Topic

Racial Justice

425 petitions

Update posted 9 hours ago

Petition to Fairfax County School Board

Rename J.E.B. Stuart High School after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

We have been friends since 8th grade in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended J.E.B. Stuart High School. When our school was founded in 1959, it was named after Stuart, a Confederate General, to protest the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling that ended the segregation of public schools. Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. So we're calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community. When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ’70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001--but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains. No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents, as we and so many alumni of Stuart have felt the need to do our whole lives. The killings of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist who proudly flew and wore the Confederate battle flag was a tragic reminder of how these symbols of hate continue to fuel racism and violence. And it’s sparked a national conversation about the appropriateness of honoring the Confederacy, especially in institutions of learning. Renaming schools is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in 2013 a father in Jacksonville, Florida launched a successful petition on Change.org to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We have the support of many current students, represented by Students for Change, and former students, represented by Alumni for Change, as well as the Fairfax County NAACP and People Demanding Action. It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School. Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television and theater. Bruce won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY in 1999. He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). He was nominated for an Emmy for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2010. Bruce has always been passionate about promoting fairness and equality. He graduated from J.E.B. Stuart in 1979. Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress, who won the Best Actress Oscar this year, as well as the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, for STILL ALICE. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Best Actress in THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) and Best Supporting Actress in BOOGIE NGHTS (1997) and THE HOURS (2002). Julianne works diligently to effect change for many causes that are close to her heart. She attended J.E.B. Stuart from 1975-77.

Julianne Moore and Bruce Cohen
35,441 supporters
Started 10 hours ago

Petition to Gregory L. Fenves, UT Austin Board of Regents

Tear Down Confederate Statues on UT Austin Campus

Statues on UT's South Mall currently memorialize the figures of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Albert S. Johnston, and Confederate Postmaster General John H. Reagan*. It is past time that the University express unequivocal condemnation of the Confederacy's legacy of slavery and white supremacy, and of its lionization in Jim Crow era installations like those on campus, by removing these statues the way that they did the statue of Jefferson Davis in 2015. These figures' various historical connections to Texas qualify them, perhaps, for display in a museum, but not for a place of honor on our campus. We call on University President, Gregory L. Fenves, and on UT Austin's Board of Regents to show moral leadership by making this happen. Following the violence of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA, who came out explicitly to protect a statue of Robert E. Lee, the UT Austin Community must join with cities across the country in announcing that, far from being intimidated by threats of violence, we will stand even firmer in our resolve to confront our country's shameful legacy of racism. Austin's own city council has, since the events in Charlottesville, already begun the process of removing General Lee's name from a South Austin street ( http://www.statesman.com/news/local/austin-city-council-will-begin-process-renaming-robert-lee-road/c9bsekDTU9EEvoLONxDzxK/ ) Per President Fenves' own recent statements to the Austin American Statesman, "The display of hatred and violent actions by white supremacists in Charlottesville reaffirms our need to reject racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms. There is no place in American society for ideologies that deny the equality of others" (http://www.statesman.com/news/local/fenves-place-for-white-supremacy-america/4JXIc1T8tFOK4Can0kR2gP/ ) We ask the University President and Regents to act in ways commensurate with this admirable statement: remove Confederate statues from our campus. * While now slightly out of date, the Daily Texan's 2014 interactive map of UT statues is a good primer on these statues' locations and history: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2014/03/19/the-statues-of-ut-interactive-map

Megan Hyska
428 supporters
Update posted 11 hours ago

Petition to Micah Smith

Change South Albany's confederate "rebel" mascot

We call on Greater Albany Public Schools to take immediate action and change the confederate "rebel" mascot at South Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. In light of the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017, it's time for Albany to take action and remove this symbol of the confederacy. The continued use of the "rebel" name and imagery contributes to a climate of hatred and bigotry. While we commend the removal of more blatant confederate imagery over the years (ie Yosemite Sam solider, red & gray confederate flag, etc), the term "rebel" has clear roots in the civil war and South Albany's break with "Union" high school. In the early 70s students chose the mascot almost as a cheeky joke and thought it would be fun to play off the secession themes: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/07/south_albany_rebel_mascot.html  As confederate statues go down across the South, it's time for South Albany to stop clinging to a symbol of slavery and racism and to take a stand in solidarity with African Americans and other communities of color threatened by racism and the rise of white nationalism in this country.  Crystal Middlestadt is a 1998 graduate of South Albany High School.  This article gives context to Oregon's unique history of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2017/06/29/skin-in-the-game-how-antisemitism-animates-white-nationalism/#sthash.bG2UgS06.dpbs

Crystal Middlestadt
48 supporters