Illinois university will change floor names at dormitory

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NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State University says it will rename floors in a residence hall that are named for U.S. secretaries of state who had slaves. They include Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.

Watterson Towers consists of 10 houses, which are named after the first 10 secretaries of state. The university says eight took part in slavery. Doris Houston, a diversity official at Illinois State, says it can be traumatic to live in a dorm with the names of people who represent “centuries of oppression and systemic injustice.”

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(This story was originally published on August 1, 2020)


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