Activists celebrated outside the Christopher Columbus Family Academy in New Haven just a day after the Board of Education voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and to rename the school.
“I was really happy,” said John Lugo with Unidad Latina en Accion.
Lugo has been among those calling for the name change for years. Now he has some ideas as board members debate how this school should be known in the future.
“We prefer like the name of the school will be someone who represents the first, like the First Nations who were here before the Europeans arrive,” said Lugo.
Also among the crowd were members of Black and Brown United in Action.
“I think this is a touch of what Connecticut itself can do to really show that they really stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and they do care about Black and Brown people,” said CJ of Black and Brown United in Action.
While it’s important to change names, among other steps, CJ says in an effort to lead the way in equality and justice, there must also be a focus on making sure education is more inclusive.
“There’s not enough representation of all nationalities, you see. We do not learn enough about Black history. We do not learn enough about Latino history. We don’t even touch indigenous history,” said CJ.
Community groups are planning a party of sorts to celebrate the removal of the school name.
It’s being scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday.