julio 25, 2021

Guest Columnist – A Name is a Powerful Thing

La Raza, un poderoso nombre A Name is a Powerful Thing

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by our guest columnists do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of this publication.

Christian Jimenez/ Denver resident

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A name is a powerful thing. It allows people to identify, make quick judgements and assumptions about us. Since biblical times, the name you were given would set a path for the rest of your life. We continue to see the power in names even today. But when thinking of names, we don’t typically think of places in our city, our monuments or community parks for that matter. But, given our current societal landscape, every street, neighborhood, monument and even park names are being examined through an equity and inclusion lens.

Columbus Park. A park that has been the epicenter of protests, demonstrations and in the 1970’s, it’s even seen its fair share of clashes. The park was an important place, the gathering place, for ‘Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales’ Crusade for Justice, the broader Chicano Movement and other Chicano leaders. Today, in the year 2020, we find ourselves in the same predicament that city officials and neighbors found themselves over fifty years ago, what should the name of the park be?  Should it reflect its community, its history? Or just be a fancy name?

A name is a powerful thing.

For that reason, I am in favor of changing the name of Columbus Park to La Raza Park. La Raza Park is a name that is readily recognized by residents in the Northside.  It fits the diversity of the neighborhood and fits the times in which we live in.

La Raza. The People. Changing the name from Columbus Park, a name that reflects of colonization of the  Americas, is a focus on the people. The name La Raza doesn’t just represent Latinos or Chicanos, but rather the people as a whole.

Renaming this Park will not just honor the diversity of the community in which it resides, but also the leaders, who have been fighting for over five decades, to ensure that their efforts to improve their community, and the people who live there, are represented in a safe place where families can gather to celebrate their culture, their neighborhood and its history — La Raza Park.

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