State Watch

DC school system mulls changing name of Woodrow Wilson High to August Wilson

Playwright August Wilson speaks at the American National Theater Founders Celebration in 2005
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The Washington, D.C., school system is considering changing the namesake of Wilson High School from Woodrow Wilson to August Wilson.

Critics have for years called for the school to distance itself from former President Wilson over what Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has called his “legacy of segregationist policies,” NBC4 Washington reported on Wednesday.

D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee says changing the name to honor the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, famous for his “Pittsburgh Cycle” chronicling African American life throughout the 20th century, would better align with District values.

“At DCPS, where a majority of our school leaders and students, and nearly half of our teachers identify as Black, we are committed to fulfilling the efforts of social activism and ensuring that the names we call our schools reflect our values and commitment to diversity,” Ferebee said, according to NBC4.

“We know the legacy of President Wilson. I think it has been appropriately disavowed,” Bowser previously said about the issue.

The name change has to be approved by the D.C. Council and would go into effect this fall.

The Hill has reached out to Bowser’s office for comment.

The nationwide push to change names associated with slavery and segregation gained new momentum last year alongside the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tags august wilson Black Lives Matter DCPS Muriel Bowser school name changes Washington DC Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson High School

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