SANTA CRUZ – Cabrillo College is set to hold its final community meeting on updating its namesake, a process that began more than a year ago after questions and criticism arose around the horrible settler story associated with explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo.
As the community began to question the college’s name in 2020, the nation was gripped by protests of racial justice, largely spurred on by the murder of George Floyd.
The reunion, which will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. on Zoom, is the latest open conversation to the public in a series hosted by the college, where community members and faculty have expressed both support for the name change, as well as reviews of the potential to rebrand. Another forum for faculty, staff and retirees to provide feedback is on October 12th.
According to a letter published by the exploration committee named Cabrillo, historians generally agree that the “explorer’s roles in Cuba and Mexico led to what would be the modern equivalent of cultural genocide,” sex trafficking and possession of slaves “.
In an essay, Azucena Serna, a student at Cabrillo College wrote that they support the name change.
“Cabrillo College actually needs to change its name because it continues to honor a violent historical figure who has caused harm and death to innocent indigenous peoples,” Serna wrote. “If Cabrillo College changed its name, it would not only do justice for the deaths that have been caused because of it, but also, we will no longer honor a cruel individual who does not deserve to be recognized.
Others have strong ties to the name, despite the historical association.
“When I think of the name Cabrillo College, I think of how it is known as one of the best community colleges in the United States,” wrote student Elizabeth Gonzalez. “To remove the name and change it to something different would be horrible for those who are graduating from it. They would be stuck with a certificate from a school whose name no longer exists.
Some alternative names that have been suggested include London Nelson College, Amah Mutsun College, and Santa Cruz Community College.
According to the college’s website, the name exploration subcommittee will prepare a report on the name change of the college board of directors by spring 2022. The final vote to change the name of the college will also take place. during the school’s spring semester.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
What: Community dialogue on a potential name change for Cabrillo College.
When: Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Or: cccconfer.zoom.us/j/99977129453. Meeting number: 999 7712 9453.