Leave Our Small Town Alone

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Nobody residing in the town of Russell has ever once thought “I love living here because the founder was racist.” Attempting to erase history causes people to forget about it, and only allows it to repeat itself. We should be learning and growing from our mistakes. There are significantly bigger issues happening around the world to focus on, the name of a small town is not one of them. We need to be using this time and money to focus on positive change and resources for our community members, not fighting the letters on a sign. Why not host a town hall and learn from our community what changes they need and want? Or start a fundraiser for more community activities and resources? As someone who spent a month in Ecuador learning about what problems and challenges that minorities are facing, who was on the Ottawa Police Youth Advisory Committee working directly with Ottawa’s youth to learn what injustices they’ve faced, and who spent 2 years working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa with 15 different children and their families of all ages and backgrounds - I can assure you not a single person said “let’s change the name of a small welcoming town, that’ll fix my problems.” Direct the energy and motivation where it matters - making true long lasting community changes that will help our friends and family grow together. The millions of dollars that would be spent to change the name on our town, restaurants, local businesses, drivers licenses, ownerships, insurance, books, EVERYTHING should be used to benefit the community, not change the letters on a sign.