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Douglass Day: What’s in a Name? A Discussion with Princeton University and Public School Students

February 13, 2021 · 3:00 pm4:30 pm EST · Zoom

The Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton Public Library, Princeton Public Schools

In June 2020, the Princeton University Board of Trustees voted to change the names of the University’s School of Public and International Affairs and of Wilson College. As President Christopher Eisgruber wrote at the time, “the trustees concluded that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms.”

Two months later, the Princeton Public School Board of Education voted to remove the name John Witherspoon from the town’s middle school; Witherspoon, a Princeton resident who signed the Declaration of Independence, was a slaveholder.

At this panel, students and teachers from Princeton Public Schools and Princeton University undergraduates will discuss their experiences advocating for these renamings. Why did these issues matter to them? What did they learn from being part of these important events? What can others gain from their experiences? As panelists reflect on these transformational moments in their communities, we will all have a chance to look back on a critical year for racial justice advocacy in Princeton and beyond.

This event is presented in partnership with Princeton Public Library and Princeton Public Schools.

Register at the PPL website: https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/4855446

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