APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities released a statement supporting the proposed name change of Lincoln Elementary School in Appleton.
Lincoln Elementary School is in process of potentially changing the school’s name to the Ron C. Dunlap School. Dunlap was a principal at Lincoln and served as the District’s first Coordinator of Minority Services.
After Dunlap passed away in 2019, a committee was formed to discuss how to properly honor him.
The Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities’ statement mentions they feel that President Lincoln is memorialized in several ways across the local, state and national levels. While Dunlap had a significant impact on the Appleton Area School District and the Appleton Community.
The statement also goes on to say that the name change will make Appleton and its school district a more inclusive and welcoming place for all people.
Even if the name change does go through, the school’s mantra will remain “Home of the Lincoln Lions”.
The full statement can be read below:
Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities fully supports the proposal to change the name of Lincoln Elementary School in Appleton to the Ron C. Dunlap School. The school’s mantra will remain “Home of the Lincoln Lions”. We feel that this is the kind of forward-thinking action that will make Appleton and its school district a more inclusive and welcoming place for all people.
We feel President Lincoln is memorialized in several ways on a local, state, and national level. We do not believe that his part in history, nor his legacy will be adversely affected by changing this school’s name. Mr. Dunlap, on the other hand, is significant and unique to the Appleton Area School District, Lincoln students and staff, and to the Appleton community. In addition to being the beloved principal of Lincoln Elementary for nearly two decades, he was an active participant in several community organizations: African Heritage, Inc., Appleton’s Police & Fire Commission and President of the Noon Lion’s Club. Furthermore, his impact and influence extended across the state of Wisconsin. Mr. Dunlap was not only a role model and mentor to his students and staff, but also for many of the leaders and residents in our community. CDFC recognizes that representation matters, and believe that it is important for all students, but especially for students of color, as well as the community at-large, to see Mr. Dunlap honored in this way.
Finally, Mr. Dunlap was a person that demonstrated an ability to bring people together. His mantra to, “Treat people the way you wish to be treated and always carry yourself with respect and dignity” is well known by his staff and students. It eventually inspired the City of Appleton to launch the Dignity and Respect Campaign. Those that knew him best, know that these were not just words, but a way of life for him. In a world that feels much too polarized at times, his legacy leaves us with a guide for creating a community where everyone can belong, feel safe and where diversity is not just accepted…it is celebrated. For all these reasons and more, we wholeheartedly support this name change.Celebrate Diversty Fox Cities
The statement was released on Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities’ Facebook page.