San Francisco, with one of the largest Chinese communities in the United States, is pushing to recognize Chinese heritage through renaming public schools after Chinese historical figures.
San Francisco school board has recently passed a resolution to establish a panel of experts to rename the public schools which were named after controversial historical figures.
"This is an important step for San Francisco schools to better reflect the diversity of its students and families," said School Board Commissioner Matt Haney, also co-author of the resolution.
"Chinese students make up one of the largest segments of the student body and the Chinese community is threaded in the fabric of San Francisco's identity, yet our school names fail to reflect that," he said.
Currently only four of 136 schools in San Francisco Unified School District are named after Chinese figures, including John Yehall Chin Elementary, Gordon J. Lau Elementary, Yick Wo Elementary, and Alice Fong Yu Alternative School.
In 2016, Haney called for reevaluating school names and honor Chinese historical figures and community leaders.
The schools he called for renaming of include George Washington High School because Washington was a slave owner.
"We still have schools named after individuals who took part in anti-Chinese racism and discrimination. This is unacceptable," said Haney.
According to the resolution, the new panel will be comprised of experts in such fields as history, arts, and ethnic studies.
The experts will investigate the appropriateness of names of schools, hold public hearings, and present its findings and suggestions to the school board by June 2020, at which time the panel will be dissolved.
"The panel must include strong representation from the Chinese community. This will be a process that ensures the voices of our students, educators and residents are all heard," said Haney.
"Our city's history has been shaped by Chinese leaders like the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee -- it's time we recognize that more fully in our education system," he said.
The resolution is an effort of a larger movement across the country to reevaluate the glorification of historical figures who participated in enslavement, subjugation and oppression.
The Palo Alto Unified School District decided to change the names of two schools which were originally named after two men who were leading advocates of eugenics.