At their May 14 meeting, the BEU Representative Council will discuss and vote on whether to endorse an upcoming Brookline Town Meeting warrant article calling for a name change for the Edward Devotion School. BEU members will be discussing the question in their buildings in the coming weeks so they can share their viewpoints with the reps who will decide on the BEU position.
The call for a name change has been gaining momentum. A growing number in the Brookline community are considering the implications of a history that a transition to a new building provides one reason to examine. Edward Devotion rejected the anti-slavery creed and was a slave owner. Wealth derived from the labor and treatment as a commodity of a human being became part of a bequest to the town that was later celebrated with the naming of the school for the slaveholder, Devotion.
The campaign has become a powerful opportunity for the Brookline community to disclose the hidden exploitation of people of African descent in Brookline’s history and beyond, and to finally ask how this exploitation can be redressed and ended in our time. The union has joined this effort.
HERE ARE MATERIALS FOR DISCUSSION CREATED BY MEMBERS OF THE CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE THE NAME OF DEVO:
Frequently asked questions about the name change
Historical Chronology of the Edward Devotion school name
Why a name change matters–presentation to the School Committee by Deborah Brown