
The current school names commemorate the first and third U.S. presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who both owned slaves.
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Berkeley community members tried in 2005 to rename Jefferson Elementary, but the motion was not passed. The current Black Lives Matter movement, following police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, inspired a renewed, successful effort to change the schools’ names, the Chronicle said.
Also included in the resolution is a new, year-round “Black Joy Campaign,” described as resources and training for teachers to identify additional measures of racial inequity and collect data in schools, the newspaper reported.