A recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia attempted to influence administrators to change the name of one building on campus.
Taking issue with the fact that the school honors the current U.S. Supreme Court associate justice with its Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation, Sage Lucero started the online petition to rename the building.
In an interview with Campus Reform, she explained the motivation behind the petition, which appears to have been removed from the Change.org website as of this writing.
Lucero said collecting signatures to change the name of the hall to honor Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment ahead of his confirmation to the high court, was an effort to “really start a conversation” about how we talk about women and “the way in which we advocate for women’s rights and diversity.”
Though she was serious in her desire to see the building’s name changed, she said her primary goal is “to start that conversation regarding the bigger issue here.”
In fact, she said the building in question is small, adding that most students don’t visit it and are largely “unaware that the name of the building had the namesake” it does.
Her petition succeeded in raising awareness of the building’s name, though a counterpetition revealed that thousands of individuals want to leave the building’s name alone.
As of this writing, that post has reached nearly 90 percent of its 25,000-signature goal.
Lamar Bowman began the Change.org petition directed at SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace.
According to Campus Reform, Bowman’s petition received “10 times more signatures than opposition.”
Bowman identified himself as the parent of two SCAD graduates and someone who is “proud to know that there is a building on that campus that recognizes one of the most accomplished African Americans of our time.”
He said the legacy could serve individual students and the campus as a whole for generations to come.
“I am proud to live in a country where someone can begin life deep within the clutches of poverty and racial oppression, but through hard work, education, faith and determination become a Senior Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Bowman wrote.
“Justice Thomas’ story is only possible in one place on this Earth — the United States of America. His life and the good he has done with it serves as a testament to the idea that anyone with the will to work hard and overcome obstacles can achieve anything. His story is one that I want my children to know and understand.”
The petition went on to claim that “defending and preserving the legacy of African Americans like Clarence Thomas on SCAD’s campus” could help heal the political divisions evident in our country today.
“I feel called to author this petition to show just how many people support Justice Thomas and his legacy,” Bowman wrote.
The petition concludes by affirming that those who sign it stand with Thomas “and SCAD’s decision to rightly honor his service and inspiration to so many of us regardless of politics.”
An earlier version of this article accidentally referred to Ms. Sage Lucero as “he.” We apologize to Ms. Lucero and our readers for this error.
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