The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE club joining effort to rename Arlington street

By Karen Gavis/se news editor
The SE Campus Historical Underground Society assisted the Arlington NAACP in an effort to gather 3,000 petition signatures for the “End the Division” campaign, which wants Division Street renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

On April 17, Historical Underground members manned a table in the ESCT building and presented fliers with information describing the campaign and scheduled April 28 march and rally. SE student and society member Sarah Dinh said the group acquired as many signatures as possible from students and teachers for the petition.
“In order to change the name, the NAACP had to initiate a petition to secure more than 3,000 signatures of supporters for the campaign, supporters being anyone who agrees with what the campaign stands for,” Dinh said. “And this is where the Historical Underground, our TCC organization, made its way into the mix.”

SE history instructor and society sponsor Bradley Borougerdi said the group gathered about 55 signatures during the petition signing on SE and is planning another event soon. Borougerdi said he became interested in the cause after meeting a supporter while attending the recent Trayvon Martin Rally on SE. Afterward, society members decided to become supporters of the proposed name change.

“The name Division itself implies a divide when Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to unite,” Borougerdi said.

Former NW Campus adjunct instructor Bridgett Davis said Arlington is the only major city in the United States without a Martin Luther King, Jr. street. Davis also said blacks are not represented on the Arlington city council or school board.

“We want our voices to be valued,” she said.

Arlington NAACP president Silk Gamble said the campaign is going well but has met some resistance. The campaign is not a battle but simply a process, and the group will continue until the process is complete, Gamble said.

“All we are asking people to do is embrace the initiative,” she said. “We could have had a parade instead of a unity march.”

The Dallas Cowboys allowed use of one of its parking lots for the April 28 march and rally which began on Eastern Star Street.

Gamble said she was told it was “practice” that 80 percent of Division Street businesses would have to agree to the name change, which would cause additional expenses because business owners who would need to purchase new signage, business cards and letterhead.

“To me, practice means nothing if there’s not a policy behind it,” she said. “And if you have it on paper, show it to us.”

Gamble said the campaign is not just about naming a street, but about ending division in Arlington. And because Division is also a state highway, the group can take their cause to the State Legislature.

“At some point and time, enough is enough,” she said. “You’ve got to want to end the division for the children.”

Those wanting to sign the petition, donate or volunteer can visit www.arlingtontexasnaacp.org, Gamble said.

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