Bill aimed at renaming subway stations to honor Medgar Evers College on the brink of becoming law: Brooklyn lawmakers call on governor to sign bill

FIKISWA TSABEDZE | 7/11/2019, 7:13 p.m.
A bill that would rename two subway stations in Central Brooklyn in recognition of Medgar Evers College has passed both ...
Medgar Evers College

A bill that would rename two subway stations in Central Brooklyn in recognition of Medgar Evers College has passed both houses of the legislature and could become law with the governor’s approval. The bill would require the MTA to add the college’s name to both the Franklin Avenue and President Street stops, consequently renaming them to “Franklin Avenue— Medgar Evers College” and “President Street—Medgar Evers College.”

“Renaming the subway stations is significant for the entire Central Brooklyn community,” expressed Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson. “Medgar Evers College represents a proud tradition of academic excellence and community activism derived from the great civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Its impact on our community cannot be overstated, and renaming of these stations would bring this cherished college and our community the recognition and respect they deserve.”

Richardson stated that Medgar Evers College has served as a multipurpose space, offering vocational programs and a venue for shows, among others—Crown Heights and Central Brooklyn are mostly community center and YMCA deficient.

Educational institutions throughout the five boroughs have been recognized in MTA renamings, including:

Flatbush Avenue—Brooklyn College, Bedford Park Boulevard—Lehman College, 68th Street—Hunter College, 116th Street—Columbia University, and 8th Street—New York University. While the surrounding communities in these colleges have taken pleasure in the recognition of subway renamings for years, Medgar Evers College remains unrecognized by the MTA system. “This is where the disparities are, it’s time the MTA rectified that,” said Richardson. “They have signs that Medgar Evers College is right upstairs so it should be announced.”

Medgar Evers was a civil rights leader known for his contributions to ending desegregation and expanding voting rights. By serving fundamentally students of color, Medgar Evers College carries on the legacy of an inspirational leader who sacrificed his life fighting for the rights of African-Americans. Renaming the subway stops to Franklin Avenue—Medgar Evers College and President Street—Medgar Evers College would not only help simplify navigation to Medgar Evers College, but would also serve as an immense honor and show respect to the Central Brooklyn community that cherishes it. Richardson labelled it a “historical significance for the community.”

“For a long time, this has been a college with a tremendous identity not known by those outside of Brooklyn,” commented the president of Medgar Evers College, Rudolph F. Crew. “By renaming these subway stations, it will give the Medgar Evers College campus the visibility it so richly deserves and allow it to become a beacon for everyone who visits Crown Heights. As we seek to reorder the priorities of our society, the renaming simply demonstrates that Medgar Evers College continues to play a critical role in doing that.”

Two lawmakers representing Central Brooklyn have called on the governor to sign the bill now.

“Renaming the Franklin and President subway stations to recognize Medgar Evers College would literally put one of our community’s most cherished institutions on the map,” said Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie. “This community has asked for these renamings and their elected representatives have heeded their call by passing S3439A/A1512 in both houses of the legislature. We now call on the governor to sign this bill without delay.”