Elected officials, MTA staff, and Medgar Evers College celebrated yesterday two newly renamed subway stations – Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College.
The stations were renamed following the legislation, introduced by local Assemblymember Diana Richardson and State Senator Zellnor Myrie, and signed by the Governor late last year. The project was funded in its entirety by a $250,000 legislative grant from Assemblymember Richardson.
The school was founded 50 years ago to honor Medgar Evers, the civil rights icon tragically assassinated by white supremacists in Mississippi nearly 60 years ago.
“The family of Medgar Evers is gratified and honored for this recognition of my late husband. It is our hope that the renaming of these stations will inspire and enable people of all ages for generations to come to understand and remember his contributions and sacrifices,” Myrlie Evers, widow of Medgar Evers, said in a statement on behalf of the Evers family. “Further, each time commuters enter and depart these stations, we hope that they will be reminded of the significance of the resilience and strength of those who endured enslavement, but nevertheless have fought against racism and injustice to create a world that would provide opportunities for institutions like Medgar Evers College to thrive.”
“Today’s subway renaming marks a historical moment for the Medgar Evers College community as well as the rest of New York City,” said Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl E. Heastie, before praising the work of Assemblywoman Diana Richardson to make this renaming a reality.
“As an alumnus of Medgar Evers College and a lifelong resident of the Crown Heights community this moment fills my heart with so much pride and joy,” Richardson said. “Medgar Evers College, like all of the other CUNY campuses around the city, has impacted our community so much so that it has become a local cultural institution. That recognition is especially meaningful as it is happening during this critical period of change in our nation’s history. I am excited to see the community come out to celebrate this well-deserved recognition of the college.”
“Never has the history and legacy of Medgar Evers felt more alive than during this movement for justice and never has there been a better time to honor his legacy,” added Senator Myrie.” As we literally put one of our most cherished institutions on the map, we honor Medgar Evers’ life of service to black people and to our country and recommit to continuing his work today. He was an inspirational leader and role model and honoring his memory at this moment in our city’s and nation’s history is the right thing to do. I’m pleased the MTA is recognizing his life of service and the College’s importance to the Brooklyn community in this way, and encourage everyone to learn more about this civil rights icon and the College that bears his name.”
“Today is a special day for the entire Medgar Evers College community,” Medgar Evers College President Rudy Crew said in a statement released following the event. “Having our name on these stations serves as a tangible representation of the role that this institution plays in the academic and cultural fabric of this community and will serve as a great source of pride to our students, faculty, and alumni throughout New York City and beyond.”