Let's make history! Let's name Edinburgh's new school after a trailblazing black woman.

Let's make history! Let's name Edinburgh's new school after a trailblazing black woman.

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Vineet Lal started this petition to The City of Edinburgh Council and

Do you agree that a new school in Edinburgh, Scotland, deserves a truly exceptional name? A name with a story. A name for our future. A name that says who we are.

My late mother, Saroj Lal (1937-2020), was a truly remarkable woman. A woman ahead of her time. She was a pioneering teacher in Edinburgh who dedicated her life to fighting for equality, diversity and fairness for all. She began her career at South Morningside Primary School more than half a century ago, in August 1970, and was one of the very earliest black or Asian teachers in the city.

Saroj was an anti-racist educator and committed feminist who cared passionately about women, and went on to become a leading activist for women’s rights, a groundbreaking campaigner for equality and diversity for minority communities, and a trailblazer in Scottish race relations as Director of Lothian Racial Equality Council. She sadly passed away in March 2020.

A brand-new primary school is being built on Canaan Lane in Edinburgh's Morningside area. The option of naming the new school 'Saroj Lal Primary School' is one of the (currently) 2 options that the Council has put forward to the pupils, parents and families of the 4 existing primary schools in the area: South Morningside, Bruntsfield, James Gillespie’s and St Peter’s RC. The final decision will be made (via a Council survey in August, when schools resume post-summer) by the pupils in these 4 schools along with their parents and families. The other option is to name the school as 'Canaan Lane Primary School', based purely on its location.

There is now a live campaign to support the proposal to name the school after Saroj – both as a tribute to her life and legacy, and as an inspiration to generations of young people yet to come, especially young women and girls. On Friday 9 July we launched the Saroj Lal Campaign Centre in Morningside to support our proposal.

‘Saroj Lal Primary School’ would probably be the first school in Scotland (and perhaps the UK) to be named after a black woman (and a teacher into the bargain). That decision would send a powerful message to the world about Edinburgh and Scotland, about us, about what we stand for. It would place the City of Edinburgh Council centre stage – as a global leader in taking a stance against racism, and in the ongoing fight for equality, diversity and fairness for all.

YOU too can support the campaign by a) signing this petition and encouraging others to sign it too, b) sharing Saroj's story and encouraging the families of pupils at the 4 existing schools to support the proposal when the vote takes place, and c) sending a supportive email or letter to the Convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council's Education Committee: ian.perry@edinburgh.gov.uk

Let’s be bold. Let’s make history happen. Let’s be proud to be us.

Find out more about Saroj Lal and download the full proposal at: www.sarojlal.com

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!