Josh Landes } WAMC
The auditorium of Monument Mountain Regional High School was the setting for both halves of the epic meeting – one of the longest in recent memory.
On the first night, a spirited debate was held over a nonbinding vote on a citizen’s petition designed to gauge whether the town supported changing the name of Monument Valley Regional Middle School – part of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District – to W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School.
“I’d like to point out that the campaign to rename the middle school for Dr. Du Bois is part of a multiyear, multipronged initiative to celebrate the life, work, and legacy of Dr. Du Bois lead by Gwendolyn VanSant and Multicultural BRIDGE,” said Dr. Lara Setti.
Setti is the chair of the board of directors of Multicultural BRIDGE, a Lee-based racial justice and cultural competency training nonprofit organization. She said the petition came out of conversations between BRIDGE, Great Barrington’s Du Bois Center, the school committee, and the town’s selectboard. Du Bois, who was born in Great Barrington in 1868, went on to be the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.