Change the name of the Jean Yawkey Center of Emmanuel College

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In October 2019, Emmanuel College's Black Student Union released a campus-wide document named: "We the Students: A Call to Action" with the intention to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for all. Many issues were brought to the attention of Sister Janet, President of Emmanuel College, including the renaming of the Jean Yawkey Center. As it currently stands, the building that holds the athletic center, as well as the dining hall at Emmanuel College is named the Jean Yawkey Center. The JYC is one of the most popular places on campus, as a majority of the students elect to socialize and finish their schoolwork in this facility (Call to Action, 2019). The Yawkey family has an incredibly racist history. The building is named after the wife of former Boston Red Sox owner, Tom Yawkey, who was a notorious racist. When Tom Yawkey was the owner of the Red Sox, they were the last team in the MLB to end the segregation of players, as well as the last major sports team in Boston to do so as well. Yawkey at one point hired a man named Michael "Pinky" Higgins as a manager, who had been quoted saying racist rhetoric such as - "They'll be no niggers on this ballclub as long as I have anything to say about it."

As a student-athlete at Emmanuel College, I can say from personal experience that having us practice and play in a building with an oppressive and racist history is both hurtful and insensitive. To have the building where black athletes spend hours a day perfecting their craft for free just so Emmanuel College can turn around and profit off our likeness and talents so a majority white population can watch us perform does not sit well with me and should not sit well with anyone else who attends this school.No student, whether they are black, brown, white, or a student-athlete should have to use facilities that glorify white supremacy. The city of Boston changed the name of the historical street from Yawkey Way to Jersey Street - what is stopping Emmanuel College from making a change? The Emmanuel College Black Student Union has been suggesting a name change since October 2019 and has been met with silence from the school. The BSU wants the name to be changed "to represent someone who exemplifies and supports the values of social justice, which Emmanuel College strives to be known for" (Call to Action, 2019).

The link to the October 2019 Call to Action document can be found here:

https://www.emmanuel.edu/Documents/We%20the%20Students%20A%20Call%20to%20Action.pdf