A team led by alumni of Thomas Nelson Community College, Turn the Tide Committee, is campaigning for Virginia Governor Glenn Yankin to refrain from renaming Thomas Nelson and other community colleges.
The colleges – originally known as Thomas Nelson, John Tyler, Patrick Henry and Debbie S. Lancaster – were named after individuals who owned slaves or promoted racist policies such as school separation.
“On behalf of the Virginia Commonwealth, who have chosen you to ‘roll-back’ the dangerous and misconceptions commonly known as ‘critical race theory’, we offer our sincere request: We ask you to allow the people of Virginia to decide to change the name of Thomas.” Nelson, John Tyler, Patrick Henry, Lord Fairfax and Debbie’s Community College, ”the petition reads.
In addition to the petition, an attorney has filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Community College on behalf of a group of Shenandoah County residents to stop the name change, according to a press release from the Turn the Tide Committee.
All organizations have already chosen new titles according to their websites. Virginia State Board of Community Colleges last year renamed Laurel Ridge Community College from Lord Fairfax, Brightpoint Community College from John Tyler, Patrick & Henry Community College from Patrick Henry, and Mountain Gateway Community College from Dobney S. Lancaster. At Virginia Peninsula Community College.