White Concordians should back ‘Ellen Garrison’ school naming

April 24, 2024

I am writing as a Concord resident, mother of three school-aged children (one in middle school), and a career teacher. 

As a white adult who has the privilege of working with young people, I feel it is imperative upon me to do my own work around issues involving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. One thing that I have learned over my 20-plus years doing this work is that I, as a white person, will never truly understand the experiences of my Black and brown students. Because of this, there are times when I need to put my own thoughts, ideas, and opinions on issues aside and amplify their voices in our schools and communities. 

In the case of the naming of our new middle school, these voices are telling us to name the new middle school after Ellen Garrison. I call on other white people in our community who are voicing support for the name “Concord Middle School” to join me in putting our own preferences for a middle school name aside and amplifying the voices of Black and brown people in our community who are calling for us to name the school after Ellen Garrison.

Sarah Bettencourt

West Circle