Sunday, July 21, 2024

‘Change Our Name’ Holds Essay Contest for Fort Bragg High School Students Offering Cash Prizes

The following is a press release from Change Our Name:

[Stock photos by Matt LaFever]

In a project designed to get Fort Bragg High School students thinking and writing about their school name, the grassroots community group Change Our Name announces an essay contest asking students to write on the subject “The Name of Fort Bragg High School Should be Changed” or “The Name of Fort Bragg High School Should Not be Changed.”

Explained Change Our Name: “Of course the 300 or so folks who are part of our group are clearly in favor of a name change given Braxton Bragg’s role as a General in the Confederate Army and as a slaveholder and the Fort’s historical role in dispossessing the original Indigenous inhabitants of our land. But we realize that many people and many students don’t know this history. So the contest will impel them to research and make up their own minds about the issue. The essays will be judged not on whether the students agree with us but on the breadth of their research and the force of their arguments for or against the name change.”

Contest prizes will be $1,000 first prize, $500 second place and $200 third place. The judging will be independent of Change Our Name by five community leaders unaffiliated with Change Our Name:; Jane Person, current Secretary and Past President of the League of Women Voters and a retired high school English teacher; and Loreto Rojas, who holds degrees in Pedagogy of Spanish Language and in Journalism and Mass Communication. She teaches Spanish at Mendocino College and co-hosts MendoLatino and Talking About CA., both available as podcasts from KZYX.

Entrees will be accepted from February 1, 2023 to March 30, 2023 and should be sent as attachments to changeournamefortbragg@gmail.com

More information and all contest rules can be found at www.changeournamefortbragg.com.

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Change Our Name is a California nonprofit corporation dedicated to changing the name of Fort Bragg, CA. as one step towards educating citizens on American History and racial justice.

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  1. Offering a bribe for an essay from high school kids against the name of our school and actually against our town’s name. The families that have been here for generations never gave a thought to the origin of the name any more than wondering who Casper, or Mendocino was named after. People move here to get away from the places they lived thinking this is where they can make a comfortable home but then they look around and think “our old neighborhood did this or thought that so let’s change it to the way we were before we moved”. Going after the children, offering money is low, especially since most of the families here are below the poverty level. The people behind this have no respect for Fort Bragg and the community. We see what you’re doing.

    • Enough is Enough LEAVE IT ALONE. Has Anyone Thought of The COST it Will be For The Citizens of 95437. We WILL Have To Change EVERYTHING. While We Are At It LETS CHANGE THE Name of Mendocino City and The County. The Spanish Came To California and ENSLAVED and MURDERED The People Who Were Living HERE for CENTURIES BEFORE THEY CAME “ WAKE UP PEOPLE “ AND PUT A STOP TO THIS NONSENSE. ???

  2. Leave the names alone. Most of the native people here are not in favor of changing the name. There are more important things to do than spend all that money and time.on this. Why is it that people want to change things because they don’t approve of the history behind. Move on from the past. It’s history, learn from what ever mistakes were made, make our future better if that’s what you want but quit trying to change past things. Let our younger generation think for them selfs let them form their own opinions.

  3. “the contest will impel them to research and make up their own minds about the issue”

    Amazingly they really expect readers to believe that a group called “Change our name” is going to fairly judge essay contibutors who disagree with their belief.

    I agree, this is simply a bribe being offered to children in an attempt to get them to fall in-line for further indoctrination into these “folks” woke agenda. It disgusts me how todays “change” movement so often goes directly for our children. Why not try convincing the adults?

  4. Amen to all of these comments. Get out of the past and stop trying to cause racial division.

    The reason these kids don’t know about the history is because they had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Neither did I or my ancestors that came here in recent generations! Yet because my skin is white I am made to feel guilty as if I am responsible!

    NO! I am not responsible. I’m sorry about what someone did to you. The people I know would not tolerate the things that happened hundreds of years ago.

    I AM sorry for you and every other race/ religion/gender that has ever been persecuted by others. But I didn’t do it.!

    ??? Here we are now. ?? Love God Love one another?

    ????? I love all races. Red, yellow, black, brown, and white!

  5. Yet Mendocino is completely out of the equation.
    Imagine that.

    (From Wikipedia)
    “…The town’s name (Mendocino) comes from Cape Mendocino 85 miles (137 km) to the north, named by early Spanish navigators in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain.”

    “…Tenamaztle would remain at large as a guerilla until 1550. In early 1542 the stronghold of Mixtón fell to the Spaniards and the rebellion was over. The aftermath of the natives’ defeat was that “thousands were dragged off in chains to the mines, and many of the survivors (mostly women and children) were transported from their homelands to work on Spanish farms and haciendas.”. By the viceroy’s (Mendoza) order men, women, and children were seized and executed, some by cannon fire, some torn apart by dogs, and others stabbed. The reports of the excessive violence against indigenous civilians caused the Council of the Indies to undertake a secret investigation into the conduct of the viceroy.”

    Feel free to lump ‘ole baby killer into the mix as well if you’re serious about name changes.

    Clown world.

  6. The town was named long before Braxton Bragg was involved in the Civil War. He never visited here, either. Fort Bragg has had the same name since 1857, so why change it now? Offering a prize for changing the name of our high school is ridiculous. Most locals would like the name to remain Fort Bragg, no matter what the “Change Our Name” group says.

  7. The Portuguese were heavily involved in the African slave trade. The Spanish were responsible genocide of indigenous peoples and had an alliance with Nazi Germany. Hispanic names are not the target of the Democrat Party because people of lily White European descent are the core of the Republican Party. Dirty, evil trickster leftist political tactics at play here. Indoctrinating children. Zero tolerance and censorship tactics.

  8. The comments by DMertle and others are sincere and heartfelt. Probably because we grew up in a community that did not take any stock in who our town was named after. It was a name like many other names that lose their meaning after years. The name was a label and not too much more. While we did know that the original “Fort” was nothing more than an outpost from the Presedio of San Francisco to oversee the “reservation” along the coast north of Noyo River. By the time it was named (about 1857) Bragg had left the US Army and it was named, not as a hero of the Confedaracy but simply as a commanding officer.
    There are way too many other things I can think of to spend $2,000 dollars on arguing than the name of our home town…how about climate change, economic development that will keep our youth in the area (that discussion was brought up 50 years ago when we had an economically thriving community to no avail), or water resources for the coast? If this is truly for the education of our youth in creative thinking and writing perhaps something more meaningful. Anyway, I also concerned about the judges…I don’t recognize anyone of us old timers…by the way in general I would be considered a liberal…And there are way more meaningful ways to address discrimination than this.


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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