Statement on Renaming Schools
The Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida joins the Northside Coalition, Take ‘Em Down Jax, 904ward, and many other organizations and individuals in our city calling for a name change for schools named for Confederate leaders. We should not celebrate leaders who fought to preserve the enslavement of millions of African-Americans, nor maintain school names which were instituted during the era of Jim Crow to send a racist message. Instead, we should honor the Students and Employees of Color at these schools by ending the harm these names inflict.
Our board includes Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, and Non-religious members. As people of diverse faith and beliefs, we call together on values like:
- Repentance, which means we should turn from our ways when we have done wrong
- Compassion, which means we should feel the hurt of those who have been harmed
- Justice, which means struggling to restore those who have been wronged
- Transformation, which means our community can change if we do the work and even those who oppose that change are invited to change their minds
We invite people of faith and indeed all citizens of Jacksonville to embrace these values and support changing school names. We invite faith leaders and communities to make their voices heard for change. The Confederate school names must be changed.
How can you take action today? Write or Call, Mobilize, and Vote! Everyone can email or call our school board member and let them know the names should be changed.You can find your school board member’s contact here: https://dcps.duvalschools.org/domain/4440
You can put a yard sign in your yard. You can protest with Northside Coalition and Take ‘Em Down Jax on Tuesdays at 4:30 at the School Board meeting.
If you live in the areas of these schools, whether you have children in the schools or not, you can vote for the change. You call follow the progress here: https://dcps.duvalschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=29655
And this should only be the beginning of our commitments to dismantling White Supremacy and systemic racism. We look to organizations like those mentioned above, like LIFT JAX, which is seeking to eradicate generational poverty on the Eastside and across our city. We call on faith communities to commit resources to this work, as we will do. Making reparation and establishing a more just Jacksonville will be a long but healing process if we undertake it. Then we will be a bold city where all can truly thrive.
Join Jacksonville’s RALLY AGAINST ASIAN HATE,
supporting the Asian American Pacific Islander Community,
Saturday April 10, 4-6pm at Memorial Park.
The Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida stands in solidarity and grief with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the face of the recent alarming rise in anti-Asian attacks, particularly the murders in Atlanta this week of eight people, six of whom were Asian women. We mourn with those who mourn for all the victims of this crime, including Delaina Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.
This follows on the heels of over a year of escalation of attacks against Asian Americans, and shameful instances of racist speech from former President Trump and other leaders who stoked the flames of hate. Sadly, this trend is part of a historical prejudice against Asian peoples in the United States. We must listen to our AAPI neighbors when they tell us that these attacks have grown worse, but racist treatment and language has always been a part of their experience and our national history. From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II down to this day, white supremacy has done violence to our AAPI neighbors. We must fight to overturn this legacy.
We honor the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander people, who number among our board members, partners, and participants, and whose diverse cultures, traditions, and religions enrich our region and nation. The Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida is committed to highlighting AAPI religious and wisdom traditions and the riches they have to offer, and giving the microphone to AAPI people of faith to share their experience.
In a resolute spirit of solidarity against hate, committed to the values of hospitality and mutual curiosity, the Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida recommits ourselves in support for Asian American/Pacific Islander communities and invites people of good will throughout our region to join us.
Interfaith Center NorthEast Florida | Building of mutual understanding among diverse faiths
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