Preserve George Merrick's Name & Legacy at the University of Miami

Preserve George Merrick's Name & Legacy at the University of Miami

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Amanda Rose started this petition to Julio Frenk and

This petition requests that the University of Miami preserve the name, and all references, of George Merrick on the University of Miami's campus. Efforts to remove the name of George Merrick (the founder of the University of Miami & the City of Coral Gables) from campus structures are being vocalized by a faction of the University of Miami community. There is no better time to discuss Merrick's good deeds and honor his legacy than now!

Please read the letter of request, explaining why George Merrick's name and legacy should be preserved on campus, and why we should start adding context to culture, rather than cancel culture.

Letter of request: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:bcd5e243-430d-4019-9ff1-2ee05bb8a7d5

We request that: 

1. The University of Miami preserve the name of George Merrick and all mention of his legacy, already assigned to University of Miami buildings, landmarks, roads, and all other structures.


2. The University of Miami reverse their decision of May 3, 2021, "to no longer refer to the structure on Merrick Drive by our founder's [George Merrick's] name."


3. The University of Miami establish an on-campus Historic Preservation & Revival Organization. Which will seek to work with the Coral Gables Association of Historic Preservation & local specialists to increase on-campus historic preservation. And also seek to promote on-campus and local architectural revival complimentary to the historic styles of Coral Gables.

George Merrick In Context: A sentence from Merrick's 1937 address has been used out of context by a faction of our community, who seek to remove Merrick's name and legacy from the city and university he founded. The way they presented the quote egregiously misrepresents George Merrick. Please read his address in its entirety, and see that Merrick wanted to improve the living conditions for all in his community. George Merrick's address to the Miami Realty Board on May 17, 1937 & Bay Front Park on May 28, 1937: https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asc9999/id/13342/rec/1 "Now in the three years when I used to peddle vegetables in Miami—from 1898, I used to take my load around to the several hundred homes, whose men worked largely for Flagler, then to the P. & O. steamers, if they were in, or to the Royal Palm Hotel, if it was in season. If I had anything in the wagon left over, I would go over into negro town and get rid of it. Sadly, but truly, that is the picture of how we have always treated our negro population. If anything is left over, or anything we do not want, then the negroes get that. Today one third of our present population is negro. When we will have a million people, we will have at least a fourth of a million negroes. Today this third of our present citizenry are effectively denied water access and “water use.” Now collectively, as well as individually, we cannot receive fairness, unless we give fairness. It is proposed—for Miami at least, that this unfair condition be remedied. It is proposed to give fairness to this deserving one third of our citizenry. It is proposed that at a proper point on this proposed fifty mile water Loop, that a great Bay beach be established and forever preserved for negro use. And that similarly, on the ocean side of the Loop that similar advantages be established and preferably in one whole little island facing on the Gulf Stream, which could ideally be made there for them an ocean and Gulf Stream park.

Next, it is visioned and proposed that during the next twenty years, a complete slum clearance be made, effectively removing every negro family from the present city limits. And it is proposed that this not be done in the “Marble City” or Liberty City manner; (that project, good and laudable as it is, is not the proper solution of the local tropical negro housing problem.) The proper model for this Miami negro housing problem, is to be found in Nassau in their negro town—called Grants Town. Here, is a population of over 10,000 negroes housed under ideal tropical conditions. Each plot is a quarter of an acre to an acre. Each plot is covered like a thick jungle with a wide variety of tropical fruit trees producing one half of each family’s living. The houses are not expensive, but they are suitable, they are what these people themselves want and like. They are a mixture of African, English and Spanish. They are attractive, artistic, home-like, but above everything else, they are what these people want. This is a self-respecting community that has been crimeless for fifty years. This Grants Town is the model of which it is proposed three such towns be established—north, central and south in the Miami County area. It should be the goal that this plan be completely accomplished within twenty years. This is a most essential fundamental of our great balanced city of a million. With this must come a county-wide, county controlled transportation system. Whereby these negroes and other workers can be brought back and forth at a very cheap rate. The identical plan is now in effect in Nassau, a thirty mile long island, whereby such workers are transported at extremely low rates. This can be done by a county controlled, county wide transportation system. Here let me say that our Planning Council has requested and insistently pushed for the present Legislature to give our County Commission certain powers enabling them to initiate and control some of the things that I am suggesting in this talk. So far we have not succeeded. This must succeed, as the County Commission must have these powers in order to establish and preserve from private domination, these I essential factors of our large city’s growth.”

From "Planning the greater Miami for tomorrow," University of Miami. Library. Special collections. Pages 10-12. Access at link below https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asc9999/id/13342/rec/1

Thank you for your support!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!